Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Chucking Kiev

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Such has been the success of Ryanair, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, that the continent is now awash with towns and villages whose economies depend in no small part on access to its route network. This encroachment into small regional airports evolved from an early focus on large European cities, whose gateways swelled with traffic following deregulation in the 1990s. Yet today, there are still European countries not served by the airline. Ukraine, the last big jewel for low-cost carriers in Europe, is an obvious white spot. It may be for some time to come. Despite promising to add four routes to Kiev and seven to Lviv this year, Ryanair has been pushed out by a coalition of local interests who have little appetite for competition. Ukrainians will foot the bill for their protection...

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Ban on the run

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After months of threatening to roll out its laptop ban globally, the US Department of Homeland Security in June unveiled a raft of new security measures aimed at fighting terrorism without further inconveniencing passengers.

America’s new approach obliges foreign airports to adopt more stringent measures in relation to explosive-trace detection, canine security and vetting of airport personnel. Any gateways that fail to comply will be prohibited from allowing large electronic devices in the passenger cabins of flights to the US – echoing the measures placed on seven Arab countries plus Turkey in March.

At the time of writing, six of those affected countries – the UAE, Qatar, Turkey, Kuwait, Egypt and Jordan – have been lifted from the ban, which was hastily rolled out after intelligence agencies uncovered a possible Daesh plot to smuggle bombs in the battery compartments of laptops...