August 6, 2010

Airline Weekly News Roundup – Much Ado About Something

Image courtesy of cwsteeds on Flickr

There was a lot of news, including some big ticket items, to come out of the airline industry this week, namely to the north and south of us. Our neighbors to the south, Mexicana, filed Chapter 15 bankruptcy after labor and financial woes, and our neighbor in the north, Quebec-based airline Aeropro, is being forced to shut down due to repeated Canadian aviation rule violations. Not a great week for Mexico, with news also this week that the U.S. downgraded its safety rating for Mexican airlines, which severs all codeshare agreements until the country can comply with international air safety standards. Cancun, meanwhile, is getting more action.

A small plane with two people believed to be on board dropped off the radar over the ocean near Sydney, Nova Scotia and have not been located and Air Canada repaired a dying 10-year old boy’s wheelchair after a lot of chatter on social media about how the custom-designed wheelchair was damaged during his flight. Not technically part of Canada (though it looks it geographically) a U.S. Air Force cargo plane crash in Alaska this week killed all four people on board. Also, not technically in Canada except for in name and origin, this week brought national attention in the U.S. to the execution of Canadian geese that occurred in Prospect Park, Brooklyn recently in the name of (though not in our name) air traffic safety.  Canada’s Minister of Transportation, meanwhile, ordered an investigation prompted by video that caught two veiled passengers boarded a plane without so much as revealing their faces.  A bit of good news to come out of northerly neighbors this week is WestJet’s announcement of second quarter profits, though Air Canada announced this week a $203 million second quarter loss.

Oh Canada, you saw a good amount of news for an otherwise generally headline-sleepy country, eh?

Delta led the pack with most news for a U.S. airline this week, with coverage of its move at JFK and plans to improve dining service out of LGA. Delta also appeared in headlines this week because of the 25-year anniversary of the crash of flight 191, which prompted regulatory and safety amendments in the industry and because Northwest, which it acquired in 2008, plead guilty to conspiring to fix the prices of air cargo.

SkyWest and ExpressJet, two regional carriers, announced plans to merge and Southwest is running more nerd bird flights. The two men accused of plotting to bomb JFK were found guilty by a federal jury this week, a United flight at O’Hare left three people with minor injuries after an emergency evacuation for a fire in the brake assembly, and the Department of Homeland Security is getting sued over rights to privacy issues with the body scanners.

Boeing received some attention at the recent EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh (B’gosh?) for its talk of an electric-powered airliner, while Spirit officially started charging for carry-on bags, and also made mention of the possibility of charging passengers to talk to airline employees in person at the airport (there are too many quips we could add here, but we’ll leave it to the late-night talk show hosts).

Researchers this week say that North American airline capacity is up, while an OAG report says that North America has moved up to become the third largest aviation market in the world, and Airbus is expected to increase its output with the economy and air travel looking a bit brighter.

In the land of Blue this week, we were pleased to announce the I LOVE NY star-studded commercial series soon to launch, we loved the excellent profile from The Wall Street Journal which highlights our trend of hiring Crewmembers with backgrounds in emergency response, and another great post from the same WSJ writer, Scott McCartney about the difference between our flight attendants and Virgin America’s.

As always, safe travels and have a great weekend. Thanks for reading!

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