- RSS-Feed RSS-Feed of Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:28:20 +0000 hourly 1 Powerful growth for the airline alliance Oneworld Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:38:42 +0000 Johannes Image Growth for OneworldIn just 15 years, Oneworld has grown to become the world’s leading airline alliance. It is now even enjoying powerful growth overseas, which confirms its dominance in the market. As of 31th March, TAM and U.S. Airways are the newest member of the powerful Oneworld Partner Alliance.

Since Monday, the Oneworld Alliance is stronger than ever, because candidate airlines TAM Linhas Aéreas of Brazil and U.S. Airways have now been officially accepted into Oneworld. The American airline, U.S. Airways, was previously in the Star Alliance networkdue to its partnership with Lufthansa; however, has now changed due to its merger with American Airlines, one of the five founding members of Oneworld. American Airlines and U.S. Airways merged in December 2013 to form the American Airlines Group (AAL), which is the largest airline in the world.

Oneworld’s Fleet Grows by 784 Aircraft

TAM Linhas Aéreas should not, however, be overshadowed by the US giants. The Brazilian airline from São Paulo records an annual turnover of 5.1 billion euros, transports over 30 million passengers each year and operates a fleet of more than 160 aircraft. With the addition of the U.S. Airways fleet, Oneworld’s total fleet has suddenly grown by 784 aircraft. This figure illustrates what a major step forward the airline alliance has taken this week.

Advantages of Large Airline Alliances

The more well-established an airline alliance is, the greater the benefits for the passengers. Since the early days, the networks have improved their flight operations, particularly in terms of technical cooperation.  Additionally, with code-sharing, the respective airlines coordinate their flight schedules, and offer joint frequent flyer programmes, uniform booking procedures, and reciprocal seating. All of this ultimately benefits the passenger who gains access to favourable connections as well as additional ways of finding cheap flights. The primary beneficiaries of the Oneworld Airline Alliance’s expansion are the passengers of its German member; Air Berlin. Air Berlin and its partners can now offer a greater variety of destinations in the U.S. and Brazil, provide better connections, and offer more routes for award and status miles. Lastly, a further extension of the offerings was made possible in October 2013 with the entry of Qatar Airways into the Oneworld Alliance.

Passenger leg-room: Which airline offers you the most space? Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:28:59 +0000 Johannes Image Space between the rowsOn some airlines passengers are packed in like sardines while on others they can stretch their legs out, so how can you experience as much comfort as possible when you fly. On long-haul flights in particular the distance to the seat in front has a big influence on how comfortable your journey will be. Because the space between the rows is set by the airline itself, it’s something worth knowing.

It’s difficult to understand why there is no uniform regulation for the minimum distance between the rows of seats on planes in Europe. In general the EU is very keen to push uniform regulations and standards and stops at nothing to implement them. However, as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) was unable to determine a link between the amount of leg-room and thrombosis in 2010, the EU has so far refrained from setting regulations on leg-room. It is therefore down to the airlines to choose how much or how little leg-room they give their passengers.

Less leg-room on low-cost airlines

If you compare the amount of leg-room provided by different airlines, it turns out that low-cost carriers are indeed very stingy. The dubious winner here is the British low-cost airline Easyjet which offers just 73 cm of leg-room. The Turkish low-cost carrier SunExpress, co-founded by Lufthansa, offers only slightly more. On Germanwings, passengers in the first ten rows can enjoy 81 cm of leg-room. However those sitting further back have to make do with the normal amount. Ryanair, the largest low-cost airline in Europe by passenger volume, and never one to shy away from a scandal, offers their passengers a surprisingly high level of comfort. At 76 cm, the Irish airline offers 30 mm more leg-room than their competitors. That might not sound like much, but to someone who’s knees are banging the seat in front on an Easyjet flight this extra 30 mm would be very welcome.

Ryanair on a par with Lufthansa & co.

It is not just surprising that Ryanair isn’t the stingiest when it comes to leg-room; but also that the airline from Dublin is on an equal footing with more renowned airlines. The leg-room provided in economy class by the bigger airlines is also 76 cm. If we also look at the seat width as well as leg-room, the economy class in the Airbus A 321 provides the best seating comfort. Just like the fact there is more leg-room on seats by the emergency exits, seats are often wider the closer they are to the cockpit. This is because a plane gets narrower as you go towards the back.

Special offers provide more space

For anyone who often has trouble with the normal seats on a plane, but can’t afford to upgrade, there is now a range of tariffs available from different airlines. Some airlines will let you book „Premium Economy“, which guarantees an empty middle seat. Although it doesn’t increase the leg-room, it still makes the journey more comfortable. Other airlines let passengers purchase more leg-room by reserving seats next to the emergency exits. A cheaper alternative can be to just collect air miles so that you are entitled to an upgrade.

Etihad Regional prepares the way for route expansion Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:09:15 +0000 Johannes Image Etihad-AirwaysSwiss airline Etihad Regional has announced that its fleet is to be expanded with four ATR aircraft, paving the way for an increase in air routes from the airline formerly known as Darwin Airline.

The deal is both surprising and expected at the same time. Etihad Regional announced the procurement of further aircraft for the former Darwin Airline, one third of which has been owned by Etihad Airways since November 2013. Unsurprising the order was placed just a few weeks after Eithad Airways came on board. However, more unexpected is that Etihad Regional will rent the four ATR 72-500’s through a leasing agreement with Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) rather than purchase the planes outright. The search for 72 new crew members needed for the larger fleet is still ongoing.

The fleet of Etihad Regional

Etihad Regional will then be represented in the European market by a fleet of twelve aircrafts. Currently only eight Saab 2000’s are being used, with 50 seats each. Etihad Region offers flight destinations include Rome, Cambridge, Valencia as well as Prague from Lugano and Geneva. During the summer the number of flight destinations should increase from the 15 currently offered to a total of 34. Thus Etihad Regional’s offering will be more than doubled – totally in line with the big plans of the new shareholder, Etihad Airways.

Airports of the World: Barcelona Airport Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:33:20 +0000 Johannes Image BarcelonaThe Barcelona-El Prat airport is Spain’s second largest airport after Madrid-Barajas, which is situated near the state capital of the same name. More than 35 million air passengers annually are dealt with in Barcelona, which also makes the airport the tenth largest in Europe.

Fifteen minutes to the city centre

Barcelona Airport is not just one of the largest airports of the country and the whole continent but it is also one of the most easily accessible. The city centre of the metropolis is just under 15 km away, and thanks to the good motorway connections can be reached in less than fifteen minutes with a taxi or rented car. The airport buses need about ten minutes longer for the same stretch. Travelling with the suburban train takes approximately the same time as with the bus. On arrival in Barcelona there is a great deal for tourists with cultural interests to discover. The span of things to see ranges from the almost 1,000 year-old La Catedral to the famous architectural works of Antoni Gaudi and Eusebi Güell and the modern skyscrapers such as the Torre Agbar.

Operations on a global scale

Barcelona’s airport, which was opened in 1918, is currently operated by the AENA state-owned enterprise. In addition to the airport in Barcelona, the enterprise also operates a further 45 airports throughout Spain as well as numerous others abroad, making it one of the world’s largest airport operating companies. BCN has a total of three runways of between 2,500 and 3,500 metres in length. These are used by more than 90 airlines flying to just under 150 destinations worldwide. After landing in Barcelona, passengers are led to one of the two terminals. Terminal two is the older passenger terminal and since the opening of terminal one in the summer of 2009 is used mainly for charter flights and cheap airlines. The Spanish government currently wants to attract particularly the cheap airlines into the country again, which is why the airport taxes were drastically reduced at the beginning of 2014. In contrast, terminal one hosts almost all the airlines of the oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance alliances.

Spending the night between the luggage conveyor belt and security.

The fact that there are numerous hotels in the vicinity of large airports is nothing unusual. There are accordingly also five hotels located around Barcelona Airport. What is more seldom, however, is a hotel within the airport. But this is exactly what can be found at terminal one of Barcelona Airport. This means that unpleasant situations such as a cancelled connecting flight in the evening can be catered for easily and the guest offered suitable overnight accommodation that is above all very close by. There is also no cause for worry about food and other provisions thanks to the more than 100 shops, bars and restaurants at the airport.

Airports of the world: Bangkok airport Wed, 12 Mar 2014 10:17:47 +0000 Johannes Image BangkokWith about 53 million passengers each year the Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is by far the busiest in Thailand. In Asia, it ranks just behind Beijing, Tokyo, Jakarta and Hong Kong at number five. In addition, it plays an important role in the transport of goods, handling approximately 1.3 million tons of air freight per year.

Check- in in the city centre

The Suvarnabhumi Airport, whose name literally means “golden land”, is located about 30 kilometres east of Bangkok which is home to about nine million people. Those who arrive will normally feel a little lost, however, to reach the city centre, you simply follow the crowds. The fastest way to get to the centre is with the express trains, which run every ten minutes, and take only 20 minutes to reach Makkasan station. For the return journey Makkasan station can be useful, due to the City Air Terminal, which allows passengers of most major airlines to check in for their flight ahead of time. However, those who prefer to travel by taxi or bus should be prepared for delays. A taxi ride to the city centre from the airport should take 30 minutes; however, it is not uncommon that the travel time will be more than doubled due to congestion.

Good things are worth waiting for

The Bangkok airport was opened in 2006, but its planning phase stretched over nearly 30 years. Already in the 1960s the first plans for a new international airport in Bangkok were developed. After the purchase of the land in 1973, it took another 20 years before the need for the new airport arose – due to a lack of expansion options at the existing Don Mueang airport – previously the largest airport in Bangkok. Construction finally started in January 2002. Despite the unsuitable soil conditions and location, near the Gulf of Thailand and only about two meters above sea level, the airport was built and ready to open after only four and a half years.

Landing permission for the A380

Currently at Bangkok airport there is construction work in progress, to expand the passenger and air freight capacity. After completion of the work, which is currently planned for 2015, the passenger capacity will be 100 million passengers annually and 6.4 million tons of air freight capacity. Today, the airport is used by 86 airlines, which connect it to the world with nearly 200 destinations. Some airlines, like Thai Airways, use the Airbus A380 on high-traffic routes such as on the non-stop flight from Frankfurt to Bangkok. The A380 is currently the largest mass-produced passenger aircraft, able to carry up to 853 passengers. Prior to 2007 the permission to take off and land the A380 required a runway to have a width of at least 60 meters. Both of Bangkok’s runways met this criterion, and have lengths of 4,000 and 3,700 metres. After 2007 the requirement was reduced to 45 metre wide runways.

Hairline cracks on the wings slow down the Boeing production Tue, 11 Mar 2014 14:33:39 +0000 Johannes Image Boeing DreamlinerThe US-American aircraft producer Boeing, has found hairline cracks on the wings of the Boeing 787. The terrifying discovery has slowed down the production of the 42 Boeing 787 „Dreamliners“ and draws attention to the Jumbo´s possible bounderies.

Which size is reasonable for the material? This question is keeping the industry busy at the moment. The reason being that an announcement had been made, that hairline cracks had been found on the wings of the long-distance aircraft, Boeing type 787 „Dreamliner“. Machines, which have already been delivered are all clear as they are not affected.

Japenese suppliers are the cause

Boeing can also announce that the reason for the hairline cracks, on the more than 40 machines in the factory, has been successfully followed up on.  The Japenese suppliers, Mitsubishi Heavy, apparently used a different production method, which caused the material to react otherwise. It will take approximately three weeks to repair the affected aircrafts, as Boeing has announced.

From „Dreamliner“ to nightmare

The incident with the hairline cracks on the wings, has had no effect on the Boeing customers. The delivery of the machines has merely changed in time. Boeing has planned to deliver 110 machines of the affected type, this year. Boeing has to accept a further attack on it´s image, which is much more serious. The production of the „Dreamliner“ has already been delayed for over 3 years, because of glitches. Batteries with fire-hazard led to the grounding of the „Dreamliner“ for three months last year, among other reasons. The renowned „Wall street journal“ commented on the Boeing mishaps.  Writing that the development and product are too complicated. A new delivery record for Boeing is now in question.

The Boeing 787 „Dreamliner“ is still very popular

The Boeing 787 „Dreamliner“ belongs to the most successful aircrafts of the US manufacturer. Many airline companies value the model, as it can fly long distances with little fuel. Additionally, the main European competition Airbus, still hasn´t brought out an alternate model. The Airbus A350 should only come onto the market next year. Hairline cracks were also found here in 2012 and after a renovation, a new material fatigue was found.

The boundery of the large jumbo jets

The question at the moment, about the problems at Boeing and Airbus, is which bounderies the engineers have to deal with. After all, large-scale aircrafts have been exhausted since the 60´s and still, performance data and efficiency are placed in a harsh ratio.  The Boeing 747 came out in 1969, which was the first wide-bodied aircraft to fly.  It was definitely the largest passenger aircraft in the world. To make the gigantic aircrafts even more bigger, they also have to become lighter. Boeing also realised that the 787 had to be another 2,5 tons lighter in 2006. Strengthened titanium has been used in the last couple of years, as well as experimenting with synthetic material for the hull. Therefore, the Boeing 787 is the first aircraft, which has a large quantity of fiber-reinforced plastics, used in the building of the hull. The largest version of the Boeing 787-10, with upto 350 seats, will eventually have a start weight of approximately 245 tons. The wingspan is 60 metres by a length of 69 metres. The planned Boeing 777X is even bigger, with upto 400 seats and a wingspan of upto 76,5 metres.

Ryanair plans to offer flights to the USA for less than 10 pounds Tue, 04 Mar 2014 13:50:43 +0000 Laure Image Ryanair wants to fly cheaper to USAAs announced at an event in Ireland by Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, travellers will soon be able to fly to New York and Boston from many European cities for ten euros (£ 8.25) on the Irish no-frills airline.

Ryanair plans to offer flights from Europe to the US for a little as ten euros. The announcement came from Michael O’Leary yesterday at a hotel conference in Meath. Return flights from Boston and New York are expected to cost as little as 10 US Dollars (£ 6.00). Between 12 and 14 major European cities are slated as points of departure.

Cheap Flights to the USA too Good to be True

2014 is indeed supposed to be the year of cheap flights, but this cheap? At these ridiculously low prices, of course, you have to wonder how O’Leary expects to be able to make good on this offer. The largest European airline in terms of passenger numbers has long been known to add on many extra charges, for everything from printing your ticket, to meals, to baggage. O’Leary himself admitted that this offer of flights to the US for ten euros would not be available for all seats. A very high number of business or premium seats would be necessary in order to offset the cheaper seats.

Current Charges on Ryanair

Ryanair’s current fares differ according to whether a traveller has bought their ticket 1) online or 2) at the airport or through the call centre. In both cases, a two percent credit card fee may apply. In the second case, Ryanair also charges 15 pounds for the re-issuance of a boarding pass, a 20-pounds booking fee, 70 pounds for airport check-in and a 15-pounds check-out fee. Additionally, in both cases, they charge 5 to 15 pounds for seat reservations and boarding. Those flying with small children pay an additional 30-pounds toddler fee. The transportation of buggies and prams, child safety seats or a travel cot costs 10 to 20 pounds. Travelling with bicycles (30kg), sports equipment (20kg) or instruments (20kg) can incur charges of up to 60 pounds. The re-booking fee for missed flights is 110 pounds.

Cheap Flights to the USA – Four to Five Years Away

Realistically, according to O’Leary, it may be four to five years before the special offer becomes available, if the aircraft necessary for the transatlantic routes are acquired. However, the large demand by the gulf carriers prevents them from being able to order aircraft in a timely manner, complained Ryanair’s executive. So, in any case, passengers have to wait patiently before this kind of price level is reached. However, reasonable fares are still available to the USA at, where you can already fly to Chicago for 489 pounds or to Florida for 403 pounds.

Air France-KLM hopes to get out of the red Wed, 26 Feb 2014 10:18:39 +0000 Laure Image Air France-KLMTimes in the airline business are hard, and many airlines are feeling the pinch. Air FranceKLM has also failed to get out of the red as planned. The management of the airline, however, is looking to 2014 with confidence.

Back on track after cutbacks

After posting losses again last year, the French-Dutch airline is expecting that things will turn to the better again in 2014. The company had assumed that they would already slip back into profit in 2013, but in fact fell even further into the red, with a loss of 1.83 billion euros. The reasons given by the management for the continued losses included severance payments for dismissed staff, a huge tax burden, the fall in value of the shareholding in the airline Alitalia, and the intended sale of the subsidiary, CityJet. In response to continuing losses, the company embarked on a rigorous austerity programme in 2011. It has reportedly cut a total of 7,500 jobs since then, with a projected 10,000 job cuts by 2015.

Air France-KLM intends to forge ahead with new strength

This year, Air France-KLM now intends to reap the rewards of its austerity programme and to soon turn a profit due to lower costs.   The new seats on Air France are also an indication of it once again achieving lift-off.  Alexandre de Juniac, Chair of the company’s Board, is optimistic that the airline will achieve profitable growth in 2014. Nevertheless, as de Juniac points out, currency fluctuations and fuel prices still make the outlook uncertain. The austerity programme has at least already had an effect, with a profit before tax, interest payments, and depreciation. This rose by over 30 percent to 1.86 billion euros, exceeding even analysts’ predictions. The Ebitda is expected to grow to approx. 2.5 billion euros this year. Air France-KLM has also managed to consolidate its debt, which adds to the positive trend in the company’s fortunes.

Fierce competition between airlines

The airline – like a number of other airlines – still has to contend with enormous competition in Europe. Cheap airlines cost many traditional airlines passengers and business. The freight business is also unprofitable. With a turnover of 25.5 billion euros in 2013, Air France-KLM is at much the same level as in the year before. A not inconsiderable factor was the strong euro, which hampered the company’s development. It is to be hoped that 2014 will be a good year. In January at least, Air France-KLM attracted 5.7 million passengers. That is an increase of 3.8% over the previous year.

Brazil’s Largest City’s Runway Not Big Enough Thu, 20 Feb 2014 17:53:42 +0000 Laure Image: A380 not allowed to land in Sao PauloSão Paulo is one of the most important cities in Brazil and will soon take centre stage as the Football World Championships 2014 comes to town, however international airlines may not be able to fly to São Paulo as planned because the runway does not meet the necessary standards.

What do Lufthansa, Air France and Emirates all have in common? Answer: all three major airlines planned to fly to São Paulo using the Airbus A380. This however will not be possible as the airport lacks the necessary certification. The operator of the São Paulo airport has previously made efforts to get a license for the A380, but this was unsuccessful. According to the relevant authorities, the infrastructure at the airport is still not sufficient to land such a large aircraft such as the A380. Among other things, the runway is 15 meters too narrow. The operator of the airport is now attempting to broaden both sides of the runway by 7.5 meters before the start of the Football World Championships, in order to meet the criteria. Airlines around the world are at a disadvantage as they are unable to plan how to best use their fleet.

Lufthansa frustrated with the situation.

The German airline Lufthansa, had planned on using the A380, „because there is a demand for a larger aircraft“ says Albena Jansen, head of the Brazilian Flight Market. Brazil is a market that deserves such an aircraft, confirmed the future CEO of Lufthansa Carsten Spohr. As Brazil’s economy grows, and draws more and more business travelers and tourists to the area, especially now, With the Football World Championships approaching, it would be advantageous if the São Paulo airport was able to meet the requirements, and accommodate the Airbus A380.

2014 is the Year of Cheap Tickets Wed, 19 Feb 2014 11:25:48 +0000 Laure Image 2014 is the year of bargain priced ticketsWe at and our readers have known how to get cheap flights for a long time now. However, this year should see particularly low fares, because 2014 is the year of bargain priced tickets.

Just a few years ago, you could still fly to a major European city or jet off to the Mediterranean for 49 euro’s. Travel enthusiasts who look back longingly on those days can therefore find solace in the fact that cheap tickets are making a comeback. Because the tough competition in Europe has reached a new level, airline tickets will probably be much cheaper this summer than they were last season. Behind all this is the fact that, rather than the new airlines, it is the market leaders who are facing off in a price war.

Easyjet Shows its Teeth with Low Prices

The British Easyjet has announced that it is competing for new customers with cheaper tickets. This means that Hamburg, for example, will soon have service to 17 destinations rather than six, accommodating an extra 500,000 passengers. Without cheaper airfares that goal cannot be reached. For Easyjet, as for many other airlines, it is a matter of one-upmanship with the competition, so as to position themselves for the future.

Lufthansa Strengthens Low Cost Subsidiary German Wings

Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa will hand over additional routes to German Wings as of March. Numerous flights that do not depart from the departure airports in Munich or Frankfurt am Main are affected. Thus, for example, it could be considerably cheaper to go to Cologne, Stuttgart or Hannover from London. Overall, German Wings will be deploying more than 80 aircraft.

Hot Spot for the Price War is Spain

Particularly for flights to Spain, ticket prices will hit rock bottom. There are already a large number of routes from the UK, but since October, yet another competitor, the no-frills airline Norwegian, has thrown its hat in the ring with holiday flights to the south. Therefore, for summer holiday plane tickets, it is all the more worthwhile to compare the offers of all the airlines including Ryanair, Vueling, Air Berlin, low-cost carrier Monarch Airlines and Norwegian. In editorial tests, has already found low-priced airline tickets from the UK to Malaga, Gran Canaria, Barcelona, Madrid and the Mediterranean for only 35 euros!

Take the Opportunity for a Dream Holiday

Those who want to travel further afield this year should therefore keep abreast of cheap airline ticket prices. And those who lose sight of their travel priorities because of the many low prices can have wonderful holiday destinations suggested to them at affordable prices.