Virgin Atlantic has had a tough year, with rising fuel costs and increased competition from rivals. It recently reported losses of £80m.
It's the political row that won't go away because Heathrow & Gatwick have limited capacity, but voters don't want a new airport near them.
More frequent flights to emerging markets, improved access to airports say the Government, 'dithering' say the airlines
It is just "a matter of time" before another volcano in Iceland erupts - disrupting flights over here in the UK, and the rest of Europe once again That is the view of experts from the South who are developing a system for aeroplanes that will detect ash in the sky.
Back in 2010, most airline services in the region, and much of the UK were grounded because of a drifting Icelandic ash cloud following a volcanic eruption. Mike Pearse reports.
EasyJet and its partners Airbus and Nicarnica are planning the final stage of testing for the AVOID technology. Over the weekend they flew back a tonne of volcanic ash from Iceland collected by the Institute of Earth Sciences in Reykjavik. It will be used for testing by Airbus & Oxford University.
The ash, dried to create the consistency of fine talc, will be used in a unique experiment which is planned for this summer. T
The next phase of testing will involve two Airbus test planes, one of which has the ability to disperse the ash into the atmosphere, thereby creating an artificial ash cloud for a second Airbus test aircraft with the AVOID technology fitted to detect and avoid at over 30,000ft.
– Ian Davies, easyJet's Engineering Director
The threat from Icelandic volcanoes continues and so finalising the approval of the AVOID technology is as crucial now as ever to ensure we never again see the scenes of spring 2010 when all flying ceased for several days.
Transporting a tonne of volcanic ash from Iceland is an important step in the final journey of testing the technology and moving towards commercial certification
Experts say it is just "a matter of time" before another volcano in Iceland erupts with the potential to cause major disruption to flights like in 2010. Then most services in Europe were grounded for a total of eight days causing misery to millions of people.
The problem is that when a volcano explodes it can send millions of ash particles into the air causing a cloud. If a plane flies into it engines can be badly affected and even stop.
So now Easyjet and Airbus are developing a system called AVOID that would better detect ash in the sky. Planes would be fitted with sensors that detect it and they would be directed around the ash by air controllers.
Airlines say it is a much better alternative to the current system which is to ground flights over a wide area. The sensors feed back information from the system which is added to data from satellites.
The aim is to keep more planes flying and reduce the type of disruption in 2010.
Since then easyJet have been leading the industry research into the problem. They say by developing a system that identifies where the ash is in the sky will enable planes to keep flying without the need to close larger areas of our skis to planes.
Instead airspace closures could be targeted to where the clouds of ash are rather than the current system of closures over a wider area. Meanwhile experts at Oxford University are researching the effect of the ash and why volcanos are erupting more frequently than ever before.
Global warming is thought to be part of the reason. Ash brought back from Iceland at the weekend will be analysed as part of the research.
For the new uniforms, Vivienne Westwood wanted to create a futuristic look which references her enduring interest in 40’s French couture. The collaboration between the two leading British brands is a long-term partnership which will see a total re-design of the uniform across all areas.
Over 7,500 staff will receive new uniforms and employees based at Virgin Atlantic's West Sussex headquarters have been involved in the design process.
Passengers will get a sneak peek of the new uniforms from July 2013 when cabin crew and ground staff trial the uniform at the airports and on board. Crew will provide feedback on the design, practicality and wearability so tweaks can be made ahead of the full launch in 2014.
The new London Gatwick to Moscow service is easyJet's 100th route from the airport in West Sussex. The expansion into Russia is possible after the airline successfully bid for routes that came available when BMI was bought by BA's parent company.
Under a bilateral agreement between the UK and Russia only two airlines from each country between the two capitals. easyJet beat Virgin Atlantic Airways in getting permission to fly the route.
This is the first time Moscow has been served from London Gatwick airport with the airline expecting to fly more than a quarter of a million passengers between London Gatwick and Moscow annually.
Immigration queues are set to get worse into the USA. There is concern if planes are delayed in the US it will have a knock on effect in the UK as well. The Federal Aviation Administration has been told it must make billions of pounds of cuts as part of a Government spending review.
The FAA has told its 47,000 staff it has no choice but to consider compulsory unpaid leave, eliminating night shifts, reducing preventative maintenance and closing over 100 air traffic control towers. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned these changes, due in April.
US airlines and airports are preparing themselves for lengthy flight delays and cancellations and longer than ever security check point and customs lines. The are considering various contingency plans, include getting concessions for airports to stay open longer for stranded passengers.
VIDEO: One of the biggest issues facing the South East - airport expansion - took an unexpected turn today with the unveiling of plans for a £39 billion Multi-billion pound plan for Kent airporthub airport in the English Channel.
Plans for a new hub airport on the Goodwin Sands off the Kent coast have been announced. The £39bn proposal would see four runways 3km offshore and is being touted as an ideal location given that it would not require the displacement of residents or demolition of existing buildings.
The proposals have been put forward by London-based maritime engineers, Beckett Rankine. The firm's director, Tim Beckett says that if the plans go ahead, "Goodwin will have the least adverse social and environmental impact of any option. It is certainly the most sustainable solution available.”