"U.S. airlines' average fuel cost per gallon for scheduled flights rose 31% in May from a year ago and increased 1.3% over April, according to the Department of Transportation." Read the rest of the story from Dow Jones Newswires.
"Right before going to work, John Villarreal sometimes plays video games to get his mind revved up. He is mentally preparing for his eight-hour shift as an air-traffic controller based here." Some of you may not find any comfort in his warm up routine... Read the rest of the story from the Wall Street Journal.
Allegiant received federal approval this week to operate Boeing 757s. The airline first announced its intention to use 757s in March 2010. At that time Allegiant said it intended to use the planes for the sole purpose of flying to Hawaii. Plans change and now Allegiant says it will use the seven-fives for some domestic trips. The airline still plans on flying to Hawaii, but before that can happen it has to get federal certification to fly the planes over the ocean. Making the seven five plunge is a huge step forward for Allegiant, the small, low-cost airline that specializes in providing service between small cities and major vacation destinations (Allegiant provides our service to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Orlando and Tampa/St. Petersburg).
Why a huge step? Because it’s the first time the airline has broken with it’s business model of using MD-80 jets. MD-80s are long out of production and can be purchased for a song and dance. Using them is is one of the ways Allegiant has kept it’s operational expenses and fares so low. The 757 is a larger plane, more expensive to buy or lease, and a more expensive to operate. So why buy them? Simply put, because the MD-80 doesn’t have the range to get to Hawaii. Read the Allegiant 757 press release here.
A piece of aviation history burned up last week in an Illinois cornfield. The Liberty Belle was a restored World War II bomber that visited our airport in August of last year. Below are some photographs of the plane during its Springfield visit. Read about the emergency landing and fire from the Chicago Tribune.
Liberty Belle at Springfield-Branson National Airport.
Art Deco design with Varga inspired femininity.
Four .50 caliber machine guns protruded from the nose.
.50 caliber waist gun.
Seen from the rear.