While nothing lasts forever, it is still sad to say goodbye to some old favourites. When Delta Air Lines celebrated the end of its last Boeing 747’s service, it did it in style in December. The airline was the last of the US carriers to still be operating the much-loved jumbo and it will be missed.
Meanwhile in Europe, KLM ended its 97-year long relationship with Fokker when its Cityhopper brand operated the last Fokker 70 commercial flight in October last year. About 500 members of staff turned up at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to see and celebrate its final commercial flight.
But while the heart may miss the aircraft, the head can see the logic behind both decisions which should ultimately drive efficiency. Delta is already replacing the 747s with Airbus A350s on its flagship international routes and will most likely see increased customer satisfaction in addition to better efficiencies and a financial boost as a result (page 7).
Similarly, KLM Cityhopper’s decision to replace the last of its Fokker fleet with Embraer 175s will drive efficiencies, leading to increased operations on existing routes and even new ones. The process might have been painful, but the decision will improve operations, as shown on page 39.
While not everyone else featured in this edition of Routes News might have seen such extensive operational changes, they are still treating the new year as an opportunity for fresh thinking. On page 16 we learn of Jet Air’s new CEO Vinay Dube’s future plans while Pegasus Airlines sales and network planning director Emre Pekesen shares how the airline is bouncing back from some difficult years on page 22.
Elsewhere, we look at where the opportunities lie in Asia on page 56 while Brisbane is making its final preparations to host Routes Asia 2018 (page 75).
However, some difficult questions still need answering, as our study of American airport infrastructure shows on page 69. As ever, the question comes down to money but we can all be pretty sure whoever provides it, and in doing so brings US infrastructure up to date, will receive a lot more thanks than whoever signed off the last US jumbo jet flight.
editor, Routes News