Trabber News

news about cheap fares and airlines from travel search engine Trabber

News of January 2009

Lufthansa eyes acquisitions during crisis

29 January 2009

German flag carrier Deutsche Lufthansa still plans to invest in acquisitions to be ahead of the game when the global economic crisis ends, supervisory board Chairman Juergen Weber said.

Lufthansa is currently taking a breather after an acquisition spree last year, in which it set out plans to buy Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines, cutting the number of large independent airlines in Europe.

Scandinavian airline SAS is a potential target, while Spain’s Iberia could become available in the longer term if its merger talks with British Airways come to nothing.

source: Reuters

Japanese airline prepares to test biofuel blend made from flowers and algae

29 January 2009

Japan Airlines will become the fourth airline in a year to use biofuel during a test flight tomorrow.

The hour-long Boeing 747-300 flight will be powered by 50 per cent traditional jet fuel while the other half came from a biofuel blend. Biofuel used in the latest flight at Tokyo airport was a mixture of camelina (a kind of flax), the flower jatropha and algae.

The world’s first test flight using biofuel was conducted by Britain’s Virgin Atlantic Airways last February.


Swedish airline Nordic Airways looses license

24 January 2009

Nordic Airways, a Stockholm-based airline that launched its first commercial flights between western Europe and Baghdad earlier this month, has had its operating license revoked due to financial troubles, a Swedish Transport Agency official said Saturday.

Agency spokesman Anders Lundblad said the license was pulled Friday after the Stockholm County Court rejected the company’s request for an extension to restructure itself.

Nordic Airways launched its Copenhagen-Baghdad route in the beginning of January with flights planned once a week between the Danish and Iraqi capitals.

source: Associated Press

easyJet launches 14 new routes across Europe

24 January 2009

easyJet is opening 14 new routes across Europe, for summer 2009. Nine of the new routes will operate from UK regional airports, giving travellers even more choice of popular destinations.

As part of the expansion, easyJet will base an additional aircraft at Liverpool from 1 June 2009 and at Manchester from 4 August 2009.


British Airways to introduce mobile phones on planes

24 January 2009

British Airways has announced that it will introduce mobile phone technology on its business-class only flights between London City Airport and New York JFK.

Passengers travelling on the twice-daily route, set to launch in the autumn, will be able to send and receive text messages and emails during the flight, and access the internet.

The service is aimed at people in the Square Mile,” said a spokesman for BA. “We believe the route and the new technology will offer an appealing package to business travellers.


Air France reinforces co-operation with Alitalia

20 January 2009

Air France-KLM and Alitalia have reached an agreement to strengthen their partnership cemented by Air France-KLM taking a minority stake in Alitalia. This agreement will give Air France-KLM greater access to the Italian market thanks to Alitalia which, following its acquisition of Air One, has reinforced its position on the domestic market.

source: Easier

Ryanair willing to raise Aer Lingus offer

20 January 2009

Ryanair is willing to raise its offer for rival Aer Lingus but will not wage a prolonged battle if shareholders in Ireland’s former state airline continue to oppose the deal.

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary told reporters he would be willing to increase his offer price of 1.40 euros a share, equivalent to about 750 million euros ($995 million).

However, in a statement Europe’s largest low-cost carrier ruled out raising the price to 2 euros or above. A spokeswoman for Ryanair declined to comment further.

Aer Lingus said the offer was “unlikely to be capable of completion” as Ryanair had still not made clear why it would be approved by the European Commission, which blocked an earlier offer by Ryanair on competition grounds.

source: USA Today

Flight attendant sues airlines over sexy dress

19 January 2009

A flight attendant is suing JetBlue Airways and Delta Air Lines, saying a male employee denied her a work-related flight because she wasn’t dressed provocatively enough.

The flight attendant, 37-year-old Karin Keegan of Pittsburgh, works for Delta. The airline has an agreement for JetBlue to ferry Delta flight attendants to job assignments on a standby basis.

Keegan’s lawsuit said a male JetBlue worker wouldn’t let her on a flight in October 2007 because she wasn’t dressed provocatively enough, then allowed other flight attendants with less seniority to board the plane.

JetBlue told the commission it is not liable because Keegan is not an employee. But federal law enables employees to sue over workplace harassment even when they are not directly employed by the alleged harasser.

source: USA Today

Airline passenger numbers continue to fall

19 January 2009

The air traffic control figures are the latest evidence of the damage that the credit crisis has done to the airline industry.

Planes have been grounded and routes cut as airlines struggle to cope with the fall in passenger numbers. Despite the evidence of a slowdown, the Department for Transport’s projections for future passenger figures show a steady increase.

The latest official projections showing passenger numbers rising from 241 million passengers per year in 2007 to 465m in 2030.


Ryanair’s extra charges earn £650m a year

19 January 2009

The Dublin-based no-frills airline has increased its fees for putting a case in the hold to £30 for a return flight (this includes the airport check-in fee) – up from £5 three years ago. Last year the airline carried 58 million passengers. Assuming similar traffic this year, with around half its passengers still checking in at least one bag per flight, it stands to make at least £435 million in baggage fees. This is based on passengers taking the cheapest option (booking online and carrying only one bag). These charges rise to £60 for those who do not check in online or to £50 for two bags checked in.

Additionally, 75 per cent of passengers pay with credit card that increses the total amount on £217 million – bringing its total revenue from additional charges this year to well over £650 million.

Other charges on Ryanair that have increased include those imposed for flying with sports equipment (doubled since 2006), carrying a baby (now £40 per return flight, up from £32 in 2006) and excess baggage fees (three times higher).