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News of May 2008

Flyglobespan to bring in surcharges after diving to £19m loss

31 May 2008

Flyglobespan, Scotland’s largest airline, said it would introduce surcharges on long-haul flights as it revealed its finances had plunged into the red after a turbulent summer and the rocketing price of oil.

Rick Green, the Edinburgh-based company’s chief executive, yesterday told The Herald that while the company was “about three-quarters hedged” against further oil price rises, it was planning to introduce surcharges of £20 to £25 per passenger on flights this year.

source: The Herald

Paper airline ticket scrapped

31 May 2008

The paper airline ticket has gone the way of the Dodo as
this weekend 240 airlines, belonging to the world travel association IATA, switch to all-electronic ticketing which is mostly done online.

Since IATA account for 94 percent of world airline traffic it looks like the traditional paper ticket has had its chips.


Silverjet airline goes under

31 May 2008

Silverjet has become the third business-class-only airline flying between London and New York to collapse, after failing to get an emergency $5 million (2.5 million pound) loan.

The company, launched at the start of 2007, on Friday called in administrators, grounded its fleet and said it did not believe there was likely to be any value realised for shareholders.

Sky-rocketing fuel prices and worsening economic conditions in Britain and the United States have buffeted Silverjet, having already sent rivals Eos and MAXJet out of business.

source: Reuters

Airline faces safety prosecution

29 May 2008

Economy airline Flyglobespan is to be prosecuted after claims it breached strict safety rules.

The Edinburgh-based firm is accused of allowing a flight from Liverpool to New York to take off when engine sensors were not working.

The decision to prosecute was made by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

source: BBC News

Airline axes Stansted to New York link

29 May 2008

American Airlines is to axe its daily flights from Stansted to New York amid growing concern about the cost of fuel.

The carrier said the last flight would depart from Stansted on July 2, less than a year after it started the service.

American said it would continue its flights between New York’s JFK airport and Heathrow, but added it was looking to reduce its costs in face of “skyrocketing fuel prices and a softening economy“.


BMI launches text message ticket trial

27 May 2008

Airline British Midlands (BMI) is trialling a mobile phone-based ticket system which could replace its print-at-home scheme if successful.

The text messages will display a barcode on the handset screen and will work only once to prevent unauthorised access to the boarding gate.

BMI’s goal is to speed up boarding times for customers travelling without luggage.

The airline is using the paperless system on routes connecting London to Edinburgh, Manchester and Belfast City.


Spanish airlines feel pressure from expansion of fast train network

27 May 2008

Spanish airlines are facing growing pressure on their domestic routes from the expansion of the country’s high-speed railway network, which the government says will be the world’s most extensive by 2010.

State-owned railway operator Renfe opened a bullet train service between Madrid and Malaga on the Mediterranean coast in December and between the Spanish capital and Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city, two months later.

We have the largest amount of high-speed rail under construction, with five times more than the next country, Japan, and in just two years we will have the most kilometres of high-speed in operation,” Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa de la Vega said at the time.

source: AFP

American Airlines announces baggage charges

26 May 2008

America’s largest carrier American Airlines has said it will soon start charging passengers $15 to check their first bag each way, or $30 round-trip, if they are flying on a discounted fare.

The airline’s new policy, which comes into effect on June 15 hits fliers hard, as only two weeks ago many major carriers, including American, began charging $25 each way for checking a second bag.


New low cost airline being set up in Málaga

26 May 2008

Managers from the bankrupt budget airline Air Madrid say they are to create a new airline which will be based in Málaga.

The company says that it will employ a total of 97 people and intends to specialise in direct flights from the Costa del Sol to destinations in the Caribbean.

The new company will be presented to the public at the Torremolinos Congress Palace on Friday May 30, and will go under the name Andalus Líneas Aéreas.


BA boss: ‘Low-cost era is over’

22 May 2008

British Airways boss Willie Walsh has confirmed the airline will be forced to raise fares and cut capacity due to rising oil prices.

Walsh also said the era of the low-cost fare was over and predicted a wave of airline failures in the coming months.

However, he said BA was in good position to ride out the storm and would be investing in premium travel to help achieve that.

Prices will have to go up given the way the oil prices are,” said Walsh.

I don’t think the industry can absorb these significant increases. This is just the start of a correction. Those who are strong will be able to adapt but those who are weak are going to go out of business.

When asked if the era of the low fare was over, he replied: “My view is yes.

source: TTGlive