October 15, 2010

Weekly Airline News Roundup – Consequences

Image courtesy of kenwilcox on Flickr

News in the airline industry this week seemed to gravitate towards consequences.

The recently-bought Frontier says it may want to team up with another major carrier, but its parent company Republic says it’s not interested in a sale — one that would mean the disappearance of yet another airline brand. Pilot protests are preventing an Israeli anti-hijack device from going into use, and some airlines are publicly opposing the new measure passed by Congress which increases the number of hours pilots must fly before working for the airlines.

A study concluded that the air inside aircraft cabins is just as safe as other enclosed spaces, hopefully putting an end to an age-old rumor. (Have you ever thought about how the air you breathe – even on the street – might be the very same recycled air that former President George Washington or famed Beatles member John Lennon or a dying squirrel or the likes once breathed?)

Another study confirmed the basic economic theory that reduced capacity means greater stability for airlines, as many have cut down flights due to the recession, and overall efficiency has increased as a result. And the U.S. Government has determined that airlines spent 9% more on fuel this past August than they did last year.

24 major airlines have come together, meanwhile, to urge the U.S. and Europe to put a cap on the 20% export financing credit and airlines are pondering whether a first class is worth keeping. And the DOT may well continue with the tarmac delay rule and may even expand it!

United and Continental announced new service to Mexico this week and Air Canada and United entered into a transborder deal (who wouldn’t want to share their peanut butter and jelly with Canada?).

Well, we suppose the United Arab Emirates wouldn’t want to, after their long-simmering airline feud with Canada reached a boil this week. In one of the wildest diplomatic spats we can remember, the UAE is evicting Canada’s military from a secret airbase near Dubai since local giants Emirates and Etihad aren’t being allowed more than a handful of flights a week to Canada.

The mandarins of Ottawa are being accused of protectonism of now-private Air Canada but they say not enough people want to go to Dubai to justify allowing more flights (Emirates even has a whole section of their website devoted to the issue). Sure, the skiing in Whistler is better, but we think hitting the air conditioned slopes inside Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates is still pretty nifty. (And that A380 in-flight shower from Toronto to Dubai can’t be beat.) With a UAE official saying Canada is “behaving like the defunct states of the Iron Curtain” this fight is getting hotter than Dubai in July.

Thankfully negative consequences didn’t wiggle their way into our world this week (we could argue that it’s because we have good karma, but we don’t like to toot our horn, because we are, after all, just human beings like everyone else, trying to do a good job and fight the good fight, etc, etc etc). Most significantly this week, we unveiled our new marketing campaign, You Above All — with some pretty hilarious YouTube videos– which spotlight our transparency and humanity. Also this week, we announced our Bid for Good online charity auction as well as our participation in the 30th Annual PFLAG Awards Dinner, where we received the Corporate Equality Award.

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

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