Promocy: Ryanair to know what’s in store for it in state aids case

Next week will be a moment of truth for Ryanair. The airline will eventually know its fate in the long-standing Promocy case, for the name of this joint-venture set up with the administrators of Brussels Charleroi’s Airports. Among other things, the airline is expected to face a hefty fine in case of loss. (more…)


What if Transavia Europe didn’t EXIST?

There is currently a conflict between Air France pilots and the CEO of Air France – KLM that should decide of the very future of the group. Beyond the strikes, beyond the question of pilots’ salaries, there is a question which must be answered: what if Transavia Europe didn’t happen?


money plane in the fingers

How does Ryanair finance its aircraft fleet?

The news shook to the bottom the small world of commercial aviation. After its mega-order of February, Ryanair labored the point by setting up an order for some more 100 Boeing 737 Max, with an option for 100 additional aircraft, for an overall cost estimated to $11bn, if it follows the list price.

Yet, one fundamental and not-so-well covered question remains: how the hell does Ryanair finance its aircraft? This article will aim to unravel a little bit on aircraft financing… so fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gents, cause this is going to be a very technical ride!



Air France-KLM CEO tells pilots in a letter that he wants to keep lines of communication open

In a letter addressed to the pilots which leaked in French press this morning, Alexandre de Juniac, CEO of Air France – KLM and Frederic Gagey, CEO of Air France, have reaffirmed their wills to continue the negotiations with the pilots, in the midst of a costly and stormy strike. This letter , which makes the content of the negotiations public, undoubtedly beckons the pilots back to the table of negotiations.



With Hugh Laurie to the rescue, easyJet seeks to regain marketing spotlights

Ryanair had scored a couple of good ones with the rolling out of its new strategy, with well-thought new ads, full with self-mockery and parody, and a new attitude that likely took its competitors by surprise. Now it is time to easyJet to strike back, with the broadcast of its first ever TV ad, solely orientated toward business passengers.

With this new ad, easyJet seems to say to Ryanair that it will not let itself be outshined.



Air France: some French pilots’ ready to fly for free to avoid strike

For the past few weeks, Air France – KLM’s board has been engaged in stormy negotiations to rally its pilots to their new goal: a follow-up of the Transform plan, with the development of a pan-European Transavia. Today, Fabrice Gliszczynski from La Tribune, published an article which sheds a new light on the relations between the pilots, with seemingly two distinct sides: the national front, with the leader SNPL, and the regional, with the Spac.


Transavia Air France

From France with love: pan-European Transavia set to expand?

Air France – KLM’s administrators have a bold plan to develop abroad and tackle the low-cost competition: set up European bases and mimic the LCCs. This solution is not to the liking of the French pilot union, notably the SNPL, which believes that Transavia’s development must come under conditions.

As the arm wrestling between union and senior management goes on, time is, however, scarily running out. (more…)

Vueling vs Ryanair Let the fight begin

What Ryanair new Vueling-inspired premium offer tells of the business flights niche market ?

So, Ryanair eventually released its business offer services. After considerable delays, the Dublin-based seemed to have opted for a premium, flexible fare deemed Business Plus. The whole thing starts at €69.99 yet furiously reminds of Vueling’s Excellence business fare. Will it be enough? (more…)


Air Observer is back!

Behold, dear readers, for Air Observer is back.

After a couple of weeks of laziness and vacations, I am back on tracks for more aviation and insane avgeek news. First article to be scheduled in the afternoon on Ryanair’s business offer and how it inspired itself from Vueling.


Another article this week will be dedicated to air travelers rights. See you soon and thanks for waiting!

Nightly rant – About that pilot fake arm

Okay, this is an instant, out-of-the-blue nightly rant on the story of the pilot and the “fake arm”. We all heard it. We all saw it. Everyone with a little piece of interest in aviation and who’s not turned his comp off for the vacations heard about it. So there was a flight incident. A Flybe pilot temporarily lost control of his plane after his prosthetic left arm fell. This unmanned pilot was, according to the company, one of the most experienced and trust worthy pilots of the airline.

But media didn’t shy away from preying on the story. For repeating it over and over, in a sadistic circle that became as voyeuristic as ghoulish. Even BuzzFeed gave it a go. Hell, since when did they start caring about aviation incidents anyway? I mean, seriously, did any of these guys think a second about how this man must feel, now that they have been pinning the label “fake arm” on him? Not the slightest consideration of humanity.

At least they didn’t spill out the name. Though I am sure they would have if they could have.

You might argue that it is a matter of safety. Sure it is. And I’m sure British authorities will look at it closely, so will Flybe and actions will be taken so that it never happens again. But I can’t stand the fact that media jumped on a crispy info and adds unspeakable pressure on the poor fellow’s shoulders. Especially since there are like so many other important things to look at… Like, maybe, this recent study of RunwayGirl Network on the toxicity of cabin air.

Sometimes, saying nothing is probably the best way to behave. At least that’s what I think.

How about you avgeeks? How did you feel about this whole media fury?


Why Ryanair should hire me… and why I would say no


I know. It isn’t the kind of titles you’d expect to see on my blog. Nevertheless, as time goes by, I realized that Ryanair was increasingly taking notice of what I say. Alright pause on that – joking.

I don’t think they care so much about a poor lonesome blogger, however, it is funny to see that a fair amount of things I’d warned about happened and, more surprisingly, Ryanair took the decision to do what I said they should do. Basically, they’d have saved precious months had they read and listened to me.



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 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.



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?



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.