An Aer Lingus Airbus A330-214 named for St Eugene of Kilnamanagh and Ardstraw performed the inaugural flight EI540 to Montpellier, registration EI DEP, from Dublin airport at 12.50pm on Friday. Aer Lingus now offers a 2w service between Dublin and Montpellier on Mondays and Fridays between May and September with fares starting from €67.99 one-way on aerlingus.com. Picture shows Declan Kearney, Director of Communications at Aer Lingus with first passengers Amanda Keegan and Fergal Healy and Stephen O’Reilly of Dublin Airport. Watch here an introduction to Montpelier by tour guide Celine Dupin. Watch here a report on a press trip to Montpelier. Watch here a report of a press trip to the Midi-Pyrenees region. Watch here Anne Romiguerre introducing the French heritage village of Conques and watch here Marine Gil introducing Albi. Aer Lingus’ inaugural flight EI428 from Dublin to Pisa, an Airbus A330-200, named St Ibar, registration EI DEM, took off from Dublin airport at 7.15am on Monday. Fares on the 3w service on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays start from €79.99 one-way, including taxes and charges, for travel between May and September.
The sudden spin detected from Egyptair flight MSR804 before its loss with 56 passengers and 10 crew 200 km north of the Egyptian coast line has been exercising the minds of aviation watchers across Europe. Greek military authorities earlier reported that their primary radar showed the aircraft suddenly taking a 90 degree turn left, followed by a 360 degrees turn in the opposite direction as it descended from FL370 to FL150 before disappearing off radars. The aircraft departed Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, France, at 23:21 hours local time on May 18. Scheduled departure time was 22:45 hours. This was just the 13th fatal accident involving in the A320 family of which there are 6,631 in service. Read here Eoghan Corry’s article about the incident in the Irish Independent and listen here to Ted Carroll and Eoghan Corry discussing the incident on RTÉ Radio 1. Read here Conor McMahon of Travel Extra‘s comments in the Irish Examiner on the impact of the Egyptair incident on share prices.
The report was published into the dramatic United23 Newark-Dublin descent (FL250-235) in 2013 (watch here) indicated that a minor weather event had led to unreliable data in the cockpit, the crew responded in a fraught fashion, there was poor cockpit communication, and mistaken diagnoses and choices. The incident resulted in minor injuries to cabin crew and passengers.
David Thomas Regional Director of American Airlines told Travel Extra that the airline is looking at the end of 2017 to have their new Premium Economy product installed on all their International long haul aircraft. The first aircraft type to be delivered with the product installed will be their new Boeing 787-900 Dreamliners, The current fleet of B777-300ER’s, B777-200ER’s, B787-800’s and A330’s will all be retrofitted. None of the B767-300’s will be retrofitted, as these are scheduled for retirement in the coming years to leave. Premium economy will offer passengers a leather seat with 38 inches pitch, personal on demand IFE, large touchscreen monitors and noise reduction headphones. The product also comes with priority check-in & boarding, two checked bags free of charge, amenity kits and enhanced meal service. Picture shows Caitriona Toner and Dave Thomas of American Airlines.See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.
The Etihad truck roadshow event at Croke Park showcased their economy, business and first class products for the trade. What stood out for us was their patented “smart seat” with the fixed wing headrest. A simple idea but one that will make a huge difference to passengers, giving the chance to rest without having your head falling down while sleeping. This may be the equivalent of the microwave in kitchens, as far as the passenger experience is concerned. A wonderful, simple idea that most airlines executives will say “Why did I not think of that?” Of note also was the provision of power points on their new “Smart Seat”. These are located just below the TV screen and make available USB charging and a regular plug, which I am told will accept 99pc of world plugs, for the other 1pc, Etihad will have adapters available for passengers to use.
Starting September 1, Ryanair will fly from Luxembourg daily to London Stansted and 5w to Porto. Ryanair was reported to the Metropolitan Police by English leave the EU agitators. Ryanair has started using England’s favourite airline (a paraphrase of BA’s notoriously incorrect 1980s claim, the world’s favourite airline form the 1980s) suggesting they have overtaken Easyjet in its home market.
- Aer Lingus says there will be no change to the flying schedule when it reconfigures its base at Belfast City Airport in October, cutting 24 pilots, 38 cabin crew and some maintenance work (70 jobs in all).
- Antwerp based VLM which operates Waterford-Birmingham and Luton, has gone into receivership but continues to operate. Waterford’s independent John Halligan, the Minister of State for Training and Skills, claimed he secured funds to develop the runway at Waterford Airport.
- Total sales at Dublin and Cork airports, including retail, food and beverage sales by concessionaires, increased by 20pc to €273m, according to Dublin Airport’s annual report.
- Dublin Airport published a new US Preclearance video see here.
- County Cork council chair John Paul O’Shea launched a broadside against IALPA over Norwegian’s Cork-Boston route application.
- Ryanair opened a new European training centre in London Stansted.
- Shannon Airport launched instructional videos and a brochure for people with autism and special needs to help them understand the process of getting through the airport.
- Ryanair have loaded Shannon-Fuereteventura to the booking system for the winter schedule, operating on Sunday mornings.
- Research by Flight Centre indicated business class flights are 20pc cheaper on average than they were five years ago.
- Virgin Australia launched their new premium economy product, Economy Space at ATE to include extra legroom, premium check-in, dedicated crew members and noise-cancelling headsets.
- Air Canada Rouge launched a Toronto-Gatwick service.
- Cathay opened a 3,306 sqm business class lounge at the Pier within Hong Kong International Airport.
- BA said the new Club World A350 seat is not sufficiently revolutionary to justify retrofitting to the rest of the long-haul fleet.
- Thomson launched their summer service from Belfast International Airport to Verona. Picture shows Naomi Sainty from Thomson Airways, Airport Business Development Director Uel Hoey and Jill Russell from Topflight.
- BA’s new CEO Alex Cruz said: am I going to Ryanair-ise or low-cost-ise BA? The answer to that is clear, no, and said the airline has not made a decision to introduce buy-on-board.
- Ethiopian Airlines won the African Aviation ‘African Airline of the Year’ Award for 2016 during the Air Finance awards in Johannesburg. CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said Ethiopian Airlines will launch flights from Addis to Chennai and Mumbai. Ethiopian Airlines operates flights to 111 cities worldwide including Dublin. Watch here interview with Tewolde GebreMariam.
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