wizz_air_foto

Why Air France – KLM should have bought Wizz Air anyway

For a transient moment, rumour had it that Air France-KLM, the third biggest European airline consortium, and Wizz Air, the ultra-low-cost carrier from Hungary, were in talks over a potential buying offer. The information from the Dutch newspaper Luchtvaartnieuws.nl was swiftly denied by Air France KLM, which put an end to this great dream of an East & West association of things that fly.

Still the subject is golden and for the fun of it, I still decided to discuss the pro and cons, from both players’ position.

(more…)

ryanair-labs

How Ryanair converted to the User Experience

CMO Kenny Jacobs announced it with great fanfare in Marketing Weeks lately. Ryanair is now looking forward to developing the future in terms of online travel, in the form of a user-centered start-up venture fancily-named “Ryanair Labs”. To be successful, the venture will need to find about 200 collaborators by December in order to tackle their user generated content strategy.

But will they make it in time?

(more…)

Teddy-saying-sorry

No article this week, sorry folks!

Hey guys,

Sorry about messing up this week, but there won’t be any article on the blog. Personal life was hectic, time’s a runner (and I can’t seem to catch up) and I didn’t want to deliver a poor quality job on my blog.

But as I refuse to leave you hanging for nothin’, I believe it’s best that you read the articles that (should) have been written, provided I had the time:

- Subject n°1: easyJet and the businessman lawsuit

The pitch? easyJet got into an argument over refund with a businessman who of course refused to pay the hectic charges – because even if Ryanair is the best at it, EZY does it too. Could this result in a precedent that would ruin the orange airline model? Mhm mhm. I would daresay, hell no, and the reason is simple: simply too many a passenger takes for granted the airline’s position that states “No Refund”, even when they are entitled to one. Bummer!

- Subject n°2: Lufthansa’s dog days, far from over?

I don’t generally pay too much attention to flag carriers, but when one of them chooses to go low-cost, man does it interest me. Lufthansa is currently considering painful decision to keep its competitive edge and remains the best European airline, while confronting the Gulf carriers’ competition. Is it a good choice? Should it yield and abandon its model? And does it have the choice anyway? Finally, how will the pilots, the one concerned the most by the change, will welcome the decision?

- Subject n°3: did Ryanair finally learn his lesson?

Ryanair’s decision to launch a Ryanair lab is far from being nothing. It shows quite well how the carrier has finally understood the importance of the digital age. Something it could have never understood without recruiting an outsider, Kenny Jacobs, to do the job. However, their motives may be “righteous” and match a well-thought strategy, I don’t think that Ryanair Labs will really pick up anytime soon. Not because they don’t have the money: simply because their appeal is almost below zero on the seduction rank.

How can it be any different when one considers their horrific management culture, compared to their direct competitors – a.k.a Google, Facebook, and all the other fantastic companies which reside in this beautiful tax-friendly Ireland country?

- Subject n°4: Air France-KLM and Wizz Air, the missed opportunity

As a matter of fact, this article was 90% written, on the basis that Air France-KLM was REALLY courting Wizz Air. Unfortunately, the French – Dutch group firmly denied this some hours ago before I posted, and I couldn’t muster the strength to either rewrite it completely or add a few quick changes that wouldn’t have been too relevant. So half-way there, so to speak.

 

Which one would you want?

I wouldn’t want to leave without any fresh insights. I PROMISE to publish at least two articles, one new and one from above. The question is, which would you like? Please feel free to give me some feedback!

Customer - irritate

Low-cost carriers have grown more customer friendly – still manage to bend the law though

Airlines are experiencing a bad moment. easyJet is sentenced to 60,000 Euros damages for discrimination towards a person with reduced mobility (PRM). Ryanairforbidden to apply extra credit card charges fees (again). Looking at facts alone, it seems that airline industry in Europe is experiencing a slow but steady harmonisation of its consumer practices. Sure, some still manage to get out of trouble blue-handed: but overall, the rights of the air passenger have become more and more protected. Which is a good thing.

(more…)

unruly-passenger

Will Ryanair drinking problem hamper its charm offensive?

Yesterday, we learnt in the Daily Mail that a Ryanair flight went completely out of control. Irish family downing cans of Guinness, one of them urinating on the floor, shouting and hitting a passenger. It wouldn’t be information worth writing for, if another incident involving hadn’t happened the day before, and another two weeks before that. (more…)

Justice related.

Ryanair appeal in Marseille set to bounce back in Europe – has the airline become untouchable?

Last two days, Ryanair lawyers spent them in court instead of enjoying the notoriously sunny climate of the south de la France. What kept them busy was the continuation of an everlasting lawsuit related to the flouting of labour law. (more…)

michael-oleary-matador-espana

Ryanair considers buying piece of Spanish airport authority – seeks to lower charges?

 AENA, the Airports Authority that settles airport charges all over Spain, is set to undergo a partial privatization, according to a recent declaration of Transport Minister Ana Pastor. Immediately, Ryanair declared it was “seriously interested” by the 28% that should be open to private investors.

(more…)

Dilbert Coming Strip

How Ryanair €850m bond will help it slash into financing costs

Great news for Ryanair. Dublin-based carrier’s bond issue earlier this week was a terrific success – the kind one had never seen in aviation before. The budget airline managed a “no frill funding” of €850M for a ridiculously cheap credit rate: a financial coup de maître which kind of reminds of 2001’s acquisition of Boeing. (more…)

Transavia Air France

Air France seeks to hone its low-cost skills – must cope with her pilots first

After the savings generated by the Transform 2015 plan, Air France now seeks to bounce back by finding new opportunities for growth. At Doha, aside to IATA’s general Assembly, Alexandre de Jugniac (Air France-KLM CEO) and Frédéric Gagey (Air France CEO) met with journalists and discussed over the future. And obviously, it will be painted with Transavia colours. (more…)

Alitalia_a321-100_i-bixk_arp

Etihad set to invest €600M in Alitalia

Finally, the six-month-old saga of Alitalia’s survival may soon come to an (happy) end, we learnt from Bloomberg today. According to the financial newspapers, Etihad’s CEO James Hogan expects a “positive conclusion of the transaction submitted by Alitalia”. The Gulf airline has proposed to help the nearly bankrupt airline with a €600M investment, under the conditions that it readies itself for restructuring. However, considering the need for cash, it seems that all the lights are green for Etihad to acquire about 40 pc of the Italian flag carrier. (more…)

Transavia PR stunt goes viral

I’d missed this PR stunt from Air France’s LCC Transavia which went viral. The campaign, titled #hungryforholidays, draws the attention on the low costs of the tickets, the same price as a restaurant.
The video features a couple sitting at a restaurant. The man asks for the bill and… see what come next!
 

(more…)

airberlin1

The reasons behind airberlin’s split: brand identity, confusing travel segments

For analysts and investors, Air Berlin’s expected split is rejoicing. According to German aviation magazine Focus, the carriereventually chose to take decisive actions by splitting its business in two. Better late than sorry, one may say. But not sure it is enough. (more…)

Etihad_B777-300ER_Brisbane

Etihad set afloat by Royal family loan of $3bn

It was hardly a secret, yet this will make waves.Documents obtained by Fairfax Media, one of Australia’s largest media groups, showed without a possibility of denial that EAU’s flag carrier Etihad airways received secret, interest-free $3 billion loan from the royal family. (more…)

The Evaporated Dream

The Evaporated Dream released on Amazon

Hi everybody (and especially the pilots who follow this blog frequently – thanks for your loyalty).

 

Today is a very special day as I heard from my friend Nienke Groenendijk that her book “The Evaporated Dream” (De vervlogen droom: Piloot: held of huurling ) is finally available for sale on Amazon. You can find it here.

Nienke’s book discusses the difficulty of being pilots today, especially the complex, growing system of loans that slowly strangle the younger pilots. This is a real issue: banks and FTOs, but also less scrupulous airlines, have joined together in order to make the most of desperate, unemployed pilots who eventually become cash cows.

 

I strongly advise you to read this book, which is only available in Dutch so far. If you can’t read Dutch, you may as well check Nienke’s interview for Air Observer, which is a goldmine of information.

 

And do not hesitate sharing! It may be your son, daughter, cousin, nephew who could be concerned.