Issue No. 864

Phoenix Rising

From the Ashes of the Pandemic, Sky Harbor Soars

Pushing Back: Inside the Issue

Few places boomed like Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, did during the pandemic. People from all over the country were lured by its wide-open spaces, warm climate, relatively lower-cost real estate, and strong economy as Covid-19 raged, especially as remote working became a thing. And Sky Harbor, the city's airport, boomed in concert with the city it serves. Traffic is already at 95 percent of its pre-Covid level, and the airport soon could join the ranks of airports like Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Chicago O'Hare in handling more than 50 million annual passengers. We go in depth in this week's Feature Story.

Elsewhere in this issue, Spirit has spurned JetBlue's advances for a second time and is urging shareholders to vote for a merger with Frontier. Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary is up to his usual antics, blasting Brexit for staffing woes. Things are looking up for Singapore Airlines, even though its cargo revenue far outstrips passenger revenue. And AerCap's CEO said the rebound in travel demand could result in a shortage of aircraft. We've said it here many times, but we'll say it again: Never a dull moment in this industry.

The Airline Weekly Lounge Podcast

Abra, the new holding company planned by Colombia's Avianca and Brazil's Gol, would knit together South America in what Copa CEO called a spider web (although he said he's not too concerned about it). In this week's episode, Edward "Ned" Russell and Madhu Unnikrishnan take a look at what the new transnational company could look like and why Copa is doing well. And then they blame Alanis Morrissete for ruining the word "ironic." Go here for a full archive of the 'Lounge.

Weekly Skies

Ryanair Group CEO Michael O'Leary thinks the UK brought its travel staffing issues on itself with an "inflexible" labor market since the country left the EU in 2020.


The good news, according to AerCap CEO Aengus Kelly, is that demand for air travel is roaring back. The bad news is that supply chain woes could hamper the manufacturers' ability to deliver enough new aircraft on time.

Feature Story

One would think leading Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport out of the pandemic would be easy. The airport checks many of the boxes that have proven to be pluses in the recovery: An outdoor-oriented destination in a growing U.S. Sunbelt…