Posts Tagged ‘Ryanair’

French airspace closure causes UK flight cancellations

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Airline passengers trying to get to destinations within France face delays, disruption and cancellations as French air traffic control walks out on strike today. The controllers will join fellow public service workers to show their disapproval of President Sarkozy’s plans to push up the age of retirement. The closure of French airspace has resulted in the cancellation of more than 400 flights in and out of Britain.

Budget carrier Ryanair says it has been forced to cancel more than 200 flights which has infuriated boss, Michael O’Leary. He said it was because European governments, like the one in France, were unable to keep control of their own air traffic services that passengers and airlines were essentially being held to ransom by strikes.

British Airways has warned that it may have to cancel a number of services and has advised customers to call the airline before heading out to catch a flight. The flag carrier added that it would be redirecting flights and providing larger aircraft in order to accommodate as many passengers as possible.

A similar warning to passengers has been issued by easyJet. It says some services will certainly be affected and told passengers to find out what was happening with their flight before coming to the airport.

Eurostar has brought in British and Belgian drivers so that it will be able to run services as scheduled. It warned that there may however be some disruption at Gare du Nord in Paris. P&O said it will be running ferry services across the channel as usual.

Irish airlines hike prices for World Cup play-off

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Low cost carriers, Aer Lingus and Ryanair have been accused of hiking ticket prices after it was announced that Ireland would be playing France in a World Cup play-off in Paris. Airline watchdogs claim that some tickets have gone up by a massive 1000 percent on the day of the match.

The draw for the match took place at 1pm on Monday. At 12.45pm a ticket to Paris with Ryanair was being advertised for November 17th at just €24.99. At 1.15pm that price had gone up to an astonishing €124.99. A similar story could be told about Aer Lingus prices.

Both carriers seem to be unapologetic about the price hikes saying that they are just glad that they can get Irish fans to Paris to watch the match. Aer lingus went on to say that they were doing the fans a favour by introducing more flights on the day so that more people would be able to travel to the French capital.

Ryanair has said that it took the decision to block-off its fare price before the draw at €150.00 one-way and that this price was still cheaper that the price Aer lingus was offering its customers. Dermot Jewell of the Irish Consumers Association said that this sort of pricing policy was typical of an industry that is willing to ditch any semblance of fairness and make customers pay heavily for flights they know will be in demand.

Ryanair responds to criticism by releasing over 1 million free seats

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Irish budget carrier, Ryanair, has unusually responded to a BBC documentary criticizing the company  by releasing 1.1 million free seats.

The airline announced that the day the programme aired, on October 11, they would give away 100,000 free seats for every BBC claim that the airline believes to be false or misleading.

A company statement said that the programme that went to air was more ‘Bananarama’ than Panorama, and the BBC had no case, no facts and no clue.  The only benefit it provided viewers was the 1.1 million free seats Ryanair would give away of its false claims.

The 1.1 million seats are available for travel between November and December with no destination restrictions, and can be found on the company’s website along with their counterpoints to the BBC’s eleven misleading claims.

The Dublin based low-cost carrier is the largest airline in Europe, and is not shy of making headlines for their inventive ways of finding new ways to generate revenue.

Ferries are the U.K.’s best kept travel secret

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Following this week’s edition of Panorama which looked at how Ryanair was managing its pricing policies and ancillary fares, director of the Passengers Shipping Association, Bill Gibbons says it is time for travelers to get back on the ferries. Mr. Gibbons points out that airlines are increasingly showing little respect for their customers by scouring every possible avenue for services they can now charge extra for. Mr. Gibbons goes on to say that customers will not be charged any extra fees for bringing luggage or skiing equipment on board a ferry. Customers will not even be charged if they decide to check in online.

The airing of the BBC’s current affairs programme has provoked anger from Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive. He claims that because he imposed some restrictions on what the BBC could interview him about they have produced a programme which misrepresents the budget airline.

Mr.Gibbons says that in light of what was revealed on Panorama, customers should avoid air travel and get on board what is one of the U.K.’s best kept travel secrets. He points out that a ferry travelling from Dover to Calais can cost as little as £29 for a family of four and their car.

‘Hatchet Job’ Says Ryanair Boss

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

One of Europe’s largest low-cost carriers has accused the BBC of mounting a ‘hatchet job’ on the airline in a Panorama documentary screen last night.

The budget airline has accused producers of the Panorama program of making false claims about hidden chages and wrongly claiming Michael O’Leary, the airlines chief executive, wanted editorial control over the interview.

The furore broke out following lengthy discussions between Panorama journalists and the airline during the making of the program, titled ‘Why Hate Ryanair?’

Mr Leary agreed conditionally to give an interview; if it was not cut or edited by the BBC, which Panorama did not agree to.

O’Leary said that was due to BBC Panorama knowing that they would have no case in this ‘hatchet job’ show.

He continued by accusing the program makers of falsifying claims about hidden charges and an agreement with Airbus.

According to O’Leary, he believes that it was a pity, given the show’s resources, investigative journalists and the power of the BBC, that they were not honest enough to agree to a live or unedited interview with the airline.

He said it was a shame that the BBC wasted so much licence payers’ funds on investigating why Ryanair is Britain’s favourite airline, when all they need to do is take a couple of low-fare on-time flights.

Ryanair now invites passengers to smoke

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Low-cost European airline Ryanair has just announced its latest revenue boosting scheme. It will now go against all the rules in the airline book sby allowing passengers to puff on a cigarette in the aircraft cabin. Smoking was phased out across all passenger aircraft during the nineties, and now Ryanair has chosen to bring the practice back. However, there is of course a monetary catch. Passengers will not actually be allowed to bring on board and light up their favourite brand during flights, but will be given the opportunity to buy a packet of smoke-free cigarettes from airline stewards and stewardesses during the flight.

The new brand of smokeless cigarettes will be sold by the airline for €6.00 a pack. A press release from Ryanair says that unlike real cigarettes the smokeless variety do not contain any harmful chemicals or toxins. They are harmless both to those puffing away on them and also those sitting near the ‘smoke-free’ smoker. The cigarettes have the look of the real thing and will provide the requisite hit of nicotine to the user.

Ryanair have not given any detailed reasons as to why they have decided to start supplying the own-brand smokeless cigarettes. All they have said is that in a survey recently conducted, Ryanair found that 24,000 of their passengers declared that they would like the opportunity to light up whilst on a flight.

Ryanair seems to be concerned that it would like to give passengers the opportunity not to have to worry about when they are going to get their next nicotine hit, but at €6.00 per pack many are wondering if this is just the latest in a long line of schemes by the budget airline to tap into more and more bizarre revenue streams.

Ryanair to introduce ‘smokeless cigarettes’ on flights

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Many people who smoke cigarettes regularly may find having to go without smoking for several hours during long flights a bit of a challenge and something that stops them from fully enjoying the flight.

This week Ryanair have announced that they are taking the needs of this customers seriously by launching an innovative new range of Smokeless Cigarettes, which will ensure that passengers get their nicotine hit without breaking the law by ‘lighting up’ onboard their aircraft.

The Smokeless Cigarettes are being introduced after 24,000 Ryanair passengers said in a recent survey that they would like to smoke cigarettes during flights.However, smoking has been illegal on commercial flights since the 1990s. In order to cater to the needs of its customers, the airline has introduced Similar Smokeless Cigarettes. Not only does this faux cigarettes look and feel like a real cigarette, it also delivers a small amount of nicotine through inhalation.

Passengers do not have to light this new device and Ryanair’s new Similar Smokeless Cigarettes are available to passengers over the age of 18. Similar Smokeless Cigarettes are sold in packs of 10 onboard all Ryanair flights for just €6. The airline says they contain no toxins or chemicals, making them harmless to the user and to the passengers around them.

Ryanair axes Stansted-Newquay route in October

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Last month when Ryanair announced flight cuts at Stansted, it was unclear which flights would be the first to go. It’s now been made certain that the Newquay route serving Cornwall is one of the first to be eliminated. No more bookings are being accepted on Ryanair’s website beyond September.

Response from the Cornwall travel industry was mild at best. The Cornwall area is serviced by other airlines as well as other London metro area airports. The move is not expected to hurt the Cornwall economy. Tourists attempting to visit the area should not experience any transportation difficulties as a result of the route’s closure.

Rynaair is eliminating at least 40% of their flights at Stansted in response to the high service fees charged there. Additionally, Ryanair has been a strong opponent of the Air Passenger Duty. According to Ryanair officials, Stansted is no longer a profitable base of operations for them.

The Newquay route was one of the first to be cut as the airline repositions aircraft to better bases such as Leeds where it’s expanding its flight base. Cutting the Newquay route was another of the cost cutting measures that the airline has taken in response to the recession and falling demand for air travel.

Ryanair axes more UK routes

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

In an attempt to remain competitive, Ryanair is cancelling its routes to and from Alicante and Barcelona leaving from Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster. Ryanair claims that in order to have the ability to offer the lowest fares in the airline industry they must scrap routes from airports that have high fees and taxes.

“Unfortunately, increased travel taxes are affecting our ability to offer the lowest fares,” lamented a spokesman from Ryanair.

This has been an ongoing battle for Ryanair who has been cutting flights and eliminating routes in a sweeping effort to protest increased government taxes and high airport usage fees. Ryanair is one of the few airlines that remains profitable in the midst of a travel industry crisis.

Last month they pulled out of Manchester airport when airport officials would not give in to their demands for lower fees. Fees at Manchester were only £3 per passenger and even that was too much of a burden for Ryanair. Besides Manchester, they cut dozens of flights out of Stansted as well.

Ryanair flights in and out of Doncaster-Sheffield airport will be discontinued starting this week. Any passengers holding tickets on the cancelled flights to Spain will be offered a complete refund.

The message from Ryanair is becoming clear. If fees aren’t kept in line, they will move their business elsewhere.

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Ryanair abandons Manchester Airport

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

In the latest round of protests over high fees at regional airports, Ryanair has announced that it’s eliminating 9 routes from Manchester effective October 1, 2009.

The move effectively cancels forty-four flights in and out of the airport a week and impacts as many as 600,000 passengers who are used to flying out of Manchester. It will also cost the local economy at least 600 jobs.

It remains unclear why airport officials were unwilling to come to a work-out with Ryanair about the fees. Officials at the airline claim that they offered to increase traffic in and out of Manchester by as much as 400,000 travelers a year but were met with opposition from the airport

“Notwithstanding all of our investment in Manchester Airport, we don’t believe charges as low as £3 per passenger are unreasonable. Clearly, Ryanair do and that’s regrettable,” defended a spokesperson for the airport.

Last week Ryanair announced that it was initiating service at Leeds Bradford where airport officials were more willing to cooperate with regard to fees. The move is adding 1000 new jobs to the Leeds Bradford area economy.

Some of the passengers that have tickets on Ryanair’s cancelled routes at Manchester are being rerouted through Leeds Bradford while others will receive refunds.

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