A handful of stories from the weekend:
–Emirates is considering setting up a hub in Auckland, New Zealand, which, you may note, is very far from the United Arab Emirates. The hub would allow the airline to expand its South Pacific services and reach the west coast of the US>
–The New York Post reports that a Tokyo-bound American Airlines 777 had to dump fuel into the Atlantic after losing an engine upon takeoff from JFK. While I’m sure this is a scary event, the plane was in no danger, despite the Post’s dramatic portralyal of the incident.
–The Financial Times noted that Richard Branson is wooing Delta COO Fred Reid to take the helm of the new Virgin USA.
–The US State Department said that it will likely lift the ban on American travel to Libya as a thank you of sorts for Libya scrapping its nuclear programs. The government, of course, will keep its absolutely insane ban on travel to Cuba while allowing Americans to travel to Libya, which, under this same government, shot down Pan Am 103. Well done.
–US Airways has increased service out of Philadelphia to the cities that Southwest has announced it will serve. Also, the airline says that it will increase the point-to-point service that is Southwest’s hallmark as a means of competing with the carrier. With its large regional jet fleet, the move is a smart one, allowing US Airways to cherry-pick its routes, rather than remaining tethered to its unsuccessful hub-and-spoke system. However, its costs are still so far out of line that even these two good moves won’t get them out of trouble until the carrier gains additional incredibly painful concessions from employees.
–And finally, flying back from Myrtle Beach this weekend I saw a check-in booth for tiny Pan Am tucked away into a corner, flying a flight a day to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I was actually sad when I saw that Pan Am now existed to fly 5 flights a week from Myrtle Beach to Portsmouth. There hasn’t been a fall from grace like that since I saw Dana Plato in one of those Skinemax movies—incredibly sad—yet fascinating.