Smoke in cockpit forces easyJet emergency landing

Smoke in cockpit forces easyJet emergency landingAn easyJet aircfraft with 157 passengers made an emergency landing at Gatwick this morning after smoke was detected in the cockpit.

The Airbus A320 was flying from Liverpool to Naples when it diverted and landed at about 7.20am.

An airline spokesman said the aircraft, which had left Liverpool at 6.40am, landed safely and passengers “remained calm”.

“At no point was the safety of passengers threatened,” he told the BBC.

“We now want to make sure we get the passengers to Naples as quickly as possible.

“Meanwhile, the plane is being inspected.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Malaysia Airlines confirms spike in crew resignations

Malaysia Airlines confirms spike in crew resignationsAlmost 200 cabin crew resigned from Malaysia Airlines in the year to July, many as a result of the MH17 and MH370 tragedies, the carrier has confirmed.

“Following the MH17 incident, there was a spike in crew resignations but the number has now decreased to acceptable and routinely expected levels,” MAS said in a statement to theTelegraph.

“Many cited ‘family pressure’ as the reason for their resignation due to the MH17 and MH370 tragedies,” the statement said ahead of the announcement of second quarter results today (Thursday).

An airline spokesman would not comment on rumoured crew shortages, but said the carrier’s resignation rate was “way below the industry norm”, and pointed to the company’s support for staff through counselling and special prayer sessions.

There was no comment from MAS on reports in Malaysian media that the airline’s parent company signed off on a comprehensive restructure plan that could see up to 6,000 jobs go amid record quarterly losses as high as RM600 million.

The carrier has reportedly told Australian travel agents it will pay them commission of 11% for all tickets issued in Australia until September 15 – almost double the previous 6% level.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Qantas announces record annual loss

Qantas announces record annual lossA record annual net loss of A$2.8 billion (£1.57 billion) was recorded by Qantas for the year to June.

The underlying pre-tax loss came in at A$646 million.

The Australian airline blamed weak domestic demand, poor consumer spending and rising fuel costs.

The result was also due in part to an A$2.6 billion write-down on its international fleet.

The airline’s international arm saw losses almost double to A$497 million from A$246 million as competitors raised capacity by 44%.

A new holding structure and corporate entity will be established for Qantas International to create a “long term option” for it to attract external investment partnership opportunities.

The carrier sealed a deal last year to co-operate with Emirates on routes to Europe via Dubai.

Half of the 5,000 redundancies announced in February have been finalised.

Qantas said it will continue to assess opportunities to sell non-core assets such as airport terminals, property and land holdings in order to repay debt.

CEO Alan Joyce said: “There is no doubt today’s numbers are confronting, but they represent the year that is past.

“We have now come through the worst. With our accelerated Qantas transformation programme we are already emerging as a leaner, more focused and more sustainable Qantas group.

“There is a clear and significant easing of both international and domestic capacity growth, which will stabilise the revenue environment.

“We expect a rapid improvement in the group’s financial performance – and a return to underlying profit in the first half of 2015, subject to factors outside our control.

“After an extremely difficult period, we are focused on building momentum with our turnaround in 2015,” Joyce added.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Ryanair to bid for Cyprus Airways

Ryanair plane taking off

Budget airline Ryanair has confirmed that it plans to bid for the Cypriot national airline, which is up for sale.

Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, told BBC Radio 5 live that it would submit its business proposal for Cyprus Airways in time for the bid deadline on Friday.

The Cypriot authorities say they expect to get about 15 different proposals.

The loss-making state-controlled airline’s new owner should be announced by the beginning of October.

Mr Jacobs told the BBC that Ryanair had “a very positive meeting” with the Cypriot government and the airline last week.

He said the eastern Mediterranean was “a really fast-growing area” for travel.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has previously said his airline believes it can boost the Cypriot flag-carrier’s annual passenger numbers from their current level of 600,000 to three million.

Mr Jacobs was speaking as Ryanair launched its latest attempt to woo more business travellers, who already make up a quarter of its passengers.

The airline’s new Business Plus ticket, which starts from £59.99, will offer free flight changes and a 20kg checked-in baggage allowance, as well as “premium seating”.

Sourced from BBC News


Ryanair unveils enhanced corporate fare

Ryanair unveils enhanced corporate fareA range of travel benefits designed to attract more business travellers has been unveiled today by Ryanair.

Priced from €69.99, Ryanair Business Plus includes:

•       Flexibility on ticket changes
•       20kg checked-in bag allowance
•       Fast track security at selected airports
•       Priority boarding
•       Premium seats

The move comes ahead of the low fares carrier launching a second GDS partnership, to complement a dedicated corporate and groups service. Ryanair fares became available via Travelport systems in April.

The airline claims more than a quarter of its passengers are already business travellers.

Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said: “Businesses are becoming smarter with their travel and over 25% of our customers already travel on business, choosing Ryanair for our low fares, industry-leading punctuality and the largest route network in Europe.

“We now offer even more business routes, connecting Europe’s major cities with additional flights and improved schedules, ensuring great savings for businesses of all sizes.

“Our commitment to the improvement of our customer experience under our ‘Always Getting Better’ programme continues, following the introduction of allocated seating, a free second carry-on bag, reduced fees, a new website, a brand new app with mobile boarding passes, and our dedicated family service, Ryanair Family Extra.

“This launch of Ryanair Business Plus, combined with our new groups and corporate service, and partnership with Travelport GDS – with a second GDS partner to be announced soon – will make business travel with Ryanair ever simpler, as we continue to offer so much more than just the lowest fares.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Windowless aircraft plan to improve efficiency

Windowless aircraft plan to improve efficiencyWindowless aircraft could be the future of cheaper air travel as a government technology centre develops a proposal to help airlines save on fuel, according to reports today.

Plastic display screens projecting the sky outside could line the cabin of an aircraft, taking the place of windows.

The technology would reduce aircraft weight and cut fuel costs without worrying nervous passengers.

The display screens will function using a technique called printable electronics, which involves the use of conductive inks to carry electric current in cardboard and plastic for just a few pence per unit.

Windowless

Developers at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in Sedgefield, which is one of the government’s network of technology centres known as Catapults, are particularly excited by the benefits that printable electronics offer to aviation.

Tom Taylor, who is part of the management team at CPI in County Durham, told the Financial Times: “Getting weight out of a plane is a key [goal] for the industry.

“You could see the first of these coming to market in three to four years.”

US company Spike Aerospace has announced plans to have a windowless cabin on board its Spike S-512 Supersonic Jet, which is due to launch in 2018, the Telegraph reported.

President Vik Kachoria believes the technology would win over passengers, saying they would experience “a wonderful panoramic view of the outside world”.

The company still plans to have several windows for emergency purposes.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Fastjet to create Kenyan offshoot

Fastjet to create Kenyan offshootAfrican low-cost carrier Fastjet is moving towards establishing a base in Kenya by creating a local offshoot in the country.

The move came as the airline, based in Tanzania, said it was continuing to monitor the outbreak of the Ebola virus and confirmed that there have been no reported cases in any of its destinations.

“Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia which is the nearest country effected by the outbreak, is 8,150 km from Dar es Salaam, compared to 7,150km from Monrovia to London, the airline said.

“Additionally, there are currently no direct flights between West Africa and Tanzania. The Fastjet business has not been affected by the epidemic.”

To comply with local airline ownership rules in Kenya, 51% of the equity of Fastjet Kenya is owned by an unnamed Kenyan national. The balance of 49% is ultimately held by Fastjet.

The airline’s chief executive Ed Winter said: “This is an important step for Fastjet. We have submitted a comprehensive application to the authorities who have confirmed that Fastjet Kenya has entered the approval process.

“We look forward to bringing the Fastjet operation to Kenya, offering our market stimulating fares, our excellent on time performance and friendly service.

“We are excited at the prospect of extending the footprint of the Fastjet operation through greater penetration of the African market with a Kenyan-based airline.

“This is in addition to the application for Fastjet Tanzania to operate services into Kenya from Tanzania.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly


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