The F-35B goes operational, sparks in the cabin on United Airlines flight, AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 facts and figures, the spat between (and among) US and Middle East airlines, and airline fees in the spotlight.
After a five-day Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) in July, the U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II aircraft reached initial operational capability. The Yuma, Arizona-based Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) is now operational with the F-35B variant.
A United Airlines 777 flying Los Angeles declared an emergency and returned to London Heathrow Airport after sparks were seen coming out of first class seats and passengers reported smelling smoke.
United flight 5919 enroute to Chicago from Charlotte was rerouted to Indianapolis after it dropped 10,000 feet. The cause for the loss of altitude is unknown at this time.
This year’s event saw an attendance of approximately 550,000, more than 10,000 aircraft, 2,668 show planes, 976 vintage airplanes, 350 warbirds, 130 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 101 seaplanes, 30 rotorcraft, and 50 aerobatic aircraft. There were over 800 commercial exhibitors, 1,048 forums and workshops attended by more than 75,000 people.
Delta, United, and American have gone on the offensive alleging that the Qatar and United Arab Emirates state-owned airlines are subsidized in violation of the Open Skies agreements. Now, JetBlue Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, FedEx, and Atlas Air Worldwide have formed a coalition with a different viewpoint.
Hawaiian CEO Mark Dunkerley says, “The Big 3 do not speak for all, or even most, U.S. airlines. Our coalition believes that the United States should honor its Open Skies commitments, which opens markets for U.S. carriers, promotes competition on international and domestic routes, and facilitates U.S. exports.”
To learn more about the issues involved here, see:
- Freedoms of the Air
- Open Skies
- Emirates: Open Skies
- Emirates: Open Skies Rebuttal
- Emirates’ response to claims raised about state-owned airlines in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates [PDF]
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson from Florida wondered why the cost to fly is going up when the cost of fuel has gone down and airline profits are up, so he commissioned a study. Nelson learned that in 2014, airlines collected $38B in fees. The report found a lack of relationship between the price a fee and the cost to provide the service, and that fees are not proportional to ticket price.
An infographic that shows the US airline industry contributes nearly $1.5 trillion in economic activity in the US alone and generates over 11 million jobs. Airfare has been steadily increasing in price since 1995, however, when you account for inflation, the actual value of the tickets has decreased.
The Australia News Desk
Virgin Australia to use their subsidiary TigerAir on flights to Bali as well as completely pulling out of flights to Phuket.
Virgin are also converting 17 of their 737-800 orders into 737 MAX 8 orders (and delaying them – saving more money) which will give them a total of 40 orders … eventually.
Alliance Aviation Services sending its fleet of Fokkers up to Slovakia for heavy maintenance ‘cos it’s cheaper to fly all the way from Australia to Europe than maintain a heavy maintenance facility in Australia.
Across the Pond
Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.