Ukraine International Airlines to almost double fleet and passenger volume within four years 

Ukraine International Airlines plans to double its passenger volume over the next four years. By the end of 2021 the airline aims to carry 13.3 million passengers.

The chairman of the corporation’s supervisory board, Aron Mayberg, announced that the company intends to boost the volume of interlining passengers by 16 percentage points, to 60.4 per cent.

In 2017, the airline handled 6.9 million passengers, it expects the figure to rise to 8.2 million this year. Next year, the company expects to increase passenger handling to 9.9 million and to 11.4 million in 2020. 

The increase in passenger handling requires a proportional expansion of the airline’s fleet and the airline seeks to boost its fleet by 90 per cent over the course of the next four years – from 34 aircrafts in 2017 to 74 by the end of 2021. 

Emirates president hits back at US allegations of Open Skies violations 

Emirates’ president Sir Tim Clark has hit back at American carriers accusing the Gulf airline of unjustly benefiting from government subsidies, saying that his company “has nothing to hide.”

Sir Tim denied charges that Emirates has violated international Open Skies agreements, as alleged by the industry trade group Airlines for America. “We have provided our financials. We treat ourselves like a publicly listed company. We’re not, we’re a private company. The government of Dubai, which owns Emirates, doesn’t have to publish anything. But we publish everything to the sixth decimal place and we’re audited. We’ve never made anything secret because we have nothing to hide.” 

American, Delta, and United Airlines have tried to block Emirates from expanding in the US, claiming that a purported $50 billion in subsidies received from the government of Dubai gives Emirates an unfair advantage over domestic carriers.

Ryanair to axe Glasgow Airport base 

Ryanair is to close its base at Glasgow Airport resulting in the loss of at least 300 jobs. 

The airline, which also operates out of Prestwick and Edinburgh, made the announcement as it unveiled its schedule for winter 2018. 

The company said 11 new routes would be added to its Edinburgh schedule.  

Chief commercial officer David O’Brien blamed the change on the cost of air passenger duty and said Glasgow “simply could not bear the burden”. Despite the closure of its Glasgow base, the airline will retain three routes out of Glasgow Airport – Dublin, Rostov, Krakov.

Rolls-Royce aircraft engine fix will take ‘some years’

Most media outlets are reporting that the aerospace giant Rolls Royce has said that parts in its Trent 1000 engines were wearing out faster than expected but that it “had a solution” to the problem. 

It came as Rolls-Royce reported better-than-expected results for 2017, following a record loss in 2016. However, it signalled job losses ahead as the firm continues to cut costs. 

In December, Air New Zealand became the latest airliner to ground some of its flights because of problems with its Rolls-Royce engines. Japan’s ANA, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have also had problems. Rolls-Royce said up to 500 Trent 1000 engines – used on Boeing 787 planes – and some Trent 900 engines had technical problems. 

Boss Warren East told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “First you have to realise that all mechanical things wear out over time, and some of the parts in our Trent engines are wearing out faster than we originally forecast. “We’re having to manage the operational impacts because it’s quite disruptive for our customers.” He added: “We have a solution, we have a plan, it will take some years to fully implement the modifications in all the engines which are in service.”  

Ryanair to jettison UK investors 

In a recent interview with Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary, he warned that he will force British shareholders to sell their stock in the budget airline if there is a hard Brexit.

O’Leary has repeatedly claimed that flights between Britain and continental Europe are likely to be grounded in April next year in the event of a failure to strike a Brexit deal.

Ryanair has already started warning on passengers’ tickets of the risk that flights from April 1, 2019, could be cancelled. The interviewer has said that to keep his planes flying, O’Leary will need to demonstrate to European regulators that the majority of his investors are EU citizens and explained that at present, 56 per cent of its shareholders are European, and within that about 20 per cent are from the UK.

The airline boss is examining a number of ways to give incentives to non-EU investors to dump Ryanair shares. If he cannot persuade investors to cash out, he will force a sale. The Irish airline has applied for a British operating certificate to continue its domestic UK flights. O’Leary admitted that rules requiring European airlines to be majority owned by European shareholders are a ‘challenge’. O’Leary said he believes Willie Walsh, boss of British Airways owner IAG, is ‘ducking’ the ownership issue raised by Brexit, reiterating his claim that it will force IAG to sell Aer Lingus and Iberia. IAG has not said what percentage of its shareholders are European.  

In a separate article, the Ryanair boss talked about recent difficulties with Ryanair pilots. To avoid strikes over Christmas Mr O’Leary was forced to recognise union representation for pilots. A new pay deal with pilots and cabin crew will add €100m (£88m) to Ryanair’s costs, increasing pilots’ pay by 20 per cent. He said the airline had been hit with ‘laughable demands’ such as paying pilots €1,000 each when a flight finished after midnight.    

Vote secures easyJet’s right to fly after Brexit 

easyJet has pushed ahead with plans to protect its flying rights after Brexit following a shareholder vote in favour of legal changes to help ensure the airline meets EU ownership rules.

Shareholders have recently met at easyJet’s annual meeting and approved changes to its articles of association that will ensure it is EU-owned and controlled after Brexit.

The article suggests that the move means it has the power to force UK shareholders to divest their shares if the airline needs them to. John Barton, chairman, said: “Brexit is one of the biggest issues facing the European airline industry.” He said that while the airline had no ‘immediate intention’ of using these powers, they were an ‘important element in ensuring that easyJet has the ability to maintain EU ownership and control at all times should we need to do so’.

easyJet said close to 50 per cent of its shares were already held by European Economic Area nationals. It also said it expected the Civil Aviation Authority to grant it an air operator’s certificate in the coming weeks to cover its UK-based aircraft. It added that the government had confirmed that easyJet UK would be treated as a British carrier after Brexit even though its parent was EU-owned.   

Aegean Air plans major expansion with order of 50 jets 

Aegean Airlines, the former island-hopper that’s expanded to replace defunct Greek flag-carrier Olympic Air, plans to order at least 50 new single-aisle jetliners in the next three or four weeks. 

Aegean, which has already doubled its fleet since 2013, will choose between the latest Airbus SE A320neo and 737 Max.

The aircraft, to be delivered between 2020 and 2024, will replace an aging all-Airbus jet fleet.

Heathrow rejects accusation it thwarted rival proposal for an extended runway  

The UK press has reported that a ‘fresh row has erupted’ about expansion at Heathrow, after the transport secretary Chris Grayling said the ‘main reason’ he could not recommend the extended runway option was because the airport owners would not guarantee to build it. 

However, Heathrow rejected the accusation, and said: “Heathrow did not ever veto any plan. As the secretary of state identifies there were several issues which led to the Government choosing a north-west runway at Heathrow. In the end, the Government followed the advice of the Airports Commission which after its 2.5 year, £20 million study – the biggest ever into the issue – found a north-west runway delivers on all fronts including economic value, safety and benefits to local communities.” 

Flight Crew Futures Event in the UK – Free Entry

16th May 2018 – Gatwick – 1000 – 1630

Airlines are continuing to expand their fleets and this, together with indications of a global shortage of pilots, means that there’s never been a better time for experienced, low-hour and recently qualified candidates who are seeking genuine career opportunities.

Left and Right seat opportunities

Flight Crew Futures partners pilots attending the event with airlines and recruiting agencies which are seeking to recruit experienced, low-hour and recently qualified candidates who meet their requirements.

Meet directly with pilot recruiters

Visiting pilots will get the chance to meet directly with recruiters in a single venue – this is a unique opportunity to get all the facts, career advice and answers in an informal environment.

Informative presentations throughout the day

Flight Crew Futures’ drop-in format will also include presentations from recruiters throughout the day, allowing pilots who attend to get a comprehensive overview of their current flight crew requirements, salary packages and employment terms. The presentation programme will also include several presentations by BALPA on topics relevant to today’s pilots.

Entry to Flight Crew Futures is FREE. Simply complete the online registration to let us know that you’re attending.

There will be a wide range of opportunities on offer at Flight Crew Futures, from First Officer positions right up to Captains.

Before registering to attend, please consider whether your experience matches the criteria required by the companies who will be at the event.

Who should attend?

  • Experienced pilots considering career progression.
  • Type-Rated pilots seeking career progression.
  • Pilots considering a career move overseas.
  • Low-hour pilots/Frozen ATPL
  • Recently graduated ATPL pilots seeking their first career opportunity.
  • Military crew leaving the forces and now seeking pilot opportunities in the commercial sector.

Entry is free, but you need to register –


Ryanair pledges to become ‘plastic free’ airline in five years & Ryanair can call itself ‘Europe’s no.1 airline’ 

Ryanair has pledged to become plastic free in the next five years. Ryanair’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said:
“The ‘Always Getting Better’ programme, launched over four years ago, continues to go from strength to strength. 
Our environmental plan includes our commitment to eliminate all non-recyclable plastics from our operations over the next five years. For customers on board, this will mean initiatives such as a switch to wooden cutlery, bio-degradable coffee cups, and the removal of plastics from our range of in-flight products. We will also introduce a scheme to allow customers to offset the carbon cost of their flight through a voluntary climate charity donation online.”
Ryanair has further extended its connecting flight service to selected routes at Porto Airport. The carrier launched the service last summer at Rome Fiumicinobefore extending it to Milan Bergamo, and has now added an initial 20 routes through Porto. 
These include from Madrid to Lisbon via Porto, and from Barcelona to Faro, Lisbon, Ponta Delgada and Terceira. The service allows customers to check-in luggage through to their final destination, with one booking reference for both flights, and avoids travellers having to go landside at Porto when connecting. 
Ryanair has won clearance from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to describe itself as ‘Europe’s no.1 airline’ after complaints that thousands of flight cancellations last year invalidated the claim. 
TV and radio advertisements in September and October included voice-overs saying: “Discover why more and more people are choosing Europe’s number one airline. 
A poster advert seen on the London Underground on October 2 also featured the claim. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 13 complaints from people who claimed the ads were misleading in light of the thousands of flights Ryanair cancelled last year. 
Dublin-based Ryanair won the battle after using International Air Transport Association data to show it was Europe’s largest airline, and cancellations affecting 0.5 per cent of its 129m annual passengers did not alter this.
The cancellations were down to a rostering error that meant Ryanair did not have enough crews. Staff used the impetus this gave to force Ryanair to recognise unions, something it had been heavily criticised for not doing before.