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Industry Update and Commentary 2Nov07

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  • Bill Koumarelos
    The profits at British Airways this quarter had some help from a weak dollar vs. the pound. In contrast, Romania s currency has lost against the dollar. Just a
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2007
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      The profits at British Airways this quarter had some help from a weak dollar vs. the pound.
      In contrast, Romania's currency has lost against the dollar. Just a few months ago, when I was there it was 1.95 to 2.05 lev to the dollar. It is now 2.35 to 3.0. So, you budget-minded travelers, you may consider Romania.
      Due to increased shipping charges, as well as increases in natural gas heating, the prices of certain grocery items have increased dramatically in Odessa, Ukraine. In some cases, some prices are doubled. But oddly enough, it's only in Odessa and the region surrounding it, and not the whole country. If you plan to visit Ukraine anytime soon, be aware of the regional differences in prices. And going to restaurants there may not cost all that more than buying groceries in and around ODS.
      Many people are getting interested in going to Darjeeling, India, due to the success of a recent hit movie. However, keep in mind a few things. The closest airport to Darjeeling is in another country----Kathmandu, Nepal. So, you will need not only an Indian visa, but also a Nepal visa(which you can get upon arrival). If you plan take the whole family, the visa costs were certainly add up. Just a word of caution. Also, you will need to figure out the ground transportation between the two cities.
      American and Delta have raised the price of tickets by $20. [Makes more sense to do that, rather than have surcharges. But will UA, NW and the rest follow along??].
      The Russian community in Chicago is excited about the new Moscow flight on American, since they announced it. But it is frustrating, as AA has not put the seats for the flight on sale yet, and they are getting a bit antsy. The local Russia market is smaller than in SFO/SEA, and most are recent immigrants who fly back and forth often. Many of those continue beyond Moscow, and would greatly welcome no stops in JFK/Europe and not having to deal with Sheremetyvo(the other Moscow airport).
      Ethiopian Airlines and Lufthansa have signed a regional code-share agreement. {Could this open the door for the ET's being part of the Star Alliance? EgyptAir had a similar scenerio last year.]
      As most of you know already, Air France has resumed service, after a strike.
      Italian airline WindJet is starting Turin to Moscow/Domodedovo service.
      Speaking of Domodedovo, many of the other Russian airports have been having WX/ATC problems, and DME has been getting a lot of diversions.
      Aeroflot has upped the frequency out of Moscow/Sheremetyvo by 31 flights this winter. Many non-daily flights are now daily, and there are extra flights also added. Destinations involved are Perm, Sochi, Mineralnye Vody, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk and Irkutsk on domestic flights; as for international, more Hanover(Germany), Athens and Hong Kong.
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