Thomas Cook Group Airline announces route expansion to Caribbean and Baltics

Thomas Cook Group Airline has said that it will expand its worldwide route network with two additional partner airlines – LIAT Air and Baltic.

With LIAT, the Caribbean specialist, customers can now fly from Manchester, London Gatwick or Frankfurt to five new destinations via existing Thomas Cook Group Airline destinations Antigua (ANU), Barbados (BGI) and Grenada (GND). With LIAT, new destinations on offer include Dominica (DOM), Guyana (OGL), St. Kitts and Nevis (SKB), Casties/St. Lucia (SLU) and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVD).

A new partner for Thomas Cook Airlines this winter season, Air Baltic offers flight services from London Gatwick to Tallinn (TLL) in Estonia and to Riga (RIX), the capital of Latvia.

Christoph Debus, Chief Airline Officer, Thomas Cook Group, said: ‘Our interline agreements provide our customers with convenient, coordinated connecting flights at competitive prices. The new Group Airline partnerships with LIAT and Air Baltic will allow us to offer seven new flight connections in seven countries in the Caribbean and Europe.’

Thomas Cook Airlines partners with several airlines around the world, including JetBlue, enabling onward flights via New York to Atlanta or Charlotte. Condor customers flying from Frankfurt also benefit from partners such as Alaska Airlines, as Condor offers connections to Hawaii via Anchorage in Alaska as well as via Seattle and Portland.

With its fleet of 101 aircraft, Thomas Cook Group Airline is flying to almost 70 destinations this winter season and through cooperation with a total of 52 partner airlines, the number increased to over 250 destinations in Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Australia. All UK flights can now be booked online at www.thomascookairlines.com and German flights via www.condor.com, it said.

Airline Passengers Favourite Seats Revealed

If your favourite seat on an aircraft is row 6 seat A, then you are certainly not the only one to express that preference. Around 45 percent of airline passengers polled also favoured seat 6A, according to a survey conducted by a UK-based flight comparison site, Skyscanner.

The survey polled around 1,000 airline passengers across 40 countries worldwide, asking for their seat preferences onboard flights, and it revealed that around 60 percent of the air passengers polled have a preference for window seats, compared to 40 percent who opted for an aisle seat, with less than 1 percent opting for a middle seat.

The front of the aircraft proved more popular with passengers than the back, with the most favoured seat, 6A positioned well to the front, while no one wanted seat 31E, a middle seat at the back of the airplane.

Skyscanner’s travel editor, Sam Baldwin, said, ‘There is always a great rush to get on board and get that favoured seat and I think it is really interesting that there are so many differing opinions on this.

Anecdotally some passengers seem to opt for the middle section near the wings where they are less likely to feel turbulence while others want to be near the front for ease of getting off the plane, less engine noise or even to get a better choice of food available. The window seems a popular choice for those looking to sleep, especially for long haul flights, while those who take more trips to the toilet prefer to aisle so as not to disturb fellow passengers, and the aisle is also popular for tall passengers looking to stretch their legs.’

Ryanair boss plans to double the size of the airline

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has revealed expansion plans that would make the company one of the biggest airlines in the world, introducing routes to Scandinavia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

 

The budget airline chief executive has unveiled ambitious expansion plans that could see the amount of passengers double and stretch its reach across Europe.

 

Mr O’Leary announced in an interview with the Financial Times that he wants to increase passenger numbers from 72 million to between 120 – 130 million within the next decade.

 

The airline is currently in talks with US, Chinese and Russian plane manufacturers over plans to buy over 200 new aircrafts.

 

He wants the delivery of the new aircrafts to happen between 2015 and 2021, insisting they would only be purchased at ‘cheap prices’.

 

Between 2010 and 2011 the Dublin-based airline carried 72.1 million passengers, these plans could see their fleet of around 270 aircrafts double.

 

These new plans would allow the airline to use 50 of the new planes to fly passengers to and from Scandinavian destinations. Another 100 aircrafts would fly to new routes in the Baltic Sates, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

 

Mr O’Leary added that the difficult economic conditions will allow the company to increase its share in the short-haul market as the demand for low-cost travel increases.

 

The outspoken Irish man’s cost cutting suggestions have been at the centre of controversy, where incidents have included: charging to use the toilets on planes, removing a toilet, space for standing passengers and scrapping the co-pilot role.

 

Their most recent announcement was that passengers will soon have to pay for flights using their pre-paid payment method if they want to escape card charges.

 

From November, the only way customers will be able to avoid extra fees will be by using the ‘Ryanair Cash Passport’, costs could mount up to £48 for a family of four buying return flights.

 

By Charlee Greenhalgh