The Loadstar

  • Air France-KLM cuts winter flights as sales under pressure
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 03/07/2015

    More bad news at Air France-KLM. Both carriers have announced route cuts and are reassessing aircraft deliveries. The group will cut Kuala Lumpur, and reduce frequencies and capacity to Rio de Janeiro, Moscow and Tokyo. The group said “speed is of the essence” as it announced that it is to accelerate the implementation of its Perform 2020 savings plan. KLM has agreed some new labour contracts and is in talks over others, while Air France has started legal proceedings against its pilots, claiming a lack of progress over an agreement to make cost savings.

  • Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 03/07/2015
    An Air Koryo freighter at Pyongyang

    The inevitable row over plans for Heathrow’s third runway will certainly get dirty and vicious. But, being the UK, it is unlikely anyone will die over it. Spare a thought for the poor chief architect of Pyongyang’s exceptionally shiny new international airport (images here). He was reportedly executed after leader Kim Jong-un toured the airport during development, but found fault. The country’s leader is reported to have said that “the designers failed to bear in mind the party’s idea of architectural beauty that it is the life and soul and core in architecture to preserve the Juche character and national identity”. Head designer Ma Won-chun has not been seen since last year. The airport, meanwhile, is said to have more than sufficient capacity to cater for the two airlines which have scheduled flights to Pyongyang.

  • UK and French governments to hold crisis talks over Calais
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 02/07/2015
    Screen shot 2015-07-02 at 13.39.08

    It seems incredible, really. A few hundred striking workers, fighting for 400 jobs, have all but cut the UK off from the rest of Europe – and in doing so, put hauliers’ livelihoods at risk. While the striking MyFerryLink workers have allowed, since last night, regular P&O Services – a company which really has nothing to do with the situation – DFDS services between Dover and Calais remain suspended.

    In the meantime, lorry drivers must park on the M20 motorway in Kent – which today has implemented an unprecedented closure over much of the road for Operation Stack. The coastguard has had to deliver water to overheated drivers, some of whom have been there for at least 24 hours – one with a shipment of wet fish. Some freight companies, the council, volunteers and Tesco have been providing food, while toilet facilities have been set up. But it’s not just the lorry drivers, all roads in Kent are reportedly congested as other drivers must avoid the M20.

    So where has the UK government been? A cynic might wonder whether French authorities, so irritated by the UK’s failure to respond to the migrant situation in Calais, are holding back on finding a solution – except that Calais is mightily congested too. The whole thing is a mess. And it is the haulage industry suffering. One TNT driver told The Guardian it had taken him 41 hours to get from Northampton to Paris. The UK’s Road Haulage Association has called for the army to be brought in to break the strike.