Delta completes purchase of Virgin Atlantic stake.

Delta Air Lines has completed its purchase of a 49 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic, after being given clearance by both the US and European regulators last week.

The two airlines have also announced that they will begin selling each other’s flights across their networks from 29th June, as well as codesharing from 3rd July. Delta will be putting its two letter code (DL) on 17 Virgin Atlantic flights, including routes from the UK to the US, as well as Virgin’s new Little Red UK domestic services.

The deal will enable Virgin to do likewise, and  place its code (VS) on 91 Delta routes covering both transatlantic and US domestic services.

It is worth noting at this stage that Virgin Atlantic flies out of Heathrow Terminal 3 and Delta from Terminal 4 – don’t get caught out once both airlines commence code sharing each others flights!

Flights disrupted as storms move through Chicago, east into Pennsylvania

New storms are firing across parts of the Midwest Tuesday afternoon (and are expected to continue into Wednesday) and moving east into parts of Pennsylvania, bringing the threat for flash flooding, damaging winds and large hail.
The greatest impacts will likely occur in a swath from Iowa and southern Minnesota to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, parts of southern Wisconsin and Lower Michigan. A line of severe storms from Lake Erie have barreled through parts of northern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and are now headed towards Baltimore, Md. and Washington, D.C. Some of the storms can bring wind gusts to hurricane force. Hal as big as golf balls or baseballs and a few tornadoes are also possible.
Yesterday’s view: – Flight delays out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport have reached more than 600 for arrivals and just under 600 for departures due to thunderstorms, according to FlightStats. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is listing significant delays, both arriving and departing, from 30 to 40 minutes as a result of the weather.

Passengers planning to fly into or out of the affected airports (impacted regions) should to confirm flight status moving forward and stay close to weather updates.

Important Hold Baggage Update.

British Airways has increased the fees it charges its long-haul customers who exceed their free checked in hold baggage allowances.

The airline continues to offer a very generous free baggage allowance – one free bag of 23kg in World Traveller, two bags for those passengers paying the full World Traveller (Y) class fare, along with those in World Traveller Plus, and three bags for Club World & First travellers.

The new rates are as follows:

The price of the first extra bag rises from £40/$60/€50 to £65/$100/€75 in World Traveller (except Y class)

The price of a second extra bag in World Traveller and any additional bags for World Traveller Y class fare paying passengers, as well as all other cabins over and above the free allowance, increases from £90/$140/€115 to £140/$200/€150

Further details are available at

Singapore – Fires Causing Smog Problems.

Illegal forest fires in Indonesia’s Sumatra islands are causing hazardous smog problems in Singapore.

Earlier this week the pollution standard index reached a record level and local shops are reporting they have sold out of face masks. The Singaporean Prime Minister predicts the smog could last for weeks and has issued an advice to stay indoors and avoid strenuous activity.

Air traffic controllers in Singapore have been told to work with extra caution given the poor visibility.

Travellers to the region are asked to take heed of the situation but there are no official warnings not to travel. Moving forward, travellers should stay close to media updates for awareness.

U.S. Consulate reports strike will disrupt flights at Chennai International Airport on 21 June

Chennai Airport authorities confirmed that due to a labour action, reduced staffing is expected to adversely affect fire and other life-safety emergency response services for both the international and domestic operations on Friday, June 21, 2013, resulting in cancelled or delayed flights.

Travellers planning on using the Chennai airport are advised to consider alternate travel plans on June 21.

BRAZIL – Country Alert


Due to the current situation with political demonstrations and civil unrest taking place in 12 Brazilian cities.

The UK Foreign Office advises all travellers to the country to be mindful of the situation, to take heed of official warnings and to avoid known trouble spots or planned demonstrations.

The Brazilian Government has announced that it is to deploy the National Security Force in 5 cities – Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Fortaleza and the capital, Brasilia.

Travellers should stay close to media updates.

Finnair Mega Far East Summer Sale!

For a short period only Finnair has some amazingly low air fares on sale to the Far East. Eff immediately, and until 27th June 2013, you can book economy class air fares from just £71 (plus airport taxes).

The offer is valid for travel from 31st August – until various dates in November and December 2013. Finnair’s Far East route network, flying via Helsinki, from either London or Manchester, includes the following destinations : Delhi, Bangkok, Singapore, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Chongqing, Xi’an, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Osaka, Nagoya & Tokyo.

Business Class fares are equally low, starting at just £628 to Xi’an, or £728 to Chingqing (both plus airport taxes).

Remember the sales period only runs until 27th June – so what are you waiting for?!

Portugal – General Strike.

A general strike has been called in Portugal on 27th June 2013. Please anticipate some disruption to local travel services.

Air Traffic Controllers Cancel Third Day of Strikes.

The union representing France’s air traffic controllers has cancelled a planned third day of strikes for tomorrow, Thursday 13th June. The cancellation of the third day of strikes was in reponse to signs of encouraging support from the French & German governments over the EU’s Single European Sky project.

Whilst this is good news, please bear in mind that some aircraft and crew will still be out of position tomorrow, so some continued disruption should be expected. Check in online for the most up to date information from your airline.

Air-traffic Controllers begin three day strike.

Further to our initial report yesterday (see below), confirmation that air-traffic controllers in France are beginning a three-day strike tomorrow (Wednesday) to protest against EU plans to create a single European airspace. The controllers say the Single European Sky (SES) project will affect public safety and their working conditions.

Strikes and walk-outs are expected to spread across Europe on Wednesday. France’s civil aviation authority has asked airlines to halve the number of flights serving major French cities to deal with the expected disruption.

Our advice as always is to check in online for your flight and to contact us should you not have heard if your flight/s have been affected.