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.

DOT Defers 12-Month Samoan Cabotage Exemption 
The only U.S. cabotage route got another extension May 26, when the Transportation Department lengthened for 30 days Polynesian Airlines’ right to operate between Pago Pago and the Manu’a Islands in American Samoa.
Southwest Pilots Claim 737-8 MAX Not Covered By Contract 57
Southwest Airlines’ pilots union is seeking court protection to prevent the airline from operating Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft without a contract provision for the type—a lawsuit the airline called “premature.”
DOT Awards Haneda Nighttime Slot To Hawaiian 

SAN FRANCISCO—Hawaiian Airlines has won the right to operate between Tokyo Haneda Airport and Honolulu and Kona, Hawaii, the Transportation Department (DOT) announced May 13.                                                                 

Southwest Frustrated By Long Beach Slot Restrictions 
Southwest Airline wants to expand at Long Beach Airport in California, but can’t until more slots are made available at the slot-constrained airport.
European Airlines Likely Next Consolidation Candidates 
As the already mature North American market slows down on mergers, a big question at the IATA annual meeting will be: Will the merger idea finally be picked up in earnest elsewhere in the world and, if so, when, where and how?
Airline Industry Leaders Concerned Over Protectionism  1
Hot button topics such as open skies and liberalization dominate Sky Harbor International Aviation Symposium.
Southwest: Mexico City Slot Allocation ‘Not Transparent’ 
Southwest Airlines is in what it calls the “first phase” of its expansion in Mexico. At first the low-cost carrier will target leisure routes to resort destinations, but that will change as it begins a second phase, an executive with the Dallas-based carrier said in an interview here.
Airline Leaders Decry Protectionist Threats 
Airline leaders at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Aviation Symposium say they remain concerned that protectionism is rising and could threaten further liberalization in the global airline industry.
Volaris To Base Subsidiary Airline In Costa Rica 
Mexican LCC Volaris plans to launch a Costa Rican subsidiary to serve the growing Central American market, Chief Commercial Officer Holger Blankenstein said.
Battle For Norwegian Air International’s U.S. Operating Permit  2
Norwegian Air International long-haul expansion plans scored a major victory with tentative U.S. Transportation Department approval of its foreign air carrier permit.
American Makes Case For Proposed Haneda Flights 
American Airlines has presented a full-throated defense of why it should be allocated two daytime slots from the U.S. to Tokyo’s close-in Haneda Airport, and subsequently dismissed rival claims by Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.
EC Seeks NAI Arbitration In Face Of U.S. House Roadblock 
The European Commission has obtained a mandate to initiate arbitration under the U.S.–EU open skies agreement, in order to resolve the impasse over a U.S. foreign air carrier permit for Norwegian Air International (NAI), Aviation Daily has learned.
Southwest Flying Daily To Costa Rica 

Southwest Airlines is expanding its international schedule with new daily flights from Los Angeles International Airport to Liberia, Costa Rica. At 5.5 hr. each way, it will be Southwest’s longest scheduled route, spokesman Brad Hawkins said. These will be Southwest’s first international flights from LAX, the airline’s 13th international gateway.  Southwest  started flying outside the U.S. on its own aircraft in July 2014.

Southwest Launches LAX-Costa Rica Flights 
Southwest Airlines is expanding its international schedule with new daily flights from Los Angeles International Airport to Liberia, Costa Rica.
Podcast: Will Alaska-Virgin America Deal Pass Muster? 2
Air Transport World’s Karen Walker and Aviation Daily’s Madhu Unnikrishnan discuss regulatory hurdles to $2.6-billion deal and whether it marks the end of U.S. airline consolidation.

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