3 Links I Love: Air France Exec Turmoil, Regional Madness Since 1990, KLM Starts to Say Goodbye to the 747

747, Air France, KLM, Links I Love

This week’s featured link:

Air France-KLM Said to Weigh Changing Dutch Head for New EraBloomberg
This is a sad by-product of Air France finally gaining competent management. KLM boss Pieter Elbers has successfully kept KLM flying high, partially by keeping it as separate as possible from its drunken, moronic sister, Air France. But now, Air France has Ben Smith at the helm of the group, and he wants to see the airlines get closer, gain efficiency. That’s the right thing to do, but it puts Pieter’s past at odds with Ben. This could result in a tough decision being made.

Two for the road:

Telling Three Decades of Regional Airline Stories in One ChartVisualApproach.io
Regional airline relationships are complicated. Don’t believe me? Just look at this epic chart that shows all the winding relationships since 1990. It’s like a soap opera in chart form. Oh, if you see anything that’s wrong or missing, let me know and I’ll be happy to pass it along.

Why the Boeing 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’ will always reign supremeKLM Blog
You know why this is here. I love this airplane so, so much. And KLM is getting closer to the end of 747 service, so it is starting to honor the old girl.

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16 comments on “3 Links I Love: Air France Exec Turmoil, Regional Madness Since 1990, KLM Starts to Say Goodbye to the 747

  1. Thanks Brett – the Regional chart is very interesting! I guess it takes another geek to appreciate it! I’m no expert, but what I am familiar with looks very accurate – thank you!

  2. Didn’t Gulstream become Silver? And doesn’t technically Cape Air have their own branded service, but codeshare with B6 and UA?

    1. Ben – Silver came out of the ashes of Gulfstream, but as far as I know, it never acted as a regional for a mainline airline. It codeshares with United in a more traditional sense, but United doesn’t control inventory and sell as a United branded flight. So that one is off the chart. And Cape Air actually used to be a United regional out in the Pacific, but that has all ended.

  3. I love the regional chart. I started my career working for a regional carrier and I’ve kept a close eye on that segment of the industry. Lots of names I’ve long since forgotten.

    One small correction, Mesaba actually flew Saab 340s for US Airways for a short period in 2011 out of LGA. Mesaba was gone by 2012 but it was an interesting time at the company.

  4. LOVE the regional chart. I had totally forgotten that Bar Harbor and PBA became Expressjet (eventually). It’s a shame the Regional chart doesn’t go back to 1980 so we could see some of the classics like Empire, Pilgrim, etc. Those were the glory days of regional flying.

    1. I was going through some timetables recently and noticed that Pan Am hooked up with Allegheny at Pan Am’s World Port….as time went by they also used Ransome, Emerald Air and Pacific Express, Air Atlanta, Republic, Empire, Presidential and Colgan…..most operating with 727, DC-9, F-29, 737, Bae146 to name a few under their own brand but using Pan Am express flt #’s

  5. Brett,

    Do you ever plan to take a trip to the desert where retired jets rest? I ask as it wouldn’t surprise me at all if numerous 747’s are parked there or will soon be parked. What is it about the 747 that carries such nostalgia in your mind & is there a newer jet that can carry the torch going forward?

    1. SEAN – I’ve done that, been to Mojave and Marana. It’s a great trip that I recommend for everyone. As for the 747, it was just an incredible leap of faith for Boeing to build something like that. It opened up travel for the masses on long distances, and it had that iconic look that even non-travelers could recognize. I, of course, also have great personal memories dating back to my childhood that make it even better. And no, there will be no airplane to replace it in my mind, at least nothing that’s currently on the drawing board. It would take another big leap.

      1. Thanks CF. When I was returning from Minneapolis some years ago, I remember at the gate to my right there was a London bound 747 boarding at the same time as my flight to LGA. You could easily see both the size & scope of this bird as well as the raised section for first class passengers & this is Northwest we’re talking about BTW.

  6. An easier way to have drawn the regional airline chart would have been to dip spaghetti in some colored ink and throw it onto a piece of blank paper. But the history it shows is fascinating.

  7. The regional chart is great. It doesn’t show that Compass is currently an American Eagle operator. It also doesn’t show the at-risk flying SkyWest was doing for AirTran up until AirTran’s sale to Southwest. I’m a bit confused why Cape Air is shown as an American codeshare partner, but Great Lakes is shown as “Branded Flying Only” when they codeshared with Frontier and United. Both operate/d under their own brands with codeshares also. Nothing is shown about Expressjet’s branded flying, though that might be outside of the scope of the chart. The colour represented by Independence Air does not appear in the legend but I guess it is just when they were doing branded only flying.

  8. I’m kind of surprised there’s no A380-related link here since it was the biggest aviation-related news last week.

    1. I guess because Brett knows to expect the usual outpouring of xenophobic sentiments that seems to follow an Airbus vs Boeing story, and probably because this has been signposted ever since it became clear that Airbus were never going to sell the A380 to US airline. I guess once they’ve licked their wounds, Airbus will be more than content to pick up the A330neo/A350 orders that they are managing to do so, and the honeymoon for the A220 looks like it will go on for a *long* time.

  9. There is nothing wrong with KLM looking out for themselves with Air France drowning and pulling KLM with them. Now that Air France has a new Captain at the helm and beginning to make a turn for the better, there is no reason to punish KLM for looking out for itself when things were bad with Air France….KLM proved it could weather the storm with its partner and now Air France has someone turning it around, why not keep both who have interests in keeping both airlines afloat, KLM has a proven leader, looks like Air France has one now so dont screw with something that works….2 strong leaders wanting the same thing, strong companies.If KLM employees are happy with their leader, replacing him with an Air France puppet, may have drastic consequences….leave well enough alone….

  10. Am I the only one bothered by the fact that the only way to provide feedback on Courtney Miller’s spectacular data graphics (VisualApproach.io) is in public forums, either here or there? I have a friendly, relevant correction I do not want to personally post publicly.

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