Ryanair announced (27-Apr-2011) its rejection of a recent "nonsensical report prepared by 'Icelandic and Danish scientists'" that vindicated the decision by European government and air traffic authorities to close European airspace in Apr-2011 due to the ash cloud. The LCC stated it did not object to the closure of airspace over a limited radius around the Icelandic volcano, where "clearly a safety threat of volcanic ash existed". Ryanair is disputing that there was "no evidence of any volcanic ash over large swathes of the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Portugal or indeed the Canary Islands, which suffered repeated airspace closures because of bureaucratic bungling and political incompetence which unnecessarily disrupted the travel plans of millions of EU citizens." The LCC maintains there remains "no justification for the closure of airspace over locations such as the Canary Islands which was more than 3000 kms removed from the volcanic eruption and where there was no evidence of any volcanic ash whatsoever". [more]
Ryanair rejects recent ash cloud report
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Lufthansa to complete takeover of Brussels Airlines for possible integration into Eurowings
Lufthansa's supervisory board has approved the exercise of its call option to buy the remaining 55% of SN Airholding, the parent company of Brussels Airlines. Lufthansa acquired 45% of the company in 2009 and negotiated the option to buy the balance of the shares for no more than EUR250 million. The deal is expected to close in early 2017, once the details of the purchase have been agreed with the other SN Airholding shareholders.
Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines have an extensive codeshare agreement and are partners in the Star Alliance. Their existing relationship is such that Brussels Airlines already feels like a member of the Lufthansa Group. The main draw for Lufthansa has always been its Belgian partner's extensive African network (it is the number two airline on Western Europe-Central/Western Africa).
However, it now seems that Lufthansa will, at least partly, integrate Brussels Airlines into its Eurowings low cost brand. Lufthansa is keen to accelerate Eurowings' expansion through partners (and is also to wet-lease up to 35 aircraft from airberlin). Brussels Airlines' fleet and single-class configuration on short/medium haul should fit with Eurowings, but its unit cost and network airline business model are not characteristic of an LCC.
Jet2.com: seats at new Stansted base in summer 2017 exceed the entire network growth in summer 2016
Jet2.com has provided details of the routes that it plans to operate at the new London Stansted base that had been already announced by the LCC's parent Dart Group. From the start of the summer 2017 schedule Jet2.com will serve 21 European leisure destinations from Stansted. This will continue the airline's strong dependence on the summer season.
Jet2.com's move into Stansted will it bring it into head-to-head competition with Europe's biggest and lowest cost LCC – Ryanair. That much was clear from the moment that the Dart Group announced the establishment of the base at Stansted, and it was highlighted in a previous CAPA analysis.
The route details allow greater analysis of the competitive landscape that Jet2.com will face. By entering the London market it will not only be locking horns with Ryanair, but it will also be facing city pair competition from almost every other significant LCC and charter airline that operates from the UK. The new seat capacity that Jet2.com will deploy from its first base in the south of England will be more than its network-wide seat growth in summer 2016, making this a highly significant move for the airline.