Skift Take

This week in aviation, Virgin Atlantic is working to undermine British Airways' power by drafting up a plan to fly to 84 new European destinations. We also take a look into the multiyear contract between United Airlines and Expedia.

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.

Virgin Atlantic Unveils Massive Growth Plans With a (Major) Catch: On a branding and product level, Virgin Atlantic has long punched above its weight. But overall, Virgin Atlantic is just another undersize airline trying to squeeze out a profit amid intense competition. Perhaps Heathrow’s expansion will change that. But don’t bet on it.

American Airlines Vows to Rebound After Brutal Summer, Says CFO: American Airlines had a tough summer, with labor issues and the grounding of its 24 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. But Chief Financial Officer Derek Kerr said at Skift Global Forum that these two areas are at the top of management’s agenda for next year.

Technology, Not Economics, Is Keeping Delta Air Lines From Offering Free Wi-Fi: JetBlue somehow makes free Wi-Fi work. But Delta hasn’t figured it out yet. It has so many customers on so many flights, and it’s worried free Wi-Fi might overwhelm Gogo’s systems and degrade the system for everyone.

Amtrak CEO Sees Short-Haul Flight Hassles as Fuel for the Railway’s Turnaround: Amtrak’s modernization effort is underway. If it remains nimble, it can take advantage of shifts in consumer behavior as car ownership declines and travelers look to avoid the headache of heading to the airport for a short flight.

Expedia and United Agree to Multiyear Contract Avoiding Messy Divorce: United had previously stated that it’s a new era because of its mobile app and its ability to attract direct traffic to its websites. But the two parties found a way to come to terms.

Air France-KLM CEO Opens Up on Turnaround Efforts Amid Legacy Woes: Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith inherited a complicated mess when he took the top job last year, but he has begun methodically turning the company around, winning contracts from labor and simplifying the fleet and route network.

British Airways and Click Travel Pilot Automatic Payment System for Direct Booking: This is a good step for the industry, bringing tech improvements not just to the retail side but also to the companies managing the bookings through New Distribution Capability.

United Increases Its Loyalty Dominance at Denver: It’s getting even harder to not be loyal to United Airlines if you are a frequent traveler in Denver.


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Tags: aviation, Travel Trends, trends roundup

Photo credit: A Virgin Atlantic plane prepares to land at London Heathrow Airport. The company aims to capitalize on Heathrow's expansion. Frank Augstein / Skift

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