3 Links I Love: Boeing’s MoM Gets a Boost, JetBlue Feels Pain in Atlanta, More on the Port Authority Scandal

ATL - Atlanta, Boeing, JetBlue, Links I Love, United

This week’s featured link:
United Looks at Boeing’s ‘Paper Plane’ and Likes What It SeesBloomberg
Bloomberg has been cranking out some interesting pieces lately. It’s no surprise this one came from Julie Johnsson, someone I first met when she was at the Chicago Tribune covering this industry years ago. Now she has a really interesting story about two Chicago companies coming together. Boeing has been talking about a “middle of the market” (MoM) airplane to fill the gap for a medium range aircraft between the 737 and 787 families. Now that the plane is being fleshed out more, it’s gathering momentum. United apparently really likes what it sees, and that’s only going to help the possibility of this thing becoming a reality.

Two for the road:
JetBlue unhappy with gate position at Hartsfield-JacksonAtlanta Journal-Constitution
Delta’s airport seems to be cooperating nicely at squashing competition. JetBlue had expected to be able to fly into Concourse E when its five flights to Atlanta began at the end of this month. But now, the airport has said nay, JetBlue will have to actually split its 5 lonely flights between Concourses D and E. That’s hugely inconvenient and frankly, quite absurd.

Behind the scenes: How feds say former P. A. head shook down United AirlinesNJ.com
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard about the United/Port Authority of New York and New Jersey scandal, but a few more details have filtered out as court proceedings have wound on. If you aren’t familiar with the whole story, this one actually gives a good high-level summary of what went down.

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28 comments on “3 Links I Love: Boeing’s MoM Gets a Boost, JetBlue Feels Pain in Atlanta, More on the Port Authority Scandal

  1. Probably a stupid, but A serious question? What could United/Jeff Smisek done to stop this? Call the governor? The FAA? The NTSB? Leak to the press and let the chips fall?

    What is the right thing to do when your corporation is beeing shook down by the guy that runs your airport?

    1. Jeremy – First he shouldn’t have given in. Second, he should have reported it somewhere. I’m not sure where, but I have no doubt that wouldn’t be hard to find.

      1. It’s very difficult, and risky, to report government corruption, especially at such a high level. Many times officials tend to cover up for each other, and you never know who is corrupt and who isn’t. Have you ever been asked for a bribe at an airport or by the police in a foreign country? It isn’t pleasant, but you have no choice. You can either pay and move on, or you can stand up for your principles and cause major cost and inconvenience to yourself. Sometimes you pick your battles. Samson is the one who needs to be held accountable here, not United.

  2. Did anybody notice that Allegiant announced Cincinnati – Denver yesterday? Response to Frontier starting Bismarck/Sioux Falls – Las Vegas?

  3. What I don’t get: car manufacturers retain the name of successful brands and update the product (BMW X5, VW Golf, Chevy Camaro, etc.). So do Mobile Phone companies (iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy X, etc.).

    So why does Boeing want to rename the 757 replacement 797 which in my head would place it “above” the 777 and 787 even though it will be a smaller plane (think A321 long range). Why not call it 757Neo (just kidding)! The 757 name and brand is very recognizable, and people love the plane.

    1. The 757 is a single aisle 200-295 pax 3,100-4,100 mile range
      The 767 is a twin aisle 181-375 pax 3,900-6,400 mile range
      Proposed 797 is a twin aisle 200+ pax 5,200+ mile range

      So maybe it should be the 7567?

      I think 797 makes perfect sense.

    2. Historically, Boeing hasn’t used higher numbers to signify a bigger plane.

      One possibility would be that Boeing would leverage the engineering work on the 787 including use of composite materials for the fuselage for the 757 replacement, thus giving the 797 the same relationship to the 787 as the 757 had to the 767, a very profitable combination to Boeing and widely accepted by the airlines! A composite body single aisle aircraft with the other features of the 787 would certainly highly differentiate the new aircraft from the over 30 year old design of the 757; it isn’t just an NEO (a New Engine Option) but really a new aircraft!

  4. The interesting question about the 797 is: what is United going to do until the aircraft becomes available? Are they going to buy A321neos? Keep the 757s on life support? It’s a long time until 2025 (+ delays).

  5. At first I was going to say JetBlue was starting to sound like a cry baby, but then I can see it’s point. If you were told one thing and started to plan for that location and not the airport is trying to switch things around, they should be mad. After all ATL must do what it can to make DL happy and I’m sure screwing up B6 would do that.

  6. While I’m sympathetic to B6’s situation, they probably could have chosen their words more carefully. AA, UA, and WN serve more “higher end business and leisure travelers” than B6 likely ever will in Atlanta from their non-Concourse E real estate. If the airport was being dishonest or they suspect foul play, then they should just lean on those points.

  7. What worries me in the long term is that the 797 is the end of the line. Boeing has nowhere to go after that, n’est-ce pas?

  8. Per the Bloomberg article I disagree with the comment that the “757 replacement that is available now is the A321” For one it doesn’t have a mid-cabin 2L boarding door, not to mention a whole slew of other things. Equal # of seats doesn’t mean equal plane in my world, not by a long shot. I for one really want to see the 797, especially if it is twin aisle (yay). My biggest complaint about the ever longer and bigger 737 and A320 variants is the excruciating long boarding and deplane procedures. The venerable 757 never feels as bad due to that magical mid-cabin 2L boarding door.

    1. What is that whole slew?

      The mid cabin boarding door should mostly matter to Premium class passengers as they don’t have the unwashed masses trot through their fancy digs while they go enjoy their PDB. But those same fancy pants pax are quickly off the plane upon landing on a 739/321, so your point about deplaning doesn’t really apply to them.

      1. I have to admit I like peace and quiet while enjoying my PDB.

        But, the deplaning from the rear of a 757-300 takes forever.

  9. I wonder why a carrier flying domestic routes wants space in E or F? They are the international terminals. There’s nothing wrong with T, A, B, C, or D. They’re a lot nice than they were in the 1990’s.

    1. Concourse D didn’t have enough demand in its early ages, so it is currently narrower than the other concourses. And to make matters worse, JetBlue is flying its soon to be retired E190s to ATL (Although that’s partially because of their A320 restyling). I agree that ATL needs to give B6 a chance. In fact, I think ATL should learn from LGA and close up concourse D completely, and make a new one that has more space like Concourses T-C. If they move Concourse E a bit closer towards Concourse F, there can be more space for Concourse D.

  10. While the airlines await the 797, perhaps Airbus will further enhance the A321, with, e.g., a composite wing… and call it the A321-X?

  11. What is in writing between B6 and ATL is all that matters. Given that B6 is entering ATL using common use gates, they don’t get to choose where they want to operate. Since not a single domestic-only airline operates from E or F, the chances are slim that ATL is going to give up 2-3 gates on the international concourses – and B6 has already stated they intend to operate more than a dozen flights to 4 or so destinations.

    American and United each operated a split operation – spread over a lot more of ATL than is proposed for B6 – and both merged with partners that operated from D.

    B6 might just be looking for an excuse not to start ATL, or if they really intend to do so, they are due for a lesson about the way common use gates work.

    1. That’s true.

      AA with operations in T and D is pretty split. That’s a nice ride on the plane train.

      D and E are actually in walking distance. You can get between the two on foot as quickly as the train.

    2. ATL Concourse E isn’t a true international Concourse anymore. It’s just a mix of international flights that didn’t manage to move to the new Concourse F and some domestic departures.
      As a leftover from pre-F days, E has a decent food court and some high end stores (and duty free shop which is irrelevant for domestic passengers)

      Concourse D is actually closer to baggage claim and ground transportation, i’d prefer D over E for domestic flights.

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