This Week’s Featured Link
Alitalia’s final weeks flying marked by protests, apologies – AP
Was there any other way this version of Alitalia could go out? Of course not.
Image of the Week
Two for the Road
Startup Northern Pacific Buys Six Boeing 757s To Launch Operations – Simple Flying
Here’s a story from a chat with Northern Pacific’s CEO. They got the pedigree of the airplane wrong — it started with USAir, not America West — but that 26 years of age is correct. It is most certainly long in the tooth, but fresh out of maintenance, I’m sure it has some good years ahead.
Notice of Registration of Trade Names (aha!, air hotel adventure, fly-aha!, and aha! Travel Management Company) – Regulations.gov
ExpressJet wants to fly as aha! — with the lower case name and exclamation point. I hated go!, I hated HOP!, and I hate this too.
Northern Pacific’s “Iceland-style” strategy is more plausible than the strategies for many startup airlines, and worth a shot even if it doesn’t succeed. Northern Pacific should be a fun airline to watch, and I’m sure we’ll see some interviews and updates in this blog about it.
On a similar note, I’m a little surprised that Russia hasn’t tried a little more to promote international tourism to the areas around the Sea of Okhotsk and northeastern Siberia a bit more, if just for the money. There are some national security concerns, true, and obviously the weather and the “Russia factor”. For travelers who enjoy nature and don’t mind being a little “off the beaten path”, however, it might be interesting, and (as an example) Magadan is less than 2,000 miles from Anchorage.
While we’re on the topic of stopoffs to break up trans-oceanic trips, I’ve heard great things about Newfoundland. The next time I cross the Atlantic, I may have to price out the cost of stopping off in St Johns or Gander and spending a few days there on the way to Europe.
I think the problem with Northern Pacific’s plan is that a trans-Pacific flight is so much longer than a trans-Atlantic flight to begin with that a layover is just less palatable unless you offer some exceptionally low fares. Also, Icelandair is able to offer travelers a chance to spend time in Iceland…not to disparage Anchorage, but it’s just the same sort of opportunity.
As for Alitalia, I loved this quote from the union representative:
“It is not acceptable that around 7,500 employees, who are left out of the hiring plan, have to lose their jobs and have no income support,”
I hate to see people lose their jobs as much as anyone, but in this case Alitalia just can’t keep all the staff – the airline is simply not viable in its current form, and the unions simply refuse to grasp that fact.
Finally, it’ll be a cold day in Bakersfield before I fly on an airline called “aha!” or anything with a damned exclamation point. Unless it’s “wesuck!”, but I don’t see Ryanair rebranding anytime soon…
Northern Pacific….its just like California Pacific, but Northern!
Yeah, this will work….said no one.