SkyTeam's Next Focus - Brazil & India

Aviation Week - SkyTeam has almost no hope of persuading the emerging Latam Airlines Group to join the alliance, says the group’s top executive.  Read More>

DOT Delays Enforcement Of Bag Fee Disclosure Rules

Aviation Week - The U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) is giving airlines a six-month reprieve on some of its new bag fee requirements. All the new rules still will become effective Jan. 24, but only some will be enforced immediately.  Read More>

To Congress: Pass FAA Funding Bill

The Hill - The lobbying group for airports said Thursday that a new funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration should be the first piece of legislation in line for takeoff when Congress gets back to work later this month.  Read More>

"Carbon" Fees Being Added For EU Flights

[Editor's note:  AA has added the fee, resulting in all U.S. carriers with scheduled Europe service having this fee]

USA Today - United-Continental and US Airways have joined Delta in adding a $3 surcharge to one-way tickets to Europe, days after the European Union started requiring airlines to pay for carbon emissions.  Read More>

A380's Developing Minor Wing Cracks

Reuters - Engineers have discovered minor cracks in the wings of a "limited number" of A380 superjumbos but their safe operation is not affected, Airbus said on Thursday.  Read More>

RJ's Getting Upscale Mods - Regional aircraft cabins are undergoing extreme makeovers to look and feel more like their mainline brethren. Dual-class and triple-class configurations, thoroughly refreshed interiors with new LED lighting, and lightweight slim-line seats are only some of the features emerging on regional jets and turboprops manufactured by ATR and Bombardier and industry newcomers.  Read More>

Japan To Be Latest LCC Market

Aviation Week - Japan’s airline industry is set for a major transformation in 2012 with the debut of three low-cost carriers, as airline executives bet that there is enough demand to match the sudden emergence of a competitive LCC market.  Read More>

BA Wins Battle To Buy BMI

[There still may be regulatory hurdles to overcome - JimG]
Aviation Week - Lufthansa is selling its loss-making unit BMI British Midland to International Airlines Group (IAG), with the two parties concluding negotiations that entered their final phase six weeks ago. IAG prevailed with its bid over Virgin Atlantic, which was also interested in buying BMI.  Read More>

STL Completes Concourse A Renovation

St. Louis Business Journal - Year-long renovations to Concourse A at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport are now complete. The improvements are part of the $70 million Airport Experience program, which began in 2008.  Read More>

Ancilliary Fees - A New Approach?

Flight Global - Have a conversation about ancillary revenue strategy with some of the airline industry's savvy thinkers and you get tantalising glimpses of a new vision in the making, and a sense that the full potential of ancillary activity has yet to be realised.  Read More>

FAA's New Rest/Duty Time Rules For Pilots

Washington Post - The government told passenger airlines Wednesday they’ll have to do more to ensure pilots aren’t too tired to fly, nearly three years after the deadly western New York crash of a regional airliner flown by two exhausted pilots.  Read More>

EU's Top Court Upholds Carbon Emission Plan

Washington Post - U.S. air carriers failed Wednesday to block an EU law charging airlines flying to Europe for their carbon pollution, yielding to a sweeping measure intended to curb climate-changing emissions from international aviation.  Read More>

Euro Crisis Could Cost Airlines $8 Billion

Aviation Week - Even before the eurozone debt crisis ensued, 2012 was expected to be a difficult year for the global airline industry. But if things spiral out of control in Europe, the sector could be devastated.  Read More>

Virgin Back In Running To Buy BMI

[Since the sale of BMI may have consequencies on alliances, I'm making an exception to the non-airline specific news only]

Aviation Week - Virgin Atlantic appears to be back in the race to buy BMI British Midland. Lufthansa confirmed on Monday that Virgin has made a bid for the loss making carrier and that it now has the same chances as International Airlines Group (IAG).  Read More>

TSA's PreCheck Program Adds New Carrier

Bloomberg - United Continental Holdings Inc. will join Delta Air Lines Inc. and AMR Corp.’s American Airlines next year in being able to speed some of its most frequent fliers through security at some airports, U.S. Transportation Security Administrator John Pistole said.  Read More>

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