Alitalia facing bankruptcy again
The April 30 deadline for potential investors to make an offer to help rescue Alitalia has passed with no new bids. Italy’s state railway, Ferrovie dello Stato along with Delta Air Lines agreed to invest nearly 1 billion euros, but Alitalia was still facing a 400 million euro shortfall. According to Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, no extension is being granted, which leaves Alitalia’s future on uncertain ground. Employees responded to the passing of the deadline with no agreement or extension by saying they will hold a 24-hour strike on May 21. The job action will include members of all four trade unions representing the airline’s workforce.
British Airways to modify award pricing
In an email to Executive Club loyalty members, British Airways said new rates for redeeming reward travel on some of its partner carriers will go into effect starting May 30. The carrier did not provide details on what the new Avios rates would be but said the changes would apply to flights on Alaska Airlines, Air Italy, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, S7, Sri Lankan and Royal Jordanian Airlines. There would be no change to redemption rates for flights on British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia or Vueling.
Delta reintroduces service to Mumbai
After a 10-year hiatus, Delta Air Lines said it will re-launch non-stop service between New York JFK and Mumbai at the end of December. Delta will use long-range Boeing 777-200LR aircraft that have been updated with 28 new Delta One business-class seats, 48 Delta Premium Select seats and 122 coach class seats.
Lyft to test taxi stand-style pickups
In an attempt to alleviate airport pickup confusion, ride-sharing company Lyft said it will launch a test at the San Diego International Airport that will make use of traditional taxi stand-style pickups. Customers will still request a car via their smartphone. They will be given a unique PIN number and then will be asked to queue with other travelers for the next available car. When it is the customer’s turn, they will present the PIN to the driver who will enter it into his or her app to accept the assignment. The test will launch mid-May at San Diego Airport’s Terminal 2. Lyft representatives will be onsite to help travelers during the test period.
A spokesperson for Uber said the company has used similar processes for large events and is looking to bring the concept to airports as well.