June 30, 2022

All My Mergers: Fool Me Once…

Today was supposed to be the day Spirit’s shareholders voted on its merger with Frontier, hopefully putting this never-ending story closer to a conclusion. But Spirit pulled the cover over our eyes for a second time, postponing the vote until next Friday, July 8.

The vote was originally supposed to take place on June 10, but Spirit’s board moved it back when it realized it didn’t have the votes to approve its preferred option — Frontier. In the days since, both JetBlue and Frontier have upped their offers and postured over Spirit shareholders through both traditional and social media.

Spirit’s board has preferred the Frontier deal the whole time, while JetBlue’s increasingly attractive all-cash offers are making the decision for shareholders difficult. Perhaps this delay is best for all three airlines so they can spend the long holiday weekend making sure their operations don’t go completely down the drain before getting back to business on Tuesday.

Air Canada Joins Reduced Summer Flying Club

Air Canada is the latest carrier to put a significant dent into its schedule for July and August to stave off operational challenges and keep planes staffed and in the air.

The carrier called its adjustment “meaningful reductions” in a politely-written email to customers. Most of the changes affect Toronto and Montreal’s operation and all reductions are either domestic or to the United States. Three routes are being suspended from Montreal: Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Kelowna (YLW), and one from Toronto: Fort McMurray (YMM).

Most of the cuts are frequency reductions, especially late at night. AC operates about 1,000 flights per day on a normal summer day. The schedule adjustment it just filed reduces that by 77 round trips — 154 flights — meaning about 15% of the schedule has been lopped off. Those travelers affected by the changes will be given the option of rebooking at no charge, a refund, or the value of their ticket plus a 15% bonus in maple syrup.

Back to Cuba: AA Wants Five More

About a month after the DOT reapproved travel to nine Cuban cities, AA applied to the government for permission to fly to five cities from Miami.  The carrier requested permission to fly cargo and passenger service to: Santa Clara (SNU), Holguín (HOG), Varadero (VRA). Camaguey (CMW), and Santiago de Cuba (SCU).

American operated to all five cities from Miami until they were suspended in October 2019 by the DOT leaving it operating exclusively to Havana. Its desired schedule to each city is:

  • Santa Clara – 2x daily beginning November 3
  • Holguín – 1x daily round trip beginning November 4
  • Varadero – 1x daily round trip beginning November 3
  • Camaguey – 1x daily round trip beginning November 4
  • Santiago – 1x daily roundtrip beginning November 5

Santa Clara, Holguín, and Varadero would operate with a B737-800, while Camaguey and Santiago would see A319 service. 

  • Breeze’s A220 launch has been anything but breezy.
  • Hi Fly formed a JV with flyPOP. It’s expected that two will eventually merge and rename the combined airline Hi Pop Fly which will soon presumably be caught by the bankruptcy court before being called out.
  • IAG converting 14 A320neo orders from August 2013 into firm orders.
  • Jet Airways is expected to select Airbus to order some airplanes.
  • JetBlue’s former employee Keily Nunez allegedly accepted more than $1 million in bribes to divert aircraft part order to two companies that were paying the money. Prior to being arrested, Nunez used the million to afford one cross-country flight from NY to LA this summer in coach.
  • KLM repaid the final €277 million it owed the Dutch government from its 2020 pandemic loan.
  • Lion Air roared with approval this week when it took delivery of a new B737-8.
  • Philippines Airlines completed a slot swap at London/Heathrow with BA for this winter.
  • Qantas is reopening its lounges in both Auckland and Wellington.
  • Transavia is cutting its operation in Amsterdam to remain complaint with the Scihphol’s passenger caps.
  • Virgin Australia debuted its new business class menu.

My neighbor turned 95 today but he still doesn’t need glasses.

He drinks straight from the bottle.