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      July 2016 Update   07/28/2016

      A few months ago, the previous three year term on the site's hosting ended. Although there's been little activity over the past few years, I didn't want to see all our historical content disappear. The site was funded by members in the early years, so it didn't seem right to let the site slide into oblivion. I've updated the backend software, and hosting has been acquired for the next three years. As a result of changes with the forum software, you may find you have initial trouble logging in. If you can't sign in, try using your e-mail address instead of your screen name. Regards, Cedric Nagy
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exAC

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  1. There are many aspects of Rouge costs that are Ultra. The pilots are paid less than mainline and a 767 driver is possibly on par with a WestJet 737 driver The 767 on Caribbean routes will have seat costs well below most other LCC's just because there are so many seats If the A319's come with bulked up seating they will be on par or less per seat cost than an EasyJet flight These crews will operate on longer duty days than mainline and everything will be YYZ start and stop
  2. On Friday, the Internet erupted in fury over Congress’s vote to reverse the automatic cuts that were causing air-traffic controllers to be furloughed, delaying hundreds of flights—see, for instance, Josh Barro at Bloomberg View or Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo. Critics pointed out that it was appalling for Congress to undo the sequester cuts that inconvenienced travelers while leaving in place the cuts to such programs as Head Start and Meals on Wheels that affect tens of thousands of poor people, many of them children and seniors. The obvious conclusion is that Congress cares much more about the problems of rich air travelers (who are regular voters) and will act quickly to solve them. This criticism is entirely valid and correct—but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. The group that Congress is helping the most by lifting the FAA sequester isn’t business flyers. No, lawmakers are helping themselves. There is no more pampered class of air traveler than members of Congress. At Washington’s Reagan National Airport, they have their own special parking spaces—right up close to the terminal—that they don’t even have to pay for. As Bloomberg Television’s Hans Nichols reports, this perk costs the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority $738,760 in foregone revenue. (The best part of this clip, though, is seeing Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky haul ass to get away from Bloomberg’s cameraman.) Being a member of Congress also means never having to rush to catch a flight. The airlines allow lawmakers the special privilege of simultaneously booking themselves on multiple flights, so that if they are late or their flight is canceled, they’re guaranteed a spot on the next one. A few years ago, a prominent senator paused in the middle of a conversation with me to bark at an aide, “Book me on the 6, 7, and 8 p.m. shuttles!” To members of our fly-in-Tuesday-fly-home-Thursday Congress, these perks are a big deal. Most fly a lot, and many fly first class. They don’t just jet home to their districts. Sometimes, they’re jetting around the world at taxpayer expense ($23,646, to be specific), as Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas did in February. Or to a golf junket in Scotland with their lobbyist pal. Or for a nude, drunken dip in the Sea of Galilee. The point is, Congress’s decision to lift the sequester was even more self-serving than you probably imagined. After casting their votes on Friday, most members raced to the airport and went home. Green is senior national correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek in Washington. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaGreen.
  3. Fraport AG, the operator of Europe’s third-largest airport, said it will start operating a third passenger terminal about 3 years later than previously planned as demand for air traffic slows. Construction of the new Frankfurt terminal will start in 2015, as the operator will only need it from about 2020, the company said today. Passenger growth will be unchanged this year and remain “weak” in 2014, Fraport said, paring an earlier forecast for higher passenger numbers next year. Chief Executive Officer Stefan Schulte made the comments in an interview with Bild newspaper, and spokesman Christopher Holschier confirmed his remarks. Airport operators in Europe are suffering from airlines adding capacity at a slower pace as they drop unprofitable routes and aim for higher load factors of their planes in a push to restore profitability. Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA), which uses Frankfurt as its main hub, said on May 2 that it will add less capacity on long-haul flights than previously planned, while reducing short-haul services. Lufthansa operated 6.2 percent fewer flights at its passenger airline business in the four months through April, contributing to a 4.8 percent decline of aircraft movements in Frankfurt. At Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in Paris, movements were down 3.4 percent in the same period, while Heathrow, Europe’s biggest hub, had 2.9 percent fewer movements in the period. Additional Spend Construction of the first phase of the terminal will cost about 1.2 billion euros ($1.5 billion), Fraport today said. The company earlier had estimated the cost to be about 1 billion euros, with an additional 500 million euros to be spend on infrastructure connecting the terminal to existing buildings and highways, parking facilities and apron areas. Fraport earlier had said inauguration of the new terminal was planned for 2016 or 2017, while construction would start after all individual construction stages had been tendered by the middle of 2013. “The timing of Terminal 3 is strictly driven by demand capacity,” Schulte said on a conference call with analysts on May 8. “We still have around 10 million spare passenger capacity in Frankfurt, so there is no need to start now. We start with construction only when the demand is projected to come. Our philosophy is better to have Terminal 3 too late than too early.” Frankfurt handled 57.5 million passengers last year, behind Charles de Gaulle with 61.6 million and Heathrow at 69.9 million. To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Weiss in Frankfurt at rweiss5@bloomberg.net
  4. CTV Edmonton did a report: http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/all-inclusive-first-class-lounge-opens-at-edmonton-international-airport-1.1285406
  5. ITA discontinues airline reservations system By Jerry Limone ITA Software, a Google subsidiary, said it will no longer pursue clients for its airline passenger services system. Passenger services systems include the technology needed to run an airline, including reservations. Cape Air is ITA’s lone customer for the passenger services system, and ITA said it would “continue to work with them under our agreement.” With the discontinuation of the passenger services system, ITA said it can focus on its other products, including Google Flight Search and its airfare pricing/shopping engine This is too bad as ITA put out a new an innovative product. They just could not integrate it into complex airline systems.
  6. Four-in-ten 'never redeem air miles' Published: 14/05/2013 - Filed under: News » . Forty per cent of people who collect air miles have never tried to redeem them, according to new research. And 60 per cent complain that it takes too long to collect sufficient points to gain anything of value, said a survey by incremental revenue experts Collinson Latitude. The potential for free flights and saving money were cited as the most popular motivations for collecting air miles. While almost half of UK residents flew at least once last year, only 23 per cent said they collected airline loyalty points. Seventy per cent of scheme members said that making rewards more accessible would encourage them to collect, while 60 per cent wanted to use their points for other travel services. Sixty-two per cent said that being able to use their points to purchase goods such as electrical items or travel accessories would act as an incentive, while the ability to top up rewards with cash to buy goods was popular with 63 per cent of those who collected points. James Berry, product director for Collinson Latitude, said: “This study doesn’t paint a particularly pretty picture of many airline loyalty programmes. While there is clearly desire among consumers to collect these points, the way in which the loyalty programmes are being managed is throwing up barriers. "Rewards seem to be beyond reach or are simply not attractive enough. Consumers are also being frustrated when they attempt to redeem their rewards by a lack of availability of flights. “On a positive note, consumers are throwing the airlines a lifeline by highlighting ways in which these programmes can be improved. What’s important is for airlines to listen to the messages coming from their customers and take action.” The study of 1,005 UK residents was conducted for Collinson Latitude by independent research company Aurora in late 2012. To discuss this and other topics, visit our forum. Report by Graham Smith Notice that the question was not asked "Does the loyalty program determine your selection of airline".
  7. That is the core of the problem. Summer is a busy period for them for people exiting the region trying to escape the heat. Ramadan is a busy period for them for people entering the region trying to be with family and the holy sites. Which will prevail?
  8. The interesting factor about Easter is that in the Winter for a primarily leisure airline like WestJet you can get the opposite result. More demand for southern flying in March which bumps up the results and brings down the April results. The most interesting calendarization effect occurs with the Arabic carriers where Ramadan changes by 11 days every year.
  9. To all of those who poo-poo the Air Canada Q1 results: Lufthansa Group reports (13-May-2013) the following traffic highlights in Apr-2013: •Passenger numbers: 8.6 million, -2.0% year-on-year; ◦Lufthansa Passenger Airlines*: 6.2 million, -1.4%; ◦SWISS**: 1.4 million, -1.4%; ◦Austrian Airlines: 922,000, -6.4%; •Passenger load factor: 78.3%, -0.2 ppt; ◦Lufthansa Passenger Airlines: 77.0%, -0.5 ppt; ◦SWISS: 84.6%, +1.1 ppts; ◦Austrian Airlines: 76.3%, -0.5 ppt. [more – original PR] *Includes LH regional airlines and Germanwings **Includes Edelweiss Air Lufthansa Group: “Capacity, sales and load factor of the Passenger Airlines Group were virtually unchanged versus previous year in the month of April. The pricing developed positively, while it has been down year-on-year in March. March saw a higher share of leisure travel and April a higher share of business travel as the Easter holiday break fell entirely into March this year.” Source: Company statement, 13-May-2013.
  10. I said they BARELY make 100,000 (so maybe 120,000 is the bottom figure) as cash salary. The annual report only contains information on the top 5 paid VP's (or executive VP's as they are called). There is no information on what the rest of them are paid. Also, less than half of what is reported by people as compensation comes as cash. The rest comes as fairy-tale-stock-options and other incentives. Those employees are lucky to see 1/10 of the remaining 'compensation'.
  11. The title means nothing. There are VP's at Air Canada that barely make $100,000 a year, while at the same time 95 of the top 100 paid people at Air Canada are pilots. When I left 12 years ago I got a pay rise for what amounted to a new part-time job at another company. The middle management that you talk about is highly underpaid.
  12. FAA budget issue might obscure more weighty air industry factors By Danny King Last month’s agreement by Congress to reverse FAA staff furloughs stemming from the federal budget sequester might have done far more to allay political constituents than to make things better for U.S. airline passengers as the country enters the peak summer travel season. In fact, at least one study suggests the furloughs actually had little impact on airline performance. Moreover, it suggests that the April 26 bill passed by the House of Representatives to eliminate FAA furloughs might have served to mask inefficiencies in a bloated air traffic control system and a consolidating airline industry that has been continuously reducing its labor force to regain lost profits. The FAA, along with aviation industry members and some travel advocates, trumpeted the bill as a shield against increased flight delays and cancellations. For the four days ended April 24, the FAA attributed almost 3,500 of the nearly 7,900 flight delays to the furloughs, which led United Continental Holdings CEO Jeff Smisek to call the FAA “irresponsible.” Katie Connell, spokeswoman for the trade group Airlines for America, said, “Bringing a halt to the furloughs was truly a win for our customers and for the U.S. economy. We don’t think [the furloughs] ever should have happened.” However, other reports suggest that the FAA furloughs served primarily as fodder for political grandstanding. “We’re the only developed country in the world that would have a sequestration program that impacts air traffic control,” said Washington-based airline analyst Vaughn Cordle, partner at Ionosphere Capital. “We’re the only country that hasn’t depoliticized this.” Indeed, for the one week during which the furloughs were in place, 79% of flights serving the largest 36 U.S. airports were on time. According to research firm FlightStats, that was identical to the on-time percentage for the two months leading up to the first day of furloughs. FlightStats’ earlier numbers are consistent with data from the Transportation Department (DOT), which late last month reported that 80% of flights within the U.S. were on time in February, the most recent month tracked by the DOT. Either way, the resolution, which enabled the FAA to return to normal operations on April 28, might do little to prevent non-weather-related delays caused by the combination of an antiquated air traffic control system and an airline industry binging on staffing cuts. With little capital available to invest in the latest air traffic control technologies, the FAA is spending more to process fewer — albeit fuller — flights, furloughs notwithstanding. Between airline consolidation, the after-effects of the recession and the shrinking inventory of smaller regional flight routes, the number of annual domestic and international flights in the U.S. fell 12% between 2007 and 2012, to 9.8 million flights, according to the DOT. Yet the annual FAA budget rose 6.7% between fiscal years 2008 and 2012, to $15.9 billion. “It’s a bloated, inefficient system,” said Cordle, a proponent of privatizing air traffic control services. “Clearly, the system isn’t paying for itself.” Meanwhile, the aviation industry has been going in the opposite direction, reducing staffing as the number of passengers continues to rebound. U.S. airlines employed about 380,000 workers in February, down 2.5% from a year earlier, the DOT said last month. February marked the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year employment declines in the industry. At the same time, air travel continues to grow. U.S. airlines flew 55.3 million passengers in January, up 1.5% from a year earlier, the DOT said last month, citing a separate study. Last year, the number of passengers on U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the U.S. rose 1.3%, to 815.3 million. At least some airline staffing cuts can be attributed to increased efficiencies, according to Scott Hamilton of Seattle-based aerospace consultant Leeham Co. “Airlines have been investing in check-in kiosks, Internet technology and operations technology for years, which improve efficiency,” he said. “One can hardly say that about the FAA. It’s always ‘tomorrow’ for them.” While the focus of the industry’s attention was the furloughs of the FAA’s 47,000 workers for at least 10% of their workdays, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials have maintained that sequester-related budget cuts will not impact airport-customs staffing. That didn’t stop the airline industry from taking a shot at the TSA. “Customs lines at our own U.S. airports have been and remain an ongoing issue for our customers who are traveling into the U.S. from around the world,” said Connell of Airlines for America. “They continue to wait in exceedingly long and completely unacceptable customs lines at many of our U.S. airports.” In the meantime, sequestration, which is estimated to save the federal government $85 billion a year, has forced the Smithsonian Institution to shutter some exhibit areas, while the capital’s U.S. National Arboretum instituted grounds closures. The National Parks Service will keep its shorter winter-staffing hours through summer, close some of its campgrounds and suspend two annual military celebrations. New York’s Fleet Week and Los Angeles’ Navy Days, which take place each May and August, respectively, have been canceled for this year, while San Francisco’s Fleet Week festivities, which take place each fall, will be substantially scaled back with the cancellation of the Navy Blue Angels air show. Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.
  13. Anything is possible. The one constant is that the participants are always arguing with each other about what costs are included and at what amount. It keeps a few people busy everyday.
  14. YEG-EWR-Europe is all part of the joint production between AC and UA Profits are shared so AC could not care less that you are flying this route.
  15. More than a few times I have been stunned when being told what some airline people have deemed to be logical.