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AirlineGeeks Podcast Episode 13: Airlines Around The World Welcome Historic Changes, Bailouts (Photo: AirlineGeeks)

AirlineGeeks Podcast Episode 13: Airlines Around The World Welcome Historic Changes, Bailouts

Thank you for reading the AirlineGeeks Podcast Recap. This article gives a brief look at this week’s episode of our news podcast. For our full analysis of each of these stories, you can listen to the AirlineGeeks Podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or through our distributor, Anchor.

We start this episode by looking at U.S. legacy carriers’ decisions to cut change fees on certain flights. Last week, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines all announced they would be cutting change fees on select flights and for select fare classes.

All will be cutting domestic change fees, while American and Delta extended the change to flights on select international and inter-territorial routes. United and American also went so far as to allow for free same-day standby, allowing people to get on a different flight to their destination on standby at no extra charge. 

Each airline says the change is permanent, and we take a look at what broader fee structures may look like in the future after this change. We also dive into the implications of the free-same-day-standby change and what that could mean for airlines.

Our second stop takes us to Israel, where El Al has operated its first flight to the United Arab Emirates flying over Saudi Arabian airspace. The flight — usually impossible since Arab nations have historically banned El Al and other flights to and from Israel from utilizing their airspace — was made possible by a peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and brokered by the U.S. The flight, which usually takes seven hours, took less than three-and-a-half hours as a result of having the freedom to operate over Saudi Arabia.

On the podcast, we consider what this change can mean for El Al moving forward, including potential for new destinations and better environmentalism. And we briefly consider what the peace deal may mean for the region as a whole, not just for El Al and its home country.

Last, we discuss Emirates’ $2 billion government aid package. A carrier that relies predominantly on ultra-long-haul international travel — a sector hit especially hard by the coronavirus crisis — Emirates is especially vulnerable at the moment and is at risk for laying off thousands of workers. The latest government support will help the carrier stay afloat in the coming months. Abu Dhabi says it is open to providing additional support going forward, so if the airline continues to struggle it may be likely to petition for more funding.

We also take a quick look at Emirates’ fleet plans and how it’s adapting its orders to fit its current situation. We also consider how its status as an upscale, high-frills airline may be affecting it at the moment and how passengers may adapt their flying habits based on economic hardships brought on by the pandemic.

We hope you’ll give our episode a listen at our links above for a more in-depth discussion of each of these stories. Monitor our pages on your favorite streaming service each Friday to hear the latest episode just as it’s published – at 12 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time each week. Let us know what you think in the comments.

John McDermott
John McDermott
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