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THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE I 39


 easyJet's Russian revolution THE REVIEW ›› IN THE AIR


EASYJet is set to launch services from London Gatwick to Moscow Domodedovo airport in the Spring after being awarded the right to do so by the CAA. The slots became available


following the takeover of BMI by British Airways, with the low-cost carrier chosen over Virgin Atlantic for its alternative business model. British Airways will continue to operate the route from Heathrow. Iain Osborne, CAA director of


regulatory policy, says, “Allocating scarce capacity to British Airways and easyJet is likely to deliver the greatest benefit to consumers. We concluded that easyJet’s proposal would introduce a distinctly different product into the market and would stimulate innovation on the route as a whole, as well as satisfying and stimulating consumer demand that is currently underserved, in particular, people who prefer or are content to use Gatwick.” A Virgin Atlanic statement said:


“We are perplexed by a decision that is clearly not good for consumers and leaves no one to challenge BA's dominance of this market. We will review the CAA's report in full before considering all of our options.” EasyJet will operate two services


a day between London Gatwick and Moscow, with the four-hour


IN BRIEF


• MALAYSIA Airlines will launch double daily Airbus A380 fl ights on its London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur service from November 24th following the delivery of a further two ‘super jumbo’ aircraft.


• ICELANDIC low-cost carrier WOW air has acquired rival airline Iceland Express. WOW air has taken control of all Iceland Express fl ight operations and schedules and the united company will fl y under the WOW air brand.


flights departing London at 07.00 and 14.00. Return fares will start from £125. "EasyJet is delighted to have


been awarded the rights to fly between London Gatwick and Moscow. We believe this is the right decision for consumers both in the UK and Russia,” says the airline’s CEO, Carolyn McCall. “We believe that our flights will


be popular with business and leisure travellers alike. easyJet has proved again and again that when we enter a new market we open it up, bringing in competition and lower fares and enabling more people to travel on the route.” The airline recently launched a


new route between Belfast International and Birmingham –


with two flights a day from Monday to Friday and one each on Saturdays and Sundays – and confirmed it will proceed with allocated seating following a successful trial period. It will be rolled out from


November, allowing passengers to select a seat at the time of booking for an additional fee of £12 for front row and exit row seats, £8 for rows two to five or six, and £3 for other seats. Those who opt not to choose their seat will be allocated one automatically and those in the same booking will be sat together wherever possible. easyJet plus! annual cardholders and Flexi Fare customers will be able to select a seat free of charge.


• CATHAY Pacifi c has introduced its new business class cabin on services between London Heathrow and Hong Kong on selected daily fl ights. It will become available on all four of its daily fl ights early next year.


• VIRGIN Atlantic has again introduced a seasonal service between Heathrow and Cape Town which will operate until April next year. The daily fl ight will feature 34 Upper Class suites, 35 premium economy seats and 171 economy seats.


• KLM adds a fourth daily fl ight from Norwich International Airport to Amsterdam Schiphol from March 31st. Return fares start from £119.


• TAP Air Portugal has launched a daily service from Manchester to Lisbon with fares starting from around £112 return.


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