easyJet has announced plans to axe up to 20 percent of flights from its London Luton base as well as close its East Midlands hub. In a move that mirrors Ryanair’s recent hub streamlining, the low-cost carrier said it would look relocate the Luton flights to more “profitable bases”.
Air passengers face stealth fare increases as a raft of airlines levy new charges for checking in more than one bag. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, Delta and Continential are among those introducing charges to limit baggage in a bid to raise extra revenue. The new charges could typically add £100 to the cost of a holiday for a family of four.
Some 20,000 employees of Air India have begun a three-day hunger strike over plans to cut their pay. The protest comes as the debt-ridden national carrier plans a series of drastic cost-cutting measures, which include productivity-linked bonuses by up to 50 percent.
Over 3,500 airlines and business jet operators globally will have to sign up to the new European Union Emissions Trading Scheme by 2012 or face either financial penalties or a ban, the EU has warned.
Eurostar has signed an e-ticketing deal with Virgin Atlantic that allows consumers to buy train tickets at the same time as they book their flights. The move is designed to open up bookings of the high-speed train operator to more overseas travellers to the UK.
Emirates plans to fight a legal investigation launched by the Australian competition authorities over cargo price-fixing allegations. It becomes the ninth airline accused of price-fixing in Australia, where BA, Qantas and Air France have already received mulit-million dollar fines.
Ryanair is starting eight new routes from Edinburgh to mainland Europe plus the Canaries for its winter season – bringing its services from the Scottish capital from 19 to 26 routes, a 42% increase. The airline is also extending its summer routes to/from Malta and Rome (Ciampino).
Ryanair is closing nine of its ten routes at Manchester Airport on 1 October and switch them to East Midlands, Leeds Bradford and Liverpool. The low-cost carrier says the shift will result in the loss of 44 weekly Manchester flights, 600,000 passengers annually and up to 600 local jobs.
British Airways has become the first major European scheduled airline to sell advertising space on its boarding passes as it seeks new revenue to stem record losses. Jaguar has become the first company to advertise on its website, whilst advertising on boarding passes will start in October.
Ryanair is declaring another victory in its battle against screen scrapers after four German websites signed declarations to stop scraping from the low-cost carrier’s site or selling its tickets. Travelgreen.de, titanic.de, flycall.de and atr24.de have conceded to the terms, and are the latest in a line of European companies that have backed down from the low-cost carrier.
Passengers whose holidays are blighted by downpours could be in for a financial silver lining after Lufthansa began offering compensation for rainy days to 36 destinations including Rome, New York and Barcelona.
The World Travel & Tourism Council has joined the groundswell opposing changes in UK Airport Departure Tax, arguing the hikes will discourage long-haul travel, reduce UK spending in emerging markets, as well as hinder the potential of travel & tourism to kick-start the economic recovery.