Virgin’s Branson and Delta’s Anderson

Suddenly there’s Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic and Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Airlines, which owns 49 percent of Virgin, having a love fest over the car radio. A bromance on National Public Radio. With exquisite courtesy, they call each other Dull Richard. Dashing Richard. Big brother. Richard Anderson, who doesn’t often order new…

Fewer Flights to Small Airports

Here’s the bottom line. We have four network airlines — American, Delta, United and Southwest — and another five carriers with limited route systems: Alaska, JetBlue, Spirit, Frontier and Virgin America. That’s what bankruptcies, mergers and consolidations have left us. So says Joe Sharkey, On the Road guy at The New York Times. A noble…

Europe’s Legacy Carriers Face Labor Issues

In the first day of a planned three-day strike by Lufthansa pilots, Europe’s largest carrier cancelled 900 flights. Over three days ,they’ll cancel 3,800 flights, infuriate some 425,000 passengers and kiss away tens of millions of euros in profit. It’s a big walkout, one of the biggest walkouts in Lufthansa’s history, according to a company…

Retiring the Boeing 747

Never mind that the Federal Aviation Administration just demanded Boeing fix a software glitch in the 747 that could cause problems related to landing. There are other issues with the 40-year-old jumbo 747. Many of the 1,400 747s built are being retired and few airlines are buying new 747s, whose greedy four engines guzzle jet…

All Nippon Splits $16.6 Billion Order Between Boeing and Airbus

Once again, Airbus has made a major aircraft sale in Japan. Major by its scope and major because, in a business repeat, Airbus has found a way with Japanese carriers. Last week, All Nippon Airways said it would divide up a $16.6 billion order between Airbus and Boeing. In the past, Boeing aircraft have been…

Thieves Hit Bags at LAX

“They’d just open up the suitcases and rifle through them and pocket valuables,” LAX Police Chief Pat Gannon told The Los Angeles Times. “Basically everything of value — be it electronics, jewelry and items — that could be stolen in seconds would be removed from bags.” Last week, a swarm of LAX and LAPD cops…

Venezuelan Government Challenges Foreign Airlines

Venezuela demands airlines sell tickets to its 30 million citizens in bolivar currency. But the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says Venezuela “has not approved requests to repatriate the resulting revenue.” The currency controls are forcing airlines to reconsider routes to Venezuela. A week ago, Air Canada suspended its operations. They cited security issues related…

Slot Allotment at DCA

Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA) is hankered after because passengers love it. It’s handy. It’s nifty. It’s even a Metro stop. Sad is the passenger dealing with nearby Dulles, or not-so-near-by Baltimore-Washington International. When I lived in DC, it took the low fares of Southwest to pilot you to BWI. High-priced US Airways had a…

Putting Flight MH370 to Rest

After 16 days of searching, the Malaysian government said Flight MH370 crashed into the far reaches of the Indian Ocean, probably near the end of its fuel range. The Malaysian defense minister and acting transport minister said that the plane appeared to have sent a “last, partial satellite signal eight minutes after an electronic handshake…

Asiana Airlines Going Long-Haul

The largest carrier across the North Pacific is Korean Airlines. Asiana Airlines, South Korea’s second-largest carrier, wants a bigger slice of that North American pie. Especially now that Asiana chases so many low-cost airlines around Asia. Starting in July, Asiana will fly A380s, the world’s largest commercial aircraft, from Seoul Incheon to the revamped Ben…

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