Issue No. 807

Qatar Airways' Pandemic Lessons

How Does a Global Super-Connector Manage Through the Shutdown of Intercontinental Travel?

Pushing Back: Inside This Issue

How does a global super-connector handle the near absence of international travel? We asked Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori this very question, and he attributed the carrier's relative success to its fleet mix, its cargo capacity, and, above all, its agility in finding new markets and capturing what traffic it could find. Read the interview in this week's Feature Story, which also includes a link to the unedited audio from the discussion.

Elsewhere in this issue, U.S. airline CEOs are feeling pretty confident that vaccines will usher in a recovery in air travel. Lessors report they are hearing the same thing. New York is planning to link one of its airports to its subway system. And a group of former Norwegian Air executives decide there's still life in the low-cost longhaul model. Meanwhile, airlines the world over are adding routes and destinations in an effort to grab traffic where they can.


"The democratization of air transportation will always be our trademark and it drives us to broaden continuously our horizons."

Gol CEO Paulo Kakinoff on the company's 20th anniversary.

The Airline Weekly Lounge Podcast

New episodes drop every week and are available wherever you get your podcasts and on In the latest podcast, Edward "Ned" Russell and Madhu Unnikrishnan discuss whether the confidence U.S. airline CEOs have in the recovery is misplaced. When will people really start to travel again? Listen to the episode.

Weekly Skies

Travel demand in the U.S. may finally have turned the corner. Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines all anticipate either breaking even or generating positive cash flow in March after a year of daily losses. They, and others,…

Sky Money

IAG raised €1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) in a senior unsecured bond issue last week. The debt was split between a €500 million series A with an interest rate of 2.75 percent due in 2025, and a €700 million series B…


For the first time since the pandemic began, airlines in the U.S., Europe, and Asia are extending leases and adding aircraft to their contracts, signs that the industry believes the recent uptick in passenger demand could be more enduring than…

Routes and Networks

After filling the gap left by the 2008 bankruptcy of Aloha Airlines for more than a decade, Alaska Airlines is throwing in the towel on service to Hawaii from Oakland, Calif. The carrier has dropped plans to resume flights between…

Landing Strip

The FAA is nearing D:0 on construction of a new AirTrain connection to New York's LaGuardia airport. Last week, the agency issued its final environmental report on the project that will connect the last of the city's three main airports…

State of the Unions

Until now, countries have played nice with each other to ensure that air cargo and commercial airline service continued during the pandemic. But one year in, geopolitics, particularly deep tensions between the U.S. and China on trade, are threatening what…

Feature Story

How does a global super-connector with no domestic market survive when a pandemic essentially grounds international travel? Airline Weekly Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan asked Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori this question in a recent video interview. Antinori stressed that…