Virgin Atlantic is the latest airline to offer a differentiated experience for some passengers in its business class cabin. The carrier introduced the Retreat Suite, a more premium version of its Upper Class suite, as part of the unveiling of its new A330neo interior.
Virgin Atlantic reiterated its expectation that in-flight WiFi connectivity will eventually be free to passengers. But don’t expect that in the immediate future. The company is much more focused today on improving the paid take rates than transitioning to a free model.
Virgin Atlantic filed for bankruptcy protection in the US courts on Tuesday, a move that initially sparked concerns among travelers about the future of the company. Fortunately the filing, made under Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code, is more of a procedural play than anything to be concerned about.
British Airways made it official to crew this evening: the 747 will leave its fleet effective immediately. Subject to consultations with employee unions, the Queen of the Skies will not carry passengers for BA again.
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.
What’s next in the codeshare world for Delta Air Lines? Based on recent regulatory filings it appears that adding UK-based regional carrier Flybe should happen soon. A recent DOT application seeks blanket approval for at least two years.
The international air travel market faces massive challenges in Asia, but that isn’t stopping some airlines from planning long-haul growth, particularly into India. Three announcements this week will bring additional flights from Europe to the sub-continent, with onward connections across the Atlantic.
Jockeying for more access to Heathrow and more fast wifi flying lead this week’s PaxEx news, with a new livery and loyalty program buy-back also making waves.
Virgin Atlantic wants to grow at London’s Heathrow airport. A lot. This is no secret, of course. The carrier has strongly endorsed a third runway at Britain’s busiest airport for years, hoping to secure a significant boost to its landing slots portfolio should that finally come to pass. This week the company translated that drive into maps, hoping to generate public support for its plans. There’s just one problem: It is almost certainly impossible for Virgin Atlantic to deliver what it is suggesting.
Delta’s recently approved Joint Venture for transatlantic operations hit a small speed bump as the carrier’s pilots filed an objection. While unlikely to be taken too seriously by the Department of Transportation the filing does highlight challenges the carrier will face in future contract negotiations.