Alitalia, the Italian airline, was Wednesday night left considering whether to start bankruptcy proceedings after Air France-KLM pulled out of takeover talks. Just this week they’ve been beaten to the punch by Aloa, ATA and US low cost carrier Skybus.
Continued fall-out from the Heathrow T5 kerfuffle while the previously unruly baggage has been shipped by truck to Italy and is being taught a lesson by the Milanese in the back of some unused warehouse. The Italian in charge of the luggage told The Guardian, apparently with a straight face that ‘ “I won’t hear a bad word about British – they are professionals and have really invested in baggage retrieval.” Also chuckleworthy – “It’s the Americans who get angriest, followed by the Indians and Israelis.”
Three different reactions to increasing fuel prices – Rex is increasing its fuel charge by $3 per sector due to “steep and persistent rises in the price of fuel”; speaking of hidden costs Continental will impose a charge of $25 for economy passengers who check a second bag (at least this fee can be avoided). More creatively Wired has an article about US carriers attempting to offset higher fuel prices by lightening aircraft:
US Airways is chucking meal carts and replacing them with models that are 12 pounds lighter. They’ve also tossed the glassware in first class in favor of less jet-set but lighter plastic cups. Carriers also are pulling magazine racks, trash compactors and ovens (because honestly, what U.S. airline is broiling up hot meals these days?)
American Airlines has all but called in Jenny Craig to shave weight from its fleet, pulling in-seat phones and their heavy wiring, removing lavatory power converters and investing in lighter silverware for business class passengers. American, which has something of a reputation for chopping costs (its legendary former CEO Bob Crandall once bragged that he saved the airline $40,000 by removing olives from first class dinner salads), has fired up the troops by forming an employee-driven “Fuel Smart Team” charged with continually searching for ways to save energy.
JetBlue says removing extra trash bins and other supplies will shave $16,000 in fuel costs from each three hour flight. US Airways says using lighter beverage carts will save $1.7 million in annual fuel costs.
How long until they begin charging passengers by weight…