Trabber News

news about cheap fares and airlines from travel search engine Trabber

News of January 2012

EasyJet pushes for business travellers

30 January 2012

Rising baggage charges and weakening competition helped EasyJet push up revenues per seat by 8 per cent in the three months to December, buoying investor confidence.

The mild winter also helped Europe’s second-biggest budget carrier, with an absence of snow-related disruptions boosting the number of seats flown in its first quarter and subduing unit costs other than fuel.

But innovations aimed at boosting the number of higher-paying business passengers are not yet proving drivers of top-line growth. Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, EasyJet’s founder and biggest shareholder, on Thursday lambasted management for trumpeting an incremental, 200,000-person rise in the number of passengers who said they were travelling on business.


Olympic hotel rooms overbooked

30 January 2012

More than 120,000 places reserved in hotels by Olympics organisers for workers, sponsors and the media during the Games will not be needed, it has emerged.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog) confirmed that around 20% of the room nights they had booked would now be returned to the hotels for them to offer up to other customers.

As part of the bid to stage the 2012 Games, agreements had been struck with hotels to provide more than 40,000 rooms, representing more than 600,000 room nights during the period. Part of the deal was that the committee promised to return any unwanted rooms back to the hotels so they could sell them in time for Games.

The rooms, at more than 200 hotels, range from five-star to budget accommodation.

source: Press Association

Etihad Buys into Air Seychelles

29 January 2012

Etihad Airways is buying a 40% stake in Air Seychelles. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier is investing $20 million in the airline and giving the carrier a $25 million loan. Air Seychelles also is receiving a $20 million capital infusion from the Seychelles government. The deal includes a five-year management contract and a state official says the new shareholder will name a new CEO and CFO.


Start-up airline ordered to suspend sales

29 January 2012

Start-up carrier has been ordered by the Civil Aviation Authority to stop selling seats after the company claimed, incorrectly, that bookings would be protected by travel partner CTT Group’s ATOL.

The CAA said today that it had not yet approved an increase in the number of licensed sales CTT could make in a year so JetXtra’s bookings were not covered by its ATOL.

The carrier, launched by the founder of failed airline venture Nexus, started selling summer-only flights from Humberside Airport to Majorca and Malaga earlier this month.

source: Travelmole

Alaska Airlines ends decades-old prayer card tradition

29 January 2012

Alaska Airlines, America’s seventh-largest carrier in terms of passenger traffic, said on Wednesday that it would end a decades-old tradition of handing out prayer cards with its in-flight meals.

The prayer cards, which the Seattle-based airline began offering in the 1970s after an executive spotted them on another airline, were intended to serve as a marketing strategy and to put passengers at ease, a spokeswoman said.

The airline sent an e-mail to its frequent flyers on Wednesday explaining the change, which takes effect February 1.

source: Reuters

Spanish airline Spanair ceases operations after running out of funds

28 January 2012

Spanair ceased operations late Friday after a regional government in Spain announced it could no longer fund the airline, officials said.

Spanair’s financial woes were exacerbated by a 2008 crash that killed 154 people. Eighteen people survived what was Spain’s worst aviation disaster in 25 years. In a statement, the airline said its “last commercial flight will land at” 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Jan. 27.

The regional government of northeastern Catalonia, which had been investing in the country’s No. 4 airline since its 2008 purchase from SAS Scandinavian Airlines System International, said in a statement that it could no longer bankroll Spanair.


Iberia says low-cost carrier will start flying on March 25

25 January 2012

Spanish airline Iberia‘s new low-cost carrier Iberia Express, whose creation has been stiffly opposed by unions, will operate its first flight on March 25, company president Antonio Vasquez said Monday.

Iberia argues the move is needed to help it compete with other low-cost carriers but employees of the airline fear it will lead to job losses and lower salaries.

Iberia says the pilots’ strikes later this month would cause 289 flight cancellations over the three days, mostly within Spain and Europe.


Small seats for Southwest Airlines

24 January 2012

You’ll have more company on some full Southwest Airlines flights beginning this summer.

That’s when the Dallas-based low-cost airline begins a $60 million overhaul of the interiors of its Boeing 737-700 aircraft. The upgrade process will mean installing new carpet and new seats. In the process, Southwest’s 737-700s will gain six seats each, raising capacity from the present 137 to 143.

But Southwest claims you’ll hardly notice if you’re a passenger. The new seats are both lighter — by about 6 pounds each — and thinner, said the airline.


After record year, Airbus predicts orders to drop

24 January 2012

In the wake of a record year for new aircraft sales, Airbus predicts that demand for its jets would fall by about half in 2012 as the waiting list for its popular single-aisle planes grew and airlines looked to its U.S. rival, Boeing, to fill their steadily increasing capacity needs.

Despite signs of a deepening slowdown in Europe and North America and waning airline industry profits, however, executives at the European plane maker and its parent, European Aeronautic Defense and Space, said they were confident the group’s performance would continue to buck the broader economic downtrend.

Airbus recorded net orders for 1,419 commercial jets in 2011, up from 574 in 2010, giving it a market share of 64 percent by volume, or around 54 percent by list-price value. Deliveries of new jets reached 534, up 5 percent from the previous year.


Virgin Atlantic eyes salt & pepper theft

23 January 2012

Sir Richard Branson’s airline has unveiled new salt and pepper shakers for its Upper Class cabins after its former seasoning shakers became “highly collectable”.

Often finding its salt & pepper shakers appear on eBay and selling for up to £20 each, the carrier decided to replace the old ones and replace them with new ones that will be collected after each meal service to prevent theft.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said thousands of older coveted condiments were taken over the past 12 years but the new ones would be closely guarded.