It was a particularly showy week in the airline industry, though not necessarily deliberately so. The week was chocked full of big news items — some good, some bad, and some just plain ridiculous.
Sad news for the week included the plane crash of Air India Express, which killed all but eight onboard. Also civil unrest in Jamaica has caused some fatalities, but reportedly has not affected the tourist areas or impacted travel much. United Airlines also had such a bumpy ride it sent passengers to the hospital! A former regional pilot, meanwhile, admitted that he had routinely felt pressured to break the rules, placing passengers and crew in danger.
Government investigators threw in the towel in the search for the Air France A330 that vanished during a Rio – Paris flight last year, American is training managers to possibly replace flight attendants in the event of a strike, and Air India called off its strike, but canned 15 employees. To add to the fun, some major airlines are charging summer peak travel fees because they estimate a return to a willingness to pay more, while Virgin Atlantic is contemplating a merger — potentially with Lufthansa — if British Airways and American tie the knot. Oh, and WestJet has plans to take over the world (why is it so difficult to fear Canada?)!
Speaking of mergers, taking over the world, and other things that go bump in the night, Washington lawmakers are starting to examine the proposed merger of United and Continental to see if it can fly. Over on the west side, a new Wyoming-based carrier is looking to buy Frontier’s regional subsidiary, and analysts find US Airways attractive (for what’s on the inside, not in a superficial way).
In more important news, Tallahassee is partying in the streets with excitement over the opening of a new airport in their backyard, Continental is daydreaming about where to fly its new Dreamliner jet, and China is looking into biofuel alternative energy sources (is this the same country that made the sun shine for the Olympics?!).
JetBlue this week had the sun shining on us — as we’re lucky to often experience — with lots of good news, including returned service to Nantucket, three distinguished trophies to take home from the 2010 SmarterTravel Editors’ Choice Awards, a shout out that likened us to Obama regarding our social media presence, a plane pull for charity, and the very newest edition to our pilot group: 3-year old Ashley.
As always, safe travels and have a great weekend!