You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Business

  • 19 deaths tied to ignitions
    DETROIT – The death toll tied to faulty ignition switches in General Motors small cars has risen to 19, according to a compensation expert hired by the company.
  • Breadstick policy seen as generous
    Olive Garden is defending its practice of giving customers as many breadsticks as they want, saying the policy conveys “Italian generosity.
  • Industrial output slips in August
    WASHINGTON – U.S. manufacturing output declined in August for the first time in seven months, reflecting a sharp fall in production at auto plants that was due mainly to seasonal adjustment problems.
Advertisement

East Europe airlines shrivel amid EU cuts

– For Prague-based public relations consultant Joe Cook, just finding a flight may prove to be the toughest part of a business trip to Bulgaria this month.

With Czech Airlines cutting services to Sofia, Cook must travel through Vienna or Munich at twice the time and cost. It’s the same story for journeys around much of Eastern Europe as curbs in state spending and a dearth of investors among larger carriers forces government-owned operators to downsize networks.

“Flight-related costs have increased and one’s choices are reduced,” Cook said. “You start thinking, ‘Do I really need to go there?’ ”

Europe’s sovereign debt crisis is weighing on carriers from the Balkans to the Baltic as austerity programs coincide with high fuel prices and a European Union clampdown on aid.

At the same time, Air France-KLM Group, Deutsche Lufthansa AG and British Airways parent IAG, the region’s three major airlines, are shying away from takeovers to focus on stemming losses at short-haul units swollen by an earlier spate of merger activity.

Eastern Europe’s worst travel crunch to date came with the collapse of Hungarian flag carrier Malev Zrt., which folded after 66 years on Feb. 3 when an EU decision compelling it to repay aid led the state to pull the plug.

Advertisement