British Airways has refused to pay a GBP121.5 million fine to the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for allegedly fixing the price of fuel surcharges (The Telegraph, 01-Aug-2011). The OFT accused BA of conspiring with Virgin Atlantic to fix fuel surcharges in 2007. CEO Willie Walsh said he had no intention of paying the fine unless the OFT provided fresh evidence proving the airline's wrongdoing. Virgin Atlantic was granted immunity from prosecution as it was the whistleblower.
BA refuses to pay GBP121.5m fuel-fixing fine
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Ryanair's 117million pax in 2016 tops European airline groups. The first time an LCC topped rankings
For the first time ever in Europe, in 2016 a low cost airline carried more passengers than any other airline or airline group, as Ryanair's 117 million passengers pushed Lufthansa Group's 110 million into second place. Ryanair had beaten Lufthansa itself, but not the whole Lufthansa Group. IAG's first full year of including Aer Lingus helped it to take third place from Air France-KLM. Europe's number two LCC, easyJet, was ranked fifth.
The big five can be expanded into a big seven to include Turkish Airlines and the Aeroflot Group, although these two had contrasting growth rates in 2016. A chasing pack of middle sized airline groups includes three LCCs (Norwegian, Pegasus and Wizz Air) and three legacy airlines with varying challenges to establishing sustainable profitability (SAS, Air Berlin Group and Alitalia).
Most of the faster growing airline groups in the top 20 are LCCs and the main growth drivers for Europe's big three legacy groups are their LCC subsidiaries. Just outside the top 20 are some fast growing legacy airlines in Eastern Europe, demonstrating the potential there. Nevertheless, unless there is a big merger or acquisition, Ryanair looks set to remain at number one for some time.
London-Singapore becomes world's longest LCC route as Norwegian enters: Long haul low cost, Part 1
European LCC group Norwegian is to launch service from London Gatwick to Singapore on 28-Sep-2017. London-Singapore will become the longest route in Norwegian’s network – and the longest route by any LCC globally.
London-Singapore is a large market but is currently only served nonstop in both directions by Singapore Airlines (SIA) and British Airways. Norwegian should be able to stimulate new demand and attract passengers who are now flying on competitively priced one stop products.
There will also be opportunities to carry passengers beyond London and Singapore. However, Norwegian will need to rely mainly on end to end traffic.