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.

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.
Bleak Economic Times Make Hard-Going For Latin American Carriers
For most Latin American carrier CEOs coming to the IATA AGM, the prosperity of their continental neighbors in North America seems a distant dream. Political instability in two of South America’s largest countries is adding to airlines’ woes in the region, as economic travails continue.
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.

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