A wide-ranging conversation about airlines with travel industry analyst and advisor Henry Harteveldt. Also, United bundles amenities, the Mitsubishi MRJ is delayed, Allegiant Air mis-cues, the viability of an Uber for the skies, the Westland Lysander, aviation maintenance technician training, the English Electric Lightning, a book review, and bird strikes.
Henry Harteveldt is a well-known analyst and advisor in the travel industry. He spent more than 15 years in marketing, planning, distribution, and strategy roles at companies such as TWA, Continental Airlines, the Trump Organization, the Fairmont Hotel Management Company and GetThere. He was head of Forrester Research’s global travel research practice, and launched Atmosphere Research in September 2011 serving the global travel industry.
We discuss airline strategies for bundling amenities and what an airline “loyalty” program really is these days. Henry touches on airline labor relations, he describes the things he looks for in 2016, what the airlines might do with their profits, and how they might respond to the next downturn.
Henry shares some good insight on the low cost model, how travel technology companies enhance what airlines can offer and how that changes the passenger experience. We discuss IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) standards, what that means for airline offerings and the total value presented to the consumer by the airline. (It’s more than just price.) Henry gives his opinion on the clash between US majors and Middle Eastern carriers, and why the US carriers have lost in Washington.
If you book and purchase your flight on United’s website, you can now take advantage of United Travel Options packages. These are bundles at a lower price than buying the amenities separately.
The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) has been delayed again. Launch customer ANA Holdings had been planning first delivery in 2017 Q2. Mitsubishi has conducted flight tests and they are not saying specifically what is causing them to push out deliveries. Statements from the company suggest they were just too optimistic in their test schedule.
It seems Allegiant Air can’t stay out of the news. Flight 760 made an emergency landing after reporting an engine problem. A flight to Bangor, Maine was diverted after passengers reported an abnormal smell. Another flight to landed in North Dakota with a deicing equipment problem. A flight to Youngstown, Ohio was diverted to Jacksonville, Florida. That turned out to be a faulty indicator light.
Flight attendants reported smelling smoke just after takeoff and the captain returned to the airport. Emergency vehicles arrived, the captain called for an evacuation, but some unidentified voice over the radio instructed the captain to stay put. After some time and confusion, the captain evacuated the airplane.
An Allegiant Air MD-80 attempted to land at Fargo airport, but it was closed for an airshow rehearsal. They landed after using some of their emergency reserve fuel. The union questioned Allegiant’s safety. Now the FAA issued a “letter of correction,” which carries no enforcement action.
This video shows a tug pulling the nose gear right off.
Chris Elliott asks, “Airbnb changed the hotel industry. Uber changed ground transportation. So why can’t the same change happen for air travel?” The US airline industry is now highly consolidated, and commercial flight sharing could introduce competition. For this to happen, the rules need to change. Is the entire concept viable?
The Airplane of the Week
With the disappearance of Westland Helicopters to Finmeccanica, it was time to do a Westland aircraft. So David chose his favorite, the Lysander! It’s designer also designed the EE Lightning, so he can also say he started the Lightning segment.
On the Mark with Rob Mark
Rob raises an issue about Aviation Maintenance Technician training.
Across the Pond
After discussing the English Electric Lightning a few weeks ago, Pieter talks to Richard Hall. He owns XS420, a T5 model which serves as the Gate Guardian at the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust.
Ian Kershaw reviews Sled Driver by author and SR-71 pilot Brian Shul, our guest on Episode 375.
- Plane Finder
- Hainan Airlines livery
- Dangerous helicopter bird strikes on the rise, FAA warns
- Flying Santas
- Alaska Airlines pilot mistakes taxiway for runway at Sea-Tac
Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.