It feels like the momentum picked up a bit this week in the airline industry despite the implementation of the long-awaited three-hour tarmac delay rule.
Despite reported service cuts in Burbank, CA, Southwest is movin’ right along and announced that they will be doubling service out of Boston’s Logan come September, including two new nonstop flights to Phoenix.
And although industry experts say that mergers often don’t solve long term problems, airlines are movin’ right along with consolidation talks, as it seems there is no other solution for some of the legacy giants. United and Continental are movin’ right along with a merger that will reportedly be announced on Monday. American Airlines also didn’t get to move along with the launch of service from Chicago to Beijing because of a dispute over landing rights with the Chinese government.
Kenya meanwhile, just ruled that pilot error (in the way of spacial disorientation) was most likely the cause of the 2007 crash that took the lives of all 114 people onboard. And the FAA is getting more aggressive in making sure that pilots are not distracted by electronic devices and the like when they’re flying. The FAA also ordered inspections of Bombardier turboprops.
Summer fares are movin’ right up, offering a glimmer of hope that United and US Airways may see profits for the first time in three years. And Pittsburgh (PIT)- with a good track record for handling diverted flights thanks to its capacity and proximity to congested, bad-weather-prone hubs- is hoping to move on up in the world, as the new three-hour tarmac delay rule could mean more flights dropping into PIT.
Lufthansa is movin’ up in the world as it looks to give its first class a facelift and Mexico is not, as the country issues a travel warning due to increased tensions around Arizona’s new immigration law. Separately, the EU has been moved to help compensate airlines for Icelandic volcano-related losses, and WestJet is trying to move along with a codeshare agreement with Delta.
JetBlue is movin’ right along this week, with new service announced from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to Boston and Florida, a reported loss for the first quarter, but with hopes for a return to profitability for the remaining ones, and- better yet- free, live music in honor of New Orleans Jazz Fest and a free shoe shine from Bloomberg BusinessWeek at JFK’s T5.
As always, safe travels and have a great weekend!