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News of October 2008


Justice approves Delta-Northwest airline merger

29 October 2008

The Justice Department on Wednesday approved a much-anticipated merger between Delta and Northwest, clearing the way for creation of the world’s largest airline.

After a six-month investigation, government lawyers concluded the merger would likely drive down costs for consumers without curbing competition.

The proposed merger “is likely to produce substantial and credible efficiencies that will benefit U.S. consumers and is not likely to substantially lessen competition,” the Justice Department said in a statement issued by its Antitrust Division.

source: Associated Press


Lufthansa is to take over British airline BMI

29 October 2008

The airline will take an 80% share of the UK company by buying the 50% owned by BMI chairman Sir Michael Bishop for £318 million.

The move was welcomed by Virgin Atlantic, who said the deal could allow a BMI alliance between the two companies to rival competitor British Airways.

The deal is expected to be completed by mid-January. It will give Lufthansa control of more flights from London Heathrow airport than any other airline except British Airways.

source: Sky News


Flybe announces 2009 low-cost flight schedule

17 October 2008

As part of the new plans flights will be available from Birmingham to Dubrovnik on Sundays and Split on Saturdays from May 3rd, from Exeter to Alicante, Dubrovnik, Faro, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca, and from Southampton to Alicante, Dubrovnik, Faro, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Split.

London Gatwick will also serve Aberdeen, Belfast, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey and Newcastle.

source: travelbite.co.uk


Spanish low-cost airline LTE suspends services

17 October 2008

Spanish low-cost airline LTE says it is suspending services because it cannot cover the cost of operating.A statement on its Web site Friday says the 20-year-old company with bases in Palma de Mallorca, the Canary Islands and Milan, Italy is “doing everything to minimize the impact of this suspension of services on its clients and providers.

The company which runs flights from Spain to England, Italy and Saudi Arabia, has 300 employees and a fleet of seven Airbus 320s.

source: International Herald Tribune


Thousands of flights scrapped by airlines

13 October 2008

More than 46 million airline seats will be cut over the next three months as the aviation industry is engulfed by the economic crisis.

The latest figures compiled by OAG (Official Airline Guide) show that demand for travel is shrinking throughout the world. Carriers plan to operate half a million fewer flights between October and December compared with the same period last year.

At least 45 European airports will lose all scheduled services by the end of this year, with 83,000 fewer flights offered by airlines within the European Union during this quarter than in 2007. Worldwide, more than 200 airports will cease offering services.

source: Telegraph.co.uk


British Airways accused of exploiting loophole to avoid payouts for cancelled flights

13 October 2008

British Airways has been criticised for regularly blaming cancelled flights on ‘extraordinary circumstances’ to avoid paying compensation.

A Dutch campaigner says BA uses the ploy to bypass EU laws created to protect passengers.

BA has scrapped one in 50 of flights to and from Heathrow this year, with the 6.35pm plane to Frankfurt cancelled 27 times.

source: DailyMail.co.uk


Wizz Air launches London Luton – Kiev flights

11 October 2008

Hungary-based budget airline Wizz Air has announced on Friday that it will open the London Luton – Kiev Boryspil route starting from 17 December 2008.

Wizz Air is the first low-cost airline to operate an international route to Ukraine.

The new service will initially be operated four times a week, going up to daily as of 28 March 2009.

source: Porfolio


TUIfly, Air Berlin In Advanced Merger Talks

10 October 2008

German leisure carriers Air Berlin and TUIfly are in advanced merger negotiations, industry sources said yesterday.

The two carriers are understood to be undergoing due diligence by external auditors at this moment. Details of the planned combination — which is likely to take place under the Air Berlin roof — have yet to emerge and neither company is prepared to comment officially.

The sudden turn of events comes after separate and exclusive talks to combine TUIfly, Lufthansa affiliate Germanwings and Thomas Cook’s leisure carrier, Condor, failed. A merger of the three carriers would have created a third large German airline roughly equivalent in size to Air Berlin, but with financially powerful shareholders Lufthansa, TUI and Thomas Cook. The combination would also have taken the three airlines off their parents’ balance sheets, a move the three groups have been trying to accomplish for several years.

source: Aviation Week


Stansted airport expansion to go ahead

10 October 2008

Britain’s biggest budget airline hub received the go-ahead to handle 10 million more passengers but was warned by Ryanair and easyJet that it faces fewer flights if it hikes fees to pay for the expansion.

The government rubber-stamped a proposal to lift the passenger cap at the Essex airport from 25 million per year to 35 million, which allows around 120 more daily flights. However, Stansted’s biggest customers are withdrawing planes from the airport this winter in a row over landing fees and are threatening to pull more services if the expansion increases costs further.

source: Guardian.co.uk


Iceland Express offers new destinations for summer 2009

3 October 2008

Iceland Express, the low cost airline providing cheap flights to and from Reykjavik, has released its summer timetable for 2009. The new schedule sees the airline increase its destination list to include 19 major European cities.

Iceland Express passengers are already able to book cheap flights to Iceland from new destinations such as Cyprus, Geneva and Krakow.

source: IceNews.is