The percentage of Delta Air Lines employees who are vaccinated against COVID-19 has risen from 74% to 82% in the weeks since the airline announced that unvaccinated employees would receive a health insurance surcharge. "We know how to keep our employees and our customers safe," said Chief Health Officer Henry Ting.
Reports of passenger misbehavior have dropped 50% since the start of 2021 but the number of incidents is still unacceptably high, the Federal Aviation Administration reported. Airlines, airport, labor and federal stakeholders are continuing to work together to develop additional steps to curb unruly passengers. FAA Administrator Steve Dickson applauded this collaboration saying, "We appreciate the tremendous work of all our partners in the airline, airport, labor, and law enforcement communities." During a House Aviation Subcommittee hearing, Lauren Beyer, vice president of security and facilitation for Airlines for America, reiterated the organization's call on the Justice Department to bring more criminal charges as necessary.
Southwest Airlines plans to hire another 8,000 employees in 2022 in addition to its 2021 goal of 5,000 new crew members, and is offering a higher minimum wage as well as recruitment bonuses in response to a competitive market for employees, said Robert Jordan, who will take over as CEO in February. "Job one this fall is we have to get staffed and get stable in our operation because stability in our operation depends on getting staffed right," Jordan said.
United Airlines is adding more user-friendly options for passengers to use travel credits by automatically displaying it as a payment option when booking a flight. The function is available for MileagePlus members and will be implemented for all customers in the near future. "It's not just the right thing to do for our customers, but it's also the right way to re-introduce more customers to the United travel experience," said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer.
American Airlines will "absolutely" resume international flights from Seattle and Los Angeles, said Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja -- once Asian countries and Australia relax travel restrictions. "Our West Coast network development is limited not actually by our partnership, the availability of airplanes, or even our imagination" but by the fact "that there's not very many countries that are to the left of Los Angeles that are willing to go let 300 people per flight deplane into their country right now," Raja said.
Delta Air Lines is "thrilled to call Atlanta home," CEO Ed Bastian told the local Kiwanis Club in an interview that touched on the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of sustainability and diversity initiatives. "Hartsfield-Jackson is the best run airport; it is the biggest airport, and it drives the most amount of economic value for our region over any other asset in the state," Bastian said.
New aircraft increase sustainability in aviation because they are more fuel efficient and capable of using higher percentages of sustainable aviation fuel, says Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. "The pace at which innovation has gone into fuel burn and carbon emission has been impressive," Faury said.
An amendment included in the National Defense Authorization Act that would reverse the Federal Aviation Administration's sudden change in flight training policy for certain types of aircraft garnered approval from the House of Representatives on Sept. 23.
Business jet flights in the first few weeks of September increased 15% worldwide from the same period in 2019, continuing an upward trend in which traffic is exceeding pre-pandemic figures, according to a WingX report. Almost 2.4 million business jet flights have taken place so far in 2021.
The Fly Wisconsin Airport Passport Program encourages pilots to collect stamps on a "passport" as they make stops at any of the state's 125 participating airports and earn prizes, such as a flight bag or leather jacket, when they reach certain milestones. Since launching in 2017, the program has attracted around 1,900 participants, including one couple who documents their flights on a YouTube channel called The Flying Stampede.
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