Virgin Galactic’s Ride to Space

Forget airports. The Brits want a spaceport. The science minister says they’ll be launching spacecraft within five years. He’s put together a group of space, defense, business and transport experts to find a launch site. The minister hopes Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic will jettison their planned U.S. base (called Spaceport America) and recalibrate the…

Inflight Meals Enticing Passengers

It used to be the skinny on airline meals was order vegetarian. It was tastier than chicken or fish. Likely, more care went into preparing it. You had to order it in advance. But that’s a scene not happening much anymore. It died with the end of free domestic food in coach. Now, ordering in…

Alaska Airlines Profits Despite Battling Delta

Anyone with heart for an underdog and a love for Davids fighting Goliaths ought to watch Alaska Airlines in this battle with Delta Airlines. The fight is centered in Seattle (home office for all the dreamers of the world) and destinations linked to that city, which is Alaska’s headquarters and Delta’s rapidly emerging gateway to…

Airline Profits from Unused Tickets

He made his reputation pushing auto safety. Then he went after everything else lousy-goosey and in our path, including politics. Now he’s fighting for our unused airline tickets. Ralph Nader thinks all that money the airlines get from cancellation fees – $734.8 million in the third quarter of 2013 alone – is plenty enough. How…

FAA Going After Takeoff Hazards

Here is a scene. An aircraft takes off, loses power in an engine and doesn’t have enough pony to clear high-rise structures surrounding the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration can picture it. They envision that disaster. Now they’re keying in on potential hazards posed by new buildings and other infrastructure around airports, real estate where…

Norwegian Air’s Ireland Base on Hold

Who says letter writing is a lost art? Not so for Norwegian Air Chief Executive Bjoern Kjos. He’s in a snit and writing letters of frustration. He wrote Boeing to say he may no longer want those 20 Dreamliners worth about $5 billion for his base in Ireland. Next he wrote the Irish transport minister…

United’s Bad First Quarter

United Airlines wants to get out of turbulence. They’re promising improvement. They’re blaming the financial loss in the first quarter of 2014 on severe weather, the same bad weather that cancelled so many flights for American Airlines, who are dancing in the end zone with record profits. United is singing their usual refrain: We’re getting…

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Keeps Hustling

Photo credit: redlegsfan21 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) The best are there because they want to be. So are the biggest. Consider Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the world’s busiest. To keep it that way, the Atlanta city council just voted to cop $2 million over five years hustling passengers and…

JetBlue Founder’s Brazil Airline Coming to the USA

Azul Airlines, the Brazilian regional low-cost carrier started by JetBlue founder Dave Neeleman, is coming to the USA in 2015. This week, the carrier said they will have 11 wide-body Airbus jets to serve destinations outside Brazil. Six Airbus A330-200 jets begin flying for the carrier in 2015. In 2017, another five of Airbus’ next-generation…

Blue Skies for Delta and Boeing

Revenue is up, fuel and plane maintenance costs are down, and Delta Air Lines has reported a higher-than-expected first quarter profit; despite the fact that Delta cancelled more than 17,000 flights because of gnarly weather, costing it $90 million in revenue, reports Reuters. Share prices are up while Delta forecasts income relative to costs will…

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