Hot happenings in the skies this week. Some were very turbulent, others beautifully clear.
This weekly post is my ‘round tuit’. Included are stories which caught my eye and others which I couldn’t cover in-depth during the week, but thought Flight Chic readers would want to know about.
1. Monarch got ATOL extension from the CAA, and said it will soon announce the largest funding in its history.
Watching the rumours spread on Twitter and Facebook on Sunday night, that Monarch was shutting down overnight was infuriating. Trying to find the origin of and fact-check those rumours, more so.
The Monarch social media team was heroic, frankly. They learned a hard lesson about how many times you have to say “No” on social media before anyone believes you. (The answer is 22. Catch-22.)
You can never say ’no’ enough times. Monarch’s social media team are still answering this question. The more you say ‘no’, the less they believe you. If you say nothing, then you further confirm their suspicions and fuel more speculation. There is no winning scenario when companies are being trolled. Individuals can block or ignore trolls. Companies can’t.
All I’ll say is that the aviation “know-it-alls” on social media need to think about the REAL PEOPLE whose jobs they are ready to crisp by fueling speculation. They need to consider that they are being manipulated and weaponized. They need to pick up a phone and ask a reliable source for facts.
This details of this event show that we’ve entered an age of strategic misinformation as a vehicle of sabotage which airline management need to worry about. It only takes one disgruntled employee. I have more to say on this. Put a pin in it. And I would really welcome your opinions.
2. Cathay Pacific retires the 747 from service, via The Designair. Sad to see the ‘Queen of the Skies’ retire anywhere, but doubly sad because this aircraft so nurtured Cathay’s growth.
3. Birmingham Airport will invest US$130m to upgrade infrastructure, via Passenger Terminal Today
4. NASA’s working with France’s ONERA on project to reduce aircraft noise.
5. Houston Airport Becomes 20th airport to adopt Mobile Passport.
6. Jeremy Corfield, partner at CPI Australia, which advises airports on commercial strategy and planning, talks to Passenger Terminal Today about planning passenger flow to boost retail.
7. KLM looks to AI for customer service, via Tnooz. What this airline does with digital in house is pretty amazing.
8. Opinion on MRO Network: Are there too many aircraft tracking systems now? (I personally think the technology only needs to be put in plane terms.)
9. I keep ranting about the lithium-ion battery problem, and I have pointed out that its damage goes beyond flammability. This story of the human toll of sourcing raw materials for this power source is chilling. Kudos to the Washington Post for stellar investigative reporting.
10. airBerlin undergoes major restructuring, enters agreement to wet lease up to 40 aircraft to Lufthansa.
11. Airbus’ “A family that flies together video” goes viral, gets Campaign recognition. Congrats to the entire Airbus family!
12. Japan Airlines introduces mobile versions of its travel guide content “JAL Guide to Japan” in French, German, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Hong Kong Traditional Chinese and Taiwan Traditional Chinese, each corresponding regional mobile site of JAL’s global website. Smart move.
13. These images of Heydar Aliyev International Airport’s Exterior Flooring Renovation on Archello are very tasty airport eye candy.
14. You should read the series of deep-dives into the United Polaris experience from Chris Higgings at TravelSkills.
15. Air Canada and WestJet are accused of colluding on baggage fees. The airlines say they will withhold comments, in deference to the courts.
16. Avinor and SAS celebrate Miami heat with launch of new routes.
17. Delta and Air France-KLM extend their partnership.
18. Orlando Airport animates its check-in area with multi-screen digital canvas.
19. Hamad International Airport’s new theme song gets mixed reviews from critics. (Seems OK to me, but symphonies aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.)
20. Delta now offers iOS10 Message stickers. Well done!
21. We get the full story on how Norwegian hooked up with Brad Pitt.
In some circles, Norwegian has been accussed of being opportunistic with this campaign. Like that’s a bad thing.
Happy October! The year’s wrapping up quickly. Have a great week 40 everyone.
(Thinking of friends in the region as Matthew advances. Please stay safe.)