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United MileagePlus Massively Devalues Miles

United MileagePlus Massively Devalues Miles

The most severe devaluation of miles ever implemented by United’s MileagePlus frequent flyer program may have just taken place. It is not simply the amount by which award prices have gone up; it is also the consistency in which these price increases have been implemented for travel on both United and its partner airlines.

United has reduced mileage values without prior notification. Given that MileagePlus no longer provides award charts, which significantly reduces transparency, it is not unexpected that the program didn’t provide the notification.

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For instance, one-way transatlantic saver rewards for travel on United used to start at 30,000 miles in economy and 60,000 miles in business class. As these rewards now start at 40,000 miles in economy class and 80,000 miles in business class, their fees have jumped by 33%.

In a similar manner, partner rewards have devalued. For instance, 30,000 miles in economy and 70,000 miles in business class used to be the starting points for one-way Saver intercontinental rewards for travel on partner airlines. These fees have increased by 39–47%, as the starting points for these rewards are now 43,900 miles for economy and 97,100 miles for business.

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Recent devaluations of awards between the US and Europe by United Airlines‘ MileagePlus program were among the worst ever. Along with raising partner prizes to up to 47%, the program also raised the number of miles needed for travel by 33%.

Due to this huge shift, it is now much more expensive for MileagePlus members to redeem miles with United.

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Airlines

IndiGo to Receive Customized Compensation from Pratt & Whitney for Engine Groundings

IndiGo to Receive Customized Compensation from Pratt & Whitney for Engine Groundings

InterGlobe Aviation, the parent company of IndiGo, has reached an agreement with International Aero Engines (IAE), an affiliate of Pratt & Whitney, for customized compensation related to grounded aircraft affected by engine issues.

According to a recent PTI report, InterGlobe Aviation finalized an amendment to its existing agreement with IAE on June 14, 2024. The compensation addresses the ongoing situation where over 70 IndiGo planes have been grounded due to problems with Pratt & Whitney engines.

Specifically, more than 30 aircraft were affected by a powder metal defect, with others sidelined due to earlier issues. Although the exact financial details were not disclosed, the arrangement reflects efforts to mitigate the operational impacts faced by the airline.

Last year, Pratt & Whitney identified a rare powder metal defect that posed a risk of engine component cracking in twin-engined Airbus A320neo aircraft. This discovery necessitated accelerated inspections across affected fleets, potentially grounding 600-700 Airbus jets between 2023 and 2026.

Despite these challenges, InterGlobe Aviation reported robust financial performance in the fiscal year ending March 2024. The Gurugram-based carrier, known for its budget-friendly operations, recorded a significant increase in profit after tax to Rs 1,894.8 crore for the March quarter. This growth was driven by higher passenger traffic, expanded capacity, and favorable market conditions.

For the full fiscal year, IndiGo achieved a net profit of Rs 8,172.5 crore on a record total income of Rs 18,505.1 crore. As of March 2024, the airline operated a fleet of 367 planes, including 13 on damp lease, reinforcing its position as a dominant player in the domestic aviation sector.

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Airlines

Investigations Reveal Fake Chinese Titanium in Boeing and Airbus Jets

Investigations Reveal Fake Chinese Titanium in Boeing and Airbus Jets

Airliners manufactured by Boeing and Airbus have components made from titanium that was sold with fake documentation.

The Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.) revealed the problem after Boeing reported it to the agency when it was notified by parts supplier Spirit AeroSystems. Spirit AeroSystems, the same company that made the door on the 737 Max plane which suffered a door blowout on January 5, is at the center of this issue.

The falsified documents are being investigated by Spirit AeroSystems, which supplies fuselages for Boeing and wings for Airbus, as well as the F.A.A. The investigation began after a parts supplier found small holes in the material from corrosion. Spirit was testing the metal to determine if it was up to standard and structurally sound enough.

“This is about documents that have been falsified, forged, and counterfeited,” Spirit AeroSystems stated. “Once we realized the counterfeit titanium made its way into the supply chain, we immediately contained all suspected parts to determine the scope of the issues.”

The F.A.A. said in a statement that it “will investigate further the root cause of the document traceability issue and continues to monitor closely any new developments that could potentially lead to an unsafe condition in the fleet.” The agency is trying to determine the short- and long-term safety implications for planes made using the parts. It is unclear how many planes have parts made with the questionable material.

Boeing, in its statement, reported a voluntary disclosure to the F.A.A. regarding the procurement of material through a distributor who may have falsified or provided incorrect records. “Boeing issued a bulletin outlining ways suppliers should remain alert to the potential of falsified records,” the company added.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which oversees Airbus, said it learned of the issue from authorities in Italy and began an investigation. So far, the agency said, it has not found indications of a safety problem. The problem was discovered after a parts supplier found small holes in the titanium from corrosion.

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Turkish Airlines Expands U.S Network to 20 Destinations

Turkish Airlines Expands U.S Network to 20 Destinations

Turkish Airlines, renowned for its expansive global network, currently flies to more countries than any other carrier worldwide.

Recently, the airline has expanded its reach in the United States, bringing the total number of destinations served to 14. With the recent addition of Denver and Dallas, the airline is now setting its sights on further expansion.

In a recent interview, Turkish Airlines Chairman telegraphed the next four U.S. cities that are in their crosshairs: Philadelphia, Charlotte, Orlando, and Minneapolis. These additions will join an already impressive roster that includes Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York JFK, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington Dulles.

As of now, Turkish Airlines operates flights to 14 destinations across the United States. The confirmed destinations include Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Denver (DEN), Detroit (DTW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Washington (IAD).

Bolat, in his interview, indicated that Turkish Airlines plans to eventually serve 20 destinations in the United States. The proposed new routes to Philadelphia, Charlotte, Orlando, and Minneapolis would bring the total to 18, suggesting there are two additional cities potentially on the horizon.

However, it’s important to note that flights from Minneapolis and Orlando directly to Istanbul are not imminent, as the airline has not yet made any official announcements, and ticket sales have not commenced. Additionally, representatives from Minneapolis airport have not commented on the possibility of nonstop service to Istanbul.

The airline’s ambitious expansion plans are supported by the acquisition of numerous additional widebody planes over the next few years, necessitating new destinations to deploy these aircraft. Turkish Airlines’ strategy appears to be targeting major American Airlines hubs, ensuring a strong presence across key U.S. cities.

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