Issue No. 819

Is Europe (Finally) on the Verge of Recovery?

KLM CEO Pieter Elbers on the State of Europe's Airlines

Pushing Back: Inside the Issue

Last summer, European airlines raced to restore capacity as the first wave of Covid-19 ebbed and Europeans flocked to beaches. Since then, the continent has struggled with a resurgent virus, the inevitable lockdowns and travel restrictions, and a slow vaccine rollout. But could the EU be on the verge of recovery now? That's what KLM CEO Pieter Elbers told Airline Weekly in our Feature Story this week. Europe is close to a "structural recovery," not another temporary one, he said. This presents both challenges and opportunities.

Elsewhere in the issue, consolidation rumors run rife in Brazil, as well as an actual merger: Gol and Map. Southwest places a new order for Boeing 737 Max aircraft. United is said to be on the verge of a massive aircraft order. Transat, under new CEO Annick Guerard, is transforming itself into something that looks an awful lot like a hub-and-spoke carrier focused in Quebec and Eastern Canada. U.S. unions, angry about Breeze's controversial hiring plans, are calling on the federal government to wait before awarding the airline its final certifications.


Consumers have put money aside during the pandemic because of all the pleasures and activities that they have had to forego during this time. Now, they want to spend it on travel, mainly for two things: Visiting, of course, their loved ones abroad; and vacationing. 

Transat CEO Annick Guerard

Weekly Skies

Gol is taking the first step in the expected wave of Brazilian airline consolidation, unveiling a 28 million reais ($5.6 million) deal for regional carrier Map Transportes Aéreos last week. The acquisition would strengthen Gol’s presence at slot-constrained São Paulo…

State of the Unions

A coalition of labor unions is calling on the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) to wait before giving its final approval to Breeze Airways, David Neeleman's new startup airline, because they allege its controversial flight attendant hiring plans could violate federal…


Southwest Airlines has gone back to Boeing for more 737 Max jets ahead of its capacity recovering to 2019 levels later this summer.

Landing Strip

The head of Los Angeles' public transportation agency, Phil Washington, has been nominated as the next CEO of Denver International Airport. If confirmed by the city council, Washington would replace Kim Day, who leaves the airport after 13 years at…

Routes and Networks

Spirit Airlines plans what is one of its single-largest new city expansions ever with up to 31 flights a day to 30 destinations from Miami International Airport, beginning between October 6 and November 18, the airline said last week. The…

Sky Money

Fly Leasing shareholders approved Carlyle Aviation's planned acquisition of the Dublin-based lessor, and pending regulatory review, the deal is expected to close in July. Fly Leasing has about 100 aircraft in its portfolio, and the deal is reported to be…

Feature Story

The travel recovery is moving forward in fits and starts. Domestic markets, like those in China and the U.S., have come back strong while much long-haul international flying remains grounded amid border and other travel restrictions. IATA has called this…