Archive: June, 2009
The AP has a good story today about Southwest's start of flights from New York's LaGuardia Airport and what it means about the biggest discounters future. Read on here.
The media has been full of reports the last two days about the major network airlines successfully raising their basic fares by $10 roundtrip. A good roundup on what's been going on was on another Web site this morning. The writer asks the same question we all wonder at a time like this: Should you buy tickets now for flights later this year, since the deep discounts we've seen for months may be over.
A more important question is whether the economy is getting better, getting worse or staying the same. If it doesn't get better, demand for air travel is going to stay down, and that usually means fares do, too.
ABE, or Lehigh Valley International Airport, serving Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, gets a new airline today. AirTran Airways, one of the healthiest low-cost carriers in the business, starts flights to Orlando, four days a week, and to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., three days a week. Smart moves by AirTran at one of the numerous U.S. airports that have been hurt by capacity cutbacks at the major network carriers. No news stories yet on this but here's AirTran's news release on the launch.
The FAA is taking unusually quick action under new administrator Randy Babbitt to standardize rules for airline-pilot fatigue. The NTSB has cited fatigue as a contributing factor in recent plane crashes, including the Colgan Air disaster near Buffalo in February that killed 50 people. Here's more on what Babbitt, a former airline pilot himself, yesterday called on the airlines to do.
Inquirer airline reporter Linda Loyd has one of those good stories today that makes you pause and say, well, sure, that makes sense. It's all about what airlines are doing to save fuel in tough economic times by shedding weight from aircraft. Read it all here
The shutdown of Clear, the program that operated special security lines at airports for travelers who had been registered and vetted by the TSA, has alarmed some of its members. Travelers gave up privacy of personal information to register for the program and want to know what became of the data. The Wall Street Journal reached Clear founder Stephen Brill to answer some questions. Here's the report.
Boeing Co. made an important annoucement yesterday that, surprisingly, isn't featured prominently anywhere on this news site: It is again delaying the first test flight of its 787 Dreamliner long-haul jet. The 787 doesn't seem likely to fly until next year after the company said it needs to strengthen small areas where the wings are joined to the fuselage.
Boeing's long struggle to get the new-technology plane in the air serves as a lesson in how challenging it is to build sophisticated machines using materials and techniques not used before. The 787 is the first commercial aircraft to replace aluminum with composite material, and the fuel efficiency of the resulting product has made it wildly popular with airlines. Boeing has 866 orders for the plane so far.