3 Links I Love: Northern Pacific, A Terrible Winglet, CBX Success, and the GAO

American, Links I Love

World Routes 2021: exclusive interview with Northern Pacific Airways CEO, Rob McKinneyAviacionline
This is an interesting interview with the head of the new airline that aims to be the Icelandair over the Pacific using a hub in Anchorage. There were some odd inconsistencies in here. For example, he says they will only compete with other airlines nonstop in the Las Vegas market, but then before that he says they’re looking at places like LA and SFO.

Tweet of the Week

What fresh hell is this?! I love my window seat, and now every time I fly American I’m going to have to look out at a crooked-looking decal? Anyone with even a tinge of OCD is not going to be happy about this one. It just looks so wrong.

Two for the Road

Flying to Mexico? Cross Border Xpress sees Southern California traveler count boomThe Orange County Register
The Cross Border Xpress is crushing it, unsurprisingly.

COVID-19 Pandemic: Observations on the Ongoing Recovery of the Aviation IndustryGAO
The US Government Accountability Office has put out a report on the pandemic. The recommendation is for the government to put together a “national aviation-preparedness plan for communicable disease threats.” Amen.

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14 comments on “3 Links I Love: Northern Pacific, A Terrible Winglet, CBX Success, and the GAO

    1. I think they should have gone full “bleed”…. all blue or red with that eagle face but otherwise no negative space.

  1. In the same way Canadians used to drive to border airports (DTW, BUF/IAG, PBG… Etc) for cheaper US domestic fares, the same is happening in the SD/TJ area. It’s a good deal.

  2. I don’t mind the angle of the AA logo – but I do object to the lack of clear space at the top of the blue – I don’t think it should be touching the trailing edge. It looks like it’s gone into negative space by ~2%, which suggests they didn’t scale/centre it properly.

    The piano key flag design would probably have worked better in the space, although I know Cranky has opinions on that too!

  3. Just skimmed the Northern Pacific interview and one thing that jumped out at me was their idea that the entire loyalty programme will be based on a cryptocurrency (“Flight Coin”) that’s going to be accepted by the airline and vendors in Anchorage airport.

    I have mixed feelings about this, partially because I don’t think highly of cryptocurrencies – they’re mainly speculative instruments at this point. Flight Coin will apparently be convertible into other crypto, but unless it catches on and becomes more usable, I’m not sure it will be that convertible because very few people will want to hold it.

    There’s also possible income tax ramifications of Flight Coin – right now the IRS treats FF miles as, effectively, a discount on goods or services. (I’m oversimplifying here, but this is the practical result.) The IRS has ruled that cryptocurrencies are securities, so if NP gives you Flight Coin, under current tax regulations you’ll have a security with a zero cost basis, and when you use it it’ll be treated as a sale of a security and the USD equivalent of your purchase will be taxable income. Purchases under a given amount (in aggregate, the IRS usually uses $600/year for income that doesn’t require a 1099) would probably be considered “de minimis” and disregarded, but larger amounts could result in taxable income to the programme participant.

  4. I have no opinion one way or the other on the winglets But I love Americans RetroJet series, inherited from US Airways, I just wish they’d do them right. The 737’s painted in TWA, AirCal, Reno Air, etc…gray…..why? They took the time to paint those single planes in those unique colors but skimped on the white paint for the fuselage. Just kills it. Along with the American titles. Wish they would do them true to form, in the complete original liveries. Maybe with a small American logo next to the door. If even that would be needed.

  5. Reading that pablum about Northern Pacific brings to mind a thought.

    These people could save a whole lot of time and trouble…get make a big pile of money and set it on fire. They will get the same end result in less time.

  6. A couple of quick observations (unless I begin to bloviate):

    The only way to really know if a business idea is going to work is to give it a shot. When the automobile was invented, the line was “Get a horse!” I think the automobile industry has been relatively successful overall, although many, if not most of the original players, are gone. I’m thinking that more than one person thought that Southwest and JetBlue would fall flat on their faces when they started. I also remember the “Operation Dumbbell” remarks when America West and US Airways merged. I’m guessing (and only guessing) the Northern Pacific may find its niche connecting airports like Ontario and Nagoya, as opposed to LAX and Incheon, but we’ll find out. One of America West’s fatal flaws in flying to Nagoya is that it flew via Honolulu, which is farther out of the way than Anchorage. I’m pulling for Northern Pacific to work. I want to see airlines succeed, not be liquidated. I also have a bit of a soft spot in my heart for airlines that are named after railroads (such as Northern Pacific, Western Pacific, and Canadian Pacific).

    Re: American’s “eagle” logo on the wiglets, I have two words in response to the critics – “artistic license” – and I’m at least partially afflicted with OCD. By the way, I’ve always wondered what the “eagle” logo would look like on the tail of American’s aircraft instead of the busy flag. It would probably be reminiscent of United’s old tail.

    As for the pandemic, it seems to me that any planned response to future communicable disease threats would have to be worldwide, not confined to a particular country.

    Happy Halloween!

    1. For every Amazon, there are thousands of startups that fail and eat the investment. For every Southwest there are dozens of Independence Airs and Skybuses.

      Yes it can happen but these ideas still work according to supply and demand and costs.

      The operating cost of a 757-200 is around $8,000 per hour. For an average round trip from a city in the US to an Asian city via ANC, we are talking maybe 14-15 flying hours. So, it will cost about $240,000 round trip to operate the plane.

      For 150 passengers, the average round trip fare would have to be about $1600 just to pay for the plane. By the time you pay labor, overhead, etc, you are up to well over $2,000.

      Right now you can get a round trip on American from DFW to Tokyo for $1400.

      The numbers just don’t work. Not with this plane, at those distances.

  7. I’m no fan of the AA livery to begin with, but what they have put on the winglet reminds me more of the French flag than the American one.

  8. That winglet should be a crime. I’m in the minority of people who actually kind of likes AA’s current livery (maybe I’m showing my generation but while I did love the old one and I hope they at least do a special livery of it, the branding started to appear a bit outdated towards the end and a refresh was needed). Having said that, the addition of the logo to the winglet looks like someone just spent 5 mins on photoshop and called it a day. The plain white winglets were actually kind of classy IMO, especially the sharklets.

    1. Not just you. I don’t mind the piano keys tail etc., but they should’ve replicated that design to the winglets if they insisted on doing anything.

    2. While I’m not crazy about the current AA livery, I also don’t mind it either. The older livery looked a bit better, but you can’t go with shiny metal fuselage when your fuselage is carbon fiber. But these winglets are just AWFUL! Looks like a kid adhered a sticker to them and made it crooked. Bush league stuff.

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