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.

Norwegian To Serve French West Indies From JFK, BWI, Boston 

Norwegian Air Shuttle will begin operating seasonal service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) and Boston Logan International Airport and the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, and plans to use Boeing 737-800s, configured with 186 seats. 

JetBlue: DOT Should Limit Term Of Qantas-American JV 
The New York-based carrier is asking the DOT to approve the Qantas-American JV for three years, renewing it only “upon a further showing by the joint applicants that the consumer benefits described in the joint application have been realized,” JetBlue said in its filing.
Delta Threatens Dallas With Legal Action Over Love Gates 
Delta says the two gates were “abandoned” by United Airlines, and Southwest has been operating flights from the gates, giving it effective control of 18 of the 20 gates at Love Field. Virgin America operates the other two gates.
Delta To Surrender Haneda Slots, American To Begin Flights From LAX 
Delta’s move means American Airlines—the carrier DOT designated as the backup for the slots—will begin operating flights between Los Angeles and Haneda this autumn. The exact date has not been determined, but flight times will be announced soon, an American spokesman told Aviation Daily.
IATA Halts Carry-On Bag Initiative 

IATA is “pausing” rollout of its “Cabin OK” plan, which sought to limit the size of carry-on bags, ostensibly to ensure that carry-on luggage travels in the cabin even when the flight is full. The plan, announced last week at IATA’s Annual General Meeting in Miami, met with intense opposition from some carriers, particularly in the U.S., many of which said they had no plans to comply.

United To Cease Flights From JFK 

United Airlines from Oct. 25 will cease operating flights from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport, and will shift all operations to Newark Liberty International Airport, the company said. Delta Air Lines will trade its Newark slots for United’s JFK slots, pending government approval. The companies are not disclosing how many slots will be traded at each airport.

Virgin Atlantic, Delta Add Transatlantic Flights 
The move is not the only sign that the two airlines are deepening their partnership, which began when Delta bought a 49% equity share in the London-based carrier in 2012. They plan to move Virgin Atlantic to Delta’s passenger-service technology system.
Podcast: “Subsidies” Versus “Protectionism" Trade Dispute
Our editors discuss the escalation in the battle between the big U.S. and Middle East carriers — and why the U.S. airlines are not unified in their stance.
American Deepens Partnership With Qantas On New Australia Routes 
Starting in December, the joint-venture (JV) partners and Oneworld members will operate new service between Sydney and San Francisco and Los Angeles. American will begin daily service from Los Angeles on Dec. 17, using Boeing 777-300ERs.
Etihad Sees Near-Term Network Growth Through Partnerships
“People forget we’re a young airline,” he said, referring to Etihad’s network. Equity-partners Air Berlin, Alitalia and Jet Airways could fuel additional growth in Europe and India. Growth in China and South America, on the other hand, is most likely to stem from codeshare partners.
Hawaiian: Lack Of Awareness Of Hawaii As Destination A ‘Challenge’ In China
“There is a huge market and demand for travel [from China] to the U.S.,” Dunkerley told Aviation Daily at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting (AGM) here.
United: No Plans To Add GDS Surcharge 

United Airlines plans to increase capacity by just 1-2% this year, mainly through upgauging and the addition of slimline seats, CFO John Rainey told analysts this week. Slimline seats allow the carrier to add a “couple of rows” per aircraft without added staff or fuel costs, he said. Separately, the carrier is watching its Star Alliance partner Lufthansa’s move to add a €16 ($18) surcharge to tickets booked through global distribution systems (GDS). “It is probably too early to say what will happen at this point,” Rainey said.

Virgin America Pilots Vote To Join ALPA 
The vote ends an ALPA-targeted campaign by Virgin America pilots that the union said started more than a year ago.
Fitch Gives Etihad ‘A’ Rating 
The rating comes at a sensitive time for Etihad, which is fending off allegations made by U.S. and European carriers that it is unfairly subsidized by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government.
JetBlue Defends Open Skies, Calls For Regular Reviews of Joint Ventures  14
JetBlue Airways is hitting back hard against the U.S. carriers seeking to limit the Persian Gulf airlines’ access to the U.S., urging the Transportation Department not to bow to pressure to curtail open skies.

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