24 SEPTEMBER 2012
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Monday and Tuesday (1-2 October) will see an event now rare in the airline calendar, a Civil Aviation Authority hearing between three airlines on, what will be for two of them, a new route.
Currently there are two Russian airlines serving Moscow from London, Aeroflot (Sheremetyevo) and Transaero (Domodedovo) and legally two British airlines, BA and bmi (both Domodedovo).
It is the single bmi slot that is up for grabs. With BA now a UK domestic monopoly at Heathrow its chances of getting the route would seem slim. However it has been cunning and applied for Sheremetyevo.
For easyJet the four-hour flight is within easy range of its Airbus A320 series aircraft and it will offer a very competitive proven service that now appeals to both the business and leisure traveller. Gatwick, with slots to spare, is the official alternative to Heathrow and easyJet’s major base. A win for the carrier would free up 14 weekly Heathrow slots.
For Virgin Atlantic it is assumed that a two-class long haul A330 will be the aircraft for the service, and that at Heathrow T3 connecting traffic is a vital part of the offering, including the airlines proposed routes to Manchester (firm), Edinburgh and Aberdeen. www.caa.co.uk/docs/213/2059Final.pdf
Ryanair & fuel
Three Ryanair aircraft that made emergency landings in Spain in July were carrying more than the required level of fuel, but the company should still review its policy, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has said.
The recommendation came after Irish and Spanish aviation officials met in Dublin following comments by Spanish authorities about incidents in their airspace involving Europe's largest budget airline.
Spain has called for tighter safety regimes at low-cost airlines, while Ryanair has accused the Spanish aviation authorities of falsifying information on incidents involving its planes, an accusation Spanish officials have rejected.
In a preliminary report made public by Ryanair, the IAA found that the three planes that departed for Madrid were carrying fuel in excess of requirements. However having to divert to Valencia close to the minimum did present challenges to the crew.
The Irish authority recommended that Ryanair review its fuel policy and consider issuing guidance to crew with respect to fuel when flying into busy airports, particularly in poor weather conditions when diversions were likely.
In response Ryanair said the report disproved claims in Spanish media that its aircraft carried less than minimum fuel and were in breach of EU regulations. www.iaa.ie/news.html
BA links London City and Aberdeen
Wednesday 26 September
British Airways City Flyer has introduced this week a three times week daily service from London City Airport to Aberdeen using Embraer 170 and 190 e-series aircraft. Flight time is 1hr 30mins with a two-class operation. It also operate on a Saturday morning and twice pm Sunday. www.ba.com
Tuesday 25 September
United Airlines will fly its initial 787 Dreamliner this week from Boeing Field in Seattle to the airline’s Houston hub. The plane is the first of five new Dreamliners the airline expects to receive this year from its total order for 50. United is the lead North American carrier for the 787. Also see BTN 3 September www.united.com
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