Random Bits of Info

Airbus, Boeing, El Al, Gol, Lufthansa, ORD - Chicago/O'Hare, PMD - Palmdale

It’s time once again for the completely irregular segment I like to call random bits of info. There have been a bunch of little airline stories the last few days, so I’m just going to rattle them off here now.

  • Hooray for the Brazilian courts! – It was ruled that the two American pilots being held in the Gol accident investigation cannot be held any longer. After some more interrogation and a promise to return when needed, the pilots will be free to go home. At least someone realized the gross injustice going on down there.
  • Virgin Blows . . . – At least, that was the gist of the press release announcing the airline’s return to the Windy City (that’s Chicago). A daily flight between London/Heathrow and Chicago/O’Hare begins April 23, 2007. The airline used to fly from Chicago but pulled out afternoon Sept 11, 2001. I’m surprised that they’re going back, because it’s a very competitive market. American, United, and BA all fly it multiple times a day.
  • . . . So Does LAWA – In the news of the lame, LA World Airports (LAWA) has announced it will rename Ontario Intl Airport to LA/Ontario Intl Airport and Palmdale to LA/Palmdale Regional Airport. Since apparently nobody knows where Ontario is (Canada?), this is the right thing to do. Actually, the Ontario renaming doesn’t bother me nearly as much as Palmdale. I mean, Palmdale doesn’t even have any flights! Do you think that airlines will start flying there just because of its new name? Lame-o.
  • Lufthansa to Kick Airbus in the Nuts – Rumors abound today that Lufthansa is set to be the first major customer for Boeing’s new 747-8 with more range and more seats. This is Boeing’s competitor to the A380, and if a German airline which has traditionally ordered Airbus chooses Boeing here, it’s very bad news for Airbus.
  • Does God Hate El Al? – That’s definitely a question being asked these days. Due to a general strike, El Al opted to fly on the Sabbath in order to get people home. Well, the flight to New York had rudder problems and had to return to Tel Aviv, prompting those onboard to say it was the “finger of God” punishing them for flying during the holy day. Um, ok. Now there’s a huge boycott in the works by the ultra-orthodox community, and the airline will probably be forced to sign a document saying they won’t do it again. My question is this . . . if they boycott El Al, who are they going to fly? Everybody else flies on the Sabbath. Good luck with that one.

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