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Ryanair warns on profits as strikes hit income

LONDON (BBC News): Ryanair has warned investors its full-year profits will be lower than expected, partly due to the recent wave of industrial action.

The airline said its profits would be 12% lower than the €1.25-1.35bn (£1.11-1.2bn) previously forecast, and it now expects profits of between €1.1-1.2bn.

Ryanair said this was due to higher oil prices, higher costs associated with EU flight compensation rules, and weaker fares due to the recent strikes.

It warned it may lower forecasts again.

Shares in the airline opened down 8%.

Last week, cabin crew and pilots in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Spain and Portugal took industrial action which led to a number of flight cancellations.

Bigger fuel bill

Ryanair said fares for the third quarter of the year were lower as forward bookings, particularly for the October school mid-terms and Christmas, were being affected by fear of further strikes.

The carrier said it had not hedged its fuel bill against prices rises, and this meant it would be paying 10% more for its fuel thanks to the recent rise in the global price.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “While we successfully managed five strikes by 25% of our Irish pilots this summer, two recent co-ordinated strikes by cabin crew and pilots across five EU countries has affected passenger numbers (through flight cancellations).

“Customer confidence, forward bookings and [third quarter] fares have been affected, most notably over the October school mid-terms and Christmas, in those five countries where unnecessary strikes have been repeated.”

The airline is making cuts to some routes and closing some of its bases.

Its four-aircraft Eindhoven base in the Netherlands will close, although most routes to and from Eindhoven will continue on overseas-based aircraft. It is taking the same action at its two-aircraft Bremen base in Germany and is making cuts at its Niederrhein base.

Ryanair says all affected customers have been contacted by email or text message, and will be re-accommodated on other flights or refunded as they wish.

Disputes

After many years of ignoring workers’ attempts to get it to recognise unions, Ryanair finally agreed at the end of 2017.

But staff in a range of countries have continued to have issues with the company’s employment practices, in particular its use of contracts based on Irish employment law and its insistence on paying staff through Irish bank accounts, which cause those based elsewhere extra inconvenience and costs.

In a complex industrial relations background, involving different disputes in different countries with cabin crew and pilots with their own grievances, Ryanair broadly says it is offering staff what they have asked for.

But staff in certain parts of the company’s cross-border operations plainly do not agree, because the possibility of further strike action remains.

Ryanair said in its statement it “cannot rule out further disruptions in [the third quarter], which may require full-year guidance to be lowered further and may necessitate further trimming of loss-making winter capacity”.

‘Long-term damage’

David Madden, an analysts at CMC Markets, said it was plain Ryanair’s aggressive stance was having a negative impact on its business: “In August 2017 the airline’s share price hit an all-time high as the company made a concerted effort to improve customer service prior to that, and it clearly paid off.”

He pointed out that since then, the shares had lost 38%

“Clients like cheap airfares, but they value flight certainty more, and the company is running the risk of doing long-term damage to the brand. The airline is still aiming to make over €1bn profit, so it’s not like they can’t afford to pay their staff well.”

 

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Dubai airport opens after Houthi attack

Monitoring Desk

ABU DHABI: The Dubai International Airport is operating as normal following an attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, according to authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday.

“Air traffic in the UAE is ongoing normally and naturally,” the Civil Aviation Authority said on Twitter.

Earlier Sunday, the Houthi-run Al-Masirah television said a Sammad-3 drone had carried out an attack on the Dubai airport, without giving further details.

The aviation authority, however, denied the alleged Houthi attack on the airport. The UAE is a major member of a Saudi-led coalition that has launched a massive air campaign in 2015 against Houthi rebels. (AA)

 

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Ryanair: 90 per cent of flights operate normally

Monitoring Desk

ANKARA: Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair announced Friday 90 percent of its scheduled flights will operate without being affected by the ongoing strike.

“Despite the regrettable and unjustified strike action taking place in 6 of our 37 markets today, all 400 first wave aircraft departed on schedule this morning,” the airline said. The company’s announcement came after cancellation of 250 flights due to a one-day strike by its pilots and cabin crew in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.

“Today, over 2,150 Ryanair flights will operate as normal carrying 400,000 customers across Europe.

“Ryanair took every stop to minimize the disruption and we notified our customers as early as possible advising them of their free move, refund or reroute options,” the airline said.

On Wednesday, Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO, said the company made progress with the unions in many EU countries since it agreed to recognize unions in December, 2017. “In certain countries, most notably in Portugal, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, and Sweden similar progress is being impeded by the interference of competitor airline pilots and cabin crew who are conspiring to call repeated and unnecessary strikes, which are disrupting Ryanair’s customers, and damaging our business for the benefit of their legacy airline employers,” O’Leary said.

He also noted that the majority of Ryanair’s pilots and cabin crew show no support to these strikes.

On Thursday, the airline also condemned the German pilot strike, and described it as “unnecessary.”

 

 

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One held at Dublin airport

LONDON (AP): A man who missed his flight at Dublin Airport was arrested Thursday for running after the plane on the tarmac in a bid to flag it down. Witnesses said a man in his 20s broke through an airport door and ran toward the Ryanair plane, which was about to take off for Amsterdam, at around 7 a.m.

Declan Harvey, who was at the airport, said he could hear a man shouting “Wait!” at the plane before he was tackled to the ground by airport workers. The airport said that a man became “agitated” after he and a woman arrived at the gate too late for their flight.

It said the man “broke through a door and made his way onto the apron, trying to flag the aircraft down.” He was briefly restrained by Ryanair staff until airport police arrived. He was handed over to Irish police and taken to a Dublin police station. Patrick Kehoe, 23, later appeared in a Dublin court charged with criminal damage to a door lock.

 

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What Benefits Could Cheaper Flights Bring to a Country?

UAE Airlines recently announced that it would be offering flights from the UAE to India and Pakistan for the incredibly low price of Dh199 (for a limited time), which could well lead to significant developments for both countries.

Cheaper flights are great for those who already travel frequently between two countries, but they also bring a wealth of additional benefits and advantages to the countries in which they are being offered, As such, here is a look at some of the potential advantages which can arise from cheaper flights.

Tourism

Without a doubt one of the major advantages gained by offering cheaper flights is the potential boost in tourism. Long distance flights usually tend to be very pricey, so those looking to explore a different country will likely leap at the chance to go to their desired destination for a lower price.

This means that the tourist industry can expect to see higher numbers of tourists spending money and boosting the economy as a whole. This bodes well for the economies of the UAE and India/Pakistan, as both countries could well see a huge increase in the people visiting them in the near future.

Cultural Understanding

Leading on from the boost in tourism, it is likely that, with more people visiting countries through cheaper flights, there will be the chance for the visitors to develop a deeper cultural understanding of the country they are visiting.

Eventually, this could also enhance diplomatic relations between the countries involved, and foster better relations for the foreseeable future. The UAE, India and Pakistan are prime examples of countries with fairly different cultures, whose citizens will be able to better integrate and connect with each other through cheaper flights.

Business/Investment Opportunities

Not only will cheaper flights help to foster cultural/diplomatic relations, but it could also greatly improve business/economic relations too. From investors involved in forex trading to those who own and run a business, cheaper flights allow businesspeople to interconnect with greater ease, and could lead to lucrative opportunities in the form of trade deals, partnerships, and more.

So, the more destinations which are made cheaper to fly to, the more interconnected the businesspeople from each country will be, and the more opportunities they will have to reach a new customer/client base.

Airline

It may at first seem like an airline will lose out profit-wise by offering significantly cheaper flights to a certain destination, but this is not necessarily the case. Cheaper flights also bring in larger numbers of people, allowing the airline to fill its seats with greater ease.

Coupled with the on flight extras like food and drink, the airline may also boost its overall profits from the increase in the number of people flying with them. This may allow them to extend reductions to other destinations as well, allowing the citizens of the country to gain all the above mentioned benefits in other countries too. This would, of course, depend on how successful and popular the initial cheap flights turn out to be, but it would certainly be a strong possibility.

The introduction of cheaper flights between the UAE and India/Pakistan will be a good way to gauge the precise benefits that cheaper flights bring to a country/countries, but it is likely that, for now at least, the citizens of the three countries will enjoy the fact that they won’t have to pay a fortune to visit another beautiful country. If this temporaryoffering is a success, it could well be the case that other airlines from around the world follow suit, and reduced long distance flights flourish.

 

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Air Arabia set to launch new route to Afghan capital

Monitoring Desk

SHARJAH: Sharjah low-cost carrier will operate flights four times a week to the Afghan capital from October 4.

UAE low-cost carrier Air Arabia will launch a new flight to Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan from next month.

The Sharjah-based airline will operate a flight four times a week from its base, starting on October 4.

The 2 hour 30-minute flight will operate on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The outbound flight from UAE will depart from Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) at 06:40 hours and arrive in Kabul International Airport (KBL) at 09:40 local time. The return flight will leave Kabul at 10:40 hours and arrive in Sharjah at 13:00 local time.

“Kabul is a new addition to our network that will meet the needs of thousands of people traveling between Afghanistan and the UAE as well as the wider region,” said Adel Al Ali, Group CEO of Air Arabia.

“We look forward to the launch of this new route which connects the two destinations, and provide our passengers with Air Arabia’s value for money services.”

Air Arabia currently operates flights to more than 150 routes across the globe from four hubs located in the Middle East and North Africa.

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Cabin crew warn passengers to never do one common thing mid-flight

Monitoring Desk

LONDON: Flight attendants onboard know all of the tricks of the trade when it coming to the aircraft.

They also know all of the most disgusting secrets, such as how little the water tank is cleaned to people putting toenails in the front seat compartment.

A cabin crew member recently took to popular online forum Reddit to dispel some myths and give some handy advice.

One thing they advised to never do, despite many ignoring it, is to walk about the cabin barefoot.

The flight attendant said: “DO NOT WALK AROUND BAREFOOT. Pee and poop happens, all over.

“I feel like I witness an ‘accident’ regularly; in their seat or in the lav. People get nosebleeds, or their wounds open.”

They warned that even though crew members can clean as well as they can, it is only when they land they can fully aim to fix the problem.

“Obviously when we land, it is thoroughly cleaned. But inflight our resources are limited,” they explained.

Passengers often want to take their shoes off during the flight but this can cause problems for both the plane and the traveller by spreading germs.

The carpets of the cabin are also rarely cleaned as many flights have very little turn-around time.

Cabin crew members simply clean the basics before the plane needs to make its next journey.

“We have people take their shoes off and put their feet on the bulkhead, the wall between first class,” flight attendant Anette Long told Business Insider.

“Feet in general just aren’t nice to have for other people’s viewing pleasure.”

One passenger went viral after noticing a follow travellers bare feet poking through the side of the seat.

Jasmine Mays was travelling from Nevada when a brazen passenger put their toes through the side of the armrest by the window.

The video, which had over 18 million views in just a few days, shocked other passengers in regards to the bad flight etiquette.

One remarked: “I think my elbow would “accidentally” smash out on those toes.

“She’d likely remove them quickly…”

 

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Global Village Dubai offers discounts for visitors

Monitoring Desk

DUBAI: Global Village, the world’s leading multicultural festival park and the region’s first family destination for culture, shopping and entertainment, has announced that its highly sought after VIP Packs sales for its 23rd season will start Saturday, September 29, 2018. They will be sold daily from 9 am to 6 pm until the allocated quantity of more than 4,000 packs run out. VIP Packs for the upcoming season offer a value greater than ever before and guests can take advantage of them throughout the season, which starts on October 30, 2018 and lasts until April 7, 2019.

Guests keen to visit the park throughout the season find the VIP Packs beneficial as they can avail of several special services and facilities. They offer more than five times their value through exclusive privileges, in addition to the convenience of VIP parking that shortens the time to enter Global Village during busy periods.

VIP Packs from Global Village have been very popular since their launch 11 seasons ago and guests rush to acquire them at the earliest from when they are released for sale. During the previous season, more than 4,000 VIP Packs were sold out within four days of their release to the public.

Global Village has further developed its VIP Packs for this season, adding more categories and including more exclusive privileges and value. For the first time, they include cards for access to the whole new Circus shows in the Carnaval funfair area and discounts from 23 restaurants around the park.

This season, VIP Packs can be purchased through the Global Village website, (GlobalVillage.ae) to ensure the widest possible reach and utmost comfort, or through the VIP Sales Centre located at the Global Village Management Office from Saturday, September 29, and daily from Saturday to Thursday, 9 am to 6 pm until fully sold out. Each guests can buy up to 8 packs of any category from the Global Village VIP Sales Centre and up to 2 Gold or Silver category packs thought the online store. They need to present their UAE ID to purchase and this also ensures that their maximum quota is not exceeded.

“Our VIP Packs are a unique reward for loyal guests who visit us year after year. They are also a wonderful gift for friends and relatives,” said Bader Anwahi, CEO of Global Village. “The quantity of VIP Packs is determined by past studies and availability of the privileges offered. As we continue preparations for our 23rd Season, our VIP Packs provide customers additional luxury, comfort and a variety of exclusive benefits. As we saw last season, VIP Packs are in high demand and are sold rapidly within the first few days of launch. We advise guests to buy them before they go out of stock if they wish to take advantage of a luxurious experience and exclusive benefits throughout Season 23.”

With every VIP Pack, guests will receive an exclusive free Dubai Entertainment Experience pack with a value of more than Dh1,400, offered by Global Village in collaboration with its entertainment affiliates, for guests to explore Dubai’s diverse entertainment destinations. These complimentary packs includes vouchers to Dubai Parks & Resorts, Roxy Cinemas, The Green Planet Dubai, Mattel Play! Town, Hub Zero Dubai, Laguna Waterpark and special discounts at Lapita Hotel in Dubai Parks & Resorts.

The park has provided VIP Packs for the past 11 seasons, and each time it upgrades their content to add more privileges based on the views and suggestions of guests. In an upgrade of its services with smart technologies this year, it has embedded a smart RFID chip in the VIP Pack car passes, which greatly facilitates the process of entry and exit for vehicles.

Global Village VIP Packs include VIP tickets to the park, car passes, Carnaval funfair cards to enjoy the rides and skills games, and for the first time ever they also include discounts on restaurant bills and cards for the all-new circus show.

VIP Packs for Season 23 come in four categories, the most popular of which is the Platinum Plus Pack that carry’s the number 1 and include two car passes for VIP parking access and three reserved parking spots, 200 VIP entry tickets, 30 VIP parking tickets worth Dh200 each, and Carnaval funfair cards worth Dh1,000. They also include tickets for the whole new circus show worth Dh450 and 30 discount vouchers for 15 per cent off in restaurants.

The VIP Pack details are as follows:

Platinum Pack (Price: Dh4,000):

Platinum Packs carry the numbers 2 to 10 and include two car passes for VIP parking access and two reserved parking spots, 150 VIP entry tickets, 25 VIP parking tickets worth Dh200 each, and Carnaval funfair cards worth Dh500. They also include tickets for the whole new circus show worth Dh300 and 20 discount vouchers for 15% off in restaurants. Platinum Packs are available for Dh4,000.

Gold Pack (Price: Dh1,500):

The Gold Pack includes one car pass for VIP parking access, 140 VIP entry tickets, 15 VIP parking tickets worth Dh200 each, and Carnaval funfair cards worth Dh250. They also include tickets for the whole new circus show worth Dh80 and 10 discount vouchers for 15% off in restaurants. Gold Packs are available for Dh1,500.

The Silver Pack includes one car pass for VIP parking access, 120 VIP entry tickets, 10 VIP parking tickets worth Dh200 each, and Carnaval funfair cards worth Dh200. They also include tickets for the whole new circus show worth Dh120 and 7 discount vouchers for 15% off in restaurants. Silver Packs are available for Dh900.

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Turkish Airlines offers new services in business class

Monitoring Desk

ANKARA: Turkish Airlines implemented two new projects to provide better service for intercontinental business class passengers, the national flag carrier announced Thursday.

“Awarded many times for its in-flight catering services, Turkish Airlines has carried its service a step further and implemented a new project enabling business class passengers to choose their meals before the flight,” the airline said in a written statement.

“Meal selection before flight” service will be available in several intercontinental flights departing from Istanbul to global destinations — including Atlanta, Boston, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, New York etc., the country’s national flag carrier said.

“Business class passengers can view the meal details and visuals of the main dishes and make their choices on the webpage and/or mobile application,” it stated.

The service enables the passengers to choose the meal within the period starting from one week before flight date until the last 48 hours, the statement added.

The airline named the other project as “dine on demand service”, allowing its business class passengers in intercontinental flights to dine at any time they wish during the flight.

“Turkish Airlines passengers will have the opportunity to experience a more flexible flight by determining the time they want to rest and dine,” the airline said.

Dine on demand service will be available in all intercontinental night flights departing from and landing on Istanbul, it added.

“This privileged service concept applied by very few airline companies in the world allows passengers to get a more customized service,” it stated.

Turkish Airlines, founded in 1933, flies to more than 300 destinations in over 120 countries. By the end of Aug. 2018, the airline had 326 aircraft — 92 of them wide-body along with 216 narrow-body aircraft and 18 cargo planes.

Last year, the airline carried 68.6 million passengers with a 79.1 percent seat occupancy rate.

According to the airline’s year-end targets, the company expects to carry 75 million passengers — including 33 million on domestic routes, 42 million on international routes — with around an 81-percent passenger load factor.

The airline — staffed with 25,000 people, including more than 4,500 pilots, — earned some 24.4 billion Turkish liras ($5.9 billion) of total revenue in the first half of this year. (AA)

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‘Idiotic mistake’ caused bomb scare, delays 300 flights

Monitoring Desk

ARIZONA: One person’s “idiotic mistake” ended up canceling hundreds of flights and inconveniencing thousands of passengers at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport on Sunday.

According to the Arizona Republic, a man left a four-door silver Nissan unattended and idling curbside near Terminal 4, prompting police to investigate the vehicle. Authorities called a tow truck after about 25 minutes.

When the tow truck arrived at the scene, its driver was told to wait as the bomb squad used a bomb-defusing robot to determine whether the car was simply left behind by some hurried or absent-minded passenger. The car was investigated for four hours before policed determined there was no threat.

There are all sorts of things you probably should pack in your carry-on, but there’s one thing you’ll never want to forget: a tennis ball.

Other travelers in the terminals, including those waiting for the airport’s SkyTrain shuttle service, were left waiting as the airport came to a complete standstill. Even passengers traveling to Phoenix from other locations were held at their departing airports, stated the Arizona Republic.

Around 10 a.m. an airport employee made announcements to passengers that all flights had stopped momentarily, said one traveler, Janet Cappo. Shuttle trains began to resume just over an hour later.

It’s unclear when the driver of the Nissan finally came out of the terminal to reclaim his vehicle, but Richard Polanco Jr., the tow truck driver, noted to the Arizona Republic that the man was still talking to police as he was hooking the car up to his truck over five hours later. The front hood and trunk were ripped open and windows were left shattered.

According to Polanco’s conversation with the man, he thought he had only been away for a few minutes to help his girlfriend check into her flight. By the time he came back out, the bomb squad had already torn into the car.

“He was just bummed out that for something so small — an idiotic mistake he made — turned into such a big deal,” said Polanco.

Despite the man’s “mistake” causing many people to miss their flights and over 300 delays, police have only issued a traffic citation that comes with a fee of $56. It’s undetermined whether the driver will also have to pay for damages to his car and for the towing fee.