October 22, 2010

Weekly Airline News Roundup – Profits

Cha-ching! Folks were poppin’ the champagne bottles this week, with the airline industry’s third quarter earnings announcements. The week marked a return to profitability and no one was left behind.

Southwest posted a respectable profit, as did we at JetBlue. United and Continental announced profits in the last quarter that they will report results separately, and American, Delta, and US Airways enjoyed profits for the third quarter as well.

Exact dollar amounts aside, other signs of better times might be surmised from news this week that Delta is hiring a boatload of flight attendants, WestJet agreed to interline with American – the first time the Canadian carrier is partnering with an airline from across the border, and Virgin America kicked off new service from Orlando to the west coast.

In less profitable news, a date has been set for a September 11 court case where the family of a man on flight United 175 is suing, with claims that the airline and several security companies didn’t exercise adequate security measures to prevent the terrorists from boarding. Speaking of security concerns, Israel has banned El Al from allowing pilgrims from Nigeria on its flight for fear of safety breaches and Canada and the United Arab Emirates are still feuding.

Southwest, meanwhile, is attacking rivals in its ad campaign, by touting its free checked luggage and no change fees, and Etihad Airways CEO is criticizing European carriers for criticizing Gulf carriers, saying, “I would argue that the only advantage I have is geography and I can’t argue about that, I didn’t make the world.”

Low prices mean more competitive fares for customers out of Logan International Airport in Boston, Airbus is delaying a re-engining plan, and Portly, er Porter Airlines (no pun intended) is refunding a passenger for having to sit next to an obese woman who took up half her seat.

In JetBlue news this week, we announced our highest quarterly revenue and profit ever, held a Boarding Pass Bonanza in Boston to celebrate our new title as the Official Airline of the TD Garden, and announced that Taylor Swift will be performing as part of our Live From T5 Concert Series  next week.

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

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