easyJet announced (05-Sep-2012) plans to roll out allocated seating across its network from Nov-2012. The move follows a trial of the system since Apr-2012. During the trial period over 800,000 passengers flew on 6000 trial flights. Research among passengers taking part in the trial showed more than 70% thing allocated seating is better than easyJet's current system due to the improved boarding experience. 60% of passengers said they would be more likely to fly with easyJet in the future due to the improved experience. The trial showed passenger satisfaction improved without adding cost or impacting the airline's ability to maintain high levels of punctuality. easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall said, "This is an example of easyJet trying to do all it can to make travel easy and affordable for our passengers. Our customers asked us to trial allocated seating and we are really pleased with the positive passenger feedback during the trial. As importantly, we have shown that we can do so while delivering strong on time performance – the most important driver of passenger satisfaction." Passengers will be able to pre-select their seat for a fee while those who do not will be allocated a seat free of charge. [more - original PR]
easyJet to bring in allocated seating on all flights
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While it was acknowledged that progress on major deals was not going to happen overnight, the hope was that as layers of sanctions came down, Iran would be embraced by the rest of the world. In return, Iran was expected to open itself up progressively to foreign trade and investment, and to travel.
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TUIfly, easyJet, airberlin, NIKI, Eurowings eye partners in Germany's aviation market upheaval
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An expanded TUIFly operation could, perhaps, better withstand fast-growing competition from Ryanair in Germany, although these stories have been denied. A more definitive development, announced by both parties, is that up to 40 of airberlin's narrow body fleet will be wet-leased to Lufthansa Group for its LCC Eurowings and Austrian Airlines. Airberlin will also put its leisure operations into a separate unit. These moves should partly alleviate airberlin's overcapacity problems, while accelerating the growth of Eurowings (further boosted by the possible integration of Brussels Airlines into the LCC).
Even if the other stories prove mere speculative, the frequency of such reports highlights the need for consolidation in Europe, whose centre is Germany. Moreover, they throw light on the rapid pace of change in business models in what has historically been a very conservative aviation market.