Skift Take

This week in aviation, earnings season is in high gear. Spirit suffers the financial and productivity-related costs of tweaking on-time performance, and JetBlue finds itself short on aircraft, plus more from American, United, and Wizz Air.

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.

Spirit Airlines’ On-Time Arrivals Plan Backfired When It Cut Corners: Every airline executive knows how to improve on-time performance. But there’s a problem. It’s expensive, since airlines usually must add slack to the schedule. Eventually, the costs add up, so airlines reduce the slack, hoping reliability will hold steady. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Did an Aggressive United Push Southwest Out of Newark Hub? When United Airlines President Scott Kirby joined in 2016, he promised he’d boost share at Newark. Now Southwest is pulling out of Newark, citing a tough environment. Think this is a coincidence?

Marriott and Emirates Are Latest to Launch Hotel-Airline Loyalty Partnership: It’s now possible to earn bonus points and other perks as an elite Marriott Rewards member flying on Emirates and vice versa. Sure, Emirates may not fly to every destination on the planet, but free points are free points.

JetBlue Blames Airbus Jet Delays for Slowing Its Growth: Yes, it would be great if everything worked out as planned. But that’s not how business works. JetBlue is going to be short aircraft for a while, and it’ll have to deal with it. At least it’s not a Boeing 737 Max operator.

American Airlines Will Retire Fewer Aircraft as 737 Max Saga Drags On: Operationally, American had a rough second quarter with the Max grounding and a labor dispute. But the financial results show the carrier performed fine. Will it last?

Wizz Air Ramps Up Growth Plans as European Rivals Wilt: Like bigger rivals such as Ryanair and EasyJet, Wizz Air is happy to take advantage of smaller European airlines pulling back capacity or going out of business entirely.

Alaska Airlines Pledges to Defend Home Turf Against Competition: People joke that Alaska Airlines’ name no longer makes sense. But the airline still has a huge franchise in the state. It’s going to want to defend its turf.

British Airways Tests Award Seats Without Hefty Taxes: Could the end of the era of high award taxes and fees at British Airways be nigh? A new trial from the carrier is pushing the fees down on some award seats to only £1.

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Tags: aviation, Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: Spirit Airlines is struggling to achieve better on-time performance. Saul Martinez / Bloomberg

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