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BA to use fuel converted from waste
Apr 16th, 2014 by elisa

British Airways has announced the site for the GreenSky fuel plant in Thurrock, Essex.

BA has joined forces with Solena Fuels for the project that will convert landfill waste into airline fuel. The airline will purchase all 50,000 tonnes of the jet fuel produced each year, for 11 years, at market competitive rates.

The airline says approximately 575,000 tonnes of post-recycled waste, normally destined for landfill or incineration, will be converted into 120,000 tonnes of fuels using Solena’s patented high temperature plasma gasification technology.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways’ parent company IAG, said: “The sustainable jet fuel produced each year will be enough to power our flights from London City Airport twice over with carbon savings the equivalent of taking 150,000 cars off the road.”

Due to be completed in 2017 the facility will create up to 150 permanent jobs.

The UK’s most punctual airport
Apr 16th, 2014 by elisa

The UK’s most punctual airport is London City, according to the latest figures from the Civil Aviation Authority.

Across the 10 airports monitored last year, 80% of flights were on time. At London City, however, 89% were on time. Heathrow is at the bottom of the list with 24% of flights delayed.

The average delay of all scheduled flights monitored in the last quarter was the same as last year, at 12 minutes.

Iain Osborne, group director for regulatory policy at the CAA, said: “Whilst it is pleasing to see the majority of passengers arrived at their destination in good time at the end of last year, our figures show that too many people still had their flights disrupted by delays.

“We also know there were a number of cancellations during December that will have disrupted other passengers.

“Some severe weather clearly played a part in this, but there is still room for improvement. Airports, airlines and air traffic control service providers all have a role to play in delivering that improvement and it is vital they work together to make sure fewer passengers have their journeys disrupted by delays and cancellations”.

Easyjet passengers allowed to use gadgets on flights
Apr 16th, 2014 by elisa

Easyjet passengers are now allowed to use personal electronic devices throughout their whole flight, including during take-off and landing.

Gadgets such as laptops, tablets and mobiles must be placed in ‘flight mode’ and mobiles cannot be used to make or receive calls or texts.

The move follows recent recommendations from the European Aviation Safety Agency, which have allowed for restrictions on the use of gadgets onboard aircraft to be relaxed.

Peter Duffy, Easyjet’s group commercial director, customer, product and marketing said: “We know that portable devices are an important part of our customers’ journey with us so we are pleased they can now use their electronic devices onboard in ‘Flight mode’ for the duration of their flight with us – we think this will be a popular change.”

Etihad Regional launch Cambridge to Verona flights
Mar 28th, 2014 by elisa

Etihad Regional is launching a new route from Cambridge International Airport to Verona in Italy this May.

The service will fly to the city’s Villafranca ‘Valerio Catullo’ International Airport on Saturday afternoons between 17th May and 25th October.

Bookings are being taken now and lead-in fares start from £100 per person each way.

Look for holiday villas in Italy on the main site.

Lufthansa increases capacity from UK and Ireland
Mar 28th, 2014 by elisa

Lufthansa is increasing its capacity from the UK and Ireland as a result of customer demand and the general economic upturn.

It will introduce larger aircraft on some routes and increase the number of flights on others.

Increased services on Aberdeen and Frankfurt are up by 23%, with capacity also up at Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and London Heathrow.

Glasgow to Dusseldorf has gone from six to seven flights a week, while Dublin to Munich will increase from three to four flights a week from April, and then five flights a week in July and August.

Flights from Heathrow to Frankfurt will be operated by the larger Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, and Lufthansa are introducing some “subtle timetable adjustments” on the route from this Sunday (30th March) in order to create a better spread of flights in both directions.

Skyscanner guide to cabin luggage restrictions
Mar 20th, 2014 by elisa

Luggage picture by Fickr user RambergMediaImages

Luggage picture by Fickr user RambergMediaImages

82% of UK passengers want airlines to have the same cabin baggage size and weight allowance, according to a recent survey.

The survey  of 1,000 Brits by flight comparison website, Skyscanner, revealed almost one in four passengers has been caught out by cabin baggage restrictions.

In response to the survey results, Skyscanner has done some research into the differences between airlines’ carry-on baggage allowances. It found that the most generous airline, permitting bags as large as 56x45x25cm, is Iberia, closely followed by British Airways, which allows hand luggage up to 23kgs in weight.

The stingiest airline appears to be Easyjet, with the smallest bag size at 50x40x20cm, but this has no weight restriction. Thomas Cook limits passengers’ bags to a maximum of 5kg.

Passengers caught out by these different restrictions are often forced to pay to check in the over-sized or heavy luggage, adding unexpected costs to their travel. Skyscanner has produced an easy to read guide of cabin baggage restrictions of leading European airlines, which can be found here.

Independent Scotland good for BA
Mar 3rd, 2014 by elisa

An independent Scotland could benefit British Airways, said Willie Walsh, chief executive of the airline’s parent company IAG.

Walsh told BBC Breakfast that the Scottish government recognised the negative impact of Air Passenger Duty (APD) on the economy, and plans to reduce and eventually abolish it could be a positive development for BA.

In the White Paper on independence, the Scottish government said APD would cost Scotland “more than £200m a year” in lost tourism expenditure. If there is a “Yes” vote in the referendum, an independent Scotland pledges to reduce APD by 50%, then abolish the tax completely “when public finances allow”.

Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown welcomed Mr Walsh’s intervention: “Willie Walsh can clearly see the opportunities of independence. A boost to tourism and travel in Scotland will have a positive impact on growth.

“Mr Walsh’s comments further underline the UK government’s duty to engage properly with the issues of the independence debate.”

However, the Better Together campaign said APD was not the “strongest argument” for independence, and that jobs would be lost with a “Yes” vote.

A spokesman told the BBC: “Breaking up the most successful economic, political and social union in history for the sake of a tax on holidays doesn’t seem like the strongest argument.

“As the intervention from Standard Life made abundantly clear, leaving the UK would cost jobs here in Scotland.

“Alex Salmond’s failure to tell us what will replace the pound means companies like Standard Life and RBS, which employ thousands of people in Scotland, have warned about the big risks involved in going it alone.”

Ryanair and Easyjet fined over travel insurance
Feb 20th, 2014 by elisa

Ryanair and Easyjet have been fined by Italy‘s antitrust watchdog for misleading customers over travel insurance.

The watchdog, AGCM, said the airlines had not given sufficient information for customers to make an informed choice when buying travel insurance. It said that the websites weren’t clear enough when it came to explaining what risks were covered, and that the cost of requesting a refund was higher than the insurance itself, with excess fees disproportionately high.

In Ryanair’s case, the watchdog said that the option to refuse the insurance was too difficult to find on the website, with the tick box located on a countries drop-down menu between the Netherlands and Norway.

Ryanair was fined €850,000, which it says it will appeal. However, it will amend its website. 

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: “We note this ruling and while we disagree with its findings and have instructed our lawyers to appeal, we will be amending our website accordingly.”

Easyjet was fined €200,000 because it had already made amendments to its website.

An Easyjet spokeswoman said: “Easyjet is disappointed by AGCM’s decision to fine the airline for the way it sold its travel insurance product in Italy. All of the issues raised in the decision have already been remedied in consultation with the AGCM and our insurance partner Allianz. Easyjet will examine the decision and review its options.”

Severe weather hits UK
Feb 13th, 2014 by elisa

Severe weather battered large areas of the UK yesterday, causing widespread travel disruption. 

The storms were so bad that Virgin asked rail customers to ‘abandon travel’. All trains out of London Euston were cancelled, while many other rail services faced delays.

Flights struggled in 45mph winds with gusts of up to 80mph. One Flybe aircraft landed at Manchester Airport with its wing almost touching the runway. All flights were cancelled at Shannon Airport, and an empty aircraft parked at the gate was lifted into the air by gusts of wind, causing substantial damage when it fell back to the ground.

Ferry services are still affected, with the Stena Line service between Rosslare and Fishguard, P & O service between Dublin and Liverpool, and the Wightlink service between Portsmouth and Ryde all cancelled today. All P&O’s Dover to Calais services are delayed by 45 minutes.

Forecasters are predicting another Atlantic low tomorrow, which could bring with it more 80mph gales and possible travel disruption. It’s advisable to check with airlines regarding the status of your flights before leaving for the airport.

Lufthansa to allow passengers to use mobiles
Feb 8th, 2014 by elisa

Later this year, Lufthansa will allow all long-haul passengers to use their mobiles for texting and internet browsing from 30,000 feet. 

The airline already has eight aircraft with mobile connectivity, but will roll out the service across over 100 of its long-haul fleet using the Aeromobile network. Prices will be similar to ‘rest of world’ terrestrial roaming rates, said the airline.

AeroMobile’s services are also available on nine other airlines, including Etihad, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic. It’s available to customers of more than 240 mobile phone operators worldwide.

Customers can’t currently make voice calls on the service, but Lufthansa said it had not ruled the idea out.

“It’s great news that Lufthansa will be rolling out AeroMobile connectivity on their entire fleet this year; we know that passengers are keen to keep their mobile phones on inflight and Lufthansa clearly recognises the value of offering this service,” said Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile.

“The service will give travellers the flexibility to use their mobile devices as much or as little as they like during a flight, whether it’s to send an SMS to a loved one, keep on top of emails or update their Facebook status.”

Budget airline, Ryanair, has also announced that passengers will be able to use portable electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, laptops and e-readers for the flight’s duration, including take off and landing. However, all devices must be put into ‘flight mode’, so they can’t be used to go online, send texts or make calls.

 

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