There’s no doubt about it; 2019 has been a tough year for the aviation industry as a whole. From aircraft groundings, to pilot strikes and bankruptcies we’ve seen it all. Let’s take a recap of some of 2019’s major aviation stories.
The Boeing 737 MAX
The biggest aviation story of 2019 was, without a doubt, the Boeing 737 MAX crisis. Following a second tragic accident of the type in March, President Trump ordered that the MAX should be grounded. Since then we’ve seen a stream of news around the aircraft. This has included continually pushing back the re-entry to service, as well as various airlines agreeing on compensation packages. This is a story that will definitely continue on into 2020, so stay tuned.
Another common theme throughout 2019 was a string of airline bankruptcies. Some of the more high profile airlines that have closed their doors include Iceland’s low-cost carrier WOW, British package holiday business Thomas Cook, and Slovenian flag carrier Adria Airways. Common factors listed by airlines include high fuel prices and fluctuating exchange rates.
In Europe, the aviation industry has also seen its fair share of strikes from crew, both pilots and flight attendants. One of the most high profile was a 48-hour walkout by British Airways pilots which led to all bar one flight being canceled. However, Lufthansa has also been affected. The airline group is currently suffering its third strike by crew since the action was announced by the UFO cabin crew union. Ryanair also experienced a pilot strike, however, this had little effect on passengers.
Not all bad news
However, while it has been a tough year for aviation, it hasn’t all been bad news. In fact, one of the more positive stories of the year saw Delta Air Lines coming to the rescue of stranded school children who were stuck in Philadelphia. We mustn’t forget the Virgin Atlantic passenger who recently offered his business class seat to an elderly passenger. Meanwhile, United Airlines came to the rescue of a possum which found itself on JetBlue’s no-fly list.
In Dubai, a group of 30 students pulled a flydubai Boeing 737 150 meters as part of the nation’s 30X30 fitness challenge. British Airways helped to reunite a family for thanksgiving for the first time since 2004.
It’s also been an interesting year on the social media side of things as far as airlines are concerned. Who could forget the time that United Airlines used cars to explain why passengers can’t sit in empty economy plus seats? There was also the time that Emirates’ offer of flights to Jimmy Fallon backfired.
What was your take on the aviation industry in 2019? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!