Adding a new aircraft type to a fleet is a challenging task. Switching from props to jets is even harder. And adding international routes further ups the complexity. Northern Pacific is discovering many of these issues as it pushes forward with plans to fly to Korea and Japan from Anchorage, hopefully later this year.
Airplanes and Airports
JetBlue will further trim its Summer 2022 schedule. The carrier plans “further tweaks” to the network, in response to elevated fuel prices and in support of its reliability goals.
Can a merger of competing airlines improve customer choice and lower prices? History suggests, time and again, the answer is no. But that did not stop Avianca from suggesting that a buyout of Viva would do precisely that.
With the pilot shortage challenge becoming ever more acute, regional carrier Republic Airways is looking for a different way to get more pilots into its operations. The carrier filed an application with the US Federal Aviation Administration last month seeking permission for pilots with 750 hours of flight experience – half the current requirement – to be licensed as a Restricted Air Transport Pilot (R-ATP), eligible to operate commercial service for the company.
With delivery timing on its 777X fleet still uncertain, Lufthansa is turning to the 787-9 to help backfill missing capacity. The carrier added seven new passenger aircraft to its order book, while also expanding its Boeing freighter operations.
The A321XLR should make its first flight by the end of next month, kicking off the certification process. But Airbus now expects certification to take a bit longer than previously planned.
Spirit Airlines sees a merger with JetBlue as unattainable. Not for lack of interest, mind you. JetBlue’s cash offer of $3.6 billion still stands. But doubts around the likelihood of regulatory approval have Spirit’s Board of Directors recommending that it continue to move forward with the previously planned Frontier merger instead. Assuming even that can get past regulators.
Come the end of 2025 no two cities on earth will be too far apart for a nonstop flight. Qantas officially confirmed its plans to purchase A350-1000 aircraft in an ultra-longhaul configuration capable of flying from Sydney to London or New York City or anywhere else on earth without a stop on the way. The carrier will eventually take delivery of a dozen planes for this effort.
Upstart Avelo Airlines sees big potential in Orlando. The airline will establish a new crew and aircraft base in Central Florida, bringing new competition to the market. Avelo plans for ten destinations served from Orlando by the end of the year.
Norse Atlantic will bring its 787 “Longships” across the Atlantic Ocean beginning in June. The carrier formally launched its first four transatlantic routes, with New York City, Los Angeles, and Florida connecting to Oslo from this summer.