It was another busy week in the aviation business, with airlines now required to show air fares that include all taxes and fees, US Airways confirming it is looking at a merger with American Airlines while Delta Air Lines is allegedly mulling a merger with US Airways. But there were other things going on, so let’s get on with the news.
- I began covering the business aviation beat for Aviation Week in December 2008, a mere three weeks after the Big Three auto makers flew their private jets to Washington to beg Congress for bail-out funds. I had a front-row seat to the collapse, which included almost 30,000 workers laid off, several aircraft programs shuttered, aircraft manufacturers sold, order books and backlogs vaporized and a president that bashed the industry at every turn. So I read this AvWeek story by my former boss, William Garvey, entitled “Faint Signs Of Recovery In Biz Av, with great interest. We now see a tiny light at the end of the tunnel.
- On the other end of the spectrum, we saw the demise of Spain’s Spanair after the carrier was unable to get the financing it needed to continue operating, reports BusinessWeek. The immediate shut-down of the airline was not good news for the 23,000 passenger stranded because of it. Spanish flag carrier Iberia, along with Spain’s Vueling Airlines and Air Europa, will offer special fares for those affected by Spanair’s shut-down.
- Being in the aviation business for almost 20 years, you get to meet some really great people. One of my many favorites is George Hamlin. Hamlin has been in the business for more than 40 years, working for two airlines and two aircraft manufacturers. He’s also a world-class aviation photographer. He’s currently a consultant, and writes a column for Air Transport World magazine. This month, Hamlin has a great article on the naming of aircraft fleets. I’m partial to Pan Am’s former Clipper Queen of the Sky, for obvious reasons!
- I have to give a shout out to consumer travel columnist Christopher Elliott for using his blog to write the Transportation Security Administration a tongue-in-cheek memo on how to differentiate between medical devices and weapons of mass destruction.
- Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld co-opted a private jet theme for his Chanel Haute Couture show at the Grand Palais in Paris, reports MSN Her. The “runway” featured numbered seats, floor lighting, emergency exits and a bar.
We’ll end this with a great infographic passed along by one of my readers. The Frugal Dad blog gives us the visuals on why the airlines are bankrupt. Enjoy!