Posts Tagged ‘British Airways’

[Sky News] A consortium wins the race to land the airport in London’s Docklands and pledges to continue expansion efforts.

City Airport's expansion plans have endured turbulence on pollution grounds

City Airport’s expansion plans have endured turbulence on pollution grounds. Image courtesy: Sky News

A consortium including Canadian pension funds and Kuwait’s investment arm is to pay around £2bn for London City Airport.

The business was put up for sale last summer by Global Infrastructure Partners – the private equity firm – which paid a third of that sum when it acquired the airport in 2006.

In that time, passenger numbers have doubled to 4.3 million in 2015 – an 18% rise on the previous year’s total – but Global’s ambitions for the site in the Docklands area have been largely thwarted.

London’s mayor Boris Johnson has sided with campaigners who fear that City’s plans to double passenger traffic by 2030 will mean more noise and pollution.

The consortium – made up of the Ontario Teachers, Borealis and Aimco pension funds and Kuwait’s Wren House – said in a statement it was “committed to the responsible, long-term ownership and development of London City Airport to ensure its continued strong position and reputation as a key airport for London”.

The statement added:……

Read the full story here at Sky News…..


Sky News
26th February, 2016

[BBC News] Passengers are facing widespread flight disruption after a computer failure at the UK’s air traffic control centre.

Vicky Lane, a passenger on a grounded London to Dublin plane at Gatwick said: “We’ve been stuck on a Ryanair flight… for over an hour.

“The doors are open and we’re really cold. I’m not sure when we will be leaving.”

Another passenger, on a flight to Paris, said his plane had “circled around the Lake District for half an hour before turning back to Edinburgh”.

Ed Bott told the BBC he was: “Currently sitting on the tarmac. None the wiser. Waiting for news as to what’s happening.”

Aviation journalist David Learmount said the IT problem would cause “major disruption” but would be resolved by Saturday.

“This impacts not just people within the UK, it impacts flights heading here from anywhere – anything heading this way will be told some of them can’t be accepted, and they will have to go back to where they flew from or consider diverting to other countries,” he told the BBC.

The RAF – which has its own air traffic control systems – said the UK military was unaffected.

According to one travel expert, the compensation bill from the disruption could run into tens of millions.

“The airlines will already be racking up the costs,” Independent journalist Simon Calder told BBC News. “Simply refunding passengers’ fares is going to cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“The airline also has an unlimited duty of care to put people up in hotels, to feed them and everything else, until they can get them to their destination.”

Read the full story here at BBC News….


BBC News
12th Dec, 2014





Grey line

[] Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev threatened on Tuesday (5 August) to retaliate for the grounding of a subsidiary of national airline Aeroflot because of EU sanctions, with one newspaper reporting that European flights to Asia over Siberia could be banned.

Low-cost carrier Dobrolyot, operated by Aeroflot, suspended all flights last week after its airline leasing agreement was cancelled under European Union sanctions because it flies to Crimea, a region Russia annexed from Ukraine in March.

“We should discuss possible retaliation,” Medvedev said at a meeting with the Russian transport minister and a deputy chief executive of Aeroflot.

The business daily Vedomosti reported that Russia may restrict or ban European airlines from flying over Siberia on Asian routes, a move that would impose costs on European carriers by making flights take longer and require more fuel.

Vedomosti quoted unnamed sources as saying the foreign and transport ministries were discussing the action, which would put European carriers at a disadvantage to Asian rivals but would also cost Russia money it collects in overflight fees.

Shares in Aeroflot – which according to Vedomosti gets around $300 million a year in fees paid by foreign airlines flying over Siberia – tumbled after the report, closing down 5.9% compared with a 1.4% drop on the broad index.

Siberia ban would force EU carriers into costly detours

At the height of the Cold War, most Western airlines were barred from flying through Russian airspace to Asian cities, and instead had to operate via the Gulf or the US airport of Anchorage, Alaska on the polar route.

European carriers now fly over Siberia on their rapidly growing routes to countries such as China, Japan and South Korea, paying the fees which have been subject to a long dispute between Brussels and Moscow.

Vedomosti quoted one source as saying a ban could cost airlines like Lufthansa, British Airways and Air France €1 billion over three months, but industry experts said that figure was probably too high.

Avoiding Russian airspace would probably be 25-50% more expensive than paying fees for transit, said Russian aviation consultant Boris Ryabok, estimating European airlines would lose around $100-200 million per year, less than the cost to Russia of the lost fees.

Lufthansa said it operates about 180 flights a week through Siberian airspace but declined further comment, as did British Airways.

The EU has widened its sanctions after last month’s downing of a Malaysian airliner over territory in eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Moscow rebels, with the loss of 298 lives.


Read the full story at…..
6th Aug, 2014

[Metro] Heathrow Airport has denied claims four planes in British airspace made ‘mayday’ distress calls as they came close to running out of fuel while battling gale-force winds.

Planes that were unable to land at either Gatwick or Heathrow on Friday were diverted to Manchester and met by emergency response teams.

It had been reported by the Sunday Times that three of the four planes made distress calls after they thought their reserve fuel was coming to an end.

In addition, it was thought that another, an American Airlines flight, had experienced problems with its rudder.

However, a spokesperson for Heathrow said this morning: ‘The story in the Sunday Times is untrue. There were no mayday or distress calls received at Heathrow.

‘Due to high cross winds some aircraft were diverted to other UK airports that have spare runway capacity.’

Read the full story at Metro……

BBC News
17th Jan, 2014

Enhanced by Zemanta

[BBC NewsRyanair has warned that profits this year may miss its forecast.

Ryanair says it will make aggressive price cuts

Ryanair says it will make aggressive price cuts

Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier says that profits may miss or be at the lower end of its range of 570m to 600m euros (£480m to £508m).

Ryanair said there had been a dip in ticket prices and booking levels for September, October and November.

Its shares plunged 13% on the news and other airline shares were hit too, with Easyjet falling 6% and British Airways owner IAG Group down almost 4%.

Lower fares
Ryanair says the weakness of European economies is partly to blame as well as price cutting by rival airlines.

In a conference call chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “We are going to respond to this by being out there first and being aggressive in fare response”.

He said that Ryanair will offer its £14.99 one way fare on up to 1,000 routes in September, October and November. That is up from 600 routes over the summer.

It is also launching an advertising campaign in the Republic of Ireland and the UK.

Investor surprise
Mr O’Leary said the weakness of the pound was hurting profits as 25% of the airline’s sales are made in sterling.

“This is a surprise statement from Ryanair and comes contrary to some of the commentary from the peer group and indeed Ryanair’s own commentary at its June investor days,” said Donal O’Neill, analyst with Goodbody stockbrokers.

To compensate for the weak demand, Ryanair will ground 70 to 80 aircraft during the winter months, after initially expecting to ground just 50.

That should mean its annual seat capacity will be 81 million seats, still up 2-3% on last year.

Read the original story at BBC News …..


BBC News
4th September, 2013

[BBC News] The doors on both engines of the flight that made an emergency landing at Heathrow last week had been left unlatched, investigators have found.

Footage filmed from on board the plane shows the emergency landing

Footage filmed from on board the plane shows the emergency landing: Video courtesy BBC News

Air accident experts said the coverings – the fan cowl doors – broke off and punctured the right engine’s fuel pipe, damaging the aircraft’s systems.

A fire then broke out in the right engine of the Airbus A319 British Airways flight to Oslo.

The jet landed safely and its 75 passengers and crew were evacuated.

The aeroplane returned to Heathrow soon after taking off last Friday when black smoke was seen coming from an engine.

The findings were made in an interim report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which is examining the cause of the emergency.

‘Appropriate initial action’

The fire in the right engine broke out as the flight prepared to land, but the left engine was unaffected, the AAIB report said.

“Subsequent investigation revealed that the fan cowl doors on both engines were left unlatched during maintenance and this was not identified prior to aircraft departure,” the report added.

Keith Williams, BA chief executive, said: “We continue to co-operate fully with the investigation team and can confirm that appropriate initial action has already been taken in accordance with the AAIB’s safety recommendation to Airbus.”

Mr Williams added that he could not discuss any details while the inquiry continued.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the report contained “serious findings”, adding that the aviation industry “must act immediately to take the appropriate safety action and ensure that all lessons are learnt from what has happened”.

BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott said British Airways had confirmed that two different engineers would normally check whether a plane’s engine covers had been shut before take-off.

“One checks, the other double-checks – that’s clearly not happened in this case,” he said.

Mr Westcott added that BA’s mechanics were all staff of the airline, which would not say if anyone had been suspended.

‘Slight bump’

The aircraft underwent normal overnight maintenance which included opening the cowl doors and checking the oil levels, the report said.

Nothing unusual was noted during the checks before the flight took off, but the cowl doors would have been “difficult to see unless crouched down so that the bottom of the engine is clearly visible”.

As the plane took off the 50-year-old pilot reported feeling a “slight bump” and thought the aircraft had run over a light on the runway.

David Learmount, former pilot: “This is a bit of an accident waiting to happen because it is so difficult to see”

Air traffic controllers alerted the pilot about the flight leaving some debris on the runway, which later turned out to be the detached cowl doors.

When the crew realised the doors had broken off, causing a “significant fuel leak” and affecting the hydraulic system, the pilot decided to return to the airport.

The cowl doors also damaged the tyres, landing gears and the hydraulic brake pipe.

The right engine was “extensively damaged” in the fire, the report said.

Last July Airbus said there had been 32 reported……

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


BBC News
31st May, 2013



[Sky News & BBC News] Both runways at Heathrow airport are reportedly closed as smoke is seen coming from the rear of a plane on the Northern runway.

Heathrow's Twitter feed reporting the incident just after 9:00: Inmage Airport Informer

Heathrow’s Twitter feed reporting the incident just after 9:00: Inmage Airport Informer

Heathrow Airport‘s Twitter feed has reported the following message as recently at 9:09 this morning…..

“Both runways are currently closed. All passengers & crew have been safely evacuated from an aircraft which is on the northern runway.”

Sky News reports that both runways have been closed because of this incident.

UPDATE: 09:38

BBC News are reporting that a British Airways plane is involved. The Southern runway has now re-opened but the Northern Runway is still closed due to the stricken aircraft  having deployed its emergency chutes to quickly evacuate the passengers.

Chute deployed after the passenger evacuation: Picture BBC News

Chute deployed after the passenger evacuation: Picture BBC News

Fire tenders in attendance at the side of the stricken airways: Picture BBC News

Fire tenders in attendance at the side of the stricken airways: Picture BBC News

There is further speculation that the aircraft may have hit a flock of birds on take-off leading to plume of smoke coming out of at least one of the engines.

Plumes of smoke coming out of the engine of the stricken BA aircraft: Picture: BBC News / Dan Bailey

Plumes of smoke coming out of the engine of the stricken BA aircraft. Picture: BBC News / Dan Bailey

Eyewitnesses report flames coming from a plane as it flew over London to land at Heathrow Airport. Image: Sky News

Eyewitnesses report flames coming from a plane as it flew over London to land at Heathrow Airport. Image: Sky News


Read more at Sky News…..

Read more at BBC News….


Sky News & BBC News
24th May, 2013

[Reuters] Struggling British airline Flybe will quit its main London hub at Gatwick airport and has pushed back the delivery of 16 new aircraft to help it return to profitability.

In April the carrier forecast an underlying loss for the year to the end of March. Photo

In April the carrier forecast an underlying loss for the year to the end of March. Photo: Wikipedia

Europe’s largest regional airline also said it had axed 590 jobs, or 22 percent of its UK workforce, despite saying in January it would cut only 300 jobs when it unveiled a cost-cutting plan designed to end a two-year run of losses at the pre-tax level.

Flybe floated its shares on the London Stock Exchange at the end of 2010 and has since suffered from high fuel costs, falling passenger numbers and higher airport charges, especially in London.

The company, which counts British Airways parent IAG and billionaire investor George Soros among its largest shareholders, said on Thursday the measures would save it GBP£30 million (USD$45 million) in costs in 2013/14, GBP£5 million ahead of its previous target, with more than half coming from the job cuts.

Flybe will exit Gatwick in March 2014, after agreeing a deal to sell its 25 take-off and landing slots at London’s second-largest airport to easyJet for GBP£20 million. “No business can swallow cost increases of more than 100 percent over five years and Flybe simply cannot bear such punitive rises,” Flybe chief executive and chairman Jim French said.

Flybe said it had also pushed back the delivery of 16 Embraer E175 aircraft to between 2017 and 2019, which would reduce pre-delivery payment charges due this year by 20 million pounds.

The aircraft were previously due to arrive in 2014 and 2015.

Since Flybe’s 295 pence-per-share float, its shares have fallen 80 percent, cutting the company’s market value to 43 million pounds from 215 million at launch.

“Flybe is exposed to the regional UK market which is not seeing the same growth as London is,” said analyst Alexia Dogani at brokerage Liberium. “London airports have become more expensive for small regional airlines to operate (from) … and therefore Flybe has not been able to attract as many passengers for its routes.”

It is not the only smaller airline to have suffered. Last year, loss-making Spanair and Hungarian flag-carrier Malev ceased operations, leaving gaps in the market that larger low-cost carriers like easyJet have been quick to exploit.

European carriers including Germany’s Lufthansa AG, Franco-Dutch Air France-KLM and Spain’s Iberia have also cut thousands of jobs over the last year and reined in capacity growth.

Flybe flies to Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Isle of Man from Gatwick. Selling its Gatwick slots would substantially reduce its London operations to just the few flights it runs out of Luton airport, some 50 kilometres north of the capital.

Read the full story at Reuters….


23rd May, 2013

[BBC NewsVirgin Atlantic has unveiled details of its UK domestic service, including that the operation is called Little Red.

Sir Richard promised that Little Red will have a

Sir Richard promised that Little Red will have a “rock and roll spirit” Photo: Wikipedia

t will launch on 31 March in Manchester, 5 April in Edinburgh and 9 April in Aberdeen, providing a total of 26 daily services to Heathrow airport.

Virgin won key take-off and landing slots at Heathrow after the struggling carrier Bmi was taken over by British Airways’ parent company IAG.

Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson said Little Red will go head-on with BA.

BA operates around 52 daily flights between Heathrow and Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. BA also runs services to Scotland from Gatwick and London City airports.

Virgin Atlantic hopes that Little Red, which will use Heathrow Terminal 1, will help feed traffic onto its international service operating from Terminal 3.

Sir Richard said on Friday that Little Red will “go head-to-head with BA to provide domestic flights that deliver Virgin Atlantic’s rock and roll spirit as well as real value for money.”

Read the original story at BBC News…..

BBC News
1st Mar, 2013

[IOL Travel] British Airways is to take on budget airline rivals by charging less if passengers travel with just hand luggage.

British Airways is to take on budget airline rivals by charging less if passengers travel with just hand luggage.

British Airways is to take on budget airline rivals by charging less if passengers travel with just hand luggage. Photo: Wikipedia

The airline said the cheaper fares – initially to be offered on flights from Gatwick to five destinations – will give passengers “more choice”.

Holidaymakers with luggage to check in will not pay more to compensate for the lower “hand baggage only” fares, BA insisted.

The move will be seen as an attempt to compete with low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet.

Peter Simpson, BA’s director at Gatwick, said: “The introduction of our hand baggage only fare is all about giving our customers more freedom to choose the kind of flying they want. Many British Airways customers on Gatwick short-haul breaks choose not to check in a bag as they’re already taking advantage of our generous two-bag hand luggage policy.

“Those who still want to check in a bag will simply pay the same price they do now.” …..

Read the full story at IOL Travel…..

Daily Mail
21st Feb, 2013