Simple Flying | December 16, 2021
Major US airline executives faced questioning from the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on Wednesday. One of the topics that came up were recent cuts to some regional routes, including some market exits. Several others offered their input. However, it was United’s CEO, Scott Kirby, who had the most to say. According to his testimony, nearly 100 regional aircraft are parked at United due to the ongoing pilot shortage.
United has regional jets parked over pilot shortage
“We have almost 100 airplanes effectively grounded right now – regional aircraft, because there’s not enough pilots to fly them, which means we just can’t, at the moment, fly to all the small communities that we would like to.”
-United’s CEO, Scott Kirby
United Airlines made headlines just a few months ago when it pulled service to a handful of destinations, mainly those receiving regional services, due to these pilot shortages. With so much appetite from large mainline carriers for pilots and continued growth in the low-cost sphere, there are not enough pilots to meet demand. In addition, training pilots is no easy task, and the cost to enter the industry has been highlighted as a barrier to training pilots.
United’s CEO emphasized the different ways United was looking at alleviating the problem. One of them is the United Aviate Academy, which only recently saw its first class of students start their education on the way to becoming a pilot. United has also made a considerable push at various levels to get people to become pilots, including sending a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to highlight the Aviate program and the various pathways for entering United as a pilot.
“Service to small communities is incredibly important to American Airlines. We serve some 230 cities in the United States. Obviously, a number of those are smaller communities…and we would like to serve more, frankly, over time.”
-CEO of American Airlines, Doug Parker
American Airlines highlights that part of its sizable brand and presence is focused on connecting the small- and medium-sized cities to the rest of the world. American has traditionally used regional jets to expand its domestic network to new cities.
Regional pilots are a vital part of the industry
While flying a CRJ or an Embraer regional jet might not be the flashiest job in the aviation world, it is one of the most important for airlines. Regional jets are part of an extensive feed network that airlines build up as a method of supporting its hubs and moving vital cargo around the country and the world.
Moreover, regional pilots are a pipeline to mainline service. Outside of hiring from the military, private, or cargo world, US airlines often recruit from the regional carriers. However, the demand up from regionals to mainline carriers is outpacing the number of pilots that regional airlines are hiring. This is due to various issues, including a lack of more widespread funding to help send people to training.
Mystifly | April 22, 2022
UATP and Mystifly announced a strategic partnership in which UATP will be integrated into MystiPay, an airline payment solution from Mystifly. The partnership focuses on reducing the cost of acceptance for travel payments.
"We recognize that the airline distribution and payments landscape is complex. Through MystiPay, and with UATP as the scheme, we want to offer a profitable and secure payment solution that unlocks new revenue streams and better rebates, while lowering the cost of acceptance. We take great pride in partnering with UATP as both businesses share a common vision to provide a better payment opportunity for all. We look forward to maximizing the value of this partnership."
Rajeev Kumar, CEO and MD, Mystifly
Today, Mystifly is one of the largest global B2B airfare aggregators backed by its strong travel technology vision. Mystifly offers search and retailing, order management, revenue and channel management, ancillary sales, multi-currency payment wallet and automated post booking management processes through their technology SaaS platform. Mystifly's model is to merge the gaps between aggregation, distribution, fulfilment and payments and settlements.
UATP President and CEO Ralph Kaiser commented, "Mystify continues to grow as a travel tech leader. Becoming an Issuer will enhance supplier relations and increase spending power. Mystifly will help save the industry money by utilizing UATP in its supplier relationships."
UATP is a global payment solution owned and operated by the world's airlines and accepted by thousands of merchants for air, rail and travel agency payments. UATP connects airlines to Alternative Forms of Payment which can expand reach and generate incremental sales globally. UATP offers easy-to-use data tools, DataStream℠ and DataMine℠, which provide comprehensive account details to Issuers and Corporate Subscribers for accurate travel management.
Mystifly is a travel tech leader in airline retailing envisioned to bring a positive difference in the experience of the travelers and how air travel is sold. Mystifly is the new operating system for existing or new businesses to start or grow their travel business globally. Certified by IATA as a NDC Level 4 Aggregator, Mystifly offers NDC-aligned tech stacks for businesses of every size. Founded in 2009, Mystifly unifies distribution, fulfilment and payments on a single platform that allows search, ticket, ancillary sales, post-booking services and payment for over 700 airlines including 180 LCCs, NDC and Non-NDC Airlines. Mystifly's suite of products empowers over 3000 clients globally.
Southwest Airlines | January 19, 2022
Uplift, the only enterprise Buy Now, Pay Later solution serving the world's top travel brands, has deepened its partnership with Southwest Airlines Co. Customers can book their Southwest Airlines® flights now through Monday, Jan. 24, to the breathtaking Hawaiian Islands with interest-free payment options through Uplift for travel dates through the end of Aug. 2022.*
Aloha seekers can visit the beautiful destinations of Honolulu (Oahu), Hilo (Hawaii Island, Kahului (Maui), Kona (Hawaii Island), and Lihue (Kauai) nonstop via interisland service, or from cities across the continental U.S. such as Las Vegas, Long Beach, Sacramento, Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Calif.
Southwest's® interest-free promotion is available for purchases as low as $49 one-way and for three or six-month terms, with no late fees or prepayment penalties. Customers can book today and fly as soon as tomorrow - even before they are finished making their payments. Travelers can also book now, and begin easy monthly installments and daydream about their spring break getaway or upcoming summer vacation trip.
"Southwest is about connecting our Customers to the places that matter most in their lives. We know there is a strong travel demand to Hawaii and are excited to fly our Customers to the Aloha State, We are grateful to enhance our partnership with Uplift, making travel more accessible, affordable, and rewarding by giving Southwest Customers the freedom to travel now and pay over time."
-Jonathan Clarkson, Vice President of Loyalty, Partnerships, and Products for Southwest Airlines.
Using Uplift installments to buy now and pay later gives Southwest Customers the freedom to book trips when they are ready and divide the cost over a series of affordable monthly payments. Uplift is available on mobile or web and is seamlessly integrated into the Southwest.com booking process for a frictionless Customer experience. Customers will see the total cost of their trip at the time of booking along with the monthly payment amount, letting them take control of their budget and create lasting travel memories.
"We are thrilled to expand our growing partnership with one of America's most beloved airlines offering customers a budget-friendly way to experience the aloha spirit of the Hawaiian Islands, Since the launch of our partnership in April 2021, we continue to see strong growth and customer adoption of Uplift's easy payment options. This incredible offer of interest-free installments makes a Hawaiian vacation a reality for travelers who already enjoy Southwest's friendly hospitality and low-cost fares and new customers as well."
-Tom Botts, Chief Commercial Officer of Uplift.
Uplift expanded its partnership with Southwest Airlines in April 2021 to Southwest.com, joining the longstanding relationship with Southwest Vacations.
Uplift partners with over 200 of the world's leading airlines, cruise lines, resorts, and other major travel brands to offer BNPL payment options to help more consumers make meaningful purchases.
Uplift flexible payment options are available now on Southwest.com—head on over to view Southwest's latest deals.
About Southwest Airlines Co.
Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world's most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2021, Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline1. Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its nearly 54,0002 People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among as many as 130 million Customers carried a year. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years3 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV).
Global Market Insights Inc. | December 17, 2021
Bristow and Overair Form Strategic Partnership to Introduce Butterfly; a Zero Emission, Low-Noise Vertical Transport Vehicle
Bristow has pre-ordered 20 to 50 Butterfly aircraft and both companies will work together to develop an operations development framework focusing on vehicle design considerations, key performance parameters, FAA certification, flight planning best practices, data sharing for improvement of flight operations, connected vehicle and health monitoring strategies, configuration and maintenance protocols, infrastructure, ground support operations, connected fleet management, and government affairs and promotion of eVTOL operations.
"Bristow's decades of vertical lift experience will greatly enhance Butterfly's path to commercialization. Their operating insight, combined with our development and execution of the Butterfly program, will position Butterfly to serve Bristow as a valuable workhorse on high-density routes, We're elated to learn from Bristow's practical expertise and ultimately deliver an aircraft optimized for their use cases."
-Ben Tigner, Chief Executive Officer of Overair.
"Our MOU with Overair allows us to advance our leadership position in the vertical transportation market that we've built over the past 70+ years and will now set the stage for the next generation of vertical flight. Our collaboration facilitates expansion into new high-density geographic markets with sustainable, innovative and efficient vertical lift and aerial transport services, As the global leader in vertical lift, Bristow's operational expertise and efficiency, supported by the trust and confidence of our customers, can safely bring eVTOL aircraft into the market."
-Bristow President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Bradshaw.
Bristow, one of the world's largest and most experienced helicopter operators, plans to use the unique attributes of these eVTOL aircraft to help reduce its carbon footprint. The company understands the benefits of a varied fleet and intends to diversify its existing operations with Butterfly and other eVTOLs for commercial air taxi routes in metropolitan areas. Notably, of the vehicles Bristow is currently considering, Butterfly is the only aircraft with a vectored thrust configuration.
Bristow expects to optimize its fleet management strategy by matching eVTOL attributes with the most economically productive mission profiles. Butterfly's low-noise profile, payload capacity and ability to fly in a broad range of weather conditions will be well-suited for high-density, noise sensitive routes in geographies with varied environmental concerns. The Butterfly aircraft features low maintenance costs and mechanical simplicity, which enables high vehicle uptime and utilization, increasing operator margins and passing value on to riders.
Overair's experience developing military-grade rotorcraft propulsion systems is expected to unlock a highly strategic collaboration between the companies. Work is set to begin immediately, focusing on FAA certification planning, a robust safety operating culture, and other unique aspects of vertical flight operations.
About Bristow Group
Bristow Group Inc. is the leading global provider of innovative and sustainable vertical flight solutions. Bristow primarily provides aviation services to a broad base of major integrated, national and independent offshore energy companies. Bristow provides commercial search and rescue (SAR) services in several countries and public sector SAR services in the United Kingdom (U.K.) on behalf of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). Additionally, the Company offers ad hoc helicopter and fixed wing transportation services. Bristow currently has customers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad, the U.K. and the U.S.
Overair, Inc. is positioned to be a global leader in advanced air mobility. Based in Santa Ana, California, Overair's growing team is harnessing decades of military aircraft innovation to design, manufacture, and operate all-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. With a path to FAA certification in 2025, Overair is dedicated to making the world a smaller, cleaner place for everyone using Butterfly, the most robust, efficient, and quiet aircraft in its class.