Archive for January, 2013

[The Scotsman] LOSS-MAKING airline Flybe is to shed 300 – one in ten of its staff – as part of a “turnaround plan” announced today in an attempt to return to profit.

Flybe are to cut 300 jobs in a bid to return to profit.

Flybe are to cut 300 jobs in a bid to return to profit. Photo: Wikipeda

The carrier, which describes itself as Europe’s largest regional airline, said it hoped the £35 million cuts plan would return it to the black in 2013-14.

The job losses will include one in five management posts, to create a “leaner, more focused business.

Flybe said it did not “currently envisage any significant changes to the number of UK bases or its route network at this stage” but they would be reviewed.

The first part of the two-part plan could also involve some activities being subcontracted to other companies.

The moves come as Berwickshire-born chief executive Jim French prepares to move to become chairman.

Read the original story at The Scotsman…..


23rd Jan, 2013>

[BBC News] London’s Stansted Airport is being sold to the owner of Manchester Airport for £1.5bn, it has been announced.

Stansted's sale had been ordered by the Competition Commission.

Stansted’s sale had been ordered by the Competition Commission. Picture: Wikipedia

The airport is being sold by Heathrow Airport Holdings, formerly called BAA, which will continue to own London Heathrow, Southampton, Aberdeen, and Glasgow airports.

Heathrow Airport Holdings had to sell Stansted as a result of a ruling by the Competition Commission.

The sale is due to be completed next month

Heathrow Airport Holdings chief executive Colin Matthews said: “Stansted Airport and its people have been part of our company for a long time.

“We wish the new owners every success and are confident the airport will continue to flourish. We will continue to focus on improving Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports.”

Manchester Airport is owned by Manchester Airports Group, which is a holding company in turn owned by the 10 borough councils of Greater Manchester.

Heathrow Airport Holdings is owned by an international consortium led by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial.

The Competition Commission ruled in 2009 that the then BAA had to sell both Stansted and Gatwick due to concerns over a lack of competition between London’s three main airports, which, led by Heathrow, were all owned by the same company.

Read the rest of this story at BBC News…..


BBC News
19th Jan, 2012

[BBC NewsHeathrow has said that it handled 70 million passengers in 2012, the highest number on record, as the crowded airport saw bigger and fuller planes.

Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in the world.Photo: Airport Informer

Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in the world. Photo: Airport Informer

Numbers rose 0.9% from 2011, with 3.2% growth in its staple North Atlantic business, and traffic to the Far East and Brazil boosted by new routes.

December was also a record month at the airport, with China traffic up 23%.

But the growth in passenger numbers during 2012 was balanced by a 1.3% drop in cargo passing through the airport.

Heathrow has been operating close to official full capacity for several years.

Besides the spare capacity freed up by cargo, the airport said that the higher passenger numbers had been due to an increase in the aircraft load factor – a measure of how full planes are – from 75.2% to 75.6%, as well as in average aircraft size from 194.8 seats to 197.4.

It meant that the average plane flying through Heathrow was carrying almost 2% more passengers in 2012 than the year before.

The distribution of traffic across different destinations last year reflected the changing fortunes of various countries’ economies:

  • Passenger numbers to Brazil rose 21.6%, due to an increase in the number of flights
  • East Asia rose 6.2% in the year, in part due to recovery from Japan’s 2011 tsunami, and climbed by 14.8% in December from a year earlier as new routes opened
  • The recession-struck eurozone economies of Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain saw a collective 4.5% drop in traffic in 2012
  • Middle Eastern passenger numbers rebounded 3.4% as the political situation in most of the region stabilised
  • Passenger numbers to India and Africa fell, as routes shifted away from these regions in favour of higher-growth developing economies

“The figures for 2012 show Heathrow is delivering higher passenger numbers despite a tough economic climate,” said Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews.

“At the same time, passenger satisfaction levels reached record levels.”

he airport is due to complete the reconstruction of Terminal 2 in 2014, which will increase the number of passengers it can handle, but not…..

Read the full story at BBC News…..

BBC News
15th Jan, 2013

Posted: January 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Ken Hegan

By Ken Hegan for MSN Travel

If you’re not getting enough action on airplanes, there’s hope. Virgin America wants to be your wingman.

Virgin will soon let you send a drink to that hottie across the aisle. You won’t even have to talk to him/her. Just press a button and the flight attendant will deliver alcohol to their seat.

According to a recent USA Today story, Virgin America’s “passengers can use the plane’s seat-back entertainment system to buy their neighbors a margarita, merlot, or maybe a shot of tequila.”

WOW. Virgin America’s ‘send a drink’ feature is a game changer that’s simply rife with possibilities. In the popular blog, Airports Made Simple, the author writes, “See a cutie in 11B? Send her a Cosmo! Does 24E look like a Scotch sipper? Order up a shot of their best whiskey! No progress? Keep sending them over. Someone will drink them. It’s a win-win…

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[Guardian] As the battery in one plane explodes it is followed by a fuel leak in another, both incidents were at Boston airport and both aircraft are owned by Japan Airlines.

A Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner was towed back to the gate after a fuel leak at Boston Logan airport.

A Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner was towed back to the gate after a fuel leak at Boston Logan airport. Photo: Wikipedia

Two Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes have been the subject of safety scares within two days at Boston airport in the US, adding to concerns about the aircraft.

On Monday, an electrical fire erupted on one of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners operated by Japan Airlines at Boston Logan international airport. Authorities said a battery in the auxiliary power unit aboard the plane jet had suffered “severe fire damage”.

On Tuesday at the same airport, a fuel leak forced a different 787 operated by JAL to cancel takeoff. Massachusetts Port Authority spokesman Richard Walsh said the plane was towed back to the gate after about 150 litres (40 gallons) of fuel spilled. He said the plane had 178 passengers and 11 crew members on board. Walsh said the plane was evaluated and departed that afternoon. A JAL spokeswoman said the crew had reported a “mechanical issue”.

The two incidents have extended a series of problems that have dogged the jet for more than a month and increased concern about the plane.

The fire broke out on an empty Dreamliner jet parked at a gate in Boston. Officials said a battery in the auxiliary power system exploded around 10.30am, shortly after passengers had disembarked. A mechanic inspecting the jet discovered smoke while performing a routine post-flight inspection.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are looking into what caused the problem, which came within weeks of Boeing enduring a string of other electrical problems that briefly grounded three of the planes. The new jet also has suffered an engine failure and fuel leaks in the 14 months it has been in service.

The electrical fire is troubling in part because the 787 relies heavily on electrical power to drive onboard systems that in other jet models are run by air pressure generated by the engines. The new jet also suffered an electrical fire during a test flight, prompting a redesign of electrical systems.

Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said on Monday: “We are aware of the event and are working with our customer.”

The Dreamliner is Boeing’s first jet to be made of carbon composites rather than aluminium, a change that reduces the plane’s weight and allows it to use less fuel.

Since entering service in October 2011 the plane has repeatedly made headlines for……

Read the full story at The Guardian…..

The Guardian
9th Jan, 2013