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Old January 27th, 2010, 05:24 PM   #141
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Air cargo jumps in Dec but aviation outlook tough -IATA

GENEVA, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Air freight traffic jumped by almost a quarter in December in a positive end to the aviation industry's worst year, showing economic recovery is picking up steam.

However, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said the aviation sector would face a tough 2010 making up for the lost demand in 2009 and handling new security demands.

"The industry starts 2010 with some enormous challenges. The worst is behind us, but it is not time to celebrate," IATA Director-General Giovanni Bisignani said in a statement.

The slump in demand in 2009, the worst year in the industry's history, meant airlines would face another spartan year adjusting to two-and-a-half lost years of passenger growth and three-and-a-half years of lost freight growth, he said.

This would require airlines to focus on matching capacity to demand and controlling costs, he said.

"In terms of demand, 2009 goes into the history books as the worst year the industry has even seen," Bisignani said.

IATA said air cargo traffic -- a barometer of the strength of world trade -- in December was 24.4 percent higher than a year earlier. Its load factor, an industry measure of capacity utilisation, was 54.1.

But this year-on-year strength was exaggerated by an unusually weak December 2008, the low-point in the cycle.

For 2009 as a whole, freight demand fell 10.1 percent -- in line with the World Trade Organisation's forecast for the contraction in global trade -- for a load factor of 49.1.

Passenger demand rose 4.5 percent in December for a load factor of 77.6, but for the year as a whole it fell 3.5 percent, giving a load factor of 75.6, said IATA, which groups 230 airlines including British Airways , Singapore Airlines , and Emirates [EMIRA.UL].

In a further sign of economic recovery, the Dutch CPB institute said trade in the three months ended November was 5.7 percent higher than in the preceding three months -- the biggest increase since it started tracking trade data in 1991.

The more volatile monthly figures showed trade volumes rose in November by 1.1 percent from October, when they increased by an upwards revised 1.4 percent, but were still 12 percent below their April 2008 peak, said the institute, whose trade data is used by the World Bank and European Commission.

Bisignani said the aviation industry would have to face tougher security requirements following an attempt to blow up a U.S. passenger jet on Dec. 25.

Bisignani said global airlines were spending $5.9 billion a year on security measures, which were the responsibility of governments who should be picking up the bill.

IATA has forecast that airlines will lose $5.6 billion on a net basis this year after losing $11 billion in 2009.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 09:04 PM   #142
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Russia air traffic fell 9.4 percent in 2009
28 January 2010

MOSCOW, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Russian air passenger numbers fell 9.4 percent in 2009 as the global downturn in air travel took its toll, a figure nearly three times as severe as the global average.

Russia's state air transport agency said on Thursday that 45.1 million business and holiday travellers had flown in the country last year, down 9.4 percent on 2008, though December had recorded an 18.7 percent jump.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Wednesday 2009 air traffic fell 3.5 percent globally, while also recording a sharp rise in December.

Oleg Panteleev, editor of the specialist aviaport.ru website, said he expected Russian air passenger traffic to rise 8 percent in the current year as the economy picks up.

"Aviation is very sensitive to the economic climate," he said.

The Russian agency added that state carrier Aeroflot carried 5.6 percent fewer passengers in 2009, beating the overall Russian market.

The government has had to mop up a string of defunct airlines destroyed by the industry crisis, pulling them together into the combined group Rosavia.

The state also took greater control of Aeroflot earlier this week, agreeing to take a near 25.8 percent stake from tycoon Alexander Lebedev to top up its shareholding to over 75 percent.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 02:20 PM   #143
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Air freight, passenger data jump in Jan-IATA
2 March 2010

ZURICH, March 2 (Reuters) - Asia powered improved demand for international air traffic in January as both passenger and freight figures jumped by more than the sharp falls triggered by the financial crisis a year ago.

Air freight traffic rose by 28.3 percent while passenger demand was up 6.4 percent from a year earlier, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

Asia led the rise in air cargo with a jump of more than 38 percent while passenger demand was up 6.5 percent.

Still, IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani warned that the recession-hit airline industry faced another tough year as yields -- the profit margins airlines make on passengers and cargo -- remained under pressure.

"We can start to see the future with some cautious optimism, but better volumes do not necessarily mean better profits," Bisignani said.

Last January, airlines caught in the depth of the crisis scrambled to cut flights as companies shelved business travel and cargo shipments.

Air freight is a good leading indicator of world trade movements since shippers tend to switch to air when speed is more important than cost.

Demand is strengthening, with this January's traffic showing bigger rises than those in December, when air freight was up by 24.4 percent and passenger demand was up 4.5 percent.

IATA also said January freight and passenger demand rose from December when adjusted for seasonal factors.

Air freight fell 10 percent in 2009, reflecting a fall in global trade which the World Trade Organisation estimated at 12 percent.

Bisignani said despite recent improvements in volumes passenger yields were still 15 percent below peak and the industry remained on course for losses of $5.6 billion this year.

Tough times have spurred a fresh round of consolidation, such as a deal sealed last year between British Airways and Spain's Iberia.

IATA represents some 230 airlines operating 93 percent of all international traffic. Domestic flights are excluded from its data.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #144
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IATA says airline traffic up 5.7 percent in January; economy traffic inching near 2008 highs
17 March 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - An international airline group said Wednesday that airlines flew 5.7 percent more passengers in January than the same month a year earlier.

The International Air Transport Association said premium travel rose 5.5 percent in the first month of 2010, while economy travel rose 5.7 percent.

Compared with recent low points last year, first and business class traffic has improved more than coach, IATA said. But premium traffic has much farther to climb to reach 2008 peaks. Premium traffic is now 16 percent under 2008 highs, while economy is just 3 percent under the best times of that year.

Fares are also rising and are up about 10 percent from mid-2009 lows, the trade group said. But fares for business and first class are still 30 percent lower than early 2008 highs, on average.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 12:13 PM   #145
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Dubai Airport Feb. Passenger Traffic Rises 22.6% to 3.64 Million
March 22, 2010, 3:37 AM EDT

http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...4-million.html

By Arif Sharif

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Dubai Airports, home to the biggest Arab airline Emirates, said passenger traffic grew 22.6 percent in February from a year ago to 3.64 million.

Cargo handled by the airport jumped 26.7 percent in February to 171,707 tons, the state-run facility said in an e- mailed statement today. The strongest passenger growth was reported from Western Europe, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Arif Sharif in Dubai at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at [email protected]
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Old March 29th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #146
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World airline industry seen back in black in 2011

SANTIAGO, March 24 (Reuters) - The world's airlines should post a combined profit in 2011, after an expected loss of about $2.8 billion in 2010, the head of airline industry body IATA said on Wednesday.

A shortfall in global air carriers' revenues from their peak in 2008 should be made up within two years, IATA Director-General Giovanni Bisignani told a news conference at the FIDAE air industry fair.

"With a loss of $2.8 billion this year, I think we can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that we will be back in the black in 2011," Bisignani said. He said the body would issue its forecast of 2011 industry results in June.

A gap of nearly $80 billion in annual revenues lost since a 2008 peak would be made up within two years, he said.

IATA forecasts industry revenues of $522 billion for 2010, which is still $42 billion shy of 2008 levels.

"We have an (expected) improvement this year of $43 billion (over 2009 levels), so we suppose that in two years we will recover the loss," Bisignani said.

He expects airlines in North America to post a combined loss of about $1.8 billion in 2010, and sees European airlines losing a total of $2.2 billion.

However, Latin American airlines will post a combined profit of about $800 million this year, he forecast. Bisignani expects air traffic demand in Latin America to rise 12.2 percent in 2010 from 2009 levels.

IATA groups about 230 airlines, including Air China , Lufthansa , Singapore Airlines and Skywest.
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Old April 12th, 2010, 08:52 AM   #147
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IATA chief says further airline mergers essential

TOKYO, April 12 (Reuters) - Further mergers among airlines are essential in order to cut costs and improve competitiveness in an industry seen sustaining combined losses of $2.8 billion this year, the head of airline industry body IATA said on Monday.

"Mergers and consolidation is a must ... I strongly support consolidation," Giovanni Bisignani, director-general of the International Air Transport Association, told few reporters in Tokyo.

Asked about a possible merger between United Airlines and US Airways , he said he would not comment on individual deals.

IATA said on March 30 that airlines were climbing out of recession with strong rises in passenger travel and cargoes in February. Passenger demand in February was up 9.5 percent from a year earlier, while supply increased by only 1.9 percent.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 12:17 PM   #148
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IATA Sees Faster Than Expected Recovery Of Aviation Industry
3 June 2010

BERLIN (Dow Jones) - The airline industry will recover quicker than expected from recent crises, the International Air Transport Association said Thursday, adding it is "cautiously optimistic" about the expected losses for the current year.

"The recovery in the airline industry will probably take two years," IATA Director General and Chief Executive Giovanni Bisignani said at a press conference in Berlin. There are "very, very clear signs," he said, pointing to significantly higher air traffic and freight volumes. He added, however, that losses for the sector are to be expected this year and next year.

The international trade body represents some 230 airlines worldwide, comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.

"The strong [air] traffic trend that showed before the eruption of the volcano in Iceland, allows us a positive stance toward the future," Bisignani said. The global economic recovery is getting along faster than expected, adding "it is finally time for cautious optimism."

Monday, IATA will present a new outlook for the aviation industry, after the expected 2010 loss was already halved to $2.5 billion in March, Bisignani said, four days before the annual general meeting of the industry and the World Air Transport Summit in Berlin.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 07:07 PM   #149
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Air passenger, cargo traffic rise in May - IATA

ZURICH, June 29 (Reuters) - Demand for air travel and air freight rose strongly in May and now exceeds levels seen before the global economic downturn, the airlines body IATA said on Tuesday.

Passenger demand rose 11.7 percent from a year earlier, while cargo demand was up 34.3 percent, the International Air Transport Association said.

IATA's 230 members include British Airways , Singapore Airlines and United Airlines .

"Demand rebounded strongly in May following the impact of the European volcanic ash fiasco in April. Passenger traffic is now 1 percent above pre-recession levels, while the freight market is 6 percent bigger," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General.

European airlines recorded the weakest growth in passenger demand at 8.3 percent, while Latin American carriers recorded the fastest growth, with a 23.6 percent increase, IATA said.

Air cargo is seen as a leading indicator of the health of global trade.

Earlier this month, the Geneva-based IATA said government spending cuts and debt worries across Europe threatened to weaken demand for air travel on the continent.
Last month IATA said that in April, when the volcanic ash eruption in Iceland suspended flights across Europe and around the world, passenger traffic fell 2.4 percent year-on-year.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 03:27 AM   #150
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Morocco

Statistiques du 1er semestre 2010 :

1) Aéroport Mohammed V - Casablanca ------ 3 281 209 (+13,99%)
2) Aéroport Marrakech - Menara -------------1 675 819 (+11,02%)
3) Aéroport Agadir - Al Massira ----------------767 736 (+6,15%)
4) Aéroport Tanger - Ibn Batouta --------------322 754 (+22,72%)
5) Aéroport Fès - Saïss ------------------------319 874 (+37,39%)
6) Aéroport Oujda-Angads ---------------------182 897 (+16,20%)
7) Aéroport de Nador - Al Aroui ----------------172 078 (+31,95%)
8) Aéroport international Rabat - Salé---------- 153 995 (-3,15%)
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Old July 12th, 2010, 10:40 AM   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofiane View Post
Morocco

Statistiques du 1er semestre 2010 :

1) Aéroport Mohammed V - Casablanca ------ 3 281 209 (+13,99%)
2) Aéroport Marrakech - Menara -------------1 675 819 (+11,02%)
3) Aéroport Agadir - Al Massira ----------------767 736 (+6,15%)
4) Aéroport Tanger - Ibn Batouta --------------322 754 (+22,72%)
5) Aéroport Fès - Saïss ------------------------319 874 (+37,39%)
6) Aéroport Oujda-Angads ---------------------182 897 (+16,20%)
7) Aéroport de Nador - Al Aroui ----------------172 078 (+31,95%)
8) Aéroport international Rabat - Salé---------- 153 995 (-3,15%)
Are the increases attributable to LCC entry, such as Ryanair and easyJet? They're quite impressive increases.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 08:29 PM   #152
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Old July 19th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #153
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Brazil Embraer: China to Boost Global Regional Jet Demand To 4.9%
19 July 2010

SAO PAULO (Dow Jones)--Brazil's Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA (ERJ, EMBR3.BR), or Embraer as the world's fourth-biggest plane maker is known, expects Chinese buying to boost global demand for regional jets to 4.9% a year over the next two decades.

China will likely see demand for planes with 30-to-120 seats expand 7.3% a year, while air travel in emerging economies including Latin America and Pacific Asia will grow 6% a year, Embraer said in a statement Monday.

Demand from North America and Europe will likely grow 3.5% a year through 2029, Embraer said.

The company, which is participating in the Farnborough air show in England, also said it sold regional jets to two Brazil airlines: Trip Linhas Aereas and Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras, the company founded by JetBlue Airways' David Neeleman.

Trip will buy two Embraer 190 planes for a total of $80 million, while Azul ordered five Embraer 195 jets for a total of $211 million. The Azul orders were already included in Embraer's backlog in the second quarter, the plane maker said.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 04:33 PM   #154
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http://www.euronews.net/2010/07/20/e...restructuring/

Quote:
European airspace faces radical restructuring

The idea of a single European sky has been on the agenda since 1960 when Eurocontrol was formed to create a single airspace for the union’s six founding member states.

Forecasters predict that air traffic will double by 2020. Current systems will manage the growth until the middle of the next decade. Following that radical measures are required to prevent severe congestion.

As it stands there are 27 airspaces and 50 control centres. In 2012 the SES will come into force with the union of the airspace of France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The French air traffic unions believe the formation of the SES will result in the loss of public sector jobs.

The EU backs the plan designed to restructure European airspace based on traffic flow, rather than national borders, increased capacity and the overall efficiency of European air traffic control.
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Old August 17th, 2010, 01:13 PM   #155
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Bumped? You may be stuck ; Flight cutbacks mean fuller loads, fewer seats
17 August 2010
USA Today

Lots of luck catching another flight if you've been bumped or miss a connection.

Commercial airlines in the USA have never been so full. Seven of them -- Delta, American, United, Continental, US Airways, AirTran and Alaska -- reported filling at least 87% of their seats in July. Even Southwest, always the industry's laggard in load factor, beat the industry's average over the previous six Julys of 84.6% by filling 84.9% of its seats.

That leaves precious few spots available if you've been bumped off a full flight or miss a connecting flight. And because airlines are scheduling fewer flights than five years ago, travelers could face long waits for a direct flight to their destinations or have to settle for circuitous reroutings to get there.

Some travelers, such as Robert Beilstein, consider themselves lucky if a missed flight doesn't cost more than a day's time. Beilstein, a supply-chain software consultant from North Syracuse, N.Y., twice recently missed connections to San Antonio at Baltimore- Washington International Airport. He made it to San Antonio both times, after being rerouted via Denver.

"I did lose a day's worth of consulting revenue," he says. "But at least I did manage to get there in one day and didn't lose two days of revenue." He says he's even more "lucky" he hasn't been bumped from a flight lately.

For those who've been bumped off flights against their wishes, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has proposed increasing the maximum compensation from $800 to $1,300. The proposal is included in a package of "fliers' rights" rules that LaHood wants to impose this fall. The Air Transport Association, the trade group that represents the nation's biggest airlines, says it won't object to raising the compensation. Missing a connecting flight as Beilstein did is far more common than being bumped as a result of an airline selling more tickets for a flight than the plane has seats.

However, most delays leading to missed connections are caused by weather. And unlike overbooking, the weather is outside airlines' control. Most passengers who miss a connecting flight aren't owed anything, although airlines sometimes provide vouchers for meals and hotel rooms. LaHood isn't proposing to change that.

Most airlines automatically reschedule passengers with computer software that often predicts missed connections before a plane has landed. The airlines say this lets them speed people who've missed flights to destinations as quickly as possible.

Some travelers aren't convinced.

"Airlines do not care at all anymore if passengers are inconvenienced," says Jill Naas, a project manager from Seattle who flies at least monthly. She has been able to get other flights after missing connections, she says. But, she says, she's "had to fight like hell" and "emphasize" her elite-level frequent-flier status with airlines to do it.

A growing problem

Bumping, known as "denied boarding" in the industry, isn't a big problem, statistically speaking. In 2009, 69,416 passengers were involuntarily bumped, out of 584 million passengers boarded in the USA. An additional 695,510 were coaxed into giving up their seats by offers of discounts on future travel. The rate of involuntary bumping in 2009 was minuscule: 1.19 per 10,000 passengers boarded.

However, it's a growing problem. In the first half of this year, the rate rose to 1.37 per 10,000 boardings, the highest first-half rate of people involuntarily denied boarding in 16 years. The rise in involuntary bumpings is a byproduct of U.S. airlines' record- high passenger loads. That's the result of the airlines cutting capacity, or the number of seats available, by 12% since 2005 by reducing the number of flights or moving to smaller planes.

"The people who volunteer (to be bumped) ... tend not to be all that upset about it," says Ira Gershkoff, a former airline scheduler who develops software for SlipStream Aviation Software that helps airlines better match capacity to fluctuating travel demand. "They brag to their friends about the compensation they got. But those who are involuntarily bumped are upset. They ... had to be somewhere."

Ed Perkins, a contributing editor at SmarterTravel.com, says airlines for the most part handle the job of bumping passengers off a flight fairly well, though he thinks that passengers who are forced off flights against their will often aren't compensated sufficiently for the inconvenience.

"(Airlines) are able to take care of roughly nine out of 10 cases of bumping by offering people some kind of goody," says Perkins, who was Consumer Reports' travel editor for four decades. "But times do come when nobody wants to get off the airplane."

In addition to providing a seat on a later flight, carriers must pay involuntarily bumped passengers -- in cash or by check -- an amount equal to the price of their ticket, or $400, whichever is lowest. If the passenger arrives more than two hours late, the compensation cap rises to $800.

But the average domestic ticket in the USA in the first quarter of the year was $328. Few involuntarily bumped travelers ever get paid the full $800, or even $400. Typically, only those who buy first- or business-class tickets or full-price coach fares qualify for the maximum payout. The budget traveler flying on a $139 ticket gets only $139.

LaHood wants to raise the caps to $800 and $1,300. But Perkins says the formula, not the actual amount of compensation, is what's wrong.

"I see no reason why the dollar compensation should have anything to do with how much you paid for your ticket, because that doesn't have anything to do with the amount of inconvenience," he says. "The compensation should be a fixed amount. And for a lot of travelers, the money may not be near as important as fixing their trip. There ought to be more focus on that."

He says airlines should be required to put involuntarily bumped travelers on the next available seat to their destination, even if it means paying another airline to carry them.

Most airlines say they won't hesitate to put bumped fliers on competitors' planes if that's the best solution.

Monte Ford, chief information officer at American Airlines, says, "We have become more progressive in our thinking about how and when we put somebody on some other airline's aircraft. In a disruptive situation, we'll put somebody on someone else's airplane in a minute."

But critics such as Perkins say that's often done only as a last resort -- often after a bumped passenger's frustration boils over into an ugly confrontation.

Missing connections

Airlines don't have to report the number of passengers who miss connecting flights. But Gershkoff, who is researching the issue, thinks about 7% of all passengers miss their connections.

On the surface, absorbing those fliers shouldn't be a problem.

Despite fuller flights, airlines still can't fill about 20% of their seats over the course of a year. But missed connections don't happen at a steady pace. They come in bunches, often when bad weather throws flights off schedule at one or more big airport hubs.

Delays, which often lead to missed connections, also tend to have a ripple effect. An hour's delay on one plane in Dallas in the morning becomes a 90-minute disruption in New York by noon, a three- hour nightmare in Chicago by 5 p.m., and a five-hour-late arrival on the West Coast by the end of the day. Along the way, 500 passengers scheduled to fly on that one plane have their travel schedules thrown into chaos. Chances are if one plane is affected, 30 others are, too.

"A 30-minute fog event at one airport can throw the rest of the day off," says Michael Baiada, president of ATH Group, a consulting group that does time-flow management consulting work for airlines. "The flights using that plane throughout the day just go later and later and later."

More than 1.9 million passengers board flights on U.S. airlines on the average day. If just 10% miss connecting flights or can't begin their trips on time because travel is disrupted elsewhere, about 125,000 people could be forced to compete for the few remaining unsold seats that day. (Schedulers estimate that about a third of passengers who miss flights are leaving from their home airport and go home to wait a day before flying or simply give up their travel plans.)

And there are fewer flights to get on than five years ago.

For example, travelers who missed United Airlines' first flight from Chicago O'Hare to Raleigh-Durham in August 2005 had six more United flights that day to choose from, a USA TODAY analysis of flight schedule data provided by OAG Aviation Solutions shows. Today, there are only four flights total each day.

Five years ago, Continental flew four times a day from Cleveland to South Bend, Ind., the data show. Today, it has three flights. American has cut the number of daily flights from Dallas/Fort Worth to Huntsville, Ala., to three from six. In 2005, Northwest flew eight times a day from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Minneapolis-St. Paul. Delta, which bought Northwest in 2008, flies the route five times a day now.

As a result, it can take travelers a day or more to reach destinations. It can cost hours of scrambling on the phone, extra expense and stress. It's also why travelers say it's important how airlines and airline workers treat them when things go wrong.

Mitchell Fong, a financial services industry executive from Mill Valley, Calif., who flies 200,000 miles a year, recalls a day last winter when his flight into Chicago arrived too late to make his connection to Milwaukee. United's computer system automatically rebooked him on the next available flight -- the next morning. Fong would have missed his meeting in Milwaukee. Luckily, he hitched a ride that night with an associate who happened to be driving there.

"United was not sympathetic, did not offer any compensation and did not offer extras or perks to ease my situation," Fong says.

U.S. airlines' aren't obligated to provide anything beyond rebooking to travelers who miss connections for reasons beyond airlines' control, such as weather. Being an elite member of a carrier's frequent-flier program may be the single best way to avoid being bumped, and of getting one of the few available seats on the next flight. But it's no guarantee.

Airlines consider the price paid by each disrupted passenger for their ticket; whether any have health issues that require special attention or are unaccompanied minors; whether passengers are part of a group; and most important, which passengers will be the most inconvenienced, or delayed the longest, if they don't get the next available seat.

It also helps to check in early. Check-in times can be the tie- breaker.

Rahsaan Johnson, a spokesman for United, says the difficulty in getting a seat nowadays is overstated. And, he says, getting one shouldn't be thought of as a contest between passengers.

"Every day of the week, there are airline employees and retirees who are at the bottom of the stand-by list, who do get onboard planes and enjoy a flight," he says. "It's a fallacy that with 85% load factors, you can't get a seat. Statistically, it is more difficult. But it is done all the time."

Contributing: Barbara Hansen
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Old August 19th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #156
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Airlines start lining up for Africa take-off
18 August 2010
Financial Times

The football World Cup is over, the vuvuzelas have been consigned to the dustbin and fans have turned their attention from Africa to Brazil, host of the 2014 contest. But for one group at least, the continent remains in sharp focus: international airlines.

According to the International Air Transport Association, airlines increased the amount of flying capacity to and from Africa by 8.6 per cent over the year to the end of June compared to 2009, more than any other region except for the Middle East.

Over the next three years Iata forecasts that the number of passengers travelling to and from Africa will rise at a compound annual rate of 6.5 per cent, making it one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

While US and European airlines have been cautiously adding capacity to Africa for years, the drive has picked up in intensity in recent months, leading industry executives to talk of a new "scramble for Africa" as airlines position themselves for the future.

Executives point to high growth levels that suggest an increasing need, and ability to pay, for travel by air. Africa's real gross domestic product was $1,600bn in 2008, having grown 4.9 per cent per year since 2000 - more than twice as fast as in the 1980s and 1990s.

Much of that can be put down to Africa's large mineral reserves - which have become a focus of fast-growing Asian economies. Traffic between Asia-Pacific and Africa is forecast to grow at 9 per cent per year over the next decade according to some estimates.

US and European airlines are also boosting their connections to resource-rich regions. In June, Delta Air Lines started a service between Atlanta and Accra and aims to add services to Liberia, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and Kenya in the near future.

Lufthansa, Europe's biggest airline group and a key provider to Africa, has ramped up its connections, adding two new services in west and central Africa and expanding several more since 2008. The group now has 222 flights a week to 33 destinations in Africa.

A recent report by McKinsey Global Institute, entitled Lions On The Move , suggests that the economic foundations of Africa's recent success are broader and therefore will have more "staying power".

Natural resources accounted directly for only a quarter of Africa's GDP growth over the decade while "the rest came from other sectors, including wholesale and retail, trade and transportation, telecoms and manufacturing".

Indeed, Airbus, the European aircraft maker, predicts the recent aviation ramp-up will be sustained. Over the next 20 years the amount of filled capacity on flights between Africa and other parts of the world will grow at 5.6 per cent each year, albeit from a low base.

"There is a lot of money in Africa right now," says Glen Hauenstein, head of network planning at Delta Air Lines, the world's largest airline by revenues. "GDP is small in absolute terms but it is rapidly expanding as political stability spreads."

In this newly competitive environment, US airlines are playing catch-up. While European carriers have offered direct services for decades, non-stop flights from North America to Africa have traditionally been limited, and slumped after the industry recession following the September 2001 terrorist attacks.

Mr Hauenstein says Delta began experimenting with flights to Africa in 2006 with a connection between its hub in Atlanta, Georgia, and the tourist destination of Johannesburg in South Africa, via Dakar, Senegal.

The success of that route has led Delta to try others, with an emphasis on west and sub-Saharan Africa where avoiding European connections can save US travellers time.

Part of the problem was aircraft technology, says Greg Hart, vice-president of network strategy at Continental.

Until the Boeing 777 was developed in the mid-1990s, many destinations in Africa were too far from the US for direct connections, and even then the 777 was too big to make some routes profitable. With the arrival of Boeing's much delayed 787, due around the turn of the year, Mr Hart says that many airlines will for the first time have the right aircraft for the job. Continental plans to connect the energy capitals of Houston and Lagos with a service starting in November 2011. Still, considerable obstacles must be overcome.

According to a 2009 World Bank report on Africa's aviation infrastructure, while the continent is fairly well served by airports, lack of taxi-ways and terminal facilities and "inadequate" air traffic control systems are limiting capacity growth.

Safety is another concern. Last year, Africa had the worst record of any region, according to Iata statistics. While most problems relate to aircraft operated by local airlines, several reports have blamed Africa's weak regulatory oversight, which raises wider issues.

In response, airlines have worked closely with government authorities and spent time and money to upgrade local infrastructure for their new services. Continental will help to upgrade the electrical facilities in Lagos airport to receive the Boeing 787.

In spite of those hurdles the airlines remain confident that the efforts will pay off. "The 787 is going to be the pride of our fleet and we are going to put it into Africa. That speaks volumes of our level of interest," says Continental's Mr Hart.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 01:10 AM   #157
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Courtesy of Delta

Delta Air Lines today filed applications with the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Transportation to operate daily year-round service between London’s Heathrow Airport and Miami International Airport.
If approved, service would begin from Miami on March 27, 2011. Delta, the second-largest carrier at Miami’s airport, would be using Boeing 767-300 aircraft.
Here’s the proposed summer 2001 schedule: Flight number 260 departs Miami at 5:30 p.m. and arrives at Heathrow at 7:30 a.m. (the next day). Flight number 261 departs Heathrow at 10:20 a.m. and arrives in Miami at 3:25 p.m.
The new Delta service would complement existing trans-Atlantic service offered by the SkyTeam alliance from Miami, including year-round flights to Paris operated by Air France and Rome operated by Alitalia.
Delta Air Lines today filed applications with the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Transportation to operate daily year-round service between London’s Heathrow Airport and Miami International Airport.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 02:13 AM   #158
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My sister was flying last week and her airline oversold one flight and she had to wait for the next round trip. She said two other had the same problem. With demand rising I hear more planes are coming out of the desert. I also hope delta get miami. Miami needs more flights to Europe because AA hasnt done a good job with flights to europe.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #159
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Mexicana Airlines (Grupo Mexicana) suspends its operations indefinitely

A Mexican consortium called Tenedora K announced it has acquired 95% of troubled Mexicana Airlines' holding company and will take over the airline as well as subsidiaries MexicanaClick and MexicanaLink. The carrier's pilots will own the remaining 5% of the holding company, Nuevo Grupo Aeronautico.
Now one of the first actions been taken is to suspend the operations indefinitly.

http://www.mexicana.com/cs/Satellite...eAlterno_US_EN
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Old August 30th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #160
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IATA CEO: International Consolidation Essential For Airlines
25 August 2010

SYDNEY - (Dow Jones)- International consolidation of airlines is essential for the industry to move forward, said the chief executive of the International Air Transport Association in an interview Wednesday.

While regional consolidation in the United States and Europe has helped profitability amongst airlines, IATA Chief Executive Giovanni Bisignani said airlines must now consolidate across regions.

"We need transatlantic consolidation to become a more integrated and global industry," said Bisignani, shortly after speaking at a luncheon in Sydney.

Earlier in the day, IATA, which represents some 230 airlines world-wide, comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic, reported that international passenger demand in July was 9.2% higher from a year ago, although it said the airline sector recovery has entered a slower phase.

Concerning the slowdown, however, Bisignani noted the Asia-Pacific region has now taken over as the world's foremost region. Asia-Pacific outperformed other regions strongly in July, especially Europe, which remained in the red for the latest month.

More broadly, Bisignani said "the worst is over" for the airline industry following the global financial crisis. While he cited concern about a recent slowdown in the U.S. economy, he was optimistic given continuing strength in freight airline travel.
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