Cyprus Airways ceases operations with immediate effect; rescue fares for stranded passengers

Last year we wrote of how Cyprus Airways withdrew from London Heathrow after selling its one pair of departure and arrival slots to American Airlines for $31 million.

The airline since moved its London – Larnaca route to London Stansted. The European Commission today ruled that financial support received by the airline was deemed to be state aid and had to be repaid.

Cyprus Air has confirmed on website that it has now ceased operations after nearly 70 years’ flying.

When airlines do go out of business, it is standard practice for other airlines to offer assistance to stranded passengers and those with future bookings. This usually takes the form of offering seats at special fares or for the price paid for the original ticket, known as “rescue fares”.

Ryanair Rescue Fares

Ryanair has confirmed it is offering rescue fares from €49.99 on the following routes: Athens – Paphos; Thessaloniki – Paphos; and London Stansted – Paphos. Bookings can be made at the following link until next Friday 16 January.

British Airways Rescue Fares

British Airways flies to Larnaca from London Heathrow (Terminal 5) and Gatwick (North Terminal). BA is offering a special fare for travel up to the end of January 2015. This can only be booked via a BA call centre or at a BA ticket desk at Gatwick, Heathrow and Larnaca airports.

There’s more on ba.com The numbers of the BA call centre are 0844 493 0787 (UK) +800 92556 (Cyprus) and +44 203 564 5911 (elsewhere).

easyJet also flies to Larnaca from Gatwick. We should hear in the coming days if it is willing to offer assistance to stranded passengers.

Geoff Golberg vs Virgin Atlantic – Another use of protest tweets

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Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)
Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)

A little over twelve months ago, we wrote of how Hasan Syed used promoted tweets to vent his frustration against British Airways after his father was separated from his luggage on a journey to Paris.

At the time, we speculated that whilst this was a novel use of the promoted tweet facility, it might not be the game changer the extensive media coverage it generated suggested.

In, perhaps, proof of the point, it has taken over a year for another promoted tweet against an airline to catch our attention.

This time it is Virgin Atlantic that is the target of a passenger’s ire.

Step forward Geoff Golberg:

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The story of an airline turnaround: IAG & Iberia

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Iberia Express Airbus A320 (Image Credit: Iberia Express)
Iberia Express Airbus A320 (Image Credit: Iberia Express)

This post is perhaps for students of aviation rather than the travelling public at large, but it is something worth noting in any event.

We have written much in recent years about British Airways’ International Airlines Group (“IAG”) sibling Iberia, and the wildly divergent financial performance of the two airlines since the formation of IAG four years ago in 2011.

Since Iberia started to report very heavy losses in 2012, IAG has taken a number of steps to improve the performance of Iberia.

This has included a complete overhaul of its senior management by a new CEO and (after bitter and unedifying industrial action with some rather unpleasant anti-British sentiment) reaching new collective agreements with its pilots and other staff working groups.

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Singapore Airlines launches joint rail & fly tickets

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Late last year, we wrote of a new initiative between First Great Western and British Airways, whereby BA passengers could book a flight with a connection on First Great Western to London Paddington, and the Heathrow Express from Paddington to Heathrow on a single ticket.

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Virgin Atlantic launches its new TV advertisement “Let It Fly”

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Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)
Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)

Virgin Atlantic’s latest TV advertising campaign bearing the slogan “Let It Fly” launched in the UK this weekend.

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BA to reintroduce First Class to Vancouver, Cape Town, Las Vegas and Phoenix

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British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)

A few months ago it was announced that BA would stop offering first class on flights to Cape Town (selected flights only) and Las Vegas, Phoenix and Vancouver.

The reason for this was that even though the flights continue to operate with a four class Boeing 747 aircraft, these routes would be operated with aircraft that have not been fitted with the latest version of BA’s first class cabin.

Instead, BA would operate the old first class cabin as an extension of Club World business class.

As the airline continues to retire its older Boeing 747 aircraft, it is reintroducing first class on these routes with the assurance that all flights will operate with the latest first class cabin.

First class will return to Vancouver from Sunday 29 March 2015. First class will return to Cape Town, Las Vegas and Phoenix from Sunday 25 October 2015.

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Christmas Greetings from the world’s airlines & airports for 2014

The world’s airline and airports release their annual Christmas films to mark the festive season for 2014.

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As is customary for this time of year, many of the world’s airlines have produced films and images to share the spirit of the Christmas / Festive / Holiday (delete as appropriate!) season and mark the end of a year of travelling in 2014.

Here are a few films and images that caught our attention. A clear leitmotif is what airlines are fundamentally about: bringing people together.

Air Canada – The Gift Of Home For The Holidays

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A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers!

Embed from Getty Images

We would like to take the opportunity to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and successful 2015.

Our site is steadily growing in readership and we’re very grateful to our readership for supporting us.

The world of air travel is never uneventful and we’re sure there’ll be lots to review and comment on over the next 12 months!

What would IAG gain from buying Aer Lingus?

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When International Airlines Group (“IAG”) was formed a little under four years ago from the merger of British Airways and Iberia, it stated an ambition to acquire up to 12 additional airlines.

So far it has acquired two. These are bmi and Vueling. bmi has been integrated into British Airways (bmibaby was closed and bmi regional was sold). Vueling continues to operate on a standalone basis.

Today we learned of an approach by IAG to Aer Lingus. IAG confirmed in a statement to the Stock Exchange that it submitted a proposal to make an offer for Aer Lingus, which has been rejected by the Board of Aer Lingus.

Aer Lingus also formally acknowledged the approach, stating that the initial approach was preliminary, highly conditional and non-binding. Furthermore, in their view it under-valued the company.

What would IAG gain from buying Aer Lingus and why is it bidding now?
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Iberia launches London Gatwick – Madrid

London Air Travel » Page 78

Iberia Express Airbus A320 (Image Credit: Iberia Express)
Iberia Express Airbus A320 (Image Credit: Iberia Express)

Ever since the marriage of BA and Iberia a little under four years ago, we have often wondered why Iberia has not taken advantage of BA’s distribution and marketing to operate more flights from UK airports to its Madrid hub.

There have been short-lived flights from Glasgow to Madrid, but little more. Now, as part of a significant expansion of Iberia’s short-haul network (which includes the launch of flights from Manchester and Edinburgh to Madrid), Iberia is to launch twice daily flights from London Gatwick to Madrid from Sunday 29 March 2015.

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