Entries in British Airways (25)

Tuesday
May222012

Nine BMI routes get BA numbers as integration proceeds

British Midland International routes flown between London's Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL) and nine European and African destinations will acquire British Airways flight numbers tomorrow, as part of the integration process first announced late last year.  The nine routes affected will be those flown between Heathrow, and the BMI destinations of Agadir, Morocco; Basel, Switzerland; Bergen, Norway; Casablanca, Morocco; Hanover, Germany; Marrakech, Morocco; Nice, France; Stavanger, Norway; and Vienna, Austria.  According to British Airways, all departure and arrival terminals at Heathrow will remain the same, as will estimated departure and arrival times.

On April 19 this year, International Consolidated Airlines Group, led by former British Airways CEO Willie Walsh, bought BMI from Lufthansa.  BMI withdrew its membership in the Star Alliance last month.  British Airways is part of the Oneworld airline alliance.

Also, Virgin Atlantic will launch a four times weekly non-stop round-trip route between Heathrow and Vancouver International Airport (IATA; YVR; ICAO: CYVR) Thursday.  The route will operate in both directions on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.  According to results returned by the search engine on Virgin Atlantic's website, the route will be operated with the Airbus A340-300.  The flight is approximately ten hours long in both directions.

related story

BA and Iberia respective shareholders both approve merger (Nobember 29, 2010)

original stories

bmi flights changing to BA flight numbers (British Airways)

BMI to be 'integrated quickly' into British Airways (Airport Watch UK)

Virgin Atlantic Launch Flights to Vancouver (Virgin Atlantic)

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Tuesday
May172011

British Airways and Unite come to an agreement

Britain's highest-profile airline and its most popular trade union reached an agreement last week.  Unite the Union, which represents British Airways' cabin crew employees in labor negotiations, lifted its threat of "industrial action" (specifically strike action), a move which last year cost British Airways upwards of 7 million GBP every day (8 million EUR; 11.4 million USD) in its own estimation, and twice that amount in the estimation of Unite.  British Airways cabin crew employees still must vote, either for or against the settlement.  But according to a press release put out by Unite last week, union leadership has officially recommended that the employees cast their votes in favor of agreement.

Unite's General Secretary Len McCluskey characterized the agreement as one which "recognizes the rights and dignity of cabin crew, as well as the commercial requirements of the company."  McCluskey also cited the retention and restoration of certain travel bonuses and perks for cabin crew members, as a victory for Unite, and for the British Airways cabin crew employees it represents.

For its part, British Airways said in a press release last Thursday that it was "very pleased" at the resolution of the dispute, and at the indefinite shelving of any threatened industrial action.  The airline claimed "acknowledgement by [Unite] that the cost-saving structural changes we have made in cabin crew operations are permanent."

Following the announcement by the two sides, the Daily Telegraph held up the shareholders in the new International Consolidated Airlines Group, of which British Airways is a part along with Spain's Iberia, as the victors of these negotiations.  The Telegraph noted that the industrial action was only ever supported by 43 percent of British Airways' cabin crew employees, and that the travel perks for cabin crew members are actually conditional on "successful implementation over time of new procedures that govern the relationship between the union and the company."  Resolution, according to one writer at the Telegraph, "[ensures] that BA can be run as a business, and not a sinecure with wings." 

The New York-based Wall Street Journal however, speculated that neither party to these months-long negotiations can truly claim victory, "with [Unite] experiencing waning public support, while BA's brand has been tarnished."

British Airways was established in 1974 with the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  Unite the Union is a British and Irish trade union established in 2007, with the merger of Amicus the Union, and the Transport and General Workers' Union.

related stories

British Airways and cabin crew union adjourn without agreement (August 2, 2010)

Unite says it will strike through summer if demands not met (June 9, 2010)

Unite the Union begins strike series against British Airways (May 24, 2010)

The Unite strikes against British Airways are back on (May 21, 2010)

Unite is barred from going forward with BA strike action (May 18, 2010)

British Airways and cabin crew union are trying to avert strikes (May 12, 2010)

original stories

British Airways Statement on Agreement With Unite (British Airways)

Unite and British Airways reach agreement on cabin crew (Unite the Union)

IAG investors are the winners after BA's cabin crew dispute (Daily Telegraph)

British Airways, Unite Agree Deal; Strike Threat Lifted (Wall Street Journal)

Friday
Jan212011

British Airways and Iberia unite under one holding company

British Airways (BA) and Spain's largest airline Iberia officially merged under the holding company International Consolidated Airlines Group earlier today.  This move creates the second-largest European-based airline by some measures, and the third-largest by others.  Germany's Lufthansa was the continent's largest airline by most major measures in 2009.

The merger will give British Airways greater access to South America than it had previously, and Iberia will enjoy greater access to North America than it had previous to the merger.

The final shares of British Airways stock were traded on the London Stock Exchange late yesterday, according to The Guardian, a U.K.-based newspaper.  The merger is valued at a little more than 6 billion GBP (7.09 billion EUR, 9.59 billion USD).  Former British Airways CEO Willie Walsh will assume the same post at the new company.

related stories

BA and Iberia respective shareholders both approve merger (November 29, 2010)

British Airways resolves Iberia merger concern over deficit (September 23, 2010)

DOT grants anti-trust immunity to BA-Iberia-AA alliance (July 22, 2010)

BA-Iberia merger approved by the EU (July 14, 2010)

original stories

British Airways, Iberia merger takes effect (Yahoo Finance)

British Airways trades for last time ahead of Iberia merger (The Guardian)

Saturday
Dec252010

British Airways launches London-Chambéry winter service

Last Saturday, British Airways commenced a seasonal winter route between London City Airport (IATA: LCY; ICAO: EGLC) and Chambéry-Savoie Airport (IATA: CMF; ICAO: LFLB) in the French Alps.  The route is marketed toward leisure travelers, and will be operated four times a week by BA CityFlyer, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the United Kingdom's highest-profile airline.  The "brand new" Embraer 190 operated by BA CityFlyer will fly once in each direction on Sunday, Monday, Friday, and Saturday "until the end of March 2011," according to a post made several months ago to British Airways' official website.

British Airways says fares for the route start at 59 GBP one way (69 EUR).

original story (British Airways)

Monday
Nov292010

BA and Iberia respective shareholders both approve merger

Earlier today, shareholders in British Airways and Iberia Airlines voted "overwhelmingly" in favor of a proposed merger between the two European carriers which would create the third-largest airline in Europe.  Among European-based carriers only Lufthansa and Air France-KLM would be larger.  The resulting business entity will be called International Consolidated Airlines Group.  The London-based Daily Telegraph reported that Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways, would like to consolidate additional airlines within this new holding company in the future, and that this is the reason for the "bland" holding company name.

The merger is worth an estimated 5.7 billion GBP (6.76 billion EUR; 8.89 billion USD) and will be executed entirely with company stock.  According to the New York-based Wall Street Journal, shareholders of British Airways will receive a share of International Consolidated Airlines Group for every share of British Airways they own, and shareholders of Iberia Airlines will get 1.0205 shares of the new holding company for every share of Iberia.  Iberia reported on its website that five years from now, the new multinational corporation expects the airlines' combined efforts to produce 400 million EUR (337 million GBP; 526 million USD) annually in excess of the sum of the two airlines' individual expected revenues.

Both British Airways and Iberia are members of the Oneworld airline alliance.

Operational headquarters of the airline resulting from this merger will be in London, and corporate headquarters will be in Madrid.  Each city is the capital of its respective country.  Despite the move, the two merging airlines "will keep their separate brands and identities" according to the Wall Street Journal today.  The merger is scheduled to be officially complete on January 21 next year.  The Daily Telegraph noted solemnly that British Airways' individual ticker symbol would no longer be visible on the London Stock Exchange, as of January 24 next year.

Mr. Walsh, and Iberia CEO Antonio Vázquez Romero will hold a press conference at Madrid's Hotel Intercontinental on November 30, at 10:00 in the morning local time, according to Iberia's press release.

British Airways is the highest-profile airline headquartered in the United Kingdom, and was founded in 1974, from the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  It is based in the borough of Hillingdon in London.  Its largest hub is Heathrow International Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL).  It operates 239 aircraft (Airbus and Boeing) to destinations on all six permanently inhabited continents.  Company stock is currently traded on the London Stock Exchange, although the "BA" ticker symbol will be replaced by the ticker symbol for International Consolidated Airlines Group next January 24.

Iberia Airlines was founded in 1927, and is the largest carrier based in Spain, by number of passengers carried.  It is headquartered in Madrid, and maintains hubs at Barajas Airport in the Spanish capital (IATA: MAD; ICAO: LEMD), and also at Barcelona Airport in the northeast of the country (IATA: BCN; ICAO: LEBL).  It operates an all-Airbus fleet of 116 aircraft to 99 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and South America.

related stories

British Airways resolves Iberia merger concern over deficit (September 23, 2010)

DOT grants anti-trust immunity to BA-Iberia-AA alliance (July 22, 2010)

BA-Iberia merger approved by the EU (July 14, 2010)

original stories

BA, Iberia holders approve merger (Yahoo Finance)

Iberia and British Airways shareholders approve merger (Iberia Airlines)

BA, Iberia Shareholders Back Merger (Wall Street Journal)

British Airways shareholder vote to trigger end of BA name on stock market screens (Daily Telegraph)

Thursday
Sep232010

British Airways resolves Iberia merger concern over deficit

Earlier today the largest airline based in Spain, Iberia Airlines, cleared another obstacle to its anticipated merger with British Airways (BA).  Iberia announced that it was happy with British Airways' plan for dealing with its 3.7 billion GBP pension deficit (4.36 billion EUR; 5.8 billion USD).  The United Kingdom's highest-profile airline showed Iberia how it plans to put 330 million GBP (388.55 million EUR; 517.67 million USD) annually into pension funds for the next sixteen years.

The anticipated merger would unite the two airlines under the same holding company, called International Airlines Group.  However, each of the two airlines would retain its long-established logos and branding schemes.  British Airways CEO Willie Walsh would become CEO of International Airlines Group, while Iberia CEO Antonio Vasquez Romero would become Chairman of the Board.  The holding company's operational headquarters would be in London, and its corporate headquarters would be in Madrid.  Iberia claims the merger will allow visitors from Europe to obtain inexpensive airfare to Central America.  The website www.beatthebrochure.com reports that the merger will make available "a vast array of services offering cheap flights" between destinations all over the globe.

British Airways was formed in 1974 with the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  It is the United Kingdom’s highest-profile airline, and is headquartered very near its main hub Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL) in the London borough of Hillingdon.  British Airways flies a fleet of 237 aircraft to destinations on all six permanently inhabited continents, and also maintains a hub at Gatwick Airport (IATA: LGW; ICAO: EGKK) southeast of London.

Iberia Airlines is the Spanish flag carrier, and was founded in 1927.  It is based in the national capital of Madrid.  Iberia maintains its largest hub at Barajas Airport in Madrid (IATA: MAD; ICAO: LEMD).  Spain's second-largest city Barcelona is a focus city for the airline.  Iberia flies 116 aircraft to 120 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and South America.

related stories

DOT grants anti-trust immunity to BA-Iberia-AA alliance (July 22, 2010)

BA-Iberia merger approved by the EU (July 14, 2010)

original story (www.beatthebrochure.com)

Wednesday
Sep082010

British Airways enjoys strike-free August, fairly steady numbers

The number of passengers carried by British Airways (BA) this past August was down slightly from the number the airline posted in August 2009.  The airline explained this decrease by pointing out that it cut capacity on a number of routes including between London and Hong Kong.  However, Unite the Union, which represents the airline's cabin crew employees, claimed that instability created by the airline's stubbornness in labor negotiations, is to blame for the decrease.  Unite staged a series of strikes this past spring, and has hinted at additional strikes during Christmas this year if the two sides cannot reach a compromise.  British Airways claimed that it has the ability to bring on temporary non-union cabin crew workers "in large numbers," to fill in for any unionized workers who would participate in any strike later this year.

In 2010, strikes have cost the United Kingdom's highest-profile airline around 150 million GBP (231.7 million USD; 182.5 million EUR).

British Airways was founded in 1974, from the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  It is headquartered in the borough of Hillingdon in London.  Its largest hub is Heathrow International Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL).  Unite the Union is a British and Irish trade union formed in 2007 with the merger of Amicus the Union, and the Transport and General Workers’ Union.

related stories

British Airways and cabin crew union adjourn without agreement (August 2, 2010)

BA links CEO’s bonus to ending labor disputes (June 10, 2010)

Unite says it will strike through summer if demands not met (June 9, 2010)

original stories

British Airways strikes fail to deter travellers (Daily Telegraph)

BA faces Christmas strike threat (Daily Telegraph)

Monday
Aug022010

British Airways and cabin crew union adjourn without agreement

A new attempt at negotiations, hosted by the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), and involving representatives from British Airways and Unite, the union representing British Airways’ cabin crew workers, adjourned without agreement today.  According to the BBC, no progress has been made in the negotiations.  However, a British Airways spokesperson said there are plans to meet again next week.

Over the period of April 2010 to June 2010 inclusive, during which Unite staged 22 days of industrial action, British Airways recently reported a loss of 164 million GBP (198 million EUR; 259 million USD).

The Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service is a Crown non-departmental public body of the Government of the United Kingdom.  It is based in London, but has eleven ancillary offices throughout the island of Great Britain.  British Airways was founded in 1974, from the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  It is headquartered in the borough of Hillingdon in London.  Its largest hub is Heathrow International Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL).  Unite is a British and Irish trade union formed in 2007 with the merger of Amicus the Union, and the Transport and General Workers’ Union.

related stories

BA links CEO’s bonus to ending labor disputes (June 10, 2010)

Unite says it will strike through summer if demands not met (June 9, 2010)

British Airways will expand its immediate-term flight schedule (June 4, 2010)

British Airways will expand its immediate-term flight schedule (May 26, 2010)

Unite the Union begins strike series against British Airways (May 24, 2010)

The Unite strikes against British Airways are back on (May 21, 2010)

Unite is barred from going forward with BA strike action (May 18, 2010)

British Airways has released its contingency plan for the first strike (May 15, 2010)

British Airways and cabin crew union are trying to avert strikes (May 12, 2010)

original stories

Fresh BA cabin crew dispute talks adjourn (BBC)

Q&A: What's the BA dispute about? (BBC)

Friday
Jul302010

AA management and pilots debate refueling issues

Management at American Airlines are seeking to require the airline's pilots to fill out additional paperwork, justifying in detail any future request for additional fuel during the scheduled refueling of an aircraft prior to takeoff.  Some pilots at the airline believe this amounts to intimidation, and that because they (the pilots) are ultimately responsible for the safe operation of the aircraft, there should never be any hesitation from decision makers, following a pilot's request for more fuel.

American Airlines management countered that "there's no truth" to the rumor that a pilot with the Dallas, Texas-based carrier will be reprimanded simply for asking for more fuel to operate a certain flight.  The airline claimed that the additional paperwork simply allows the airline to make better-informed decisions about how much fuel to allocate (by default) to each flight, based on factors such as distance, load factor, wind direction, air temperature, and other weather-related factors.

American Airlines was formed in New York in 1930, when dozens of small airlines merged to form American Airways.  American Airlines relocated from New York, New York, to Dallas, Texas, in 1979.  Its largest hub is at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW; ICAO: KDFW).  American Airlines recently received authorization from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to enter into a three-way, trans-Atlantic focused partnership with the flag carrier of Spain, Iberia Airlines; and also with the United Kingdom's highest-profile airline, British Airways.

original story (www.portfolio.com)

Thursday
Jul222010

DOT grants anti-trust immunity to BA-Iberia-AA alliance

A partnership among three airlines in the Oneworld alliance received anti-trust immunity from the United States Department of Transportation today.  The proposed partnership of British Airways, Iberia, and American Airlines got the go-ahead from the European Union on Wednesday of last week.  A press release on the subject, put out today by British Airways claimed the partnership would "expand customer choice by supporting routes that would not be economically viable for a single airline."

Now if everything goes as the airlines intend, 80 percent of international flights will soon be controlled by one of the three giant airline alliances, Oneworld, Star Alliance, or SkyTeam.  This is a tradeoff, between better coordination between flights, generally viewed positively by air travelers; and less competition, generally viewed negatively by air travelers because it is associated with higher fares.

British Airways was formed in 1974 with the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  It is the United Kingdom’s highest-profile airline, and is headquartered very near its main hub Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL) in the London borough of Hillingdon.  Iberia is the Spanish flag carrier, and was founded in 1927.  It is based in the national capital of Madrid, and maintains its largest hub at Barajas Airport in Madrid (IATA: MAD; ICAO: LEMD).  American Airlines was founded in New York in 1930, when dozens of smaller airlines merged to form American Airways.  It relocated its headquarters to Dallas, Texas in 1979, where the airline’s main offices remain today.  American’s largest hub is at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW; ICAO: KDFW).

related stories

BA-Iberia merger approved by the EU (July 14, 2010)

original stories

Green Light for Transatlantic Joint Business (British Airways)

Frequently asked questions about the alliance (European Union)

The airlines' international antitrust trifecta - SkyTeam, Oneworld, Star Alliance all now permitted to collude with partners (www.consumertraveler.com)

Wednesday
Jul142010

BA-Iberia merger approved by the EU

Today the European Union sanctioned the merger of British Airways, the United Kingdom's highest-profile airline, and Iberia, the flag carrier of SpainInternational Consolidated Airlines Group is the name of the Anglo-Spanish holding company created as a result of the merger.  And ultimately, it wishes to incorporate the United States-based carrier American Airlines into this network, for a three-way alliance that would, if approved by the United States, give the network "a virtual monopoly on some trans-Atlantic routes," according to www.cheapflights.co.uk

Approval by the European Union of this proposed merger sent United States airline stocks higher this morning, on a day that saw stocks in many other businesses and industries flatline or go lower.  AMR Corporation, the holding company of American Airlines, was up sharply in the first twenty minutes of trading this morning, but by close, had settled back to where it started the day, actually down three cents per share.

American Airlines was formed in New York in 1930, when dozens of smaller airlines merged to form American Airways.  It relocated its headquarters to Dallas, Texas in 1979, where the corporate offices remain today.  The airline's largest hub is at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW; ICAO: KDFW).

British Airways was founded in 1974 with the merger of the British Overeas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  It is headquartered in the borough of Hillingdon, in London, near its largest hub, Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL).  Iberia was founded in 1927, and is the largest carrier based in Spain, by number of passengers carried.  It is headquartered in Madrid, and maintains hubs at Barajas Airport in the Spanish capital (IATA: MAD; ICAO: LEMD), and also at Barcelona Airport in the northeast of the country (IATA: BCN; ICAO: LEBL).  Despite the merger, British Airways and Iberia will both continue to use their own distinctive branding schemes and logos.

related stories

Alitalia joins network of Air France/KLM and Delta (July 5, 2010)

Qantas and China Eastern codeshare more flights (June 25, 2010)

JAL and AA take another step toward anti-trust immunity (June 24, 2010)

United Airlines and Jet Airways agree to codeshare (June 18, 2010)

Malév and Etihad sign a codeshare deal (June 9, 2010)

The United-Continental merger is not yet a sure thing (May 19, 2010)

Two airlines looking for awards in Hamburg next week made a deal (May 12, 2010)

United and Continental will probably merge (May 3, 2010)

original stories

EU gives green light to BA, Iberia merger (www.cheapflights.co.uk)

Airlines rise after E.U. approves AMR, BA alliance (www.marketwatch.com)

Thursday
Jun102010

BA links CEO’s bonus to ending labor disputes

The strike series recently launched by Unite, the union representing British Airways’ cabin crew employees, ended yesterday.  But with continued industrial action threatened, the airline’s remuneration committee recently made Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh’s bonus contingent on his ending the series of strikes that has plagued the United Kingdom’s highest-profile airline for months.  The strikes have cost British Airways more than 154 million GBP (186.8 million EUR; 225 million USD), a figure estimated by the airline during the early stages of the strikes, and not disputed by Unite the Union.  (The amount lost must be even higher now, one imagines.)

An aviation consultant at JLS Consulting Ltd. in London suggests that Mr. Walsh’s recent rejection of his 334,000 GBP merit-based bonus (405,180 EUR; 488,040 USD), earned for (1) high ratings of on-time arrival and departure of British Airways flights and (2) overall customer satisfaction, allows Mr. Walsh to retain a  talking point that he would have sacrificed otherwise.  Presumably, Mr. Walsh could not accept the bonus, and then talk about the airline industry slump or the global recession, and retain credibility.

Indeed, union leaders have said that acceptance of the bonus would have created an “uproar” among the members and officials of Unite, the United Kingdom’s largest union, which also represents workers in the Irish Republic.  Unite was formed in 2007 with the merger of Amicus the Union and the Transport and General Workers’ Union.  British Airways is the United Kingdom’s flag carrier, and was founded in 1974 with the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  It is based in the London borough of Hillingdon, near its main hub Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL).

related stories

Unite says it will strike through summer if demands not met (June 9, 2010)

IATA Chief Executive slams unions for striking (June 8, 2010)

British Airways will expand its immediate-term flight schedule (June 4, 2010)

British Airways will expand its immediate-term flight schedule (May 26, 2010)

Unite the Union begins strike series against British Airways (May 24, 2010)

The Unite strikes against British Airways are back on (May 21, 2010)

Unite is barred from going forward with BA strike action (May 18, 2010)

British Airways has released its contingency plan for the first strike (May 15, 2010)

British Airways and cabin crew union are trying to avert strikes (May 12, 2010)

original story (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Wednesday
Jun092010

Unite says it will strike through summer if demands not met

Unite the Union, the trade union representing cabin crew employees of British Airways, has said it will continue to strike through the summer if it cannot reach an agreement with the airline over pay and benefits.  Unite’s twelve-week legal protective period ends next week, requiring the union to re-ballot its members and pass another strike resolution in order to continue the industrial action.  The Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) tried to schedule new talks between officials of British Airways and Unite the Union, but as yet, it is unsuccessful.  Tom Woodley of Unite, said recently, “We will stand up to BA bullies – even if it means another strike.”

The Daily Mail reported earlier this month that Unite the Union is “losing support among the public and its own membership.”  Nevertheless, the multinational trade union remains the largest in the United Kingdom.  It was founded in 2007 with the merger of Amicus the Union and the Transport and General Workers’ Union.  British Airways was formed in 1974 with the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  It is the United Kingdom’s highest-profile airline, and is headquartered very near its main hub Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL) in the London borough of Hillingdon.

related stories

IATA Chief Executive slams unions for striking (June 8, 2010)

British Airways will expand its immediate-term flight schedule (June 4, 2010)

British Airways will expand its immediate-term flight schedule (May 26, 2010)

Unite the Union begins strike series against British Airways (May 24, 2010)

The Unite strikes against British Airways are back on (May 21, 2010)

Unite is barred from going forward with BA strike action (May 18, 2010)

British Airways has released its contingency plan for the first strike (May 15, 2010)

British Airways and cabin crew union are trying to avert strikes (May 12, 2010)

original story (UK Daily Mail)

Tuesday
Jun082010

IATA Chief Executive slams unions for striking

The Chief Executive of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Giovanni Bisignani called recent union-led walkouts at major airlines “nonsense,” and demanded that they “stop picketing and cooperate,” at the IATA’s annual meeting yesterday, in Berlin.  Aggregately, airlines will enjoy a 2.5 billion dollar (USD) profit this year (2.1 billion EUR; 1.7 billion GBP), a marked improvement over the IATA's March forecast.

However, this latest forecast includes European-based carriers, which, aggregately, are expected to lose 2.8 billion USD (2.3 billion EUR; 1.9 billion GBP) due to the severe interruption in operations caused by the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, in south-central Iceland, over this past April and May.  For the year, the German airline Lufthansa had already lost 59.7 million USD (49.9 million EUR; 41.4 million GBP) due to a pilots’ walkout in February, which Lufthansa received a German court order to stop.

The United Kingdom’s British Airways has lost 173.2 million USD (145 million EUR; 120 million GBP) over the course of the several cabin crew union strikes against it which have occurred in the last few months.  Despite this, British Airways’ CEO Willie Walsh called it “business as usual” at the U.K.’s highest-profile airline.  Mr. Walsh has been criticized by the leaders of Unite the Union, which represents British Airways’ cabin crew employees, for going to Berlin for the IATA meeting instead of staying in London to negotiate.

The IATA was founded in 1945, and has been headquartered in Montreal, Québec, Canada since 1977.  As of this post, it represents 230 airlines, on all six inhabited continents.  The legal and business entity now called Lufthansa was founded in 1954.  Lufthansa is based in Cologne, Germany, and is the German flag carrier.  It is the largest airline headquartered in Europe, by number of passengers carried.  British Airways is based in the borough of Hillingdon in London and uses nearby Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL) as its hub.  It was formed in 1974, with the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European AirwaysUnite the Union is a British and Irish trade union formed in 2007 with the merger of Amicus the Union and the Transport and General Workers’ Union.

related stories

British Airways will expand its immediate-term flight schedule (June 4, 2010)

British Airways will expand its immediate-term flight schedule (May 26, 2010)

Unite the Union begins strike series against British Airways (May 24, 2010)

In Europe, ground transportation bookings are up significantly (May 21, 2010)

The Unite strikes against British Airways are back on (May 21, 2010)

Unite is barred from going forward with BA strike action (May 18, 2010)

British Airways has released its contingency plan for the first strike (May 15, 2010)

British Airways and cabin crew union are trying to avert strikes (May 12, 2010)

original story (Reuters)

Friday
Jun042010

British Airways will expand its immediate-term flight schedule

On Tuesday, British Airways announced via its website that it will once again fly a greater number of originally scheduled flights than what it later predicted it would fly in light of threatened strike action by Unite the Union.  British Airways cabin crew employees, represented by Unite the Union, continue to show up for work in greater numbers than what the airline initially anticipated that they would.  The third of three scheduled strikes will commence tomorrow, and will run through next Wednesday, June 9.  The airport chiefly affected by the strike action will again be British Airways’ main hub London Heathrow (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL).  Heathrow is the U.K.’s busiest airport.

In light of the planned series of strikes, British Airways had initially planned to fly sixty percent of its long-haul schedule throughout the planned strike series, ending June 9.  When more cabin crew employees turned out for work than the airline expected, that percentage was increased to seventy percent for the second strike (May 31 through June 4, inclusive).  British Airways announced Tuesday that this percentage will again be increased for the third five-day strike (June 5 through June 9, inclusive), to eighty percent.  In light of the planned series of strikes, the airline had initially planned to fly fifty percent of its short-haul schedule throughout the planned series of strikes.  That percentage was increased to fifty-five percent for the second strike.  British Airways announced Tuesday that this percentage will again be increased for the third five-day strike, to sixty percent.

Today is the final day of Unite’s second of three planned strikes against the U.K.’s flag carrier.  Once again, according to its website, British Airways does plan to fly all flights with other carriers that have a British Airways codeshare number.  And once again, flights to and from London Gatwick (IATA: LGW; ICAO: EGKK) and London City (IATA: LCY; ICAO: EGLC) will not be affected.  In the announcement released Tuesday, British Airways expressed the possibility of adding to this schedule depending on the number of cabin crew employees that show up to work during the final scheduled strike.

British Airways was founded in 1973, from the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airlines.  It is headquartered in the borough of Hillingdon in London, near Heathrow.  Unite is a British and Irish trade union formed in 2007 with the merger of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers’ Union.

related stories

British Airways will expand its immediate-term flight schedule (May 26, 2010)

Unite the Union begins strike series against British Airways (May 24, 2010)

The Unite strikes against British Airways are back on (May 21, 2010)

Unite is barred from going forward with BA strike action (May 18, 2010)

British Airways has released its contingency plan for the first strike (May 15, 2010)

British Airways and cabin crew union are trying to avert strikes (May 12, 2010)

original story (British Airways)

Monday
May312010

The British cruise industry has benefited from eruption and strikes

Two recent events which have made air travel in to and out of the United Kingdom either inconvenient or impossible in the last few weeks, have caused a spike in demand for cruise vacations there, The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday.  The increase is attributed to eruption, over the course of several weeks, of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull; and also to a series of strikes by many British Airways cabin crew employees, represented by Unite the Union.  An increase in last-minute demand for cruise travel was especially notable, according to the marketing manager for the Kent-based Cruise and Maritime Voyages.

In particular, demand for cruises whose departure ports are accessible by rail is noticeably higher.  Cruises depart ports in the United Kingdom for destinations all around Europe, including areas along the Mediterranean Sea and in Scandinavia.  Departure ports for Continental European river cruises are accessible using Eurostar and the other high-speed rail services.  Harwich International Port in Essex is home to Shearings Holidays cruise ships that travel as far as Iceland and even Greenland.  Altogether, it is estimated that seven percent more Britons will book a cruise of some kind this year than did last year.

The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull has remained quiet for several days.  But in the minds of many potential air travelers, the damage has already been done.  Many travelers within Europe in general who might have flown are continuing to choose the rail lines instead.  Moreover, many British Airways cabin crew employees represented by Unite the Union commenced the second of three planned strikes against the airline midnight yesterday local time (7:00 Saturday evening EDT).  Barring a deal between Unite and British Airways, the current strike is expected to last until June 3, and additional strikes are expected.

related stories

British Airways will expand its immediate-term flight schedule (May 26, 2010)

Unite the Union begins strike series against British Airways (May 24, 2010)

In Europe, ground transportation bookings are up significantly (May 21, 2010)

The Unite strikes against British Airways are back on (May 21, 2010)

Unite is barred from going forward with BA strike action (May 18, 2010)

Airlines now criticizing British models of predicted ash movement (May 17, 2010)

Volcanoes in Iceland could affect aviation for decades  (May 17, 2010)

Heathrow and Gatwick closed as of 1:00 A.M. local time Monday (May 16, 2010)

British Airways has released its contingency plan for the first strike (May 15, 2010)

Keflavík Airport is closed again due to volcanic ash (May 14, 2010)

Eyjafjallajökull damage report, and spectacular new video (May 13, 2010)

British Airways and cabin crew union are trying to avert strikes (May 12, 2010)

Keflavík and others might close temporarily tomorrow (May 7, 2010)

The spread of volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajökull over time (May 4, 2010)

original stories

Britons sign up for cruises due to volcano and air strikes (Daily Telegraph)

British Airways cabin crew start new five-day strike (Guardian)

Volcanic ash cloud: Is eruption of Eyjafjallajökull over? (Christian Science Monitor)

Sunday
May302010

Plan launched in Anglo-French joint effort to fly Concorde again

Research on the feasibility of flying the supersonic passenger jet Concorde again has begun at Le Bourget Air and Space Museum in the Parisian suburb of Le Bourget, and near the general aviation airport of the same name (IATA: LBG; ICAO: LFPB).  Preliminary research is an Anglo-French joint project that is anticipated to cost around 15 million GBP (17.7 million EUR; 21.8 million USD).  A British association called the Save Concorde Group, and a French association called Olympus 593, are behind the effort.

“Major tests” have been done at Le Bourget on multiple Rolls Royce engines that once powered the supersonic airliner.  These engine tests are the first step, and it was always unknown whether or not the engines could even be safely started.  Nevertheless, the Vice Chairman of the Save Concorde Group called the developments “amazing,” and proclaimed in a press release that the process is moving along supersonically.  How fast, then?  London hosts the Summer Olympics in 2012, and it is hoped that Concorde, fully-functional, could be shown off in connection with that event.  The next step in getting Concorde back in the air is to perform a ground taxi with the aircraft.

Concorde flew its first test flights in 1969 and flew its first passengers in 1976.  Only two airlines ever flew the supersonic aircraft on regular schedules, British Airways and Air France, the flag carriers of the United Kingdom and France respectively.  For regularly scheduled trans-Atlantic flights, Concorde used Heathrow Airport in London (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL) and Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris (IATA: CDG; ICAO: LFPG).  The two American airports used regularly by Concorde were Dulles International in Washington, D.C. (IATA: IAD; ICAO: KIAD), and Kennedy International in New York (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK).

Concorde was grounded in 2003 three years after the fatal crash of Air France 4590, a Concorde flight from Charles de Gaulle International to Kennedy International.  On takeoff, the aircraft ran over a piece of metal dropped by a jet that had recently departed Charles de Gaulle.  Just minutes into the flight, the Concorde captain attempted, but failed, to land the crippled aircraft at the airfield in Le Bourget.  A little more than a week ago, it was revealed that the former leader of the Concorde program at Aérospatiale, Henri Perrier, faces a two-year suspended jail sentence in connection with the crash.

original stories

Work starts in £15 million plan to get Concorde flying (BBC)

Experts begin £15 million project to get Concorde flying again (UK Daily Mail)

Save Concorde Group (United Kingdom)

Olympus 593 (France - in French)

Le Bourget Air and Space Museum (official site - in French)

Le Bourget Air and Space Museum (unofficial site - in English)

clarification from www.dictionary.com

definition of "Anglo-French"

Wednesday
May262010

British Airways will expand its immediate-term flight schedule

Today, British Airways announced that next week, it intends to fly a greater number of originally scheduled flights than what it later predicted it would fly in light of the second of three anticipated cabin crew strikes by Unite the Union.  This decision was made in part because this week, a greater number of British Airways’ cabin crew employees have shown up for work than what the airline anticipated.  The second strike is scheduled to run Monday through Friday of next week.  The airport chiefly affected by these decisions by British Airways is its main hub London Heathrow (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL).  Heathrow is the U.K.’s busiest airport.

In light of the planned series of strikes, the airline had originally planned to fly sixty percent of its long-haul schedule.  But because of the higher than expected number of cabin crew employees that have shown up for work this week, that percentage has been increased to seventy for next week’s strike.  In light of the strikes, British Airways had originally planned to fly fifty percent of its short-haul schedule.  But that percentage has been increased to fifty-five percent for next week’s strike.

Today is the third day of Unite’s first of three planned strikes against the U.K.’s flag carrier.  However, British Airways has announced no plans via its website to increase passenger capacity for the remainder of this week.  According to its website, the airline does plan to fly all flights with other carriers that have a British Airways codeshare number.  Flights to and from London Gatwick (IATA; LGW; ICAO: EGKK) and London City (IATA: LCY; ICAO: EGLC) will not be affected next week.  British Airways hopes to be able to add to this schedule, presumably depending on the number of cabin crew employees that show up for work during the remaining scheduled strikes.

British Airways was founded in 1973, from the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airlines.  It is headquartered in the borough of Hillingdon in London, near Heathrow.  Unite is a British and Irish trade union formed in 2007 with the merger of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers’ Union.

related stories

Unite the Union begins strike series against British Airways (May 24, 2010)

The Unite strikes against British Airways are back on (May 21, 2010)

Unite is barred from going forward with BA strike action (May 18, 2010)

British Airways has released its contingency plan for the first strike (May 15, 2010)

British Airways and cabin crew union are trying to avert strikes (May 12, 2010)

original story (British Airways)

Monday
May242010

Unite the Union begins strike series against British Airways

At midnight local time (7:00 in the evening yesterday, EDT) Unite the Union, which represents the cabin crew employees of British Airways, commenced the first of three planned strikes against the United Kingdom's highest-profile airline.  As a result, British Airways must begin coping with the economic effects of the inevitable cancellation of a significant minority of their long-haul and short-haul flights, to and from the airline's main hub, Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL).  Unite was initially barred from striking, by a High Court judge.  But on appeal, that ruling was overturned and the series of scheduled strikes was allowed to proceed.  British Airways expects that despite the strike, sixty percent of long-haul flights and fifty percent of short haul flights in to and out of Heathrow will take place as normal.  However, it has resorted to leasing planes, pilots, and cabin crew members from other airlines to do what it can to make up for the personnel shortage caused by the strike.

"Jobs, pay, and working conditions" are the three main, long running issues of contention between British Airways and Unite the Union, the BBC reported this morning.  British Airways flights to and from Gatwick Airport (IATA: LGW; ICAO: EGKK) and London City Airport (IATA: LCY; ICAO: EGLC) will operate as normal.  The airline does not operate regularly scheduled flights into Stansted (IATA: STN; ICAO: EGSS) or Luton (IATA: LTN; ICAO: EGGW).

British Airways was founded in 1973 with the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  Unite the Union was founded in 2007 with the merger of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers' Union.  It represents workers in both the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic, and is the United Kingdom's largest union.

related stories

The Unite strikes against British Airways are back on (May 21, 2010)

Unite is barred from going forward with BA strike action (May 18, 2010)

British Airways has released its contingency plan for the first strike (May 15, 2010)

British Airways and cabin crew union are trying to avert strikes (May 12, 2010)

original story (BBC)

Saturday
May222010

Asiana Airlines is Airline of the Year

South Korea-based Asiana Airlines was awarded the title “Airline of the Year” at the World Airline Awards in Hamburg on Thursday.  Malaysia-based Air Asia earned Best Low-Cost Airline.  And Dragonair, the short-haul subsidiary airline of Cathay Pacific, earned best regional airline.  No North American-based airline won first place in any category where all airlines were eligible.  U.K.-based Virgin Atlantic and Thomson Airways were the only European airlines to do so.  However, European carriers swept the top three places in Best Trans-Atlantic Airline (Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Lufthansa).  Asian carriers did so in Best Trans-Pacific Airline (Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Asiana).

Air Canada won Best Airline in North America, followed by Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines in second and third respectively.  (“North America” was defined as Canada, the United States, and Mexico.)  Lufthansa took home the European equivalent, followed by Swiss International Airlines, and Turkish Airlines in second and third, respectively.  (Turkish Airlines’ headquarters is in the Yesilkoy neighborhood of Istanbul on the European side of the city.  The airline’s main hub is Istanbul-Ataturk International Airport, IATA: IST; ICAO: LTBA, also on the European side of the city.)

Air New Zealand and Qantas Airways, the only two finalists for Airline of the Year from outside Asia, received fifth and seventh respectively.  Defending champion Cathay Pacific, the flag carrier of Hong Kong, received fourth place.  The overall winner, Asiana Airlines, was founded as Seoul Air International in 1988, and uses Seoul-Incheon International Airport (IATA: ICN; ICAO: RSKI) as its main hub.

related story

Airline of the Year will be named in Hamburg on May 20 (May 10, 2010)

original story (World Airline Awards)