Skift Take

These are the aviation trends we were talking about this week.

Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines aviation.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

>>Soon, the legroom on British Airways short-haul flights will rival that of its low-cost carrier competition: British Airways Reduces Legroom to Compete With Low-Cost Carriers

>>There is still a market for international first class. It’s just not big. Qatar Airways is making the right decision in focusing on business class: Why International First Class Is Slowly Disappearing From Airlines

>>Most big U.S. airlines see Cuba as a long-term play, so they’re willing to fly empty planes and lose money in the short term. But not Silver Airways and Frontier Airlines. They decided that several months of losses is enough: Silver Airways and Frontier Airlines Are Giving Up on Cuba After Eight Months

>>American took the safe approach in matching Delta on two key routes. It makes sense because carriers don’t like to fall behind their competitors on the New York–California flights: American Is Latest Airline to Bring Back Free Food — on Two Domestic Routes

>>While many African carriers are struggling to stay afloat, let alone turn a profit, Ethiopian Airlines is firmly in the black and planning aggressive expansion. The magic formula? The right aircraft and routes, and a government that lets the experts get on with it: Ethiopian Airlines CEO: Knowing Our African Customers Has Been a Key Advantage

>>United is being coy about what Zodiac’s production issues mean for its new Polaris seats, but we can assume it’s probably not good news: United Airlines CEO Is ‘Not Happy’ With Delays at Polaris Seat Manufacturer

>>Southwest is the nation’s most consistently profitable airline, which is amazing considering the carrier has operated for years with antiquated technology. It’s finally updating its systems: Southwest Airlines Is Saying Goodbye to Paper Tickets and Pneumatic Tubes

>>JetBlue is taking its time in deciding whether to fly to Europe. We’re guessing the airline is leaning that way, but it’s hard to know for sure: JetBlue Evaluates Fleet Plan as It Considers Flying to Europe

>>Lufthansa is investing in direct booking connectivity with corporations. The technological and commercial Tarmac being laid may pave the way for others: Lufthansa Calls Direct Booking a Success as British Airways Is Poised to Copy It

>>Perhaps it’s fitting that United is dropping its duty free program in the same year it is retiring its Boeing 747s: United Airlines Gives Up on Duty Free

>>The legacy carriers have clearly been spooked by Norwegian’s initiatives: IAG Aims to Level the Playing Field With Long-haul, Low-cost Rivals


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Tags: Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes walks through the aisle of a JetBlue plane at JFK airport in New York. JetBlue is evaluating its fleet mix as it considers whether to fly to Europe. Kathy Willens / Associated Press

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