Last updated: 09:30 AM ET, Mon February 08 2016

Airline Pulse: News and Notes for Feb. 8, 2016

Airlines & Airports | Josh Lew | February 08, 2016

Airline Pulse: News and Notes for Feb. 8, 2016

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

American Airlines to Build New Gates at O’Hare
Just a few days after announcing a billion dollar runway expansion, Chicago O’Hare and the city’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel have inked a deal with American Airlines. The carrier will build five new gates at the airport. The gates, which will be located in Terminal 3, are slated to open in 2018.

South African Airways Continues Jo’burg-Sao Paulo Flights Despite Zika Scare
Though South African Airways did advise pregnant women not to take advantage of its daily service to Sao Paulo, the airline has said that it will not stop or limit flights to Brazil. SAA cited a recent WHO report, which said that there was no justification for limiting travel to infected areas.

Pakistani Expats Stranded by Ongoing Airline Strike 
Employees of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have been striking for the past week over plans to privatize the carrier. This has left a large number of Pakistani expats stranded in the Middle East. PIA is one of the only airlines to offer service into Pakistan, so expats working in the UAE and other Gulf states are simply unable to return home until the strike ends.

Zimbabwe Becoming the Center of Africa’s Fare Wars
Competition is heating up in Southern Africa. No fewer than five airlines are vying for supremacy on the popular Harare-Johannesburg route. This is good for fliers, who can find very low fares on flights offered by South African Airways, Comair, South African Express, fastjet and Air Zimbabwe.


Airlines who have ordered Airbus A320neos will have to wait a couple of extra months for their planes to be delivered. Ongoing issues with the new aircraft model’s engines are said to be behind the delay.  

Air Seychelles is now offering service from China. The flag carrier’s first flight from Beijing took off on Feb. 2. This will be a once-a-week service that is expected to increase the number of Chinese visitors to the Indian Ocean island nation.  

Canadian airlines are slightly late to the party, but they are now rolling out Wi-Fi on their airplanes. Both Air Canada and WestJet are in the process of outfitting their planes with wireless internet capabilities.  

Canada’s new government wants to help travelers streamline their trips to the U.S. Lawmakers are currently discussing putting U.S. customs pre-clearance checkpoints at Toronto Island and Quebec City airports. With the pre-clearance capabilities, planes taking off from these airports could fly to airports in the U.S. that normally do not accept international arrivals.  

It is another sign that IAG wants a bigger share of the Latin American market: Spanish carrier Iberia, which is owned by IAG, is increasing the frequency of its Madrid-Montevideo service to five flights per week. 


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