October 8, 2010

Weekly Airline News Roundup – Push and Pull

There seemed to be some push and pull in the airline industry this week, including some moves, both small and large, with no clear final resting place in one direction or another.

American Airlines announced that is planning on increasing the size of its LAX operations, ironic, perhaps, given the reputation the town has (word to the wise, anorexia is no longer the new black). American this week also announced its alliance with British Airways and Iberia, and the subsequent return and reallocation of 800 furloughed employees. In addition, the airline is also talking to Canadian carrier WestJet about the potential for partnership.

Speaking of Canada, Air Canada announced this week that it will return to the super-cute Toronto Island Airport this coming February.

Delta, meanwhile, may be experiencing size envy, as it realizes with the new United, it is no longer the largest airline. As such, Delta is trying to re-brand themselves with the motto, “Maybe we’re no longer the biggest, but we’re the best.” Maybe there’s some truth to what they’re saying; after all, Delta is one of the 10 most stylish airlines, according to something someone once said somewhere. Plus, the airline is injecting monies and energies into trying to grow its cargo business; not exactly stylish, but then again, cash cows have never been allowed on the catwalk.

Aer Lingus is getting sprayed with a fine Irish mist from the changing tides, as it hires a new Chief Financial Officer, and neighbor Ryanair may be leaving Boeing for Airbus. Our other dear friend, Lufthansa, reports this week that business continues as usual despite the heightened terror alert in Europe. And across the great big pond, the U.S. mirror’s Europe’s sentiment that the show will go on. U.S. and European airlines are banding together to fight government-granted loan guarantees for aircraft purchases with rival airlines.

We’re already seeing some tension in the new mega-legacy airline formed by the merger of Continental and United, as Continental flight attendants are refusing to enter into contract negotiations. While we’re on the topic of mergers, the question was asked this week as to whether the Southwest/AirTran merger marks the beginning of the end for low-cost carriers. And Turkish Airlines has big, bad plans to become one of the 10 largest carriers in the world, and says it’s prepared to invest in other carriers to get there.

This week for us marked the end of our 2010 All You Can Jet, a month of unlimited travel for our pass holders. We also announced this week new daily nonstop service from San Juan to Jacksonville, Florida, and were fortunate enough to be covered in the news for our relaunched loyalty program.

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

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