Intel in the Air: Our Roundup of Top Aviation News This Month

Another month of aviation during this pandemic is a story of fewer planes, rumors of consolidation, more requirements and bad balance sheets. Will the fun ever end?

British Airways kicked off this week’s news with their announcement that they would be retiring their entire fleet of Boeing 747s. News that BA was retiring the world’s first jumbo jet was spread worldwide and followed up by Qantas announcement of the retirement of their 747s two days ago.

In one of those “did I read that right” moments, yes, we can confirm that JetBlue and American are now partners. Sure, this makes it helpful for their fans on the East Coast, but does it also signal a possible partnership?

Naomi Campbell had it right all along — masks are de rigueur flight wear, right up there with a hazmat suit and matching disinfectant wipe-dispensing handbag. Fliers are warned to watch out for the fashion police.

Read on for this month’s ‘Intel in the Air’ news roundup, where we keep our users informed and in-the-know on the industry’s latest happenings.

British Airways retires entire 747 fleet after travel downturn
British Airways has said it will retire all of its Boeing 747s as it suffers from the sharp travel downturn. The UK airline is the world’s largest operator of the jumbo jets, with 31 in their fleet. “It is with great sadness that we can confirm we are proposing to retire our entire 747 fleet with immediate effect,” a BA spokesman told the BBC. It had planned on retiring the planes in 2024 but escalated it due to the downturn.

JetBlue and American will share passengers in bid to fend off United and Delta
The airlines unveiled a new alliance that will allow them to sell seats on each other’s planes, giving them more market share in the New York area, JetBlue’s home, and Boston — a longtime battleground among carriers. That could give them a better shot at fending off rivals like Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. Travelers can also earn and burn frequent flyer miles with flights on either carrier.

If you won’t wear a mask, some airlines say you can’t fly
This month, U.S. airlines unveiled stricter rules for face coverings, with at least two, American and Southwest, saying they will no longer carry passengers who refuse to wear masks. With these stricter policies, airlines cited passenger surveys in which travelers voiced support for better enforcement of mask mandates.

Airlines brace themselves ahead of reporting earnings
United, JetBlue, American, Alaska and Southwest are all going to report earnings this week. Last week, we got a preview when Delta Air Lines reported that in the second quarter, when the COVID-19 economic slowdown was at its worst, its revenues were down more than 90%. Since air travel is the activity consumers have pulled back on the most, numbers have plummeted.

Planning an upcoming trip? Remember to download App in the Air to stay up-to-date with the latest travel restrictions, get notified of flight changes, track all of your miles, and much more.

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