Something To Declare: cheap business-class flights; be careful in America

This week the boss of Ryanair prophesised that air fares within Europe will fall by five to 20 per cent over the next year.

Bargain of the week: business-class flights at no-frills prices, from Birmingham and Edinburgh

This week the boss of Ryanair prophesised that air fares within Europe will fall by five to 20 per cent over the next year. Travellers in the West Midlands and around the Scottish capital are already cashing in on sinking fares offered by Duo (0871 700 0700; www.duo.com). This is the airline formed last year from the management buy-out of the British Airways affiliate, Maersk. But like any new airline, Duo is having to price its with-frills flights from Birmingham and Edinburgh aggressively - especially on its new flights, starting 1 June. From both cities, daily flights on the new routes to Shannon in the west of Ireland are widely available at £78 return. Duo is also moving on to the Birmingham to Pisa route, recently vacated by MyTravelLite, with summer flights on Saturdays and Sundays. A return fare of £118 is widely available. And on the Saturday service from Edinburgh to Bordeaux, the lowest fare is £138.

In addition, Duo offers low fares to a range of Continental and Scandinavian destinations. The airline promises a "full business-class service on board", so you get free meals, drinks and newspapers.

Meanwhile, back in the cheap seats, Ryanair's Michael O'Leary is predicting next winter will be "awful", as fares slide further, and expects some competitors to fold.

Warning of the week: what to watch out for in America

The latest Leading Causes of Death statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control warn that 18 deaths per 1,000 in America arise from road accidents. Twelve per thousand deaths are caused by firearms, eight by "sexual behaviour" and seven by illicit drug use. Eclipsing these causes of death is alcohol consumption, which accounts for 35 deaths per thousand.

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