3 Links I Love: Reading Azul Tea Leaves, Etihad Light, Small Virgins

Etihad, Links I Love, Virgin Atlantic

This week’s featured link:

Azul could join giant Latin America alliance sought by United, Avianca, CopaTPG
It’s interesting that United would want to bring Azul into its joint venture, because Azul does very little flying between the US and Latin America today. If Azul is going to ramp up, then that seems like the only way this would make sense. It’s something to keep an eye on. Meanwhile, I still think American should steal Copa away from United. My post on that should be ready next week.

Image of the Week: United’s Her Art Here New York plane was already released, and now the California one is in the wild. Again, I love it. In this case, however, it’s the sunglasses on the cockpit windows that get me.

Two for the road:

Air Arabia links with Etihad for new Abu Dhabi budget carrierFlightGlobal
I’ll be particularly interested to see how this works. Air Arabia isn’t one to really do connections to other airlines, but the only reason this makes sense for Etihad is if it can flow passengers into the Etihad network. (Even then it’s highly questionable that it makes much sense.) Something more like flyDubai/Emirates at least has ANY potential. But it’s not clear that either side of this equation knows how to run that type of hybrid carrier.

FlyBe Unveils Brand New Name: Virgin ConnectAirways Mag
As expected, FlyBe will take on the Virgin brand which undoubtedly means that Sir Richard gets his pound of flesh with a royalty fee. Good for him, but bad for the future success of Virgin Connect. Then again, we know nothing about what will change besides the paint job, so it’s hard to say anything intelligent here.

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8 comments on “3 Links I Love: Reading Azul Tea Leaves, Etihad Light, Small Virgins

  1. maybe give that “Copa doesn’t ought to belong to Star” conspiracy/fantasy theory to rest already.

    The merger between TACA and Avianca and its subsequent joining of Star isn’t news by any stretch. Copa themselves voted Avianca in, so clearly they knew exactly what they’re signing up for. The 2 aren’t all that overlapping either. One offers 787 flat beds with BOG as a scissor hub (with some miscellaneous affiliates), one is a PTY scissor exclusively by 737 and on recliners in the front cabin.

    If anything, they’re growing closer. First by applying a 3-way JV of UA-CM-AV, then now trying to invite AD into the fold as well, so the actions speak strongly to their desire of further integration. And unlike anything DL does, this ain’t some 1 airline show like when DL virtually dictates how each of them should behave.

    On the other hand, LATAM has proven to be willing to wh**e themselves out to the highest bidder with complete disregard of etiquette (like actually bothering to pre-inform AA they’re leaving). So with the right price, it’s easy to imagine someone could yank LATAM away from DL in the future too.

  2. I’m not sure “steal” is the best word when it comes to American’s possible relationship with Copa. Maybe “lure” would be a bit better? I’m guessing you’ll delve into Copa’s current relationship with United and Avianca in your upcoming post, so I won’t comment on that. And to that point, I’m guessing you’re more than a bit more plugged in on the situation than most of us are (and I’m almost certain you know more that I do about it). I read elsewhere that American is in talks with Gol. No surprise there. But the more I think about it, an American/Copa/Gol hookup presents a compelling possibility. At this point, how things got here is less important than where the players go from here. It could be quite interesting.

    1. AA + Gol seems inevitable. But AA + Copa still seems improbable to me. In many regards, isn’t Panama City a major competitor to AA’s MIA and other Latin service?

      1. I have no idea how close Copa’s relationship with United is. I’m guwessing Brett will address that in his upcoming post. On the surface, Panama City may be a competitor to Miami, but it can also be a gateway to a lot of smaller markets in South America that aren’t economically viable via Miami. Also, connecting through Panama City is a more direct routing to South America from western Noth America than Miami. I have a couple of friends who are originally from Panama. They’d love a non-stop flight from Phoenix to Panama City.

        1. Continental was formerly a major investor in Copa and had a lot to do with the setup of it’s operation as we know it now (hence the familiar-looking tail logo and aircraft livery). And, of course, Continental is now absorbed into United (or perhaps the other way around), so there’s a longstanding relationship between the two airlines.

  3. Everybody loves the new California livery. It *is* nice. But it is also wrong. It’s got the wrong palm trees on it. The California Fan palm is the one that is native to the state and the one most closely associated with it. The ones painted on the jet’s hull are closer to Coconut palms which are more associated with Hawaii and the tropical Pacific.

    Indeed, when I first saw the jet over a week ago at United’s Family Day at SFO, my first thought was this livery was to celebrate Hawaii flying from the CA coast…because of the palm tree style chosen next to the Golden Gate bridge.

    Someone goofed at United.

  4. The special United livery is pretty cool! The California livery gets all the attention, I didn’t realize there was also a NY/NJ livery until I got to the bottome of the article.

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