Planet DMC

News and tidbits from the travel industry

Category: The Independent (Page 1 of 12)

Ryanair’s profits have plummeted by almost 30%

Ryanair’s fares fell by 6 per cent in the year to March 2019, leading to a slump of 29 per cent in the airline’s profits. But with full-year profits of over €1bn (£880m), Europe’s biggest budget airline remains in far better shape than many of its rivals. Last year, the carrier’s average one-way fare was €37 (£32), down 6 per cent. Passenger numbers grew by 7 per cent to 139 million, representing a profit per passenger of £6.33. Non-fuel costs rose by 5 per cent, largely due to an increase in salaries – particularly for pilots.Simon Calder (The Independent)

How La Plagne became the coolest ski resort for millennials this season

I’m in La Plagne – a ski resort in the French Alps which, until now, has catered mostly to the family market. But this winter, it’s upping its appeal to millennial visitors with a new concept in hostel accommodation, ho36. With beds from €18 a night, the option to self-cater and cheap beers at the bar (pale ale from €2.90), you can save on accommodation and spend most of your holiday budget on Instagrammable experiences, like sunrise ski touring, instead.Lucy Grewcock (The Independent)

Airbus to stop making A380 ‘superjumbo’ aircraft, risking 3,500 jobs

Airbus has announced it will end production of the world’s biggest passenger plane, the A380 “SuperJumbo” model, by 2021. The admission of long-term failure comes after Emirates, the largest customer of the A380, reduced its order from 162 to 123 aircraft. The Dubai-based airline has opted to take smaller A330 and A350 jets instead.Simon Calder (The Independent)

China to launch driverless bullet trains that will travel at 350km per hour

It’s thought that automatic train operation (ATO) will increasingly replace human drivers in China after it was successfully rolled out on two intercity lines in the Pearl River Delta region. These trains run at a maximum speed of 200kph; the new Fuxing trains, which debuted on the Beijing-Shanghai line in June 2017, can travel at up to 350kph. For the first 10 years of the high-speed ATO trains, an attendant will still be deployed on board to ensure nothing goes wrong. After that, the trains will be totally driverless.Helen Coffey (The Independent)

Four Wow Air planes handed back as cash crisis worsens

Due to the continuous negative events all our lessors, creditors and authorities have been monitoring the situation even closer and demanding stricter payment terms then before further putting pressure on our cash flow. As a result, our Q4 results are materially worse than originally anticipated.Skuli Mogensen (Wow Air)

Ryanair profits hit by summer of strikes

The airline says that average fares have fallen by 3 per cent due to excess capacity in Europe. It also blames strikes and staff shortages at air traffic control (ATC) centres, “which caused a spike in cancellations of higher fare, weekend flights”.Simon Calder (The Independent)

Consumer trust in review sites like TripAdvisor falls by 25%

The limitations of relying on review websites has been highlighted by high profile stories of a shed being ranked one of the best restaurants in London and a plastic tunnel at a supermarket being listed as the most popular attraction in the Cornish town of Bude.ABTA

New Zealand to launch £18 ‘tourist tax’ for visitors entering the country

The money accumulated by the new tax will be spent on tourist amenities including car parks, toilets and walking track maintenance, and conservation projects such as native planting, breeding programmes and predator eradication. It is expected to raise up to NZ$80 million (£42 million) a year for these projects.Freya Ellingsen (The Independent)

Boeing unveils plans for hypersonic jet that will fly from London to New York in two hours

Boeing says it hopes to have the aircraft in service by the late 2030s at the earliest, but warned the project could potentially take a decade longer.Tom Barnes (The Independent)

Lufthansa could be making a bid for Norwegian Air

Acquiring Norwegian would give the German airline a significant foothold in the UK, access to valuable slots at Gatwick and a fleet of modern Boeing 787 jets. Norwegian could dovetail well with Lufthansa’s budget brand, Eurowings, which has a rapidly expanding long-haul market — helped by the collapse last October of Air Berlin. But there is also speculation that the main aim of the German airline is to up the price that arch-rival IAG might possibly pay for Norwegian — including a premium to keep Lufthansa off its home turf.Simon Calder (The Independent)

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