Tag Archives: airlines

100K airline jobs facing elimination due to Wuhan panic shut downs

The beatings will continue until morale improves: Because of the panic over the Wuhan flu, the airlines are contemplating eliminating more than hundred thousand jobs as well as shrinking their fleets.

Unable to cut jobs or salaries while receiving grants to cover payroll, airlines will staff their typical summer peak largely as usual, even with millions of fewer travelers. But come fall, it could get ugly for employees. “We’re going to be smaller coming out of this,” Delta Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson told employees last month. “Certainly quite a bit smaller than when we went into it.”

The reversal of fortune comes as a shock for an industry that just last year was breaking passenger traffic records. Last week, the average number of U.S. daily passengers declined 96%, to 95,531, compared with 2.39 million last year, according to Transportation Security Administration data compiled by Bloomberg. United shares fell Monday after it gave a snapshot of the industry bloodbath triggered by the pandemic, projecting a $2.1 billion loss in the first quarter. Delta, American and Southwest Airlines Co. will release their earnings in the coming days.

Such anemic demand means that anything less than a robust rebound over the coming months will prompt airlines to cut more employees, jettison older aircraft and cut more salaries, which in turn could persuade more workers to depart. During the past two months, at least 87,000 employees—more than one quarter of the Big Three airlines’ workforce—have taken voluntary leaves, early retirement or reduced work hours.

Carriers face “the worst cash crisis in the history of flight,” with booked revenues down 103% year over year, according to industry lobby Airlines for America. Domestic flights are averaging just 10 passengers while international flights average 24, the group said. “We could see the airlines look to shed 800 to 1,000 aircraft, which could result in a reduction of 95,000 to 105,000 airline jobs.”

In this case, the government shut downs only have had an indirect effect. By panicking and overstating the threat from COVID-19, the authorities and the press have made people terrified of flying. Even if the shutdowns end, the airlines will not recover until the public decides it is safe to fly again.

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The FAA has lifted its ban on the use of cell phones during take-off and landings in airplanes.

The FAA has lifted its ban on the use of cell phones during take-off and landings in airplanes.

The ban on mobile devices has been in effect since the early 1990s, when cellphones began to crop up, and the FAA and airlines summarily freaked the hell out for no good reason. Despite no direct evidence that the use of mobile phones or other electronic devices would interfere with the plane’s systems, the ban continued — even after the FAA hired an outside safety agency to find if anything could go wrong. They didn’t. But the FAA and airlines decided to continue the policy. Until today.

The requirement to stow laptops during takeoffs and landings remains, however, as the FAA fears these larger objects could too easily become dangerous projectiles should something go wrong.

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Because of a new federal regulation, passengers who use US Airways for only part of their flight will have to check their bags and go through security again when they switch airlines.

Thank you DOT and US Airways: Because of a new federal regulation, passengers who use US Airways for only part of their flight will have to check their bags and go through security again when they switch airlines.

It appears that US Airways is at much at fault here as the DOT. Read the article.

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American Airlines files for bankruptcy

American Airlines files for bankruptcy. Note this as well:

American was the only major U.S. airline that didn’t file for bankruptcy protection in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks that triggered a deep slump in the airline industry. The last major airline to file for bankruptcy protection was Delta in 2005.

This list of bankrupt airlines does not include Southwest, however, which has seen its business boom in the past decade. I wonder, could these other airlines be driving customers away with their high baggage fees, complex ticket rules that end up costing customers money or convenience, and their willingness to go along with the abuses of the TSA?

Whenever I can, I fly Southwest, because they don’t charge for baggage and allow me to change or cancel flights without penalty. However, I also fly as little as possible these days, mostly to avoid being treated like a criminal by the TSA. And I know I am not alone in this.

Thus, all airlines have lost business due to TSA abuse. You’d think they’d wake up and start to fight this government intrusion into their operations.

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Driving vs flying

After a twelve hour drive from Chicago, I am finally home. It might seem silly to make this trip by car when the plane is faster, but since Sept 11 I have found it actually makes more sense to drive when the trip is 12 hours or less. First, a door to door plane flight will take about 6 hours, so you don’t save that much time. Second, by driving I have access to a car in Chicago, and don’t need to rent something. Three, the total cost is significantly less, especially since we save two airfares.

And finally, neither I nor my wife Diane have to submit ourselves to TSA abuse. I consider myself a free American, and don’t take kindly to government officials abusing their power unconstitutionally. If the airlines haven’t yet realized that this security madness is losing them business, it ain’t my problem.

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