Last updated: 09:55 AM ET, Tue April 12 2016

TSA Staffing Woes May Cause Huge Delays: Airline Pulse News and Notes for April 12, 2016

Airlines & Airports | Josh Lew | April 12, 2016

TSA Staffing Woes May Cause Huge Delays: Airline Pulse News and Notes for April 12, 2016

These are the air travel stories taking off on the internet today. 

TSA Staffing Woes May Cause Huge Delays
Airlines are worried that understaffed TSA checkpoints could lead to major delays that could cause fliers to miss their planes. The TSA has admitted that it made a mistake by cutting staff numbers over the past few years. 

Alaska Airlines Creates New Subsidiary
Alaska Airlines has created a new subsidiary called McGee Air Services that will clean its airplanes and provide airport mobility services. Alaska claims that having its own dedicated service company will help it cut costs and maintain good on-time performance. McGee could branch out to provide services to other airlines as well.

Boeing Meeting with Iranian Airlines after Airbus Scores Big
After Iranian carriers ordered $27 billion worth of aircraft from Airbus, Boeing is in Tehran to drum up its own post-sanctions business. To sweeten the deal, Boeing has promised to provide support for its older aircraft that are still being used by some airlines in Iran

American Fliers Love Tampa International
According to data collected from fliers by a mobile platform called AirportXP, Tampa International Airport is the best airport in the United States. 82 percent of fliers said they had a very positive experience there (scoring Tampa a 6 or 7 on a seven point scale). Salt Lake City came in second on the survey.


Charlotte Douglas Airport is now the fifth busiest airport in the United States (and the six busiest in the world). The North Carolina hub got a lot of traffic from American Airlines after its merger with U.S. Airways.  

Air India has launched its eighth service to Europe with direct flights to Vienna, Austria from New Delhi. The flag carrier will use Boeing Dreamliners for the three-times-per week service. 

Another air accident was narrowly averted in Nepal. A Nepal Airlines plane landed safely after a wire in its landing gear steering system snapped. The pilots were able to compensate for the problem and land without incident. Nepal has already had several fatal air accidents this year. 

Business class fares are being heavily discounted by some airlines. Etihad and Malaysia Airlines are both offering 50 percent off on some routes and other carriers could follow as they focus on selling premium economy class seats instead of filling the higher classes. 
Some pundits are worried that Alaska Airlines took too big of a risk when it bought Virgin America. The airline industry has had a series of M&A successes with three recent legacy carrier mergers and Southwest’s AirTran takeover. Could this winning record take a hit with the recent Virgin-Alaska deal? Some analysts think so. 


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