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news about cheap fares and airlines from travel search engine Trabber

News of November 2010

Lufthansa to cram in 2,000 more seats by using slimmer backrests

25 November 2010

Deutsche Lufthansa AG will add almost 2,000 more seats to its single-aisle fleet by the end of next year by switching to berths with slimmer backrests.

The seats will allow Lufthansa to add as many as two extra rows to each plane, equivalent to 12 passengers, while boosting legroom by up to 5 centimeters (2 inches).

The revamp, which covers both business and coach classes, is the first for Lufthansa’s short-haul fleet since 2006. The Cologne, Germany-based carrier will also offer free snacks on its shortest flights for the first time in 15 years as it seeks to return fares to pre-slump levels and compete with discount carriers including Ryanair and Air Berlin .

source: Bloomberg

Ryanair lobbies for government aid to airlines

25 November 2010

Ryanair has made an unprecedented alliance with full-frills carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways to lobby for an extension of government credit to airlines.

The budget carrier is among the leading members of a group of 10 airlines calling themselves the Aviation Alliance, which is demanding an overhaul of Export Credit rules.

The Aviation Alliance wants no limit on the amount of export credits extended to airlines, no increase in the fees for credit and no reduction in the proportion of the cost of an aircraft that can be financed.

The US and leading European Union governments, including the UK, offer credit to overseas purchasers of expensive technology and infrastructure, including aircraft, to encourage exports. Most overseas airlines take advantage of these export credits to buy Airbus and Boeing aircraft.


Body-scanner inspired underwear‎

22 November 2010

Inventor Jeff Buske has created new clothing products that should protect flyers from TSA body scanner radiation.

Additionally, the new bras and underwear should help flyers who want to keep their private parts a mystery.

Women can wear special bras or underwear, and men can wear underwear with a fig leaf design that has properties that will block radiation.


Vueling to open Toulouse base

19 November 2010

Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling will next spring open a base at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France.

The new base will be Vueling’s first outside Spain since finalising its merger with Clickair last summer.

Vueling will base one aircraft at Toulouse from April 2011 and will operate flights to the following seven destinations: Amsterdam; Barcelona; Ibiza; Malaga; Paris; Pisa and Venice.


Lufthansa considering SAS purchase

15 November 2010

German airline Lufthansa said Wednesday that it was considering putting Scandinavian airline SAS into its shopping cart.

It is no secret that SAS and Lufthansa are a perfect couple in many areas,” said Aasge Dunhaup, Lufthansa’s head of European communications.

It is possible the purchase could give SAS a needed lift, providing more purchasing power and a wider service platform.

For Lufthansa, it would be the fourth major purchase since 2005, when it absorbed Swissair. It has since purchased Austrian Airlines and British Midland. In addition, the company is rumored to be interested in a purchase of Polish airline LOT.


USA: Age limit will be set for planes

14 November 2010

In the wake of several incidents where holes opened on the fuselage of passenger jets, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday that it will set a “retirement age” for jets to address fatigue issues.

Once regulators and plane makers agree on a maximum age for a plane type, airlines may choose to retire older planes instead of undergoing what is expected to be much more rigorous and costly maintenance schedules. The new rules will be phased in over several years, making the impact on carriers difficult to predict.

Holes in jets flown by Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. and Fort Worth-based American Airlines Inc. didn’t injure any passengers but concerned some safety watchers. Similar cracks were found also on a jet flown by Chicago-based United Airlines Inc.


Japanese budget carrier to build superjumbo fleet

13 November 2010

A low-fare Japanese airline plans to acquire six Airbus A380 superjumbos as it develops an international route network in competition with full-service rivals ANA and Japan Airlines.

Skymark is little known outside Japan, but its ambitious plans and a $2.8 billion commitment to the new Airbus fleet could help set it on a global footing at a time when low cost carriers like AirAsia X and Jetstar are starting to spread their wings on long-haul routes. Currently it flies just 16 Boeing 737-800s.

For the aviation industry, the news is significant: Airbus’ US rival Boeing has a near monopoly on Japanese airline fleets.


easyJet celebrates 15th birthday milestone

12 November 2010

On this 10th of November of 1995 the inaugural easyJet flight departed from London Luton for Glasgow Airport with the strap line ‘making flying as affordable as a pair of jeans – £29 one way’.

Since its very first flight, the low-fares airline has transported more than 330 million passengers and operates over 500 routes to 123 airports in 29 countries. Today, more than 300m Europeans living within one hour’s drive of an easyJet airport.

Over the past 15 years easyJet has revolutionised travel by introducing new destinations that previously were either inaccessible or unaffordable and flying to the main airports at far more reasonable fares.


Ryanair releases flight attendant bikini calendar

12 November 2010

European budget carrier Ryanair has once again invited controversy with the release of its ‘Girls of Ryanair‘ calendar.

First launched in 2008, the annual calendar features female flight attendants from the airline posing in bikinis, often on board or beside Ryanair planes.

The initial launch of the calendar was greeted by anger from some, including the Spanish government, whose Women’s Institute sent letters of complaint to the airline.


Qantas grounds A380s for 3 more days amid engine probe

8 November 2010

Australia’s Qantas Airways has grounded its A380 fleet for at least another three days as it investigates oil leaks as a possible cause of the explosion which tore apart one of the superjumbo’s engines last week.

Qantas shares fell as its reputation as one of the world’s safest airlines came under the spotlight and investors started counting the financial cost of grounding aircraft and compensating passengers.

The incident has rattled the global aviation industry which is recovering from heavy losses during the global economic downturn and has been damaging for Rolls-Royce  which is developing new engines for the next generation of commercial jets.

source: Reuters