The aviation stories (non-LAX related) of the past week

Brussels Airlines is celebrating "Movember"  by adding a mustache to a A319.

Brussels Airlines is celebrating “Movember” by adding a mustache to a A319.

It’s been a busy last few days on the aviation beat here in Los Angeles. But here are some of the best stories from elsewhere during the past week:

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he wants to resolve the American Airlines/US Airways lawsuit short of trial, writes Ben Mutzabaugh of Today in the Sky. A sticking point, apparently, are the slots the combined airline would own at Washington Reagan National, New York JFK and New York LaGuardia. Justice does not want the combined carrier to be too strong at those airports.

Here’s another take of Holder’s preferences from David Koenig of the Associated Press. “We will not agree to something that does not fundamentally resolve the concerns that were expressed in the (lawsuit) and do not substantially bring relief to consumers,” Koenig quotes Holder as saying.

The standalone US Airways is growing its traffic, but its revenue is not rising accordingly. That’s according to this Associated Press story posted on Skift. 

In light-hearted news, Jaunted takes a look at how 4 airlines are celebrating “Movember.” This has become the month, apparently, in which men grow mustaches.

“Airline Lost Your Luggage? Let Your Phone Find It.” An interesting story about the possibilities of baggage tracking services by Bloomberg Business Week’s Justin Bachman.

And finally, Brett Snyder of Crankyflier.com interviews Frontier’s Senior Vice President — Commercial about the airline’s strategy going forward. There’s some inside baseball stuff here, but if you want to delve into the issues of what it takes to run an airline, you should read this. 

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Norwegian Air Shuttle tries the U.S. market, and other stories from the week in aviation

Norwegian, a European discount airline, will soon fly from LAX to London, Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen. But can it make money?

Norwegian, a European discount airline, will soon fly from LAX to London, Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen. But can it make money?

What’s going on in the world of aviation? I’m glad you asked.

Here are some stories I have enjoyed recently.

Emirates and Virgin America will now be frequent flier program partners, writes Ben Mutzabaugh of Today in the Sky.

Norwegian Air Shuttle is trying to be the first major European low-cost carrier to operate a large transatlantic route network. The airline, which is taking delivery of a bunch of Boeing 787s will, by next summer, fly from Los Angeles to Oslo, London, Stockholm and Copenhagen. But will this strategy work? Brett Snyder, who runs the blog crankyflier.com, says he is skeptical. 

By January 1, airports are supposed to take over, from the Transportation Security Administration, the job of guarding terminal exit doors. Bart Jansen of USA Today reports that this change will save the TSA  $88.1 million per year. But many airport executives are not thrilled about this change.

Southwest started by offering double points system wide for passengers during a slow late fall period. United soon followed, with a double miles promotion.” Isn’t it great when competitive forces actually work in favor of consumers?” asks Tim Winship of frequentflier.com.

Delta and United and dueling for West Coast customers, and that’s generally good news for passengers, writes Chris McGinnis, editor of The Bay Area Traveler. 

For several years now, major airlines have tried to artificially keep capacity low in order to hold lower fares. That strategy has worked, and it’s a big part of the reason why most major airlines have been reporting recent profits. But it may not last forever. Edward Russell of Flight Global writes that airlines are adding capacity, especially in the West. 

The A350  hasn’t flown a single passenger flight yet, but the European conglomerate is already considering stretching it, writes Jens Flottau of Aviation Week. 

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Best of the blogs: The week’s best aviation posts

Through the magic of the internet, we know exactly what @@OneMileataTime's caviar looked like on a recent flight.

Through the magic of the internet, we know exactly what @OneMileataTime’s caviar looked like on a recent ANA flight. His trip reports are among the best around.

There are some darn good – and very dedicated – aviation bloggers out there. Here is some of the blog items of the past week or so.

“13 Secrets Airline Pilots Won’t Tell You” from ABC News and Readers Digest. Among the secrets:  “The two worst airports for us: Reagan National in Washington, D.C., and John Wayne in Orange County, Calif. You’re flying by the seat of your pants trying to get in and out of those airports. John Wayne is especially bad because the rich folks who live near the airport don’t like jet noise, so they have this noise abatement procedure where you basically have to turn the plane into a ballistic missile as soon as you’re airborne.” - -Pilot, South Carolina

Some astute frequent fliers noticed Wednesday morning that American Airlines was charging new fees on some award tickets. They got very upset. But it seems it was all a technological mistake by the airline. The blog “View from the Wing” explains what happened. 

Lufthansaflyer got a sneak peak at Paine Field Airport in Everett, Wash. He saw a bunch of brand-new Boeings. 

What does international first class look like? The supremely talented @onemileatatime reviewed an ANA first class flight from Chicago to Tokyo. His trip reports – and there are many of them – are very detailed.

Lufthansa is about to announce a big aircraft order. But which manufacturer will it be? Airbus? Or Boeing? Flyertalk blogger Gerry Wingenbach says it’s a $10 billion order.
He breaks it all down.

And finally, @crankyflier tells us that Delta is giving smartphones to its flight attendants so they can help travelers. Among other things, the wifi enabled phones will allow the airline to process credit cards in real time. Most airlines only upload data after flights land.

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The week’s best aviation stories

The inimitable Cranky Flier breaks down Delta’s new strategy in Los Angeles, saying the carrier is happy to be No. 3 here in traffic but wants to raise its profile to attract new high-yield customers. 

Southwest is no longer the driver of low fares across the industry that it once was, writes Charisse Jones of USA Today.

What’s next for American and US Airways if the merger does not go through? The AP’s David Koenig fills us in.

Japanese carriers JAL and ANA are locked in a fierce battle over 20 slots at Tokyo Haneda Airport, which is considerably closer to downtown than Narita Airport, Reuters reports.

In one of the best stories about the US Airways/American merger anti-trust lawsuit, the New York Times breaks down some of the legal issues in the case. The idea that the airlines would win in court is no slam dunk, legal experts say.  That could be where the case is headed if it does not settle.

American is doing all it can to promote the fact that it is adding a new plane – the A319 – to its fleet. The airline invited media to Dallas last week to see it. Gary Leff, who writes the blog, View from the Wing, has pictures. 

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