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News Roundup – 12th April 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

News Roundup – 12th April 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

News Roundup – 12th April 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

It seems like you can’t escape the news about the passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago this week – and justifiably so.  But of course, there has been other airline news that worthy of a mention.

First, there are reports that Delta Air Lines mistreated Cabin Crew after the carrier was forced to cancel thousands of flights following severe storms in the American Southeast last week.  Although, Delta might want to focus more on the news that its flagship, Delta One Business Class suite won big at the Crystal Cabin Awards in Hamburg.

At Qatar Airways, the airline’s CEO has criticised the U.S. and UK’s bans on electronic devices and offered a “100% solution.”  However, the mounting pressures facing Qatar Airways has seen 30% wiped from the carriers brand value.

Meanwhile, travel agents have threatened to withdraw support from Emirates as the Dubai-based airline cuts agent commission from 3% to 1%.  The full summary is below:

Qatar Airways Brand Value Dropped 38% in 2016 – Now Worth $2.2 billion

11th April 2017 – Courtesy Doha News

The Doha-based airline is starting to lose its shine as falling oil prices, increased competition and “uncertain revenue forecasts” has resulted in the carriers ‘brand value’ falling sharply

In rankings by UK consultancy firm, Brand Finance, the airline has dropped to 11th place in this year’s Middle East 50 list.  That’s a drop of seven places on 2016 – or to put it in dollar value – a loss of 38% to $2.2 billion USD.

In 2016, Emirates took the #1 spot but this year has fallen to second place with 21% wiped off its brand value.  The airline is now worth $6.1 billion USD.  Etihad fared even worse with a fall of two places to 20th place and a brand value of $1.6 billion USD.


Boss of Qatar Airways Boss Criticises U.S. Electronics Ban – Offers “100% Solution”

07th April 2017 – Courtesy The Irish Times

Outspoken Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker has criticised the electronics ban put in place by both the U.S. and UK governments (even though the British ban doesn’t even target Qatar Airways).

Al Baker has argued that terrorists will simply move their planned attacks to airports where bans have not been put in place.  He commented: “There are no bans in certain airports that are very risky – I don’t want to name them – but it is far easier to get on to aeroplanes from those places than it is with us.”

In an interview with The Irish Times, he suggested that existing explosive trace detection tests were a “100% solution.”  Al Baker said that the electronics ban was not “what the travelling public wants.”

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker - criticises U.S. electronics ban and offers a "100% solution"
Qatar Airways Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker – criticises U.S. electronics ban and offers a “100% solution”


Delta Air Lines Accused of Seriously Letting Down Cabin Crew After Storms Affected the Carriers Operations

09th April 2017 – Courtesy

Severe storms in the American Southeast caused Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines to cancel thousands of flights last week.  The disruption lasted days with passengers and crew stranded across the United States.  Delta apologised to customers and acknowledged the disruption was “extremely frustrating.”

Charisse Evans, Vice President of Customer Care said that employees were working double time to help customers: “Whether it’s rain, sleet, or snow, our team in Reservation Sales and Customer Care have our customers’ back. True to form, they are doing a fantastic job going above and beyond to show our customers the Delta Difference.”

But as the airline handed out free pizzas to passengers there have been accusations that Delta let its own Cabin Crew down.  It’s alleged the airline failed to provide hotel rooms for flight attendants who were stranded away from their home base.  Cabin Crew were told to find and pay for their own hotel rooms but concerns were raised that junior employees wouldn’t have the funds.  Other staffers were forced to work 30+ hour shifts with no breaks.


The Delta One Business Class Cabin has Won Big at the Crystal Cabin Awards 2017

05th April 2017 – Courtesy Travel+Leisure

The brand new Business Class seat to be installed on Delta international services has won big at an annual awards ceremony to celebrate innovation in aircraft interiors.  The Delta One suite took the Cabin Concepts award at the Crystal Cabin Awards 2017 held in Hamburg, Germany.

Joe Kiely, Managing Director of Product & Customer Experience at Delta said of the accolade: “This is an incredibly special award for Delta and for our teams who worked so hard to create the Delta One suite — a best-in-class customer experience.”

The new seat is the first Business Class seat in the world to feature a sliding door on every suite.  It will debut on the carrier’s first Airbus A350 which is due to enter service in late 2017.  Delta intends to retrofit its entire Boeing 777 fleet with the new suite starting in 2018.

The new Delta One Business Class seat won the top accolade at the Crystal Cabin Awards 2017
The new Delta One Business Class seat won the top accolade at the Crystal Cabin Awards 2017


Emirates Vs. Travel Agents Over New Sales Commission Rules

10th April 2017 – Courtesy New Indian Express

Emirates recently announced it would cut the commission paid to travel agents in India from 3% to 1% causing an uproar from the industry association that represents agents in the country.  They have threatened to withdraw support from the airline and to stop selling ancillary services if Emirates doesn’t reinstate the 3% commission.

The new rules took effect on 01st April, which Chairman of Travel Agents Federation of India-Kerala Paulose K Mathew calls “insufficient.”

“If the carrier is not ready to relook its decision, the agents would be forced to pass on the burden to air passengers,” said E M Najeeb, south India regional chairman of Indian Association of Tour Operators.

Emirates carried 6,51,831 passengers from India between October and December 2016 and has over 10% market share of international traffic from the country.

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