United Airlines is ready to change. Or, perhaps more accurately, the company is ready for passengers to change their plans more often. In a major policy shift the carrier will no longer charge travelers a fee to change their booking on most domestic tickets. And, unlike the temporary waiver of this fee in place over recent months, this change is set to last forever.
Airplanes and Airports
Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery plans scored a boost on Thursday. The Federal Aviation Administration approved an exemption allowing the company to move forward with operations while working towards formal certification of the MK27 UA aircraft and the airline operations. The approval comes with significant limits, but allows the company to continue development of the platform and supports progress towards the necessary certifications.
ETOPS certification challenges could see Surinam Airways flying hours out of the way if it presses its 777 into service next month as planned.
Virgin Galactic is keen to bring intrepid travelers into space on its SpaceShipTwo vehicle, but the company is also looking at alternative revenue sources. Among them, renting out the WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) launch support aircraft for government or private businesses to use for science, research, and national security applications. There’s just one problem: Legally it cannot do that.
“We have successfully pivoted from an airline to an all-in-one digital lifestyle company anchored on travel.” This was the key message delivered by AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes as part of the company’s Q2 financial results that showed a 96% drop in quarterly revenue. Airline-related revenue dropped 98% while non-airline revenue, a much smaller portion of the company’s operations, dipped only 55%.
Passengers connecting from Geneva to Zurich and beyond have more options than ever with Swiss, now that the airline will use trains as part of its “flight” network.
Spirit Airlines will not involuntarily furlough any pilots in October when the CARES Act Payroll Support Program funding expires. The news comes just days after the company and the Air Line Pilots Association representing its pilots indicated that 117 positions were at risk.
ExpressJet will halt its regional operations for United at the end of September rather than trying to slowly trim the schedule through the end of the year.
With federal government subsidies set to expire airlines will undoubtedly trim their route maps. American Airlines announced its cuts first, with 15 markets set to be suspended in October, barring additional federal funding.
Sure, the aviation industry is hurting right now. But the airports of Alaska are thinking big about the future. The state wants to see its airport infrastructure eligible to serve as hubs for foreign airlines, boosting local tourism while also allowing for broader connections into the lower 48.