News and notes from around the interweb:
- Etihad’s quest to build its own fourth global alliance buy buying stakes in money-losing airlines that will continue to lose money, but can be used to redirect traffic through Abu Dhabi, continues with Alitalia. Cranky Flier dissects the Alitalia turnaround plan and finds it strangely like all the past failed turnaround plans. Etihad is just the latest (and possibly last) deep pocket.
- If you have an award on Etihad, check your flight schedules. They’ve just re-timed a bunch of flights for March 29-onward. That’ll create better connectivity to some destinations, but may be highly inconvenient for folks who already have travel plans.
- Speaking of bailouts, Thai Airways will get one instead of being allowed to file bankruptcy. According to the Prime Minister who installed himself in last year’s military coup,
The national airline would have to cut expenses, increase revenue, drop unprofitable routes, restructure its assets and sell some aircraft. The airline would also have to make changes to management, personnel and staff benefits, and travel agents who take up ticket quotas would be fined for unsold, returned tickets
They say they’ll be selling parked aircraft ‘direct to consumer’ without a middle man, which may or may not be wise but I take to be signaling ‘without graft or personal profit.’
- AirAsia abolishes fuel surcharges on all its airlines
- Ask the Pilot hates how US airports are set up for international transfers. The is partially driven by the US not have departing immigration controls, though both the UK and Canada handle this better than we do. I’d rather transfer international-to-international with a change of carriers at Heathrow than at LAX, and I can imagine a non-US citizen would feel doubly so.
- Iberia will resume summer flights to Cuba.