News for Europe/MEA

Ryanair to cancel 40-50 services daily for six weeks to 'improve operational resilience'

17 September, 2017

Ryanair announced (15-Sep-2017) plans to cancel 40 to 50 services per day over six weeks until the end of Oct-2017 to "improve its system-wide punctuality which has fallen below 80%". Ryanair head of communications Robin Kiely added: "By cancelling less than 2% of our flying programme over the next six weeks... we can improve the operational resilience of our schedules and restore punctuality to our annualised target of 90%". Mr Kiely also attributed recent reductions in on time performance to pilots' annual leave, and ATC capacity delays and strikes. [more - original PR]

Adria Airways Switzerland considering application to become Star Alliance member 

15 September, 2017

Adria Airways Switzerland CCO Christian Schneider confirmed "we are considering the option of applying" to become a Star Alliance member (Routes Online, 14-Sep-2017). Mr Schneider said becoming a member would "provide our passengers the benefits such membership entails for them".

Mauritius and Portugal sign BASA, Air Mauritius to codeshare on Air France services

15 September, 2017

Mauritius and Portugal signed (14-Sep-2017) a bilateral air services agreement (BASA) on 14-Sep-2017. The main provisions are multiple designation of airlines by each party for up to seven weekly frequencies, third and fourth freedom traffic rights for the designated airlines and codesharing possibilities with airlines of either party and with airlines of third countries. The agreement is expected to enable Air Mauritius to expand its visibility in the Portuguese market. The airline intends to codeshare on Air France's Paris-Lisbon and Paris-Porto services. The agreement is expected to lead to growth in tourism between Mauritius and Portugal. [more - original PR]

Turkish Airlines to 'recreate' AnadoluJet

15 September, 2017

Turkish Airlines chairman İlker Aycı announced plans to reinvent AnadoluJet (Hurriyet Daily News, 15-Sep-2017). Mr Aycı said: "We will recreate it completely with its colour, image and flight destinations. I like Norwegian Airlines, which flies short and long distances with low costs. We will create a similar but more advanced model". CAPA - Centre for Aviation, in a report entitled: 'Turkish Airlines part 3: seeks to boost partnerships in Asia and Australia' stated Turkish Airlines is considering expanding LCC brand AnadoluJet into long haul low cost operations. Turkish CEO Bilal Ekşi said there is "some strategic discussion" on using Anadolujet to expand into the long haul market.

Turkish Airlines plans Mexico City and Sydney service

15 September, 2017

Turkish Airlines chairman İlker Aycı stated the carrier plans to expand its presence in Asia Pacific and Latin America (Hurriyet Daily News, 15-Sep-2017). Mr Aycı identified Mexico City and Sydney as planned destinations. Mr Aycı said: "It is not possible to fly directly from Mexico City. Instead, we plan to have a direct flight by refuelling in Cancun". Mr Aycı added the launch of service to Sydney is expected in 2018. CAPA - Centre for Aviation, in a report entitled: 'Turkish Airlines part 3: seeks to boost partnerships in Asia and Australia', stated the carrier previously considered serving Melbourne and Sydney via Bali, Jakarta or Singapore, however CEO Bilal Ekşi said one stop flights to Australia are not currently in the network plan.

Thomas Cook Group enters strategic alliance with Expedia

15 September, 2017

Thomas Cook Group entered (14-Sep-2017) a strategic alliance with Expedia. Under the multi-year agreement, Expedia is preferred hotel provider for Thomas Cook's city and domestic holiday business and provides its booking platform to support all city break and hotel only sales across all of Thomas Cook's European distribution channels. Thomas Cook previously concluded a hotel sourcing deal with Webjet in Aug-2016, covering the majority of Thomas Cook's sun and beach hotel offering. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

Jetstar partners with payment platform Afterpay to offer interest free repayments

13 September, 2017

Jetstar announced (13-Sep-2017) a new partnership with payment platform Afterpay to allow travellers to pay off airfares in equal fortnightly interest free repayments. The new service is available on select Australian domestic flights booked at least two months in advance of the first flight on the booking. Currently the service is available for transactions between AUD200-AUD1000 (USD159.5-USD797.5), with a service fee of AUD10 (USD7.9). [more - original PR]

Fifth freedom services 'not a profitable way to operate a flight': Kuwait Airways deputy CEO

13 September, 2017

Kuwait Airways deputy CEO Kamil Al-Awadhi said the airline suspended fifth freedom services, including Kuwait-Bangkok-Manila and Kuwait-London-New York as it is "not a profitable way to operate a flight" (Arabian Aerospace, 12-Sep-2017). Mr Al-Awadhi said such services are no longer viable due to lower yields, commenting: "There was a time, when yield was a lot higher, when you could dilute the cost of landing and parking".

Pegasus Airlines to open base at Istanbul New Airport from 2020

13 September, 2017

Pegasus Airlines plans to base a "considerable fleet" at Istanbul New Airport from 2020, according to CCO Güliz Öztürk (Bloomberg/Daily Sabah, 12-Sep-2017). Ms Öztürk said: "We plan to fly both domestically and internationally out of the new airport if we can get the slots and infrastructure" Ms Öztürk added it is unlikely Pegasus Airlines would be able to establish a full base until the third runway is built. The carrier is also interested in adding Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen frequencies and developing transit traffic.

Pobeda's fleet plans indicate expectation of strong growth beyond 2017

13 September, 2017

CAPA - Centre for Aviation, in a report entitled: 'Pobeda: an indispensable part of the Aeroflot Group, even as the LCC's growth slows' stated (11-Sep-2017) the carrier's fleet plans suggest Pobeda expects strong growth beyond 2017, in spite of the pause in capacity expansion in 1H2017 and the expected growth rate of only 5% in passenger numbers in 2017. Aeroflot sees the potential market for Pobeda growing at a compound average rate of 9.7% p/a from 2016 to 2021. [more - CAPA Analysis]

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