Here’s the news, all in one batch…
Air France has launched a highly targeted niche airline-within-an-airline called Dedicate to serve the travel requirements of companies in the natural gas and oil industries. The specially configured A319s will fly people twice weekly from Paris to, no joke, Pointe Noire in the Republic of Congo, malabo in Equitorial Guinea, and other well trafficked spots in Iran, Kazakhstan and Qatar.
Speaking of Qatar, while nobody in the US ever talks about the Qatar Airways has quickly grown to be a major regional player in the Middle East. They said last week that they’ll take 13 new aircraft this year to expand to 12 more destinations. Alongside this news, the government of Qatar awarded Bechtel a $2.5 billion contract to build a new airport. Man, that Bechtel is everywhere.
In bankruptcy news, low-cost Finnish airline Flying Finn declared bankruptcy this week. The tiny carrier operated 8 domestic flights in Finland. Insert joke about frozen assets here.
Air Canada is expanding its well received simplified Canadian fare structure to include a bunch of US cities. The fare structure (which you can see on Air Canada’s site when you search between 2 Canadian cities, and looks a lot like Southwest’s) is fantastic, except for the mindblowingly ridiculous names given to each: Tango, Econo, Fun, Latitude, Freedom and Executive. I don’t know what they mean either.
Four airlines are reportedly bidding on US Airways’ assets, with American, JetBlue and AirTran interested in the shuttle. Delta is interested in “pretty much everything” except the shuttle. Since they already own a competing shuttle. How much would a JetBlue shuttle rock? Just curious.
And finally…you’ll thank me for this. 21 bikers were thrown off a plane after confronting a father who was disciplining his son. Oh, you should know that the bikers were part of a group called “Bikers Against Child Abuse.” Awesome.