3 Links I Love: Avianca for Sale, Qatar’s A380 Gate Problem, Delta’s Back in ExpertFlyer

Avianca, Delta, Qatar Airways

This week’s featured link:
United Continental, Delta Air Lines possible bidders for Avianca: WSJReuters
Ok, so we don’t know much about this yet, but word on the street is that Avianca needs money. This isn’t a surprise considering how bad the situation is down in South America right now. But it could end up turning into a full sale with both United and Delta showing interest. United makes sense as Avianca is a big partner down there. But United also has its stake in Azul in Brazil as well as its close partnership with Copa in Panama which certainly has some overlap. I’d be curious to see what United’s plans would be.

As for Delta, well, it would be a big coup for Delta to get in there on this. Imagine Delta being able to leverage Aeromexico, Avianca, and Gol in Latin America. That would be a pretty impressive presence for an airline that has long struggled to have anything significant. This is definitely one to watch.

Links I Love

Two for the road:
Gate skirmish: Qatar Airways super jumbo jet will require maneuvering to gateAJC@ATL Airport Blog
Anything involving Delta and Qatar in Atlanta is instantly news, but this one is just amusing. Qatar is going to fly the Atlanta route with a 777, but for the inaugural, it wants to puff itself up and bring in the A380. That’s great, but Atlanta has only one or two gates that can handle that airplane and Delta is using them. Delta wasn’t about to rearrange its schedule (nor should it) to help out Qatar, so this has turned into a logistical nightmare. If only Qatar realized that a 777 would be perfectly fine. There’s no need to whip out your A380 for something like this, and now Qatar will pay by inconveniencing its customers at the airport.

DL Flight Data RestoredFlyerTalk
Great news. Delta’s paid inventory is back in ExpertFlyer. I was mad when the airline shut it off in 2014, but now all is well.

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21 comments on “3 Links I Love: Avianca for Sale, Qatar’s A380 Gate Problem, Delta’s Back in ExpertFlyer

  1. Qatar actually gained huge press (and in my opinion. Delta a childish big black eye) over the gate feud in ATL. Why shouldn’t Qatar make their inaugural flight a splash? I would.

    1. You think DL should accommodate a competitor by disrupting their own operations and by extension their paying customers?!?! Love or hate DL nobody in business would do that for a rival under these circumstances. Hardly think Qatar would do the same if the roles were reversed.

      And from a passenger perspective the hard stand and taking the stairs down from an A380 is far more appealing than a typical jet bridge.

      1. > And from a passenger perspective the hard stand and
        > taking the stairs down from an A380 is far more appealing than a typical jet bridge.

        Really? Is that why so many people are so happy with the frequent hard stand parking and associated bus tour at FRA? ;)

  2. Are the A380-capable gates (or any gates for that matter) owned by Delta or are they all under control of ATL airport? If they are common-use, they why doesn’t the airport just tell Delta to go whine in a corner and let Qatar use one of them for one flight?

    1. ATL, I am fairly certain, are owned by the City. I don’t know the particular lease agreements though, especially for E and F.

      E1 is the only A380 gate at ATL, and when there is a 380 there, E3 is closed and E5 becomes a narrow body only gate. Also, the QR A380 was to sit for 4 hours.

    2. Jason H – My understanding is that there is 1 A380 capable gate at the airport and it’s on the E concourse. While Atlanta gives foreign flag carriers preference on concourse F, the geniuses who built that concourse never bothered to build a single A380-capable gate. In E, Delta has preference, I guess. I really put this entirely on the airport and on Qatar.

      1. Brett, you are correct. On another site it is reported that the airport finalizes the schedules for the CUTE gates 3 months out, and QR changed the gauge less than 1 month ago, so they were under no obligation to accommodate the 380.

  3. It may be inconvenient, but wouldn’t most aviation geeks love to board an A380 from the ramp? I know I would.

  4. does not surprise me…I am an ex avianca avianca pilot….and basically they were spending money like a drunk sailor…operational costs are high in that part of the world, how can it be that they go out and buy lots of new 330″s only to replace many of them with 787’s. they went out and bought all the 318’s they could find…when airlines like frontier had to cut them up because they are $ loosers. comfy and gorgeous jet but no match in operational cost to a 717, e-190. and the list goes on

  5. What gate does Korean Airlines use for their A380 service? I flew in back in December 2013 on Korean and remember the close to 30 minute walk from the plane past the old immigration and custom’s facility into the current one in the new International terminal because there was only one gate that could accommodate the A380. You would think the airport would find a way to convert one of the gates in the International terminal to accommodate it like MIA has done. MIA built J17 when constructing the terminal for A380’s and now has converted 2 other gates at the end of E and H to handle as well. As such, Lufthansa, Air France, and British Airways now all fly A380’s to Miami. Sometimes there are 2 on the ground at the same time. I know ATL is busier than MIA because Delta serves TATL, South America and some TPAC out of there from the hub, whereas MIA is AA’s South American hub only, with only a few TATL flights.

  6. I saw that A380 deplaning while I was flying into Atlanta. A little confused why an A380 was parked in between two terminals with security cars around it. Very interesting.

  7. The entire Delta-Qatar debate has been about Delta saying it can compete on equal grounds with any airline in the world while the Middle East 3 airlines, according to the US3, have to accept government subsidies in order to grow their business at the expense of other carriers while QR flaunts being able to break the rules. The ATL gate incident is no different. DL played by the rules that ATL set out in terms of seeking gate reservations and so has every other carrier at ATL.

    There simply aren’t more A380 gates in ATL and the one that exists is on E concourse because it is used so little and limits so many other gates that it makes no economic or operational sense to put it closer to the heart of ATL’s other international operations. Extra space costs money and unless the few A380 operators are charged accordingly, they shouldn’t expect to be given better space to park an airplane that is used very little in Atlanta where even QR isn’t willing to bring the A380 on a regular basis.

    As for who gets a black eye out of the incident, no one really cares outside of the aviation community but the billboards against QR in Atlanta and other cities are still there.

  8. I asked this a few years ago when this was taking place, and I’ll ask again!!! Why on earth would TACA get involved with Avianca?? My friends in Colombia say they don’t ever remember Avianca being out of financial trouble. TACA made a huge mistake buying a sinking ship and face going down with it!

    TACA had built a reputable and reliable airline in Central America and Peru. I flew them several times within Central America, and once from DFW to GUA (which they no longer fly). New airplanes, friendly service, and on time.

  9. TACA didn’t buy Avianca.

    Will HNA buy Avianca?

    Why should United/Continental look into investing into Avianca when they could have just kept their Copa 51% stake instead?

    1. Well, ‘buying’ was an incorrect term. The carriers officially ‘merged.’ I would classify it more like the United/Continental merger. It appears United was the take over carrier, but those close to the operation see more Continental in operating procedures, etc.

      I still think TACA made a huge mistake getting involved with Avianca!

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