Hong Kong Airlines Wants to Disrupt Cathay Pacific on Trans-Pacific Routes - Transport - ·12h
A small airline with big ambitions and Jackie Chan as its celebrity endorser wants to dislodge 70-year-old Cathay Pacific from its perch as Hong Kong’s leading —and until recently, only — airline flying nonstop to North America. Hong Kong Airlines, which began operations in 2006, started flying to North America in June when it launched a Vancouver route. It has said it will add Los Angeles in December, followed next year by San Francisco, New York and London, a city the airline briefly served in 2012 with an all-business class configuration.

New Zealand Flight Disruptions Ease as Pipeline Repair Stems Fuel Shortages - Transport - 24 September 2017
The main pipeline that delivers jet fuel to New Zealand’s largest airport was operational again Sunday after a rupture was repaired. That should soon end a 10-day fuel shortage that has caused about 140 flights to be cancelled and disrupted the plans of thousands of travelers. Pipeline owners Refining New Zealand said the first batch of fuel to travel through the pipeline since the repair arrived in Auckland on Sunday. The company said it will take a few days for production levels to return to normal.

Tegel Airport's Fate Will Soon Be Decided by Berliners - Transport - 22 September 2017
The German election may be boring to watch, but for Berliners, a separate vote also scheduled for Sept. 24 has provided plenty of intrigue and emotional tension. The citywide plebiscite on whether to close the capital’s Tegel Airport sheds new light on calls for the German government to step up infrastructure investment.

Cruise-Loving Over 50s Are Seemingly Immune to the Brexit Effect - Transport - 22 September 2017
The people who voted for Brexit won’t let it stop them seeking thrills on far-flung shores. Retirees are spending their hard-earned savings without concerns about how the economy will affect their future income, boosting demand for Saga Plc’s cruise ship holidays. The company, which specializes in vacations and insurance for those over 50, reported a 63 percent increase in travel profit to 11.9 million pounds ($16.1 million) in the six months to July 31 from a year earlier.

Lufthansa Ad Campaign Ridicules Ryanair Over Pilot Fiasco - Transport - 22 September 2017
Deutsche Lufthansa AG took a swipe at low-cost rival Ryanair Holdings Plc with a full-page newspaper advertisement mocking the Irish carrier over the pilot shortage that’s led to the scrapping of 2,100 flights. The ad, which ran on page two of German daily Handelsblatt on Friday, depicts a disgruntled looking Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary under the headline “O’Deary!” and invites customers affected by the cancellations to defect to Lufthansa’s own Eurowings discount unit.

Trump Travel Ban Revisions Could Set Off New Wave of Turmoil - Transport - 22 September 2017
President Donald Trump is on the verge of a fresh clash with business leaders and civil-rights advocates as he faces a critical deadline this weekend for continuing his travel ban on six predominantly Muslim countries. The president hinted he might broaden the initial ban, which is set to expire on Sunday, in his response to a terrorist attack in London last week. Even mere renewal of the prohibition on entry into the U.S. by most citizens of those nations would reopen controversy over an action that provoked sharp criticism from prominent corporate leaders, multiple court challenges and internal strife within the White House.

Lufthansa and EasyJet Win Battle to Carve Up Bankrupt Air Berlin - Transport - 22 September 2017
Deutsche Lufthansa AG and EasyJet Plc were selected as the preferred bidders for the main assets of insolvent Air Berlin Plc, handing both airlines a rare chance to rapidly expand in Europe’s biggest economy. The creditors’ committee will continue talks with the two carriers until Oct. 12 with the aim of selling Air Berlin’s transport assets, the company said in a statement late Thursday. Talks with bidders interested in other assets will continue in parallel, Air Berlin said. Neither Lufthansa nor EasyJet had bid for the whole company, making a break-up inevitable.

Ryanair's Pilot Drama Threatens to Undo Its Goodwill Push - Transport - 21 September 2017
On a Friday night earlier this month, Ryanair issued a vague statement telling passengers it would cancel 40 to 50 flights per day for six weeks because it didn’t have enough pilots. It didn’t immediately say which flights would be affected, nor provide advice on what travelers should do. It was behavior passengers have come to expect from Ryanair, Europe’s leading discounter. Over more than three decades, Ryanair earned a reputation for two things: low fares and disdain for customers. Some wondered if Ryanair management cared about passengers at all.

Some U.S. Lawmakers Balk at Privatizing the Air Traffic Control System - Transport - 21 September 2017
President Donald Trump has made airlines’ longtime goal of privatizing air traffic control a key part of his agenda to boost America’s infrastructure. But his prospects for closing the deal with Congress appear slim. A bill that would put the aviation industry in charge of air traffic control has repeatedly stalled and prospects appear even worse in the Senate, where there has been no effort to take up the issue. While the White House and airline lobbyists have pushed for privatization, there has been fierce opposition from private pilots, corporate aircraft owners and others who fear they will have to pay more to use the system and would lose access to busy airports.

Airline Fares Drop but Airlines Make Up for it with Bag Fees, Report Finds - Transport - 20 September 2017
Travelers who check at least one bag when flying domestically are paying more overall than they did before airlines began unbundling fares in 2008 and charging separately for checked baggage, a government watchdog said Wednesday. A report by the Government Accountability Office said airline officials told GAO investigators that base air fares are now lower than before airlines began separately charging passengers for checked bags, reservation changes, priority boarding and other services. But the GAO’s review of studies that have examined the effect of bag fees on ticket prices shows that charging separately for bags reduced fares by less than the new bag fee itself.

Pop-Up Flight Check-Ins at Hotels to Be Tested by Virgin Australia and Amadeus - Transport - 19 September 2017
Airline passengers will be able to avoid the pre-flight ritual of lugging heavy bags to the airport and around the departure terminal as the world’s first pop-up check-in system enters service. Devised by Amadeus IT Group SA, the technology will facilitate check-in for groups of travelers at hotels, schools, conference centers and sports stadiums, the world’s biggest flight-bookings provider said in a statement Tuesday. Bags are taken onward to the airport by truck for the usual security screening.

JetBlue CEO Blasts Big U.S. Airlines for Wielding 'Anti-Consumer Power' - Transport - 19 September 2017
JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes on Monday criticized United, American and Delta airlines for opposing the three-largest Gulf carriers as they expand in the United States, calling the situation “…the perfect illustration of how we see mega-carriers trying to use their muscle and deep pockets to limit competition.” “The Big 3 act like it’s the end of the world,” Hayes told the Aero Club of Washington, according to a transcript of his remarks. “Make no mistake, this battle is not about the U.S. airline industry against airlines from the Middle East. We believe it’s three mega-U.S. airlines who favor protectionism over competition.”

SAS Strives to Fulfill Passenger Dreams and Its Own With Experiences Program for Elite Flyers - Transport - 19 September 2017
Peter Lawrance, head chef of Scandinavian airline SAS, often says he has one of the world’s best jobs. And unlike some people, who say it but may not mean it, Lawrance is probably right. His airline wants to improve its food — it is betting premium customers at 35,000 feet will embrace the farm-to-table movement as on the ground — and SAS gives him an ample budget to make it happen.

Business of Loyalty: EasyJet's Long-Haul Alliance Shirks Traditional Codeshare Benefits - Transport - 19 September 2017
One of Europe’s biggest low-cost carriers, EasyJet, announced a partnership with two other airlines last week in a codeshare-style relationship. Called Worldwide by EasyJet, the partnership allows EasyJet customers to book and connect to flights on low-cost carriers Norwegian and WestJet, of Canada. One of EasyJet’s competitors, Ryanair, also has been considering a similar model.

Ryanair Could Suffer Considerable Damage to Its Friendly New Image From Mass Cancellations - Transport - 18 September 2017
Ryanair Holdings Plc risks reviving its image for predatory customer service with a move to scrap hundreds of flights through the end of October because of poor planning. The shares fell nearly 5 percent. Europe’s biggest discount airline, which had previously treated its customers like a captive audience for hard-selling an array of products and services on board, has portrayed a kinder, friendlier image in recent years with the goal of wooing more lucrative passengers. Those efforts threaten to be undone by the cancellations that could leave hundreds of thousands of passengers in the lurch.

Interview: SpiceJet Founder Rescued an Airline and Has Big Ambitions for Indian Aviation - Transport - 18 September 2017
Less than three years ago, SpiceJet, India’s fourth-largest airline by marketshare, was close to shutting down. It couldn’t pay its bills, and it owed significant money to airplane lessors, fuel companies and caterers. Things got so bad that by December 2014, SpiceJet’s planes didn’t carry food or water for passengers. Like most other airlines in its predicament, SpiceJet seemed certain to cease flying. It happened in 2012 to Kingfisher Airlines, a promising but poorly run Indian carrier that folded after seven years. The market was there, but Kingfisher couldn’t capitalize on it.

Ryanair Forgot to Consider Crew Vacations So It Canceled 82 Flights in One Day - Transport - 17 September 2017
Ryanair Holdings Plc scrapped 82 flights on Sunday, the start of a six-week program of cancellations it’s making as it seeks to reduce a backlog of crew vacation required by Irish regulators before the end of the year. “We have messed up in the planning of pilot holidays and we’re working hard to fix that,” Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement Saturday. In the statement, the Dublin-based carrier said it expected to cancel 40 to 50 flights daily, “with a slightly higher number this weekend.”

Crystal Cruises Hires Disney Veteran In Shakeup to Replace Outgoing CEO Edie Rodriguez - Transport - 15 September 2017
Edie Rodriguez, who oversaw a massive and occasionally too-ambitious expansion at Crystal Cruises, has left the company. Parent company Genting Hong Kong announced her departure — and replacement — in a press release Friday afternoon. The changes were effective immediately. The new president and CEO is Tom Wolber, who worked at the Walt Disney Co. for 28 years, including 10 at Disney Cruise Line.

Pilot Qualification Standards To Be Reduced Under U.S. Airline-Safety Panel Recommendations - Transport - 14 September 2017
The Associated Press reports the committee voted Thursday to make the recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration, including one on airline pilot qualifications. The committee said it was offering the recommendations in response to President Donald Trump’s directives to cut government regulations. The committee was formed by the FAA and meets under its auspices.

Airport Sleep Pods are Providing a Respite for Stranded Passengers - Transport - 13 September 2017
For decades, a thunderstorm or missed connection meant you might have to sleep in the airport, leaving frustrated travelers with a truly tired dilemma: Is the boarding gate chair-curl worth a try, or is it better just to grab some floor? Some airports are considering a better way to accommodate unlucky passengers while making some money in the process. At least four companies are angling for space inside terminals for a new generation of sleeping spaces dubbed cabins, capsules, and even pods. One of them, Minute Suites LLC, has retail sleep locations at airports in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Philadelphia, with a Charlotte, N.C., location opening in December. Washington Dulles airport is exploring the concept as well, and aims to have a sleep amenity next year.

Why Airlines Need to Let Their Pricing Strategies Tell Their Story - Transport - 12 September 2017
The airline industry is under constant pressure to increase revenue. Today, if airlines truly want to achieve total revenue optimization (TRO) and get a truly comprehensive, 360-degree view of all revenue streams, they must look beyond revenue management alone. Pricing is one area of focus that offers vast potential to airlines looking to grow revenue and stand out in today’s crowded marketplace. Ultimately, if airlines engage in their pricing strategies to help them tell their story, they can increase customer satisfaction, discover unique points of differentiation and achieve total revenue optimization.

Business of Loyalty: Alaska and Singapore Forge Codeshare and Loyalty Partnership - Transport - 12 September 2017
Alaska Airlines this year has been making dramatic changes to Mileage Plan, its loyalty program, as its integration of Virgin America takes shape, and competing airlines make moves on the west coast. Originally, when the carrier launched a partnership with Finnair in May, rumors circulated that with the merger wrapped up, Alaska may lean closer to a relationship with the Oneworld alliance. American Airlines plays a big role in that alliance and the joint network would seriously compete with Delta, which is trying to expand into Seattle. Alaska already collaborates with Cathay, Japan Airlines, and a handful of other Oneworld carriers.

Supersonic Flights Could Be a Thing Again If the Market Is Large Enough - Transport - 11 September 2017
It has been more than a decade since travelers regularly crossed the Atlantic at supersonic speeds on Concorde, a marvel of 1960s engineering. Now, one entrepreneur is hoping to build a new plane that again will fly between New York and London in fewer than three hours. He’s Blake Scholl, a software engineer by training and an aviation geek at heart. In 2014, he co-founded a company called Boom, based in Denver. As soon as 2023, he promises it will deliver a cost-effective supersonic plane that’ll fly more than 4,000 nautical miles without stopping. The company’s demonstrator — a scaled-down version of the real thing, called Baby Boom — should fly at some point next year.

United Backtracks on Basic Economy Fares as American Expands Them - Transport - 11 September 2017
The rise of basic economy seats suffered a setback last week as United Airlines, one of the strongest proponents of the no-frills fares, revealed plans to wind back its offerings. Basic economy fares, which were fully adopted by all three U.S. legacy carriers earlier this year, effectively offer a slimmed-down version of standard economy fares with limited perks. For $10 to $20 less than a standard economy fare, the basic economy tickets remove perks like seat selection and upgrade rights — but in theory, they also better-compete with offerings from the likes of Spirit and Frontier airlines.

European Legacy Airlines Need to Merge Budget Carriers to Compete With Ryanair and EasyJet - Transport - 10 September 2017
Europe’s major airlines may need to consider merging their low-cost arms in order to fend off the challenge of discount specialists led by Ryanair Holdings Plc, International Air Transport Association Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac said. Fleets of barely more than 100 aircraft at any of the no-frills offshoots of Europe’s three big network airlines fall far short of the 400 planes operated by Ryanair and the 250 at EasyJet Plc, according to De Juniac, who previously led Air France-KLM Group.

Hurricane Irma: Travel Industry Live Updates - Transport - 10 September 2017
Skift is providing live updates on how Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose, and related developments are impacting the travel industry and travelers throughout the Caribbean and the United States. All times are Eastern Standard Time.


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