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Trending Aviation News – Issue 104 (Updated)

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Today’s trending aviation news comes courtesy of Delta Air Lines (DL), Air France (AF), Alaska Air (AS) and Starbucks.

Trending Aviation News – February

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines (DL) pushed out an update to its iOS and Android mobile applications. One significant feature to this update is the ability for Sky Medallion(R) members to book award flights directly through the application and the ability to use the miles and cash option to buy fares (check the image below for the other updates).

Update to the Fly Delta application
Image taken from the iOS application description for Fly Delta on February 5, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)

This update puts DL on par its rival United Airlines (UA) which has in-app award booking ability through a major update back in November 2013. Another competitor, American Airlines (AA) currently does not have this feature enabled in-app. Its AAdvantage(R) members can book award flights online or through an agent.

Air France

February’s Delicacies On Board Air France Flights – AF is known for the food served onboard its international flights. For February and March 2015, the French airline is teaming up with Régis Marcon and Anne-Sophie Pic (both with three Michelin stars) to create separate dishes to be served on its La Première (First Class) and Business Class cabins.

Chef Marcon designed a new starter and 5 entrées for the La Première cabin. The theme of these dishes is “to put nature onto your plate”

Steamed chicken with honey and lemon (Air France La Premiere Meal)
Steamed chicken with honey and lemon (Air France La Premiere Meal) Image taken from Air France website on February 5, 2015 (All Rights Reserved)
CATFISH AND SHRIMP WITH MUSHROOMS BOUILLABAISSE-STYLE, TURNIPS, BABY CARROTS, POTATOES, FINGERLING
CATFISH AND SHRIMP WITH MUSHROOMS BOUILLABAISSE-STYLE, TURNIPS, BABY CARROTS, POTATOES, FINGERLING (Air France La Preimère Meal February 2015). Image taken from Air France’s website on February 5, 2015

Chef Pic’s designed 5entrées for Business class. They will be renewed every two months to ensure frequent travellers have an opportunity to sample different dishes.

Lightly-grilled shrimp, creamy mozzarella, tomato and Madagascar vanilla butter, slightly warm cherry tomatoes
Lightly-grilled shrimp, creamy mozzarella, tomato and Madagascar vanilla butter, slightly warm cherry tomatoes (Air France Business Class). Image taken from Air France’s website on February 5, 2015.

 

SLOW-COOKED SALMON, LENTILS SEVERAL WAYS, SPICES AND RED ONION PICKLES
SLOW-COOKED SALMON, LENTILS SEVERAL WAYS, SPICES AND RED ONION PICKLES (Air France Business Class Meal). Image taken from Air France’s website on February 5, 2015

The onboard service plays an integral part of the user experience of the traveller. This is especially important for the high-yield passenger that demands the best.  With so many trip reviews tweeted and posted online, this is an effective marketing tool for Air France to gain more passengers. Is there a famous saying, “The way to a person’s heart is through food”?

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Air Group Reports January 2015 Operational Results – Alaska Air (AS) reported results that were largely in line with expectation. Below is an infographic of key items noted from the results:

Alaska Air (AS) January 2015 Results
Information taken from Alaska Air’s website and infographic created by Experience The Skies both on February 5, 2015. (All Rights Reserved)

As the airline continues to expand into new markets and add capacity in existing routes to compete with Delta Air Lines (DL), the load factor decreased from 82.4% to 80.5% from a year ago. This is also reflected by the 3.5% gap between available seat miles growth and revenue passengers growth in miles.

Oil prices are at a multi-year low, a low factor of 80% is not a significant problem for AS. If this trends continue, the airline might review how I can continue to add capacity without sacrificing the bottom line.

The market liked the news and the stock is up slightly against a down day for the airline sector.

Alaska Air Group Stock performance on Feb 5
Alaska Air Group Stock performance on Feb 5. Information taken from Google Finance (All Rights Reserved)

Starbucks

Delta to Serve Fresh Brewed Starbucks Coffee on All Flights Worldwide – Beginning in February 1, 2015, Delta Air Lines will be the 5th international airline to serve Starbucks coffee on its flights.  Starbucks® Pike Place® Roast and Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew Italian Roast decaf have been chosen to serve the caffeine duties on over 1,270 DL aircrafts.

Other airlines using Starbucks (R) coffee is shown in the infographic below:

Starbucks and Airlines
Starbucks served on different airlines. Information taken from Starbucks’ website and infographic created by Experience The Skies both on February 5, 2015.

From February 4 to February 8, 2015, DL and Starbucks are operating a contest with its US based traveller. To enter, contestants have to answer the question, “Where You want to go” on a cup and share a photo of it with the hashtag #deltacupcontest .

One winner will be chosen from all entries and will receive a round trip travel certificate for an economy class flight anywhere Delta Air Lines flies. Contest rules can be found using this link.

 

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