This week’s featured link
Wisconsin’s Midwest Express Airlines ends Elite partnership – ch-aviation
Remember how Midwest Express was going to come back with chocolate chip cookies and all? Scratch that. The airline was going to outsource flying to Elite, but that has now fallen apart and descended into lawsuits. Midwest says it’s going to still start, but come on… that seems unlikely.
Two for the road
A Premature Farewell To KLM’s 747-400s – Officer Wayfinder
Older aircraft are being retired in droves, and the KLM 747 is no different. Its service will end next week instead of next year thanks to the drop in demand. Here’s a look back at the airplane’s time with the airline.
Flyback Friday: In Memory of Capt. Rick Rogers – Hawaiian Airlines Mana’o
I had missed that Rick Rogers died in a plane crash on the north shore of O’ahu last month. I met Rick once, and he was one of a kind. He had an incredible knowledge of Hawaiian’s history. It sounds like his funeral was a very appropriate tribute.
Ray Charles could’ve seen the Midwest flop coming. But that specific proposal aside, what would prevent them from buying or merging with one of these failing carriers like Trans States for example, to get their hands on their operating certs and, therefore, becoming a fully certified, real airline? I’m not familiar with all the vagaries of that, so you’d need to explain. Are they not transferable or something? It would seem to me that given how those certs are unobtainium, one of them would explore something like this to stay alive. It would be mutually beneficial to both. Can you elaborate?
Matt – The only thing that would prevent that is the lack of funds. I can’t imagine anyone being willing to invest in that kind of thing right now. In theory it could be done.
“ Dutch flag carrier KLM announced this week that it is retiring its fleet of 747-400s at the end of March. The move comes in response to the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 virus, which has paralyzed the global aviation industry and grounded much of the worldwide fleet. ”
So much for coronavirus-free ;)
Also from the KLM article:
“ Now, with large travel restrictions between countries in place, it is very possible that few people will actually be on the final flight – a very unceremonious ending to an airplane that has been the backbone of KLM’s long-haul fleet for 50 years.”
An appropriate “final mission” for the Queen of the Skies would be to repatriate Dutch/European citizens.
The KLM livery is one of the best 747 liveries of all time. Classic. Gorgeous. They will be missed.
I’d like to nominate United for another Cranky jackass award. First they stiff their customers on schedule changes, now they email their employees (CC the rest of the world!): “get your Congress critter to bail me out or I fire your ass!” The “in unity” signoff is particularly sick — Oscar and Kirby are millionaires toying around with $15/hour rampers and gate agents.
Yeah, I have status with United (albeit lowly silver, though I have a United Club Card) and have award tickets booked for May. These guys are trying to stiff me for a $200 “redeposit” fee to cancel. What utter a-holes. And not at all competitive with other airlines. Their reaction to this crisis has me rethinking my loyalty to them. Maybe I’ll pivot back to AA or even go to DL (I’m based near ORD, but MKE is nearby too). As for the tickets, I have time to wait them out for a while.
Seeing the article about KLM’s 747s reminded me that a few days ago I cancelled a SFO-LHR-SFO trip on British. In addition to missing out on seeing friends and family, I will also miss flying out on a Boeing 747-400 and back on an Airbus 380. I was looking forward to comparing the flying experience on two aircraft developed, what, forty years apart. Thank you, COVID19.
I’d be careful with anything that Elite touches; therefore, we’re not surprised that Midwest’s plan to work with them ended this way (COVID-19 notwithstanding).
Elite partnered up with a serial fraudster who brought aboard his recently-convicted felon son to cause the spectacular failure of their creation, Cal Jet Elite, which did a fine job of taking people’s money but not taking the people anywhere…
(Fraudster stuff: try this Googling: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=george+wozniak+travelzoo+lawsuit )
(Felony stuff: see https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=timothy+wozniak+identity+theft+fraud)
I was really looking forward to that Midwest MKE-OMA service. I was skeptical that it would last long, but I’ll confess that I thought it would at least start.