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Aviation Industry Updates: April 25, 2023

JetBlue Schedule Reduced By 2413 Flights Between June And September


  • According to data from Cirium, US carrier JetBlue (B6) is looking to axe over two thousand flights this summer as the airline cuts or reduces services on several routes.
  • First on the chopping block is the airline's direct route between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), which will be axed in June. Atlanta to New York also does not fair well, with a severe reduction in frequency over the summer.
  • New York will see two of the three routes suspended for summer. In addition to Washington, its regional flight to Worcester Regional Airport (ORH) will be suspended from July.
  • With the airlines move, over 300,000 seats will be missing this summer, highlighting its most considerable reductions.

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United Airlines Braces For More 737 MAX Delays In Second Quarter


  • United Airlines’ already lengthy list of Boeing delivery delays has grown after the manufacturer informed the airline that six aircraft scheduled for delivery this quarter will not arrive as planned.  
  • Chicago-based United disclosed the delays in a recent regulatory filing, explaining that Boeing notified it that “due to a manufacturing process issue relating to certain Boeing 737 MAX fuselages” deliveries of the six 737-8s scheduled for the 2023 second quarter would occur later than expected. 
  • The airline said Boeing may inform United that additional 737-8s scheduled for delivery in the third quarter may be delayed and certain MAX jets United currently expects to take delivery of this year could move into 2024. 
  • “At this time, we do not expect these delays to be extensive or to have a significant impact on our capacity plan for 2023,” United said. 
  • United took delivery of 21 737 MAX narrowbodies in the first quarter (Q1), second only to Southwest Airlines’ 29, Aviation Week Network’s Fleet Discovery database shows.  
  • The full scope of delivery-timing ramifications from the newest 737 MAX issue—non-compliant vertical stabilizer attachment fittings—are not clear.

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NetJets Pilots Pressuring Employer For Competitive Wages As Pilot Crisis Looms


  • "Everybody is in competition for basically the same amount of pilots," Gilbert said. "We are very keen on getting NetJets to see exactly where we shape up with the industry because they are saying they don't see a problem."
  • Last summer airlines blamed chronic delays and flight cancellations, in part, on a shortage of staff, especially pilots, which also ended up reducing their flight offerings.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that U.S. airlines will need to hire about 14,500 pilots each year over the next decade, but new pilot training and licensing is not keeping up with that demand.
  • Gilbert said as the need for pilots grows, the company has dropped the number of flight hours required for new pilots from 2,500 to 1,000 in order to keep up with the demand as the company grows its fleet.
  • "We want NetJets to remain viable in the future. We're worried because they want to double our size. They're anticipating having double the amount of aircraft, which will be about 1,000 aircraft.
  • Currently, we have about 530," Gilbert said. "And, they want to double the pilot group to 6,000, which means that's a lot of people that they have to hire."
  • The union began a campaign of pressure about 18 months ago, according to Gilbert.
  • Gilbert said if NetJets wants to remain a competitive place to work, the company needs to compete with the pay being offered by other airlines.
  • "We anticipate we'll lose pilots from the top end of the seniority list, as well as the bottom of the seniority list, based on what's available in the rest of the industry," Gilbert said.
  • Gilbert said a pilot at Delta Airlines would make about double what a NetJets pilot would make over the course of a 30-year career.


United and Alaska Airlines Navigate Uncertainty


  • The conversation starts with United’s challenges in January and February, and notes investors will tolerate it if they have a strong March and the rest of the year. United is working to rectify its problems in Florida and has a lot of aircraft coming along in the next few years to put somewhere. The company has also benefited from a trend in premium leisure travel, which has helped fill the seats in the premium cabins. The three big U.S. carriers – United, Delta, and American – are doing well compared to the domestic carriers. They have the advantage of the demand being strong, and a lot of foreign carriers cutting capacity during the pandemic.
  • Next, they discuss Alaska Airlines and mention that the company reported negative 4.6 operating margin for the first quarter, which is not good compared to their positive 2.5% operating margin in 2019. Alaska has historically had weak first quarters, and they sometimes lose money in January and February, but they have been a very successful and profitable airline. They also discuss where Alaska fits in the overall U.S. airline picture, as it is not a low-cost carrier like Frontier nor a full-service airline like Delta and United.

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PAPA | MAY 18-19 | LAS

OBAP | AUG 9-11 | MSY

LPA | SEP 14-16 | ISM

RTAG | OCT 7-8 | FTW

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