Airline briefs 05/06/12

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bmi Regional completes sale

bmi Regional is to continue operating flights from Manchester and East Midlands after its sale to Sector Aviation Holdings was completed last week. Forty jobs are expected to be created at its East Midlands head office with its operating centre in Scotland to stay open. “We are continuing with the existing route network while BA will provide support during the transitional phase of the operation and we will be working closely with them to ensure as seamless a transfer as possible,” said Ian Woodley, chairman of bmi Regional. Click here for full story 


SAA scraps direct Cape Town flights

South African Airways (SAA) is to stop flying direct to Cape Town from 16 August. The airline announced it is to fly to the city via Johannesburg or Tambo International Airport using larger aircraft to boost capacity by 13%. It comes as the airline shuffles its services to better serve its growing Accra, Mumbai and Perth routes.  Click here for full story 


Finnair flights mainly ‘unaffected by strike’

Finnair has said the majority of its flights will be unaffected by a week-long strike by its technical staff. Unions have rejected the carrier’s proposal for redundancy packages as it prepares to source services from an outside supplier and have walked out for seven days (starting yesterday). Finnair said some cancellations should be expected as talks continue to 12 June.


Turkish Airlines backs down on LOT

Turkish Airlines has pulled out on funding part of LOT Polish Airlines’ privatisation. The carrier’s directors said the move would not deliver the medium to long term benefits it had initially believed when LOT signed a confidentially agreement back in March. Over-lapping administration, management restrictions and funding were amongst the reasons. 


Air Europa announces Santa Cruz route

Air Europa has announced it will launch flights between Gatwick to Bolivia via Madrid later this year. The carrier will use an Airbus 330-200 on the twice weekly service to Santa Cruz. “In what has been a challenging time for the airline industry, we are extremely proud to introduce yet another long-haul route to our growing portfolio of services to South America,” said Colin Stewart, UK general manager at Air Europa.


Third A380 London-Singapore

A third Airbus A380 has been introduced on Singapore Airlines’ flights between London and Singapore. The carrier hinted it would have liked to have added more flights at Heathrow but has ‘faced barriers’ due to the airport’s limited capacity. “Operating a larger aircraft is one of the only means we have to grow but this too is unsustainable as with all our routes now operated by A380s, we have now exhausted this option too,” said Phee Teik Yeoh, general manager UK & Ireland at SIA on the launch. “We hope that this summer’s government consultation on the future of aviation will tackle the important issue of capacity and suggest viable solutions which take into account the vital contribution the aviation industry makes to the British economy”. Here Yeoh and Ellser Chan, Heathrow station manager SIA with cabin crew.




Amadeus launches new booking tool with AirAsia  

Amadeus has joined forces with AirAsia’s new Philippines-based subsidiary to launch Amadeus LCC Smart – a new booking tool specifically designed for low-cost airlines. 

The tool offers airline content using a web-like interface within the Amadeus GDS, rather than the traditional ‘green screen’ booking platform. Amadeus said the solution has been designed to “reduce the complexity of the booking process by simplifying the number of key strokes required to finalise a booking”.

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