Low Cost Airline News

Low Cost Airline News – Europe

Nov 12, 2007

Air Berlin

Air Berlin transported 2.8 million passengers in October, up 11.3% from the year-ago month. Load factor rose 2.5 points to 81.7% and unit revenue fell 0.4% to 4.99 euro cents (7.24 US cents). CFO Ulf Huttmeyer admitted the company has “not yet been able to fully optimize yield management and capacity control in the course of LTU’s integration.” Nov 8, 2007


Bmibaby will launch thrice-weekly Glasgow-West Knock flights and twice-weekly Birmingham-Krakow service from Feb.12. The new flights to Krakow will bring to 23 the destinations served by the carrier from Birmingham. Nov 9, 2007


EasyJet transported 3.3 million passengers in October, up 14% from the year-ago month. Load factor slipped 0.7 point to 82.5%. Nov 8, 2007


EasyJet has long-targeted the business traveller, in contrast to many other low-cost operations, with its focus on flying into mainstream airports and providing relatively high frequency of service. Expansion into primary airports such as Madrid and Milan Malpensa, was also complemented last week with easyJet’s announcement that it would acquire GB Airways, which would give it 29% of short-haul passengers at London Gatwick. The airline is also adding to French services at Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Lyon. Harrison also outlined further details concerning the GB Airways takeover – particularly addressing employment issues that some have raised. Nov 5, 2007


EasyJet hopes to raise its proportion of business travellers booking with easyJet from its current level of around 20%. Chief executive Andy Harrison was keen to point out how corporates could harness the power of the easyJet website, despite the fee of [euro]7.5 per single booking or [euro]5 for multiples. Claiming 12m unique visitors per month, Harrison maintained the website was the largest travel website in the UK – “it’s simply massive,” he said. The chief executive was also at pains to emphasise that the new development was an “additional distribution channel” and was “not a fundamental rethink of our model.” Nov 5, 2007


EasyJet launched four-times-weekly Liverpool-Lisbon flights. Nov 5, 2007

EasyJet, Amadeus, Galileo

EasyJet has signed on Nov. 5 an agreement with Amadeus and Galileo that will enable the corporate travel market to access the airline’s flights within preferred GDS environments. The news is a major breakthrough and new technology will allow a European low-fares airline to offer its business passengers the facility for the first time. Announcing the news at a press conference in London, easyJet chief executive, Andy Harrison, said: “We have made huge improvements to what we offer our passengers and the timing is right to expand our distribution for business travellers with Galileo and Amadeus.” The new technology will allow agencies to view and book easyJet flights as well as those of other carriers and plugs a business gap for corporates wishing to access easyJet’s burgeoning network. Nov 5, 2007


Ryanair opened its Bristol base with flights to Budapest, Derry, Knock, Milan Orio al Serio, Porto, Riga and Wroclaw. Today it will begin flying to Bratislava, Dinard, Poznan and Rzeszow, with Katowice coming on line Nov. 10. Salzburg starts Dec.19 and Turin Dec. 22. The LCC is basing two 737-800s at the airport, from which it expects to transport 1 million passengers next year. Yesterday it also launched flights from Shannon to Birmingham, Fuerteventura, Kaunas, Leeds, London Luton, Riga, Tenerife and Dublin. Last month Ryanair transported 4.5 million passengers, up 21% from the year-ago month. Load factor rose 2 points to 85%. Nov 7, 2007


Ryanair ancillary revenues from non-core services jumped 54.3 percent to EUR135.3 million. Income from activities such as in-flight sales, hotel bookings and travel insurance are expected to be a major driver of future growth for the airline. The company said it would test a new in-flight mobile phone service on 25 aircraft before the end of March 2008. Nov 5, 2007


Ryanair announced Nov. 5 record half-year profits after tax to grow by 24% to [euro]408m. The airline’s traffic grew by 20% to 26.6m passengers and yields fell by 1% as revenues rose by 24% to [euro]1.5bn. Ancillary revenues grew by 54% to [euro]252m, due to improved penetration from car hire, hotels and travel insurance, as well as strong onboard sales and excess baggage revenues.” The airline’s load factor also increased by 2% from an October 2006 level of 83% to 85% today. Ryanair says it has performed well during the summer and will start more than 130 new routes across Europe. The carrier also says it will trial its inflight mobile phone service on 25 aircraft before the end of March next year, which will allow passengers to make and receive calls and texts on mobiles and blackberries. Nov 5, 2007


Ryanair in July forecast growth of 10 percent when the company raised its net profit growth goal from 5 percent. Analysts widely expected the airline to improve guidance after strong summer sales were buoyed by its biggest-ever ticket sale and a lowest fare price promise to passengers. Traders pointed to Ryanair’s limited insurance against rising oil prices after the company said fuel hedging for its 2008/2009 business year remained at the 10 percent of third quarter fuel needs announced in September. The low cost carrier, which makes the bulk of its profits in its second quarter, which coincides with the busy European summer months, said revenues in the period just ended rose 25 percent to EUR861.3 million. Nov 5, 2007


Ryanair on Monday Nov. 5 posted a 26 percent rise in second-quarter net profit broadly in line with analysts’ expectations and raised full-year guidance as it pointed to brighter prospects for the winter. Shares in Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier fell 4 percent, however, with traders highlighting the company’s failure to beat market expectations as it often has done in the past and worries over its lack of protection against record oil prices. Ryanair said profit after tax in the three months to the end of September rose to EUR268.7 million euros (USD$389.1 million). Nov 5, 2007


Ryanair, which has warned repeatedly that business during the European winter months will be tough, said it still expected ticket prices to drop in the six months to the end of March but that the fall in passenger yields would be at the lower end of the 5 to 10 percent range previously indicated. “As a result of these better winter yield forecasts and the costs savings which we continue to realize, we now believe that full year net profit will rise by 17.5 percent to approximately EUR470 million,” the company said in a statement. Nov 5, 2007


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