Project Wingman USA opened its two inaugural “First Class Lounges” this week, offering respite for frontline healthcare professionals. The program allows airline crew to offer peer support to medical staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Airplanes and Airports
This week’s episode is all about the middle seat. Should it be blocked? How would airlines approach that task? And one briefly tried to charge passengers for that luxury, though quickly backed down when politicians got angry.
JetBlue still intends to launch service to Europe. CEO Robin Hayes believes that “the need for us to enter that market and bring more competition” remains relevant. Just don’t expect it to happen quite so soon, and that may be a good thing.
With approval to reduce service to as many as 16 airports in its network JetBlue is taking a measured approach. The carrier will suspend service to six of these airports beginning next week through the end of June.
In 2017 United Airlines dropped its long-running service between Singapore and Hong Kong, choosing to fly passengers nonstop between Singapore and the US West Coast instead. That plan appears to be changing, as the carrier requested DOT permission for daily (cargo to start) service between the two cities as soon as this coming Sunday.
JetBlue and Spirit Airlines received permission to remove as many as 16 destinations from their route US networks and still maintain compliance with the CARES Act. This lets the airlines reduce their service while still remaining eligible for the Payroll Support Program grants that help fund employee costs through 30 September 2020. Both airlines are permitted to halt service to their approved destinations immediately.
Air Canada will be the first airline in the Americas to require temperature screening of passengers prior to travel. The carrier will also retire 79 of its oldest planes, clipping the wings of its Rouge LCC arm.
United Airlines wants to make it even easier for travelers to print their own bag tags at check-in kiosks. A new option to be tested this month will allow passengers to complete the process without ever touching the machines.
United Airlines is not formally retiring any aircraft yet, but the company hinted at what its future fleet will look like in a memo to pilots identifying where bases will close and aircraft will reposition.
What topics made the cut for The Weekly Wrap this week? Maryann Simson and I recap the incredible Flight Plan event organized earlier in the week by Inmarsat and APEX, health testing at the airport and more!