Last updated: 09:16 AM ET, Tue March 22 2016

United Unveils Final Cuba Plans: Airline Pulse News and Notes for March 22

Airlines & Airports | Josh Lew | March 22, 2016

United Unveils Final Cuba Plans: Airline Pulse News and Notes for March 22

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Finnair Flies Next-Gen Airbus to Hong Kong
The next generation of long-haul airplanes is in the air. Finnair is now flying the ultra-long range Airbus A350 XWB from Helsinki to Hong Kong. The Finnish carrier expects to have seven XWBs by the end of the year. This will help it double its capacity on flights to Asia by 2020.

Alaska Airlines Frequent Flyers Can Use Miles to Pay for PreCheck
Under a new initiative, Alaska Airlines frequent flyer program members can use their frequent flyer miles to pay for membership in the TSA’s PreCheck program. So far, the offer is only available for a limited time (the current offer will run through April 30).

American Airlines Reaches Tentative Deal with Dispatchers
American Airlines is slowly moving to work out long standing labor issues. On Friday, it agreed to terms with the union representing its flight dispatchers. The workers, many of whom are based at a new integrated operations center in Fort Worth, still have to ratify the deal.

United Airlines Wants to Fly to Cuba from Four Hubs
Yesterday, United Airlines submitted the final details of its application for Cuba service. The carrier wants to fly to Havana from Newark, Washington DC, Chicago and Houston. Unlike many of the other applicants, it has no plans to offer flights from Florida.


Southwest Airlines has said that it will pay the airfare for a Texas spelling bee champion when she goes to Washington, DC in May to compete for the national title. 

After years of purchasing fuel hedges to protect themselves from high prices, airlines are now moving away from the practice of purchasing futures. Delta and United have no hedges in place for next year, and JetBlue and Spirit only have a small amount.  

Jetstar Japan is expanding its international service. The low-cost carrier is adding flights to Manila from Tokyo Narita. Low-cost carriers like Jetstar have been looking outward to international destinations instead of expanding in the ultra-competitive domestic market. 

The International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation has said that any deals made to cap limits on aviation emissions must be enforceable, meaning there should be penalties for airlines that exceed emissions limits. The ICAO is currently working on a deal that will set emission plans in motion. It is trying to get something in place by October of this year. 


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