Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Sunday Five (May 30th - June 5th)

1. HNA Group Acquires Stake in Virgin Australia 
HNA Group, the corporate parent of Hainan Airlines, has expanded its portfolio to include a 13% stake in Virgin Australia worth $114 million. HNA will increase its stake to 20% over an unspecified time frame. As part of its alliance with Hainan, Virgin Australia will begin service to China, a market Virgin's chief rival Qantas currently dominates. HNA Group has $91 billion dollars assets ranging from airlines to supermarkets. (Bloomberg 

2. Delta Eliminates On-Board Entertainment Fees 
300 movies, 750 TV Shows, and 18 channels of live satellite TV will be free on 90% of Delta's fleet beginning July 1st. Delta's entertainment service, Delta Studio, can be accessed through your own device on aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi or through a seatback screen. (Home Media) 

3. Qatar Airways Cancels A320neo Delivery 
After months of delays for the A320neo program, Qatar Airways has decided to cancel the delivery of its first A320neo. Problems with the new Pratt and Whitney gear turbo-fan engines on the A320neo have led to countless delays. Al-Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways, said that the airline could either order the 737 MAX or switch its engine order on the A320neo to the CFM LEAP-1A. Either way it will be a long time before Qatar receives new narrow body aircraft. (24/7 Wall Street) 

4. United Expands Free Food Offerings in Economy 
United is offering even more complimentary food for economy class passengers with the addition of a mid-flight snack for passengers travelling from the U.S. to Europe and vice versa. Economy class passengers already receive complimentary full meals on these flights. Last February, United introduced a complimentary Stroopwafel for all economy class passengers on flights departing before 9:45 a.m. The new complimentary food offerings come as United tries to repair its reputation with passengers after a disastrous merger with Continental. (LA Times) 

5. Air Traffic Strike in France Leads to 100 Flight Cancellations 
Over 100 flights were cancelled across Europe due to a strike by air traffic controllers in France. The air traffic controllers are protesting France's new labor legislation which overhauls the country's rigid labor laws. (Sputnik News) 

The "What the Heck?" Story of the Week 
A Chinese teenager hid in the cargo hold of an Emirates A380 flying from Shanghai to Dubai for 9 hours until he was arrested by police in Dubai. The stowaway, 16 year-old Xu, saw rumors online about beggars earning a couple hundred thousand yuan in the streets of Dubai, according to a Chinese translator working in Dubai's justice system. Xu also told the translator that he had no problems with being arrested because he heard that prisoners in Dubai are treated very well. (Air Live) 
Video of the Week

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