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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.

Flybe adds cheap flights from Birmingham
Feb 3rd, 2014 by elisa

Flybe is adding seven new routes from Birmingham from April and May 2014.

Flybe will offer flights from Birmingham to:

Florence six times a week

– daily flights to Cologne

Toulouse six times a week

Alicante five times a week

– Bordeaux, Palma Mallorca and Porto four times a week

Birmingham will become the airline’s biggest regional base when it adds three of its 2×2 seat Embraer 175 jets to the airport.

Seats are on sale now, with one-way fares from £34.99 including taxes and charges. Flights start on 10th April to Alicante, Cologne, Florence and Porto, and from 13th May for the rest.

Europe-wide air traffic control strike
Jan 21st, 2014 by elisa

A Europe-wide air traffic control strike is planned for next Wednesday, which could lead to widespread flight disruption. 

The industrial action is in protest to the planned safety and savings targets of the European Commission’s Single European Sky initiative, which aims to consolidate air traffic control services across the continent.

Two organisations are staging the strikes: The Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC), which represents 14,000 flight overseers across 28 countries will strike on 29th January, and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) will walk out on 30th January.

Germany’s air traffic controllers are planning to strike for one hour on 29th January, in a show of support for the expected Europe-wide strike. In the UK, NATS will work as normal despite the strikes.

In a report on Air Traffic Management.net NATS chief executive, Richard Deakin, said: “NATS controllers will be working as usual in spite of the threat of industrial action in Europe. If the strikes go ahead we will work closely, as ever, with Eurocontrol and other European air navigation services to help keep people moving whenever possible.”

“We will also work with our airline and airport customers to help them manage their operations should any changes be necessary.

“Any passengers who are worried they might be affected should check with their airlines for the latest information.”

The European Commission says the Single European Sky programme will triple the region’s airspace capacity, cut costs and reduce delays.

New Easyjet base in Hamburg
Sep 26th, 2013 by elisa

Easyjet is expanding with a base in Hamburg next spring. It will also add the eighth aircraft to its fleet in Berlin.

The airline’s 23rd base in its European network will open with three A319 aircraft, offering an additional 15 routes from Hamburg, from where it already flies to six destinations.

Chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “I am really pleased to be able to announce the launch of a new base in Hamburg which will enable us to double the size of our operation. Hamburg and its region is one of the most dynamic economies in Europe with a significant and growing tourist industry.

She added: “These expansion plans mean that we expect to carry twice as many passengers in the first year of operations which will take us to more than a million passengers annually for the first time.”

Easyjet expects to bring an additional 275,000 visitors in Hamburg in the first year. The airline also expects to carry an additional 130,000 passengers to and from Berlin, topping the 4 million it carried over the last year.

 

 

Heavy snowfall across parts of Europe cause flight delays and cancellations
Dec 7th, 2012 by elisa

A cold front moving across northern and central Europe is causing travel and flight delays.

The heavy snowfall has caused KLM to cancel all of its European flights (close to 300 in total) at its Amsterdam hub. These flights include those to and from Heathrow, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol and Cardiff.

The airline said all intercontinental flights will depart, however passengers should expect delays as aircraft are de-iced.

Replacement ground transportation is being offered to passengers travelling to Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Paris.

Easyjet have warned passengers of possible disruption: “We strongly advise that passengers allow extra time for their journeys to the airport, check the status of your flight before leaving and closely monitor local weather forecasts.”

Ryanair and Air France also advise that passengers check the status of their flights.

 

 

Lufthansa strike tomorrow (4th September)
Sep 3rd, 2012 by elisa

Lufthansa cabin crew are to strike over a pay dispute tomorrow. This follows an initial strike last Friday, which lasted for eight hours causing delays and flight cancellations on both Friday and Saturday.

Tomorrow’s strike is to be more damaging than Friday’s, said the UFO union. It will be longer and at more airports. So far, the union has not announced which airports will be affected, but has confirmed that it will give at least six hours notice of the strike.

The industrial action is in reaction to Lufthansa’s offer of a 3.5% pay rise in exchange for longer working hours, however the union is demanding a 5% rise and guarantee that the airline will not outsource jobs and employ more casual staff.

In a statement, the airline said of the strike: “Lufthansa regrets any inconvenience to its passengers caused by the strike measures and will do its utmost best to minimize the impacts.”

Go to the Lufthansa current travel information page for updates.

Berlin Airport opening delayed
May 19th, 2012 by elisa

The opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport is to be delayed until at least next March. The airport was due to open next month but has had to postpone the opening because of problems with its fire safety systems.

Air Berlin, Lufthansa and Easyjet were scheduled to operate flights from the new airport, however they have had to change their plans.

Easyjet will operate its normal schedule from Berlin Schoenefeld, and Lufthansa and Air Berlin will operate their planned new services from Tegel Airport in the meantime.

EasyJet’s corporate affairs manager Andrew McConnell said: “EasyJet is pleased that the authorities took in consideration its position and recommendations and that they do not put security at stake.”

Tahir Bhimani, director of the German Travel Centre, said the delays would not disrupt Lufthansa’s additional flights from Birmingham, Manchester and Heathrow: “We are working closely with Lufthansa to promote the additional flights.”

The £2bn new airport has already had a series of setbacks from its first predicted opening in late 2011. Once running, it will replace existing Schoenefeld and Tegel airports.

 

European strikes to cause travel disruption this week
Mar 27th, 2012 by elisa

The run up to the Easter holidays are going to be problematic for travellers going abroad to Europe. Strikes at airports in Germany, Italy and Spain are likely to cause severe disruption all this week.

Lufthansa had to cancel dozens of flights today, including services between London and Frankfurt as ground handlers at German airports went on strike this morning.

Easyjet were also affected as it cancelled a flight between Luton and Schonefeld and warned passengers travelling from Berlin to London to travel with carry-on luggage only, if possible. British Airways advised passengers to check their flight’s status before going to the airport. BA also advised passengers travelling to Milan to do the same as there are also strikes at Milan airports.

There is a general strike in Spain on Thursday which is likely to lead to widespread delays and cancellations.  BA is giving passengers the option of re-booking to travel today, tomorrow or on 3rd-6th April inclusive. Easyjet and Ryanair have advised passengers to get the latest information on their websites  as the situation develops.

 

 

2011 Round up
Jan 3rd, 2012 by elisa

Happy New Year to all our readers! Before we move on to this year’s news, here’s a round up of some of the biggest stories we covered on this blog in 2011, it certainly was an eventful year!

January started with the troubled BMI threatening to withdraw its Heathrow – Glasgow route after passenger charges at Heathrow were raised (this was confirmed a month later). Ryanair returned to Manchester with four new routes. And the political troubles in Egypt disrupted flights.

Spiraling conflict in Egypt caused complete cancellation of routes to popular holiday destinations in February. Meanwhile, Which? launched a super complaint on airline card fee charges,the cost of Qantas’ engine troubles were revealed, and airlines flying from the UK finally started to show clearer air fares.

March brought faster flight times under a deal signed by traffic controllers. But by far the biggest news of the month was the huge tsunami which hit Japan and led to re-routing of flights to avoid possible radiation risk, and advice to leave Tokyo.

A Skyscanner survey found Spain back in favour for British holidaymakers in April.

In May Belfast Airport started to charge for going for a cigarette break, and the ongoing battle between Unite and British Airways was finally settled!

More natural disasters happened in June with violent aftershocks in Christchurch, New Zealand and volcanic eruptions in Chile.

The News of the World phone-hacking scandal broke in July with airlines withdrawing their advertisements as a result.

In August research revealed the use of smartphones were ruining people’s holidays.

The Rugby World Cup was held in New Zealand in September, where Wales’ hopes were dashed.

The first biofuel passenger flight took place in October, however green campaigners claimed it wasn’t as environmentally friendly as everyone thought.

Europe announced a ban on body scanners at airports in November, but the UK decided to go against the decision.

Finally, December saw 150mph winds hit parts of Scotland, which is where we are now at the start of 2012 as tremendous winds continue to batter the UK once more.

 

So, what travel news is in store for 2012? Keep up to date here!

 

High Speed Rail to Germany
Sep 28th, 2011 by elisa

Those looking for a quick trip to Germany and who don’t like flying will be happy now that German rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) has announced plans to start a full inter-continental high speed rail service in 2013.

It had a successful test run through the Channel Tunnel to London St Pancras, so plans to operate high-speed services to Rotterdam/Amsterdam and also Cologne/Frankfurt using Brussels as the connecting point.

The chairman of the DB Management Board, Dr Rutiger Grube, said, “By making full use of the opportunities afforded by the liberalisation of the European rail transport market we are able to offer our customers genuine alternatives to air travel.”

Travel time from Cologne and Amsterdam to London is expected to be under four hours and from Frankfurt just over five hours.

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