Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 29 March 2021.
Alaska Airlines Joins Oneworld
Assuming there are no last minute delays, Alaska Airlines will become a full member of the Oneworld alliance this Wednesday, 31 March 2021.
This means that members of Oneworld frequent flyer programmes will benefit from full reciprocal recognition when flying on Alaska Airlines, and vice versa.
BA of course has an existing codeshare and frequent flyer partnership with Alaska. Whilst this is a long standing relationship, the scope of the codeshares does not appear to have been refreshed for some time, particularly since Alaska acquired Virgin America.
For readers outside of the US, this is somewhat academic as travel restrictions are yet to be lifted. Whilst there have been positive soundings about a reopening in July, the UK government continues to dampen expectations about international travel this summer.
New Airlines (Almost) Ready For Take Off
You would think a global pandemic would be the worst time to launch a new airline, but aviation has always attracted dreamers and no amount of industry shocks are going to change that.
No doubt hoping to take advantage of pent up demand and unencumbered by the very high debt levels of legacy carriers, a number of airlines are planning on launching in the coming months.
EGO Airways in Italy is due to start its scheduled passenger flights this summer between regional airports such as Brindisi, Cagliari, Florence and Forli, initially with a fleet of two Embraer E 190 aircraft.
World2Fly plans to launch long haul flights from Madrid to destinations such as Cancun, Havana and Punta Cana.
Over on the other side of the Atlantic, Andrew Levy, former president of Allegiant Airlines plans to launch Avelo Air this summer. The airline was formed with the purchase of the assets of XTRA Airways in 2018. Using a fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, it plans to operate between unserved city pairs in the US.
A similar approach will be adopted by Breeze Airways, led by aviation veteran and JetBlue founder David Neeleman, which is expected to confirm its plans imminently. It is expected to have a base in Salt Lake City.
Also of note this week:
BA CEO Sean Doyle writes for the Mail On Sunday urging for a lifting of travel restrictions. Spot the deliberate mistake by the picture editor. (Mail Online)
Virgin Atlantic marks a year of cargo only flights. (Virgin Atlantic)
“What we lose if we stop travelling on business”. Michael Skapinker files his last column for the Financial Times, noting you cannot read an organisation the same way through a video call as on a face to face visit “I once saw a banner on a Boeing factory wall that said ‘Refuse Toulouse'”. (Financial Times)
Late post publication updates:
[Reserved for updates throughout the day]
Norse Atlantic Airways has announced it has signed lease agreements with affiliates of AerCap to lease 6 Boeing 787-9 and 3 Boeing 787-8 aircraft. The first aircraft will be delivered for its planned maiden flight in December 2021 and all will be delivered by the end of the first quarter of 2022. The leases are described as being at “attractive rates and payment terms”. The terms are approximately 8 years for 787-8 aircraft & 12 years for 787-9 aircraft.
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