BERLIN, 26 April 2013: Low-cost carrier Ryanair plans to expand in Germany, its chief said in an interview Wednesday, also predicting that budget airlines would continue to steal market share from their older rivals.
“We want to service five or six more airports in Germany,” up from 13 now, Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in its issue to be published Thursday.
The airline was in talks with some 20 German airports now, he said.
SYDNEY, 24 April 2013: Australia’s competition regulator on Tuesday approved Virgin Australia’s purchase of a 60% stake in low-cost rival Tiger Airways Australia, despite concerns about the market becoming a duopoly.
Virgin is Australia’s second-largest carrier after Qantas, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had previously said it was worried about the impact on consumers of two main airlines controlling the market.
But it ruled on Tuesday that “this acquisition is unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the Australian market for domestic air passenger transport services”.
BANGKOK, 23 April 2013: Thai Airways International’s top management says THAI Smile will be positioned as a regional airline serving ASEAN, China and India while competing fare wise with low-cost airlines .
THAI president, Sorajak Kasemsuvan, confirmed the airline was still waiting for Cabinet to approve a plan to spin off THAI Smile as a subsidiary company, but fully owned by the national airline.
At present it is a business unit of the company.
BANGKOK, 17 April 2013: It seems like a thousand moons have waxed and waned since I was last in Mandalay so when THAI Smile invited me to join the inaugural flight to Myanmar’s second city I accepted.
Yes I knew it would mean I would have to say something nice about THAI Smile, but that turned out to be easy enough. Three smiling cabin attendants dressed in brilliant orange uniforms were assigned to escort us for the duration of the trip. We were treated to permanent manicured smiles regardless of the weather conditions. No wonder the press release noted the uniforms “draw customer attention.”
Then THAI Smile has seven brand new 168-seat A320s in its fleet and that will grow to 10 this year, 17 next and 20 by 2015.
MANDALAY, 5 April 2013: Thai Smile launched five weekly flights between Bangkok and Mandalay, earlier this week, promising to battle it rival AirAsia head-on in Myanmar’s second largest city.
A subsidiary of Thai Airways International, the light-premium, THAI Smile uses a 168-seat A320 on the route. The service departs Suvarnabhumi Airport at 0725 and arrives 0850 in Mandalay (local time). Flight time is one hour and 55 minutes.
Thai AirAsia started flying to Mandalay, earlier in the year, but THAI director Thailand and the Mekong Region, Bhudhisarn Varavan, said THAI Smile would match fares, while offering the additional benefits of flying a full-service airline.
BANGKOK, 13 March 2013: AirAsia will offer 10 daily services from Don Mueang to Phuket starting 30 April.
CEO of Thai AirAsia, Tassapon Bijleveld, said AirAsia will focus on increasing flight frequencies on its most popular routes this year.
“From 30 April, AirAsia will be offer up to 10 direct flights a day from Bangkok to Phuket, the airline’s southern flight hub and Thailand’s number one domestic and international tourist destination.”
DUBLIN, 13 March 2013: Irish low-cost airline Ryanair has placed an order for up to 200 Boeing planes worth US$18 billion (13.8 billion euros) at list prices, the Irish Independent said on Tuesday.
The order, set to be confirmed by US President Barack Obama and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at the White House next week, is the single-biggest aircraft purchase ever agreed by Ryanair, the newspaper said.
Asked about the report, a Ryanair spokesman told AFP that the airline “does not comment upon, or engage in, rumour or speculation.”
MANILA, 12 March 2013: The Philippine unit of regional budget airline leader AirAsia announced on Monday it had acquired 49% of local carrier Zest Airways, allowing it to fly out of the nation’s capital.
The deal will also see Zest Airways’ owner, tycoon Alfredo Yao, take 15% stake of Philippines’ AirAsia, a company statement said.
The alliance will allow Philippines’ AirAsia, which has operated from an airport 90 minutes’ drive north of Manila since launching in 2011, to fly out of the capital’s main international airport.
MUMBAI, 21 February 2013: Asia’s largest low-cost carrier AirAsia on Wednesday announced plans to invest in an airline joint venture with India’s giant Tata conglomerate and another party.
The proposal, if cleared, would be the first foreign investment in India’s aviation sector since the government last September allowed overseas airlines to take up to a 49% stake in domestic operators.
“We have carefully evaluated developments in India over the last few years and we strongly believe that the current environment is perfect to introduce our low fares,” said AirAsia’s chief executive Tony Fernandes.
BANGKOK, 18 February 2013: THAI Smile will undergo yet another twist in direction as it abandons its low-cost image to emulate the business models of Singapore’s Silk Air and Hong Kong’s Dragonair.
The Thai Airways International board will consider turning the operation into a separate company fully owned by the national airline but having separate accounts and management structure.
But for passengers the most visible change will be the introduction of a fixed business class seating arrangement and full on-board service similar to the Silk Air model that should occur over the next two months when the seventh A320 is delivered.