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News of July 2010

Air Berlin expects to join Oneworld

30 July 2010

Air Berlin expects to start flying as part of the Oneworld alliance of airlines in early 2012 in a move analysts said would bolster its position against German flagship carrier Lufthansa.

In a first step, Air Berlin has entered code-sharing agreements with Oneworld members American Airlines and Finnair. Bilateral agreements with British Airways and Iberia will follow.

Joining the Oneworld alliance would allow Air Berlin to share pricing, scheduling and other information within the alliance.

source: Reuters

Concorde victims remembered, ten years on

26 July 2010

Ten years to the day after Concorde plunged from the skies near Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, victims of the tragedy have been remembered.

Families of the 113 people killed gathered at Gonesse just outside the French capital where the supersonic jet crashed onto a hotel after take-off.

The Concorde programme itself never recovered. The mythical aircraft was finally retired in 2003.

Controversy still surrounds what went wrong. The verdict in a manslaughter case is due in December.

source: EuroNews

EasyJet ‘less punctual than Air Zimbabwe’

26 July 2010

Data compiled by Gatwick, the airport that is easyJet‘s largest base, show that fewer than 50pc of its flights from the airport took off on time last month.

In June, 48pc of easyJet’s international flights departed on time – within 15 minutes of its advertised schedule. That was worse than Air Zimbabwe, which managed 50pc on time, and considerably worse than British Airways, which hit 85.7pc. The revelation will stoke the furore about the state of easyJet’s operations.


Ryanair profits fall after ash cloud cancellations

25 July 2010

Ryanair’s first-quarter net profits have fallen by 24% to 93.7m euros ($122m, £80m) because of the volcanic ash disruption earlier this year.

The airline said the Icelandic ash cloud had caused it to cancel almost 10,000 flights at a cost of 50m euros.

source: BBC News

U.S. approves American-British airline alliance

23 July 2010

American Airlines and British Airways  won final approval on Tuesday to expand a trans-Atlantic alliance on flights between the United States and Europe.

The two carriers were cleared to jointly set prices, sell tickets and schedule international flights through their Oneworld alliance, exempt from antitrust rules, the United States Transportation Department said in a statement.

The transaction will not substantially reduce or eliminate competition,” Susan Kurland, assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs, wrote in an order. The deal “will not be adverse to the public interest.

The Transportation Department had given tentative approval to the alliance on Feb. 13, and the European Union granted approval on July 13.


Woman sues American Airlines for $5 Million over $25 checked baggage fee

23 July 2010

Airlines that lose people’s bags shouldn’t be charging them for the service, says an angry passenger suing American Airlines. Danielle Covarrubias has launched a $5 million class action suit against the airline, complaining that after it lost her bag containing $800 in possessions managers refused to refund her $25 baggage fee.

American Airlines is just another example of how companies have forgotten about customer service,” said Covarrubias. “When American charges a fee for a baggage service it should deliver your bag, unharmed, or give you a refund.” A spokesman for the airline said the company is reviewing the lawsuit, the first of its kind since American introduced baggage fees.


One bag rule severely impacting retail revenues

20 July 2010

The ‘one bag’ rule prohibits passengers from carrying duty free purchases on board unless they fit into the traveller’s single cabin bag. This is having a hugely detrimental impact on many of the small and regional airports served by the low-cost carriers (LCCs), which rely on commercial revenues as an increasing proportion of income. LCCs are Europe’s fastest-growing airlines, accounting for 37% of European traffic, 50% of non-domestic traffic in some cases, and 80% of total traffic at some airports.

Non-aeronautical revenues are becoming increasingly important, particularly for small and regional airports, and are vital to providing the low airport charges enjoyed by LCCs across Europe.


Emirates announces $9 Billion Boeing 777-300ER order

19 July 2010

Emirates announced an order for 30 Boeing Co. 777-300ER aircraft valued at $9.1 billion, as the largest Arab airline expands its fleet of long-range jets.

The airline disclosed the order today during the Farnborough Air Show in the U.K. Of the 30 planes, 18 had already been ordered and were listed in Boeing’s backlog as coming from an undisclosed customer.

The order “affirms Emirates’ strategy to become a world leading carrier and to further establish Dubai as a central gateway to worldwide air travel,” Emirates Chairman Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said in an e-mailed statement. “Our latest deal signals Emirates’ confidence in the growth of the thriving aviation sector.

source: Business Week

Paper boarding pass set to disappear

17 July 2010

The humble boarding pass is becoming the latest victim of the aviation industry’s drive towards a paperless future.Instead passengers will use their mobile phones to board an aircraft, with the device being read by a scanner at the departure gate.

It will mean that passengers will no longer rummage through every pocket at the departure gate only to find the pass has been used as a bookmark for a paperback bought 20 minutes earlier.

Underpinning the drive for the new technology in the aviation industry is an attempt to simplify the process of going through and airport cutting out the delays which have infuriated passengers across the world.

Saving a couple of seconds on processing an individual passenger can make a dramatic difference to the length of queues.


British Airways & Iberia merger gets green light

17 July 2010

British Airways and Iberia this week won the European Union’s regulatory approval to merge and to team up with American Airlines to share more of their lucrative trans-Atlantic routes.

The companies say the two deals will help them cut costs and survive a tough business climate as they struggle with falling passenger numbers and industrial unrest.

British Airways’ merger with Iberia will create Europe’s third-largest airline with a market value of around $7.5 billion. They will keep their existing brand identities and claim the deal will create savings of euro400 million ($530 million) a year by the fifth year.

source: Associated Press