Skift Take

This week in aviation, Southwest reports its highest cancellation rate in nearly two decades, Alaska Air emphasizes that its lack of growth is only temporary, and Allegiant Air loses its temper after an analyst question.

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.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

Why Southwest Canceled 10,000 Flights in the First Quarter: Southwest made a remarkable amount of money in the first quarter, considering how many airplanes it had out of service.

Alaska Air Slows Its Growth as It Focuses on Absorbing Virgin America: Alaska has always been a growth airline. But after acquiring Virgin America, it slowed slightly. Next year, the growth should pick up again. That should be good news for customers, as more capacity can spur lower fares.

Allegiant Air Execs Angrily Defend Airline’s Hotel Strategy: Allegiant CEO Maury Gallagher has always done things his way. By doing so, he has built one of the most profitable airlines in the world. But is it a good idea to get into the hotel business?

Rising Costs Catch Up to Spirit Airlines: In many ways, the airline had a solid quarter, but some potential long-term issues are starting to emerge, casting doubt on future performance.

Norwegian Blames 737 Max Grounding for Potentially Another Year Without Profit: It’s good news on the cost-cutting front, but Norwegian is still looking at a bumpy 2019, thanks in part to the continuing uncertainty over the Max aircraft.

How Finnair Got It Wrong in China: Finnair has made the most of its Helsinki hub’s advantageous position when it comes to flying to Asia, but clearly it hasn’t gotten everything right.

United Airlines Unveils New Paint Scheme: United’s new look shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of its frequent flyers. The airline has been slowly changing its airport signage to match the look that’s now going to be on aircraft.

Low-Cost Carrier Allegiant Seeks Permission to Fly to Mexico, Finally: Allegiant Air has teased us before about flying to Mexico. But the airline is probably serious now. Will smaller-market travelers want to visit Mexican beaches as much as Las Vegas and Orlando? We’ll see.

JetBlue Is Betting New London Routes Will Boost Credit Card Revenue: JetBlue probably will never make the massive credit card revenue some of its peer airlines earn. But JetBlue can still make more money from its relationship with Barclays. It’ll be interesting to see how the partnership evolves.

Airports See a Driverless Future Across the Tarmac: We may soon see more driverless vehicles on airport ramps. It’s easy to call this a safety risk. It might be. But human drivers have accidents, too.

American’s New Math: 2 Dozen 737 Max Jets Equals a $350 Million Hit: American Airlines is making money, but its financial performance has not been as strong as United’s and Delta’s. It’s not clear that will change soon given the 737 overhang.

Marriott and Southwest Airlines Top Annual Loyalty Awards: Despite a rocky integration with Starwood Preferred Guest, Marriott performed well in this year’s loyalty rankings. Southwest Airlines, meanwhile, continued its reliable drumbeat of dominance.

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Tags: Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: Southwest aircraft on the tarmac at ATL. The airline grounded thousands of flights last quarter. 321436 / 321436

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