Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 290,939
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,212,540


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SHORT TAKE: Virgin American Launch Customer for Airbus A320neo With 30 on Order

The new Airbus A320neo in Virgin America livery.

The new Airbus A320neo in Virgin America livery. Image from Airbus.com.

Virgin American has announced they are the launch customer of the new Airbus A320neo with 30 orders of the aircraft. Before the first deliveries of the A320neo start in 2016, Virgin America also has orders for 30 Airbus A320’s with sharklets. This is a huge deal for the relatively new airline.

The Airbus A320neo is the next generation of the A320 family. The aircraft will allow New Engine Options (hence “neo”) which will increase range, lower fuel costs, while allowing airlines to keep a single fleet family of A320 aircraft.

Be sure to check out Dan Webb’s blog, Things in the Sky, as he was recently able to have a chat with Virgin America CEO David Cush and got some pretty interesting information.

SHORT TAKE: Boeing Keeps the 737 in Renton, WA and Ups Production

Double good news from Boeing on the Boeing 737. Boeing announced they will sign a 40 year contract with Renton Municipal Airport to keep flying new Boeing 737’s from their plant next to the airport.  Boeing states they have no plan to move Boeing 737 production from Renton, WA up north to Everett, WA (where the Boeing 767,777, 747 and 787 are made) or to another location in the country.

Boeing also announced their plan to ramp up production for the 737 from 31.5 units per month to 34. Boeing expects orders for the 737 to increase with the global economy improving.

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AirTran and Frontier Split Ways

AirTran Boeing 717 taking off while Midwest sits in the background

AirTran Boeing 717 taking off while Midwest sits in the background

Dan Webb over at Things in the Sky take a look at AirTran and Frontier deciding to end their mutual relationship. Yesterday Webb looked at AirTran announcing they would give you 32 A+ credits (that will get you two round trip tickets) if you donated 50,000 Midwest miles (also good for two round trip tickets) to charity.

This creates a problem. Last year Republic Airlines bought Midwest and Frontier. Recently they announced they would change the name to “Frontier Airlines.” AirTran and Frontier had an agreement to share customers (not a codeshare however) since 2006. AirTran is playing hardball (I think it is pretty genius) to get Midwest customers, yet were still trying to play nice with Frontier.

Webb guessed this probably couldn’t last for long and he was right. Today he posted that AirTran and Frontier have announced the ending to their partnership. Both airlines are competing in Milwaukee and AirTran is trying to steal customers from Midwest during Frontier’s brand transition just didn’t sit well with Frontier (surprise, surprise right?).

It seems AirTran is making a pretty smart move here. Loyal Midwest customers are now looking where they want to place their loyalties. If you remove your miles from the equation, now you have a new Frontier which will be taking a while to create brand consistency (ie: will your flight have DirecTV? Internet? On an Airbus or Regional Jet?), where AirTran has the consistency of having Wi-Fi and XFM radio on all flights.

Either way, the people of Milwaukee should reap the benefit of two airlines competing for their business. Game on!

Image: md11forver

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SHORT TAKE: What’s the Difference Between Customs and Immigration

What is the difference between customs and immigration is a great question. It is also one that a reader asked Steven Frischling over on his blog Flying With Fish.

“While many nations have merged Immigrations and Customs into one larger agency, such as US Department of Homeland Security and Canada’s Border Services Agency, their roles are quite different at the airport.

In short, here are the roles of the Customs and Immigrations” … CHECK OUT HIS BLOG TO READ MORE