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United Airlines Briefly Grounds Flights in U.S., Canada

Grounding lasted 45 minutes; technical system issues have been resolved.  The United grounding lasted from 6:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. ET. United Airlines Holdings Inc. grounded its flights in the U.S. and Canada Friday morning because of technical problems.  The grounding lasted from 6:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. ET, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

“This morning we experienced technical system issues that impacted our operations and have since been resolved. All systems are now working normally and we are working diligently to get customers to their destinations,” the company said.

Excerpt from WSJ

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FAA Chief Urges Care to Avoid Safety Risks as Airlines Ramp Up

The aviation-safety regulator sends a letter to carriers pointing out potential risks

U.S. air-safety regulators want airlines to stay on top of potential safety issues like employee fatigue as carriers race to keep up with a surge in demand for flights.

Regulators haven’t seen any alarming trends emerge in data collected from airlines, Federal Aviation Administration officials said, but this week the agency alerted industry groups to potential problems that could lead to incidents or accidents. Carriers have been bringing back furloughed workers, taking planes out of storage and adjusting flights with consumers returning to air travel.

“While we are all excited about the burgeoning recovery of passenger traffic, airlines should look across their operations for additional ways to increase predictability and provide stability to the system. More certainty reduces safety risks,” FAA chief Steve Dickson said in a Thursday letter to industry groups.

In a memo that accompanied the letter, the FAA recommended that carriers remain vigilant about possible fatigue-related errors among front-line employees and distractions for pilots, such as discussions in the cockpit about the pandemic.

Excerpt from WSJ

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Southwest Airlines Says Delta Variant Is Hurting Its Business

Carrier sees bookings slow and cancellations rise in August as Covid-19 surge continues

Southwest Airlines Co. LUV 2.01% said the recent surge in Covid-19 cases is causing bookings to slow and cancellations to rise, showing how quickly the Delta variant is denting economic activity.

The airline said Wednesday that while demand for the key Labor Day weekend remained healthy, the recent slowdown would make it difficult to turn a profit in the third quarter, excluding the impact of government payroll assistance. That is even after a fare sale designed to stoke the return of business traffic in the fall.

Southwest’s move reverses airline executives’ bullish tone just a few weeks ago, with rising Delta-variant infections prompting the cancellation of festivals and trade events such as the New York Auto Show planned for later this month.

Some consumers are reconsidering activities like travel and eating at restaurants as the surge leads certain retailers and municipalities to reimpose mask mandates.

Excerpt from WSJ

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Can Supersonic Flights Really Succeed?

A supporter says we’re ready for a new leap in aviation. A critic says there won’t be enough passengers.

The supersonic Concorde jet made its last commercial passenger flight on Oct. 24, 2003. The Anglo-French plane was a wonder to watch, but could never overcome its high costs and concerns over its noise.

Is supersonic travel ready for its next act?

In June, United Airlines Holdings Inc. said it would buy 15 small supersonic jets being developed by Boom Technology Inc. Boom hopes to fly a scaled-down prototype of the so-called Overture jets later this year, with the full-size jet ready by the end of the decade.

Boom says the jets would be able to fly at Mach 1.7, or 1.7 times the speed of sound, enabling passengers to fly from London to Newark, N.J., in 3½ hours; it currently takes over six hours. A flight from San Francisco to Tokyo would take six hours, down from over 10 hours.

Excerpt from WSJ

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