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Aviation Industry Updates: January 10, 2023

By January 10, 2023January 17th, 2023Industry News

Southwest Pilots Union Writes Scathing Letter To Airline Execs

  • The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association has published a letter denouncing the airline’s leadership as a “cult” that they say has spent the past 15 years destroying the company’s legacy, culminating in the 2022 travel meltdown that left thousands of holiday travelers stranded.

  • The union, which remains locked in heated contract negotiations with Southwest Airlines, published the letter Dec. 31. It was signed by Capt. Tom Nekouei, a union vice president.
  • Nekouei says systemwide meltdowns at Southwest Airlines have increased in frequency and magnitude over the past 15 years, citing not just the December failures that left Southwest passengers stranded nationwide, but also incidents from years past. Those include a series of “meltdowns” at Chicago Midway International Airport in January 2014, leading to 130 flights there being canceled; a router brownout issue in July 2016 that caused 2,300 flights to be canceled; and an October 2021 air traffic control problem in Jacksonville that led to 29% of Southwest’s flights being delayed or canceled.
  • Nekouei laid the blame on Southwest chairman and former CEO Gary Kelly. Kelly served as Southwest CEO from 2004 until last February, and replaced Southwest co-founder Herb Kelleher as chairman in 2008.
  • “Gary Kelly still reigns supreme on the board of this Company despite having overseen the decisions and setting the conditions that made this most recent fiasco possible,” Nekouei wrote, adding that the airline’s struggles are “not a Southwest Airlines problem. This is not an employees of Southwest Airlines problem. This is not an unprecedented weather problem. This is a Gary Kelly problem.”

NBC News

We Just Got A Pilot With FOUR 121 Checkride Failures Hired At A Legacy

I don’t know why you haven’t gotten an interview yet… But, if you book a call, we’ve got the resources to figure it out and help you get one ASAP.

Emirates & United Seek DOT Codeshare Approval

KEY POINTS:

  • Emirates and United Airlines have applied to the US Department of Transportation for approval to codeshare 300 flights.
  • Emirates President and CEO Sir Tim Clark and United CEO Scott Kirby stated in September that EK customers would be able to connect on UA’s network beginning in November 2022, but the codeshare will not become effective until the DoT approves it, ASAP, according to the filing.
  • “Granting this application is in the public interest because it will provide substantial consumer benefits by enhancing the service options available to the US traveling public for travel between the US. UAE, and points beyond.”

Airways Mag

We Just Got A Pilot With A Gear Up Landing Hired At A Major

I don’t know why you haven’t gotten an interview yet… But, if you book a call, we’ve got the resources to figure it out and help you get one ASAP.

American Cuts More US Cities…Blames Pilot Shortage

KEY POINTS:

  • Times aren’t getting any better for small U.S. cities, as they continue to bear the brunt of pandemic-era airline network changes.
  • The latest move comes from American Airlines. The carrier is pulling out of the following three U.S. cities this spring (at a yet undisclosed date): Columbus, Georgia. | Del Rio, Texas. | Long Beach, California.
  • When American pulls out of Del Rio, it’ll leave the Texas city without any commercial airline service. Historically, American Eagle affiliate Envoy Air has flown to Del Rio from American’s mega-hub at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).
  • Delta Air Lines serves the western Georgia city of Columbus while Delta, Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest Airlines serve Long Beach. It’s possible that American’s competitors might backfill some of this lost connectivity with additional flights in the coming months.
  • American has previously flown to Columbus from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and DFW; it has flown to Long Beach from DFW and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).
  • “In response to the regional pilot shortage affecting the airline industry and soft demand, American Airlines has made the difficult decision to end service in Columbus, Georgia (CSG), Del Rio, Texas (DRT) and Long Beach, California (LGB) this spring. We’re extremely grateful for the care and service our team members provided to our customers in these cities, and are working closely with them during this time. We’ll proactively reach out to customers scheduled to travel to offer alternate arrangements.”

The Points Guy

Delta Offering Free WiFi on Domestic Flights

KEY POINTS:

  • Delta is introducing free WiFi on around 80 percent of its domestic US flights starting on February 1st, 2023, confirming rumors from late last year. The service, available through a T-Mobile sponsorship, will come to 700 planes by the end of the year and on regional and international aircraft by the end of 2024. “It’s going to be free. It’s going to be fast. And it’s going to be available to everyone,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian at CES 2023.
  • Travelers will need to use their Delta SkyMiles information to log in for access, but getting an account is free. The company announced last year that it would be upgrading more planes using Viasat as a provider. It has been charging a $5 flat fee for WiFi to date.
  • Apart from any profit motive, airlines have been slow to introduce free WiFi over concerns that the systems wouldn’t be fast enough to accommodate hundreds of people at once. Delta has been working on the system since 2018, with the eventual goal to offer free WiFi.
  • “We didn’t just want free Wi-Fi to offer base-level service – we wanted it to be transformative for the entire onboard experience,” he said. “It is imperative all customers onboard can enjoy their favorite content just as they would at home, and we’ve put this system through meticulous tests to make that possible.”

Engadget

We Just Got A Pilot With 2200 Hours Hired At A Legacy

I don’t know why you haven’t gotten an interview yet… But, if you book a call, we’ve got the resources to figure it out and help you get one ASAP.

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