Industry honours

TRAVEL INDUSTRY LEADERS Billy Hastings (left) and Jim French (right) have both been recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Dr Hastings, chairman and owner of Northern Ireland's Hastings Hotels, is now Sir William, while French - chairman and chief executive of Flybe - has been appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE).

Hastings' knighthood was awarded for services to tourism and charity in Northern Ireland. His four-strong hotel portfolio includes the renowned Europa in Belfast.

French, whose CBE recognises his services to the UK airline industry, joined Caledonian Airways in 1970, Air UK in 1980, and what was then Jersey European Airways (JEA) in 1991.

He was appointed managing director in 2001 - the year that JEA, having been re-branded as British European (BE), became Flybe. He was named chairman in April 2005, and became chief executive seven months later.

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