Archive for the 'easyJet' Category

Best Of AirlineWorld 2007

This is the last day of the year. As billions of people around the world, we also took a look back to what happened in the old year and made some New Year’s Resolutions.

For us 2007 was not a full year as we started our blog in June. It was a nice calm Sunday and Szafi wrote her first post about the Radio Alphabet – a useful tool not just for aviation fans. Balint01 joined her on the 7th with his first post about “Fuller Planes – Good Or Bad?” – a brief explanation of revenue and capacity management of airlines.

A380 

A380 was one of our main topics this year. We could see the a video of an imaginery evacuation of an A380, we reported on that quite unusual initiation that Singapore Airlines sold the first tickets to the A380 on e-Bay and gave the money (USD 1,25 million) for charity. We tried to find out more about the possible cabin configurations and then we reported on the first delivery.

Boeing 787

Boeing 787, the Dreamliner was our other favorite topic. We wrote about it when it was revealed, we put it in our blog header, we reported on the first announcement of delay that predicted 2 months. Now it seems that a 6-month delay is more realistic.

Developments 

Besides A380 and B787 we saw the birth of a Russian jet called Sukhoi Superjet and a Chinese one called ARJ21-700. We kept track of technology trends in aviation. We wrote an article about RFID usage at airlines and airports, about e-ticketing, a new online payment method at Qantas, a weightless flight, a solar powered, unmanned aircraft. Also we were interested in service developments such as the new Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow Airport, Lufthansa’s new A380 First Class Concept, Boeing’s 747 development to keep up with A380,

Crashes 

Unfortunately again some serious accidents happened. We saw around 200 people dying in a very tragical crash in Sao Paulo, brazil. 19 people died in an accident of Air Moorea on the way to Tahiti. When China Airline’ 737 burst into fire and blew up, everybody could escape in time thanks to the flight crew, who was criticized for being rude – we thought it was better being rude than being inactive. Later it turned out that a loose bolt caused the fire. There was a sad collision of two planes at an Air Show in Radom, Poland. SAS Airlineshad a bad series of crash landings – without serious injuries – of its Dash 8 turboprop planes. Finally they decided on grounding all their Dash 8 fleet. 87 died in One-Two-Go Airlines crash in Phuket, Thailand. A few days later rallye driver champion Colin McRae died in a helicopter crash over Scotland. The most commented article was the weird accident of an Airbus A340 on the ground of the Airbus factory during testing. The last serious accident of the year was an MD-83 crash in Turkey killing 56.

Photo reports 

We received a lot of photos from our friends and airline enthusiasts, so we could show a photo report of a Royal Aircraft in Budapest, Red Bull Air Race in Budapest, an Air Show in Kecskemet and the A340 Airbus crash at the Toulouse Airbus factory.

Innovations 

We criticized airlines and other players of the industry about wrong steps and we were happy to present good initiations of other players. We found KLM’s promotion: a gift of a costmetics set for online bookers a very smart and useful initiation. We loved Iberia’s enviroment-friendly attitude with naming their new aircrafts Royal Owl, Imperial Eagle and other endangered species. We could read funny comments about an interesting topic: Vatican’s Air Mistral. IATA’s initiation of a greener aviation industry was also worth a post.

Sex and rock and roll 

And finally we tried to entertain those not interested in professional matters of the airline business with articles like Sex in an airplane, Sexy stewardess uniforms – with special attention to the self-designed uniform of Easyjet, Superstar pilots, Special aircraft paintings and we learned about where lost luggage end up going.

We also lost a very key figure of the European airline indusry. Tony Ryan, the founder of Ryanair died on 03 October at the age of 71. Net year we will definately write an article about him, because only a few know about his role in today’s aviation business.

And what is our New Year’s resolution? Well, we’ll do our best to entertain you and draw your attention to the magic world of airlines we so much love.

We both wish you a very happy, successful new year and please keep on reading us! 🙂

By Szafi and balint01
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Easyjet Opens Old-new Sales Channels

When I saw it in the news that easyJet will sell its seats via GDSs, my first reaction was “oops”. What is a GDS and why is it surprising for the airline industry?

What is a GDS?

The abbreviation stands for Global Distribution System and there are a few of them available in the world. You might have read about Amadeus, Gabriel, Galileo, Worldspan, Apollo or Sabre in our blog.  Airlines use these systems to distribute their products: seat availability and prices. This is the traditional sales channel for airlines. Travel agents also have access to GDSs and they use them to reserve places through them. The reason why low cost carriers do not use this channel is that there are costs attached to each end every transaction and it might happen, that a booking is cancelled, but the airline had costs with it.

Why is it suprising that easyJet starts using GDSs?

Now easyJet opens towards this sales channel, which will definately increase its sales costs. It says it will add a point-of-sale fee to fares booked through the GDSs, ensuring that its Web site “remains our primary distribution channel and fares will always be cheapest when booking direct online. €7.50 will be paid for a one-way ticket, €12 for a return ticket and €5 per segment for a ticket that includes more than 2 segments. Taking the fact GDSs normally charge USD 2-3 per segment for a transaction, they must have thought about cancelled bookings by creating the new fees.

 Why is it still very logical?

The intention behind easyJet’s step was to open towards business travellers. The characteristics of business travellers are that

– they usually travel in and out within a day or maximum 2-3 days – by this characteristic low costs are better for a traveller as traditional airlines usually charge much more for these short returns than low costs

– they like loyalty programs, especially if the company allows them to collect miles during business trip that they can use for leisure purposes – this is something low costs do not have yet, although I believe there are some low costs seriously considering it.

– they do not arrange their trips for themselves, they have travel agents to arrange it for them – now this is the weakness of low costs, because the real big agencies like Amex will do their best to make their reservations via GDSs, so they loose business by not being present in them. And this is the point where Easyjet decided on taking action.

Easyjet

Low cost trends

easyJet is a follower with this strategy. They just copied the model of 2 US low cost carriers: Jet Blue Airways and Southwest Airlines. So what is happening in the airline industry?

The classic low cost model is that they save money on sales channel costs and spend it on direct advertising, thus generating direct traffic for themselves. It is a clear trend that the gap between low costs and traditional network carriers is narrowing.  Network carriers are forced to keep up in the tough competition with low costs, so their reaction against the low cost attack was reducing sales cost by directing more passengers towards their direct online sales channel (their website), stopping costly services like hot meal on board, basically giving less service for a lower cost. Besides that they give even higher services and better for their business and first class passengers to gain more revenue from that segment.

On the other hand low costs have to compete with each other, too. So we can see they start giving sandwiches and refresheners on board (for example Sky Europe) and start selling tickets via GDSs. Next steps can be loyalty programs, code share flights or at least strategic cooperations and different cabin classes, but the latter one is less realistic. The tendency is clear: at the end there will be very similar airlines, some of them offering long haul and very high niveau first class services, but for us, “the rest” it will be irrelevant whether we will fly a low cost or a traditional airline.

Related articles:

Easyjet acquires GB Airways
Self designed uniforms at easyJet

By Szafi 

Easyjet Acquires GB Airways

easyJet announced yesterday that it has agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of GB Airways, excluding its slots at Heathrow Airport, from the Bland Group Limited, for a cash consideration of £103.5 million.

GB Airways is primarily a London Gatwick based point-to-point airline operating to destinations across Southern Europe and North Africa under a franchise agreement with British Airways. It serves 31 destinations and operates 15 Airbus aircraft (9 A320s and 6 A321s) with an average age of 4.1 years, which are complementary to the easyJet fleet of 107 A319s. In total it operates 39 routes – 28 from Gatwick, 6 from Manchester, 5 from Heathrow.

Based upon its statutory accounts under UK GAAP for the year ended 31 March 2007, GB Airways reported profit before tax of £2.6 million and EBITDAR of £35 million on revenues of £250 million; it carried 2.8 million passengers; had gross assets of £182 million and net assets of £33 million.

The acquisition of GB Airways is consistent with easyJet’s expansion strategy and, importantly, strengthens its customer offering at Gatwick, the airline’s biggest base which has a highly attractive catchment area in London and South East England. The purchase adds valuable take-off and landing slots at Gatwick and the opportunity to accelerate easyJet’s route development. Following the acquisition, easyJet will operate 24% of Gatwick’s slots and will fly approximately 8 million passengers across 62 routes from Gatwick.

By Winter 2008/09, GB Airways will be fully consolidated into the easyJet business model, releasing cost savings. The acquisition will be positive to easyJet’s earnings per share and return on equity in easyJet’s current financial year, before one-off integration costs. easyJet anticipates GB Airways’ seat profitability reaching a similar level to its own at Gatwick in the first full financial year of operation.

My only comment to this press release is that the key part of this acquisition is the Gatwick slots as it appears  in the press release that I bolded.

By Szafi

New, Self-designed Uniform at Easyjet

easyJet unveiled another industry first today as its cabin crew across Europe stepped out in true style, to reveal their stylish and more formal new self-designed uniform.Over the last 12 years cabin crew and ground staff at easyJet, have always had a very casual look which was purposely designed to inject more fun in to flying and make staff more approachable. The first uniform in 1995 was a simple combination of black jeans and orange polo shirt, with ‘I’m an easy crew member’ embossed across the back, this has gradually smartened over the years with black trousers and orange shirts, but the casual image remained.

As easyJet has grown to become the fourth-largest airline in Europe, carrying over 37 million passengers a year, the airline was keen to update its image to reflect how it had matured as a business, whilst maintaining the fun and approachable attitude.

In true easyJet style, instead of following other airlines and hiring extortionately priced top fashion designers to come up with the latest trends, the airline became the first to give those who have to wear the uniform, its cabin crew, the opportunity to be creative and design something that was suitable to their specific needs.

easyJet’s cabin crew were invited to take part in a competition to design the new uniform that would enable them to feel comfortable and confident at work. Following hundreds of entrees, three made it to a short list and cabin crew then voted for their favourite.

The winning design, ‘Formal and Fabulous’, was the combined effort of three cabin crew – AnnMarie Cuffe based at Liverpool; Joanne Todd and Kurt Wilson both based at Gatwick. With a much smarter, more formal look, the design is made up of a number of different pieces such as orange or white shirts, jackets or waistcoats so crew can create their own combination to express their own style and personality.

Easyjet - new uniform. Formal and FabulousEasyjet - new uniform. Formal and FabulousEasyjet - new uniform. Formal and Fabulous

Andy Harrison, easyJet’s Chief Executive , commented :

“I’m really proud of our cabin crew for managing the entire process of designing, selecting and producing a new uniform – at no extra cost to the previous design. It really is a great achievement. If our crew feel confident and professional in their uniform it will help them to deliver the best service to our customers – after all, they see more of our customers than anybody else and best embody easyJet’s “low-cost with care and convenience” ethos.

Easyjet - new uniform. Formal and FabulousEasyjet - new uniform. Formal and Fabulous

Source: Easyjet.com

By Szafi

Qantas and easyJet Announce Green Initiatives

These days we seem to talk about more and more about Global Warming, especially as our weather patterns seem to be confused a little bit… And it’s always a question how air transportation takes its part in this process. We know that flying contributes to the emission of green-house gases, but it’s always a subject of dispute just how much it actually does that. IATA has launched a new initiative to reduce the emission of these gases, but more and more airlines are launching their own, individual programs to save the environment, or at least to pollute less. Up to date, the traditional airlines have been much more active in this field, even though environmentalists blame the low-cost airlines even more, as they grow much quicker and thus take a bigger percentage of air travel related pollution day-by-day. This article features one traditional and one low-cost airline initiative.

Recently, two different initiatives have been announced by two airlines, but under the surface they target the same philosophy:

“Pay as much as you pollute!”

Qantas logo Jetstar logo The Qantas Group launched a comprehensive “carbon offset program” under which Qantas and Jetstar (the low-cost subsidiary of Qantas) passengers can elect to offset their share of flight emissions by making monetary contributions through qantas.com and jetstar.com. Group CEO Geoff Dixon told media yesterday that the company has “undertaken a full lifecycle assessment of all operations, calculating the emissions associated with carrying a passenger from one point to another.” Via the websites, passengers can use an “online calculator” that assesses flight data and “automatically advises customers of their emissions and the cost of offsetting them.”

Dixon added that Qantas Group is focused on achieving a CO2 savings target of more than 2 million tonnes by June 2011 through a range of initiatives that it believes will set the airline up as an industry leader in cutting emissions. It has $20 billion worth of Airbus A380s (20) and Boeing 787s (65) on order (the two new aircraft types will be much more fuel-efficient than the current ones) and has launched a series of support programs to cut fuel consumption. These range from the establishment of a dedicated, businesswide environment and fuel conservation department; to optimizing aircraft approach and departure tracks, and introduction of “Variable Cost Index Flight Planning” for optimal speed and routing based on daily variations in wind, temperature and weight, which would save fuel, and thus lead to lower emissions.

easyJet UK budget airline easyJet is taking a slightly different approach, not leaving the decision to the passengers, rather calling on politicians to take a “more intelligent” approach when it comes to aviation’s environmental impact. In a report published yesterday entitled “Towards Greener Skies: The Surprising Truth About Flying And The Environment,” easyJet recommends that the UK eliminate the controversial Air Passenger Duty, which was doubled earlier this year ostensibly owing to aviation’s impact on the environment, and replace it with a tax based on aircraft types and distance traveled.

Taxing families but not private jets is a grotesque insult,” CEO Andy Harrison said. “The time has come to scrap Air Passenger Duty in its current form and replace it with a ‘polluter tax’ that has at its heart a very simple notion–those that fly on airlines that pollute less, like easyJet, should pay less.”

To reach consumers “that have been mostly silent in the recent debate,” the London Luton-based carrier is launching a national newspaper advertising campaign as well, and plans to place environmental messages on the backs of aircraft seats from early October.

easyJet argues that its passengers produce 95.7g of CO2 per km., “which is less than the average family car, less than Virgin’s Voyager trains, less than the Toyota Prius.” (Toyota Prius is the world’s best selling hybrid vehicle, with supposedly the lowest emissions.)

by balint01 (based on ATW News)

easyJet and WizzAir Charging Extra for ALL Checked-In Bags

As the latest effort to reduce costs and turn-around time (the time an aircraft spends at the airport between landing and the next take-off), easyJet and WizzAir are introducing a charge for all checked-in bags. This means that independant from the baggage allowance for a particular flight, passengers from now on will have to pay an additional fee for any bag they wish to check in.

easyJet easyJet will charge an additional £2 (€2.94) for each bag that is checked in (until now they have not charged the first checked-in bag). They allow a maximum of 8 bags, as long as their combined weight does not exceed 20kg. If you want to carry more than that with you, you still have to pay the excess baggage tariff, which costs £6 (€8.81) for each excess kilo you have. Your maximum baggage weight can be 50kg. So let’s see an extra-ordinary example: 8 bags, 50 kgs alltogether: you will be entitled to pay £196 (€288)… A more realistic travel luggage (2 checked-in bags, with a combined weight of 28 kilos) would cost £52 (€76). “Fewer checked-in bags can help to improve the operational performance of airports,” said easyJet.

WizzAir WizzAir on the other hand, will charge €3 per checked-in bags, if you purchase this service at the time of your booking. If you pay at the airport, you will have to pay €6, so double the amount. This gives a good reason for the husbands from now on, when their wives will want to buy souvenir item #132 on their holiday: “Sorry, honey, we can’t buy that, besides the high price and the fact that we have no more space in our living room for this, it would mean an additional bag on our flight back, and you know we have to pay double extra for that at the airport as I haven’t booked it originally…” They also charge €8 for every extra kilo you have above the 20kg original allowance. WizzAir claims this charge is necessary to keep the airfares down.

I’m just wondering how could it happen in an over-regulated, anti-trust European Market, that these two low-costs announced their new regulations on the same day, and will charge basically the same amount for the bags!? How did the second know about the decision of the first one?? 🙂 The only difference is that easyJet will start charging all passengers on flights departing after 30SEP2007, while WizzAir will only start about a month later, on 27OCT2007 and for only those passengers which will do not yet have their bookings at the time of the announcement. So the wifes who want loads of souvenirs are safe until the end of this European Summer Season.

RyanAir Just for your information: RyanAir has been charging £5 (€6) for every extra bag for some time if you pay at the time of booking via ryanair.com, and double the amount if you purchase this service at the airport or through the call-center (so RyanAir actually needs man-power for the purchase). Their charge for excess weight is £5.50 and €8. But mind the trick: the baggage allowance of RyanAir is only 15kg, not 20 as the other two (and most traditinonal airlines on economy class) mentioned in this article.

I believe this service fee will make the people think about their hand-luggage and the liquids in those twice, as if they don’t comply with those regulations, they have to check-in their bags AND pay for them… (Another situation when a smart, educational gift by KLM would have an advantage, but obviously these low cost airlines will not offer anything like that.)

by balint01


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