Jet2 and Thomson compensation appeals turned down by Supreme Court

Jet2 and Thomson compensation appeals turned down by Supreme CourtImage via Shutterstock

The legal firm pursuing flight delay compensation says it will push ahead with thousands of outstanding claims after Jet2 and Thomson Airways were denied permission to appeal High Court rulings.

The original landmark judgements in the Huzar V Jet2 and Dawson V Thomson cases were said to open up the aviation industry to potentially billions of pounds of claims.

The Supreme Court has turned down the appeals application for both, meaning that claims pending the decision can now go ahead.

David Bott, senior partner at Bott & Co, said: “This is a landmark day not just for Mr Huzar and Mr Dawson but for passengers everywhere.

“Two journeys which started with a delay have now finished, nearly eight years later in Mr Dawson’s case. Bott & Co has thousands of clients whose claims have been on hold pending today’s decisions.

“We will now be writing to the airlines, asking them to acknowledge the judgments, recognise their obligations and deal with these claims as promptly as possible.

“The Supreme Court’s decision has provided total clarity in the law, which will benefit both airlines and passengers going forward.

“We here at Bott & Co are proud of our part in this victory that will benefit millions of consumers each year and brings this country’s law in line with other European countries.”

The Huzar ruling means airlines must pay flight compensation for delays caused by technical problems as these are not considered an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ under flight compensation regulation EU261.

The Dawson judgment confirmed consumers in England and Wales have six years to bring a claim for flight delay compensation.

Bott & Co estimates 2.36 million passengers per year in England and Wales will benefit from the Huzar decision, equivalent to approximately £876 million in compensation claims.

And it claims the Dawson case has opened up an estimated £3.89 billion in historic flight compensation.

In a statement Thomson said: “We believe that it is reasonable to expect that those who perceive they have suffered a real loss as a result of an unfortunate delay should be able to make their claim within two years.

“We are surprised and disappointed to note the decision of the Supreme Court as we believe our position is sound in law. We will now review this position based on the court’s decision.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Cardiff airport seeks more airlines to arrest decline

Cardiff airport seeks more airlines to arrest declineNew Cardiff airport boss Debra Barber has pledged to attract more airlines in an effort to reverse declining passenger numbers.

Latest figures show a 7% drop in the number of passengers in the year to September.

Barber, a former RAF group captain who was appointed the airport’s operations director in May 2012, took over as managing director two months ago.

This followed the Welsh government buying the airport for £52 million in March last year following concerns about a lack of investment by the previous owners.

Barber told the BBC: “It’s a tough climate for smaller airports at the moment, the economic situation has had a big impact on the situation and we’ve got to respond to that.

“We’re working really hard with the airlines to get them back in here, to get sustainable routes that we know are going to last and stay the distance.

“It’s all about making sure we offer passengers the best possible experience when they come here so that their choice is to come here rather than go across the bridge into Bristol.”

Her comments come as KLM announced it is increasing its capacity from Cardiff with a larger aircraft on flights to Amsterdam.

While more than one million people travelled from Cardiff in the last year, Bristol attracted almost 4.5 million passengers.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Air Passenger Duty will raise £3.2 billion in 2014/15

Air Passenger Duty will raise £3.2 billion in 2014/15Image via Shutterstock

The government will gain around £3.2 billion from Air Passenger Duty in 2014/15.

Industry campaigners claim this puts it among the top yielding stealth taxes, despite recent positive reforms to the tax on long-haul flights.

Renewing its calls for an urgent review and reduction of APD ahead of next year’s general election, A Fair Tax on Flying estimates £1 billion of last year’s £3 billion in air tax was raised by leisure travellers.

With a family of four now paying on average £52 in taxes for short-haul flights and £276 on long-haul to favourite destinations such as Florida, or £340 to destinations such as Jamaica, India and Pakistan, the campaign is arguing that the tax is out of step with the government’s own family test.

It estimates that air passengers have been taxed by more than £27 billion since the introduction of APD 20 years ago.

This figure comes as new research shows that a family of four taking one holiday a year in Europe, with an occasional trip to a long-haul destination such as the US every fifth year, would have paid an “inflation-busting” £1,244 in the life of APD.

Airport Operators Association chief executive, Darren Caplan, said: “Two decades is a long time for such an eye-wateringly high and regressive tax to be in place, and the huge Treasury revenues revealed today give a clear indication of why the government is reticent of challenging the status quo.

“We believe this is short sighted: air passenger taxes, like APD, are proven to harm national economies, and the government now needs to get us in step with our competitors, to boost jobs, growth and UK connectivity.”

APD was introduced by then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kenneth Clarke, in the 1993 Budget, and it was levied from the following November at £5 for flights within the EEA and £10 elsewhere.

It has risen at around four times the rate of inflation over the same period for short haul and at a 20 times the rate of inflation for long haul and is now the highest tax of its kind anywhere in the world.

As well pushing up the cost of business travel through the UK, APD also makes foreign travel less affordable for holidaymakers, especially for families, who receive no tax ‘break’ on children’s flights, as for other goods and services, the industry campaign group argues.

People flying from UK airports pay as much as five times the amount in departure duties than if they flew from competing airports in Germany, France, Italy and Austria. Out of 28 EU countries, only four others levy some form of air passenger tax.

Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Malta, and Norway have all scrapped their equivalent air taxes in recent years, and Germany has frozen its.

The campaign is calling on the UK to bring the policy in line with competitors in Europe.

Abta chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said: “After 20 years, APD seems to have become entrenched in the revenue-raising arsenal of the Treasury, yet it fails to meet so many of the government’s own aims, both to support families and build our economy.

“For the sake of vital jobs, growth and the very valuable investment families make into visiting friends and relatives, a serious look at reforming and reducing this unpopular and harmful tax is now needed more than ever.”

Dale Keller, chief executive of BAR-UK, said: “We are confident that a Treasury led review of APD would confirm the damage being done to our economy and the UK’s global competitiveness.

“We believe that an urgent re-examination will reveal the very real opportunity to raise more revenues in the longer term through stimulating the economy.

“In light of 20 years that the duty has grown disproportionately and inhibited growth, we urge the Chancellor to do more to support business and ordinary consumers and reform the tax.”

British Air Transport Association chief executive, Nathan Stower, added: “It is a scandal that an island trading nation like the UK still has the world’s highest tax on flying despite recent positive changes to long-haul rates.

“Few countries have followed the UK’s example in taxing air passengers and policymakers should stop and consider why. Countries such as the Netherlands and Ireland have abolished their equivalent taxes having recognised their damaging economic impact.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Strong summer prompts IAG to raise forecast

Strong summer prompts IAG to raise forecastBritish Airways parent company International Airlines Group raised its full year profit forecast today following a strong summer.

IAG, which also includes Iberia and Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling, saw operating profits for the three months to September 30 rise by €210 million to €900 million.

BA contributed €607 million against €477 million in the same period last year, while Iberia more than doubled its operating profit to €162 million in the quarter. Vueling’s profit was almost pegged at €140 million. Revenue for the quarter was up 8.5% to €5.8 billion.

The overall improvement over the summer months helped push up the operating profit in the first nine months of IAG’s financial year by €473 million to more than €1.1 billion.

Capacity was increased 10.5% in the nine months and traffic rose by 9.5%, decreasing the seat factor by 0.7 points to 80.7%.

IAG said it expects to produce an improvement in operating profit before exceptional items in the range of €550 million to €600 million, from a base of €770 million in 2013.

Reviewing the quarter, chief executive Willie Walsh said: “We continued to grow capacity efficiently and both our non-fuel and fuel unit cost performances were strong with the latter boosted by the introduction of new, more efficient aircraft into our fleet.

“British Airways made an operating profit of €607 million, compared to €477 million last year, and grew capacity while retaining its focus on cost control.

“Iberia’s operating profit increased to €162 million from €74 million last year highlighting its strong cost discipline combined with the continued benefits of restructuring.

“Vueling continued to grow, developing new bases in Italy and Belgium, with an operating profit of €140 million compared to €139 million last year.

“In the nine months, we made an operating profit of €1,130 million before exceptional items, up by €473 million from last year.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Cardiff Airport boss pledges to attract more airlines

Debra Barber

Debra Barber – Managing Director of Cardiff Airport

Debra Barber says she wants to develop ‘sustainable routes’ for airlines

The new managing director of Cardiff Airport says she is determined to reverse the decline in passenger numbers by attracting more airlines.

Debra Barber says she wants to make it the airport of choice over Bristol.

The Welsh government bought Cardiff airport for £52m following concerns about a lack of investment in the facility by the previous owners.

The latest figures show a 7% drop in the number of passengers in the year to September.

Ms Barber, a former RAF group captain who was appointed the airport’s operations director in May 2012, took over as managing director two months ago.

She said: “It’s a tough climate for smaller airports at the moment, the economic situation has had a big impact on the situation and we’ve got to respond to that.

Netherlands

“We’re working really hard with the airlines to get them back in here, to get sustainable routes that we know are going to last and stay the distance.

“It’s all about making sure we offer passengers the best possible experience when they come here so that their choice is to come here rather than go across the bridge into Bristol.”

Ms Barber’s comments come as Dutch carrier KLM announced it is increasing its capacity from Cardiff.

It has said it will be using a bigger plane on its route to the Netherlands, such is Wales’ importance to the company.

The carrier has operated from the airport for 27 years, with Amsterdam Schiphol one of three international hubs from Cardiff, the others being Dublin and Barcelona.

Passengers at Cardiff AirportThe Dutch carrier KLM has announced it is increasing its capacity from Cardiff Airport

Cardiff Airport saw passenger numbers rise by 9% in the first 10 months of public ownership.

However, while over 1m people travelled from Cardiff in the last year, Bristol had almost 4.5m passengers.

The airport’s former chief executive Jon Horne stood down from the role in September.

Mr Horne was appointed after the airport was bought by the Welsh government in March 2013.

He had been the airport’s managing director previously, between 2001-2007.


TUI Travel votes ‘yes’ to merger

TUI Travel has agreed to go ahead with a merger with its German parent TUI AG at an extraordinary general meeting today.

The group secured more than the 75% of the votes required for the merger to go ahead.

Just under 80% voted ‘yes’ to the merger, but just over 20% were against.

TUI Travel chief executive Peter Long said: “Today’s result is testament to the fact that the overwhelming majority of our shareholders – many of whom have been shareholders in TUI Travel for a long time – believe that this merger will successfully continue to deliver value for them.”

Sir Michael Hodgkinson, deputy chairman and senior independent director, added: “We believe that the rationale for this merger, creating the world’s number one integrated leisure tourism business, is compelling.

“We have secured more than the 75% of the votes required for both the Scheme of Arrangement at the Court Meeting and the Special Resolution at the General Meeting proving the considerable support amongst shareholders. I and my fellow independent directors are delighted that this step in the merger has been successfully completed.”

The results of the TUI AG extraordinary general meeting, also held today, have not yet been announced.

The merger is expected to be completed on December 11.

Sourced by Travelmole


Ryanair’s new Cardiff-Tenerife route takes to the skies!

Ryanair Boeing 737-800 EI-EBS departing to Tenerife from Cardiff AirportRyanair’s new Cardiff-Tenerife route takes to the skies!

Press Release by Cardiff Airport

Ryanair, Europe’s favourite low fares airline, today (30 October) welcomed customers on board its new Cardiff route to/from Tenerife, which will deliver over 15,000 customers p.a. at Cardiff Airport (Ryanair’s 15th UK airport) with a weekly service.

Ryanair celebrated its new Cardiff flights by releasing seats for sale to Tenerife, at prices starting from £29.99 for travel in November and December. These low fare seats are available for booking until midnight Monday (3 November).

Ryanair’s Maria Macken said:

“Ryanair is pleased to welcome customers on board its new route from Cardiff to/from Tenerife. This new weekly service will deliver over 15,000 customers p.a. at Cardiff Airport.

Our new Cardiff to Tenerife route with a weekly service is ideal for families booking their low fare summer holiday getaways. Ryanair customers can also enjoy allocated seating, a free second carry-on bag, reduced fees, a new website, a brand new app with mobile boarding passes, and our great new Family Extra services.

To celebrate our new Cardiff – Tenerife flights we are releasing seats on sale from £29.99 for travel in November & December which are available for booking until midnight Monday (3rd Nov). Since these low amazing prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com to avoid missing out.”

Debra Barber, Managing Director at Cardiff Airport added:

“We’re delighted to extend a warm, Welsh welcome to Ryanair as they launch their new route to Tenerife today. The service provides Welsh passengers with another low cost travel option from Cardiff and as a destination Tenerife is an ideal winter sun escape.

“The launch is an important step in increasing choice for Welsh customers and as such we look forward to continuing to work with Ryanair to develop the service further.”


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