March 4, 2011

Weekly Airline News Roundup – Up, Up and Away!

The airline industry saw a good deal of action this week, from ongoing tension in the Middle East (and the not unrelated soaring oil prices), to consolidation announcements and new digs. The Bahamas is preparing for its new U.S. departures terminal while our partners over at Lufthansa showed off its new A380 service out of JFK and also showed off its first class First Class terminal in Frankfurt. Dubai, meanwhile edged past Frankfurt to become the fourth largest airport in terms of passenger volume. Emirates also trumped pre-merged United this week to become the world’s third largest carrier based on capacity.

American Airlines was fined by the FAA this week for charging fees, while rising oil prices and measles are getting plenty of people down. Continental will stop plans to start service to Cairo, a jury in London convicted a British Airways employee in a bomb plot, and a Logan airport worker got caught trying to pose as an air marshal.

A bill proposed in New Hampshire  may find pat-downs illegal, Mexico suspends its sale of Mexicana Airlines this week, and a glitch in Southwest’s system caused hundreds of delays. IATA released some pretty grim news about anticipated airline profits in the face of fuel costs, and FBI is cracking down on pranksters aiming laser pointers at pilots in flight.

The Department of Homeland Security meanwhile is planning to test a portable DNA screener this summer, and the FAA approved iPads for pilots use of electronic charts in the cockpit.

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said this week that the airline’s planned merger with AirTran is “imperative” to the future success of the company, while WestJet and American this week signed a code-share agreement. Middle East Airlines joined the SkyTeam Alliance this week, the newly joined United Continental started rebranding efforts this week, and Brazil approved TAM’s merger with LAN this week.

This week at JetBlue, we mixed up our channel lineup, honored Women’s History Month, and ran a TrueBlue 30% off sale,

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

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