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Aviation Industry Updates: July 6, 2021

By July 6, 2021July 12th, 2021Industry News

Spirit Airlines Doubles Down | Opposes American-JetBlue Partnership

  • Spirit Airlines is continuing its opposition to this alliance and is doubling down on pushing the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to complete a review of the alliance.

  • Since January, Spirit Airlines has been pushing the DOT to conduct a more thorough review of the JetBlue-American partnership. The airline has gone into significant detail on its concerns with the alliance.
  • Spirit has concerns that the American-JetBlue alliance leads to the suppression of competition, higher airfares for customers, and harm consumers in four of the most competition-constrained domestic markets.
  • Spirit Airlines turns to the DOT’s response to the Alaska Airlines and Virgin America merger in the latest filing. According to Spirit, looking at the 2016 Alaska-Virgin Consent Decree instituted by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), it alleges that American and JetBlue would be “violating every restriction on coordination DOJ found relevant to include in 2016.”
  • There is no denying that JetBlue and American Airlines were major competitors in the past. However, now Spirit alleges that 70% of JetBlue’s network, or more, is eligible for codesharing under the NEA.
  • Now, with the world rebounding, American and JetBlue’s alliance is starting to prove pretty powerful. In 2020, it was very unclear how the pace of the recovery would unfold and what would come of the alliance. Now, with the two airlines focused on becoming a might in New York, airlines like Spirit, Southwest, and industry players are starting to raise some concerns.

Simple Flying

Southwest Airlines Canceled 2,600 Flights | Crews Say They’re Exhausted

KEY POINTS:

  • Southwest canceled 2,687 flights in June according to flight tracking site Flightaware.com. In that same period, United canceled 189, Delta 106, and American canceled 2,423.
  • Southwest has blamed weather and a temporary IT outage in mid-June, but documents obtained by ABC News and conversations with flight crews detail more than just weather problems.
  • “Southwest is facing labor shortages, from the ramp to customer service agents to our flight attendants, pilots, and a lot of those are, they’re having trouble filling,” Southwest captain and president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, Casey Murray told ABC News.
  • Southwest flight attendant and union president Lyn Montgomery has been flying for Southwest for 29 years, and says this is the worst she’s ever seen.
    The airline is now offering flight crews up to double pay to pick up open shifts through July 7, the airline acknowledged.

ABC News

American Airlines Suing Sabre For Favoring Delta

KEY POINTS:

  • Fort Worth-based American Airlines is suing neighboring reservations technology provider Sabre Holdings over a new technology portal that the carrier says favors competitor Delta Air Lines.
  • In a lawsuit filed this week in Tarrant County, American claims that a “New Airline Storefront” by Southlake-based reservations firm Sabre hurts American with “inaccurate and misleading” information on the airline’s products and that it gives extra incentives to travel agencies to book higher-end tickets on Delta.
  • Sabre, one of the global leaders in reservations and ticketing technology through its global distribution system, provides fares, schedules and inventory to most of the country’s leading airlines, including American, Delta and United.
  • The company even has deals with Southwest to attract business clients, even though the Dallas-based carrier doesn’t advertise its fares on third-party sites.

NBC DFW

TSA Screenings Surpass 2019 Levels | Airlines Scramble To Staff

KEY POINTS:

  • The Transportation Security Administration said Friday that airport screenings have climbed above 2019 levels for the first time in the pandemic, signaling strong travel demand during Fourth of July weekend.
  • The TSA screened nearly 2.15 million people on Thursday, close to 3% more than the 2.01 million people who passed through security checkpoints at U.S. airports on July 1, 2019.
  • The milestone shows the surge in air travel demand since a broad rollout of vaccines in the U.S. this spring and a relaxation of pandemic-related closures or restrictions. The increase is mainly due to domestic U.S. leisure travel, with most business-related and long-haul international travel still on hold.
  • Several [airlines] are trying to hire or call them them back as well as hire temporary or new full-time staff to handle the increase in demand.
  • Airports are also facing a host of staffing challenges, with some concession operators offering $1,000 signing bonuses to fill open positions for cashiers, cooks and other jobs.

CNBC

Weekly TSA Numbers

07062021 TSA Numbers