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The dearth of new orders for the C Series is a source of concern for anyone following the program.  Why, one might ask, is such a technically good aircraft not winning orders?

Bombardier’s competitors have been very successful at undermining their C Series not because of anything wrong with the aircraft.  It has been far easier to undermine sales by pointing to the overall company as it has struggled financially to get the program done along with developing the Global.  The debacle on the Lear 85 was symptomatic of this: it was a program that appeared poorly executed.   One did not have to say anything about the C Series.  It has been far easier to cast doubt on the Bombardier management overall.

By comparison Airbus was moving its neo project rapidly and closing what should have been a two year advantage for Bombardier.   Boeing… Continue reading

People like to make jokes about air travel in the US. It the staple of every dinner party and also great value for any stand-up comic. Is service really that bad? After all, Americans are paying relatively low fares and they get to travel across a really big piece of real estate very safely, and perhaps even conveniently.

There is always some truth in humor, however. Continue reading

US airlines have announced record profits – load factors are at all time highs.  Fares are higher than you would think necessary with fuel prices down considerably.  Consolidation has been excellent news for the US airline industry.

But what has this meant for the air traveler?  It seems fair to say that what is good for an airline’s bottom line is the opposite for what is good for a passenger’s bottom.

Take a look at this chart which lists the number of flights reported by US airlines on a monthly basis from January 2010 through June 2015.  The trend line tells us the big story.  In summer we see more flights as one would expect and winter sees big declines.  But overall flights are down. Oligopoly at work is clear to see.  No wonder load factors are at all time highs. Continue reading