Exchange Rate benefits Brits.
10 July 2012
The strong pound means those visiting eurozone countries will get 12% more for their money than a year ago - an extra £ 52.63 for every £ 500.00 changed.
‘Savvy’ Brits rethink plans to avoid APD
8 June 2012
Millions of Britons would opt for short-haul holidays or avoid flying altogether because of the burden of Air Passenger Duty, a poll has revealed. Research by Sainsbury’s Travel Money shows nearly half of British travellers (46%) say they would take ‘APD avoidance’ measures such as catching long-haul flights from other European countries to reduce the rate they pay.
More than 7.5m (16%) Brits would go to a short-haul holiday destination rather than long-haul, while more than 6.6m (14%) would book a short-haul flight to a non-UK airport, have a stopover and then take a separate long-haul flight from there. One in eight Brits (13%) would deliberately choose a destination in a cheaper APD band and one in five (20%) would try to get the best economy class cabin seats at the front of the cabin instead of booking premium economy or business class seats, which carry a higher APD charge. Some 12% would choose an alternative mode of transport and avoid air travel altogether in an effort to be ‘budget savvy’ and avoid APD.
David Barrett, Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance manager, said: ‘Our research suggests that some families are rethinking their holiday plans because of the increased level of tax placed on some flights through Air Passenger Duty. ‘At a time when household budgets are being squeezed, we would encourage families to spend more time researching ways to ensure they still enjoy their family holiday and at the same time, reduce their holiday bills.’ A passenger flying economy class from London to Sydney could typically pay more than £190 in taxes and fees than those travelling from Amsterdam to Sydney.The researchers interviewed 2,001 British adults in March.
CCAA figures reveal drop in delays
16 Mar 2012
Airline punctuality improved in the last quarter, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.
The CAA said 80% of scheduled flights were on-time (defined as early or up to 15 minutes late) in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from 68% in Q410.
The average delay fell from 21 minutes to 11 during the period October to December 2011.
The proportion of on-time charter flights increased by ten percentage points to 73% in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with the same period of 2010. The average delay across all charter flights was 21 minutes, a considerable improvement from the average delay of 38 minutes recorded in the fourth quarter of 2010. The CAA measured punctuality of 319,000 scheduled and 13,000 charter passenger flights at ten airports, which represents a 3.2% increase in scheduled flights and a 6.9% decrease in charter flights, compared with the last quarter of 2010. For scheduled flights, the biggest increase in on-time performance was at Stansted, up 16 percentage points to 85%.
Gatwick and Luton had the biggest reductions in average delay (12 minutes).
Heathrow’s on-time performance increased by 12 percentage points and its average delay fell by nine minutes.
London City’s on-time performance rose by seven percentage points and its average delay fell by six minutes.
Overall, on-time performance for scheduled flights at regional airports improved by nine percentage points and the average delay fell by nine minutes in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. Average delay fell by seven minutes at Manchester, eight minutes at Edinburgh, nine minutes at Glasgow, 11 minutes at Birmingham and 13 minutes at Newcastle. Iain Osborne, CAA group director for regulatory policy, said: ‘We welcome the marked improvements this year, which have a significant impact on the passenger experience of air travel. ‘2010 punctuality performance was poor, and although some of the improvement can be explained by the lack of significant weather-related disruption, airlines can also be congratulated for operational performance improvements which have also played a part.
‘2011 also saw the first increase in passenger numbers for four years. ‘If this trend continues, airlines and airports will need to carefully balance growth with targeted investment if they are to secure continued improvements in passenger service.’
Walsh slates Govt policy and Heathrow queues...
24 Apr 2012
The boss of International Airlines Group has warned that the Government is undermining the UK’s entrepreneurial reputation.
Growth opportunities in the UK are slowing down and investment is going elsewhere because of ‘misguided and misplaced’ Government policy, said Willie Walsh, the chief executive of British Airways’ parent company, in a speech to mark the opening of Kingston University’s new Business School. The UK was known as an entrepreneurial economy but the steps being taken by the Government were undermining that reputation, he claimed. ‘Without question, investment is going to other parts of the world. I meet business people who are telling me that,’ he said. ‘They’re locating in places like Frankfurt instead of London. They would prefer to be here in London, but they’re saying the environment isn’t conducive to investment so we’ve got to recognise this as a key economic issue.
‘Government policy is misguided and misplaced and needs to be urgently reviewed, or ten years from now we’re going to look back and say How did we lose all that?’ As well as criticising Air Passenger Duty, Walsh said issues around the cost of visas and immigration delays at Heathrow airport were deterring major investors. ‘I had dinner recently with a businessman who controls a $70bn investment fund and he stood for more than two hours in a queue to get into Heathrow. He said to me ‘I am not investing in this country if that’s what I am going to face every time I come here’.’
Walsh also performed the official opening ceremony at Kingston Business School’s new £26m home. Last week, Walsh was one of five new members inducted into the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame. Mary Rance, chief executive for UKinbound, called on the Home Office and UK Border Agency to get a firm grip on the continuing ‘farcical situation’ with incoming visitors queuing for hours at London airports. ‘With just 95 days to go until the start of the Olympic Games, the passport control situation is casting Britain and London in a particularly unflattering light,’ she said. Meanwhile, Mary Rance, chief executive for UKinbound, called on the Home Office and UK Border Agency to get a firm grip on the continuing ‘farcical situation’ with incoming visitors queuing for hours at London airports.
‘With just 95 days to go until the start of the Olympic Games, the passport control situation is casting Britain and London in a particularly unflattering light,’ she said [see other BAA/Heathrow story today].
European airline traffic March 2012
05 Apr 2012
Ryanair, easyJet, IAG, airberlin, Aer Lingus and Monarch.
Ryanairs' passenger numbers fell 4% year-on-year to 5.5m in March, taking its rolling 12-month total to 75.8m.
The airline said that, as previously announced, it had expected winter 2011/2012 traffic to decline by about 5% ‘as we sit up to 80 aircraft on the ground due to higher oil prices’.
March load factor fell one percentage point to 78%, and on a rolling 12-month basis averaged 82%. easyJet saw March passenger numbers rise by 4.4% to 4.6m, taking its rolling 12-month total to 55.8m (+8.9%). Load factor grew by 1.9pp to 88.8% in March and by 0.9pp to 88% across the 12 months.
British Airways and Iberia parent, International Airlines Group, carried 4.2m passengers last month, 1.4% more than in March 2011. Traffic in revenue passenger kilometres grew by 6.2% year-on-year, comprising a 6.7% rise in premium and a 6.2% rise in non-premium. All of the growth was attributable to BA, which reported an increase of 10.2%, as Iberia’s traffic declined by 2.5%. IAG said underlying market conditions at its Heathrow hub appeared ‘firm, in particular in the North Atlantic market’. However, the group’s Spanish operations continued to be hit by the ongoing threat of industrial action – Iberia pilots have announced 30 strike days between April and July – and a further deterioration in Spain’s macroeconomic prospects.
Group capacity in available seat kilometres increased by just 1.1%, which helped boost overall March load factor by 3.8pp to 78.8%. airberlin saw March passenger numbers decline by 1.1% to 2.6m, but capacity was cut by 6.7%, lifting load factor by 4.4pp to 78.1%. Aer Lingus mainline reported a 6.4% rise in March passengers to 736k, with traffic up 9.3%. Capacity was increased by just 2%, resulting in a 5pp improvement in load factor to 75.8%. Finally, Monarch saw scheduled passenger numbers rise by 4.8% to 249.6k last month, while load factor increased by 1.2pp to 87%.
easyJet launches winter timetable
02 Apr 2012
easyJet has added capacity to Tel Aviv as part of its winter schedule of flights from next October to February 2013.
The budget carrier also said popular routes such as Istanbul, Sharm el Sheikh, Venice, Nice, Barcelona and Madrid all feature ‘heavily’ in the schedule. Bookings are now being taken for the winter period, as well as across the festive season, on 259 routes from its 11 UK bases. About 79,000 winter flights are on sale, with more than 11.5m seats available for travel from 28 October 2012 through to February 2013. easyJet said it is also continuing to expand its offering to business passengers with routes to Cologne, Naples and Milan available on this year’s winter schedule.
Paul Simmons, easyJet’s UK director, said: ‘The launch of our winter schedule offers both leisure and business passengers the best choice, best schedule and best availability of flights to 74 low-fare destinations.’ easyJet now operates from 11 UK bases, having officially launched at Southend Airport last week. Meanwhile, Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport said a new Ryanair summer schedule to Dublin brings ‘good news for the business daytripper’.
With up to four return flights per day now departing from JLA to the Irish capital, revised departure and return times enable passengers travelling between Liverpool and Dublin to do a day’s business and return home the same day, said the airport.