There seem to be a lot of stories today that I’d like to talk about, but as I wrap up work and get ready to head out of town, I thought I’d better just summarize . . .
- London Fog – The mythic London fog apparently isn’t just a rumor as it battles Denver for weather story of the week. London and other parts of the UK are completely socked in, and flights are severely delayed or canceled. Naturally, this is causing complete and total chaos. Heathrow is by far the hardest hit of the airports – right now it is seeing freezing fog with no vertical visibility and only 400 ft forward visibility on the runway. Ouch.
- Cash for Emissions – The EU announced plans to include airlines in an emissions trading plan. In 2011, all flights within the EU will be restricted while in 2012, all flights to or from the EU will be included as well. Basically, airlines will be given an allotment of emissions “credits” based on their actual emissions in the 2004-2006 time period. If they want to go over that amount, they’ll have to buy credits from someone else who is willing to sell them. If they’re under, they can sell their credits to someone else. It effectively caps total emissions at today’s rates.
- Beeches in Boston – Delta announced a deal with Big Sky Airlines to fly 8 19-seat Beechcraft 1900 aircraft from Boston beginning next spring. No routes have been announced yet, but with those small planes, it’s bound to be smaller regional routes. Big Sky must be breathing a sigh of relief since they’re owned by Mesaba’s parent company, and Mesaba is in dire straits. This should help them bolster their own business going forward.
- Cross one off for US Airways – US Airways announced they had come to an agreement with the flight dispatchers’ union which has both old US Airways and America West dispatchers transitioning to the old US Airways contract which presumably was higher paying. This is a nice development, but until the pilot and flight attendant deals are done, nobody can breath easily.
- Muslims Welcome in Tel Aviv – In a welcome piece of good news, the Israel Airports Authority has decided to open a mosque in the Tel Aviv airport. This is only one of the efforts made by the authority to reach out to Muslims. They have also created a special team to be in charge of customer service for Arabic-speaking passengers, and they have launched a website in Arabic as well. It’s a small olive branch, but it’s certainly the right thing to do.
That’s all for me this week. I’m off to Indiana tomorrow and I don’t expect to be writing again until Tuesday or Wednesday. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate. I’ll talk to you again next week.