Lufthansa pilots have given notice they may yet take further action against the airline’s failed bid to end their strike. The court in Frankfurt ruled yesterday in favor of the pilots, saying there were no legal grounds for Lufthansa’s action.
Ryanair, Europe’s leading budget airline, called out CEOs of IAG (Willie Walsh), Air France (Alexandre de Juniac), and Lufthansa (Carsten Spohr) to take the ice bucket challenge. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary literally overdid the ice bucket event in Dublin on Thursday, much to the delight of 200 employees of his airline.
This morning business daily Vedomosti has reported, Russia may begin restricting European airlines from flying over Siberia on Asian routes. The move, if enacted, would imposed crippling costs on some European carriers. To make matters worse, the underlying business infrastructure of all countries will certainly be negatively affected.
A Lufthansa airliner had to make an emergency landing in Budapest earlier this week when a fight broke out between passengers on board.
According to the Amadeus Air Traffic Travel Intelligence report recently released, budget flights in Europe and other regions are trending to dominate air travel. The report reveals low cost carriers taking up as much 14% of all air travel, while cheap flights in Europe account for 38% overall.
According to a report from the CAPA Center for Aviation, the 13 largest European airlines lost an aggregate net profit of some 72% last year. With costs growing faster than revenues (8.5% versus 8%) it seems clear some of these 13 will founder if things don’t change.
Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, looks like a straight shooter in an industry full of corporate “yes men” these days. Speaking at a Guild of Travel Management Companies’ (GTMC) conference, the five star airline’s boss called BS on Lufthansa and other European airlines. With many air carriers suffering during this current recession, name calling has broken out in earnest now.
Following the recent news of Hungarian national carrier Malev’s bankruptcy, air passengers to Southeast Europe are facing fewer choices combined with increased fares, according to travel agents in the region.
2012 will no doubt be a challenging one for the airline industry. AMR going bust, and even budget carriers feeling the pinch in 2011, many will likely founder in the coming months. One carrier, Germany’s second biggest carrier Air Berlin, looks to be applying lessons hard learned early on in the year.
The war between online travel companies and airlines is heating up. Expedia counters American Airline’s move to dump Orbitz, as Delta begins its abandonment of smaller OTA’s. Can online travel giants win out over the service providers they actually depend on? Much depends on the customer in the end.