Skift Take

This week in aviation, Emirates leads the way with its new business class pricing strategy, Qantas breaks from the pack by transforming its rewards program, and United responds with caution after a U.S. military drone is shot down in either Iran's airspace or international airspace.

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.

Emirates Is First Major Airline to Launch Basic Business Class Fare: Emirates has fired the first salvo in the unbundling of business class fares. Now you can buy just the seat, with none of the other trimmings that travelers are used to with top-tier carriers. It’s a pragmatic strategy, one that gives more choice to travelers. The tension will now be maintaining that great luxury brand halo and still letting the premium cabins do the marketing hard yards for the carrier.

Qantas Boldly Overhauls Loyalty Program, Resists Dynamic Pricing: Broad changes to the frequent flyer program employed by Qantas should largely be welcomed by the airline’s road warriors, a rarity in today’s airline loyalty industry.

Iran Crisis Prompts United to Stop Flying to Mumbai: Mumbai is a big route for United. It uses its flagship aircraft. But it’s probably best to err on the side of safety.

Philippine Airlines Names Tycoon’s Daughter New Chief: No one should be surprised that Vivienne K. Tan has taken over the top post, but it could’ve been done more stylishly. Aside from the boardroom drama, PAL is interesting to watch as it undergoes an internal shake-up led by a new younger chief. And — at last — a female airline chief.

American Airlines Union Dispute More Disruptive Than 737 Max Grounding: Big U.S. airlines have erased most of the ghosts from their past. They don’t engage in many market share battles or fare wars anymore. They don’t dump capacity. But they still have labor disputes with their unions. And those can be as disastrous to operations today as they were two or three decades ago.

U.S. Airlines Face Computer Outages About Once a Month: Some airlines track delays and cancellations associated with computer outages internally to identify patterns and recurring issues that need fixing. The industry as a whole might benefit if it shared such data. But don’t hold your breath on that happening.

JetBlue Can Now Expand Europe Long-Haul Strategy With Airbus XLR Order: By ordering Airbus’ longest-range narrowbody jet, JetBlue showed it’s serious about international expansion. The jet it ordered earlier in the year has enough range to fly to London, so the airline probably intends to fly farther into Europe.

Boeing 737 Max Gets a Lift With 200-Jet Order From British Airways Parent IAG: International Airlines CEO Willie Walsh likes a good deal. We’re guessing he found one here. Clearly he’s betting travelers have short memories.

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Tags: Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: Emirates boeing 777-300er. Emirates

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