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News Roundup – 07th June 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

News Roundup – 07th June 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

News Roundup – 07th June 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

Emirates has made a major U-turn on the wearing of flag pins by its Cabin Crew.  Last week, the airline ordered its Taiwanese crew to wear a China flag pin instead of the Taiwan flag.  After a furious backlash, the airline quickly backtracked and instead ordered all crew to remove their flag pin, irrespective of nationality.

Meanwhile, Qantas has reaffirmed its commitment to a joint venture with Emirates.  The airline’s CEO has said that Dubai will remain an important base for Qantas even after it opens direct flights to Europe.

Elsewhere, airline CEO’s have admitted they need to react faster to ‘customer crisis incidents’.  United Airlines is pulling the plug on its Houston – Caracas service and an Emotional Support Animal has attacked a fellow passenger onboard a Delta flight at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

A full summary continues below.

Emirates Makes Major U-Turn On Taiwan Flag – Bans All Cabin Crew from Wearing Flag Pins

02nd June 2017 – Courtesy The Independent

Last week Emirates made a rather bungled attempt to comply with China’s infamous ‘One China Policy’.  As the Dubai-based airline makes moves to build its network in China, it ordered Taiwanese cabin crew to remove the Taiwan flag pin from their uniform.  The issue it seemed, was that as China see’s Taiwan as a breakaway province, a major airline allowing their staff to wear the Taiwan flag was unacceptable.

Emirates initially asked Taiwanese staff to wear a China flag pin but was soon inundated with angry messages from customers and staff protesting the decision.  The airline quickly retracted the order with a spokesperson saying the instruction was “sent in error”.  The carrier famously promotes the multi-national makeup of their Cabin Crew but has now ordered all Cabin Crew to remove their flag pins.

An Emirates spokesperson said: “Our intent is to recall the flag pins worn by all our cabin crew as part of our uniform update.”  They blamed the drama on a “communication error”.


Dubai and Emirates Partnership Still Plays ‘Big Role’ for Qantas

06th June 2017 – Courtesy Reuters

Next year, Qantas will start flying direct between Perth and London.  The Australian flag carrier then intends to start direct services to Paris and Frankfurt shortly thereafter.  There’s even talk of Qantas operating direct services from Sydney to Europe in several years time.  Understandably, that has put into question the airline’s major joint venture with Emirates.

But talking at an IATA conference in Mexico, Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce has moved to reaffirm his company’s partnership with Emirates.  “Even when we start flying direct to London, still Dubai will play a big role,” Joyce said.

He explained: “Emirates has 40 destinations in Europe. We’re never going to fly direct to places like Venice and Prague.”


Airline CEO’s Must React Quicker to Crisis Situations

06th June 2017 – Courtesy Skift

A group of airline CEO’s have been speaking at the same IATA conference about the need to react with speed to ‘customer crisis incidents’.  The head of United Airlines, Oscar Munoz, was lambasted for his slow response to the Dr David Dao dragging incident earlier this year.

He has now said of his delayed response: “In a crisis of that magnitude, evolving that quickly, you tend to learn and talk to too many people.”

“I think you have 15 minutes or less to say sorry,” said Peter Bellew, CEO of Malaysia Airlines.  He continued: “That’s the pressure you’re under now. It’s horrendous.”

Interestingly, Munoz disagreed with the other CEOs about the need to react quite so quickly.  He said it was important to learn the facts first before responding.


The Problem with Emotional Support Animals – Dog Attacks Passenger on Delta Flight

05th June 2017 – Courtesy Conde Nast Traveler

In the U.S. it’s not difficult to get your pet certified as an ‘Emotional Support Animal’.  Under the Air Carrier Access Act, passengers who suffer from anxiety or depression can have an ESA to alleviate their symptoms – and of course, the ESA joins the passenger in the cabin.

But sometimes, things go wrong.  A few days ago, a passenger on a Delta Air Lines flight at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was attacked by a fellow passengers ESA dog.

Delta said of the incident: “The customer who was bitten was removed from the flight to receive medical attention. Local law enforcement cleared the dog, and the dog and its owner were re-accommodated on a later flight; the dog will fly in a kennel.”


United Airlines Pulls Out of Venezuela as Political Unrest Continues

03rd June 2017 – Courtesy Bloomberg

United Airlines will be cutting its daily service from Houston to Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, next month.  The airline said the service was not meeting financial expectations and flights between the two cities will be suspended effective July 01st.

United joins a long list of other carriers that have abandoned Venezuela.  LATAM has stopped all services between Brazil, Chile and Peru to Caracas.  Aeromexico and Lufthansa also left the country last year.  In 2014, Air Canada ceased operations citing “civil unrest” in the country.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for airlines to get money out of Venezuela.  American Airlines wrote off $592 million USD from it’s Caracas service in 2015.  Delta has been forced to write off past ticket sales made in Venezuelan bolivars and Portuguese airline, TAP, has stopped selling tickets in Venezuela.

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