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Low Cost Airline News - Europe.

Sep 24, 2007

Air Berlin

Air Berlin announced plans on Sept. 20 to buy the German charter carrier Condor from Lufthansa in a two-stage deal that could land Thomas Cook a near 30 percent stake in Air Berlin. The deal would see Air Berlin expand its fleet to around 160 planes, become Germany's second and Europe's fifth-biggest airline and give it a similar scale to low-cost rivals Ryanair and easyJet. It would be Air Berlin's third acquisition within a year, having already bought domestic rivals DBA and LTU. Sep 20, 2007

Air Berlin

Air Berlin is to open a new route from London Stansted to Munich on November 5, 2007. The airline will fly twice-daily from Monday to Friday and once on Saturday and Sunday, competing head on with easyJet, which also offer two departures in each direction, but daily. From Heathrow bmi, British Airways and Lufthansa offer a multitude of flights, while at London City, Lufthansa goes twice-daily Monday to Friday. Air Berlin claims to have very competitive fares and unlike its established rival on the route, offers allocated seats, complementary in-flight sandwiches, soft drinks, newspapers and its own frequent flyer scheme. Children also have a 33% discount. The airline serves eight points direct from Stansted: to Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hanover, Leipzig, Munich, Munster, Nuremberg and Paderborn. Sep 20, 2007

Air Berlin

Air Berlin CEO Sees No Takeover. Air Berlin was undervalued but expected no takeover of the carrier, its chief executive told a German magazine. Sep 17, 2007

Air Berlin

Air Berlin was undervalued but expected no takeover of the carrier, its chief executive told a German magazine. The carrier, which has recently expanded its network through the purchase of domestic rival DBA and charter carrier LTU, has been the subject of takeover speculation in recent months. Deutsche Bank said this week it had raised its stake in the airline to 16.36 percent, but that its holding was purely financial and not strategic. Hunold said there was no reason to doubt Deutsche Bank's comment, although the carrier was "fully undervalued". Sep 17, 2007

Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines will start a six-times-weekly Brussels-Ljubljana service from Nov. 19. Sep 21, 2007


UK budget operator EasyJet is sceptical about the value of the current generation of biofuels, suggesting that further research and development is necessary before a genuinely useful product is likely to emerge. Chief executive Andrew Harrison expressed doubts about biofuel technology at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in London, during which the carrier started a campaign intended to clarify issues relating to aviation[sup.1]s contribution to climate change. Speaking during the congress, Harrison said that the question over the value of current biofuels was "still open" and added: "The energy output versus the weight is still a problem. Maybe the second generation will be different." He also highlighted concerns that deforestation was a consequence of biofuel production. "We[sup.1]re not against [biofuel]," says Harrison Sep 19, 2007


EasyJet launched twice-daily London Luton-Zurich service and said it expects to carry more than 160,000 passengers on the route over the next 12 months. Sep 19, 2007


Budget carrier EasyJet has embarked on a major promotional campaign aimed at putting forward the industry[sup.1]s green credentials, which includes a call for the UK[sup.1]s air passenger duty (APD) to be replaced by a tax based on aircraft type and distance travelled. The move - which includes publication of a report into aviation[sup.1]s contribution to climate change and a national newspaper advertising campaign - is timed to coincide with the UK political conference season. EasyJet says the campaign is aimed at encouraging politicians in the UK - where aviation and its environment. Sep 18, 2007, the Leeds Bradford Airport budget airline, has carried its ten millionth passenger. Compared with some of the major so-called low-fare carriers the figure is not outstanding, but nevertheless is still an important milestone for the airline, which started flights nearly five years ago as a spin-off from the successful cargo operator Channel Express. Sep 19, 2007


Jetairfly will launch Brussels-Aqaba service with a stopover in Sharm el Sheikh aboard Boeing 737-800s from Oct. 25. Sep 17, 2007


Norwegian, which claims to be Scandinavia[sup.1]s largest low fares airline, is to operate into Gatwick for the first time this coming winter season. Two new routes will be introduced, Oslo and Stavanger. Sep 20, 2007


Ryanair Holdings PLC said Thursday it expects fiscal 2007 profits to rise 10 percent - and is considering a lawsuit against its Irish rival Aer Lingus. Ryanair stuck by its previous forecasts for the April 2007-March 2008 period during its annual general meeting at a hotel near Dublin Airport. Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said he expected Ryanair's passenger load to grow 18 percent to 50 million over the 12-month period, but profits would rise just 10 percent "due to the softness in winter yields, rising fuel costs, and the doubling of passenger charges at London Stansted, Ryanair's largest base." Sep 20, 2007


Low-cost airfares will only get cheaper in the coming years, budget carrier Ryanair Holdings PLC forecast Sept. 18, predicting a 5 percent to 10 percent drop in its own average fare price this year. Sep 17, 2007

Thomas Cook, Air Berlin

Thomas Cook, Europe's second-largest travel firm, will sell Condor to Air Berlin in two stages: 75.1 percent in February 2009, and the remainder in February 2010 after Thomas Cook has exercised an option to buy Lufthansa's stake in Condor. It is also subject to Lufthansa not exercising a pre-emption right to buy the Condor shares that Air Berlin is buying. In return Thomas Cook will take up to a 29.9 percent stake in Air Berlin worth between EUR380 million and EUR475 million, gain three seats on the airline's board and receive around EUR120 million in cash. Sep 20, 2007

Thomas Cook, Air Berlin

Thomas Cook joint chief executive, Manny Fontenla-Novoa, told reporters that the structure of the deal meant he did not expect it to trigger Lufthansa's right to buy the Condor shares, but a Lufthansa spokeswoman said she expected it would. Thomas Cook's majority owner Arcandor demanded that Lufthansa decide within a week whether it would exercise its option but Lufthansa said it would not be rushed, adding it had until 2009 to decide. The firms said they would save around EUR70 million a year by putting the two airlines together, adding they expected very few job losses. Keeping Thomas Cook's stake just below 30 percent would allow it to avoid making a mandatory takeover offer for Air Berlin. Sep 20, 2007


Volareweb will start four weekly Milan Malpensa-Maastricht flights aboard Airbus A320s from Oct. 28. Sep 19, 2007

Wizz Air

Wizz Air will add a third A320 to its base at Gdansk in March, launch thrice-weekly service to Bournemouth, Coventry and Gothenburg and add frequencies on its existing routes. The LCC said it expects to grow the number of passengers traveling to and from its Gdansk base to more than 1 million in 2008. Sep 21, 2007

Wizz Air

Wizz Air will introduce "comfort seats" with extra legroom in rows 12 and 13 on its A320s on Oct. 29. The extra legroom costs [euro]5 ($6.98) if paid online concurrently with the booking and [euro]10 if paid after the initial booking. Sep 21, 2007


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Publication:Airguide Online
Date:Sep 24, 2007
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