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Aviation Industry Updates: November 22, 2022

By November 22, 2022November 29th, 2022Industry News

Spirit Airlines Drops 37 Routes, Hitting Florida the Hardest

  • Spirit Airlines is making a notable adjustment to its network with the removal of 37 routes from its future schedules.

  • The Miramar, Florida-based carrier dropped 37 routes from its network during its regular weekend schedule update, as confirmed by Cirium timetables and a carrier spokesperson. Airline Weekly was the first to publish the news.
  • The routes that Spirit is cutting are far-reaching, including services from Los Angeles to Milwaukee and from Philadelphia to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
  • While the full table listing the cuts is below, it’s worth noting that the hardest-hit airports are primarily located in Florida. They include Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and Tampa, which are losing six, seven and eight routes, respectively.
  • Additionally, Spirit’s new outstation in Miami is losing three routes, with service to Atlantic City, Hartford and Orlando getting axed. Spirit entered Miami with a blockbuster 31 routes back in October 2021, though not every flight is seemingly performing up to the airline’s original projections.
  • While it’s noteworthy that Spirit is cutting so many routes in a single schedule update, these adjustments aren’t necessarily permanent. The airline expects to reenter most, if not all, of these routes in the coming months, as confirmed by a carrier spokesperson. Right now, Spirit has only loaded schedules through May 2, 2023, so it’s possible that many of these flights will return during the next big extension.

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Sun Country Seeks To Be Lower-Cost Alternative to Delta

KEY POINTS:

  • Sun Country Airlines is making big plans for next summer.
    The Minneapolis-based ultra-low-cost carrier is debuting 12 new domestic routes and resuming three more.
  • All routes originate in the carrier’s hub of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and provide a lower-cost alternative to the market’s dominant carrier, Delta Air Lines.
  • In fact, the airline relishes that competition with Delta, its CEO said Wednesday.
  • “We’re trying to turn Minneapolis into a two-airline market,” Jude Bricker said at the Skift Aviation Forum in Dallas. “If you pay with your own money, you fly with Sun Country. If you fly on a corporate contract, you fly Delta.”
  • In fact, one new route and one resuming route operate to a Delta hub.
  • And, history shows that Sun Country — and its loyal, local base — can be competitive. While smaller than Delta in many markets, it dominates in others. For instance, Sun Country had 56% of the market share in the MSP to Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) market, according to August data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the most recent statistics available.

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

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First United 737 MAX 10 Takes Flight

KEY POINTS:

  • On Friday, November 18th, Boeing’s first non-prototype 737 MAX 10 took flight sporting United Airlines’ iconic blue and white livery. The short test flight marks a significant milestone for the MAX 10 project. Boeing hopes to get the MAX 10 certified as quickly as possible. However, federal regulations may require that the aircraft receive various changes before certification if the process is not completed by year’s end.
  • The aircraft registered N27753 has become the third MAX 10 to take flight. This airplane is the first of over 700 MAX 10s that have been ordered by 15 different airlines. United Airlines alone has placed orders for over 200 MAX. The airline already operates one of the world’s largest fleets of 737 MAX aircraft, and is one of the program’s biggest supporters. The carrier has been eagerly awaiting the delivery of the MAX 10 for multiple years, making the latest test flight a welcomed sight for both Boeing and United.
  • Boeing is currently in a race against time as it looks to have the MAX 7 and 10 models certified by December. However, with each passing day, the likelihood of this coming to fruition grows increasingly slim. The manufacturer recently predicted that the aircraft would be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Summer 2023. This race against time began in 2020 when new aircraft certification regulations were implemented.

Simple Flying

US Bid to Kill American-JetBlue Partnership Goes to Judge

KEY POINTS:

  • A month-long antitrust case wrapped up in federal court Friday that could set limits on how and whether domestic airlines can form alliances.
  • Federal antitrust regulators last year sued to stop an alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue Airways in which the carriers share passengers, jets and revenue in certain routes between New York and Boston, calling it anticompetitive and harmful to consumers. Experts say the case is part of a larger Biden administration plan to tackle consolidation in key industries, coming after years of growing market dominance among a handful of domestic air carriers.
  • The airlines say their agreement allows the two relatively smaller carriers in the Northeast to compete more effectively against the two largest players there, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
  • “The conclusion is very straightforward,” said William H. Jones II, the Justice Department’s lead attorney in the case. “This deal is poised to hit consumers with hundreds of millions of dollars per year in harm, in the form of higher fares and lower quality service.”
  • Attorneys for the airlines disputed any consumer harm, arguing that the government’s analysis didn’t make sense, that prosecutors couldn’t point to actual fare hikes and that it ignored an increase in airline seats already available.

Washington Post

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