Travel News Recap for Week of May 9th
Welcome to our new series of posts where we recap the latest news in the air travel industry every week! Check our blog weekly for short summaries of all the top stories. Now it’s easier than ever for you to keep up with all the news regarding flights, airlines, and more. We’ll keep you up-to-date, so you can be in the know! Keep reading for recent news.
Alaska Airlines, JetBlue Rank Highest in Passenger Satisfaction – In the annual North America Airline Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power and Associates, Alaska Airlines ranked first in the traditional carrier segment for the 9th consecutive year, while JetBlue ranked highest in the low-cost segment for the 11th year in a row. Rankings are generated from an online survey of over 10,000 passengers who flew on a major North American airline between March 2015 and March 2016. Delta Air Lines remained in second place among the traditional carriers, followed by American Airlines and Air Canada. Among the low-cost carriers, Southwest Airlines came in second, followed by WestJet Airlines. Frontier Airlines came in last. Passenger satisfaction was measured in 7 categories: costs and fees; in-flight service; boarding, deplaning and baggage; flight crew; aircraft; check-in; and reservations.
Air Canada Launches Nonstop Flights From San Jose to Vancouver – This week, nonstop flights between San Jose and Vancouver began operating via Air Canada. The duration of these flights is about two hours. Twice a day, a Bombardier CRJ-705 with seats for 75 passengers travels between San Jose International Airport and Vancouver International Airport. In the past year, San Jose International Airport has added direct service to many international destinations, including London last week.
Delta Seeks to Improve Short Flights with Order of 75 New Jets – The spacious CS100 is a 110-seat jet made by Canada’s Bombardier. Its size is between that of junior jets and the Boeing 717 and Airbus A319. Delta Air Lines plans to use the CS100 for short to medium-haul flights on their domestic network. Many of the new jets will fly routes that are currently served by regional jets with 50 to 75 seats. Aboard the CS100, passengers will enjoy larger overhead bins and a roomier cabin, among other new features. Eighty percent of seats will be at a window or an aisle. Additional perks include a comfort plus zone and a first-class cabin. Deliveries of the CS100 begin in 2018.
British Airways Adds 70Mbps Wi-Fi to Long-Haul Flights – British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus signed a deal with Gogo to provide inflight Internet connections equivalent to ground-based broadband. The 2Ku technology will be installed on over 100 British Airways planes beginning in 2017. The Boeing 777-200 will get the most installations. Passengers will be able to connect to more services, including Netflix, while in the air. The airlines that are part of this connectivity deal are members of the International Airlines Group (IAG), which plans to offer high-speed connections on 90% of its long-haul flights by 2019.
Delta Offers New West Coast Shuttle Flights – Delta Air Lines will add 2 new daily flights between Seattle and Los Angeles, and add amenities for other shuttle flights in operation since 2013, in order to compete with Alaska Air as it acquires Virgin America. On May 23, Delta will offer a total of 10 shuttle flights between Seattle and Los Angeles, and 8 between Seattle and San Francisco. Delta shuttle flight passengers will have dedicated check-in counters near the new Delta Sky Club, plus access to other perks.
KLM Now Offers Nonstop Flights Between Amsterdam and Salt Lake City – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines just started offering direct air service between Utah and the Netherlands. Flights operate on Thursdays and Saturdays for now, and also on Mondays starting July 4th. This direct route is one of several between Utah and Europe. Since 2007, Delta Air Lines has been offering nonstop flights from Salt Lake City to Paris, and earlier this year began offering nonstop flights from Salt Lake City to London. With Delta’s cooperation, KLM now flies to 14 destinations in the United States and will continue to expand.
American Airlines Adds Flights to Toronto Film Festival – During the Toronto Film Festival, 2 nonstop flights will operate daily between Los Angeles and Toronto. Beginning September 7, 2 flights will depart from LAX in the morning, and 2 will depart from Toronto Pearson International Airport in the late afternoon and early evening until September 14. At both airports, passengers booked in premium cabins will receive VIP Flagship curbside check-in and access to the Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge.
JetBlue Starts Flights to Nashville from Fort Lauderdale and Boston – JetBlue now offers 2 new flights to Nashville, twice a day from Boston, and once a day from Fort Lauderdale. With the addition of these flights, JetBlue enters a market largely dominated by Southwest Airlines. Last year, Southwest Airlines transported over 50% of the total number of travelers to and from Nashville. JetBlue continues to expand with San Diego planned for June and New Orleans in September.
KLM Resumes Flights Between Miami and Amsterdam – After a 5-year hiatus, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will resume seasonal nonstop service between Miami and Amsterdam. Service will begin on October 30 of this year and run through March 23, 2017, and will operate Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. KLM plans to use Airbus A330-200, with 30 seats in business class and over 200 in economy .
Virgin Australia Increases Service Between Sydney and Tamworth – Virgin Australia will add 6 new flights between Sydney and Tamworth from July to October. On weekdays, flights will depart in the early morning from Tamworth to Sydney, and in the evening from Sydney to Tamworth. Plus, one flight on Saturday, and one on Sunday. These new flights are ideal for Tamworth residents who need to travel to Sydney for work and return home at night. The new flights are also well timed for international connections to popular destinations like Los Angeles.
Samsung Partners with Asiana Airlines – Samsung signed a partnership with SK Telecom and Asiana Airlines to offer the new Galaxy S7 Asiana. Exclusive to Asiana customers, it comes with a special Asiana-themed user interface, and a pre-loaded app for checking Asiana flight information and booking tickets. Users can make flight reservations and manage tickets via their phone. The Galaxy S7 Asiana also comes with customized Knox security. If Asiana customers have at least 50,000 miles in their account, they can use their mileage to get a discounted price for the phone.
Two Canadian Airlines Let Fire Evacuees Fly With Pets – Due to devastating fires, over 80,000 residents had to evacuate Fort McMurray last week. WestJet and Canadian North allowed evacuees to bring their pets on board in the main cabin without a carrier. These airlines were able to bend the rules to accommodate the displaced animals, including dogs, cats, and turtles.
United Airlines Adds New China Route – United Airlines launched new seasonal nonstop flights to Xi’an via their Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This is the first trans-Pacific service to Xi’an operated by any airline, and first US airline to fly to the city. Flights are offered three times a week until October 27. Flight duration is approximately 13 hours westbound and 12 hours eastbound. Beginning July 13, United will offer a new nonstop route between San Francisco and Hangzhou. United operates more nonstop flights to China than any other airline.
Southwest Airlines Named Most Valuable Employer For Military – Southwest Airlines is among the 2016 Most Valuable Employers (MVE) for Military according to CivilianJobs.com, presented by DeVry University. The airline currently employs 6,800 veterans. Southwest is committed to growing the number of veterans in their workforce. The 2016 MVE for Military was open to all US-based companies. Winners were selected based on employer surveys. MVEs for Military are recognized in May to honor Armed Forces Day on May 21.
Aircraft Shortages Force Qatar Airways to Cut Flights – Due to a delay in Airbus aircraft deliveries, Qatar Airways is canceling select flights in several markets in the form of one flight per week through the summer. Nearly 20 routes are being cut, including Adelaide, Boston, Houston, Miami, Copenhagen, Jakarta, and Manchester. The airline will accommodate passengers on other flights. Qatar flies to over 150 destinations via their fleet of more than 180 aircraft.