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News of February 2009


Virgin Atlantic circles the world with V Australia service

23 February 2009

Virgin Atlantic will launch its first service over the Pacific this week, allowing passengers to fly around the world on Sir Richard Branson’s airline for the first time.

The V Australia service will connect Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with Los Angeles. The first flight departs from Sydney on Friday and will break the Qantas and United Airlines duopoly on flights between Australia and the United States. Virgin Atlantic celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

source: Times OnLine


Ryanair to shut check-in desks

23 February 2009

Ryanair is to close all its airport check-in desks by the end of the year.  The Irish airline is making a move to 100% online check-in in a bid to cut costs. The airline would not confirm how many staff will be made redundant as a result of the change.

Baggage handlers at bag drop desks will be retained.

fuente: ttglive


Ryanair launches mobile phone service

20 February 2009

Despite most airlines banning voice calls, and polls showing passengers against the idea, customers onboard 20 Ryanair planes can now call somebody at 35,000ft.

The planes are mainly based in Dublin. But Ryanair says it will fit out all 170 of its aircraft over the next 18 months to allow all passengers to make and receive mobile calls and texts

A maximum of six people will be allowed to make calls at a time, however this may increase to 14.

The Dubai-based airline Emirates became the first airline to introduce an in-flight mobile phone service on a flight from Dubai to Casablanca, in March last year

source: Times Online


BMI reduces flights from Heathrow

20 February 2009

The second largest airline operator at Heathrow has announced it is cutting dozens of services from its weekly schedule of flights.

BMI British Midland is scrapping part of its domestic network and slashing capacity to Europe in an attempt to stem losses.

The airline is expected to announce today that it is axing two of its services between Heathrow and Leeds and Bradford and Durham Tees Valley.

A total of seven daily departures will be cut, on top of the previously announced closure of the twice-daily service between Heathrow and Jersey.

source: thisislondon.co.uk


49 killed after plane crashes into house near Buffalo

13 February 2009

A Continental Express flight from Newark to Buffalo crashed into a house about five miles from Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Thursday night, killing 49 people.

The plane carried 44 passengers and a crew of 4, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The Erie County executive, Chris Collins, later said at a news conference that 49 people, including one on the ground, were killed.

source: iht.com


Top airlines want aviation emissions in climate pact

13 February 2009

Four leading airlines called on Thursday for aviation emissions to be included in a broader climate pact, after growing criticism from green groups that the sector was not doing enough to fight global warming.The move is the first step by the world’s airlines, which account for around two percent of global pollution, to steer the debate on an emissions pact toward a deal they are happy with, rather than having one imposed on them.

Air France/KLM, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic and airport operator BAA issued the call in Hong Kong and outlined a series of principles a new global deal for aviation must adhere to.

source: Reuters


Ryanair cuts 11 routes to Poland

10 February 2009

Ryanair has become the latest airline to reduce its services to Poland, after it confirmed today that it is cutting 11 of its routes from March.

The cancelled services include those from Bristol, Birmingham, Bournemouth, East Midlands, Luton and Liverpool.

The airline, which has defied the downturn by announcing 23 new routes from the UK this year, blames the “unacceptable increase in navigation charges” in Poland for the decision.

source: telegraph.co.uk


US: Airlines’ on-time arrival rate sags in December

10 February 2009

U.S. airlines’ on-time performance declined dramatically in December compared to the previous month, but improved slightly over a year earlier, the Transportation Department said Monday. The carriers blamed heavy snowstorms around the Christmas holiday and aviation system issues for contributing to some delays.Airlines had a significantly higher domestic flight cancellation rate and a higher mishandled baggage rate in the final month of 2008 compared to November. Even complaints about airline service were up in December compared to November.

source: iht.com


Global airline passenger traffic growth slowed considerably in 2008

1 February 2009

Global airline passenger traffic growth slowed in 2008 with North American demand falling in December by 4.3 per cent, the International Air Transport Association says.

Overall annual demand increased 1.6 per cent, down from 7.4 per cent recorded in 2007, IATA said Friday.

Capacity grew by 3.5 per cent, resulting in a full-year average load factor or percentage of filled seats of 75.9 per cent, down from 77.3 per cent a year earlier.

source: The Canadian Press