November 2012

Ryanair in row with OFT over credit card charge

TNT and UPS propose remedies to EC in merger bid

Video: “Low pay, no way” say RMT train cleaners

UnionNews reports on an RMT cleaners strike involving members being paid 27% below the London Living Wage

American Airlines asks for extension from bankruptcy court

US authority says cargo aircraft fire safety procedures are inadequate

European Aircrews To Strike Over Safety

A one day strike is being scheduled to take place on the 22nd of January 2013 to highlight the dangers of flight crew fatigue. Campaigners say that European authorities are not doing enough to tackle work schedules that leave crew tired and pilot fatigue has been cited as a factor in air accidents and near misses.

30th November 2012

Industry outcry after Minister's warning about APD campaign

Aviation spokespersons have predictably reacted with anger at the new Tourism Minister's claim that a campaign against the high levels of UK tax on our industry may be damaging to Britain. It is the tax itself that is damaging our economy, not the campaign to have it reduced to sensible levels.

Comments on the Tourism Minister's attack on the APD campaign

30th November 2012

AA unions suggest that engineering cutbacks may have caused seats to come loose

Boeing Proposes Mediation In Talks With Its 23,000 Engineers

Iberia Unions Agree December Strike Days

Unions opposed to Willie Walsh's drastic cuts to staff and pay at Iberia have agreed dates for strikes between the 14th and 17th of December and on the 21st of December

29th November 2012

BA to consolidate all Heathrow flights into two terminals

Iberia strike could affect Christmas travellers

Willie Walsh's plan to attack jobs and wages at Iberia provokes an angry reaction from unions

Obama Signs Bill Shielding US Airlines From ETS

Airport efficiency action plan claimed to reduce delays and CO2 emissions

A new European scheme that standardises air traffic control procedures and shares information between countries is claiming to have achieved reductions in delays and fuel savings for airlines in those airports it has been implemented.

28th November 2012 

KLM and Delta face multi-million dollar lawsuit after obese woman dies

A woman seeking to return home for medical treatment reportedly died from her conditions because airlines were unable or unwilling to accomodate her on their flights because of her large size

Greenhouse gases hit record level and threaten tourism

Heathrow ‘needs just one more runway to be international hub’

Bidders line up for Stansted sale

The Telegraph reports on the front runners to buy Stansted Airport, in a sale which is expected to take place early in 2013.

26th November 2012

The right to strike in Europe

Heathrow Pact Opens Door To New Investors

Ferrovial signs a new shareholders' agreement that could see it cut back its holding in Heathrow Airport to just 20%

Danish pilots sign up to SAS survival plans

Ryanair's 'deceptive' website puts it in last place on brand index

Ryanair comes under attack again - this time over "hidden charges" that are not made clear on its website

Europe hardens objections to Ryanair bid for Aer Lingus

LFF - Everyone blames Cameron for leading Europe’s disastrous austerity drive

David Cameron does more damage to Britain's reputation in Europe as he plays a major role in the collapse of EU budget talks

Abta hails Fair Tax on Flying success and pledges to fight on

ABTA accuses the government of holding back the recovery as it tries to raise public awareness of how much of the price of airline tickets goes straight into the pockets of the Treasurer.

Pyjama protest in Hounslow over Heathrow Airport night flights

Heathrow noise pollution getting worse, according to recent poll

Four in 10 pilots 'fall asleep at controls'

A European survey of pilots finds that 40% of pilots and co-piliots have fallen asleep at the controls of an aircraft. However, the survey highlighted that many of these incidents were not reported due to fear of disciplinary action from the employer.

BALPA (the British Airline Pilots Association) has repreatedly warned that the UK government should not relax the rules on rest breaks for pilots to fall in line with Europe, as the dangers of fatigue and its recognised role in known accidents has already been recorded.

22nd November 2012

The TUC website for union learning reps

TUC - Part-time workers earn a third less per hour than full-time staff

Students march in London protest

Around 10,000 students march in London to protest the government's policy changes, that make a quality education the privilege of the rich

SAS Strikes Survival Deals With Unions

SAS gets unions to accept a deal that would see staff slashed by 40% and wages cut by 17%

Michael O'Leary calls for three new South East runways

Ryanair CEO Says ‘Boris Island’ Airport Plan Is Hare-Brained

Serwotka calls on British trade unions to raise their game

Retired British Airways pilot claims air on passenger jets isn't safe

A former pilot with BA claims that recycling air from the engines into the cabin can cause nausea, dizziness and long-term psychological problems. A report from the University of Washington appears to show that these claims have a factual basis.

So called "fume events" are believed to occur when oil from the engines becomes mixed with the air that is directed back to the cabin. Campaigners are calling for "Aerotoxic Syndrome" to be recognised by the medical profession and action taken to prevent it. 

20th November 2012

ITF Comment On Cargolux Qatar Airways Withdrawal Victory

Unite statement of solidarity with the people of Gaza

Heathrow chief Colin Matthews accused of scaremongering after closure claim

Heathrow CEO, Colin Matthews has been accused of scaremongering by saying that a Thames Estuary airport would lead to the decline and closure of Heathrow, with a huge loss of jobs in West London. The accusation comes from the office of Boris Johnson, despite the same office having said almost exactly the same things as Mr. Matthews only a few months ago, but with the spin that the site of Heathrow would be developed for non-aviation purposes.

The reality is that around 75,000 people are directly employed by Heathrow based companies and a total of 220,000 work for companies that support the UK's biggest airport. An estuary airport would be built largely at the taxpayers' expense, with further costs to the treasury from the massive unemployment that would follow.

19th November 2012

BA's Spanish marriage flies into financial difficulties

Unions accuse Willie Walsh of planning to dismantle Spain's national airline in a drive to increase IAG's profits

Speak out now or risk losing your voice in Whitehall

The government proposes to reduce the public consultation period on legislation from 12 weeks to just 2 weeks. The proposal is claimed as a cost saving measure, but in reality will mean that many people are not even aware that legal changes are in the pipeline until it is too late to do anything about it.

Please click on the link in the headline to email the Secondary Legislation Committee to ask tham to oppose the change.

19th November 2012

Virgin Atlantic offered Heathrow links to Edinburgh and Aberdeen

Rivals hit back at Heathrow’s bid to remain top UK hub

Birmingham and Gatwick make their own pitches for expansion, but it is difficult to see how either of these could be serious contenders to be the main hub airport serving London

ES - Delay on airports decision ‘is hitting the City’

APD lobby group demands full inquiry into impact of tax

Opponents of the Air Passenger Duty demand that a study be carried out into the negative economic impact of the tax on tourism and international business opportunities for the UK. Britain's rate of APD is many times the rate of some of its European competitiors - with some countries finding that it can cost treasuries more than it earns by damaging trade.

Unite welcomes moves to secure new agreement for BA's cabin crew

New BA crews in union push for better pay

Government is ducking its commitment to child poverty, says TUC

Child poverty: Definition could include family breakdown

Morning Star - Duncan Smith plans to hide rising poverty

The coalition looks at changing its definition of child poverty, which may well mean that it is no longer committed to achieving its targets in solving the problem by 2020 (if it ever intended to keep its promises)

Playing for time - The Economist on the EU's decision to defer ETS for foreign airlines

The EU looks unlikely to impose ETS on non-European airlines until September 2013 to give the UN time to negotiate a global carbon tax on aviation. However, in the meantime, that leaves European airlines at a small (currently) disadvantage to their competition.

The 2012 rate for ETS is small (unlike the UK's ridiculously high Air Passenger Duty), but is due to rise over the next few years to encourage airlines to use more fuel efficient aircraft. A failure by the UN to quickly agree a worldwide CO2 tax will penalise European airlines and provide ammunition to anti-aviation lobbyists.

15th November 2012

Cabin crew threaten sudden disruption to US Airways flights

Aer Lingus Union Drops Strike Threat

UGT, CCOO and SEPLA reject Iberia Plan for 4,500 job losses

It looks as though Willie Walsh faces yet another protracted and costly series of industrial actions as a result of his brutal management style. His obsession with trying to implement the Ryanair model at every airline he has controlled has not only harmed relationships with employees, but customers.

15th November 2012

Swedish Bank Says SAS Losses Exaggerated

BA Lobby Heathrow To Provide Better Service To The Disabled

Universal access: Disabled business travellers

Heathrow report: Lack of airport capacity costs UK £14bn a year

The BBC quotes a report by Frontier Economics, which was commissioned by Heathrow Airport. If the figures are accurate, it would suggest that the coalition's inability to make decisions that are unpopular with voters in West London marginal constituencies is holding back growth nearly as much as its ideoplogical insistence on austerity (apart from those very rich people who got tax cuts).

Whatever decision the government makes - it must be soon, it must create jobs and must give a boost to the economy. Cameron and Clegg can no longer bury their heads in the sand and put off difficult decisions until someone else has been elected.

15th November 2012

“To the European Union, we say: no to austerity,” EuroTUC leader tells protest

A UnionNews report on the day's actions across Europe

Hundreds of thousands protested across Europe, such as this group outside a bank in Madrid

SAS CEO - "No Room For Negotiation With Unions On Cuts"

30 union groups representing employees at SAS are told that they have until Sunday to agree in full to a management package of cuts.

Lufthansa, Cabin Crew Agree Two Year Pay Deal

The Union UFO, which represents 18,000 flight crew agrees to a pay deal of 3.95% over two years. Negotiations were made more complex by union demands that any deal provide guarantees against outsourcing or compulsory redundancies. 

Flights cancelled ahead of Spain and Greece strikes tomorrow (Wednesday 14th Nov)

European Trade Union Confederation "seeks to disrupt aviation"

40 trade union groups from 23 countries aim to get their voices heard tomorrow in a day of action and solidarity against austerity

ES - "46% of MPs back third runway at Heathrow"

An Ipsos MORI poll reveals that a majority of both Tory and Labour MPs support a third runway at Heathrow, with the LibDems being the only party that clearly opposes R3. Unfortunately for anyone that might be tempted to vote for them on that platform, their record of keeping to promises in their manifesto has been less than spotless.

13th November 2012

Spanish piliots call for BA and Iberia to be demerged after plan to scrap 4,500 jobs

Willie Walsh's announcement that there would be 4,500 job losses at Iberia to cut costs have predictably provoked an angry reaction from employees. Pilots' unions have warned that strikes are a natural consequence of these cuts.

Walsh has said that he is prepared for a winter of discontent and warned Spanish politicians not to intervene to stop the cuts if they want Iberia to continue flying.

13th November 2012

EU Freezes ETS Law For Foreign Airlines

The EU suspends implementation of its Emissions Trading Scheme for non-EU based airlines to give the UN time to bring in a global regime for taxing carbon released in aviation. However, it warns that a failure by the UN to swiftly bring in such a scheme will see ETS back on the law books.

13th November 2012

Tarom employees could go on strike on Nov. 14

SAS To Cut Up To 6,000 Jobs And Sell Assets To Survive

SAS announces cutting its workforce by nearly 40% and calls for those that remain to take pay cuts of up to 17% after making a small pre-tax loss.

12th November 2012

Vueling Top Investors Said to Decry IAG Offer as Too Low

Vueling shareholders say IAG will have to pay more if it wants to gain control of the Spanish airline

Heathrow says single hub is vital for Britain

Cameron under pressure over Britain's crowded runways

MEPs reject proposals to open up ground handling to greater competition

More detail on Wednesday's story about the success of the ground handling lobby of the EU

'Wrong kind of wind' blamed for Heathrow aircraft noise

Willie Walsh faces second battle with staff in three years

Willie Walsh, who has moved from CEO at British Airways to CEO at IAG, has angered unions by announcing plans to cut 4,500 jobs at Iberia Airlines. Staff that remain face losing allowances that could cost them over a third of their take home pay.

Iberia's 'fight for survival' echoes British Airways crisis

10th November 2012

IAG targets full control of Spanish low cost airline Vueling

Obama: Was It The Unions What Won It?

EU Sees Progress On UN Airline Emissions Deal

The EU's introduction of ETS spurs the UN into acting on the introduction of a global levy on carbon emissions in aviation

Virgin's fuel efficiency technology to save £20m a year

Schiphol claims to operate Heathrow's third runway

Amsterdam airport makes a bizarre claim

Court rules in favour of sacked Turkish Airlines worker

A ruling at a Turkish employment court gives hope to over 300 aviation workers sacked for challenging an attempt to strip them of their bargaining rights

O'Leary backs 'standing room only' flights

Surely this isn't a real proposal? Flying without seats or seatbelts? Hopefully just some more publicity seeking by Ryanair's boss. But it's difficuly to tell with O'Leary.

Government tries to steal employment rights by the back door

Having had proposals by right-wing guru, Adrain Beecroft described as "bonkers" by Vince Cable, the Tories attempt to bring them in anyway. The UK already has some of the weakest employment protections in Europe. But unethical bosses (and we would include Beecroft in this description, being the boss of payday loan firm Wonga) want the right to hire and fire at will.

 8th November 2012

Kingfisher Q2 Net Loss Deepens

Heathrow rail link plans progress

EU Transport Committee rejects proposal to deregulate ground handling

Following Monday's demonstration by an estimated 2,500 ground handlers in Brussels, the European Parliament's Transport Committee has decided to reject a proposal to replace the 1996 directive with one that would have opened the doors to massive deregulation of the industry. This is a major victory for aviation unions across Europe.

7th November 2012

ES - Heathrow bosses want four runway super-hub

2,000 airport ground handlers demonstrate in Brussels at EU parliament

Yesterday (Monday November 5th) saw a massive demonstration by aviation workers against proposed deregulation in ground handling that could lead to lower wages and reduced safety standards.

November 6th 2012

Branson: Indian aviation market is 'tough for airlines'

Top executives' earnings up 27%

Apparently when it comes to austerity, we're not all in this together

Disabled Passenger Blasts London Heathrow Airport Assistance

MPs vote for study into impact of air tax on UK economy

MPs have voted to hold an economic impact assessment into the effects of Air Passenger Duty, which many aviation experts believe is damaging trade and tourism in the UK and holding back growth.

Boris Johnson wrong on Heathrow third runway, says Cameron

David Cameron says that Boris is wrong to rule out a third runway at Heathrow ahead of a report into the UK's aviation needs and tells him that he will not be given the power of veto on the government's final decision.

Boris Johnson warns that Heathrow decision delay is 'toxic' for Tories

Heathrow row: 'A lot of options' for increasing capacity says Airports Commission Chairman

U.K. Airport Study to Weigh Moving Heathrow Over M25 Highway

3rd November 2012

Man sentenced for shouting at David Cameron

Surely this is not the purpose for which courts were given the power to punish. A man is sentenced to 100 hours of community service for shouting "No ifs, no buts - no public service cuts".

Passengers urge boycott of Ryanair after woman is ejected from flight 

This YouTube video of the passenger ejection probably makes more sense if you speak Spanish

Airports Commission to set agenda today (Friday 2nd)

European aviation unions to stage day of action over ground handling regulation

European unions in the aviation sector, including Unite will be gathering in Brussels on Tuesday (November 5th) to demand that new regulations on ground workers protect their conditions and the standards of work they do. Airlines have been pressuring the EU to allow increased competition, despite the known facts that this drives down profits for ground handling companies and results in lower wages, poorer service and increased risks to safety.

Ground handling companies have supported the unions in opposing deregulation and insisting that standards of service of safety are central to any new EU directive.

1st November 2012 

Scottish claims Air Passenger Duty could cost them 2 million passengers a year

Jobs, fighting crime, a bigger voice, rights, the environment… We’re better off in the EU

Before we all start thinking that getting out of the EU might be better for the UK economy, remember that most of Britain's employment rights, equality rights and health and safety protections come from Europe. The EU protects us from the worst excesses or right wing governments seeking to benefit the 1% at the expense of the rest of us.

Chinese take a stake in Heathrow

A Chinese government appointee is to take a seat on the board of Heathrow's parent company (formerly BAA)

Government Report Critical Of UK Aviation Policy

A report commissioned by the government into initiatives to boost the UK economy is highly critical of the coalition's (lack of) aviation policy. The reporting team, which was headed by former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister, Michael Heseltine was scathing about the government's inability to make vital decisions.

1st November 2012

The latest Health and Safety newsletter from the TUC

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