Irish low-fare carrier Ryanair on Tuesday committed to buying 175 new Boeing 737-800NGs worth nearly $15.6 billion at current list prices. The deal, still subject to confirmation, supports Ryanair’s plan to expand the size of its uniform fleet of 737-800s from 305 to some 400 airplanes and serve more than 100 million passengers per year across Europe by the end of the delivery stream in 2018.
European Low Fares Airline Association
Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, confirmed in a ruling last Thursday that airlines based in the EU carry liability for accommodation and other “necessary, appropriate and reasonable” costs incurred by passengers in the event of long delays, even for disruptions beyond their control.
Online charter booking portal Victor aims to increase available capacity almost tenfold. As of the end of last year, its site showed approximately 1,300 available private jet seats at any given time and it wants to boost this number to approximately 10,000 seats by the end of this year’s first quarter.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has determined that low-fare airline Ryanair did not violate safety standards last July when three of its flights ran short of fuel on the same day near Valencia in eastern Spain. The aircraft were diverted to Valencia due to thunderstorms in Madrid area and all three flights landed safely.
Spanish and Irish authorities have asked Ryanair flight operations to explain why three of the airline’s Boeing 737s requested and received landing priority in July after running low on fuel approaching Valencia Airport in eastern Spain. The Ireland-based low-cost carrier says that thunderstorms forced all three aircraft to divert from Madrid and that each of them ran short of fuel after holding for more than an hour. Although no one was injured, Ryanair officials reported the incidents to Spanish and Irish aviation regulators, prompting the investigation.
European low-cost carrier Easyjet announced on the eve of the show that it will be the first airline to test the electric taxiing system that Safran and Honeywell are developing to save fuel (see page 58). With the first operational trials due to take place in 2013, Easyjet’s role will be to help establish whether the estimated savings can be realized. The system enables an aircraft to taxi without its engines, by using the auxiliary power unit to power electric motors in the main wheels.
Tough cost battles in the market segment where regional airlines and low-cost carriers converge are driving demand for Embraer’s E-Jet series, according to the Brazilian airframer.
The effort by UK low-fare regional airline Flybe and flagcarrier Finnair to break through European structural barriers to consolidation took shape last week with an agreement to jointly acquire Finnish Commuter Airlines (FCA), a Finnish regional carrier owned by Finncomm Oy. The companies plan to create a new joint venture called Flybe Nordic, 60-percent owned by Flybe and 40 percent by Finnair.
In late April, scientists from Denmark’s University of Copenhagen and the University of Iceland in Reykjavik published the findings of an almost year-long study into last year’s eruption of the Eyjafjallajokul volcano.
Ryanair, at its annual general meeting today, called on the European Commission to end the ability of Europe’s air traffic control providers to strike, primarily by exposing them to competition under a market-based system.