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Jun 8, 2015

Qatar Airways CEO calls protectionist attacks a ‘risk’ to aviation

MIAMI, June 8 (Reuters) – Qatar Airways Chief Executive
Officer Akbar Al Baker on Monday asked a meeting of the aviation
industry’s largest trade group to reiterate its support of free
and open market access, saying protectionism could lead to

The plea comes as U.S. airlines are trying to persuade their
government to alter the “Open Skies” agreements it has with the
United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The U.S. carriers accuse those
two Gulf states of giving more than $40 billion in subsidies to
their airlines, distorting competition. Emirates,
Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways deny the subsidy claims.

Jun 8, 2015

IATA hikes 2015 global airline profit forecast to $29 billion

MIAMI/PARIS (Reuters) – Global airlines raised their forecast for 2015 industry profits by more than 17 percent to $29.3 billion on Monday, almost doubling from last year and heralding a boom for carriers in North America that stand to reap half the worldwide total.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), announcing the upgrade during a gathering of 260 member airlines, said lower oil prices were the main factor pushing the industry further into the black. But the windfall could be muted by the rise in the value of the dollar and widespread airline fuel hedging.

Jun 7, 2015

Lufthansa CEO sees good May traffic as new seats lure fliers

MIAMI (Reuters) – A positive trend in April traffic at Germany’s Lufthansa continued in May with new business class and premium economy seats attracting passengers, Chief Executive Carsten Spohr said on Sunday.

Lufthansa said last month its April passenger numbers rose 6.7 percent to 9.14 million, though the load factor, or proportion of seats sold, dropped 1.4 percentage points to 78.1 percent. It is due to publish May traffic figures on Wednesday.

Jun 4, 2015

Gulf subsidies row in focus at annual airline CEO meeting

BERLIN, June 4 (Reuters) – A row between U.S. and Gulf
carriers over alleged subsidies will be in the spotlight along
with aviation safety in the wake of the Germanwings crash when
the airline industry gathers for its annual meeting next week.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) meeting
will kick off on Sunday in Miami amid an increasingly bitter row
as three U.S. airlines allege Gulf carriers have received more
than $40 billion in unfair subsidies. They have called on the
U.S. government to review the Open Skies policy that authorised
commercial flights between the United States and Qatar and the
United Arab Emirates over a decade ago.

Jun 2, 2015

Lufthansa seeks to take more control over ticket sales

FRANKFURT, June 2 (Reuters) – Germany’s Lufthansa
will levy from September a 16-euro ($18) surcharge on tickets
not booked through its own websites and other direct sales
channels, in a bid to boost the amount it earns per ticket, it
said on Tuesday.

Airlines have been trying to regain control of their ticket
sales, especially as they try to make more money by unbundling
services and charging passengers separately for luggage, seat
requests, food and other amenities.

May 23, 2015

Sweden’s Mans Zelmerlow wins Eurovision Song Contest

VIENNA, May 24 (Reuters) – Sweden’s Mans Zelmerlow won the
final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna on Sunday,
beating Russia and Italy in the world’s biggest international
music show.

The 28-year-old singer and TV presenter, who had been a
bookmakers’ favourite, performed the winning electro-pop ballad
“Heroes,” dancing in front of a black screen with animated

May 23, 2015

From Austria to Australia, Eurovision casts net wide for 60th year

VIENNA (Reuters) – A slice of Swedish electro-pop, Italian ‘popera’ and a pop star from Australia, about as far from Europe as you can get, are among the favorites for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

The annual kitsch-fest, watched by more than 195 million people in 40 countries — more viewers than the Superbowl — was won last year by Austria’s bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, bringing the show to the Austrian capital better known for its classic elegance.

May 22, 2015

Vienna shakes off fusty image as Eurovision carnival hits town

VIENNA, May 22 (Reuters) – Vienna hopes the final of the
Eurovision Song Contest will show a new liberal and
light-hearted side to the opulent Austrian capital when the
jamboree of glitter, capes and power ballads hits town this

Tourists associate Vienna with classic architecture,
composers, traditional coffee houses and the Blue Danube Waltz,
composed in 1866 – conservative images which the city is now
trying to move beyond.

May 18, 2015

Flightradar24 finds not just planespotters flocking to its website

BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Within 40 minutes of Germanwings flight 4U9525 crashing in the Alps in March French accident investigators from the BEA authority were on the phone to plane tracking website Flightradar24.

“BEA called us and we of course passed the information over to them right away,” the website operator’s chief executive Fredrik Lindahl said.

May 13, 2015

TUI Group to retire Thomson holiday brand in post-merger shake-up

LONDON/BERLIN, May 13 (Reuters) – TUI Group, the
world’s largest leisure and tourism company, expects annual
profit growth of more than 10 percent over the next three years
and said it will retire the Thomson brand in Britain as part of
its post-merger shake-up.

In its first strategy update since last year’s merger of
London-listed TUI Travel and German owner TUI AG, the
company said it is also confident of meeting this year’s target
for profit growth of up to 15 percent.

    • About Victoria

      "Based in Frankfurt, covering German companies in the retail, travel and leisure sectors. In my previous Reuters incarnation in London, I focused on green tech firms, utilities and an array of smallcaps that came my way on the Breaking News team. I started my career as a translator with the Financial Times in London before switching into journalism."
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