Tag Archives: airlines

Passenger Accused Of Assaulting Flight Attendant On American Airlines Flight From JFK Airport

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An American Airlines flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport was diverted Wednesday after a passenger allegedly assaulted a flight attendant.

The flight was scheduled to land at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California, but instead stopped at Denver Airport.

The passenger was taken into custody.

American Airlines says it will pursue charges and is now banning that passenger.

Read more here CBS New York

As Travel Rebounds, Airlines Are Figuring It Out on the Fly

Businesses destinations are out, tourist spots are in. The old rules governing fares and flight schedules have been thrown out the window.

Before, air travel had certain rhythms. Business travelers flew out on Monday mornings and back on Thursday evenings, filling pricier seats. Come summer, price conscious leisure travelers took to the skies. Crowds flew for Thanksgiving, Labor Day, and Christmas, and to specific destinations for events—sports championships, music festivals, fashion weeks. Decades of historical data plugged into complex mathematical models helped airlines determine schedules and prices.

Then came the pandemic. “All of the history, all of the old practices that airlines used to follow to decide what was scheduled to fly and what prices to charge, had to be thrown out the window,” says Jim Barlow, vice president of strategic consulting at Amadeus, which builds software for airlines.

Now, as more passengers are vaccinated and willing to travel, the airline industry is seeing green shoots. More than 2.1 million people traveled through US airport security checkpoints on July 5, nearly twice as many as last year; but that was still 20 percent fewer than in 2019.

That doesn’t mean that the pictures created by airlines’ algorithms have gotten any clearer. Airlines are operating with less data, and more uncertainty, than usual, creating a complicated math problem. It’s not just figuring out where people want to go, and how much they’ll pay. It’s also making sure that the right-sized aircraft and full, rested crew are in the right place for takeoff. The number crunchers who run their systems have found other ways to cope.

For about six months at the outset of the pandemic, many airlines leaned less on their algorithms and more on their human scheduling and pricing teams who used hunches about where people wanted to go, says Barlow. They froze hiring and laid off thousands of workers. Some put aircraft in storage, and photos of Delta and Southwest planes parked in the California desert became a creepy, pandemic-era sign of the times.

Part of the problem was that their customers had changed—and continue to change. The airfare-setting process is one of the most complicated in the business world. Passengers on the same flight, and even in very similar seats, often pay different prices, depending on where they bought their tickets and when. In-house teams create pricing structures and schedules based on when passengers are likely to buy tickets. Vacationers, seeking deals, tend to buy early, which is why airlines tend to offer the lowest prices on tickets bought far in advance. Business travelers, meanwhile, buy closer to flight time, and are willing to pay more.

Since the pandemic hit in early 2020, most people flying tend to be leisurers. And they were booking closer than usual to their travel times, probably because they weren’t sure how the coronavirus would affect their plans.

The influx of vacation flyers has changed airlines’ schedules—and made them more willing to experiment with routes less traveled. In the past year, JetBlue added routes to the Carribean. United premiered nonstop flights to Florida, and its popular domestic vacation spots. As business travel continued to sag, airlines subtly pivoted away from the big, traditional hubs to quainter routes: Milwaukee to Las Vegas; Boise, Idaho, to New York; Des Moines to Portland, Oregon.

As the routing experiments continue, airlines and the people that build their pricing systems are testing other data sources to make better operational decisions. They’re using customers’ web searches and requests for online notifications to suss out what’s in demand. Did a bunch of people sign up for notifications for cheap flights to Vegas in November? Maybe airlines should schedule a few extra flights that month. In the future, Barlow says, airlines are hoping to integrate other sources of information into their operations, like cellphone data that tells them how full competitors’ flights are, in real time.

“Dynamic pricing”—targeting specific fares to specific people, based on their flight history and real-time market conditions—has also picked up during the pandemic, with airlines imitating e-commerce companies in changing prices based on live demand. Since the 1980’s, airlines have varied seat prices according to tightly prescribed schemes, selling blocks of tickets at predetermined prices. But dynamically priced tickets can be changed all the time. For airlines, it’s a holy grail because it promises to near-perfectly predict the prices customers are willing to pay. Research suggests that more accurate pricing, not just of seats but also goodies like meals and extra legroom, could boost revenue anywhere from from 5 to 15 percent.

United, Delta, and Spirit Airlines did not respond to requests for comment, and Southwest and American Airlines declined to discuss future pricing. But in a recent call with investors, American’s chief revenue officer said that the airline had become “materially more efficient through the pandemic,” noting that the airline was flying 150 fewer planes than normal, but operating as if it were 80 to 85 airplanes down.

Of course, other industry-related dysfunction has complicated the picture. Bad weather, the occasional IT-related meltdown (Southwest Airlines delayed 1,400 flights in mid-June because of problems at a weather data provider), and now, a shortage of pilots and flight attendants add to the airlines’ headaches. After the big layoffs, airlines laid off large numbers of employees are finding that some employees are retiring and others are reluctant to come back to work.

Airlines didn’t use to work this quickly, says Bryan Terry, who leads the global aviation practice at the consulting firm Deloitte. Before, they would have worked out schedules months in advance; this spring, many quickly added new flights to what would have once been thought of as middle-of-nowhere destinations like Kalispell, Montana—the gateway to Glacier National Park. As a result, industry-watchers say, a pandemic that broke airlines’ internal systems might end up making them more dynamic and nimble. “Data analysts and data scientists are going to be in high demand and working overtime in most airlines,” Terry says. 


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This post originally posted here Business Latest

News: United Airlines hopes to launch electric aircraft by 2030

United Airlines Ventures (UAV) has invested in electric aircraft start up Heart Aerospace.

The company is developing the ES-19, a 19-seat electric aircraft that has the potential to fly customers up to 250 miles before the end of this decade.

In addition to investment, United Airlines has conditionally agreed to purchase 100 ES-19 aircraft, once the aircraft meet safety, business and operating requirements.

Mesa Airlines, a key strategic partner for United in bringing electric aircraft into commercial service, has also agreed to add 100 ES-19 aircraft to its fleet, subject to similar requirements.

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UAV is building a portfolio of companies that focus on innovative sustainability concepts and create the technologies and products necessary to build a carbon-neutral airline and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions goals.

The deal also comes alongside Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV).

UAV and BEV are among the first investors in Heart Aerospace, demonstrating confidence in the design and creating potential for Heart to fast track the ES-19 introduction to market as early as 2026.

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This post originally posted here Breaking Travel News

Airlines to be charged more for pollution under EU’s Green Deal

A proposal to be unveiled next week by the European Commission includes a gradual phase-out of emission allowances for airlines, a source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.

By Bloomberg

Airlines in the world’s biggest carbon market will eventually have to pay for all the pollution from their planes as the European Union strengthens its climate policies under the Green Deal.

A proposal by the European Commission includes a gradual phase-out of emission allowances for carriers, and will be part of measures to be announced on July 14, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The package will also introduce stricter demands on companies in the transport sector to use cleaner fuel.

The EU aims to make its Green Deal and the ambitious environmental overhaul a new growth strategy as its economy recovers from the pandemic. The planned clean push also includes strengthening and expanding the bloc’s carbon market, creating a new emissions-trading program for buildings and road transport and setting new emissions standards for cars.

The Commission wants to oblige fuel suppliers to blend an increasingly high level of sustainable aviation fuels into existing jet fuel sold at EU airports, said the person, who asked not to be identified because talks on the draft laws are private. In addition, the EU executive is planning to encourage the uptake of synthetic low-carbon fuels under the so-called Fit for 55 package.

Cleaner fuels will also get preferential treatment under EU’s new energy taxation framework.

The legislative push is aimed at aligning the European economy with a new goal to reduce greenhouse gases by at least 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels. The previous objective was a cut of 40%.

That package will also include proposals to increase the share of renewable energy, boost energy efficiency and toughen national emissions-reduction goals. The Commission will aim to make the transition in a “fair, cost-efficient and competitive way,” it said in the draft document that will be sent to national governments and the European Parliament next week.

A Climate Action Social Facility Fund will be launched to help the most vulnerable households offset the costs of the transition. To help allay concerns of poorer member states, the EU also wants to bolster carbon market’s Modernization Fund. which supports lower-income countries and to re-distribute one-tenth of carbon allowances for auctions.

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