Ryanair and easyJet, Europe's two leading low-cost airlines, are on a mission to reinvigorate their businesses in the face of increasingly fierce competition from traditional carriers and new entrants. \nThe two carriers have helped transform European air travel by offering cheap fares on short-haul routes in Europe, but their success story has soured of late amid cut-throat competition in the no-frills sector. \nRyanair chief executive Michael O'Leary warned the World Low Cost Airlines Congress on Tuesday "there will a bloodbath in Europe this winter" in the budget air sector. \n"The bloodbath will reach all the companies," said O'Leary, who has previously predicted that only one or two large low-fares airlines will be left flying the skies of Europe in the medium term. \nThe Dublin-based carrier has warned investors it expects its revenue per passenger to plunge by 20 percent in the three months to September, the second quarter of its financial year. \nRyanair shares have tumbled by about 45 percent since mid-January. \nMeanwhile arch-rival easyJet has seen its share plunge by over 60 percent over the same period, a victim of what its chief executive Ray Webster has described as "unprofitable and unrealistic" pricing by airlines in Europe. \nThe airlines' margins and profits are under pressure from reductions in fares as well as soaring fuel costs. \nCompetition in the sector is intensifying. In 2000 there were just five low-cost airlines in Europe. Now there are 49, according to Wolfgang Kurth, president of the European Low Fares Airline Association and chief executive of no-frills carrier Hapag-Lloyd Express. \nWebster told the conference that low-cost airlines could take advantage of short-haul routes likely to be neglected by the larger, established carriers. \n"The real growth is to link major catchment zones to main routes. It's a market big airlines will have deserted in the next five or 10 years to focus on the point-to-point, transatlantic or long haul flights," he said. \nFor O'Leary, "our growth is not determined by who we are competing against. Our growth is determined by which airport we fly to. Our strategy is to keep prices down." \nThough both bosses say they are unfazed by the competition, they have been back to the drawing board in recent weeks to tinker with their business models. \nRyanair said on Tuesday it intends to introduce inflight entertainment on all its flights, but customers will have to pay for the privilege. \nMeanwhile, easyJet has been revamping its fight program.
Dignitaries from 47 countries yesterday congratulated President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on the commencement of her second term and highlighted Taiwan’s achievements in democracy and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent his congratulations a day earlier. As of noon yesterday, 263 high-ranking officials from 47 countries and global organizations had congratulated Tsai via statements, letters, social media posts or recorded footage, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, while releasing a collection of footage sent by selected dignitaries. The governments of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies sent their congratulations, as did the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy,
REASSURING NUMBERS: Taiwan’s test capacity ranks sixth or seventh among 91 nations, and is not low compared with other nations, Chen Shih-chung said The quarantine period for foreigners visiting Taiwan for business would vary based on the COVID-19 situation of the nation or territory that they are coming from, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported the 13th consecutive day of no new cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told reporters at the center’s daily briefing that modified rules covering foreign business visitors had been completed and were ready for him to sign. The complete details of the new rules would be released later this week, he said. Foreigners on long business trips would have
IN PROTEST: The US’ top diplomat said the WHA had been deprived of Taiwan’s scientific expertise, while Tsai said political factors should not be put above health US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday condemned Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Assembly (WHA), while President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday lodged a strong protest against the WHO for not inviting Taiwan. Twenty-two nations voiced support for Taiwan’s bid for participation on the first day of the assembly’s two-day virtual meeting, but despite the global community’s unprecedentedly strong support for Taiwan, it remained blocked from the assembly, with WHO member states on Monday agreeing to delay discussion on Taiwan until later this year. Pompeo, who on May 6 urged WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to invite Taiwan to the WHA,
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced no new cases of COVID-19, adding that a ban on mask exports would be lifted soon under three conditions. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 401 people from among the nation’s 440 confirmed cases have been removed from isolation. Yesterday was the 12th consecutive day that no new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Taiwan, and the 37th day of no new domestic cases. “As our local communities have gradually become safe, we should not become careless,” Chen said. “We should continue to take personal protective measures