The coronavirus pandemic is bringing the world's airlines to their knees. The Trump administration's decision on Wednesday to suspend travel between the U.S. and the European Union's Schengen area is unprecedented. But how is this shock different from the aftereffects of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks? On the one hand, the 9/11 attacks changed airports and airlines in noticeable ways, such as new security protocols and armored cockpit doors. On the other hand, the viral pandemic's effects are more widespread and universal for the world's airlines than the fallout from the 9/11 attacks.
Can all-business class airlines work? La Compagnie President Christian Vernet thinks so. But while others have failed — remember MAXJet? — Vernet said his airline's product sets it apart, and the A321 is the ideal aircraft for both the route and the on-board product. And as for the other 10 airlines that operate the Paris-New York route, including behemoths like Air France and Delta? Vernet said business class passengers on La Compagnie appreciate not waiting while "300 other passengers [are] going through the aisle … finding the economy section of the aircraft." In addition to its year-round Paris flights, the airline again this summer is planning to operate Newark-Nice flights.
Qatar Airways took a page from Etihad's book and invested in a European carrier. This elicited howls from the major U.S. airlines. They claimed this move was nothing more than a Trojan Horse strategy for Qatar to operate fifth-freedom flights to the U.S. from Europe (but not quite, since Air Italy was a European carrier). Air Italy never fulfilled its promise — or threat, depending on where you stood on the issue — and the airline is now shutting down Feb. 25. Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte tells us why.
A federal court is wading into the arcana of airline distribution. It's assessing whether there are antitrust issues with travel tech company Sabre's proposed acquisition of Farelogix. But what exactly is the deal? And why does the government have concerns? Skift Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O'Neill takes us through an explainer on what Sabre and Farelogix do, why the government cares, and why you probably shouldn't sue your next employer.
French Bee President Marc Rochet is confident the airline's upcoming Newark-Orly flights will be successful, because the key to the airline's wins so far is its simplicity, he said. But will it work? Rochet said simplicity — in fleet, in network, in product — is key to why the airline is working when so many other European leisure carriers have failed.
Just what is going on in California? JetBlue is drawing down at Long Beach and dropping Oakland altogether, while United is adding flights to small California cities. Can any airline make a go of the Los Angeles Basin's secondary airports? What about the San Francisco Bay Area's secondary airports? Why is Spirit launching one of its longest flights to Oakland? Join Skift's resident Californians, Madhu Unnikrishnan and Brian Sumers, as they discuss airlines in the Golden State (and elsewhere too).
Airline Weekly talks this week to Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte on the news of International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh's retirement announcement. Walsh has been a powerhouse in the airline industry, helping transform British Airways into a pan-European behemoth. London-based Whyte walks us through the reaction in the United Kingdom. He also takes a look at what Flybe's financial problems might mean for the domestic UK market.
A single year can result in dramatic change within the airline industry, so an entire decade could see it completely transformed. After 10 years of strong profits and relatively stable oil prices in the 2010s, what does the decade ahead hold in store for the U.S. airline industry? Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan and co-founder and Senior Analyst Jay Shabat game out what might happen in the next 5–10 years — and whether Boeing ever will build the NMA.
It's that time of year again. Airline Weekly Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan and Senior Analyst Jay Shabat look back on the year that was. It was yet another tumultuous year in this industry we love: Storied names like Thomas Cook, among others, went out of business, and the B737 MAX — one of the world's best-selling aircraft — was grounded. Can anyone make low-cost, longhaul flights work? Will Boeing ever build the new midsize airplane (NMA)? Listen to our final podcast of the year to find out.
Skeptics might say the airport of the future has always been just around the corner, but maybe the "smart airport" really is a thing. Skift Travel Tech Editor Sean O'Neill tells Airline Weekly Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan about how advances in technology are improving the passenger experience, baggage tracking, and security. Hear what some of the world's more innovative airports are doing to implement new technologies into every part of their operations in this week's episode of the Lounge.