This is the Wednesday morning catch-all...
APRIL PASSENGERS NUMBERS
Our April passenger numbers are in and the news is good: they’re up 6.4 percent compared to the same month last year. For the first four months of the year passenger numbers are up 9.1%. This is good news. Keep in mind that last year we were down 8.1%. Why such an improvement? Several factors are at work…
Last year the airlines cut capacity (the number of seats in the air) across the board; less capacity means lower operating costs. The cuts came in response to high fuel prices, and the continuing recession. The capacity cuts now appear to be over with. The economy has improved somewhat, particularly here in Southwest Missouri, where unemployment is now less than 7%. There’s an old rule of thumb in the airline industry: more employment means more people flying.
While the news is good we’re not jumping up and down. We’re cautiously optimistic.
SOUTHWEST PLANS TO DUMP AIRTRAN FLEET
Southwest Airlines will apparently get rid of the fleet of Boeing 717s it acquired when it bought out AirTran. The planes will be picked up by Delta Air Lines. At least that’s the plan. It’s a tentative deal that depends on the outcome of several factors, including ratification of a labor contract with Delta pilots.
TSA WANTS TO SPEED UP SECURITY SCREENING
“The U.S. Transportation Security Administration wants to speed screening for as many as three in four travelers as it absorbs criticism for procedures that have led to pat-downs of children, seniors and members of Congress.”
That’s the lede in a story from Bloomberg News. Read the rest here.