This week in aviation, JetBlue finally nears a decision on flying to Europe, Virgin Atlantic may take over Flybe, and Air France may shut down its millennial-focused airline Joon.
Airline News Weekly Roundup
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.
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>>JetBlue’s proposal to fly to Europe isn’t a bet-the-company idea. But it’s important, and the airline wants to get it right. It’s no surprise the carrier has been studying transatlantic flights for several years. This year, it expects to finally make a decision: Pros and Cons of JetBlue’s Possible European Expansion
>>Will JetBlue expand to Europe? It’s not clear. There are some strong reasons for, and some strong reasons against. The good news: The airline plans to share its decision at some point this year: JetBlue’s Great European Tease Is Almost Over
>>It’s good news for regional passengers who rely on Flybe’s services, but Virgin Atlantic will have plenty of work to do to make sure it can make the most of a combined long-haul, short-haul operation: Virgin Atlantic Steps In to Save Flybe
>>Joon attracted derision when it was first launched, with many people wondering whether an airline targeting younger, cooler travelers would really work. We now have an answer: Air France Looks to Shut Down Millennial Experiment Joon
>>Today, United’s rationale makes sense. Premium demand in many markets is robust, and United could probably make more money with more seats to sell. But what happens if business class demand drops at some point? United CEO Wants More Business Class Seats in Jets Flying Transatlantic
>>There have been several new technologies, from the New Distribution Capability to direct-connect, and blockchain, that have at times shown promise in easing the grip of the global distribution systems. For the last 20 years, the incumbent distributors have always managed to exert or shore up their roles: Airline Group Turns to Blockchain to Bypass Entrenched Distribution Systems
>>The partial government shutdown started just before Christmas, a slow time for work-related trips. But now that 2019 is well underway, business travelers are feeling an impact that will only grow if the impasse persists: Business Travel Is Taking a Hit From the Government Shutdown
>>You’re hearing a lot of doomsday forecasts for 2019. Global recession. Stock market rout. Runaway inflation. We’re here to give you the flip side for how travel this year could be just fine. Listen to our experts on Wednesday, January 16 at 1 p.m. EST on a Skift Call. Please join us for this all-important discussion: Skift Call Jan. 16: Why Travel Needs to Shake Off the Gloom in 2019
>>Southwest has perennially been a thorn in the side of online travel companies that lusted after getting access to its flights and fares. But no one can credibly argue that Southwest’s insistence on direct distribution hasn’t worked for the airline. Its competitors and peers inside and outside of the airline industry can only be jealous: How Herb Kelleher Made Southwest a Vexing Problem for Online Travel
>>It isn’t clear precisely by what terms American Airlines and Expedia settled their trademark infringement lawsuit. What is known is that Expedia’s Add-On Advantage program, the subject of the dispute, remains operational: American Airlines and Expedia Quietly Settle Trademark Lawsuit
>>We always hear airlines are a scale business. So can an airline with 30 airplanes and a measured growth plan succeed? We’re not sure, but we’ll be watching: Sun Country: Inside America’s Most Unusual Airline
>>From the sounds of it, Norwegian’s next earnings update won’t be pretty but it will be hoping that it has done enough cost-cutting to put it on a sounder footing in 2019: Struggling Norwegian Thinks It Is in Better Shape for 2019
>>No destination gets away uncriticized for imposing a tax on tourists. Japan is no exception, especially since the destination is loved by millions of tourists and it isn’t clear-cut why they are being taxed. But it’s unlikely tourists will say sayonara to Japan, say operators: Japan Rolls Out New Departure Tax Opposed by Airlines
>>IAG’s outspoken CEO Willie Walsh has always been confident about post-Brexit flying rights — unlike some other airline bosses. The problem is the European Union seems to have other ideas: Post-Brexit Ownership Rules Could Put British Airways Owner Under New Scrutiny
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Photo credit: JetBlue at Westchester County airport on July 3, 2018. The airline is finally nearing a decision on flying to Europe. Dave Montiverdi / Flickr