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News of April 2010


Global airline recovery to suffer from volcano chaos

30 April 2010

European airlines are likely to be hit the hardest by a dip in the recovery for global air travel caused by the Iceland volcanic ash shutdown.

Latest International Air Transport Association data showed that passenger traffic rose 10.3 percent in March, while air freight grew 28.1 percent year-on-year as the recovery from the economic crisis accelerated. But European carriers lagged behind the global average with just six percent growth in March.

The strong traffic recovery is expected to show a dip in April as a result of the eruption of an Icelandic volcano … that saw the shutdown of large portions of European airspace over a six-day period,” IATA said.

source: AFP


Airline Flybe launches volcanic ash insurance

30 April 2010

Holiday-makers jetting off with airline Flybe can now take out insurance to cover them in the event of more volcanic ash incidents.

The firm has just launched a £6.99 insurance policy which promises to pay out if flights are cancelled or delayed for over 24 hours due to volcanic ash.

As part of the offer – which runs to 30th October – anyone left stranded abroad could claim up to £1.050 in reasonable expenses.

source: newslite.tv


Ryanair refuse to compensate travellers

22 April 2010

Passengers have been warned they will not be compensated after being stranded by the ash cloud.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has insisted his airline will defy compensation rules for stranded passengers.

The budget airline warned passengers it will not be held liable for their extra hotel and restaurant bills after they were stranded due to the ash cloud.

Mr O’Leary said customers will be refunded their original ticket price but no more, a refusal to abide by EU consumer rules.

The airline boss met authorities in Dublin and says he will see Ireland’s Commission for Aviation Regulation in court rather than pay.

source: ITN


UK-bound planes can land in Spain

19 April 2010

Flights bound for Britain from outside Europe which are not able to land there due to the volcanic ash cloud will be allowed to land in Spain instead under a deal reached on Sunday between the two nations.

The deal will allow passengers bound for Britain from Asia, Latin America and North America to fly to Spain and from here reach their final destination either overland or by ferry, it said.

Spain is offering the use of some Spanish airports as a intercontinental platform,‘  Spanish Transport Minister Jose Blanco told a news conference, adding flights from other continents could land in Spain from where passengers could make their way to other destinations in Europe by road or rail.

source: Straits Times


European airlines test the ash cloud

19 April 2010

As Europe grounded most airline flights for a fourth day Sunday because of a volcanic ash cloud spreading from Iceland, increasingly desperate airlines ran test flights to show that flying was safe and pressed aviation authorities to loosen the flight ban.

Airlines complained that European governments were overreacting, relying on incomplete data from computer models rather than real-world safety tests in the air above Europe. In a blunt statement Sunday, representatives of Europe’s airlines and airports called for “an immediate reassessment of the present restrictions.

source: The Seattle Times


Travellers urged to check insurance small print

17 April 2010

Travellers grounded by the volcanic ash cloud have been urged to check their rights amid confusion over the cover provided by insurers.

The first port of call for those affected by flight cancellations is to contact their airline or tour operator to arrange an alternative flight or a refund of the flight costs. Most travel insurers will agree to amend their policies accordingly to en sure they cover the revised travel arrangements.

Those with travel insurance policies should contact their insurer as soon as possible to clarify whether their policies cover them for the disruption.

Many travel insurers will cover the extra costs incurred as a result of cancellations, such as car hire and accommodation, provided travellers have proof from the airline that the flight was cancelled due to the conditions. However, customers are advised to check the small print of their policies and contact their insurer to clarify their position.

source: scotsman.com


Porter Airlines poised for IPO

17 April 2010

Porter Airlines Inc. is planning an initial public offering less than four years after it launched operations at Toronto’s island airport near the downtown business core.

The regional carrier, through Porter Aviation Holdings Inc., has submitted a preliminary prospectus for the IPO.

Porter began flights at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport in October, 2006.

source: theglobeandmail.com


Airlines set to lose more than £100m if chaos continues

16 April 2010

Shutting down Britain’s airspace could cost airlines more than £100 million if the disruption carries on into the weekend.

The wider economy will also suffer as tourists, businessmen and cargo, including fresh food for supermarkets, are unable to get into the country.

British Airways grounded hundreds of flights yesterday but is yet to calculate the potential losses. In the past, similar standstills caused by fog have cost the airline between £10 million and £20 million a day.

The disruption to services had an immediate impact on Ryanair after the airline grounded all of its British and Irish flights. More than £70 million was wiped off the company’s market value.

There have only been a couple of other examples of large-scale disruption caused by volcanoes. One incident in Alaska in 1989 resulted in the cancellation of North American flights for several days. US airlines estimated the disruption cost them $100 million.

source: Times Online


Ryanair ‘extras’ increase by 700%

10 April 2010

Extra charges on Ryanair flights have increased by up to 700 per cent since 2006, it emerged this week.

The airline has announced it will increase the fee to check in luggage by 33 per cent – to £40 per bag per return flight – during the peak travel months of July and August. This compares with the original £5 charge in 2006.

Passenger must also now pay a £10 online check-in fee per return flight (not payable on “promotional fares“), a charge that did not exist in 2006. A fee of £10 per person per return flight is also added to all payments made by credit or debit card, with the exception of those involving prepaid MasterCard debit cards. This compares with a charge of £3.50 per person per return flight in 2006.

On top of these charges, the airline has again said it plans to install coin-operated lavatories on its fleet, charging customers £1 a time to use them

source: Telegraph.co.uk


Continental interested in merger with United Airlines

10 April 2010

Continental Airlines Inc. would make the best merger partner for United Airlines, creating the world’s largest carrier, an analyst said Friday.

Together, Houston-based Continental and UAL Corp.’s United would surpass Delta Air Lines Inc. for the top spot in global passenger traffic.

source: thenewstribune.com