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Brian Sumers

Aviation Business Editor

Recent Stories from Brian Sumers:

It’s Time to Let Air France-KLM’s New CEO Take Charge

It’s Time to Let Air France-KLM’s New CEO Take Charge

Brian Sumers, Skift

KLM CEO Pieter Elbers is one of the most respected airline managers in the world. But KLM is not an independent airline and ultimately he should be accountable to group CEO Ben Smith.

5 days ago

Why Southwest Needed to Deliver a Sweet Credit Card Promotion

Why Southwest Needed to Deliver a Sweet Credit Card Promotion

Brian Sumers, Skift

Southwest lags behind some of its competitors in credit card revenue. But it is working on fixing that.

5 days ago

Aeromexico Struggles as Most North American Airlines Report Hefty Profits

Aeromexico Struggles as Most North American Airlines Report Hefty Profits

Brian Sumers, Skift

Aeromexico blamed its fourth quarter operating loss on one-off items. To a large extent that's true. But the airline still has some looming problems, which is probably why it won't grow at all this year.

6 days ago

Travel Megatrends 2019: Low-Cost Carriers Lose Some Luster

Travel Megatrends 2019: Low-Cost Carriers Lose Some Luster

Brian Sumers, Skift

Customers like low-cost airlines, but no carriers so far have perfected the model for long-haul flights. It’s not clear they ever will.

1 week ago

Is Southwest’s New Credit Card Companion Pass Offer Too Good to Be True?

Is Southwest’s New Credit Card Companion Pass Offer Too Good to Be True?

Brian Sumers, Skift

New customers who apply for the Southwest credit card by Monday, February 11, and meet minimum spending requirements will earn one of the airline's companion passes for the rest of the year. The deal sounds too good to be true. But Southwest knows what it's doing. This is probably smart business.

2 weeks ago

How Smart Are Airlines With Upselling?

How Smart Are Airlines With Upselling?

Brian Sumers, Skift

We're often told that travel brands will soon know what we want to buy before we do. But few airlines are anywhere near that level.

2 weeks ago

Spirit Airlines Gets Boost From Dynamic Pricing on Carry-Ons to Bottled Water

Spirit Airlines Gets Boost From Dynamic Pricing on Carry-Ons to Bottled Water

Brian Sumers, Skift

Almost everything is improving at Spirit Airlines. Its on-time performance is getting better, and customer satisfaction is rising, according to the airline. More importantly for investors, ancillary revenue is up. Can the good times last?

2 weeks ago

American Airlines Warns One of Its Regional Airlines to Improve

American Airlines Warns One of Its Regional Airlines to Improve

Brian Sumers, Skift

U.S. regional airline Mesa Air Group has a relentless focus on costs. But with major carriers trying to increase their customer satisfaction scores, Mesa will need to raise its reliability to win and retain business.

2 weeks ago

What’s Behind American’s Falling Customer Satisfaction Scores?

What’s Behind American’s Falling Customer Satisfaction Scores?

Brian Sumers, Skift

Many airline executives believe the most important driver of customer satisfaction is reliability. American Airlines hasn't been pleased with its customer satisfaction scores, so it is trying to improve the basics of its operation. That's probably the right move. But does it also need to improve its product or brand image?

3 weeks ago

Aviation Complications Likely Spurred Move to Reopen U.S. Government

Aviation Complications Likely Spurred Move to Reopen U.S. Government

Brian Sumers, Skift

Let's say the aviation industry hadn't been affected by the government shutdown. Would President Trump have moved to reopen the government this week? Probably not. But aviation is important, and no one wanted to see more delays and cancellations.

4 weeks ago

Alaska Airlines Works Fast to Erase Memories of Virgin America

Alaska Airlines Works Fast to Erase Memories of Virgin America

Brian Sumers, Skift

It can take some airlines as long as a decade after a merger before they truly operate as one entity. But Alaska Airlines is working much faster to gobble up Virgin America. Part of that is because both carriers were relatively small. But by any standard, Alaska is moving quickly.

4 weeks ago

American Airlines Has a Customer Satisfaction Problem

American Airlines Has a Customer Satisfaction Problem

Brian Sumers, Skift

American Airlines President Robert Isom said customer satisfaction may be declining because the airline has not been as reliable as it should be. Is that the entire problem?

4 weeks ago