December 2012

Ryanair forced to defend safety record again

A Dutch TV show claims to have anonymous reports from four Ryanair pilots raising safety concerns, including being told to fly with as little fuel as possible to keep costs down. The airline's CEO, Michael O'Leary says that the reports are lies.

31st December 2012


BA commits to UK biofuel purchases


New figures show Britain is most unequal country in Europe

Britain is revealed as having twice the gap between its richest and poorest areas than any other nation in the EU


Kingfisher Files Revival Plan With Air Regulator


US government to carry out study into safety of airport security scanners


BATA - Tax, runway capacity and carbon emissions are the key issues for aviation industry

The British Air Transport Association reports on the issues it lobbied government about in 2012


Travellers warned of limited Xmas transport to Heathrow


UKBA's yearly 'festive purge' slammed by campaigners


Dubai November Passenger Traffic Up 10 Per Cent

One of Heathrow's competitors continues to expand while the UK government dithers about creating a national aviation policy


IN FOCUS: How is handling feeling the pinch from airlines?

A Flightglobal report on the state of the ground handling and cargo sectors.


LFF - The government is in denial over the impact of cuts on disabled people

The Prime Minister trots out more lies by claiming that disability groups support his changes to benefits that will leave at least 60% of the people thay represent worse off


Heathrow Express services suspended on busiest travel day


EU transport ministers outline aviation policy plans


Cathay Pacific Xmas action cancelled as resolution reached with management


Kingfisher Applies For License Renewal

The struggling Indian airline's licence to operate is due to expire at the end of the year, but will not be renewed unless it can present a viable recovery plan. The airline has not flown since October and has been seeking investment for over a year. 

German Bank Sues Over Kingfisher Planes

21st December 2012


45% of UK workers classed as low-paid by EU Commission


Portugal Postpones TAP Airline Sale


Stansted could abuse its power, warns CAA

The CAA indicates that fully de-regulating Stansted from price controls may not be in the public interest


Welsh government to purchase Cardiff Airport


Star Alliance wins Terminal 2 home at London Heathrow


Aviation workers in Hong Kong to take industrial action

The International Transport Workers Federation reports on a vote for industrial action by 1,200 flight attendants at Cathay Pacific.

19th December 2012


Offshore 4 runway hub airport plans unveiled

A proposal is announced for a 24 hour airport using between 4 and 6 runways located on the Goodwin Sands.


Irish government opposes Ryanair takeover of Aer Lingus


MPs step up fight against cuts to disability benefits

Labour MPs demand an impact assessment into the government's slashing of disability benefits. The coalition appears to have ignored a requirement under EU and UK law that such an assessment must be carried out if it risks discriminating against a protected group.

Benefit claimant suicide silences MPs

19th December 2012


Luxembourg Buys Back Qatar Cargolux Stake


Boxing Day tube strikes could disrupt Heathrow access


Government betrays Britain's businesses and workers, says Unite

The government announces a reduction in the required consultation period with workers facing redundancy. Labour and unions say the change will do nothing to boost growth

TUC - 'Making it easier to sack people is the last thing we need', says TUC

18th December 2012


New heights at Heathrow as passenger numbers reach 71m


London needs THREE new runways, say business leaders


Walsh accuses Spanish unions of spreading anti-British lies

Last Friday, thousands of workers at Madrid's Barajas Airport staged a protest at IAG's control of Iberia and demanding that the Spanish airline's merger with British Airways is reversed. Many see IAG's role as little more than an asset stripper - seeking to take control of Iberia's slots and contracts, but uninterested in the airline's status as a national carrier or the future of the workforce.

IAG's announcement that it plans to cut 4,500 jobs at Iberia and slash wages by up to a third for those that remain have done little to endear it to the Spanish unions.

17th December 2012 


The latest Airport Brief from trade union solicitors, O. H. Parsons


IAG and Ryanair agree deal over Aer Lingus slots

IAG has agreed to buy some of Aer Lingus's slots at Heathrow if Ryanair's bid to take over Aer Lingus is approved by the Competition Commission. Ryanair hope that this will satisfy the Commission that it does not have excessive control. However, there will almost certainly be concerns that IAG, which controls slots from BA, Iberia and bmi would have undue control over flight pricing at London's biggest airport.

17th December 2012


Baggage handlers protest at EU plans

A brief report from the BBC about the successful lobby of the EU Parliament last week by ground handling unions


United Pilots Ratify New Contract


Disabled man in legal bid over benefit tests


JFK security staff vote to strike over bad working conditions

New York's JFK airport faces 5 days of strikes before Christmas from security workers who complain that they are being given inadequate equipment and being placed under pressure to rush searches.

14th December 2012


IATA Chief Calls for Third Heathrow Runway


UK gets go-ahead to investigate Ryanair's stake in Aer Lingus

The Competition Commission gets the go-ahead to investigate whether Ryanair's 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus gives it undue influence over its rival


IATA improves 2012, 2013 airline profit outlooks


Call for governments and airlines to work together on emissions

Gail Cartmail - Tropical storms, floods, Christmas debt and ‘grey’ water

Rising temperatures to signal the end for Antarctica's ice runway?


Major victory for Ground Handling unions in EU Parliament

The European Transport Workers' Federation has today announced a major political victory over lobbyists from the airlines, who wanted substantial deregulation of Ground Handling. After a long campaign from trade unionists, the airlines' demands for vastly increased competition without protection for worker safety, jobs and conditions were rejected by the EU Parliament. The European Commission will now redraft a motion for parliament.

HLC representatives were among the 2,000 airport workers who attended Brussels on the 5th of November to make sure that the EC listened to the arguments of the unions.

European Parliament rules on noise, slot allocation and ground handling competition

12th December 2012 


PM's secret trial plan 'just a way to hide torture role'


UK unemployment: Jobs up, pay down

While David Cameron crows about the drop in unemployment - take a quick look at the facts behind the figures. And take note of the failure of wages to keep pace with inflation. In fact wages are falling in real terms by over 1% a year - unlike the pay and bonuses of the richest bosses.


Cyprus Court Orders Retrial Over Greek Air Disaster

Senior executives at Helios who were acquitted of responsibility for 121 deaths in 2005 are ordered to be retried


Delta confirms stake in Virgin


New Dubai Airport To Open End-2013

A massive hub airport with the capacity to handle 160 million passengers a year is due to enter the struggle to attract transfer passengers away from London, Paris and Amsterdam


Cameron rejects calls for a speeded-up Davies inquiry on airport capacity


Kingfisher In Stake Sale Talks With Etihad And Others

A consortium of investors that includes Etihad is reported to be interested in buying up to 48% of struggling Kingfisher Airlines. However, it is still doubtful whether the Indian airline can survive unless there is a substantial cash injection and some form of restructuring to deliver a profit in one of the most difficult markets in the world of aviation. It is also unclear to what extent the new investors would accept liability for Kingfisher's substantial debts.

Kingfisher Airlines confirms Etihad discussions

12th December 2012 


Heathrow and London City Airport flights disrupted by fog


Delta to buy 49% Virgin Atlantic stake from Singapore Airlines


Hayes MP backs rail cleaners as they take battle for living wage to parliament


Aviation bodies demand more ground-handling competition

Unions and airlines remain in opposition over European Parliament regulations for ground handling. The airlines want unrestricted competition between ground handling companies to drive costs down. The handling companies thamselves and the unions want competition to be restricted - and warn that a failure to regulate will compromise safety standards as well as driving down wages and making it impossible for handling companies to make a profit.

The European Transport Workers Federation is calling on all trade unionists to contact their MEPs to ask them to continue to limit the number of groung handling companies that can be contracted at any single airport.

11th December 2012


NATS - “Runways only work with airspace to support them”


Merger suggested between Kenyan, South African and Ethiopian airlines

Kenyan Airways' CEO makes a proposal to create Africa's biggest airline and says that a merger is the only way to compete with the giant European and Middle Eastern carriers


Walsh offers Branson a knee in the groin


Travelmole - Ryanair flight 'nearly crashed'


Iberia Christmas strike called off

Unions have called off six days of strikes between now and Christmas at Iberia Airlines. However, they say that strikes could still take place in January unless the airline withdraws from its plan to cut 4,500 jobs and reduce pay by up to a third for those workers that remain.

11th December 2012


Heathrow's November traffic up 3.1%; new records for passengers and load factor


Strike threat for Cathay Pacific


Branson "close to Virgin Atlantic sale"

Richard Branson bets £1m on Virgin Atlantic survival

Willie Walsh: Virgin Atlantic brand could soon be history

Speculation continues on the future of Virgin as an independent brand


Nine German Airports Disrupted By "Token" Strikes

Security staff in the union Verdi demand permanent contracts and unified working conditions at all Germany's airports 


US Airways Makes Formal Offer To Merge With American Airlines


Fair tax campaigners find more evidence of APD damage


Len McCluskey to stand for re-election in Unite

Unite General Secretary, Len McCluskey confirms that he will be standing for re-election to the post for another 5 year term in 2013. Elections were originally not due to take place until 2015.


Steeper descents to cut jet noise


AOA calls for 'unashamedly pro-aviation policies' from European governments

London airports to fall short of seat capacity in December


American Airlines says US Airways merger decision nearing


LFF - Chancellor climb-down on regional pay was the only good thing in Autumn statement


Iberia launches ‘Iberia Conecta’ ahead of proposed strikes

Iberia responds to strike threats by launching a service that updates passengers by text or email on the status of their flights. Iberia, which is part of IAG - faces six days of strikes before Christmas, after announcing massive job losses. 


American Airlines pilots ratify provisional restructure agreement


Hundreds of flights cancelled as heavy snow hits Europe


US aircrew win battle for health and safety rights

Aircrew working for carriers based in the USA have won a significant battle in the struggle to gain the same legal H&S protections that apply to most other Americans. Until now the FAA has held juristiction over health and safety regulation - leaving aircrew uncovered by much of US law and enforcement.

The Federal Aviation Authorisation Bill will mean that the Occuopational Safety and Health Administration will have joint juristiction over H&S matters for aviation - with matters relating to aircrew health managed by the OSHA.

7th December 2012 


ES - Dubai ‘could overtake London on air links to vital markets’


Budapest Airport closes as control tower breaks down


International Tourism To Reach 1 Billion In 2012

But how much longer can London expect to hold on to its position as a top 5 tourist destination with rising air passenger taxes and a failure to develop our capital's airports?

IATA - 3.6 billion passengers expected in 2016


Industrial action threat knocks Aer Lingus figures

A threat of industrial action last month is blamed for a reduction in Aer Lingus bookings. Unite, SIPTU, TEEU and IMPACT unions had served notice of a two hour stoppage on the 19th over a claimed failure by management to meet with staff representatives to discuss reports of planned changes to member pension benefits.

Aer Lingus unions plan two-hour stoppage


PCS readies new strike vote against coalition's cuts

The Chancellor's continued attacks on public sector workers in his Autumn Statement looks likely to result in further strikes


Bad news for travellers as George Osborne signals a fresh rise in Air Passenger Duty

Despite a high profile campaign and strong evidence that APD is seriously holding back the UK's return to growth, the Chancellor has announced a 2.5% increase to this unpopular tax. The increase will especially hit long haul passengers.


Unite - New Remploy job losses ‘cruel, callous and calculated’

The government's latest attack on jobs for disabled people exposes the contempt that Tories and their spineless coalition patrners have for those less fortunate than themselves.

Morning Star - "Thrown on the scrapheap"

6th December 2012 


Unite vows to fight any compulsory job losses at British Airways

Union says BA job cuts are bitter blow to loyal staff


Further air tax rise expected to be announced today

Abta poll finds public opposition to level of APD


Brussels vows to enforce FABs in push for Single European Airspace

The European Comission vows to take action against member states that missed the December 4th deadline to integrate their air traffic control systems into one of nine designated regional blocks.


Walsh sees Dubai bigger than Heathrow by 2015

For once the HLC agrees with Willie Walsh - that if the UK government fails to support the aviation industry, that business will simply go somewhere that does.

Politicians 'afraid' of airport expansion, claims Willie Walsh

Walsh lambasts MPs over failure to tackle airport capacity issue

5th December 2012


Branson 'not about to relinquish control of Virgin'


British Airways to cut 400 cabin crew jobs

BA announces a 90 day consultation period with a view to reducing its cabin crew from March 2013. Senior grades, such as pursers appear to be the main target of the cuts.

BA jettison 400 jobs

4th December 2012


Institute of Directors calls for freeze on APD

Airports warn Osborne over APD rises


Coalition excludes Morning Star from newspaper talks on Leveson

Why is Britian's only socialist daily being excluded from talks on the future of press regulation?


Heathrow boss will consider four runway option

Heathrow's CEO is asked to respond to a report from the Policy Exchange think tank that recommends a four runway solution at Heathrow to deal with London's lack of aviation capacity.

IATA boss says Heathrow no longer Europe’s leading hub

Airport chiefs clash over third runway for Heathrow

4th December 2012


BALPA calls on government to protect jobs if Virgin stake is sold to Delta

Delta Seeks Virgin Share as Doorway to Heathrow


UK airports list lost routes due to APD levels

A survey of airports suggests that the UK's high levels of aviation are having a devastating effect on our industry and Britain's economy. However, the Chancellor seems deaf to the arguments that APD is actually costing the treasury money and destroying jobs - and is expected to announce this week that the tax will rise by 2.5% in April.

3rd December 2012


Delta 'set to bid' for 49% Virgin Atlantic stake

The Economist - Virgin predicted to seek alliance after annual loss


Boeing Union Trying To Halt Wildcat Strike Call


70 fire stations face axe


IAG takes legal action against Iberia pilots union

IAG launches a claim for damages against pilots union, SEPLA over a previous series of strikes, presumably in the hope that the union will be scared off several days of action between now and Christmas.

2nd December 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