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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Virgin says sales are up thanks to T5 troubles

Virgin Atlantic claimed yesterday it was still boosting sales in the aftermath of the troubled Terminal 5 opening, with passenger numbers rising 6% last month.

The airline will announce today that it is hiring 100 extra cabin crew as it adds an extra flight to its daily London to Hong Kong service.

Virgin Atlantic said it was seeing strong sales on services to the Caribbean and the US despite a downturn in consumer confidence and rising fuel surcharges, driven by the high oil price.

"We have definitely taken market share post-T5," said Paul Charles, Virgin Atlantic's director of communications. "There is still massive demand to fly long haul to countries where the pound is strong and the dollar is weak, such as the Caribbean and the US."

British Airways, the only tenant at T5, reported a 0.7% drop in traffic last month.

However, it said its most profitable customers were still flying in large numbers, with premium sales on long-haul routes ahead of the same period last year.

Virgin Atlantic said premium sales in May were up 10% for the second successive month.

Analysts believe the airline founded by Sir Richard Branson is in a weaker financial position than its close rival as high fuel costs threaten profits across the industry.

BA achieved a profit margin of 10% last year and record pre-tax profits of £883m. Virgin Atlantic has yet to publish its results for the 2007-08 financial year.

The carrier is expected to avoid a loss despite achieving a profit of just £6.6m in the year to February 2007, when the airline market was approaching its peak.

BA and Ryanair have admitted recently that they will struggle to make a profit in the financial year as a result of a combination of high fuel costs and weakening demand. Both hope to capitalise on the collapse of weaker rivals, with the global industry expected to make a collective loss of $6bn (£3bn) if the oil price stays at record levels.

The future of another BA rival, Silverjet, was still in the balance last night as its administrators held rescue talks with three parties.

The business class carrier's administrator, Begbies Traynor, confirmed that an investment vehicle managed by Swiss management company Heritage had tabled an offer to buy and relaunch the airline.

Heritage is working with Lawrence Hunt, Silverjet's founder and chief executive, who has blamed the grounding of his airline on negative comments from financial analysts rather than the crippling surge in fuel costs.


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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Airlines fly off the handle at BA's T5 delay

Anger is growing among airlines whose Heathrow relocation plans have been thrown into doubt by British Airways' decision to delay transferring its transatlantic operation to Terminal 5.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

British Airways gets Italy's help in returning misplaced luggage

British Airways canceled more flights at its new terminal at London Heathrow Airport on Wednesday and sought help from Italy in returning misplaced luggage to its customers.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

28,000 bags caught in T5 foul-up

It will take up to a week to return 28,000 bags placed in temporary storage after troubles at Heathrow's Terminal 5, a government minister has said.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Technical glitches hit T5 opening

Cancelled flights, baggage delays and a temporary suspension in check-in have blighted the opening day of Heathrow's new £:4.3bn Terminal 5.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Debut A380 flight lands in London

The Airbus A380 super-jumbo has completed its first European commercial flight after a plane from Singapore landed at London's Heathrow airport.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Airlines faces 23.5 pct rise in Heathrow charges

Britain's aviation industry regulator said on Tuesday that London's crowded Heathrow airport would be allowed to charge airlines 23.5 percent more in the year starting April 1, more than it had originally envisaged.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Airliner crash-lands at Heathrow

A passenger plane has crash-landed short of a runway at Heathrow Airport, ripping off part of its undercarriage.

All 136 passengers and 16 crew escaped from the British Airways flight BA038 from Beijing. Eighteen people have been taken to hospital with minor injuries.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Open skies ends a closed shop

Passengers will soon have more choice over which airline to fly with from Heathrow to the US.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Air France, Delta to target Heathrow-U.S. routes

Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines will team up on routes linking major U.S. cities and London's Heathrow airport in a direct challenge to rival British Airways.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Two aircraft collide at Heathrow

Two airliners have been involved in a collision while taxiing at Heathrow airport. One was a British Airways Boeing 747 departing for Singapore and the other was a Sri Lankan Airlines Airbus A340.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Alitalia planning to sell slots at Heathrow to raise cash

Alitalia SpA is planning to sell take-off and landing slots at Heathrow airport to help raise cash to fund operations, the daily Il Sole 24 Ore said without citing sources.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Airlines urge end of BAA's Heathrow grip

Britain's largest airlines want BAA's control of Heathrow to be broken by a sale of individual terminals to rival companies, The Times has learnt.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Probe after BA planes collide at Heathrow

British Airways said Tuesday it had launched an investigation after two planes clipped each other while taxiing at London's Heathrow airport, causing some damage but no one was injured. (page not found)

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Phantom flight service grounded

BMI is to cancel a 'phantom' service after confirmation that the airline is flying an empty 124-seat plane between Cardiff and London six times a week in order to retain landing slots at Heathrow.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

BA strike shuts down Heathrow Gatwick

No British Airways passengers will be able to fly out of Heathrow from 12.01am Tuesday January 30 to 11.59pm Wednesday January 31, with BA canceling 1300 flights after talks to avert strike action failed. (page not found)

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