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News Roundup – 01st March 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

News Roundup – 01st March 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

A summary of airline news from the past week. Qantas announces first half profits drop, new premium economy seats

It was a busy week for Qantas as the airline admitted that profits had dropped 7.5% in the six months to the end of December 2016.  But as a cost saving programme at the airline continues, Qantas unveiled a bigger and better premium economy seat for its new 787-9 Dreamliners.

In other news, Emirates has attacked the UK’s aviation regulator for what it calls a “misleading and unprofessional” report into its treatment of delayed passengers.  Elsewhere, Delta Air Lines was named as the World’s Most Admired Airline in the Fortune Most Admired Companies list.

Qantas Unveils a Brand-New Premium Economy Seat

23rd February 2017 – Courtesy Qantas

During a media gathering at Qantas HQ in Sydney, the airline unveiled a brand-new premium economy seat that is set to debut in October 2017.  The seat will go into service on the first of the airline’s new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

Key features of the new seat include:

  • A spacious 2-3-2 layout with only 28 seats in the premium economy cabin,
  • An increase of 10% in seat width compared to the current Qantas PE seat and an”ergonomically designed headrest,”
  • A personal LED light built into the headrest, a larger HD personal TV screen and two USB charging points per seat.

But John Walton from The Runway Girl Network was less impressed and complained about seat pitch: “The biggest problem looks to be the easiest to solve: pitch. Qantas has pitched these seats quite close together, at 38”. This is at the bottom end of all its competitors’ premium economy offerings, and well behind its ANZAC mates’.”

Qantas unveils new premium economy seat for Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet
A graphic of the new Qantas premium economy seat

Profits Drop 7.5% at Qantas as Cost Saving Programme Continues

23rd February 2017 – Courtesy Skift

Qantas, Australia’s largest airline reported profits before tax of A$852 million for the 6 months up to the end of December 2016.  That’s down 7.5% from the A$921 million which Qantas earned in the same period a year earlier.  The airline had originally forecast profits of between A$800 million and A$850 million.

Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, blamed increased competition from overseas airlines and lower oil prices.  Joyce is 6 months into an ambitious 3-year turnaround programme which is aiming to save A$2.1 billion by June and a further A$400 million in “cost and revenue benefits” annually thereafter.


Emirates Hits Back at UK Aviation Watchdog Over Flight Delay Compensation

24th February 2017 – Courtesy Gulf Business

The UK’s aviation watchdog – the Civil Aviation Authority – recently called out Emirates Airline as well as Etihad Airways, American Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines for failing to pay passengers compensation in the event of delays.

However, Emirates has now hit back, claiming that the CAA’s report was “misleading and unprofessional.”  The dispute has arisen from EU laws that give passengers the legal right to compensation when their flight is delayed.

A spokesperson for the airline argued that the passenger rights in questions are subject to a legal appeal: “As the CAA is well aware, the recent EU guidelines on EC 261 are not intended to amend the law. The issue of EC 261’s application to our flights from the UK involving a stopover in Dubai is currently pending before the Court of Appeal.”

“Emirates, like any responsible airline, puts the safety of our passengers first and to be penalised for this is absurd,”


Delta Air Lines Crowned as the Most Admired Airline in the World

23rd February 2017 – Courtesy Business Insider

The annual Fortune World’s Most Admired Company list has recently been published.  Criteria to make the list include “investment value, quality of management and products, social responsibility, and the ability to attract talent.”

When comparing airlines, Delta took first prize, with the Air France-KLM group in second place and Cathay Pacific heading up the top three.

Business Insider noted that Delta is “known for rewarding its employees — earlier this month, the company announced its 85,000 workers would receive $1.1 (£877.5) billion in profit sharing.”

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