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Airline Weekly Lounge

Author: Skift

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The editors of Skift Airline Weekly discuss the most interesting developments within the commercial airline industry. In keeping with Skift Airline Weekly’s style, conversation generally centers on one question: How do you make money in this industry?
184 Episodes
This week's episode of the 'Lounge comes to you live from the TWA Hotel at New York Kennedy during the Skift Global Forum 2021. The Airline Weekly team discusses why Air France-KLM Group CEO Ben Smith was "pleasantly shocked," incoming Southwest CEO Robert Jordan's concerns about hiring, and what the Justice Department hopes to accomplish with its suit agains
This week the Airline Weekly team chews over why Australia's competition regulator denied Qantas and Japan Airlines a joint venture. Will Fly Play buck the odds and make low-cost longhaul work? And, with gratuitous references to unicorns, Sasquatches, white whales, and other mythical animals, Ned and Madhu discuss Boeing's $9 trillion aerospace outlook. 
Edward "Ned" Russell and Madhu Unnikrishnan talk about why Philippines Airlines Chapter 11 surprised no one. The two also discuss Porter's restart flights, and Ryanair's latest fight with Boeing.
The Airline Weekly team heads south to look at South African Airways’ restructuring and restart after an 18-month suspension. Can the notoriously poorly run airline emerge a successful carrier? We also touch on Norwegian Air’s results and the raft of budget carriers aiming to disrupt the transatlantic, again.
Airline Weekly Senior Reporter Edward Russell talks to PaxEx.Aero Founder and Editor Seth Miller about his experience onboard JetBlue's inaugural flight to London earlier this month. Can the carrier that helped reshape the New York market two decades ago, do the same on transatlantic routes to London?
How do airlines like the Boeing 737 Max now that it's been back in service for more than half a year? The Airline Weekly team consider this question as well as wondering if even more airlines will jump on the cargo bandwagon.   
This week, Madhu Unnikrishnan and Edward "Ned" Russell, the team behind Airline Weekly, look at why so many Latin American carriers are buying aircraft and if the OEMs are right that airlines are just starting a massive fleet-replacement cycle. It's early days, but the U.S. Senate passed a massive infrastructure spending bill, so will that mean NextGen could finally get off the ground? And why is Mesa Air struggling with maintenance?   Stay ahead of aviation news with a subscription to Airline Weekly.
We have a special guest this week, Skift Editor at Large Brian Sumers, and he and host Madhu Unnikrishnan discuss why business travel may never be the same and question whether U.S. airline CEOs are being too optimistic when they say the market will come back in September. Is air rage more prevalent now than before the pandemic? And why did Sumers, a previously avid traveler, take his first commercial flight in more than a year and say the experience was "kinda gross?"  Stay ahead of airline news with a subscription to Airline Weekly.
U.S. airlines are maintaining their bullish recovery outlooks even as Covid-19 Delta variant cases jump and mask requirements make a comeback. Reporter Ned Russell and Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan discuss whether this is a realistic view or one tailored for shareholders. Later in the episode, they discuss the continuing U.S. travel restrictions and make their predictions on Boeing. Stay ahead of aviation news with a subscription to Airline Weekly.
Porter's Big Order

Porter's Big Order


Canada's Porter Airlines, despite not having flown a single flight since last March, is reimaging itself by ordering its first jets and moving some flights into Toronto Pearson. Reporter Ned Russell and Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan talk about what that means for the quirky airline and wonder what Porter's raccoon spokescritter is named. Later in the episode, Ned and Madhu discuss what may be behind United's recent orders for new-technology aircraft (spoiler: it has nothing to do with networks).    Stay ahead of aviation news at
United made some news last week with its largest aircraft order, but there was more to the order than just the happy talk. Edward "Ned" Russell and Madhu Unnikrishnan discuss why United needed to upgrade its fleet, and why no one really knows when business travel will return (despite what they say).   Stay ahead of aviation industry news with a subscription to Airline Weekly.
Boeing's largest 737 Max variant, the -10, took flight. Is it enough for Boeing to take on the mighty Airbus A321neo and all its variants? Edward "Ned" Russell and Madhu Unnikrishnan get into it and why Boeing may need to pull the trigger on a clean-sheet mid-market aircraft (or not).  Meanwhile, American has a major pilot training bottleneck, and Europe's low-cost airline sector is mixing things up.   Stay ahead of airline industry news at
The U.S. and the EU ended a 17-year-long spat over which side provided more illegal state aid and agreed to drop tariffs, which means chocolate, wine, and exercise equipment may get cheaper. Huh? Edward "Ned" Russell and Madhu Unnikrishnan get into why that is, and also chew over why JetBlue is pruning its pandemic-era schedule.   Read more essential airline news at Airline Weekly.
Southwest to the Max

Southwest to the Max


Southwest Airlines ordered 34 Boeing 737-7 Max aircraft, a strong sign of confidence in the once troubled airline program and a spot of good news for the beleaguered airframer. Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan and Airlines Reporter Edward "Ned" Russel talk about what that means for both Boeing and Southwest and whether there is a capacity-traffic mismatch for the summer. Also, how realistic are United's plans for supersonic travel by 2029 (when Boom's overture doesn't yet have an engine)? Read the latest at 
U.S. airline CEOs were encouraged by passenger traffic during the week's Memorial Day holiday, which marks the unofficial start of summer for the United States. But their European counterparts are less optimistic, and are hoping to avoid a second "lost" summer. Meanwhile, rumblings of mergers and acquisitions has caused no end of drama in Brazil. Stay ahead of the news with our weekly forecast and daily updates at Airline Weekly. 
David Neeleman's new airline breezes to a ticket counter near you soon, as the first flights launch next week. Edward "Ned" Russell discusses his interview with Neeleman (in the May 24 issue) with Madhu Unnikrishnan.  And why is Ryanair trying to make "fetch" happen?   Learn more by subscribing to Airline Weekly.
In the first segment of this episode, Accenture's Jonathan Sullivan argues that domestic business travel is coming back around the world, particularly as companies ramp up their sales pipelines. One complicating factor, though, is that it's hard to have face-to-face meetings when most employees still are remote. In the second segment, Edward "Ned" Russell and Madhu Unnikrishnan talk about domestic summer demand and why Americans are falling back in love with their national parks.   Stay up to date on the business of aviation at Airline Weekly.
Europe could reopen for vaccinated U.S. tourists sometime this summer, officials say. But it's already May. Will all the pieces be in place to salvage airlines' peak summer season? Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan and Airlines Reporter Edward "Ned" Russell ponder that question. Also on this episode, Ned tells us about his field trip to American's Tulsa MRO, and is the world's largest airline right to pull all stored jets out of mothballs? Learn more by subscribing to Airline Weekly.
United CEO Scott Kirby says business travel is coming back, while Southwest CEO Gary Kelly says it could take years? Who's right? Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan and Airlines Reporter Edward "Ned" Russell get into it. And we also take a look at the Mexico market and why Volaris is so bullish, as well as when business travel might return. Learn more by subscribing to Airline Weekly.
We're in the thick of U.S. airline first-quarter earnings, and executives almost across the board are optimistic that the industry has turned the corner. But is that optimism misplaced? Brazil, after all, offers a cautionary tale of how the virus isn't yet done with us.   Stay on top of airline news with a subscription to Airline Weekly. 
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