Etihad Airways on Tuesday announced its strongest ever passenger and cargo volumes for a first quarter, just as its negotiations for a 49-percent stake in Alitalia regain momentum. The airline, whose bid for a piece of Alitalia marks yet another effort to expand its already considerable global influence, logged $1.4 billion in total revenues during the three-month period, marking a year-on-year increase of 27 percent.
European Low Fares Airline Association
UK regional airline Flybe has raised almost $260 million in fresh capital through a share flotation launched February 20 in London. The company, which has been battling to rebuild its business model with an aggressive program of cost cutting, is issuing a total of up to 141.5 million new shares to raise £155.6 million. The offer price on February 20 was 110p per share, representing a 7.2-percent discount on the stock’s 118.5p mid-market price on February 19.
Exeter, UK-based Flybe plans to slash another 500 jobs as part of a continuing cost-cutting exercise centered on removing excess capacity and improving worker productivity. The announcement follows an earlier round of cuts that saw Flybe shed 590 jobs this year. The company employed some 2,700 people at the end of September.
More than three years after completion of its five-million-passenger-capacity terminal at Dubai World Central (DWC), passenger operations at DWC’s Al Maktoum International Airport finally launched October 27 with the arrival of Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air, Bahrain’s Gulf Air and Kuwait’s Al Jazeera Airways.
When representatives from Europe’s regional airlines met in Salzburg last month at the annual general assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), they did so against a backdrop of red tape, high fuel prices, inefficient ATC and the ever growing threat from low-cost carriers and airports biased toward large aircraft. Nevertheless, the ERA was able to report that its members had managed capacity well to remain profitable, reacting to demand and becoming more efficient as signs of a return to growth become more evident.
Ryanair said it will appeal Wednesday’s ruling by a provincial court in France that imposed fines and damages totaling €8 million ($10.8 million), the majority of which relate to alleged non-payment of French social insurance and state pension contributions for Ryanair crews flying to and from Marseille from 2007 to 2010.
European low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle is expanding its intercontinental route structure as it takes delivery of new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. On September 3 the carrier, based in Fornebu, Norway, announced service to three new destinations in the U.S., scheduled to start next spring. It plans to use the 787 on routes between Scandinavia and Los Angeles, Oakland and Orlando international airports.
Data released last week by UK air navigation service provider NATS appears to strengthen Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair in its ongoing campaign to refute accusations that its pilots are subject to undue operational pressure. The NATS data showed that while the all-airline average of carriers whose crews were responsible for altitude busts in Europe as a whole was approximately 6.71 per 100,000 movements, Ryanair pilots busted assigned altitudes only 0.94 times per 100,000 movements.
International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, has secured firm orders and options for up to 220 Airbus A320 family narrowbodies, of which it plans to assign 120 to its Barcelona-based low-fare subsidiary, Vueling. IAG said the new aircraft will allow Vueling to replace some of its existing A320s and expand its business.
Spanish accident investigation agency CIAIAC has released its investigative report on, and a number of safety recommendations in response to, the May 10, 2010 Ryanair Boeing 737 incident. The CIAIAC sought to determine if Ryanair was flying into Spain with less than the recommended amount of reserve fuel.
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