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News of December 2006


Virgin America expects U.S. to reject airline proposal

23 December 2006

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Virgin America Inc., the Burlingame-based brainchild of Sir Richard Branson, expects federal authorities to reject its application to start a low-cost U.S. airline. Competitors had raised concerns that foreigners such as Branson would wield too much influence in the venture.

U.S. law requires that Americans control domestic airlines flying within the country and that foreigners hold no more than 25 percent of a domestic airline’s stock.

source: Sacramento Business Journal


AirAsia to boost route network

23 December 2006

AirAsia will be strengthening and enhancing its route network by connecting all the existing cities it flies to and expanding to new destinations, group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said.

The budget carrier plans to expand further in Indochina, Indonesia, Southern China and India next year with the delivery of more new Airbus A320s.

source: the star online


Spirit plans to fly to Haiti in 2007

23 December 2006

Spirit Airlines has received approval from the U.S. government to fly to Haiti from Fort Lauderdale, the local low-cost carrier’s president and CEO said Friday.

Spirit plans to start daily flights to Port-au-Prince in April, Ben Baldanza said during an interview with The Miami Herald on Friday.

source: MiamiHerald.com


British Airways drops Heathrow flights a third day

22 December 2006

British Airways Plc canceled about 40 percent of its short-haul flying schedule at London Heathrow airport during a third day of disruption caused by dense fog, stranding thousands of passengers at Europe’s busiest airport.

British Airways, Europe’s third-biggest airline, is operating all long-haul flights, and is using twin-aisle planes to boost capacity on some short-haul routes from Heathrow. The three days of cancellations, including all U.K. domestic flights, will reduce earnings for the carrier this quarter, said Cathy West, a British Airways spokeswoman who declined to specify when an estimate will be released.

source: Bloomberg


Ryanair quits plan to buy Aer Lingus

22 December 2006

No frills airline Ryanair yesterday withdrew its ambitious bid to take over Ireland’s national carrier Aer Lingus after the European Commission announced an “in-depth investigation” into its plans.

Following the announcement Ryanair said the buyout automatically lapsed under takeover rules – but the company still intends to make a further offer for Aer Lingus if the EC review clears the way.

Dublin-based Ryanair launched its £1 billion bid in October – a takeover offer which Aer Lingus asked shareholders to reject.

source: The Birminghan Post


Italy’s Meridiana airline buys 29.9 pct stake in Eurofly rival

22 December 2006

Italy’s Meridiana airline, owned by the Aga Khan, said it is buying a 29.9 pct stake in the quoted charter airline Eurofly SpA from Eurofly’s 44 pct shareholder Spinnaker.

The sale is subject to approval by Italy’s antitrust authority and cancellation of the lock-up on Spinnaker selling shares, it said.

source: Forbes


Airline starts flights to Bahamas in January

21 December 2006

Baer Air, a mostly charter airline business based at Melbourne International Airport (Florida), said Wednesday it will begin offering regular non-stop service to Freeport, Bahamas, beginning next month.

The approximately one-hour flights to Freeport will cost about $400 roundtrip. Freeport is the second-largest city in the Bahamas.

source: Florida Today


Low-cost airline MyAir to operate internal flights in Romania

21 December 2006

Italian low-cost airline MyAir, which has been operating on the domestic market for around two years, plans to introduce some internal flights next year, being the first foreign airline to announce such intentions.

In the wake of EU integration and owing to the “open sky” regulation, foreign companies will be allowed to operate flights on any destinations inside the EU.

Thus, whereas so far an Italian airline could only operate flights from or to Italy, the “open sky” regulation will allow it to operate flights between any of the EU member states, as well as internal flights.

source: Ziarul Financiar


EU to include airlines in carbon trading

20 December 2006

Airlines that fly within the EU will have to trade carbon emissions beginning in 2011, the European Commission said Wednesday, which could see travelers pay more for popular short-break trips.

Expanded rules covering all airlines that fly into the EU will take effect the next year, a move that would hit U.S. airlines on their lucrative trans-Atlantic routes.

Airlines are generally in favor of the plan, since EU officials had warned them that refusing to back an emissions trading program would result in an aviation tax.

source: Business Week


Fog forces BA flight cancellations

20 December 2006

British Airways said on Wednesday it had been forced to cancel all domestic UK flights serving Heathrow Airport due to bad weather and said flights between Heathrow and Europe were also severely disrupted.

BA said it planned to operate its longhaul schedule as normal “albeit with some lengthy delays“.

source: Reuters