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Brian Straus

ACCC slams Sydney Airport for falling service quality 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said its annual report monitoring the performance of the country's largest airports produced evidence that Sydney "has increased profits by permitting service quality to fall below that which the airlines reasonably expect."

ACCC gathers data on SYD, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne Tullamarine and Perth "due to concerns that they might use their monopoly position. . .to increase profits at the expense of airlines and passengers."

SITA: Global baggage handling improves nearly 24% 

Ground staff at the world's airports reduced the number of mishandled bags last year by 23.8%, resulting in savings of $460 million for airlines, according to SITA's "2010 Baggage Report" released in late March.

SITA said that 2.2 billion passengers reported the mishandling of 25 million pieces of luggage in 2009, 7.8 million fewer bags than in 2008 and an improvement of more than 40% from 2007 numbers.

ACI: Second-half rebound helps limit recession's impact on global traffic 

Global passenger traffic dropped 2.7% to 4.4 billion in 2009, according to Airports Council International, which said that a "return to growth activity by year end" helped mitigate the damage caused by "steep declines" in the first quarter. The number of international passengers was down 4.2% to 1.8 billion and total aircraft movements fell 5.5% to 63.9 million. Freight plunged 8.2% to 71.3 million tonnes.

Safety data-sharing accord reached at ICAO conference 

The ICAO High-Level Safety Conference in Montreal was the site of a "milestone agreement" among ICAO, FAA, the EC and IATA that the airline trade group called "the first step to creating a global information exchange to improve aviation safety."

TAM returns to profit but reports declining EBIT 

TAM returned to profit in 2009, reporting a BRL435.7 million ($241.9 million) surplus under IFRS that compared to a BRL1.43 billion loss in 2008 fueled by nonoperating items.

Aer Lingus fortunes continue to decline 

Aer Lingus released its full 2009 financial results yesterday, three weeks after a preliminary announcement, and reported a €130.1 million ($175.2 million) loss that represented an 18.4% deterioration from the €109.9 million deficit suffered in 2008.

BA strike enters final day as airline claims reduced impact 

British Airways said yesterday that the second flight attendants' strike, scheduled to run through Tuesday, cost the carrier £11 million ($16.4 million) over the weekend but will have no impact on its full-year earnings.

BA estimated that the Unite union's March 20-22 walkout had a £21 million impact on its bottom line (ATWOnline, March 23).

Round two begins for British Airways, Unite 

British Airways said it planned to serve more than 75% of those customers booked on flights from Saturday through Tuesday, when flight attendants represented by Unite were scheduled to engage in the second of two strikes protesting imposed crew reductions.

Air Berlin expects continued financial improvement, sells 11 narrowbodies 

Air Berlin yesterday said it is expecting a "noticeable increase" in 2010 profit compared to the €9.5 million loss suffered last year, while it simultaneously announced the sale of 11 aircraft to two separate parties.

EasyJet selects Guardian's McCall as CEO 

EasyJet tapped media executive Carolyn McCall, who ran the UK's Guardian Media Group, as its new CEO, succeeding the departing Andy Harrison.

The LCC said McCall "has a proven track record of successful operational delivery in a fast-changing online consumer facing business combined with extensive plc board and government and lobbying experience."

Lufthansa pilots end talks, call four-day April strike 

One month after suspending a four-day strike after the first day, Lufthansa pilots represented by Vereinigung Cockpit are planning another four-day stoppage, this one scheduled for April 13-16, after talks with the airline regarding the union's job security concerns reportedly broke down.

Delta, US agree to part with LGA, DCA slots in effort to finalize swap 

Delta Air Lines and US Airways have softened their stance and will give up 12% of the slots originally included in their New York LaGuardia/Washington National swap deal in order to secure approval from the US Dept. of Transportation.

ANA reduces 2009-10 forecast, predicts rebound next year 

ANA now expects to report a ¥65 billion ($720 million) consolidated net loss in its fiscal year ending March 31, compared to the ¥28 billion loss forecast last October, owing to a "slower than expected recovery," although it plans to return to profit in 2010-11.

BA, Unite continue debate as strike enters third day 

British Airways flight attendants represented by Unite will conclude their three-day walkout today amid contradictory claims regarding the impact of the airline's first strike in 13 years.

Express segment fuels FedEx profit surge 

FedEx Corp. reported a $239 million net profit in its fiscal third quarter ended Feb. 28, more than double the $97 million posted in the year-ago period, driven by significant improvement at its FedEx Express segment.

"Outstanding execution of our business strategy and an improving global economy drove solid financial performance," Chairman, President and CEO Frederick Smith said. Group revenue was up 7% to $8.7 billion and operating income soared to $416 million from $182 million in the quarter ended Feb. 28, 2009.

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