Lonely Planet Writer

Today's airline news from around the world

In today’s airline news from around the world we look at the invention of a futuristic office-seat for airplanes and wonder whether the Airlander 10 will ever take to the air.

American Airlines.
American Airlines. Image by Aero Icarus / CC BY-SA 2.0

American Airlines Group pilots’ union has released a statement protesting at the company’s “toxic” labour relations. The complaint comes after the company merged with US Airways, a move the union supported as they believed it would improve workers’ conditions. However, according to the pilots’ union things have stayed bad. “The new American Airlines product is outright embarrassing and we’re tired of apologizing to our passengers,” it read. AA has yet to respond.

JetBlue jet
JetBlue jet Image by Michael Gray / CC BY-SA 2.0

Jet Blue has announced its new pilot training program known as Gateway Select. It’s an intensive four-year program that will cost around $125,000 per person. “Applicants will undergo a series of assessments aimed at identifying those who demonstrate the qualities needed to become a high-performing pilot,” the airline announced. The pilots will then work for the airline.

The Airlander 10
The Airlander 10 Image by US Army/Youtube

The Airlander 10 is a cross between an airship and an aeroplane and if reports are to be believed then it’ll be taking off on its maiden voyage. The Airlander was originally developed by the US army in 2009 but reimagined for commercial use in subsequent years.

British Airways.
British Airways. Image by Mark Harkin / CC BY 2.0

British Airways is ending its unaccompanied minor (UM) service – meaning that children under 12 years of age won’t be allowed to travel alone on the carrier’s planes from early next year. The decision, which the airline says is due to a decline in demand, has annoyed parents. The Independent in London reports that BA has promised to honour existing bookings up to the end of next January but no new bookings will be taken beyond that date. Any booking made but not yet ticketed will be “cancelled automatically”. BA will still take advance bookings for 12-18-year-olds who want to fly independently.

Panasonic's futuristic office seat Waterfront
Panasonic’s futuristic office seat Waterfront Image by Panasonicces

Panasonic has reinvented airplane business class travel definitively! Its latest invention is testament to its work at improving inflight travel. Essentially it’s come up with a business class office suite that is also a living room and a bedroom but mainly your inflight seat! The company, working with B/E Aerospace, Teague and Formation Design Group, has come up with the futuristic design and intends to roll it out to different airlines. The office-seats feature 24-inch 4K display screens, device-charging stations and personal mood lighting which can all function via Bluetooth.

United Airlines.
United Airlines. Image by Aero Icarus / CC BY-SA 2.0

A United Airlines jet headed to Germany from the US, was forced to turn around and land in Houston after a ‘bird strike’, after it hit birds badly on it way. Everybody landed safely in Houston and the airplane is being examined by experts who believe it was quite a large bird.