Ryanair called on the UK, Irish, Italian and Spanish government to take action on overflights as French ATC strikes are set to cause mass disruption of air travel again.

Ryanair takes issue with the French government using minimum service legislation to protect French flights but not for thousands of passengers travelling to the UK, Ireland, Italy and Spain which simply overfly France.

Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary said:” We’re fed up with these repeated flight disruptions and cancellations caused by French ATC unions.”

The EU Commission continues to stand idly by while Europe’s single market for air travel is wrecked again and again.”

“If the EU Commission won’t act to protect its citizens, then national governments must intervene.”

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The number of so-called “ghost flights” at UK airports since 2019 has surpassed 5,000.

It is ‘pouring kerosene on the fires’ of climate change, environmental groups say.

These are empty passenger flights while35,000 flights have operated almost empty with under 10% of seats occupied, Civil Aviation Authority data found.

In one quarter during the pandemic, Heathrow Airport had 663 almost-empty flights to or from the US.

Busy airports have operated a ‘use it or lose it policy meaning airlines may have to fly at a loss to maintain slots

Campaigners say there needs to be more transparency on why the number is so high

“Publication of this data is a step in the right direction, but we need more transparency to understand why these inefficient, polluting practices continue, and to hold the main airline culprits to account,” said Tim Johnson at the Aviation Environment Federation.

“Given the climate emergency, the revelation that so many near empty planes have been burning fossil fuels in the atmosphere is pretty shocking.”

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The latest signs and messages coming through the inbox from holiday companies is, ‘Please push all-Inclusive for 2023’.

Apparently with all the price hikes around Europe especially in Spain for food and drinks the demand has now shot up with more people requesting and booking this type of holiday.

Now with a wide choice of hotels in top destinations and more on the way being offered this system by holiday companies with big rewards.

Tui and Easyjet are offering October and Winter holidays for one week around the £400.00. mark for all-inclusive.

Jet2 Holidays are really pushing these Hotels, offering 39 on mainland Spain, 101 in the Balearics, 13 in Bulgaria, 114 in Canaries, 55 in Greece, 186 in Turkey and even 8 in Croatia.

Tukey has now had big investment from the holiday companies to get away from EU problems, visas etc, monitoring of days allowed on holiday plus everyone will be getting more for their buck.

Someone once said, ‘All-Inclusive won’t work’, with the amount of money being spent on holiday promotion it certainly must be.

People need to know that when they arrive in a resort, they can afford the holiday.

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World Airline Awards

Returning to the Langham Hotel London, and the first since Paris 2019, the Skytrax World Airlines Awards took place last Friday (23 September).

As the airline celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022, Qatar Airways was named “Airline of the Year”, for an unprecedented seventh time.

The airline also took home three additional awards including World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining, and Best Airline in the Middle East.

The award is something special for Akbar Al Baker, chairman of Qatar Airways.  In June of his year, at Passenger Terminal EXPO in Paris, Hamad International Airport, Doha, was named as the World’s Best Airport for the second year running.  Mr Al Baker is chairman of that too.

The event was created by Edward Plaisted 2001.  It is a global benchmark of airline excellence, and widely referred to as the Oscars of the airline industry.

Winners of Skytrax Awards are determined through an annual passenger survey. More than 300 airlines were evaluated between September 2021 and August 2022. More than 14 million people from 100 nationalities participated in this survey in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese. the survey participants rated the airline’s website, check-in and boarding procedures, cabin cleanliness, IFE, crew appearance and service, food quality, and seats comfort.

In all there were 69 awards with British Airways winning the Best Cabin Crew in Europe and Best Airline Staff Service in Europe and for the airline that claims to have invented the concept Virgin Atlantic taking the World’s Best Premium Economy Class category, and (surprise –surprise – they keep winning), Virgin offering the Best Business Class Lounge.  Business Travel News  would like to see a BEST SAFETY VIDEO for next year and perhaps a marketing award, but that is subjective. 

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Flights for the upcoming autumn half-term holiday are up 42% compared to before the pandemic, Which? research has found.

It analysed of data and found huge price rises for flights from around the country.

The average cost of one-way half-term tickets for six popular destinations is £212 this year compared to £150 in 2019.

The steepest jump in average prices was seen at Heathrow airport, where passenger numbers have been capped at 100,000 a day until the end of the school holidays on October 29.

Which? compared average fares of flights to six popular destinations – Alicante, Antalya, Dubai, Dublin, Malaga and Tenerife – from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Luton and Birmingham.

The analysis looked at fares at six months, three months and six weeks before the October half-term in 2019 versus 2022.

The largest price hike was on flights from Heathrow to Tenerife.

Passengers booking six weeks before their departure date paid an average of £262 more each way than in 2019, adding £2,096 to the cost of a holiday for a family of four.

Heathrow to Malaga flights were £282 – an increase of £193 or 216% in three years.

Heathrow to Dublin was £236 on average – 181% more expensive

Guy Hobbs, Editor of Which? Travel, said: “Travellers have had a torrid time this year and our analysis shows they’re paying through the nose for their trouble.”

“With fares so high, it’s even more important that airports and airlines are held to account for the unacceptable disruption travellers have faced. The government should give the Civil Aviation Authority stronger powers so it can hit operators with heavy fines.”

Which? found the cost of flights has soared from Gatwick, Manchester, Heathrow and Birmingham in particular.

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Jet2.com and Jet2holidays are expanding their 2023 programme again with new routes and extending the season.

 Following a successful summer 2022 Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have put an even bigger summer 2023 programme on sale.

It includes15 destinations available including three brand new routes -Bristol-Chania, East Midlands-Santorini and London Stansted-Athens.

Summer 2023 capacity increases with 1.3 million arriving seats on sale and Athens becomes a year-round destination

There will also be increased frequency to destinations such as Corfu, Rhodes and Skiathos.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, is in Greece this week to meet hoteliers, industry representatives and Government to outline the growth plans.

He will visit Corfu, Zante, Chania, Heraklion, Rhodes and Kos.

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Ryanair called on the UK, Irish, Italian and Spanish government to take action on overflights as French ATC strikes are set to cause mass disruption of air travel again.

Ryanair takes issue with the French government using minimum service legislation to protect French flights but not for thousands of passengers travelling to the UK, Ireland, Italy and Spain which simply overfly France.

Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary said:” We’re fed up with these repeated flight disruptions and cancellations caused by French ATC unions.”

The EU Commission continues to stand idly by while Europe’s single market for air travel is wrecked again and again.”

“If the EU Commission won’t act to protect its citizens, then national governments must intervene.”

Check Cheapest Flights Here

In this article

The number of so-called “ghost flights” at UK airports since 2019 has surpassed 5,000.

It is ‘pouring kerosene on the fires’ of climate change, environmental groups say.

These are empty passenger flights while35,000 flights have operated almost empty with under 10% of seats occupied, Civil Aviation Authority data found.

In one quarter during the pandemic, Heathrow Airport had 663 almost-empty flights to or from the US.

Busy airports have operated a ‘use it or lose it policy meaning airlines may have to fly at a loss to maintain slots

Campaigners say there needs to be more transparency on why the number is so high

“Publication of this data is a step in the right direction, but we need more transparency to understand why these inefficient, polluting practices continue, and to hold the main airline culprits to account,” said Tim Johnson at the Aviation Environment Federation.

“Given the climate emergency, the revelation that so many near empty planes have been burning fossil fuels in the atmosphere is pretty shocking.”

Check Cheapest Flights Here

In this article

World Airline Awards

Returning to the Langham Hotel London, and the first since Paris 2019, the Skytrax World Airlines Awards took place last Friday (23 September).

As the airline celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022, Qatar Airways was named “Airline of the Year”, for an unprecedented seventh time.

The airline also took home three additional awards including World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining, and Best Airline in the Middle East.

The award is something special for Akbar Al Baker, chairman of Qatar Airways.  In June of his year, at Passenger Terminal EXPO in Paris, Hamad International Airport, Doha, was named as the World’s Best Airport for the second year running.  Mr Al Baker is chairman of that too.

The event was created by Edward Plaisted 2001.  It is a global benchmark of airline excellence, and widely referred to as the Oscars of the airline industry.

Winners of Skytrax Awards are determined through an annual passenger survey. More than 300 airlines were evaluated between September 2021 and August 2022. More than 14 million people from 100 nationalities participated in this survey in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese. the survey participants rated the airline’s website, check-in and boarding procedures, cabin cleanliness, IFE, crew appearance and service, food quality, and seats comfort.

In all there were 69 awards with British Airways winning the Best Cabin Crew in Europe and Best Airline Staff Service in Europe and for the airline that claims to have invented the concept Virgin Atlantic taking the World’s Best Premium Economy Class category, and (surprise –surprise – they keep winning), Virgin offering the Best Business Class Lounge.  Business Travel News  would like to see a BEST SAFETY VIDEO for next year and perhaps a marketing award, but that is subjective. 

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Airfares out of Russia have skyrocketed as Russians flee conscription to the Ukraine frontline

Overseas flights have sold out in record time while remaining seats are on sale for the equivalent of several thousand dollars on some routes.

The mass exodus of adult Russian males comes after Vladimir Putin announced the mobilisation of army reservists. Russia’s defence minister said up to 300,000 men could be called up.

However, options to escape conscription are shrinking.

Social media posts suggest airlines hav now e been forced to stop selling tickets to adult males.

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Ryanair plans to close its base in Athens for the winter, blaming what it calls a ‘dysfunctional’ charging regime by the airport operator, under which it refuses to offer incentives to stimulate traffic in the winter season.

Athens Airport. From the official guide.

In a statement, Ryanair said: “Athens Airport is a prime example of how the Greek government and German high-cost ownership is failing to deliver”.

Athens International Airport is managed by German operator AviAlliance, which owns 40% of the airport, with the Greek government holding a 55% stake. The remaining 5% is in private hands. Eddie Wilson, Chief Executive, Ryanair, said: “Regrettably, the decision to sell most Greek airports to high-cost German operators has had a devastating impact on job creation as these operators have no interest in lowering prices to stimulate traffic”.

He said the Greek government had “inexplicably” failed to respond to Ryanair’s plans for growth to Athens by lowering airport charges, as the airline had requested. The carrier claimed governments, such as those in Croatia, Ireland, Portugal and others have done so.

Ryanair also accused the Greek government of applying a “penal” airport development tax of €12 per passenger.

Wilson said: “We again ask Minister for Tourism Vassilis Kikilias to reply to our growth proposals in which we offer to transform Greece’s tourism market over the next five years by doubling traffic to 10 million passengers a year, bolstering off-peak tourism, creating 4,000 local jobs, and supporting regional development”.

He added: “This failure of engagement by the Greek government has already led to Ryanair’s closure of our Rhodes base this summer and has now forced us to close our Athens base this October and reallocate capacity”.

Ryanair opened a base at Athens in April 2014.

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More than 1,000 Stansted workers are being balloted over strikes action after a 7.5% offer was overwhelmingly rejected

It includes security officers, cleaners, firefighters, maintenance staff and airport ambassadors and voting closes 19 September.

The initial pay offer of 7.5% plus a one-off £250 payment was rejected.

Unite calls this is a pay cut in real terms.

The union claims executive pay for the same period increased by £2.8 million at an increase of 23%.

Stansted is owned by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) .

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Everyone is expected to tighten their belts except MAG’s rich executives. Our members will receive Unite’s full support in fighting for a fair pay rise.”

Unite says strike action could effectively close the airport, because of key roles, such as security and firefighters, being balloted.

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Ryanair is adding over one million seats to its winter schedules at 20 UK airports.

Ryanair now expects to see its full year traffic grow from an original target of 165m to over 166.5m passengers this year.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said: “While BA are cancelling 8% of their winter schedule due to staff shortages, Ryanair is now adding more capacity to our largest ever UK winter schedule.”

Ryanair has fares from £29.99 from 20 UK airports this winter including Stansted, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh and many more.

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British Airways is axing another 10,000 short-haul flights at Heathrow.

It is trimming the winter schedule by 8% until the end of March and more than 600 flights will be cancelled up to late October.

It comes as Heathrow decided to extend the passenger cap it imposed last month due to ongoing staff shortages.

“While the vast majority of our customers will travel as planned, and we’re protecting key holiday destinations over half-term, we will need to make some further cancellations ,” British Airways said.

“In addition, we’re giving customers travelling with us this winter notice of some adjustments to our schedule, which will include consolidating some of our short-haul flights to destinations with multiple services.”

“We’ll be offering customers affected by any of these changes an alternative flight with British Airways or another airline, or a refund.”

The announcement gives customers several months’ notice of changes.

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Ryanair is adding over 500 flights to and from London Stansted Airport for the autumn half-term break.

It adds up to an additional 100,000 seats to destinations in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, and France.

Ryanair has added these extra seats in response to flight restrictions imposed by Heathrow

Ryanair says it, and London Stansted Airport, have sufficient staff to handle the additional flights.

Ryanair’s Group CEO Michael O’Leary said: “While Hopeless Heathrow continues to cut flights and raise fares for families, Ryanair and London Stansted continue to add flights, and offer thousands of low-fare seats.”

Ryanair looks forward to welcoming thousands of additional families at London Stansted Airport”

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British Airways owner IAG has officially taken a 20% stake in Spanish carrier Air Europa.

It converted the €100 million loan it provided earlier this year into the stake.

“IAG announces that it has exercised its option to exchange the group’s €100 million seven-year unsecured loan for a 20% equity stake in Air Europa,” IAG said.

IAG’ had previously offered €1 billion for control of Air Europa, and then reduced it to €500 million due to the pandemic.

Air Europa is the third largest airline in Spain, after Iberia and Vueling which are both owned by IAG.

That would make an acquisition of Air Europa problematic with EU regulators.

Air Europa currently has a fleet of about 40 aircraft.

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