Watch Bees Swarm a Plane and the Challenges Airlines Face Operating in Cuba

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Malaysia shuts down its first Sharia-compliant airline

  • Scott Mayerowitz traveled to Cuba to look behind the scenes at the challenges setting up a station there for a US airline.

    When US carriers operated flights on behalf of charter companies, they just had to fly the planes. Now they’ll have to deal with airports staffed exclusively by government workers — it’s an open question if they’ll have a dedicated workforce that can learn the airline’s policies — and baggage scanners that wouldn’t work on Cuban cellular networks using US sim cards. Internet speeds are slow but need to hook into the airline’s passenger service systems.

    International airlines manage these challenges, but it’ll be a steep learning curve for US carriers trying to stand up several routes quickly at once.

  • Flight attendant training in the 1960s (HT: Alan H.)

  • Bees swarm a Vietnamese Airlines Airbus A330 in Ho Chi Minh City

  • Canada is moving towards airport screening standards where 95% of passengers are processed in 10 minutes or less (up from current performance of 88% in 15 minutes or less).

    The redesigned CATSA Plus checkpoint combines elements that exist separately at other airports such as electronic gates to screen passports and ceiling-mounted sensors to track the flow of passengers and display waiting times, an authority spokesman said.

    “We have to find new ways to keep security, which is our first priority, but also improve the passenger flow, the customer experience,” said CATSA spokesman Mathieu Larocque.

  • It looks like American will be flying non-stop Dallas – Kona, Hawaii between December 15 and January 8 with a Boeing 767-300. While natural to build up capacity during peak periods, it seems unusual to me to launch a route for less than 4 weeks. Of course American already operates at Kona from both Phoenix and Los Angeles, and must have a spare 767 pulled off a weaker international route at that time. (HT: Caleb S.)

  • Europe clarifies passengers rights rules

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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