29/08/2008

Zoom Airline 'Crashes'

An airline, which employed around 700 people - 450 staff in Canada and 260 staff in the UK - has ceased to trade, leaving about 100 passengers expecting to fly to Canada today stranded.

UK-Canadian company Zoom has cancelled all flights, blaming the cost of aviation fuel.

Flight Z4467 was to fly from Cardiff to Belfast International Airport and then travel to Vancouver.

However, it was grounded when the airline said it was suspending all operations.

All passengers due to fly with the airline have been advised by Zoom to seek bookings with alternative airlines.

In North America, passengers wanting to fly to Northern Ireland were also stranded.

Zoom blamed its problems on the "horrendous" price of aviation fuel - which had added $50m to annual fuel bills - and the economic slowdown.
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Yesterday, Aer Lingus insisted its new Belfast 'hub' would remain in action, despite tumbling passenger numbers on the newly introduced Aer Lingus Belfast to London Heathrow route running more than 60,000 behind the airline's abandoned Shannon to Heathrow link, the airline has today pledged to continue the route.

Chief Executive Dermot Mannion told BBC Radio Ulster that he was in for the "long haul" and there was no question of pulling out of the route, despite the disappointing numbers recorded and the continuing national and worldwide problems flowing from the credit crunch and the hugely inflated fuel costs now hitting all the airlines.

See: Low Flying Aer Lingus Still Committed To NI

(BMcC)

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