Great news if you fly the shuttle between New York and Boston. US Airways has lowered its 14-day advanced purchase fare to $100 round trip — 54% below its previous fare. While JetBlue has similar fares available, sometimes you just don’t want to bother dragging your butt out to JFK in traffic. (Delta has since matched the fares).
Category Archives: News from Other Airlines Not Listed Here
Mexico’s Civil Aviation Department announced that they have shut down low cost carrier Aerocalifornia because its safety standards were not up to snuff. Aerocalifornia, which flies to 22 cities in Mexico and Los Angeles, stranded about 2,000 passengers over the weekend. The airline has 90 days to prove its safety standards or it faces losing its operating license.
I’ll spare you the neverending jokes about Hooters Air going bust, but I will let you know that the airline will cease scheduled air service beginning April 17th. Although it will continue to offer charter flights, the airline succumbed to high fuel prices for its flights to Myrtle Beach. I still think the idea made sense and if fuel prices were ever to drop again, we could see an, er, enhanced Hooters Air flying again. Or not.
If you thought that only US airlines are in trouble, take a look at the sad story of Malaysia Airlines. Once a vibrant domestic and international carrier, the airline has faced an onslaught in its domestic market from Air Asia, which has taken the Ryanair model of all-but giving away a good chunk of its tickets. After making small changes here and there, Malaysia Airlines announced a massive overhaul of its operations, eliminating 6,500 jobs (about a quarter of its workforce) and turning over 96 of its 115 domestic routes to Air Asia. The carrier will also reduce its fleet by half. If you can imagine American basically turning over its Dallas operations to Southwest, that’s what happened here. That all said, Malaysia still has a world-class premium international product, so it won’t be disappearing from international travel any time soon.
I hope you didn’t have tickets on Austrian regional carrier Styrian Spirit any time soon. The small carrier shut down over the weekend, stranding hundreds of passengers and costing 152 employees their jobs. The airline served a handful of cities in Europe using 4 regional jets.
The European Union banned 92 airlines (at least 89-to-92 of which you’ve never heard of) from flying to its member countries. The list (seen in full here) is heavy on African airlines, including a whopping 50 based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (the epicenter of the questionnable airline universe, apparently). Of the 92, you may have heard of Ariana Afghan, Phuket Airlines and Air Koryo (North Korea’s flag carrier). In case you were wondering, the best airline name ln the list is Kyrgyzstan’s Reem Air.
The US Department of Transportation warned Venezuela’s government that if it chooses to follow through with its threat to stop US airlines from flying to Venezuela, that the US would forbid Venezuelan carriers from flying to the US. Said the US ambassador to Venezuela:
"Hopefully that will not happen, because if that happens, it is not
only possible or probable, but an absolute certainty the US government
and Transport Department would suspend flights by Venezuelan airlines."
USA 3000 has been advertising cheap $1 fares to Cancun, a price that has made people rather excited. But here’s the rub (and isn’t there always a rub?): the fare is good for the outbound portion. The return trip starts at $199. While this is still a good deal, this is also a giant lump of crap. Smartertraveler.com has a good article about this here.
With financial and operational help from Royal Air Maroc, Gabon’s new flag carrier Air Gabon International has launched. While this isn’t huge news for you (unless you’re flying quite a bit to Gabon), it’s part of a larger trend that’s good for African aviation. African airlines have been notoriously under-funded and poorly run, leading to an unacceptable number of crashes. However, in the past couple of years partnerships such as this one (Air Sengal’s partnership with Royal Air Maroc, for example) are bringing first-world safety and operational standards to the region. This will benefit everyone, whether you travel quite a bit in Africa or you’re there for a once in a lifetime trip.
Due to the overwhelming (?) popularity of my story a couple of weeks ago about new helicopter service from lower Manhattan to JFK airport, I thought I’d let you know that you can now book tickets on US Helicopter at flyush.com. The 8 minute flight costs $139 each way, but it will eventually jump up to $159. As readers have pointed out, a car service to JFK costs about $70 (and up) and can take an hour or so. It’s not a bad deal…