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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: June, 2011

POSTED: Monday, June 27, 2011, 10:35 AM

Legendary Southwest Airlines co-founder Herb Keller is 80 now and still showing up at the office, even though he doesn't run the carrier anymore, and as always, has entertaining things to say. A good interview with Dallas AP airline reporter David Koenig appeared in newspapers last week. Here it is ....

POSTED: Sunday, June 26, 2011, 10:48 AM

American Airlines is trying to eliminate long waits in line to board its flights but has created what flight attendants say is even greater chaos once customers start boarding. Read more about it here ....

POSTED: Sunday, June 26, 2011, 10:42 AM

AirTran Airways, now a  unit of Southwest, has been fined big time by the FAA for failing to make a vital repair. Read more here in the trade paper Travel Weekly.

POSTED: Saturday, June 25, 2011, 10:19 PM

The National Transportation Safety Board is one of the more important, cost-effective branches of government, standing as a bulwark against those who cut corners in all modes of transport. NTSB has issued its annual wish list of safety improvements needed in the airline industry, starting with criticism of a lack of professionalism by dozing air-traffic controllers, pilots who overfly an airport and pilots who forget basic aerodynamics and fly into the ground. The Washington Post has a good wrapup today, with lots of links to the safety stories cited in the article, on this vitally important issue.

POSTED: Thursday, June 23, 2011, 3:12 PM

We  haven't heard much complaining recently about the Transportation Security Administration's policies on frisking airline passengers who don't want to be fully body scanned by machine. Then there's this: The Texas legislature seems determined to proceed with passage of a bill that would limit TSA agents in the kind of patdowns, or invasive body searches, they can conduct at the state's airports. Problem is, of course, TSA says it won't allow airlines to serve Texas airports if the restrictions are actually put in place so officers can't do their jobs. Read a little more from the Houston Chronicle ....

POSTED: Thursday, June 23, 2011, 10:58 AM

The Paris Air Show is always used to announce sales of airpanes and new models aircraft makers plan to build. Here are two articles, one about Airbus getting more orders than Boeing at the show, and a  wrapup on how Airbus's largest customer will soon be Air Asia from Malaysia.

UPDATE: And we found another one about the possibility of American Airlines buying 100 Airbus jets, which would be a first for a carrier with an all-Boeing fleet.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 10:30 AM

New models of modern commercial and military jets usually are the stars of the Paris Air Show, held every two years at Le Bourget, the air field where Lindbergh landed after his 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. But this year the real star is biofuel -- the stuff aviation watchers are counting on to replace petroleum-based jet fuel in the future, made from algae and other plants. U.S. airlines are especially keen to develop commercially viable processes for making large quantities of biomass fuel available.

Here's a story from the Paris Air Show about the industry's interest in biomass fuel. And here is a news release (note this is a statement from the industry, not a news story) from the Air Transport Association about 10 airlines agreeing to support development of biofuels.

There were, of course, the usual announcements at the Paris show from aircraft makers of sales of their products. Here's today's roundup of orders ...

POSTED: Monday, June 20, 2011, 10:52 AM

There wasn't a lot of hot news over the weekend so you probably have heard: United and US Airways had separate computer issues that snarled their operations to some extent. US Airways operations at PHL are quite normal at the moment, with most flights on time, according to the FlightStats Web site. What you see with that link is just a fraction of what FlightjStats has. You can search for real-time flight departures and arrival information for airports everywhere on the site.

Here's a brief AP story about what happened to US Airways at CLT, with a graf about United.

About this blog
Tom Belden has been reporting about Philadelphia International Airport and other air travel subjects for more than 20 years, writing columns for The Inquirer's Travel and Business sections. His reporting (with colleague Craig McCoy) on baggage handling problems in Philadelphia have been credited with helping to improve the system. His previous blog was called Road Warrior. He can reached at tbelden@phillynews.com. Reach Tom at tbelden@phillynews.com.

Tom Belden
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