Delta Air Lines flight attendants will vote on union representation between April 23 and June 3. Delta has told the attendants that both the company and the workers benefit from their direct relationship. An airline spokeswoman also noted that the lack of unionization has allowed the airline to react quickly to make changes that help the carrier.
Domestic flights were 76% full in 2007, compared with 60% in 1997, according to a recent USA TODAY analysis. Experts say the high load factors will persist as carriers cut capacity to offset the soaring price of jet fuel.
Aloha Airlines' decision to file for bankruptcy protection is not an indication that other carriers will follow suit, observers say. Observers note that the airline faced soaring fuel prices and intense competition.
Canadian jetmaker Bombardier Aerospace is considering building a passenger jet assembly plant in Kansas City, Mo. A company spokesman noted that other states have expressed interest in the project. Bombardier is expected to make a decision later this year.
Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have separately gained backing from rival unions within the airline industry. Clinton has the support of the International Association of Machinists, while Obama is backed by the Teamsters, the second-largest union in the U.S.