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Old October 22nd, 2005, 12:16 PM   #1101
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Letters chart Ryanair's frustration with Ahern
22 October 2005
Irish Times

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary wrote a flurry of private letters to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern over a period of 15 months in which he strongly criticised Mr Ahern's refusal to sanction a competing second terminal at Dublin Airport. John Downes reports

The correspondence also documents a meeting set up by the Taoiseach on April 5th last year, at which Mr O'Leary says Mr Ahern's representatives were "fully briefed" on the low-cost carrier's plans for a second competing terminal.

It is not clear if Mr Ahern was present at this meeting. However, two days after the meeting, Mr O'Leary sent another letter to the Taoiseach's constituency office thanking Mr Ahern for his "time and hospitality".

The letters, which are marked "strictly private and confidential", were released under the Freedom of Information Act. Some were sent to Mr Ahern's constituency office while other went to Government Buildings.

They indicate that the very public pressure exerted by Mr O'Leary on the Government over its preferred option for a second terminal was mirrored in private correspondence with the Taoiseach between December 2003 and March of this year.

Mr Ahern has in the past accused Mr O'Leary of attempting to "bully" him by taking out a full-page newspaper advertisements calling for the break-up of the former Aer Rianta.

The advertisements - which appeared less than two months after Mr O'Leary's April 2004 meeting with Mr Ahern's officials - contained an unflattering cartoon image of the Taoiseach. They also listed a series of promises on the issue, about which it was claimed nothing had been done.

In his letter sent after the April meeting, Mr O'Leary expressed the hope that "now your people are fully briefed", progress could be made to have a new facility ready by summer 2007.

According to an earlier letter from Mr O'Leary, the meeting in April followed a previous encounter between the two men on January 20th of 2004, in which Mr Ahern had agreed to such a meeting.

In this letter, dated March 26th, Mr O'Leary warned that if a meeting was not set up "within the next two weeks . . . then we will take it that your Government has no interest in competition or job creation, and we will act accordingly".

The six letters make a number of references to Mr O'Leary's belief that a second competing terminal at Dublin airport would generate five million additional passengers and 5,000 new jobs.

But in the most recent of these, dated March 21st of this year, Mr O'Leary says Ryanair is "deeply concerned at the Government leaks over the weekend which suggest that the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) [ the successor to Aer Rianta] will be allowed to build a second terminal".

"This will represent a breach of the agreed Programme for Government," he writes. He also attaches a copy of the Government's agreed programme for Government, with an "X" next to the relevant section relating to Dublin airport. The Government announced last May that it had decided to allow the DAA to own the proposed second terminal.

A spokeswoman for Mr O'Leary yesterday said that, since there will be no competing second terminal at Dublin airport, "not a whole lot" happened at the April 5th meeting. The motivation for the letters was "self-explanatory", she added.

A Government spokesman declined to comment.

Dear Bertie... Michael O'Leary's letters to the Taoiseach on the second terminal (selected extracts)

12th December 2003: "In the first half of next year Ryanair will open two new bases in Rome and Barcelona. Why does Ireland continue to mismanage its airport policy so that it forces all of this rapid traffic growth to other lower cost airports in Continental Europe? Why are Ireland's airports so uncompetitive?" Isn't it time for change?"

26th March 2004: "We met on the evening of the 20th of January last, and you agreed to set up a meeting with the relevant interest groups at which we would present/explain the details of the second competing terminal."

"I would appreciate this meeting being set up within the next two weeks. If it is delayed beyond this, then we will take it that your Government has no interest in competition or job creation, and we will act accordingly."

"I have no intention of remaining mute on this important national issue whilst your Government delays and dithers..As Churchill exhorted his officials "action this day!"

7th April 2004: "Thank you for your time and hospitality on Monday the 5th last. I hope now that your people are fully briefed that we can move forward with urgency.This will be the single largest investment by any company in Irish tourism ever."

"....it is imperative that the Government moves the legislation for the splitting up of Aer Rianta and proceeding with the second terminal before the summer recess (sic).To put it in perspective this project has more economic potential and will leave a more lasting legacy in this country than even the IFSC does today."

"If I can help to push this forward in any way over the coming weeks, please call me."

21st March 2005: "As the largest airline in Ireland, we are deeply concerned at the Government leaks over the weekend which suggest that the Dublin Airport Authority will be allowed to build a second terminal..

"Competition has already proven effective in forcing improved services and lower prices out of other State monopolies such as the ESB, Eircom and indeed Aer Lingus. Two terminals run by the DAA will not be competition."
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 12:19 PM   #1102
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Ryanair cuts another €10 off Dublin return trips
Charlie Weston
22 October 2005
Irish Independent

RYANAIR yesterday cut €10 from the return price of some 60 different routes out of Ireland, in a move brokers said would prompt other airlines to cut seat prices over the winter.

The Ryanair move comes as Aer Lingus is currently offering a huge number of seats for just €1, excluding taxes and other charges.

Davy airline analyst Stephen Furlong said yesterday the prospect of a winter fares war meant Ryanair was being cautious about the development of its Irish routes, despite the use of new 737-200 Boeings on Irish routes which will cut costs by 45pc per seat.

Ryanair's head of communications, Peter Sherrard, said: "We are offering €10 off all return tickets and €5 off all one-way tickets. This applies to all seats on any of our 60 Irish routes, and is available for booking immediately on ryanair.com"

The new fares cover routes out of Ireland to the likes of Paris, Hamburg, Pisa and Eindhoven.

Aer Lingus said it had no specific plans to cut its prices in response to what Ryanair was doing, but would continue to present special promotions.

It is currently offering seats for €1 on flights to Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester. A range of European routes are on sale on aerlingus.com from €5, with others just €10. These fares exclude taxes and other charges.

Davy's Stephen Furlong said the likelihood of discounting by airlines like British Airways over the winter was holding Ryanair back from significantly increasing capacity out of Dublin.

Meanwhile, the Belgian government has referred Ryanair and low-cost competitor Virgin Express Holdings to the public prosecutor, accusing them of breaking consumer laws in the way they advertise ticket prices.

The carriers were among seven airlines that flouted laws requiring that the price advertised must be the final price the consumer has to pay. In some cases, the final price was almost double, the government said.

Ryanair said it had not received any complaints from customers on the matter and had not received any complaints from the Belgian authorities.

Ryanair will continue to respect the law with regard to its advertisements, the company said.
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 12:20 PM   #1103
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Easyjet flies into Alitalia's territory
Kevin Done, Aerospace Correspondent
12 October 2005
Financial Times

EasyJet, the UK low cost airline, is moving aggressively into the Italian market with the opening of its first Italian base at Milan Malpensa airport, where it will pose a growing competitive threat to Alitalia, the heavily loss-making Italian majority state-owned carrier.

EasyJet is rapidly developing its strategy to establish a pan-European presence, and the move into Milan follows the previous opening of bases in Berlin and Dortmund in Germany, at Geneva and Basel in Switzerland and at Paris.

The airline also has ten operating bases in the UK led by the three London airports Gatwick, Luton and Stansted, but already 27 per cent of its network is outside the UK.

The move by EasyJet into Italy will also challenge Ireland's Ryanair, the leading European low cost airline, which already has three bases in the country at Milan Bergamo, Rome Ciampino and Pisa as part of a system of 15 bases in seven countries.

EasyJet and Ryanair are challenging Air France-KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways for leadership of the European short-haul airline sector with EasyJet carrying 29.6m passengers in the 12 months to the end of September compared with 31.6m at Ryanair.

EasyJet said that initially it would base three Airbus 319s at Malpensa with the first two starting operations at the end of March and the third in summer next year.

The airline, which already flies between Milan Malpensa and Berlin and Dortmund, will start operations at the Malpensa base with routes to Athens, London Gatwick, Madrid, Malaga and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

EasyJet said it expected to carry 1.2m passengers on the seven Malpensa routes in the first 12 months of operations. It would also maintain its two routes from Milan Linate to Gatwick and Paris Orly.

It said Italy had been its fastest growing market in the last 12 months, and it had increased its capacity to the country by 78 per cent in the period.

It chose Milan for its next significant expansion in Europe because of its attractiveness as a destination for both business and leisure travellers as well as for the potential for outbound passengers from the wealthy Lombardy region.

Ray Webster, EasyJet chief executive, said the airline believed there were excellent opportunities for growth in Italy, because air travel was still dominated by Alitalia, "one of Europe's most inefficient airlines."

EasyJet currently has 222 routes between 67 airports in Europe with a fleet of 109 aircraft. The fleet is planned to grow to 164 aircraft comprising 120 Airbus A319s and 44 Boeing 737-700s by the end of 2007.
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Old October 24th, 2005, 01:21 PM   #1104
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Business Times - 24 Oct 2005

Jetstar Asia flies to Phuket

SINGAPORE - Budget airline Jetstar Asia said it will fly to Phuket in Thailand four-times weekly from Tuesday, further boosting the resort island's recovery from last year's tsunami disaster.

'Phuket is solidly back on the map. All indications point to an economy that has settled down and is ready to accept a new phase in its tradition as a great resort destination,' said Jetstar Asia chief executive Ken Ryan in a statement.

He said that with hotel occupancy rates still recovering, it was time to 'recapture the excitement and beauty' of the island, famed worldwide for its exotic, white-sand beaches.

Jetstar Asia, which is backed by Australian flag-carrier Qantas, is offering a one-way fare without taxes of at least $30 for travel up to Dec 15, the statement said.

Tiger Airways, a rival budget carrier backed by Singapore Airlines, is already flying to Phuket.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 04:45 AM   #1105
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Oct 25, 2005
ADAMAIR RIGHTS
Tiger chief: Decision flawed

By Arthur Poon

A SECOND budget carrier has hit out at Singapore's decision to allow Indonesia's AdamAir to fly here.

Tiger Airways' chief executive Tony Davis feels AdamAir should have been treated as a budget airline and barred in the same way that Singapore blocked Adam- Air's low-cost rival Awair from flying here.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has refused to grant routes to Indonesian budget airlines after Indonesia imposed a blanket ban on Singapore-based low-cost carriers in March.

Mr Davis said the CAAS' acceptance of AdamAir as a regular airline was 'flawed' as its operating model is on the margin of being low-cost.

'It is difficult for a regulator to define what is a truly low-cost airline,' Mr Davis told The Straits Times yesterday on the sidelines of a promotion launch with fast-food chain McDonald's.

'To allocate air rights based on such definitions is flawed because some airlines do not exactly fit the low-cost or full-service models.'

The CAAS defended its decision yesterday.

A spokesman said there is a wide spectrum of operating models that airlines adopt. 'Adam- Air's operating model is quite different from that of a typical low-cost carrier, which does not offer free food and drinks on board or seat assignment.

'For the same reason, we do not regard Valuair as a low-cost carrier.'

AdamAir, which took to the skies in December 2003, will offer three flights a day on the Singapore-Jakarta route starting Friday. Passengers will be assigned seats and served light snacks and mineral water.

Last week, Malaysia's AirAsia accused Singapore of discrimination for allowing AdamAir to fly here while rejecting a similar application in March from its Indonesian associate, Awair.

CAAS said it was still unable to approve Awair's Jakarta-Singapore flights as Indonesia's ban on foreign budget carriers is still in place.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved
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Old October 25th, 2005, 04:58 AM   #1106
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Oct 25, 2005
Want a flight to go with your french fries?

FASTFOOD chain McDonald's has launched a tie-up with budget airline Tiger Airways, giving diners the chance to buy ultra-cheap air tickets.

Called 'The tastiest travel deal in town', customers who buy its grilled chicken foldover meal will get a scratch card.

The card, said the airline, offers the 'exciting possibility' of winning the chance to buy air tickets to selected destinations from $14.98 each way, excluding taxes and fees.

Different destination choices will be offered each week, including Bangkok, Hat Yai, Manila, Phuket, Hanoi, Krabi, Macau and Padang.

Tiger Airways' chief executive, Mr Tony Davis, explained the rationale behind the tie-up: 'Both our companies share common values and aspirations in offering our customers a fantastic value-for-money product at unbeatable prices.

He added: 'In fact, Tiger Airways sees itself as the McDonald's of the low-cost airline industry.'

The promotion starts today and will end on Nov 13.
Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 10:40 AM   #1107
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I wonder when 3K will start its new Indian services and what destinations it and VF have in store for us??
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Old October 26th, 2005, 03:39 AM   #1108
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Oct 26, 2005
Jetstar unveils code-share deal with Myanmar airline

By Arthur Poon

JETSTAR Asia announced its first code-share deal yesterday, tying up with Myanmar Airways International to operate a four-times-a-week service between Singapore and Yangon.

From next Monday, passengers who used to fly on Myanmar Airways International between the two cities will do so on Jetstar's A320 Airbus planes, which will have an additional Myanmar language-speaking cabin crew member on board.

The new service increases the competition - and the similarities - between Jetstar and SilkAir, which is a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines (SIA).

Following Jetstar's announcement, SilkAir upped the ante by increasing its own Singapore-Yangon service from nine times a week to 14, starting on Sunday.

SilkAir and Jetstar also compete on routes to Phuket and Bangkok, while Jetstar's associate Valuair takes on SilkAir on the Surabaya route.

Industry observers suggest Jetstar is evolving into a regional carrier for its heavyweight backer Qantas, in the same way SilkAir acts as a regional arm of SIA.

Though Jetstar chief executive Ken Ryan has fiercely denied this, there are other strong similarities between the two.

Jetstar's adoption of the code-share deal with Myanmar Airways International mirrors SilkAir's arrangements with Malaysia Airlines and Indonesia's Garuda.

Jetstar's fleet of eight Airbus A320s also closely mirrors that of SilkAir, which has seven A320s and five A319s.

Separately, SilkAir announced yesterday that it is adding new destinations and ramping up its flight frequencies after taking delivery of two new aircraft earlier this month.

SilkAir has tied up with travel agents like Chan Brothers and CTC Travel to offer direct charter services to Nanning, capital of China's Guangxi province, from this month to December.

The airline will also take over SIA's services between Singapore and the Chinese city of Shenzhen, flying there six times a week. It will also offer twice-daily flights to Surabaya in Indonesia.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 03:11 PM   #1109
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Iceland's FL Group raises easyJet stake to 16.2 pct
By Michael Smith

LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Iceland's FL Group said on Wednesday it had raised its stake in UK budget airline easyJet Plc to 16.2 percent from 15 percent, the second increase in the space of a day.

The increase revived speculation FL Group, the owner of airline Icelandair , may be planning a takeover bid despite assurances from easyJet's founder that his and his family's stakes were not for sale.

EasyJet shares were down 1.3 percent at 296-1/2 pence at 1101 GMT, while the FTSE Mid 250 Index <.FTMC> was up 0.5 percent. The company has a market value around 1.2 billion pounds ($2.1 billion).

FL Group snapped up its latest stake in the carrier after shares in easyJet and other airlines fell last week on concerns about the spread of bird flu.

The owner of Icelandair said in a statement it had increased its stake to 16.18 percent after buying additional easyJet stock on Tuesday.

This followed easyJet's confirmation earlier in the day that FL's stake rose to 15 percent from 14 percent after buying shares on Monday.

EasyJet stock jumped 6.3 percent on Tuesday, with traders citing speculation that FL was raising its stake after FL agreed to acquire Nordic low-cost airline Sterling.

A spokesman for easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou said the businessman and his family had no intention of selling down their stake in the airline.

"His position has not changed," the spokesman said.

Haji-Ioannou owns 16.6 percent of easyJet and his brother and sister own about 12 percent each, giving the family a total stake of 41 percent.

An easyJet spokesman said he was not aware of FL Group buying any more stock in the airline on Wednesday.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 03:14 PM   #1110
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Ryanair protests about Swedish flight tax

STOCKHOLM, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary complained on Tuesday about Sweden's plan for a new environmental tax on flights, saying it would discourage his airline from adding flights to the Nordic country.

The Social Democrat government of Prime Minister Goran Persson has proposed an extra 100 Swedish crowns ($12.71) on air tickets to encourage more environmentally friendly energy use. Several airlines have already protested about the new levy.

"When we hear things like the Swedish government imposing a stupid tax on travel, it is time to get up here to start fighting taxes," O'Leary told a news conference.

Ryanair, which added Sweden to its network in 1997, wants to continue to expand the number of flights, he said. If the tax were introduced, it would not, he added.

"Sweden will begin immediately to lose out," he said.

SAS, Fly Nordic, Skyways and Malmo Aviation have also protested against the proposed new tax.

The tax is part of government plans in the 2006 budget to raise taxes worth 3.6 billion crowns on what it sees as environmentally harmful energy uses.

Persson's minority government closely cooperates with the Green Party in parliament.
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Old October 27th, 2005, 04:49 PM   #1111
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Business Times - 27 Oct 2005

NEWS ANALYSIS
Jetstar not changing its basic model: CEO

But its transformation raises questions about its brand positioning

By VEN SREENIVASAN

IS Jetstar Asia changing its low cost carrier model? That is the question some industry watchers here must be pondering as the Qantas-controlled low fare regional associate embarks on code sharing tie-ups with other airlines.

The low cost airline has just announced a partnership with Myanmar Airways International. Under the deal, passengers who fly Myanmar Airways' four-times-a-week service between Singapore and Yangon can now fly on Jetstar's A320 aircraft.

And Jetstar Asia chief executive Ken Ryan says he is now 'working through' similar code sharing arrangements with the airline's principal shareholder, Qantas.

But Mr Ryan, who is also the chief executive of Jetstar's sister carrier Valuair, denied that his budget airline was transforming itself into a regional feeder for the Australian national, just as Silkair acts as a feeder for Singapore Airlines.

'We are not changing the basic model of our airline,' he said. 'We are still the same airline, providing competitively priced tickets and good quality service. We just want to inject more flexibility into the model in order to derive more benefits.'

And this includes working with other airlines and partners.

Mr Ryan explained that while the basics such as assigned seats, pay-for-meals and 20kg luggage allowance remain largely intact, Jetstar Asia was broadening its ticket distribution system.

Jetstar Asia, he said, would plug into global distribution systems (GDS) links 'capable of dealing with a number of other GDS used by other airlines'.

In short, travellers flying in from other regions or other parts of the world can book seamless regional connecting flights via Jetstar Asia through their local travel agents.

Currently, most budget carriers - including Jetstar Asia - sell their tickets via the Internet or call centres. There is little doubt that whatever GDS Jetstar Asia uses will be capable of linking with the Qantas system. The impending tie-up with Qantas is likely to be closely watched by Silkair, whose fleet of seven A320s and five A319s planes connects SIA's international passengers to more than 25 (mainly holiday) destinations in India, China and South-east Asia.

Industry insiders say that with its fleet of eight A320s (and a ninth due for delivery soon), Jetstar Asia is well placed to become a Qantas feeder, competing head-on with Silkair.

Under a feeder arrangement with the Australian carrier, a Qantas passenger flying into Singapore can conceivably enjoy seamless connectivity via a Jetstar flight at Changi Airport for onward journeys to Kolkata, Bangalore or any of its other six regional destinations.

But Mike Barclay, chief executive of Silkair, said he was not worried by the prospect of competition from Jetstar Asia.

'Of course, we always assess the competition,' he said. 'But we already have a good handle on the Australia (inbound) market to this region. And in addition, we also get a wide spread of feeds from worldwide inbounds.'

Nevertheless, Jetstar Asia's transformation does raise questions about its brand positioning, according to some industry experts.

'If they have to provide (free) food on some flights, like the Singapore-Yangon route, and charge for it on others, it does add a level of complexity into operations,' said one analyst here.

'Then there is the issue of being a budget carrier under a larger entity which also has a sister discount carrier, Valuair. Now they want to provide regional connectivity to mainline players like Qantas. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.'

Jetstar Asia and its sister airline Valuair are operating units of Orange Star, which is 44.5 per cent owned by Qantas.

Mr Ryan does not want his airline labelled as Qantas's regional feeder.

'What we are doing is simply refining the way we distribute our product so as to add value to the product,' he said.

'The product and service we offer is quite attractive to other airlines. But they have to make a decision to tie up with us. And if it is to our benefit, we will do it.'

Meanwhile, Valuair - which recently obtained valuable new routes to Surabaya and Denpasar - will continue operating as it is, without the tie-ups which Jetstar is embarking upon, he said.

Both Jetstar and Valuair were taken over by Qantas and placed under the Orange Star umbrella several months ago after they hit severe financial turbulence in the face of rising fuel costs, restricted access to airports and poor yields.

However, in a move which surprised many industry observers, India last month offered Singapore-based carriers 2,760 extra seats on routes from Singapore to Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

Jetstar clinched the rights to operate five weekly flights to the Indian IT capital of Bangalore, while SIA associate Tiger Airways secured three flights a week to Kolkata. Jetstar was also given permission to bump up its Singapore-Kolkata flights to four per week, from the present three.

No sooner had this piece of good news sunk in when Jetstar's sister discount carrier, Valuair, obtained rights to operate flights to Denpasar in Bali and Surabaya.

Jetstar is expecting to begin its Bangalore flights within the next week or two.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old October 29th, 2005, 04:18 PM   #1112
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29 October 2005

Tiger Airways keen to fly to KLIA low-cost carrier terminal

SINGAPORE : Singapore's budget airline, Tiger Airways, is keen to fly to Malaysia's new low-cost carrier (LCC) terminal at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Tiger Airways Chief Executive Officer Tony Davis said the airline was "very keen" to fly between Singapore and Malaysia.

He was commenting on a news report that Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is wooing regional LCCs to fly to the new facility, to be launched next year.

"(We) will definitely take up the offer from MAHB to use the LCC terminal if we receive permission from the Malaysian aviation authorities to do so," Davis said in a statement.

"MAHB is currently expecting to service only half of its 10 million passenger capacity from the existing Malaysian budget carrier that is going to use the facility. Tiger Airways is confident it can help raise these figures substantially if we are allowed to fly the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route," he added.

Malaysia's AirAsia, the region's leading LCC, will be the main occupier of the RM108 million terminal, taking up 24 of the 30 parking bays available.

The KLIA's LCC terminal is expected to be operational by March or April next year.

Tiger Airways currently flies to 10 cities in six countries - Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Macau, the Philippines and Indonesia. - CNA/de

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old October 31st, 2005, 01:16 AM   #1113
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Oct 31, 2005
Budget carriers keen to use new KL terminal

By Arthur Poon

IN YET another attempt to start flying to Kuala Lumpur, all three Singapore-based budget airlines said on Friday that they were ready to use the new low-cost carrier (LCC) terminal at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Currently, the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route is barred to all Singapore- and Malaysia-based carriers except Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines, which charge more than $300 for a return ticket.

But Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia and Valuair were heartened by Malaysian media reports last Thursday that said Malaysia Airports Holdings chief executive officer Bashir Ahmad had invited all budget airlines to use the new LCC terminal.

Malaysia Airports Holdings is a government-linked company that manages and operates all the airports in Malaysia.

Tiger Airways chief executive Tony Davis said: 'We are very keen to fly between Singapore and Malaysia, and will definitely take up the offer to use the LCC terminal if we receive permission from the Malaysian aviation authorities to do so.'

A spokesman for both Jetstar Asia and Valuair also said: 'We'd be delighted to take up the opportunity to use the new low-cost terminal located at KLIA...we are confident that it will not only provide a benefit to passengers, but also to the broader economies of both countries.'

There is certainly room for them at KL's LCC terminal.

Malaysia Airports Holdings expects to serve only half of its 10 million passenger capacity from Malaysia's budget carrier, AirAsia.

The opening of KL's new RM108 million (S$48.3 million) LCC terminal early next year may coincide with that of Changi Airport's.

It will be five times larger than the one at Changi, which can handle around two million passengers a year.

So far, only Tiger has signed up to use Changi's LCC terminal.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 03:24 PM   #1114
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News article stating that the new budget terminal feature a Baggage Reconciliation Room....

廉价航空终站 行李安检室能防爆

林顺华(2005-10-30)

  正在兴建中的廉价航空终站虽没有登机桥、不会铺设地毯、部分建筑也无冷气装置,但新加坡民航局在处理终站的保安课题时,却丝毫没有放松。

  民航局计划在廉价航空终站设立一个能承受爆炸威力的行李安检室(Baggage Reconciliation Room),日前已邀请承包商竞标有关工程。

  国际航空运输协会(IATA)亚太区发言人钟接庆在回答本报询问时指出,虽然其他国家的机场也设有行李安检室,但大多都不具备承受爆炸威力的功能。樟宜机场的廉价航空终站最终如果落实有关计划,将成为开创先例的“少数分子”。

  他说:“航空公司和政府机构一定要携手来确保全球航空业的安全。在这方面,樟宜机场一直都采取非常主动积极的态度,履行了它应尽的责任。”

承包商须有经验

  根据民航局的招标文件,行李安检室的面积将比一般房间更长更高,而且要能承受一定重量和类别的爆炸物。该格局要具备足够的“防爆”能力,以便在发生状况时,整个建筑结构将不受影响。

  民航局并没有透露所关注的爆炸物重量和类别,也不愿说明工程预算。不过,竞标承包商须拥有这方面的国内外设计经验,才有资格参与。

  据知,机场保安人员一般上若发现可疑行李,可要求乘客把行李带入行李安检室接受进一步的检查。

  由于乘搭廉价航空客机的乘客通常都不会办理行李托运手续,而是随身携带上机,因此有关保安设施对确保廉价航空终站的整体安全更加重要。

  至于樟宜机场的第一和第二搭客大厦,民航局耗资8000万元设立的高科技行李检查系统,也在“幕后”检查每一件托运行李。新系统利用电脑断层扫描机(Computer Tomography Scanner)从多个角度扫描行李,可探测出行李内是否藏有任何爆炸物。

  系统一旦发现有高度可疑的行李,就自动把行李送入一个椭圆形兼密封的危险物处理器,销毁其中的爆炸物。

  民航局已分别在去年9月和今年1月,于第一和第二搭客大厦启用新系统。此外,当局也计划在第二搭客大厦装置超过400台闭路电视,24小时监视机场内外的活动,查看可疑的人、物以及车辆。

  根据招标文件,系统一旦发现有行李长时间地遗留一旁,或是有车子停放太久,便得发出警报提醒值勤的保安人员。

  樟宜机场在保安方面的努力日前受到肯定,获得美国一份具有影响力的双周刊《机场保安报告》颁发国际机场组“机场保安卓越奖”(Excellence in Airport Security Award)。

  针对廉价航空终站的工程进展,民航局发言人表示“一切顺利,相信可如期在明年初启用”。

《联合早报》

(编辑:陈颖佳 )
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Old November 1st, 2005, 12:23 PM   #1115
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Business Times - 01 Nov 2005

Asiatravel writes off $7m investment in Valuair

By CONRAD RAJ

ASIATRAVEL.COM Holdings has decided that its $7.26 million investment in budget carrier Valuair is not likely to bring in any dividends for the foreseeable future and has written it off.

The company, which provides online airline and hotel bookings, announced yesterday that it was making full provisions for the investment it made two years ago. As a result, it will report losses for the current financial year.

It said the investment in Valuair 'had suffered a large diminution in value when Valuair was swapped into OrangeStar on July 22, 2005'.

OrangeStar was formed to take over the assets of Qantas-led budget airline Jetstar Asia and Valuair following combined losses of more than $50 million.

'The NTA of the merged entity at point of merger was $45 million, which would effectively price our 1.05 per cent stake in OrangeStar at $0.47 million,' Asiatravel said.

It added: 'We would like to assure all shareholders that this action is purely an accounting treatment of the investment and in no way suggests nor leads to any damage or decline in the group's operations or cash flow. We believe that this full provisioning of the Valuair/ OrangeStar stake would put this whole episode firmly behind the group and enable us to move forward without having to contend with issues arising from this investment.'

As part of its spring cleaning operations, Asiatravel has also decided to recognise an additional $300,000 in write-downs and provisions for legacy projects that it has since terminated including small enterprises in India, Malaysia and elsewhere.

It also warned earnings for the second half were likely to be weaker due to poorer bookings and margins in markets like Phuket, Malaysia, the Middle East and China. Also suffering were its land transport and hotel promotion programmes.

It is not known whether other former shareholders of Valuair will follow Asiatravel's step in biting the bullet and writing off their interest in the budget carrier. Hong Kong-listed Star Cruises was Valuair's single biggest investor with a 20 per cent stake said to cost some US$15 million.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 02:21 AM   #1116
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Ryanair says all may fly free if gambling pays off

LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Ryanair, Europe's largest airline by market value, believes revenue from inflight gaming and gambling could eventually do away with the need to charge air fares, Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said on Wednesday.

Ryanair gave away about a quarter of its seats last year and that figure could rise to between 50 and 100 percent depending on how ancillary revenues grow, O'Leary said.

"Ultimately entertainment will be where the money is," he told reporters, while answering questions about his plans to introduce gaming and gambling onboard, probably in 2007.

"It would transform ancillary revenues and profits," he said. "We'll probably announce a gambling partner (company) in the next 2-3 months."

Besides plans for inflight gaming and gambling, the airline already generates ancillary income from services such as hotel bookings and car leasing.

EARNINGS NEXT WEEK

Ryanair is set to announce earnings on Nov. 7 for the half year to Sept. 30.

"They'll be fine," O'Leary said, declining to elaborate.

He has been talking about expanding inflight entertainment on Ryanair for more than a year, during which time the airline introduced and then withdrew an onboard individual video and entertainment system.

Ryanair had hoped a quarter of its annual 35 million passengers would use the system, while only 7-8 percent did, O'Leary said.

He said the airline now has similar hopes for gaming and gambling, and sees potential revenues of "a multiple of euros per passenger."

Ryanair also announced it would offer 2 million free seats, a move designed to pressure full-service airlines such as British Airways whose fuel surcharges have widened the gap on fares between budget and traditional airlines.

Ryanair is fully hedged until the end of next March and has refused to impose a fuel surcharge, betting that low fares and even free tickets will draw passengers away from rivals.

"The more we can put pressure on high-priced airlines, the more we can convince them there's no point competing with us (on short-haul European routes)," O'Leary said.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 12:57 AM   #1117
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Ryanair CEO: Avg Fares Up About 3%-4% In First Half
2 November 2005

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYAAY) Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said Wednesday that average fares for the first half of its current financial year rose by about 3% to 4% compared with the same period a year ago.

The Irish budget airline is still on course to carry over 35 million passengers in the current financial year which ends March 31, 2006, he said. [ 02-11-05 1211GMT ]

O'Leary said in September he expected the airline to move between 35 million and 35.5 million passengers in the year. Speaking at a news conference in London Wednesday, he said the recent strike by Boeing Co. (BA) machinists had cost Ryanair about 300,000-400,000 passengers over the period.

The airline had to make minor modifications to its flights schedule during September and October, due to delays in the delivery of seven new Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Turning to Ryanair's ancillary revenue - any income not derived from tickets - O'Leary said the airline aims to launch a new in-flight entertainment system next summer. Sometime after this, possibly in 2007, it also aims to make in-flight gambling possible on its aircraft, he added.

In-flight gambling could potentially generate EUR50 million in annual sales within a few years, O'Leary said.

Ryanair is looking to launch a gambling product on its Web site in the next couple of months, O'Leary added. The airline is also aiming to install base stations on its planes so that passengers can use wireless devices.

Ryanair will release second-quarter results Monday.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 05:14 PM   #1118
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EasyJet To Relax Restrictions On Foreign Ownership
4 November 2005

LONDON (Dow Jones)--EasyJet PLC (EZJ.LN) said Friday that it's easing restrictions on foreign ownership of the U.K. budget airline's shares, a move that effectively gives more room for Iceland's FL Group hf. (FL.IC) to further increase its holding.

EasyJet said it plans to allow non-U.K. nationals to hold up to 45% of the company's shares, up from the 40% limit set in its articles of association. The move is designed to provide "greater flexibility for the company's shareholders," the airline said in a statement.

"We don't want to disenfranchise any shareholders," a company spokesman said. He added that the change in limits will make it easier for foreign investors, including FL Group, to acquire additional shares.

The move comes a little over a week after Icelandair owner FL Group said it had increased its stake in easyJet to 16.2% The investment company has steadily been buying shares since late last year, prompting speculation that it may be looking to make an offer and seek a seat on the airline's board.

The articles of association however make an outright takeover difficult, as does the Haji-Ioannou's family's 40% holding, analysts have said. Airline founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou recently rejoined easyJet's board.

The easyJet spokesman added that he was unaware of any recent contact between FL Group and the company.

A London-based analyst, who asked not to be named, said the move may have been initiated as institutional shareholders - particularly those in the U.S. - had been unable to buy stock due to the current limits. While the move would allow FL Group to further raise its stake it "doesn't allow them to do anything material with it," he added.

EasyJet also said its directors are reviewing opportunities to operate outside the European Economic Area, or EEA, although there are no immediate plans to start flights outside Europe.

To gain rights to fly outside of the EEA, easyJet would need to have a majority of its shares owned by U.K. nationals to ensure that it's recognized as a U.K. carrier. EasyJet said it would seek to protect these rights to fly to non-EEA destinations by enforcing this new 45% limit on shareholders as it considers neceassary.

By 1227 GMT, easyJet shares were down 1.1%, or 3.5 pence, at 306 pence.
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Old November 5th, 2005, 06:07 AM   #1119
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New headquarters for easyJet at London Luton Airport
Press Release
2 November 2005



easyJet, Europe's leading low-cost airline, announced today that it is moving its company head office to "Hangar 89", a former Britannia/TUI building, about 150 metres from its current office, easyLand.

In a bid to house everyone under one roof, the low-cost airline has secured the whole of Hangar 89, for the sole use of easyJet.

Earlier this year, H89 became available as TUI retrenched their Luton operations into one hangar.

easyJet is now planning the process of moving the major part of its Management and Administration function from easyLand to newly-refurbished the offices at H89, a move that will take place towards the end of 2006.

In addition to over 30,000 sq ft of office space, H89 can house three Airbus 319s/Boeing 737s at any one time, giving the airline much-needed hangar space at Luton Airport.

Consolidating the premises also means savings to the business, which ultimately will be passed on to the consumer.

H89 was built in 1974 and is currently fitted out in the style of a traditional 1970s office. Before the move can take place there are a number of improvements that will be carried out. The building will be made more easyJet-friendly and in true easyJet style it will be painted orange.

Chief Executive Ray Webster commented on the proposed move to H89:

"Ever since our combination with Go in mid-2002, we have been planning our long-term office requirements. I'm glad we've found somewhere in the heart of Luton Airport, a stone's throw from easyLand, that will house all our people under one roof. It's a great building that will save money each year on our current arrangements and I cannot wait to see the whole building painted orange."
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Old November 5th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #1120
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Ryanair pilots in line for £34,000 shares windfall
By Michael Harrison
5 November 2005
The Independent

Hundreds of Ryanair pilots are set to cash in windfalls worth an average of £34,000 when the budget airline's latest share-option scheme matures at the end of this month.

The options, granted five years ago at a price of around EUR5, are showing a profit of EUR50,000 per pilot based on Ryanair's current share price of about EUR7. About 250 pilots will benefit from the windfall.

Pilots who were with Ryanair at the time of its flotation in 1997 have made a EUR300,000 (£204,000) profit on share options since then. Ryanair captains based in Dublin are among the best paid in the industry, earning more than EUR120,000 a year. However, they generally work more hours than pilots with flag-carrying airlines such as British Airways.

The Dublin-based carrier has frequently been criticised for refusing to recognise the airline pilots' union.

But Eddie Wilson, Ryanair's director of personnel, said its pay, promotion, job security and share-option packages were better than for any other pilots flying Boeing 737s in Europe.

'Ryanair will continue to negotiate directly with all our pilots,' he added.

Mr Wilson also said that in the past 12 months Ryanair had recruited more than 150 pilots from other airlines, including the rival low-cost carrier easyJet, Aer Lingus, Lufthansa, BMI, SAS and the Italian carrier Alitalia.
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