August 27, 2010

Weekly Airlines News Roundup – Serious

Image courtesy of chmurka on Flickr

It really does work out often enough that a theme emerges from airline industry each week. Some weeks are quirkier than others, and this week just seems downright serious. Most serious this week is news of two plane crashes, one in China and the other in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the former of which the airport in China says it is not responsible for (there had been previous concerns about the surrounding terrain, runway lighting and weather conditions at the airport). Causing no injuries, but frightening nonetheless , a federal investigation this week found that it was metal fatigue that caused a 14-inch hole on the roof of a Southwest plane at 35,000 feet last year.

To lighten the mood just a smidgen, Mexicana Airlines returned almost 40% of its fleet and the bankrupt airline’s economic woes are reportedly spreading to Texas, where it has a big presence. Virgin Atlantic, meanwhile is having trouble in paradise with its pilots, while American’s mechanics just rejected an offer from the company and proposed a strike. Air Berlin is trying to join the Oneworld alliance, Lufthansa predicts that intercontinental mergers will increase, and half of polled fliers say they would rather have kid-free zones on flights.

And those were the parents!

Just kidding!

Maybe.

Alaska Airlines is expected to takle on a more pronounced role in helping run sister airline, Horizon Air, and Delta is inviting furloughed flight attendants back into the Delta family to meet the increased travel demand.

Families (or anyone, really) can go stay at some of the major chain hotels now and get reimbursed for their checked bag fees (a whole bunch of conditions apply). Perhaps ironic, is that fall fares are expected to rise. And Aer Lingus’ numbers have risen, with second quarter profits announced.

Though perhaps contrasting, other noteworthy news to come out of the airline industry this week is that Singapore Airlines is publishing a book about how awesome their inflight cuisine is and sewer-like smells are infiltrating the San Jose airport in California.

We thought we were going to have a pretty quiet week, and it started out that way with news that we won a couple of cool awards, including one for our innovative IT approaches and one for hospitality. We also ran an eBay auction for the coveted All You Can Jet Pass as well as the first installment of a new, weekly photo contest, Blue Pic(K) of the Week. And then (because if the airline industry can be characterized as anything, it’s unpredictable), Flight 262 occurred.

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

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