European Union verdict: Ryanair has to pay back state aids in…

I know what you must be thinking. Two articles a day? Christmas comes early! But hey, not really, just small Ryanair news on my part (and I am sorry if I wrote too much on them last week, but I can’t command the news God). As the info is pretty hot and as the mass media hasn’t yet taken the exclusivity, I thought I would pass the world around. Ryanair has been condemned to pay back state aids received from an airport. And boy, you’ll never be able to tell which one. (more…)

Etihad and Air Berlin Logos

Is there any reason why Etihad still owns Air Berlin?

Last week must have been rough for Etihad and Air Berlin’s senior managements, with the (not so) surprising news that German authorities cancelled 34 codeshare agreements between the two. A decision which Air Berlin shall, naturally, contest. However, this not so welcoming decision could hamper Etihad strategy of acquiring ailing airlines for code-share revenues.



Italian airports moved mountains to give Ryanair a €85m boost

“Do they ever learn?” is the kind of question that occasionally popped up my mind upon reading the news. Italian airports, from the region of Puglia, is said to give Ryanair €85 million during the 2014-2019 period to attract more passengers. (more…)


Ryanair and Aegean may not be buying Cyprus Airways after all

Cyprus Airways (CY) is currently being coveted by about 9 competitors, among which Aegean as well as Ryanair, for Air Operate Certificate’s purposes. However, all of them were taken aback by a pending decision of the European Commission that is set to turn the tables.



Ryanair to take advantage of Virgin’s Little Red’s demise

LCC’s strong point is undoubtedly their flexibility. Ryanair gave a clear sign of that lately, as it chose to add up more rotations to Scotland following the imminent demise of Little Red, Virgin Atlantic’s domestic flights networks.

Growth-hungry as it is, Ryanair took little time to take the phone and call Scotland’s airport to ensure its “commitment” to the land of people who wear kilts.  Basically, the Dublin-based airline shall propose flights from Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow at £19.9 for three months, three times a week, adding that their fares are notoriously cheaper than easyJet (£46.99 and £34.99) and British Airways (£55 and £70). Of course, this is Ryanair doing the maths, so the luggage and other ancillaries are not counted in, and you have to take the flight from Stansted, whereas easyJet or BA departs from Heathrow.


Route building is an art, used to say Ryanair’s former n°2 Michael Cawley. With this move, the carrier not only expects to drain the passengers from Virgin (if this was the sole purpose, it would have been a failure as Little Red’s flights were notorious for being 60pc empty), but also sets the ground for next summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, that should lead to increased demand. A sensible bargain.

In the end, it demonstrates once again that LCCs are kings when it comes to reactivity, something which can be plainly explained by the fact that the crew can be moved very quickly. Kind of reminds of easyJet increased frequencies following Air France’s recent strike which siphoned millions.


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?