Trabber News

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News of April 2011


IAG gets its wings back despite fuel price rises

27 April 2011

Oil prices may have stayed close to their recent highs, but that failed to prevent International Airlines Group (IAG) flying to the top of the blue-chip index last night.

Ever since British Airways and Iberia merged and began trading under their new moniker in January, the airline has seen its share price plummet, falling by 20 per cent as the cost of the black stuff soared. Yet IAG rose by 9.9p to 229.6p yesterday after UBS chose the airline as its “top pick” among the flagship carriers.

source: Independent.co.uk


U.S. approves Southwest’s purchase of AirTran

27 April 2011

Southwest Airlines won U.S. government approval on Tuesday buy out AirTran Holdings Inc in a deal that will add East Coast muscle to Southwest’s operations as it takes on bigger rivals.

Antitrust enforcers at the Justice Department signed off on the $1.04 billion deal with no conditions, concluding it would not hurt competition or raise fares.

The merged firm will be able to offer new service on routes that neither serves today,” the agency said in a statement.

source: Reuters


Ryanair bikini ad banned

27 April 2011

The advertising watchdog has banned a campaign by Ryanair featuring a bikini-clad model and the promise of spring sun after most of the destinations on offer had maximum temperatures under a nippy 10C.

Budget airline Ryanair, no stranger to flexing its interpretation of advertising regulation in the past, ran a national press campaign promoting cheap tickets in February and March urging readers to “Book to the sun now!“.

The ad featured a model in a bikini, lying on a beach wearing sunglasses while sipping a cocktail.

source: Guardian.co.uk


Top brands face price-fixing probe after ‘setting minimum prices’

26 April 2011

Three major hotel groups are being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading over claims they fixed prices.

The Radisson, Thistle and Starwood chains – which run hotels all over the world – are accused of secretly setting room rates with online travel agents and ordering them not to offer discounts.

It means holidaymakers may have had to pay hundreds of pounds more than they should have.

All three hotel groups deny breaking competition law but if they are found guilty of price- fixing they could be fined up to 10 per cent of their turnover, which could cost them millions.

source: dailymail.co.uk


US warns on travel to five more Mexican states

25 April 2011

The U.S. State Department on Friday broadened its travel warning on Mexico to include parts of five additional states, including a highway where suspected drug gangs shot two U.S. customs officials in February.

The warning advises US government personnel and American citizens to defer nonessential travel in certain parts of Jalisco, Nayarit, San Luis Potosi, Sonora and Zacatecas.

It outright bans US employees from traveling to Colotlan and Yahualica, two cities in the central-west state of Jalisco near the Zacatecas border due to increasing drug gang violence.

source: Reuters


US Airways files antitrust suit against Sabre

25 April 2011

US Airways Group Inc. filed an antitrust suit against Sabre Holdings, a global airfare distributor that acts as a middleman between airlines and travel agents.

According to the complaint, Sabre threatened to bar US Airways’ access to its distribution channel if the airline didn’t agree in a new contract to exclusionary restrictions that would protect Sabre from competition.

The new contract was signed in February after US Airways was “forced to acquiesce,” the filing said.

Sabre “imposes significant economic penalties” on travel agents if they try to book tickets outside its channel, the airline said.

source: marketwatch.com


Airline readiness for volcanic ash clouds tested

23 April 2011

One year after the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano, more than 70 airlines took part in a simulation on Wednesday to prepare for another ash cloud closing European airspace.

The exercise simulated the eruption of the Grimsvötn volcano in Iceland, sending volcanic ash south across the North Atlantic and Europe, said the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), based in Montreal.

It aimed to validate changes and improvements to contingency plans and procedures in case of another eruption.

The results are to be presented in Brussels on June 6 and 7. The simulation was not expected to impact regular air travel.

source: Independent.co.uk


Ryanair to charge for seat reservations

22 April 2011

Ryanair is to break one of the taboos of low-cost aviation by offering seat reservations at £10 each way.

Until now it had been standard wisdom among low-cost operators that seat reservations could hamper the swift turnaround times that are so key to budget flying and would, therefore, increase costs. Nevertheless, starting from 16 May Ryanair will trial a seating reservation service on its Dublin-Gatwick and Dublin-Malaga routes that will allow passengers to pre-reserve seats in the front two rows or in the wing rows for extra legroom.

Ancillary revenues are an important and profitable part of any budget carrier’s business plan, accounting for nearly a quarter of Ryanair’s turnover.

source: Guardian.co.uk


Mozambique airlines banned from European airports

21 April 2011

The European Union has added all airlines from Mozambique to a blacklist which prohibits operations within Europe.

In the 17th update of the EU’s “no-fly” list, released Tuesday, all air carriers certified in Mozambique were banned from flying into the EU because of “significant safety deficiencies” uncovered by aviation experts working in the region.

The new list, updated for the first time since November 2010, bans a total of 269 carriers from operations within Europe, hailing from 21 states around the world which are believed to have significant safety problems.

source: Independent.co.uk


BBC presenter considers suing airline

18 April 2011

A BBC radio presenter is allegedly considering suing Singapore Airlines after he suffered a heart attack mid-flight, according to reports.

The airline apparently refused to carry out an emergency landing so that presenter Max Pearson, aged 51, could be taken to hospital, forcing him to endure a 14-hour flight back to London.

Pearson had been covering the tsunami in Japan for the BBC World Service and later flew from Tokyo to Singapore, where he boarded a flight back to the UK.

source: travelmole.com