JetBlue, Spirit File Appeal
The lawyers for JetBlue and Spirit, realizing their gravy train might be nearing an end, convinced both carriers to file an appeal to keep their billable hours up for the foreseeable future.
Outgoing JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said on an earnings call this week that the carrier “strongly disagree(s) with the court’s ruling and have filed a motion to expedite an appeal” while an administrative assistant from JetBlue’s law firm sat slightly out of focus feverishly smashing the plus button on an adding machine. Both airlines are asking for an expedited appeal because a July deadline looms as a closing date for the merger to either happen or not.
The appeal says the court ruling “disregards the benefits of the transaction to the majority of the flying public,” in its hail mary plea to get the ruling overturned.
American Gets Down with New Longest Flight
American Airlines AAnounced a handful of new long-haul and international flights this week, including what will be its new title-holder for longest flight, as it begins non-stop seasonal service in October between Dallas/Fort Worth and Brisbane. The ultra-long haul flight will operate daily on its new premium Dreamliners with only 244 seats, some of which won’t be broken.
AA is outfitting these B787-9 aircraft with 51 business class seats up front, 32 premium economy seats and 161 economy seats in the back — 18 of which will feature extra legroom. Business class will be outfitted with new suites with doors that shut, keeping business class passengers from having to breathe the same air as non-premium passengers on the flight.
AA AAnounced its New York/JFK – Rio de Janeiro/GIG seasonal service would expand to daily flights, beginning on October 27, and that its seasonal Los Angeles – Auckland flight would begin early on December 5. Other announcements for AA, all from DFW:
- Grand Cayman (Saturday-only flights double to 2x daily beginning June 8)
- Kahului (second-daily operates for two weeks around the holidays)
- Kona (daily flights resume October 27)
- Rio/GIG (new daily, seasonal flights begin October 27)
- Providenciales (Saturday-only flights double to 2x beginning June 8)
- St Thomas (Saturday-only flights double to 2x beginning June 8)
- Veracruz (new daily service begins June 12)
Frontier Gets Down to Business
Frontier Airlines announced its new “BizFare” concept this week, a new business travel program designed to court the more discerning business traveler.
The BizFare concept seemingly goes against everything Frontier stands for, as it includes a carry-on bag, an extra-legroom seat assignment, and flexibility to change or cancel your flight without a fee. Same-day confirmed changes are also included along with priority boarding and the ability to choose the animal on your airplane when booking at least three weeks in advance.
In a 180 degree change from the rest of the industry, these fares will be available through the GDS for travel agencies while not being available on flyfrontier.com.
United Seeks Ex-Hawaiian Haneda Slots
Hawaiian will give up the night slot for its service to Tokyo/Haneda from both Honolulu and Kona, with the divestiture effective April 2. Hawaiian had been serving HND daily from the islands with its daytime slot, but it used the night-time slot to fly Kona service 3x weekly and Honolulu the other four days each week. Hawaiian cited “current market conditions” for the decision, which is airline speak for “hemorrhaging money.”
The announcement comes several months after United attempted to nudge the slots away from HA for its own use, and United did not waste anytime, applying for the slot immediately after Hawaiian announced it was giving it up. UA wants to begin service to the close-in Tokyo airport from Guam, with an evening flight from Guam to Tokyo, and a quick turn for a redeye back to the island.
Here Comes the Sun: Delta Adds Four
Delta Air Lines announced four new routes to sunny destinations today, along with an increase on a fifth route adding to its presence in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Two new routes will originate from Atlanta, as the carrier begins flying to both Barbados and Puerto Plata with daily service beginning November 23. The carrier will also increase its current Saturday-only service from Atlanta to Curaçao (a nominee for Sexiest New Route, Short-Haul at the 2024 Cranky Network Awards) to daily, also on November 23.
It’ll add from New York/JFK and Minneapolis/St Paul also, adding Saturday-only flights from JFK to Barbados, and 3x weekly service from MSP to the Mexican beach city of Mazatlán. Both of these new routes will begin just in-time for Christmas on December 21.
- Aeromexico plans to be back in the MAX 9 game soon.
- Air Côte d’Ivoire is expected to begin flying the A330 this year.
- Air France has a new meal concept in domestic business class.
- Air Premia is leasing four Dreamliners from Korean.
- Air Serbia is back in the Etihad business.
- Austrian will fly to the place where everybody knows their name.
- Azores Airlines took delivery of its first A320neo this week.
- Azorra purchased 12 A220-300s from EgyptAir.
- Bonza will break-even. Eventually. It swears. This according to the guy responsible for pushing Bonza to profitability.
- British Airways has finally gone too far.
- Delta is refreshing first class on select B737-800 and is expanding its Delta One offerings on its fleet of A350-900s.
- Emirates is rolling out new PJs and slippers in long-haul business class.
- Flair does not expect to add any aircraft this year which, based on its ability to pay tax on its aircraft acquisitions, could be for the best.
- GOL reached the first gol in its financial restructuring.
- Hawaiian finished 2023 in the red.
- JetBlue named Warren Christie its new COO. The carrier also posted a loss for 2023.
- KLM is replacing the B787-9 with the B777-200ER on its service to Austin, Minneapolis/St Paul, and Salt Lake City.
- LATAM looks to score with a purchase of 25 B737s from GOL.
- PLAY will allow you stay and play in Iceland for free.
- Qatar appointed Mark Drusch at its new Chief Cargo Officer. His role will include oversight of all Basic Economy passengers.
- SkyWest is in the market for about 2,000 pilots.
- Southwest doesn’t expect to fly the B737 MAX 7 this year. It also doesn’t expect to operate the A350, A380, or B787.
- SWISS is going to Seoul for the first time.
- TAP would like to extend its codeshare with JetBlue quickly now that it won’t have to deal with the stink of Spirit passengers.
- Thai is grinning at the idea of retrofitting its ex-Thai Smile A320s with new business class seats.
- Turkish is so excited about launching service to Melbourne, it’s going to start two weeks early.
- United cannot get enough of Canada.
- Virgin Atlantic is going steady with China Eastern.
- VivaAerobus added six more wet-leased A320-200s to its fleet.
A man sits down at the bar looking upset and the bartender asks, “Is everything OK sir?”
“My wife and I got into a huge fight and she said she isn’t going to talk to me for a month,” the man said.
The bartender replied, “Well maybe it could be a good thing for you? A little peace and quiet?”
“Yeah,” he said, “but today’s the last day.”