Here’s what’s happening:
Mesaba Airlines, a Northwest affiliate, is facing a pilot strike this evening. As a result, they are cancelling this evening’s flights. The pilots and airline have not reached an agreement on job security, compensation, retirement and work rules. That’s quite a list.
Following the horrible Flash Airlines crash last week off Egypt, the UK has published a list of airlines that cannot fly in their airspace for safety reasons. These include: carriers operating from Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Liberia and Tajikistan. Also on the list are Star Air and Air Universal – both from Sierra Leone along with Cameroon Airlines, Albanian Airlines and DR Congo’s Central Air Express. Unbelievably, I have not forced my wife to fly on any of those. Yet.
Richard Branson says> he is hopeful that his new US-based airline will launch some time in 2004. They are still undecided on the base for the carrier, though they are likely deciding between Boston, Washington and San Francisco. They also are deciding between Virgin USA and Virgin Red. I’m sure that no matter where they choose it will hurt US Airways.
Speaking of which, the USA Today airline blog is all over US Airways’ troubles, listing at the above link a litany of stories suggesting that the airline is in deep trouble. Its chairman confirmed that it was looking to sell assets to keep it from “bleeding to death over time.” Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t think it’s good news when your chairman suggests that your company is in the process of bleeding to death. Other articles suggest that the airline has little of value, save the LGA slots and Shuttle. Incidentally, AirTran says that they are interested in the shuttle. I’m not sure why I find that funny. And I’m not sure why I wouldn’t ever fly the AirTran shuttle. I really should be more objective here. AirTran is perfectly wonderful. In fact, I have a great AirTran mousepad. Even so…