Last updated: 08:42 AM ET, Thu March 31 2016

Aer Lingus Challenges Ryanair in Spain: Airline Pulse News and Notes for March 31, 2016

Airlines & Airports | Josh Lew | March 31, 2016

Aer Lingus Challenges Ryanair in Spain: Airline Pulse News and Notes for March 31, 2016

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Ryanair Taking A ‘Summer Break’ on Israel Routes
Ryanair has announced that it is temporarily suspending routes to and from Israel. The stoppage will last until fall, when the Irish LCC promises to return to the country with new routes.

Aer Lingus Begins Murcia Flights
Aer Lingus has begun offering flights from Dublin to the city of Murcia in Southern Spain. It will operate four flights per week. More significantly, it will compete directly with Irish rival Ryanair on the route.

United Surprises with SFO-Tel Aviv Flights
United Airlines will use one of its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners to fly from San Francisco to Tel Aviv. American recently abandoned its Israel routes and Delta and El Al only fly from the East Coast. However, United thinks that it is worthwhile to link the Bay Area with Tel Aviv because both are known for their high tech innovations and the route could have high demand among business travelers.

Airlines Object to Bidding for Haneda Slots
American Airlines has lobbied for daytime slots at Tokyo Haneda Airport. It will get its wish, but it will have to bid for the new slots. U.S. based carriers have complained about this, saying that their current late-night slots should qualify them automatically for corresponding daytime openings.


The battle for the limited number of flights to Cuba has deteriorated into mudslinging. Airlines first applied with the US DOT and provided an argument for why they deserved the route. Now, however, the carriers have filed supporting documentation for their applications that reportedly includes arguments for why other airlines should NOT get the routes

Chinese airlines have lost more than $2 billion after the Chinese Yuan was devalued unexpectedly by the government. China’s so-called Big Three (Air China, China Southern and China Eastern) were the hardest hit by the unfavorable exchange rate. 

Virgin Australia’s biggest shareholder, Air New Zealand, has said that it may sell as much as 26 percent of its stake in the company. The reason for the sale is that ANZ has become frustrated with the slow profit turnaround. The announcement was a bit of a surprise since ANZ publicly supported Virgin’s request for a $324 million loan from shareholders just 10 days ago. 

Boeing is continuing to lay off workers. It plans to let an additional 4,500 employees, including executives, go. For now, the layoffs will be voluntary. The airplane maker simply plans to not replace workers who quit, retire or move to other jobs. At the end of last year, Boeing had a total of 161,000 employees. 


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