October 2012

Virgin America to ask employees to take unpaid leave as losses continue

Aer Lingus Claims Surprise Over Planned Pension Strike

We don't see why the Irish national airline should be at all surprised that staff are planning to strike over Aer Lingus's failure to properly fund their pension scheme

JFK And Newark To Reopen, LaGuardia Closed

Ryanair 'to create 1,000 jobs'

Ryanair claims it is to expand its operation at East Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool airports with nine new routes.

Cyber crooks target British Airways flyers with bogus e-ticket receipts

Heathrow rejects Gatwick rail link plan

Invest now in low-carbon technologies or lose jobs abroad, TUC report warns

Union pressure wins removal of aviation strike ban in Turkey

After lobbying from the ITF and Unite, Turkey's government is to withdraw a contraversial law that makes strikes in the aviation sector illegal. The ITF, which represents trade unionists in the transport sector globally, has said that the legal changes still leave Turkey short of international standards on union rights.

However, this must be seen as a major victory for trade union solidarity and the power of international campaigning. The ITF arranged protests outside Turkish embassies in a number of countries, including the UK. Over 300 workers were sacked for allegedly taking part in industrial action and the campaign continues to demand their reinstatement. Join the campaign at reinstate305

30th October 2012

Councils convene in new bid to block third Heathrow runway

Heathrow nine-month earnings up 9.6%

Heathrow, formerly known as BAA Heathrow saw a significant rise in profits in the first 9 months of 2012

Heathrow warns weak summer traffic to hit earnings

Vijay Mallya will not sell assets to rescue Kingfisher

Billionaire Vijay Mallya says that he will not sell off his "family silver" to raise funds for his debt ridden airline.

Five million paid less than Living Wage

Virgin Atlantic open to buying into Indian carriers

Kingfisher To Use Own Funds To Restart Flying

Kingfisher staff agree to return to work

Third Heathrow runway won't solve problem (it needs four), say engineers

ICE and CIHT call for action on airport planning

ES - Why plans for London airports are taking off

More strikes for Air France

Green flight project clinches award

Air Canada Gets Union Backing On Pensions

Air tax to be debated in parliament next week

A campaign for the UK to prevent the levels of Air Passenger Duty being uncompetitive and damaging the economy results in a parliamentary debate

CBI boss slams APD

Heathrow Airport to welcome electric cars

Massive hospital bed cuts plan exposed

Growth welcome but two years late in arriving, says TUC

The TUC criticises the government for its focus on austerity, when it should have been creating jobs and stimulating the economy

Heathrow Airport flight pattern trials underway

Landmark win for women's equal pay

MEPs urge Single European Sky implementation

The pressure mounts on Europe's member states to merge air traffic control systems

Government accused of massaging jobless figures

SAS Considering Staff Pay Cut - Report

A Danish newspaper claims that SAS is to ask employees to pay cuts of between 15% and 25% in a bid to return the airline to profitability. SAS did make a profit in the second quarter of 2012, but has not made a profit in a full year of trading since 2007.

24th October 2012

Labour joins call to fast-track airports review

CAA issues advice to passengers following EC decision on delays of over 3 hours

EU Court Confirms Flight Delays Compensation

Airline emissions need control

Campaign group AirportWatch condemns plans to drop aviation from the government's targets to reduce carbon emissions. The coalition has presumably left aviation and shipping out of the targets because of fear that it will damage UK trade.

There is no reason why the Civil Air Transport should not be part of EU and UN targets - provided all revenue from ETS and APD are directed into renewables rather than going staight into the Treasurer's pocket. Sweden claims that it has achieved a carbon neutral aviation industry. The UK has a bigger problem, but it is still possible to push for greener aircraft, better flight routing and air traffic management and more public transport access at airports.

24th October 2012

ABTA backs new runways at Heathrow and Gatwick

Kingfisher Makes Offer To Striking Workers

The troubled airline offers to pay workers 3 months of the 7 months salary it owes them in November if they end their strike. But why has Kingfisher's billionaire owner failed to deliver on his promises to ensure that employees get the money that they are due?

23rd October 2012

Fog continues to disrupt flights in southeast

Philip Hammond flies into airports row with 'Heathwick' plan

The Transport Secretary, whose own constituency happens to be on the Heathrow flightpath indicates support for what is possibly the most complicated and impractical proposal to deal with London's hub capacity problems.

Anti-aviation sentiment shared across Europe, say UK campaigners

22nd October 2012

India Suspends Kingfisher's License

India's regulator finally loses patience with the debt laden airline. Kingfisher will now stop taking bookings until it can resolve multiple concerns.

22nd October 2012

Report - October 20th – Great Day For The UK

Thousands demand general strike at Hyde Park demo on 20th

Scots turn out in their thousands in Glasgow

Strikes hit French flights

Heathrow expansion is only 'affordable' option, says Virgin Atlantic chief

Independent newspaper reviews London airport expansion options

Wandsworth Council vote against Heathrow expansion

Boris Johnson plans legal action over Britain's airport capacity

The latest arguments for and against airport expansion at Heathrow or elsewhere in London

The Economist - Future systems for aircraft to burn less fuel on take off

Airbus thinks that by 2050 we could see aircraft accelerated to take off speed by ground based launchers using linear induction motors

Heathrow complaints unit "too busy" to respond to individual complaints from residents

150,000 estimated to have attended TUC anti-austerity march

Union News - VIDEO: voices from #Oct20 – ‘protest as much as you can’

Sky News videos of October 20th march and Ed Miliband speech

A big turnout for the TUC's anti-austerity march suggests that a general strike in the UK is still a strong possibility. Union solicitors have indicated that UK laws against such a strike are themselves illegal under European directives. With most of the Torys' planned austerity measures and privatisations still to come, millionaire tax dodgers being allowed to carry on cheating the treasury and the most vulnerable people in society being made to pay for the deficit - we expect a big increase in the number of people protesting against this cynical, corrupt and fraudulent coalition.

A selection of photos from the march posted on flickr

20th October 2012

Unite - Taxi drivers allege illegal practices at Gatwick Airport

Surrey County Council rejects airport expansion at Heathrow or Gatwick

Gatwick Airport to develop options for a new runway

Qatar CEO - More UK Airport Capacity 'A Necessity'

Growth and infrastructure bill a 'dog's breakfast' says Unite

Len McCluskey says that Cameron's plans such as getting workers to give up employment rights in return for shares will do nothing to stimulate the economy or create jobs.

Union News - "Even more jobs on the scrapheap” if Coalition doesn’t scrap austerity, say marchers

18th October 2012

TUC issues top tips for marchers ahead of Saturday

Evening Standard - Gatwick and Heathrow Airports: Boris raises the stakes

ES claims that Boris Johnson threatened to take legal action against the government unless David Cameron accelerated his review of UK aviation.

17th October 2012

Ryanair boss faces investigation into alleged tax evasion in Italy

Once again Michael O'Leary and Ryanair make headlines for all the wrong reasons

Nigel Costley at TUC - "Why I'm marching on Oct20"

Gatwick Airport to submit plan for second runway

Is my memory failing, or did Gatwick say in September that it could achieve its ambitions for expansion without the need for a second runway? (Ed) It remains the situation that Gatwick has yet to attract passenger and airline demand to fully utilise its single runway, with only 75% of its capacity actually used. 

17th October 2012

Opinion: Negotiating the legal minefield of employee contract renegotiations

ITF says - QATAR: Do the right thing. No World Cup without workers’ rights

URGENT! Fight To Oppose The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (ERR) Bill

Ask your MP to vote against the new bill being introduced to strip you of your employment rights

Rising passenger figures put pressure on Third Runway opponents

FTSE 100 chairmen cheer third runway for Heathrow Airport

Britain's business leaders back third Heathrow runway

Heathrow Says BAA Name No Longer Relevant

Ferriovial announces that it will be dropping the name "BAA". While the group is no longer British owned and has not been an authority since 1987, those who have worked at one of those airports for over 25 years are likely to find this a rather sad day.

While the British Airports' Authority uniforms were an unappealing brown, they were distinctive and avoided confusion with airlines and other airport companies.

15th October 2012

Long-term youth unemployment up by 23% while government support is cut by 26%

ITF News - HIV and AIDS guidance for aviation workers

BAA boss pushes for a bigger Heathrow

Heathrow third runway would mean more pollution, study says

Analysis: time running out for deal on airline emissions

The BBC quotes a study by MIT saying that Heathrow is responsible for air pollution that causes 50 early deaths a year and predicts that a third runway could result in three times that number.

The conclusions of the study have reportedly been challenged by aviation experts.

The HLC is curious as to why the top US university would elect to conduct a study into possible airport development in London, with hundreds of American cities and airports to choose from. Is this an objective study, or was it suggested or sponsored by any parties with an interest in the outcome of the UK's aviation review? We should be told.

13th October 2012

Court Issues Warrant Against Kingfisher's Mallya

Kingfisher extends flights stoppage by eight days

Cameron 'playing with workers lives'

BBC - Pilot fatigue 'one of the biggest threats to air safety'

So why is the British government weakening safety regulations that ensure UK pilots have adequate breaks and are not forced to work excessive shifts?

Think tank CentreForum says Thames Estuary airport proposals not practical

BA may end Australian flights after Qantas ends alliance to partner Emirates

British Airways says that it may cease all flights to Australia because Qantas is ending its 17 year alliance with the airline. It is unclear whether BA's statement would influence regulators ruling on Qantas entering an alliance with Emirates.

11th October 2012

BAA sees recovery in passenger numbers; Heathrow sets new record

US Airways flight attendants to take strike vote

Unions accuse Cameron of peddling the politics of fear

David Cameron blames everyone else for the UK's lack of growth and ignores the damage he has done to our economy through his three point plan of austerity, austerity and more austerity. Even the IMF says that he is following a recipe for disaster.

The truth is that the Tories strategy is ideological rather than a plan to reduce the deficit. He is making the poor, the disabled, the sick, the elderly, the unemployed, the low paid, women and ordinary people pay for his tax cuts for millionaires - the one group of people that is most to blame for the need to bail out the banks.

The HLC says that we don't need to sell off the NHS. We don't need to throw a whole generation of young people on the scrap heap. And we don't need to make the most vulnerable people in society pay for the mistakes of the banks to balance oour books. Close the tax loopholes, introduce a Robin Hood Tax and invest the money in creating jobs so that people start spending - which will create more jobs and more people who can afford to spend.

Cameron's policies can only lead us into a race to the bottom - no matter how hard he tries to protect the richest 1% who led Britain into boom and bust.

10th October 2012 

Swedavia first carbon neutral airport nation

Sweden claims to be the first country to achieve a carbon neutral aviation industry

Morning Star - "Our shameful role in torture"

BA brings in flexible retirement

British Airways announces a scheme that would allow employees to take some retirement benefits from the age of 55 but to continue working and making contributions to their pension.

10th October 2012

India Asks Kingfisher To Stop Selling Tickets

India Planning Up to 15 New Airports

Air India receives government guarantees

Ryanair Withdraws From Bidding For Share Of Stansted Airport

Ryanair claims that it is being blocked from bidding for a 25% share of Stansted

TUC - Equality legislation U-turn will let bad bosses off the hook

Brendan Barber says the government's announcement that it is to repeal part of the Equality Act will weaken employment rights and allow unethical employers to discriminate against their workers

American Airlines Pilots Await Contract Ruling

Walsh reiterates IAG’s willingness to invest in American Airlines

Qantas chief: ‘No going back on Emirates tie-up’

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce claims that his airline would be forced to stop flying to Europe if regulators reject an alliance with Emirates

Unite in talks to save Thomas Cook jobs

Heathrow could shrink to one runway to fund new hub airport

Mayor’s aviation advisor makes case for Thames airport

Boris and his sidekick keep pressing for his plan for a Thames Estuary airport. The Mayor's camp seem completely oblivious to the increasingly large body of people who say his idea is "pie in the sky".

East London does not have the transport infrastructure or the trained staff to operate a major hub airport. The people who live there - unlike those who have homes in West London can quite reasonably claim that they could not have expected to have their lives impacted by aircraft noise when they bought their properties. The air traffic management situation would be a nightmare. Nature reserves would suffer and aircraft would be at much increased risk of birdstrike. And the taxpayers would be handed a £30 billion bill as they struggle to pay for the deficit from bailing out the banks.

But Boris's plans are even worse than that. Airlines don't want to go to the Thames Estuary, leaving a risk that any airport built there could become a £50-60 billion white elephant (similar to Montreal-Mirabel). Even if BoJo doesn't give a damn about the 220,000 jobs in West London that would be put at risk if an estuary airport ever gets the go-ahead, then he should be taken to task for gambling with money that is desperately needed in the NHS, in education and to fund real growth in the economy (rather than stealing from Peter to pay Paul).

8th October 2012

The life and death of Arthur Murray

Air India Awaits Govt Approval For Bond Sale

India's Aviation Minister Ajit Singh flippantly dismisses problems at the national airline saying, "Their (the pilots') salaries may be a few months late, but for many months they are getting paid regularly".

8th October 2012

United boss hit out at 'damaging' APD

Kingfisher fleet to be grounded for at least another week

It appears that last weekends staff unrest may have been triggered after the wife of one of Kingfisher's employees killed herself because of financial worries. Billionaire owner Vijay Mallya is increasingly being held as being to blame for the situation after failing to deliver on promises that staff - some of whom have not been paid for seven months - would receive wages owed to them.

6th October 2012 

Don't let Atos near nuclear, Greens warn

How on Earth does this government consider Atos a fit and proper company to operate our nuclear industry's IT systems after its many high profile failures?

Boris Johnson - "Thames Estuary airport would cost taxpayers £30 billion”

The Mayor of London admits that his Thames Estuary airport plan would result in a huge bill for taxpayers. The HLC believes that the project, which could cost up to £60 billion in total would also mean higher airport fees for airlines, which would be passed on to passengers, making the UK less attractive as a hub than its European (and middle-eastern) competitors.

Britain already has the highest rate of aviation tax in the world through APD (Air Passenger Duty). The last thing that this government needs to do is scare away foreign investment by making it too expensive to operate in the UK. And the last thing that West London people need is the loss of up to 220,000 jobs that depend on Heathrow.

Cameron attacked over rail and aviation policy

6th October 2012

Kingfisher Fails To Resolve Staff Dispute

Ryanair plans to close Aer Lingus base at Gatwick if takeover bid succeeds

London needs four-runway airport: study

Willie Walsh warns that we could still be arguing over how to sort UK aviation capacity problems in 30 years time

As the government continues to dither, a think-tank says that the best, quickest and cheapest solution to London's airport capacity problems is a 4 runway airport at Heathrow. The Policy Exchange says that this proposal would allow a complete end to night flights and that noise could be reduced through steeper approach angles for arriving aircraft.

5th October 2012

EU court says airlines cannot use strikes as an excuse to deny passengers compensation

American Airlines Loses Court Bid To Block Union Election

Richard Branson’s Virgin to cash in on Kingfisher woes too

Kingfisher May Face Prolonged Shutdown

Kingfisher Airlines locks out staff after threats

India's government demands that Kingfisher pay back wages to staff, some of whom have been waiting for over six months and that the airline submit a recovery plan before being given a licence to operate. Meanwhile Virgin has taken the opportunity created by Kingfisher halting international flights to resume its London to Mumbai flights.

4th October 2012   

Boris Johnson attacks government aviation policy

Miliband to attend anti-cuts demo

Ed Miliband confirms that he will attend the TUC's anti-austerity march on the 20th October.

Kingfisher Walks A Tightrope On Employee Unrest

Kingfisher talking to investors as labour dispute rankles

Ryanair's O'Leary: 'I'm the most underappreciated boss in Europe'

Michael O'Leary says he is underpaid at "only" 1.2 million euros a year

BA incurs $250,000 US fine for breaching fare advert rules

High profile MPs hit with anti APD messages

Over 200,000 people have emailed their MPs to say that the government should act to stop the UK having the highest rate of aviation tax in the world. Why is Britain stifling growth and damaging jobs and investment with a tax that is known to cause more damage to the economy than the revenue it creates for the treasury?

3rd October 2012

IATA tells EU to hold off enforcing ETS on airlines to avoid a trade war

Kingfisher Locks Out Some Staff Due To Unrest Over Upaid Wages

Kingfisher suspends all flights due to staff unrest

IATA revises aviation outlook

IATA now says that aviation will make a profit in 2012, but that margins are tight and that Europe will be the toughest region for airlines in 2013.

Labour warn against BIS’s plans to “abolish Equalities Commission by stealth”

Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart backs Heathrow third runway

Labour MP for Slough, Fiona Mactaggart says that 1 in 10 jobs in her constituency depend on Heathrow and that a third runway may be the only way to protect them. However, she also says that for an extra runway to be acceptable that there needs to be investment in public transport to improve air quality, in particular by electrifying local railways.

2M group claim Heathrow won't stop at third runway

Decision on Heathrow expansion falls to next government

2nd October 2012

Key business group joins APD tax campaign

Unite tells Ed Miliband to support ordinary people or lose union funding

Abu Dhabi Airport Growth Outpaces Dubai

Middle Eastern hubs Abu Dhabi and Dubai report growth of 21% and 13% respectively, as they take advantage of the lack of support received by UK aviation from its government. Planning restrictions and high taxes are strangling Britain's civil air industry and costing us billions in new investment and tens of thousands of new jobs.

OAG: Middle East’s low-cost carriers grow at incredible rate

1st October 2012

News flash: airport security unpopular

EU flying rules changes raise crash risk, say pilots

BALPA warns that harmonising the UK with EU rules on pilots' flying hours will lead to increased fatigue and endanger passenger safety. BALPA cites previous accidents where fatigue has been identied as a factor and says that scientific evidence and the Commons Transport Select Committee support its position.

1st October 2012

HS2 rail line could be re-routed to Heathrow

New minimum wage rate is a real terms pay cut, says TUC

Aer Lingus Union Defers Work Stoppages Over Pension Fund