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News of May 2010

Iraqi Airways to be closed following bankruptcy

29 May 2010

The Iraqi government has said it will close the state-owned Iraqi Airways after declaring it bankrupt.

Iraq’s transportation ministry told reporters the airline would be closed following a damaging dispute with Kuwait over war reparations. Kuwait Airways says the Iraqi flag carrier owes it about $1.2bn for aircraft and plane parts taken during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

All scheduled Iraqi Airways flights have been cancelled.

source: BBC News

Easy name may go in Stelios row

16 May 2010

Easyjet has drawn up plans to drop the Easy name if it cannot resolve a bitter row with the airline’s founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

The company could until recently have revived Go, the name used by the low-cost airline set up by former British Airways executive Barbara Cassani. Easyjet bought Go in 2002 but sold the brand last year for $1m (£688,000).

A simmering dispute between Stelios and the company exploded on Friday, with Stelios resigning from the board. He said he had stepped down to speak freely about his concerns with the way the company was being run. “The gag is off,” he said. He accused Andy Harrison, the chief executive, of pursuing a reckless expansion programme and buying too many aircraft.

source: Times Online

Airline fined for not helping stranded passengers

16 May 2010

Italy’s civil aviation authority has imposed a fine of just over $4 million on the Irish low-cost airline, Ryanair, for failing to help passengers stranded during the disruption caused by a volcanic ash cloud last month.

The Italians say Ryanair failed to provide passengers at an airport in Rome with drinks, meals and hotel rooms. Tens of thousands of flights were grounded during a week of travel chaos caused by the ash cloud from a volcano in Iceland.

The Italian civil aviation authority said its own staff had to help stranded Ryanair passengers in Rome, and it cited 178 cases where the company had breached the rules

source: ABC News

Lufthansa to revamp its new first class cabin

14 May 2010

Lufthansa is to join British Airways and Air France in revamping its first class cabins ahead of the World Cup in May.

The new first class package will debut in May, ahead of the airline’s inaugural A380 flight to Johannesburg, carrying the German World Cup team.

Lufthansa has confirmed that the new first and business class menus will be designed by Michelin-starred chef Holger Stromberg, the chef to Germany’s national football team.

Despite several airlines opting to reduce their first-class offerings in the wake of the financial crisis, some appear to have opted to innovate to survive.

source: Independent

Emirates is latest airline to add Iraq service

14 May 2010

Emirates says Baghdad will be among the new destinations it will begin serving this year. Emirates will begin flying to Baghdad in July, making it “the latest carrier to add routes to Iraq as the nation struggles to recover from war.

Other Middle East carriers (FlyDubai and Qatar Airways) have also recently announced Baghdad service, writing that “the flights also are a possible sign of increased Arab investment in Iraq’s oil and commercial sectors.

source: USA Today

Lufthansa to use biofuel on flights by 2012

10 May 2010

Lufthansa is set to become one of the world’s first airlines to mix biofuel with traditional kerosene on commercial flights as carriers seek ways to cut soaring fuel costs.

The German flag carrier will start running its engines on some flights on a mix of biofuel and kerosene within two years. Aircraft account for an estimated 2-4 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which scientists say could cause global temperatures to rise, triggering widespread disease, famine, flooding and drought.

Experts say global aviation emissions could reach 2.4 billion tonnes in 2050, which would be 15-20 percent of all CO2 permitted under a global agreement and a nearly four-fold increase on current levels.

source: Economic Times

Lost bag claims limited to €1,100 by EU ruling

9 May 2010

Passengers can claim no more than about €1,100 from airlines that lose their baggage, regardless of the value of the contents, the European Court of Justice has confirmed.

In a case brought by a traveller who had claimed three times as much, the court this week ruled that air carriers’ liability for lost baggage is limited to the amounts set in the Montreal Convention, which was approved by the EU in 2001. This sets the maximum compensation at 1,000 special drawing rights for each passenger, equivalent to about €1,134 at current exchange rates.

source: Irish Times

United, Continental merge to create world’s largest airline

9 May 2010

United Airlines and Continental Airlines will merge in an all-stock deal worth over $3 billion that will create the world’s largest carrier with annual revenues of nearly $29 billion.

The two American carriers have entered into a definitive merger agreement, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. The merged entity will be known under the brand name of United Airlines and will be based in Chicago, the headquarters of United.

Continental is based in Boston, which will cease to exist post-merger. “The all-stock merger brings together two of the world’s premier airlines, creating a combined company well positioned to succeed in an increasingly competitive global and domestic aviation industry,” both companies said in a statement.

source: Rediff business