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.
It was a bigly week in the skies. Friday 13th was a day of good fortune for Boeing. NAI’s fortune will be told some time between Jan 20 and Feb 1.
1. JetBlue Completes Wi-Fi Fleet-wide installation.
2. Airbus Reports
3. Airbus argues case for A380.
(I still think they’re right about big traffic requiring big planes.)
5. The Samsung pre-flight warnings can stop now, says FAA.
This doesn’t make me feel any better about lithium batteries on planes, but, in fairness, that’s not all Samsung’s fault either.
6. Delta Reports: 2016 “Historic Year”
Adjusted pre-tax income for the December 2016 quarter was $923 million, a $524 million decrease from the December 2015 quarter, primarily driven by the new pilot agreement. For the full year, adjusted pre-tax income increased 4 percent year over year to $6.1 billion.
“Delta had a year of record-breaking performance in 2016 – financially, operationally and for our customers — and it’s an honour to recognise our employees’ efforts this year with over $1 billion in profit sharing,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer. “As we move into 2017, we are seeing our unit revenues turn positive which should return the company to margin expansion by the back half of the year. This will allow us to produce the solid returns and cash flows that investors rely upon from Delta.”
7. U.S. Bureau of Transport Statistics (BTS) Reports
U.S. airlines’ systemwide seasonally adjusted load factor rose slightly to 83.8% in October, compared to 83.7% in September. However, this was a drop from all-time high of 86.3% reached in October 2015.
The International load factor was 79.8%, down 3.3 points from the all-time seasonally adjusted high of 83.1% in March 2013.
8. IATA reports growth in demand.
9. Grey Clouds for NAI?
NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) joins Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) will hold a rally outside the White House on Tuesday, Jan 24 to protest USDOT approval of Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) foreign air carrier permit.
“The current administration’s contemptible move to undermine the U.S. aviation industry and the hundreds of thousands of men and women in its employ is one only President-elect Trump can reverse,” NJASAP President Pedro Leroux said. “The incoming president understands the extraordinary damage inflicted upon middle-class America by bad trade policy — of which this decision is a striking example — and we are urging him to take immediate steps to reverse this measure.”
I’ve mentioned this might be a problem when the USDOT approval was announced, but we’ll have to see what Trump does with this latest push.
The president-elect will take the oath of office on January 20, and will have until February 1 to reverse the approval (61 days after the Dec. 2, 2016 USDOT approval).
That’s a lucky 13 days to decide one way or another, and he might have a couple of other things waiting on his desk.
10. Finnair adds capacity in Europe, extends Reykjavik service year-round.
- Finnair is adding a fifth weekly frequency on Wednesdays between May 31 and August 11.
- Finnair’s route to Reykjavik will become a year-round destination with three weekly frequencies during the winter season.
These services are complemented by flights operated by Icelandair where Finnair has a code-share.
Finnair will also increase capacity in Denmark.
As of May 14, five weekly frequencies will be added year-round to the Copenhagen route, including a morning flight from Copenhagen which will enable convenient day trips to Helsinki for business passengers.
- Finnair is increasing capacity on the Copenhagen route by 21%.
Finnair began flying to Billund last spring and will now increase its capacity on the route between June and August by flying four days per week with an Airbus A319, instead of an E90 aircraft. (Yay!)
- With this aircraft change, available capacity on the Billund route will now increase by 11%.
“Last year, Copenhagen was our largest destination from China and we see more potential in Denmark with our upcoming new destinations and growth plans,” says Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair. “We also started our route to Billund last spring and we have been very pleased as there is high demand from Finland to visit Legoland, in particular during the summer months and the route connects well to our Asian network via Helsinki.”
Finnair will also be adding frequencies on the following routes:
- A third daily frequency to Vilnius on weekdays will be added year-round as of May 15
- A daily frequency will be added to Warsaw for the peak summer season between June 5 and August 4
- An additional weekly frequency will be added to the Dublin route for the winter 2017 season
- The Saturday flight to Alanya-Gazipasa, Turkey, will be extended until the middle of December 2017
“Our journey towards growth continues and we are very pleased with our lineup of short-haul destinations for the upcoming year,” adds Järvinen. “These exciting changes and developments for our airline reflect the increased demand, both from our Asian customers and our local customers, on these popular European routes.”
11. Pilots are stressed.
This is no surprise, but it’s something we need to take seriously for the sake of aviation safety.
12. A very challenging year ahead for some airline CEOs.
13. Chao has thoughts on the future of U.S. ATC
14. Downward spiral of fares wars may be over.
15. High-Tech solutions for Jet Lag
16. United brings Polaris to Saks
What a clever idea!
17. Lufthansa has big plans for digital.
18. Ryanair is bigger than Lufthansa.
It has also focused on digital improvements.