It was a pregnant news week in the airline industry week with no one news item trumping all else, but no shortage of chunky, important goings-on.
The week started with the threat of a bang, as a Cathay Pacific airliner was escorted to Vancouver after a bomb scare. And United had a scare with an emergency landing after the a fire in the cockpit. British Airways, meanwhile, is expected to report its largest-ever loss at an estimated $873 million. And the voice recorder box from the flight that killed the Polish President and all 96 passengers onboard indicates that there were non-crewmembers in the cockpit which may have contributed to the crash.
And while the rest of the world is dealing with strikes, union woes, and never-ending volcanic ash, Canada – like a few rare other countries that appear distinct from the rest of the world in their ability to frequently avoid the pain and suffering endured by most others – is seeing growth with Air Canada’s expansion this week into four additional American cities.
Speaking of pain and suffering, John Travolta’s two dogs were killed by an airport service truck in Bangor, Maine, when they were crossing from the tarmac to a nearby grassy area to be walked. Also less than appetizing is UPS’ announcement that they plan to furlough 54 pilots next week. And Spirit Airlines says they may have to close their doors entirely if the proposed pilot strike goes through. AirTran pilots are also threatening to strike, and British Airways won a court case to block a strike, but then lost the right in an updated decision.
AirTran and Frontier, meanwhile, are ending their relationship and the new relationship between United and Continental is stirring up some tension. And the FAA is taking a hard stance on the three-hour tarmac delay rule, claiming that it is not their fault, but rather that of airline scheduling that will be the cause of violations to the regulation.
In slightly more positive news, Obama made a new (3rd) nomination for the head of the TSA, the FAA chief says that upgrades to air traffic management are on their way (eventually), and our friends over at Lufthansa received their first A380, the largest commercial aircraft in existence, and unveiled a spiffy new first class.
JetBlue this week was pleased to announce service from Boston to Phoenix, to see the airing of an eloquent interview with our CEO, Dave, on the Fox Business show, Playmakers, and receive favorable coverage about our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, about our stregnth at Boston, and more generally about how we’re just plain awesome. Plus, one of our Crewmembers won big on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
As always, safe travels and have a pregnant weekend!