Posts Tagged 'easyJet'

Top 5 Airlines in 2008

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published its latest ranking of the world’s airlines in terms of passengers carried and passenger kilometres flown on scheduled flights for the year 2008.

International and Domestic – Number of passengers

Based on number of passengers carried on scheduled flights in 2008 and considering International as well as Domestic traffic, US and Chinese companies seem to rule the world with Southwest Airlines taking number one. However, if we would count Delta and Northwest as one entity (they merged in 2008), they would claim the number one spot (seen in line 0 in the table below). It should be noticed that the fifth position in terms of passengers carried has been taken by a Chinese air company (China Southern Airlines) – which also signals the ongoing growth of the Chinese domestic air travel market.

Top5 Airlines in 2008 in terms of Passengers on Domestic And International flights

International – Number of passengers

Looking at only International scheduled traffic in 2008 (excluding domestic), Ryanair has grown to be the largest International airline in the world. Mostly European airlines are included in this bucket, as most of their flights are international, even though the distances flown would in most cases match up with the US (or Chinese) Domestic flights. This just shows how strong the US airlines are on their domestic market and how weak they are on the international routes – in terms of number of passengers. It is interesting to note that Air France and KLM are a merged company since 2004, but operate their separate networks. Also interesting to see that 2 of the top 5 are low-cost carriers (Ryanair and easyJet). If we would consider European international flights as domestic (in terms of distance intra-European flights are similar in nature to the domestic flights within the US or China), none of the European airlines would make it in the top 5 – based on the number of passengers flown, even though Ryanair comes very close to fifth position China Southern.

2008 Top 5 Airlines (number of Passengers on International travel)

International and Domestic – Passenger kilometres

When looking at passenger kilometres flown, it gives a slightly different view of the same results. Such a statistic shows us all airlines in terms of passenger kilometres flown (passengers*kilometers flown) and theoretically levels out the difference between the European International flights and the US Domestic flights for example – which produce similar numbers in terms of passenger kilometres. On the other hand, this gives a chance for airlines flying mostly longer routes with less passengers to move up the list. (E.g.: a Budapest-London flight is 1 passenger or rougly 1500 passenger kilometres, while a Paris-Rio de Janeiro flight is also counted as 1 passenger, but rougly 9400 passenger kilometres.)

Top 5 Airlines in 2008 - in terms of passenger kilometres for Domestic and International flights

It is interesting to see that this view is still ruled by the US airlines, and the only non-US in the list is the merged Air France – KLM group, taking the fourth position. We are missing Southwest Airlines from this table, as they do not fly long-haul and fly only a limited number of mid-haul international flights to Central America thus their average kilometers flown per passenger is much lower than those big American airlines that also fly long-haul routes. It is also a notable change that American Airlines (considered to be the largest airline company for years) is passed by the new Delta Airlines (merged with Northwest) by as much as 35%.

It will be interesting to see these numbers for 2009 in a few months – where Delta will most likely hold the number one spot for overall passenger numbers as well as passenger kilometers, but Lufthansa may move up a little bit if they start to publish their numbers together with Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines. We are also looking forward to the much talked about possible British Airways – Iberia tie up, which would produce an Air France – KLM like congolmerate that could fight for a top 5 position in terms of worldwide passenger kilometers – considering Iberia’s long flights between Europe and South America.

by balint01

Advertisements

Flight Review: easyJet

Route: BUDAPEST-London/Gatwick
Travel Date: 05OCT2008

Ticket Purchase

I have bought the ticket through www.easyjet.com, which was very simple and straight forward. After selecting your departue city on the homepage, it narrows down the list of destinations which are directly served from there. Also there is an option to indicate if you’re flexible about your dates. As I was on a business trip, this was not an option for me, I had to leave on a Sunday as the Monday schedule from Budapest to London pretty much destroys the full business day, thus it’s not an option… (I think with the winter 2008 timetable this flight has been rescheduled as an evening flight.) The Search Results still show 3 days, even though I have opted not to be flexible with my dates…

The least fair step of the booking process, comes after selecting your flight, where additional services are already added to your flight by default and the price of course is increased. This page looks very crowded, with loads of information presented in a number of different stlyed boxes below each other, making it hard to read and find the important information (“I’m charged with extra stuff”), which seems to be lost among the colored text and symbols. Third party taxes are of course OK, but why do I have to be automatically opted-in to Travel Insurance and 1 checked-in luggage with their associated costs? I can somewhat understand the luggage as probably the average traveller takes 1 larger, non-carry-on bag with them, but the insurance is really something that should not be opted-in by default! I can still add other items to the service, such as Speedy Boarding, additional luggage, and special sports equipment. This is the step when I can also opt-in to compensate my CO2 emmissions of the flight(s) booked. After having actively removed the Travel Insurance and the Checked-in luggage fee, I can continue to the next page to provide my traveller details, etc. Based on my preferred credit card type, I’m again charged with the extra Credit Card Transactional Fee. Only Visa Electron is transaction fee free… Once paid, I can already check-in if my flight is within 3 months from now! This is a very nice solution!

Offsetting Carbon Emissions 

Offsetting Carbon Emissions is very easy and simple with easyJet. As I already mentioned after selecting your flight you are presented with a very loaded page where you can opt-in for extras. One of those is the CO2 offsetting schema, that has already calculated the amount you should pay for this “service” and you can opt-in with just one simple click.

easyJet Airbus A319 (G-EZBU) c by Martin Stephen on airliners.net

easyJet Airbus A319 (G-EZBU) c by Martin Stephen on airliners.net

Check-In

I chose to check-in online, immediately after finishing my booking. It opens 3 months before the actual flight, it’s very simple, and you can print your boarding pass at the end of the process. It is very convenient as you can proceed straight to the gate with that piece of paper. The only worry I would have is that if I’m checked in 3 months in advance for a flight, I may simply forget about it… 🙂 As easyJet is using “Open seating“, there are no seats assigned to the passengers, you can look for a free seat you like and just take it once you’re on the aircraft. With the internet check-in, one is placed in boarding group “A”, that supposedly gets on board after those who have purchased the “Speedy Boarding” service – to guarantee themselves as among the first people to enter the airplane. There is another group following “A”, which is “B” and includes those who checked-in at the airport. They are the last ones to get on the plane and can only select from “left-over” seats.

1. BUDAPEST – LONDON GATWICK (EZY 5444)

Aircraft: Airbus A319 (G-EZBU)
Class: Economy (one class layout)
Punctuality: Flight took off 2 minutes late, arrived exactly on time.
Boarding: By bus, thus the above described boarding groups were hard to coordinate I think. As I took the aft door of the plane after getting out of the bus, I probably entered the plane with my “A” group Boarding pass earlier than some of those going through the front door and having “Speedy Boarding”… I got a window seat without any problems. Flight was less-than half house, with plenty of free seats, I was the only one in my row on my side.
Seats: Regular seats with less-than average legroom
Flight Attendants: There were 4 of them, 2 young girls and 1 guy plus 1 older purser. Two of the girls were good looking, all of them were very friendly.
Meals: Meals are offered at an additional cost, you can select from a range of sandwiches and drinks including alcoholic drinks. Those who selected a warm sandwhich, had to wait about 20 mins before they got their heated up food.
In-Flight shopping: In-flight shopping contains a selected range of items. I have purchased a limited series easyJet model plastic aircraft only, as the parfume I wanted to buy for my wife has already ran out.
Entertainment: No LCD screens or such, only the In-Flight magazine of easyJet plus the In-Flight Shopping guide of course. Bring your own reading material and music player!

Onboard easyJet

Onboard easyJet

Overall Experience

It was exactly what I paid for: transportation from Budapest to London Gatwick, in a timely, correct manner without any frills. I would take this flight again, but only if I ever want to leave on a business trip on a Sunday afternoon as the schedule is not really good for travellers originating in Budapest. Totally wrong schedule for any Hungarian business travellers, as the flight leaves in the afternoon and returns from London in late morning, but probably suits London business people just OK. The pricetag: this one way flight costed HUF 41.400 or USD 255, with the purchase taking place 10 days before the departure.

by balint01

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

“You don’t buy an airline, you buy the market”

A quotation from today’s news (resource: ATW Online)

CEO Alfred Oetsch said Austrian is facing growing competition on its routes to Eastern Europe and that in order to defend its critical Focus East strategy and “keep our position strong,” it will “consider whether to buy or take shares in one of the carriers in Eastern Europe.” He did not provide further details, but airlines from countries like Romania, Bulgaria or Moldova may be among the most likely targets. “You don’t buy an airline, you buy the market,” he said. AAG already holds 22% of Ukraine International Airlines and will increase its stake “whenever it is possible,” Oetsch revealed. “Just like we started our cooperation with AiRUnion, where we use Moscow Domodedovo as a hub, we would like to develop Kiev into a hub for us as well”

Mr Oetsch’s statement is a reaction on an earlier speech of Karim Makhlouf, CCO of Sky Europe who considered Austrian to be the weakest hub carrier in Europe, adding: “That is why we will attack them.”

Competition in the Central and Eastern European region is becoming stronger and stronger. Let’s analyze this situation a little bit deeper. First take a look at the allinace member airlines:

– Austrian Airlines (Austria): Member of Star Alliance, recently started cooperations with Air Union, the new owner of the neighboring country’s flag carrier, Malev

– Adria Airways (Slovenia): strategic partner of Star Alliance, emphasis is more on charter flights

– Croatia Airlines (Croatia): strategic partner of Star Alliance

– LOT (Poland): member of Star Alliance

If we take a look at a map, we will see that from geographic point of view Star Allaince’s weak point is the Eastern region: Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, ex-Soviet countries, especially the Baltic countries.

– CSA (Czech Republic): member of Sky Team

– Aeroflot (Russia): member of Sky Team

Sky Team’s strategy in the region is perfect. Geographcally this is the ideal situation for an alliance.

– Malev (Hungary): member of oneworld allinace, owned by Russia based Air Union

Oneworld’s weak point is also Eastern Europe – same situation as for Star Alliance. So the questions that can be raised here are: Which alliance will be supported by Air Union, who started cooperation with Austrian not long before they bought Malev? If Kiev is the target for Austrian, am I correct that this question has already been decided and Air Union will support oneworld? If Kiev is the target – are they approaching Aerosvit? Well, it would be a good decision from their side. But if their cooperation with Air Union will go on, I would prefer Moldavian Airlines (same owner as Carpatair) to Aerosvit.

Besides strong network carrier competition, there are also some low costs who try to gain market in the region. There is Sky Europe with hub in Vienna/Bratislava and Wizz Air with hub in Budapest and Katowice and recently Ryanair, Easyjet, Air Berlin and many other Western European low cost airlines have started operation in the area. Again there are uncovered territories such as Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Ukraine. Definately Ukraine is the biggest market among these and it has a good hb role as well: the ex-Soviet countries can be easily reached through Kiev. The situation is the same with Moldova, although there are language concerns when it comes to hub role in their case.

After all this we are excitedly wating for the next announcements of Mr Oetsch and we will see what markets they will buy.


Blog calendar

July 2019
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Archives

Advertisements