About those change fees: Last week we reported from the US Airways Media Day and among the topics was that of change fees. US Airways matched United Airlines to charge $200 if you change your ticket. Here’s an article about how to deal with these fees.
Here’s another article about change fees, and how they’ve soared in recent times. If you think fees in the US are bad, look at the table and note in particular Ryanair’s fees–this carrier is notorious for charge for everything, and at steep prices, something subject to this funny video:
Why are fees becoming so prevalent? Because this is where airlines are largely making their profits. US Airways said last week it expects to earn $600m from fees this year. This is more than its entire profit from 2012. This means airline operations lose money and profits come from the fees.
Also on US Airways: we also reported last week about some outstanding labor issues between the IAM at US Air and the TWU and American Airlines. An agreement over the weekend was reached about merging these two workforces under one union banner, according to Terry Maxon at the Dallas Morning News.
Ex-Members Rap FAA, NTSB: We bet they won’t be invited to a reunion. James Hall and John Goglia, former members of the National Transportation Safety Board, had harsh words to say about the FAA, Boeing and the NTSB over the certification of the Boeing 787 and the subsequent fix. Hall said the FAA needed to recertify the airplane, not just the battery.
Ethiopian Airlines resumed service with the 787 over the weekend, while Japan’s ANA engaged in a proving flight. This Wall Street Journal article (via Google News, so everyone should be able to read it) references additional measures required by Japan.
Post-SPEEA Vote: The ratification of the contract offer by Boeing by the SPEEA technical workers is welcome news. It gives Boeing and its stakeholders certainty at a time when the 787 issues remain outstanding and the developmental programs of the 777X, the 787-9 and 10, the 737 MAX and the KC-46A are at important stages. Although SPEEA took a loss over the pension issue, the union was able to extend the previous contract provisions over economic issues for another four years. Call this a draw for the two sides.
LionAir and RyanAir: On Monday Airbus announced an order for 234 A320ceo/neo family members from LionAir, previously an all-Boeing customer. Today Boeing announced an order for 175 737-800s from RyanAir, an exclusive Boeing customer. There were no MAXes in the order, however. RyanAir CEO Michael O’Leary has not been a fan of the re-engined 737.
ANA skeptical of 787 timeline: Reuters has an interview with All Nippon Airways in which it expresses some skepticism about the Boeing timeline of returning the 787 to service within weeks. ANA calls this a “best case” scenario.
On the other hand, LOT, which took the 787 out of its schedule through September, now says the airplanes could be back in service by summer.
Vote in the Polls: All Nippon Airlines has begun its effort to rebuild the 787 brand flying in its colors. Boeing began its effort last week. Is the view of the 787 turning? If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to vote in these polls (scroll down after clicking the link).
Paine Field Pleads its Case: Targeted for closure in Sequester, with a decision to be announced this week, the director of Everett Paine Field pleaded his case to remain open in this letter: FAA Tower Closure – Paine Field (1).
Well wishes: Daniel Tsang, founder of Aspire Aviation, has been hospitalized in Sydney, Australia, with an unknown ailment first thought to be measles but it’s not. Well wishes to him.
This amused us a lot–from the free British e-newsletter from Airline Fleet Management.
Boeing 737-800: Wells Fargo’s aerospace analyst team issued a note today that confirms its previous calculations that American Airlines is paying $40m-$41m for its 737-800s.
Update, August 1: We received this note from Wells Fargo: What was confirmed was AA’s SELLING price to AerCap and ILFC, NOT what AA is paying.
American Airlines: AirInsight has this analysis of the current American Airlines situation.
Speaking of American: Flight Global has this story about how an American 767-300ER and a Ryanair 737-800 brushed each other on the ground all pilots were unaware and both airplanes took off.
One more American: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has this series of 49 photos and airline liveries, past and present, starting with American.
And then there is Alaska Airlines: A passenger snapped this photo on an Alaska Airlines flight. Via NYCAviation’s Tweet.
Airbus A350: Aspire Aviation in Hong Kong has a lengthy look at the Airbus A350 program.
Airbus launch aid: Airbus says it has complied with the findings of the World Trade Organization and cured those elements found to be illegal. It calls on Boeing to do the same. (The case against Boeing is under appeal.) Update: and the war of words continues. Here is Boeing’s response.
Boeing and IAM 751: Reaction to the agreement reached between Boeing and IAM to extend a new contract to 2016, settle the NLRB complaint and put the 737 MAX assembly in Seattle is winning accolades from everybody except some Republicans who was pissed they won’t have an election campaign issue to talk about next year. Never mind what’s good for Boeing.
Plane Talking, the entertaining if somewhat cranky blog from Down Under, has this piece about Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary opining on this and that.
Speaking of Ryanair: Heard in the hallway at the Credit Suisse conference: O’Leary is already circling over the American Airlines bankruptcy, looking to pick up 737-800s cheap if American doesn’t keep payments up and any are repossesed.