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July 27, 2007

Skybus Gets Approval for Mexico, Bahamas -- Just Like We Said

As the OTR noted in its supersecret world exclusive 3 months ago, Skybus has applied for service to Mexico and Bahamas.  Yesterday they received approval to fly to those countries and will launch service to Cancun and Nassau in early 2008.

July 27, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 26, 2007

Brazil's Gol: Please Don't Fly Us

Brazil's Gol has told passengers not to fly until next week while the country's chaotic air traffic system gets back to normal.  This is unprecedented (at least as far as I'm aware) - Sao Paulo's domestic airport was diverting flights to its international airport, causing a bit of havoc there, including forcing some flights to divert to Rio.  As bad as the summer has been in the US, Brazil's air passengers have had it far worse.

In fact, the government fired the defense minister yesterday (he runs commercial aviation in Brazil) because of the collapse of the system that culminated in the TAM crash last week.

July 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Great Fares to Latin America

American Airlines has launched a real live fare sale (not one of those so-called fare sales where the fares aren't any better than usual) between south Florida and Latin American and/or the Caribbean.  How cheap?

Miami - San Pedro Sula, Honduras is $49 each way
to Nicaragua?  $59
Guatemala? $69
Costa Rica? $69

Whew, they sure are annoyed with Spirit.

Fares are good through early December, with regular Thanksgiving blackout dates.  Oh, and you need a 3 day stay.

July 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3)

July 25, 2007

Want to Be the First to Fly on Singapore's A380?

Singapore Airlines is auctioning off seats on its inaugural A380 flight on eBay...  Before you freak out, proceeds are going to charity.  The flight will take place some time in October and fly from Singapore to Sydney.

July 25, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Don't Freak Out about Terrorist "Dry Runs"

The terror hype machine is in full force:

News organizations are reporting that the TSA has told its air marshalls and security officials that terrorists may be preparing for a "dry run" for terror activity in a US airport.  Your local news should be hyping this story as if the end of the world is near, but even a TSA spokesperson says that these alerts are not uncommon and that people should not panic.  News organizations, of course, are burying the "don't panic" part in paragraph 327.

July 25, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Virgin Blue to Launch Long Haul Subsidiary with Flights to the US

Flights to Australia may be about to get a bit less expensive:

Virgin Blue, the Australian airline with ties to the Virgin empire, has announced that it will launch a new airline called V Australia to fly long-haul routes from down under.  These routes will include flights to the US, but no cities have been announced.  I'm certain fares will drop, though, as limited competition to Australia from the US has kept fares higher than flights of similar distance.

July 25, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 24, 2007

United Introduces Flat Seats in International Business Class

I forgot to mention this yesterday, but United Airlines has announced that it will begin introducing lie-flat seats in their international business class cabins beginning this fall.  The seats will be available on its 747s, 767s, and 777s (though it will take 2 1/2 years to fully outfit the fleet).  These will be the best seats available on a US carrier (as if that matters).  The downside is that the new configurations will drop the number of business class seats available significantly (21 fewer on the 747s) -- so, bye bye upgrades.

July 24, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Gulf Air CEO Quits; Airline Under Criminal Investigation

As good as it's been for other Middle East based airlines, Gulf Air, the carrier co-owned by Bahrain and Oman, has struggled mightily.  And things just got worse.  Their CEO, who just joined 4 months ago, resigned yesterday amid the news the Bahrain's government has launched a criminal investigation of the airline.  No word on what they're investigating.  The airline's chairman, who seems a bit feisty (in a good way) said, "Guys this is a public prosecution investigation; I want everybody to shut up."  You don't hear that too often.

Gulf Air is reportedly losing $1 million a day.

July 24, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 23, 2007

Ghana Fails to Blackmail Lufthansa

(Thanks to View from the Wing...)

An odd one on an otherwise slow news day:

Lufthansa has pulled out of its daily flights from Frankfurt to Accra, Ghana, after 40 years because they feel they're being forced to pay a bribe to Ghana's fledgling national airlines.  Ghana's government had required Lufthansa to pay a "tax" that would be used to help finance the new national carrier, Ghana Airways.  Lufthansa refused to pay what basically amounts to a bribe, and so they have cancelled all service to the country.  Now, Ghana's president is outraged, blaming the airline for stranding Ghana's citizens in Germany.  If they didn't pay the fee, Ghana's government would only allow twice weekly flights.  Lufthansa refused.  Bravo to Lufthansa for not putting up with this crap.

July 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)