Unions push airlines to promise they'll avoid stock buybacks
The unions said Thursday that the four largest U.S. airlines spent more than $39 billion on stock buybacks from 2014 through 2019 rather than making investments to help employees and passengers. Union officials worry that buybacks will come back now that most U.S. airlines have returned to profitability after huge losses in 2020 and 2021. The unions asked airlines to pledge to forgo buybacks until until “operational meltdowns are not the norm” and they reach new labor contracts — unions are seeking substantial wage increases. The chief financial officer of American Airlines, Derek Kerr, said in a recent interview that buybacks are not on the table. Stock buybacks are a favorite target of unions and Democratic lawmakers, who often see them as widening inequality between workers and wealthier investors.wftv.com
Afraid to fly with unmasked passengers? Call your airline
Airlines say they are offering options — including refunds in some cases — for people worried about flying now that other passengers aren’t required to wear face masks. Customers could find themselves at the mercy of workers at airline customer-service centers. Many people who will be flying in the next few weeks bought their tickets before a federal judge in Florida on Monday struck down the requirement to wear a mask in airports and during flights.news.yahoo.com
Pakistan marks national day with military parade
A parade of troops and military equipment in Islamabad on Wednesday marked Pakistan's national day. The day fell while Pakistan was hosting a meeting of foreign ministers from Muslim nations. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting and national day celebrations were also attended by China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi. DURATION: 01:27news.yahoo.com
New planes, training and hiring: Airlines are planning for a rebound after dismal pandemic year
U.S. airlines are laying the groundwork for a travel rebound that still looks months, if not years, away. Some carriers are buying new planes, while others are training pilots and even adding staff. Decisions they make now will affect how they will be positioned to capitalize on an eventual recovery in air travel. To be sure, U.S. airlines are still struggling, losing $150 million a day, said Nick Calio, CEO of Airlines for America, an industry group that represents United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and other major carriers. Capacity is down by half compared with last year while passenger traffic is still off more than 60%, the industry group said.cnbc.com
Airline furloughs begin as federal pandemic relief expires
U.S. airlines began furloughing more than 32,000 employees on Thursday after a federal prohibition on job cuts expired. American Airlines and United Airlines said that they could reverse the furloughs if Congress and the White House quickly agree to provide billions more in taxpayer help to the embattled airline industry. The White House included $20 billion for airlines in a $1.6 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal, moving closer to House Democrats' $2.2 trillion plan. Airlines and their unions are lobbying for money to keep workers on airline payrolls for six more months, through next March. They received $25 billion, mostly in cash, to pay employees through Sept. 30 in exchange for avoiding layoffs or furloughs.
Airline CEO: If you insist on not wearing a mask, we’ll insist you not fly with us -- from here on out
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has put out what some are calling an aggressive enforcement of mask-wearing on the company’s flights. ”If you board the plane and you insist on not wearing your mask, we will insist that you don’t fly Delta into the future,” Bastian told Today in an interview Wednesday. The CEO said the stance is one he’s taking in order to keep crew and passengers safe during the pandemic. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Delta flights have been booked to 60% of their capacity, Today reported after speaking with Bastian. “We’ve had some customers indicate that they have (an) underlying condition that makes wearing a mask dangerous for them,” Bastian said.
US will allow limited flights by Chinese airlines, not a ban
The Trump administration said Friday it will let Chinese airlines operate a limited number of flights to the U.S., backing down from a threat to ban the flights. The decision came one day after China appeared to open the door to U.S. carriers United Airlines and Delta Air Lines resuming one flight per week each into the country. United, Delta and American Airlines suspended flights to China before mid-March. Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines continue flying those routes. The Transportation Department announced Wednesday that it would prohibit all passenger airline flights from China no later than June 16.
Southwest comes out on top in new airline survey
The JD Power survey of 10,000 business and leisure travelers was conducted from April 2019 to March 2020. Southwest had the highest satisfaction levels in a number of categories including baggage handling, boarding, check-in, costs and crew. The survey covered both short-haul and long-haul flights and Southwest was on top in both categories. Ironically, before the pandemic, JD Power noted that overall customer satisfaction scores were the highest they had ever recorded. A survey conducted in mid-April shows that now what air travelers value most are regular updates on safety and sanitization measures.
Frontier Airlines will start requiring all passengers to wear face coverings
Frontier Airlines will soon require all passengers to wear a face-covering over their nose and mouth at the airline’s ticket counters, gate areas and onboard Frontier aircraft. Face coverings have been required for Frontier flight crews since April 13. “We want our passengers to feel comfortable when flying with us by protecting themselves and their fellow travelers as we all navigate the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Barry Biffle, CEO of Frontier Airlines. “Very young children, for whom a face covering is inadvisable, will be exempt from the policy,” the airline said. https://t.co/g6tejitwRe pic.twitter.com/hBZmizbDhR — Frontier Airlines (@FlyFrontier) April 27, 2020Officials said the fogging attacks virtually every surface in the passenger cabin.
MoneyWatch: Airline profits spike; New Facebook app
MoneyWatch: Airline profits spike; New Facebook app Airlines are reporting huge profits because of low costs, caused by dropping oil prices. Also, Facebook's new app "Rooms" is available on the iPhone. Jill Wagner reports on the day's top MoneyWatch headlines.cbsnews.com