Update: Tuesday May 29…

Recognizing US Memorial Day Holiday

Media Stories On Aviation. Caveat Reader.

There are, in fact, several outstanding media professionals reporting on the airline industry.  A number of them are experts on the subject, and by themselves are outstanding sources of knowledge and insight.

However, they are denigrated by a few others in the Fourth Estate who really need to find alternative employment.

In the last few weeks…

Quoting Great Sources…When a JetBlue flight returned to Buffalo after it hit a bird, a random passenger tweeted that the plane hit a seagull – specifically that species – and cracked a turbine blade.

Incredibly, a Fox News story just repeated it. Like, as if it had any informational value. This was regardless of the fact that there was no visual damage to the engine, and the passenger involved probably wouldn’t know a turbine blade from a popsicle.

Yet that was included as a key part of the story. Sources, anyone?

Stretching Hyperbole To The Non-Factual. The New York Times ran an article on how empty Memphis International Airport is, with lots of discussion and pictures of gates left over from when Delta had a connecting hub there.

The tone was vaguely in the direction that the place was a dying, crumbling ghost airport. Actually called it a White Elephant – a term that implies that the airport has somehow screwed up.

But the New York Times conveniently left out the major air service changes at MEM since the elimination of Delta’s hub operation, such as Southwest, Allegiant and Frontier coming to town.

Further misinforming the reader, the story showed a picture of airplane models on a shelf in the director’s office with this flatly stupid, and unprofessional comment: “Scott Brockman, the airport’s chief executive, can often see more planes on his office shelves than at his terminal’s gates.”  An absolutely inane comment that has nothing to do with the status of the airport.

Also missed by the New York Times… local traffic at MEM is actually up from ten years ago, when those now-empty gates were clogged with passengers, most of them connecting on Delta.

Oh, yeah – and MEM fares today, adjusted for inflation, are down 15%.

Consumers and readers would be more interested in these statistics than the contents of the airport director’s office shelves.

Gotta ask: what else in this newspaper is vapor-brain reporting? Or intentionally slanted….

Going Trendy Instead of Factual. And there’ve been the oft-repeated stories on how US airline seats have shrunk in width over the years, this sometimes coming from  supposedly-prestigious financial mediums.

A commonly-reported statistic across the media is that seats are now averaging 16.5 inches across in US airliners. It’s flat out not accurate, but it makes great reading. Fiction often does.

If It’s On In Prime Time, You Shouldn’t Question It. No need to touch on the 60 Minutes story on Allegiant. There have been a number of aviation folks who have taken it on.

Quoting Numbers That They Are Clueless About. Then we have the nonsense reports every quarter after BTS data is posted, when reporters without a clue start confusing “passenger spend” with “average fares” and then compare them across the nation, assuring that nobody gets informed.

Creating “Trends” That Aren’t… How about recent stories regarding “why airliner windows keep cracking,” in light of the Southwest accident and a few other reports since. The fact that none of these events have any causal relationship to one another is blissfully missed.

Point: while the majority of aviation coverage intends to be direct and factual, there are a few decaying apples in the media basket.

Some are just misinformed.

Others, apparently, intend to misinform.


International Aviation Forecast Summit News

United President To Participate At The IAFS™

Once again, we are honored to announce that Scott Kirby, President of United, will be joining us at the International Aviation Forecast Summit in Denver, August 19-21.

ual logo smallMr. Kirby joins CEOs and senior executives from air carriers across the market spectrum and across the globe who will be at the IAFS™ and helping us explore the future.

What sets the IAFS™ apart from other events is that we don’t do boring, rambling and unfocused “panels” of attendees. Instead we focus on free-form one-on-one discussions with the distinguished industry leaders who attend.

If you haven’t registered yet, we’d suggest you do so now. Click here to review the tentative agenda, and then make the decision to come to Denver this August.



Special Reception & Presentations –

Boom Supersonic

If you can get to Denver a day early, you can get an additional view of the future.

Boom Supersonic is hosting a special reception on Saturday, August 18, at its new headquarters and research center at Centennial Airport.

boom airplane300pxBlake Scholl and his team will be outlining the progress of the 55-seat, 2.2 Mach Boom airliner, as well as the one-third scale “Baby Boom” research and proof-of-concept aircraft that will fly in 2019.

Japan Airlines is on-board. So is Virgin Atlantic. So is Ctrip – China’s largest travel-related company.

The world is getting on board. Join us August 18 and discover why

For more information on the Summit, and to register, click here.