Cranky Weekly Review Presented by Oakland International Airport: Delta Gets Rich, Northern Pacific Gets Started, More

Cranky Weekly Review

Delta Sets Record Earnings

Delta Air Lines’s Q2 earnings report showed record high revenue and profit, led by a 22% drop in fuel costs and a major increase in customers willing to pay higher fares to go to destinations where their flight will actually operate this summer instead of spending their entire vacation on an active taxiway.

The airline more than doubled its net revenue from the same quarter a year ago, posting a profit of $1.83 billion, up from $735 million in 2022.  The profit came on $15.6 billion in gross revenue, a 13% increase from last year.

Shareholders must be pleased as the carrier earned $2.84 per share – meaning it only take two shares of Delta stock to be able to afford a bottle of water at the airport — four shares if you’re at LaGuardia — with the profit for the quarter.

Delta closed the first half of the year with an adjusted net debt just shy of $20 billion and liquidity of $8.8 billion, a figure which includes several million it saved once AA’s Northeast Alliance died and it could reduce its bribes lobbying efforts to the DOJ. 

Northern Pacific Steps Closer to Being a Real Airline

Northern Pacific passed its final tests with the FAA, receiving government approval to fly airplanes with real-life paying customers onboard.

The airline eventually hopes to fly passengers between the United States and Asia, using Anchorage as a stopping point – like the role Iceland plays in travel across the Atlantic, but without the charming accents.  But for now, it plans to start with a once-weekly flight between Ontario and Las Vegas which is really just as good.  The flight, which will operate to Las Vegas on Fridays and back on Sundays, has had its launch delayed several times while the carrier waited for FAA approvals.

The airline will operate its inaugural flight today, using an aircraft from its fleet consisting of four B757-200s.

While only two carriers operate ONT-LAS besides Northern Pacific – Frontier and Spirit – the Los Angeles to Vegas market is covered by nearly every airline on the planet, including eight operating LAX to LAS, plus the thousands of California license plates that journey northeast on the 15 every Thursday and Friday.

President Biden to Name Mike Whitaker as FAA Administrator Nominee

After a swing and a miss on his first proposed FAA Administrator, President Biden is expected to name Mike Whitaker as his nominee to lead the organization going forward.

The FAA has been without a full-time leader since early last year when then-administrator Steve Dickson stepped down from the role. The organization has functioned without a full-time leader even as DOT secretary Pete Buttigieg has defended the FAA’s role in the nation’s air traffic woes while the airlines have placed the FAA in the crosshairs since last summer. 

Whitaker served as the deputy chief of the FAA during the Obama administration and is known for his unique talent of being able to snap his fingers and create dozens of air traffic controllers out of thin air– something that is expected to provide a boost to the country’s beleaguered ATC system. Whitaker is currently working at Supernal, a Hyundai subsidiary focused on developing flying taxis, giving him strong experience in the realm of the things that may or may not never happen.

DOT deputy secretary Polly Trottenberg continues to serve as an interim administrator at the FAA in addition to her duties at the DOT.  The role of FAA administrator is Senate-confirmable and comes with a five-year term, which is just long enough to see this weekend’s taxiway congestion at all three NYC airports dissipate finally.

Landline Passes Security Check

American Airlines flights operated by Landline buses in both Allentown and Atlantic City will now operate behind security, allowing customers a seamless* airside connection experience upon arrival in Philadelphia.

Landline, the airline that operates buses instead of airplanes, is an American Airlines partner offering connections from Philadelphia to ABE and ACY in addition to Lancaster, PA.  The Lancaster “flights” will continue to operate outside of TSA due to the naturally extreme amount of time required to scan those wily Pennsylvania Dutch, requiring passengers to clear a security checkpoint upon arrival at PHL.  But those coming from Allentown or Atlantic City will arrive at a gate at Concourse E, and be able to make their connection without re-clearing TSA.

The real question is whether or not passengers “flying” on LAAndline get a credit card pitch while on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on their way to or from the Philly Airport. When asked for comment, American’s spokesperson just started talking some sort of “special offer” that we needed to act on before the call ended.

Landline partners with three airlines – AA at Philadelphia, United in Denver and Newark, and Sun County in Minneapolis.  The “airline” allows for connections that wouldn’t make economic sense on actual airplanes – making new destinations reachable with just one stop from all across the country. With the ability to clear security at outstations, Landline’s product potentially becomes far more viable.  For more on this story, please visit Thursday’s post at

*It’s still AA, so “seamless” can mean different things to different people

JFK’s T8 to Receive Upgrade

American Airlines’s Terminal 8 at New York/JFK is poised to receive a $125 million redevelopment to its dining and shopping experience that will certainly leave passengers with more options of overpriced options they only purchase because it’s the only way to kill time during a lengthy flight delay.

The cash will go to developing a Great Hall with more than 60 new dining and retail options at the terminal – with at least one or two expected to sell items customers are interested in. The project will also include a small business accelerator program to encourage locally-owned small businesses to become tenants in T8.

JFK’s Terminal 8 has become a home for oneworld at the airport, with AA’s buddies British Airways, Iberia, and Japan Airlines recently relocating to the terminal, allowing for easier connections to the few domestic AA flights that still exist there. This addition comes after the completion of a $400 million expansion of the terminal which led to BA’s move from T7 to T8 last December.

  • Air France announced it preferred vinegar in its bbq.
  • Air Serbia signed a new maintenance agreement with Czech Airlines.
  • American is raising rates for AAdmirals Club AAccess.
  • Avelo is launching service from Salem, OR (SLE) to Burbank and Las Vegas — the first commercial service for the airport since 2008.
  • Bamboo Airways is on its second CEO in as many months.
  • Cathay Pacific is having a great 2023.
  • Connect Airlines can’t seem to connect with the DOT.
  • Delta is adding 12 more A220s. It’s also bringing back service to Curaçao, flying Saturday-only service beginning December 16.
  • easyJet isn’t as prepared as its rivals Ryanair and Wizz Air says this guy.
  • Emirates is now launching a regional private jet service for customers who find its premium cabins lacking in bling.
  • Eurowings plans to debut its A321neo fleet later this year.
  • FlyAfrica Zimbabwe received a court order to pay $2.5 million.
  • Fly Gangwon is hopeful to live up to its name and fly airplanes again this fall.
  • JetBlue‘s codesharing with American will end on July 21.
  • KLM is all for reducing carbon footprint until someone else makes the decision for it.
  • Myanmar Airways International had five bank accounts closed. Do with this information what you wish.
  • Qantas revealed the routes its fleet of A220s will fly when the aircraft debuts next year and it includes both domestic and international destinations — some of which are real places, and some of which are likely not.
  • Singapore is increasing its service to Cairns from 3x to 5x weekly.
  • Southwest is raising some fees optional travel charges. Southwest doesn’t have fees.
  • Starlux and Tigerair Taiwan both hope to be listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange by the end of this year.
  • Sun Country had a passenger who was unhappy with the taxi time required to get to the gate in Minneapolis/St Paul earlier this week and took matters into its own hands.
  • TAP tapped into a positive first half of the year, with 80.2% of its seats being filled across all flights.
  • Turkish flew 39 million customers in the first six months of the year, presumably not all on the same flight.
  • United unveiled a fancy new domestic first class seat that will debut in 2026. The seats will have a wireless charging feature that will surely work all the time and won’t ever lead to bloggers complaining about how they expected to be able to charge their phone wirelessly and want mileage compensation for having to use a wire.
  • Virgin Australia is spending more than $70 million on fleet upgrades.

I was diagnosed with a fear of overly intricate buildings.

I have a complex complex complex.

Get Cranky in Your Inbox!

The airline industry moves fast. Sign up and get every Cranky post in your inbox for free.

8 comments on “Cranky Weekly Review Presented by Oakland International Airport: Delta Gets Rich, Northern Pacific Gets Started, More

  1. So I looked on FlightAware ONT-LAS today and I’m seeing Ravn Alaska flight 777, operated by a 757-200. I’m guessing this Northern Pacific. What’s with the name?

    1. CallScheduling – Northern Pacific was started by RAVN. They just created the new brand and had to get the large jet on the certificate.

  2. Honestly wireless charging is probably a better more reliable option than wired charging. There are no sockets to get dirty or worn out from being jostled with plugs being put in and out of them time and time again.

    Things that are solid State likely won’t need much, if any maintenance.

  3. > The airline more than doubled its net revenue from the same
    > quarter a year ago, posting a profit of $1.83 billion, up from
    > $735 million in 2022.

    I think you meant net profit doubled, not net revenue. :)

    I assume the Northern Pacific route is just to try out how flying a big airplane works in practice? Do they really have the aircraft and crew stay in Vegas all weekend long? Seems expensive.

  4. I think the Cranky Flier article on Delta Air Lines’s Q2 earnings report is a great read. It provides a comprehensive overview of the company’s financial performance, and it includes some insightful commentary from Delta’s management team.

  5. Northern Pacific’s ONT-LAS flight appears to set the record for shortest currently scheduled commercial flight on a 757, at just under 200 miles.

    Also worth noting that Northern Pacific is using an appropriate (if unoriginal) flight number for its route to Vegas, labeling them as flight 777.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cranky Flier