Madhu Unnikrishnan

Aviation Daily

Madhu Unnikrishnan is editor-in-chief of Aviation Daily and the Commercial Channel on the Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN), and he also covers North American airlines for those publications and Aviation Week & Space Technology. Prior to returning to Aviation Week in 2014, he handled media relations for Virgin America. From 2004-2013, Madhu held a variety of editorial roles at Aviation Week, starting as the editor of and AWIN, moving on to cover international affairs for Aviation Daily, and was business editor of Aviation Week & Space Technology. He began his aviation journalism career as one of the launch editors for two industry e-newsletters. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Tufts University and holds a master of science degree with honors from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Cooperation Key To Latin America Safety, But Infrastructure Remains A Challenge 
PANAMA CITY—Latin America’s safety record is the result of a variety of factors, including cultural affinity among the countries in the region, the age of the fleet and strong cooperation between governments, industry and ICAO, industry experts said here at the ALTA Pan-American Aviation Safety Summit.
ALTA: Caribbean Tourism Market Hampered By Taxes 
PANAMA CITY—The lack of air connectivity among the Caribbean islands remains one of the tallest barriers to unlocking the full potential of the region’s tourism market, the head of ALTA told Aviation Daily at the ALTA Pan-American Aviation Safety Summit here.
Airline Leaders Call For More Latin America Investment 
PANAMA CITY—Passenger traffic in Latin America is expected to grow between 5–10% per year over the next decade. But this growth could be hampered by lack of government investment in infrastructure, air traffic control systems and airports, industry leaders said at the ALTA Pan-American Aviation Safety Summit here.
Udvar-Hazy To Step Down As Air Lease Corp. CEO 
Steven Udvar-Hazy, founder of Air Lease Corporation (ALC), is stepping down as CEO. John Plueger will assume the role July 1.
American Disputes JetBlue’s Claims About Its Cuba Prices 
SAN FRANCISCO—American Airlines has vigorously objected to JetBlue’s claims in a regulatory filing that American’s Cuba fares are overpriced.
New Southwest Reservation System Supports Foreign Sales 
DENVER—When it goes live in 2017, Southwest Airlines’ new reservation system will allow the carrier to expand to international points of sale, David Harvey, managing director of business development, said at the Airports Council International-North America JumpStart conference here.
ACI-NA: PFC Cap Hamstrings Airports In Attracting Service 

DENVER—Not raising the Passenger Facility Charges (PFC) will prevent airports from attracting new air service, but the U.S.

Biffle: Airports, Be ‘Cautious’ With Construction Projects 
DENVER—Frontier Airlines is expected to join the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Precheck expedited screening program by the end of July. But the airline does not expect many of its passengers to avail themselves of the service, Frontier CEO Barry Biffle said here.
WOW Air Starts San Francisco Flights 
SAN FRANCISCO—Iceland-based WOW Air inaugurated service June 9 between San Francisco and Reykjavik, the first nonstop flights between Iceland and San Francisco since Icelandair ceased its operations at San Francisco International Airport in the mid-2000s.
Star Still In Talks With Azul 
Star Alliance still is interested in adding Brazilian carrier Azul, but talks have stalled as the carrier deals with the economic downturn in Brazil.
Analysts See Room For Fifth Large U.S. Airline  1
The U.S. airline industry is well consolidated. But mergers of midsized carriers could establish a strong fifth force in the market.
Podcast: Strong Words Beneath The Surface At The IATA AGM
At this year’s IATA annual general meeting in Dublin, the Middle East carriers once again dominated the news. While the CEOs of Delta and Emirates refused to engage in a public spat over open dkies, Qatar Airways was considerably less restrained. Aircraft tracking was also high on the agenda, but no consensus was reached on how to resolve the issue. Listen in as our editors discuss all this and the latest on Qatar Airways refusing its first A320neo.
Further Consolidation Could Result In Fifth Major U.S. Carrier 1
DUBLIN—U.S. airline industry consolidation has not run its course, with further mergers possibly resulting in a fifth major network carrier, two PwC consultants told Aviation Daily in an interview here.
United Takes Unique Approach For Cuba Strategy
United Airlines has taken a “reasoned” approach in its application for flights between the U.S. and Cuba, maximizing what it calls geographical diversity in the U.S. for flights to Havana.
U.S. Must Ensure Competition, Says Hawaiian’s CEO 
Airline industry consolidation has benefited the carriers that have merged and the industry at large, but the U.S. government must ensure that independents are able to compete, the CEO of Hawaiian Airlines said.

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