This week the airline industry took a beating because some of its planes have taken a beating from being in the air for decades (note: our average fleet age is five years). Southwest became the poster child because of a five-foot-long crack found on one of its 737s.
The discovery caused Southwest to ground a large portion of its fleet to inspect further, which then prompted other airlines to inspect their aging 737s and the FAA to inspect the inspections.
Speaking of aging, United Airlines celebrated its 85th anniversary this week. The veteran airline also had its very own safety scare this past weekend when a flight out of New Orleans failed to gain altitude after takeoff and had to return to the gate. Thankfully, everyone on board was OK.
Unfortunately the same is not true of a UN plane crash in Congo, which killed 32 of the 33 people on board. Two years after the crash of Air France Flight 447, debris including bodies were found this week in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. In other news that was devastating not to all but to one man, Horizon Air admitted to kicking a passenger off its plane because he was too tall. Come to JetBlue honey, where we love tall people (and even give them enough room to sit)! While we’re on the topic of depressing airline news, the “underwear bomber” is on trial this week, representing himself for his attempts at setting off an explosive over Detroit on Christmas Day.
In more positive news this week, airlines are reporting increased traffic for March, the FAA plans to upgrade 11 air traffic control sites in major U.S. cities, and the TSA is looking at expedited security for airline employees. One story published this week talks about how the airlines are increasingly having to play nice with each other and sharing the sandbox, er terminals, as airports shift to common-use facilities. Speaking of sharing, US Airways CEO Doug Parker seems to think there is one big merger left for the legacy carriers. US Airways on another note announced this week that it will be adding first class seats to its regional planes. Are there even enough seats to have different classes?
In JetBlue’s world this week we announced our Official and Exclusive Airline Sponsorship of the Tribeca Film Festival, the winner of the Get-A-Dress Getaway contest, and formalized our agreement with ViaSat. We also put a big ol’ sign up at our Terminal 5 at JFK so people have no excuse to get lost.
As always, safe travels and have a great weekend. Thanks for reading!