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Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

European Union (EU) lawmakers (EU-MPs) have delayed the installation of full body scanners or millimeter wave scanners at European Airports which takes an X-ray picture to view “under the clothes” outline image of the person, an alternative to pat down search. EU MPs passed a resolution to conduct further study on privacy and health implication of the technology. 

The device has already been installed in some of the  airports in US and couple of months back, I blogged up my experience with one at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport. Do you think you will comfortable with the someone looking at an image like the one on the right?

Privacy Concerns from Wikipedia Article

Privacy advocates are concerned about the use of this technology because it allows screeners to see airport passengers without clothing.
Currently the technology does not mask any part of the bodies of the people who are being scanned. Proposed remedies for privacy concerns include only scanning people who are detected to be carrying contraband, or developing technology to mask genitals and other “private parts.” At least one government official has stated this technology is already in place, leading some to suggest that there are no privacy issues for regular passengers. In some locations, travelers have the choice between the body scan or a traditional “pat down.”
Note that in the specific case of the TSA, they have promised to separate the people viewing the private images from the people being scanned in order to retain some privacy. This policy seems to have been recently neglected, however, when the TSA set up scanning stations in public areas of the airports of Denver and Minneapolis during the 2008 Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

From CNN International

The European Parliament voted 361 to 16 with 18 abstentions Thursday in
favor of a resolution demanding EU authorities carry out a full study
of the privacy and health implications of the new technology.
The new systems allow guards to see an outline of passengers’ bodies
beneath their clothes. Supporters say it makes it easier to detect
concealed objects such as liquids or plastic weapons not picked up by
traditional metal detectors.

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Ryanair, Europe’s largest low cost airline headquartered in Dublin and well known for its cheap fares within Europe, is planning to launch a transatlantic “budget” airline between US and Europe in less than 3 years time. The airline will be operating a fleet of new aircrafts by picking up cancelled aircraft orders at Airbus and Boeing. Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, mentioned that the airline launch can be expedited if the there is a sharp fall in aircraft price due to a possible global aviation industry crisis.

O’Leary added, “The business plan is done . . . but it has been parked until there is a
big downturn in the industry and Boeing and Airbus are parking
long-haul aircraft, so we can get a deal on prices
” (from here)

This might be an interesting market (low cost transatlantic airline), becase a lot of airlines offer very cheap economy seats. The real pofit is in premium seats (business, first, envoy, etc.) where the customer who buys the seat  expects an “all-frills” service. Currently every airline seems to be investing the most in upgrading this service or even increasing the number of these seats to maximize profits.

From The Guardian

He added Ryanair would be “distinctly separate” from the new carrier,
which will attempt to make a better fist of the low-cost transatlantic
market than Zoom, the Canadian-British carrier that fell into
administration in August. O’Leary also ruled himself out of running the
new business, but said he might join other Ryanair investors such as
Prudential and private equity firm TPG in backing the venture.

O’Leary is also expected to offer a business-class cabin with flat beds
at a lower cost than BA or Virgin Atlantic. The Ryanair boss added that
he expected at least one British airline and two continental carriers
to go bust within weeks as any benefit from falling fuel costs will
come too late to save the least profitable businesses.

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A new “fractional ownership and block charter company” has been launched (at a launch event at Farnborough Airport) in Europe that seeks to challenge NetJets Europe. The airline is called Jet Republic will be based in Lisbon, Portugal and will fly to more than 1000 airports in Europe (including UK). The company has already placed orders for 110 Bombardier Learjet 60XRs (25 orders and 85 options) worth 1.5 billion dollars. The airline plans to start operations on September 29th 2008.

About the CEO –

  • Name -Jonathan Breeze
  • 36 year old former RAF pilot

Investors

  • Austrian Private Bank
  • European American Investment
  • Consortium of the airline’s clients

Target Clients

  • 3 million ultra-rich population across Europe

(more…)

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Europe’s second largest airline, Lufthansa announced that it agreed to buy 45% of Belgian Airline, Brussels Air for 65 million euros or $92 million. The German based carrier has an option to buy the remaining 55% of the company starting 2011 which might (depends on performance related factors in 2010) bring the total price to the deal for 250 million euros.There was earlier news that Lufthansa might be considering bids for Austrian Airlines, Scandinavian carrier SAS and BMI of UK.

From Bloomberg Article

Lufthansa’s CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber told reporters that, that the carrier is becoming a “house of
brands.” He declined to discuss possible takeover offers.“Europe needs to have an airline system that can, in the
long term, compete with big systems that are coming up in Asia,
the Middle East and in North America,” Mayrhuber said. “This
is one step in going forward.”

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+
Higher oil prices have driven airlines to different solutions like capacity reduction, merger related synergies, airfare increase, charging for the usual freebies, etc.

British Airways and Spain’s flag carrier Iberia (or Iberia, Líneas Aéreas de España, S.A. ) are deep in merger talks with Iberia “have taken direct/indirect 10% stake in British rival”. The merger is backed by boards on both airlines and will create the third largest airline in Europe (after KLM-Air France and Lufthansa).

So, as usual, I set out to find how the combined entity would look. Please be aware that I do not account for possible merger related capacity reduction (or airplane retirement) and unforeseeable changes.

British Airways in BLUE and Iberia in RED –

  • HeadquarteredWaterside, Harmondsworth, UK and Madrid, Spain
  • Destinations147 + 115 (+19 future) =252 (+19 future) – OVERLAP
  • Frequent Flier ProgramExecutive Club, Premier + Iberia Plus = ?
  • AllianceOneworld
  • HubsLondon Heathrow Airport, London Gatwick Airport, Barajas Int’l Airport
  • FleetAirbus A318, A319, A320, A321, A380-800*; Boeing 737, 757, 767, 747, 777, 787* + Airbus A319, A320, A321, A340; McDonnell Douglas MD-88
  • Fleet Size235 (+62 orders) + 152 (+19 orders) =387 (+81 orders)
  • Company SloganUpgrade to British Airways + With Iberia , you’re more = Upgrade with more???

Since, British Airways is a bigger airline, there might be a possible BA head over the combined airline. Willie Walsh as CEO???

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Last time pilots strike at Lufthansa over pay caused 44 flight cancellations. This time the strike caused to ground a quarter of the flights with 990 cancellations (465 domestic and regional flights on July 22nd and 525 flights today on July 23rd 2008). Lufthansa is offering the affected passengers to rebook on other flights or use their tickets to travel by train.

From Bloomberg

“Pilots at Lufthansa’s Eurowings and CityLine regional units
went on strike at noon in a walkout that will last until
midnight tomorrow, according to the Vereinigung Cockpit union.”

“CityLine pilots rejected an offer that would have raised
pay by a total of 5.5 percent in two steps and paid pilots a
bonus of 7,000 euros ($11,145) and co-pilots a bonus of 5,000
euros, Lufthansa spokesman Jan Baerwalde said. Eurowings offered
6.5 percent more pay in two steps and a bonus of 15 percent of
the salary, Lufthansa spokeswoman Claudia Lange said.”

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Luthansa (or Deutsche Luftansa AG), flag carrier of Germany and second largest airline in Europe, canceled 44 flights and delayed many more after its workers in Frankgurt, Munich, Stuttgart and Cologne walked off the job to press for higher pay raise. Lufthansa has earlier offered 5.5% raise in two steps instead of the union’s request for 9.8% which had resulted in limited strikes started on June 19 2008.

From Bloomberg
“Check-in and catering workers temporarily walked off the job
in Frankfurt and baggage handlers were on strike in Munich. In
Stuttgart and Cologne, engineers joined the walkout. The strike
began at 4 a.m. German time and lasted about four hours. All
employees have since returned to work, Stotz said.”

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