Trabber News

news about cheap fares and airlines from travel search engine Trabber

News of December 2010

Founder of brazilian Gol Airlines under arrest

20 December 2010

Constantino de Oliveira, the founder of low-cost airline Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. was arrested in Brasília in connection with the attempted murder of his former son-in-law, the district court said Thursday.

Mr. Oliveira is no longer involved in the administration of Gol, Brazil’s second-biggest airline by market share. Constantino de Oliveira Jr., son of the accused executive, is currently Gol’s chief executive officer.

source: Wall Street Journal

BA, American Airlines and Iberia expand codeshares

20 December 2010

American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia are adding more codeshare flights to their trans-Atlantic joint business.

The three airlines teamed up in October to cooperate on trans-Atlantic services without violating U.S. foreign ownership laws. BA combined with Iberia this year to create Europe’s third-largest airline.

Under codeshare agreements, carriers can sell tickets on each other’s flights and frequent flyers can claim points. Airlines say codesharing lets passengers shop around for cheaper fares.

source: Bloomberg

Snow grounds thousands of European flights, stranding passengers

19 December 2010

Hundreds of flights in Europe have been cancelled after heavy snow has closed airports, stranding thousands of passengers.

Germany was particularly hard hit as 450 flights were grounded. Snowstorkms saw schools across the country close as traffic on the roads was brought to a standstill.

Airports in the Netherlands were also closed causing at least 30 flight cancellations at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Swiss airports at Geneva and Zurich were facing significant delays.


Qatar Airways plans shares sale

19 December 2010

Qatar Airways plans to sell shares to the public in an initial public offering (IPO) in early 2012, which it hopes will follow its third successive year of net profits.

The airline, which is 50 per cent owned by the Qatari government and 50 per cent by private investors, said it had already started work on the offering, which would sell a minority stake to the public.

We have already triggered the financial mechanism that we would need for an IPO,” said Akbar al Baker, the chief executive of Qatar Airways, in Doha yesterday. “I think we will IPO somewhere in the early part of 2012.


Airlines struggle to clear Spanish backlog

6 December 2010

Although most Spanish airports were getting back to normal yesterday many thousands of passengers remained stranded as airlines struggled to clear the backlog of an air traffic controllers’ strike that paralysed the country for more than two days.

The traffic controllers were warned that they faced charges of sedition and military disobedience, with possible jail sentences of up to five years if they failed to report for work. The majority complied and yesterday worked under military supervision. Disciplinary investigations have been opened against 440 controllers, with possibly more to follow, said Mr Blanco. Deputy prime minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said the military would stay in the control towers for at least a fortnight and that the state of alert could be prolonged if necessary.


Lufthansa to offer Wi-Fi on intercontinental flights

6 December 2010

German international airline carrier Lufthansa will be the first to introduce the much-awaited Internet connectivity for International flight from the US, departing from New York, Detroit and Atlanta into Frankfurt. The service is slated to offer wireless Internet that is fast enough to connect to a VPN and also send large attachments.

Deutsche Telekom will be the company providing the actual Internet service and you’ll need to shell out EUR10.95 for an hour of use or EUR19.95 for a 24-hour pass that also allows users access to Internet connectivity in the Lufthansa lounges. The service will be free through January 31st, 2011, so it’s probably a good time to give it a test drive.


KLM to sell tickets for Xcor’s suborbital flights

6 December 2010

Xcor Aerospace‘s push to launch a commercial suborbital flight service from Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles is to get a boost from KLM. The carrier has agreed to promote and sell tickets for the 30min rides to space and back, which are scheduled to begin in January 2014.

KLM’s support will include purchases, inclusion in its frequent-flyer programme, inclusion in future KLM vacation packages to Curaçao, and other yet-to-be-named arrangements.

Mojave-based Xcor is developing a rocket-powered spaceplane, called Lynx, capable of runway lift-off and landing, with launch power from “non-toxic“, reusable rocket engines. The vehicle is being designed for wet-lease operations, to carry to altitudes in excess of 100km (62 miles) a pilot, one passenger, and engineering and scientific payloads. Xcor intends Lynx to be able to fly up to four times a day with “minimal” between-flight maintenance.


Qatar eyes 90,000 hotel rooms by 2022

5 December 2010

Qatar is planning to have more than 90,000 hotel rooms in place for the World Cup 2022 tournament.

Quoting industry sources, local media in Qatar claim authorities plan to focus on the three to four-star hotel sector and are planning to increase the total number of rooms available to 90,000 hotel rooms by 2022.

We already have a lot of five-star luxury hotels here so we want to develop more and more three and four-star hotels to cater to spectators from different income groups visiting the country for the 2022 event,” An Arabic daily newspaper reported.


Rome will tax tourists

4 December 2010

Rome plans to go ahead with an accommodation tax on January 1 next year, it was confirmed this week.

The city council said the ‘Contributo di Soggiorno’ would be introduced despite concerns from the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) about how the money would be collected.

The tax will be €3 per night for guests at four and five star hotels and €2 per night for guests staying in all other accommodation. Children under 2 and youth hostels are the only exemptions from the tax.


Wildcat air traffic strike grounds Spanish flights

4 December 2010

Wildcat air traffic control strikers halted take-offs across Spain on Saturday despite the military taking command of national air space and threats of jail sentences.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero had sent in the military Friday after civilian controllers called in sick en masse in a dispute over work hours.

But the day after strikers launched their surprise action on the eve of a long weekend, disrupting travel for an estimated 250,000 passengers, there were still no planes taking off.

The situation is the same. There are no flights. We only have transatlantic arrivals at Madrid-Barajas, they are the only flights operational,” said a spokesman for Spanish airport operator AENA.