3 Links I Love: Maui Lightens Up, United Loves the Boom, Visiting Long Beach, Mooooooov

LGB - Long Beach, Links I Love, United

This Week’s Featured Link

Post-arrival COVID testing to end for Maui-bound travelersHawaii News Now
Good. The post-arrival test is dead, and now we know that this was a giant, horrible waste of effort, money, and travelers’ time. According to this article, there were 5 cases confirmed to be positive. Five.

Image of the Week

I just had to do it even though I find the whole thing silly. This is like a 50-year flashback to when every airline and their mother put together a mockup of their livery on Concorde or the never-built Boeing 2707. When United teased this announcement by deleting its Instagram photos, people asked me what I thought it was. I figured it was some marketing fluff, and at this point, I stand by that. Will Boom eventually have an engine that can power this airplane? Maybe. But it’s all just so early, and the company needs a lot more money. At this point, United has given up a little money to show it as forward-thinking. Ok. Image via United

Two for the Road

With Long Beach Airport passenger numbers ticking up, Southwest seeks to bolster business travelLong Beach Business Journal
Now that Southwest has built up its Long Beach operation, it’s doing something funny. It’s physically showing corporate travel managers that Long Beach is an airport that exists. I give ’em credit. Familiarity with the ease-of-use at the airport is the most compelling feature.

High-Flyer Interview: Moov Airways CEO Alvaro Nogueira de OliveiraAirways
I’m still a sucker for a CEO interview, even if it’s the CEO of an airline that doesn’t exist. I found nearly everything about this interview confusing. They want to focus on low-cost, long-haul, but they are going to start in Lugano which is only big enough to support regional flights. Sure.

23 comments on “3 Links I Love: Maui Lightens Up, United Loves the Boom, Visiting Long Beach, Mooooooov

  1. Experience in Australia, New Zealand and now Singapore shows that each imported case leads to clusters of 45 (new Zealand) to over 100 (Australia) cases.

    Maui avoided over 400 COVID cases, i.e. 4 deaths and about 100 long-covid patients.

    That’s an amazing ROI from testing. Kudos to them for installing such a system (and, BTW, the proof of its usefulness is also in the numbers).

    To Cranky, who 18 months into the pandemic still doesn’t have a clue about exponential spread, shame on you.

  2. United and Boom is a PR stunt and not much more. 2029 is the equivalent of a half-century in the airline industry and it seems doubtful this plane will ever fly.

    1. Saw this on WABC-TV news & it was presented as a certainty that supersonic flights between EWR & LHR were going to return in 2029. Glad Cranky made mention of it as I had my doubts as well.

    2. Sadly, I agree. Like all of those mockups of the Boeing SST (and later Concorde) in the liveries of US airlines. Airlines that said they’d order supersonic aircraft but never actually went ahead. I don’t see United being any different now. They got the publicity of the slick Boom aircraft in United livery, which is worth the price of entry for them.

  3. The Boom idea is so far ahead of its time that it makes no sense to do anything other than speculate about it. The notion that United, or any other airline. will be flying SST-type commercial jet liners in my lifetime is so far fetched that United would have been well-served to sign up for the first commercial application of the Star Trek Transporter Room (“STTR”).

    The Concorde and 2707 not only were uneconomical, there were serious concerns about widespread high-altitude SST flying on the Ozone layer back in the 1970s. To the best of my knowledge, those concerns have not gone away and Boom’s promise of carbon neutrality is cover to keep the Ozone Obsessive from striking at them.

    Undoubtedly, there will come a time when SSTs work. The advancement in engine technology since the 1970s has been amazing. But the notion that 80-seat aircraft will be zipping across the oceans at Mach 1.7 and be able to make money is, well, absurd. The premium on a standard business class seat, notwithstanding United’s claims to the contrary, would be so high that most of the market would be priced out of it. Plus, I can only imagine the maintenance, management and operating costs of a specialty aircraft with the range to fly to perhaps half dozen major markets in the U.S. and Europe.

    For this thing to work, I’m guessing it will need to carry about 150 passengers. It also will need the range to go SFO to Toyko, Shanghai or Sydney. Non-stop!

    In the meantime, this is a nice publicity stunt.

    1. “ The notion that United, or any other airline. will be flying SST-type commercial jet liners in my lifetime is so far fetched that United would have been well-served to sign up for the first commercial application of the Star Trek Transporter Room (“STTR”).”

      Lol. Best line I’ve seen on the topic. Well done

  4. You have to figure JAL is out there thinking with regards to BOOM “wait a minute… why didn’t we get this kind of publicity in 2017”?

  5. Does anyone see the irony that in the same week that United says it is going to order Boom supersonic aircraft, that the only other major competitor in that arena (Aerion) goes bust and GE Aviation stops work on a supersonic engine (see below).

    Gives new meaning to the term “Boom or bust”! :-)

    GE Aviation confirms it has “discontinued work” on its Affinity supersonic power plant following the collapse of its only customer, Aerion.

    The Reno, Nevada-based supersonic business jet developer announced on 21 May that it was shutting down after failing to generate enough cash to continue its AS2 programme.

  6. SInce Frontier is pulling out of LAX, serving Long Beach might make sense. It would help fill the hole in the airline’s L.A. area operation.

    1. At this point, WN would clobber them unless they chose someplace really obscure to fly to. They could catch a Breeze, possibly. Maybe Avelo decides to take a North/South view of the basin and uses LGB for that. And maybe United will be flying SSR to LHR this decade!

      1. I could be wrong, but I tend to doubt Southwest would “clobber” Frontier at Long Beach. Don’t forget, Frontier’s chairman, Bill Franke, was in charge at America West during its bankruptcy, so he’s gone head-to-head with Southwest for a very long time. He knows what Frontier would face in any competition with Southwest. It’s also worth noting that Frontier’s costs are lower than Southwest’s, so that’s a slight advantage. Southwest has a substantial presence at most of the other L.A. area airports and Frontier seems to compete quite well with it there. The simple thing to do would be to fly to Denver initially. In any event, I was simply tossing out the possibility. It may not be worth it for Frontier to fly to Long Beach. Only it can make an educated guess.

  7. I’m still amazed that a replacement to the Concorde never gained traction, especially as the length of routes has become increasingly long. 10+ hour international flights or 6 hour transcon flights would be reduced to a fraction of the time. I’m surprised there has not been more emphasis placed on building a faster plane.

    1. It never came close to making money. In fact, it was so atrocious every order was cancelled except for BA and AF who basically were forced to fly it.

      I would love to know how many hundreds of millions of dollars those two airlines lost on supersonic service. It was useful only for a halo effect much like a store that has a prominent location on 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive. It’s just for appearances.

    2. During my lifetime, we lost the ability to land on the moon, fly supersonically, and to put astronauts in space for 10 years. We’ve been living in an era of optimization and not innovation. I hope SpaceX, Boom, and companies like them succeed. The hurdles feel insurmountable to claw all this back. I hope these companies are part of a new wave of human achievement.

      Or maybe I visited EPCOT one too many times as a child….

    3. Eric, the problem is you can’t do SuperSonics speeds over land. It creates sonic booms that cause damage. They only can fly at speed over water, which greatly limits their utility.

  8. Regarding United’s announcement: “If it ain’t on our ramp, painted in our colors, and being flown by our pilots, then it doesn’t exist”

  9. If I remember correctly, one of the main issues with the Concorde was its small size. Its economics were questionable at best. The U.S.-backed SST (Boeing 2707) was quite a bit larger, yet faced many of the same issues. Fifty years of technological development may have addressed many of the issues, but the laws of physics haven’t changed. It’ll be interesting to see if this project becomes economically viable.

  10. One entertaining thing about the Boom Overture is that they mention TPAC travel, yet their quoted range is barely enough to run SEA-NRT. Given that UA doesn’t have much of a presence in SEA, realistically we’re talking about TATL flights out of EWR and IAD, presumably to LHR, CDG, and FRA. That’s probably a generous representation of markets containing sufficient biz class volume to support a flight or two per day.

    1. Specifically, the Boom announcement mentions SFO-NRT, which gcmap.com lists as 4453nm, while the plane has a range of 4250nm, leaving the passengers to swim/walk the last 200 miles.

  11. As for Maui post-travel testing, the test was opt-in anyway. The Big Island also dropped their post-arrival.testing regimen a few days ago, though vaccinated folks (from anywhere) could skip the post-arrival.test anyway (we skipped when we showed up the evening of the 26th).

    Whether or not Maui’s testing was a waste of money earlier, at this point it almost certainly is, as folks have an incentive to get vaccinated so there’s a vanishingly small chance a positive pre-departure test ruins their trip.

  12. I’d love to see the Boom Overture work…so very tired of twin-engine-on-the-wing planes that just vary in size. Spotting use to be a lot more fun. Hell, I’d settle for a bland-looking plane that can fly as fast as the old Convairs did on domestic flights.

    But realistically I don’t see the numbers working for Boom.

    *sigh*

    Will Moov planes at least be painted to look like cows like the buses in southern Vermont?

    https://www.moover.com/

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