Reflections 2021: An Exclusive Series From Simple Flying

Perhaps the most widely-used word over the last two years is an apt description of 2021: unprecedented. The aviation industry has never had to work through a pandemic and find its way back. While 2020 was challenging, 2021 was a year with highs and lows. From an earnest recovery in various markets and the return of long-haul international travel to the spread of different variants and uncertainty, airlines had a lot to manage.

Delta Embraer Sunrise Getty
After a year unlike any other, airlines adapted and reflected on 2021 with Simple Flying. Photo: Getty Images

Reflections 2021 is a series from Simple Flying that will look back at the year. With exclusive interviews and analysis from changemakers, leaders, and experts from various parts of the industry, this series will offer an inside look at the big decisions, triumphs, and experiments that airlines conducted over the course of the year.

Reflections 2021 will appear as individual articles at Simple Flying. This page will serve as a regularly-updated collection of those stories and serve as a one-stop-shop to read and understand the impact of various airlines. This page will be updated as the content goes live.

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines is a major US airline headquartered in Atlanta. The airline’s recovery has been marked by a growing return of its schedules and destinations. However, it has also turned an eye toward growth, particularly out of New York and Boston. Simple Flying spoke with Chuck Imhof, Vice President, Sales – East, at Delta Air Lines to characterize the airline’s moves in those markets.

Delta Airlines Aircraft At Sydney Airport
Delta Air Lines made some big moves in New York and Boston in 2021. Photo: Getty Images

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EgyptAir is the flag carrier of Egypt. The airline offers nonstop service from its hub in Cairo to various destinations worldwide, including several points in North America. Simple Flying spoke with EgyptAir chairman and CEO Captain Amr Nabil about some of the airline’s adaptations.

Egypt’s flag carrier carried on and continues to fly in the face of uncertainty. Photo: Getty Images

Frontier Airlines

With a distinct livery featuring animals on its tails, Frontier Airlines is recognizable in more ways than one. After a successful initial public offering (IPO) earlier this year, the carrier returned strong. It made many notable moves, including launching new, interesting routes and placing a massive order that will set it up for a significant gauge increase. Simple Flying spoke with Daniel Shurz, Senior Vice President of Commercial, to gain an insight into the airline’s moves.

Los Angeles Exteriors And Landmarks - 2020
Frontier Airlines focused on growth and coming out of the crisis. Photo: Getty Images

Hawaiian Airlines

One of the top leisure destinations for Americans in 2021 was Hawaii. As the leading airline between the mainland United States and the Hawaiian islands, Hawaiian Airlines captured a sizable share of the market and added some new routes. To learn more about the airline’s overall year, Simple Flying spoke with Brent Overbeek, Senior Vice President of Revenue Management and Network Planning at Hawaiian Airlines, to learn more about its operations and how it was coming out of the crisis.

Hawaiian Getty
Hawaiian came back successfully and saw a series of successes in 2021. Photo: Getty Images

Spirit Airlines

A fast-growing ultra-low-cost carrier, Spirit Airlines’ bright yellow planes did a lot in 2021. After a relative year of dormancy, the airline added over 80 new routes in 2021 and a host of new markets as it started to move beyond the crisis. Simple Flying spoke with John Kirby, Vice President of Network Planning at Spirit, to discuss the airline’s network developments over the year.

Reflections 2021: An Exclusive Series From Simple Flying
Spirit Airlines is one of the most ambitious low-cost carriers in the world, and 2012 showed that. Photo: Getty Images

Sun Country Airlines

Minneapolis-based Sun Country Airlines sometimes flies under the radar in the airline industry. However, the airline had a very successful 2021 and set the stage for continued growth and success in Minneapolis and the rest of the United States. Also, coming off of a successful IPO, Sun Country wants to expand its fleet and network. Grant Whitney, Chief Revenue Officer at Sun Country, offered some in-depth commentary and insights into what the airline is looking to accomplish.

Sun Country B737-800
Sun Country had a lot of memories from 2021, but it is far from slowing down. Photo: Getty Images

French bee

Paris Orly-based French bee has been making waves as a low-cost Airbus A350 carrier. While the airline has made a name for itself on routes to Overseas France, it has managed to bag new markets along the way. The most recent route launch was to New York, with flights getting underway in July 2021. Simple Flying caught up with the operator’s CEO, Marc Rochet, to look back at the progress of the route and what we can expect in the new year.

Join Simple Flying as we examine the airline industry and its return!