By Alex McWhirter,
Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red subsidiary will axe one of its four daily flights between Heathrow and Manchester from the start of the summer 2014 schedule.
The airline began its domestic services in spring 2013 after acquiring nine former Bmi slots at Heathrow from British Airways.
From March 30, Little Red plans to operate Heathrow to Manchester at 09.30, 17.10 and 20.10. Return flights from Manchester will depart at 07.50, 12.20 and 18.50.
The current schedule sees four daily flights depart Heathrow at 09.05, 12.20, 16.45 and 20.05. The return services leave Manchester at 07.25, 10.40, 14.15 and 18.20.
Little Red’s domestic network was established to allow Virgin Atlantic to feed regional passengers onto its long-haul network at Heathrow. Flights are operated under contract by Aer Lingus using a single-class A320.
Virgin Atlantic said that the service reduction on Heathrow-Manchester was down to a loss of slots to another carrier, rather than poor demand.
Virgin said the Manchester slots were “loaned from another carrier. We have now had to return these slots to their owner”. The carrier in question has not been named.
Slots to Edinburgh and Aberdeen are unaffected because they were awarded to Virgin Atlantic through an agreement made with the European Commission as part of BA’s takeover of Bmi last year.
Sourced by bbt
The majority of travellers want to see an end to reclining seats on short-haul flights, according to a new survey.
91% of people said airlines should either ban or set times for seat reclining, the poll of more than 1,000 travellers by Skyscanner found.
The study found that 43% even felt that long-haul flights should implement set times when passengers are permitted to recline their seat.
Almost a third of those surveyed said a reclined seat had caused them discomfort, and 3% revealed they had even suffered an injury.
Meanwhile, 60% of international cabin crew surveyed said they have been involved in, or witness to, an argument between passengers on the subject of reclined seats.
Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman, clinical director at the Private Therapy Clinic in London’s Harley Street, said: “The strong support for a change in reclined seat procedures makes sense.
“The effect of people reclining their seat can result in various negative emotions such as anger, stress, anxiety, frustration and upset for the passenger behind them. This emotional impact can result in a whole range of unhelpful behaviours, including air rage.
“This is partly because there are two general personality types while travelling. There’s the ‘altruistic soul’, who is considerate of others, and the ‘selfish ego’. The latter of which will look to increase their comfort at the expense of others.”
The survey found that 70% of selfish egos would not be put off reclining their seat even if the person behind was pregnant while 80% would not care if the person behind was elderly or frail.
Women aged 18-24 were the most likely to display altruistic soul tendencies in the survey, while men over the age of 35 were more likely to exhibit selfish ego characteristics.
While negative emotions could be reduced by a fellow passenger asking permission to recline their seat, the study found that a third of passengers are too worried about the reaction they would receive, and most people (64%) have never done so.
“With competing selfish egos and altruistic souls, set times for seat reclining on planes could actually make for an improved experience for passengers” said Dr Spelman.
“Such rules tend to ensure better social cohesion, as people are conditioned to obey boundaries. While these rules place a limit on the personal choice passengers have over their own comfort, people will generally adhere to them, accepting that it is fair. This could lead to a more pleasant flying experience for the majority.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly
The spat is the latest in a series between Ryanair and a succession of tourism authorities and airports.
Ryanair accused the tourist board of rejecting “a growth plan which would have increased winter traffic at Faro by as much as 35%, delivering more than 70,000 additional passengers”.
In a statement Ryanair said: “Turismo de Portugal reneged on its recent commitment to solve the challenges of seasonality in Faro and rejected Ryanair’s proposal.”
A Ryanair spokesman added: “It’s surprising an organisation whose brief is to promote tourism in the Algarve should ignore Europe’s largest carrier.”
Turismo de Portugal “vehemently denied” Ryanair’s claim, according to the English-languagePortugal News.
The tourist board said: “It is not true that Turismo de Portugal has rejected an expansion plan for Faro airport, a matter that is not in our remit.”
However, the board said it did refuse to pay the amount Ryanair “demanded to reinforce its operations in the Algarve”.
Turismo de Portugal said: “Almost all of the flights contracted with Ryanair for the winter season were cancelled by the airline despite the incentives negotiated.
“In other words, Ryanair … proposed the creation of new routes and flights for the Algarve which it then cancelled regardless of the funding made available.”
In a speech in Tenerife last month, Tui Travel chief executive Peter Long criticised authorities in the Canary Islands for offering financial incentives to Ryanair and urged the government “to treat all airlines equally”.
Sourced from Travel Weekly
By Rob Gill
Easyjet has cancelled more than 60 flights to and from Milan on Wednesday (May 29) due to planned industrial action.
The no-frills airline made the decision to cancel some services to and from Linate and Malpensa airports including several flights to Gatwick and Luton ahead of tomorrow’s 24-hour strike.
SEA Group, which runs both Milan airports, confirmed that the 24-hour stoppage would go ahead and the company will offer live updates about the impact of the strike on its Twitter feed.
“In order to minimise the disruption to passengers and to allow sufficient time to make alternative plans, Easyjet has taken the decision to proactively cancel some flights to and from both airports,” said the airline in a statement.
“All passengers travelling to or from the Milan airports on that day are strongly recommended to check the status of your flight before heading to the airport to avoid any unnecessary disruption.”
Easyjet has also rerouted some flights from Gatwick and Luton to Turin, and is then providing road transport to Milan.
For full details of Easyjet’s changes to its Milan flights, click here
Sourced by bbt
It comes after TTG revealed last week that the company was holding off from making contingency plans past June, in the hope that the Dreamliner might be ready for the peak season.
A spokeswoman for the airline said staff are “delighted” by the news, although the first flight’s date means customers expecting to fly on the aircraft between July 1 and 7 will be placed on other aircraft.
She added: “Our dedicated customer service team is in the process of contacting these customers to inform them that they will now be travelling on Thomson Airways 767 long-haul aircraft to Cancun and Florida, which have premium cabins.
“The supplement paid for the 787 Dreamliner outbound flight will be refunded to customers.
“We understand that this news will be disappointing for those customers looking forward to flying both legs of their journey on the 787 Dreamliner, but we are pleased they will be able to experience flying on the 787 Dreamliner on their return journey.”
Sourced by TTG Digital
By Karen Walker
Ethiopian Airlines resumed Boeing 787 Dreamliner service Saturday with a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, making it the first carrier to relaunch 787 flights since the aircraft was grounded in January.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam and Boeing VP-marketing Randy Tinseth were onboard the flight. Ethiopian has four 787s and was the first African carrier to order the aircraft. It originally began 787 service in August 2012.
Last week, FAA certified solutions proposed by Boeing to address issues related to the aircraft’s lithium ion batteries.
Other airlines are preparing for their 787 service resumptions. All Nippon Airways (ANA), the Boeing 787 launch customer and largest Dreamliner operator with 17 in its fleet, will conduct a 787 proving flight Sunday, an initial step toward resumption of commercial flights with its 787s. The Japanese government approved Boeing’s fix Friday for the 787’s battery system.
Sourced by ATW
Lufthansa warned passengers to expect “massive” flight cancellations and delays that started to affect long-haul flights from yesterday. The airline is offering free alternative bookings.
Flights to and from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Dublin, Aberdeen and Edinburgh will be hit. German airports affected are Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf and Hamburg.
The carrier said the industrial action, the second in the last two months, was uncalled for.
“It’s completely out of proportion,” a Lufthansa spokesman was quoted as saying by the Reutersnews agency. “Especially given that four further dates for pay talks had already been agreed upon.”
Ground staff called the one-day strike amid an ongoing pay dispute with the airline. Lufthansa last week rejected union demands for a 5.2% wage increase over the next 12 months. Strikers are also looking for guarantees over job cuts.
Unions staged a similar one-day strike last month. Short “warning strikes” are a common tactic among German unions, designed to put pressure on wage negotiations.
Sourced from Travel Weekly
Cardiff City have secured their promotion to the Premier League with a goaless draw at home to Charlton Athletic on Saturday 20th April to end a 51-year absence from the top flight. The promotion of Cardiff City to the Premier League will help in boosting flights and passenger numbers at Cardiff Airport.
Cardiff Airport will mainly benefit due to additional ad-hoc charter flights by many visiting teams and some of Cardiff City away games. It is also highly likely that Cardiff City’s promotion will also generate an increase in private flights during match days.
The airport has already seen the benefits of another South Wales team being promoted to the Premier League when two years ago Swansea City were successful and have remained there since.
Cardiff Airport will now see high profile teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal & Liverpool visit twice next season. The airport are not strangers to dealing with such high profile events and have experience in dealing with the annual RBS Six Nations airlifts, Heineken Cup finals, Rugby World Cup, FA Cup Finals and Ryder Cup to name a few.
The Wales Air Forum would like to wish Cardiff City the very best of luck next season and hope they and Swansea City are successful in staying in the top flight for many years to come.