Twitter: Airport Technology lists five of the most popular tweets on airlines in Q4 2021 based on data from GlobalData’s Travel and Tourism Influencer Platform.

The top tweets are based on total engagements (likes and retweets) received on tweets from more than 150 airline experts tracked by GlobalData’s Travel and Tourism Influencer platform during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021.

1. Jon Ostrower’s tweet on lack of replacements for aircraft operated by United Airlines

Jon Ostrower, editor-in-chief at online media website The Air Current, shared an article on the unavailability of replacements for the Boeing 757-300s and 50-seat regional jets operated by United Airlines. The airline’s fleet had 21 757-300s that have a range of more than 5,556km and 234 seats in configuration, at the end of 2020. The company plans to retire 200 50-seat planes and the Boeing 757-300s at the end of the decade.

United plans to operate the Embraer E-Jets as a replacement for the 50-seat jets and the 737 Max and Airbus A321neo aircraft as a replacement for the 757-200s, the article noted. The company requires a new regional jet with low operating costs to ensure the feasibility of operations in its regional routes. The company also does not have a replacement for the Boeing 757-300s. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing planned to develop a replacement for the 757 aircraft with up to 270 seats but the plan was withdrawn following crashes involving the Boeing 737 Max aircraft and the decline in travel demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the article highlighted.

Username: Jon Ostrower

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Twitter handle: @jonostrower

Likes: 109

Retweets: 15

2. Simon Calder’s tweet on British Airways returning its Airbus A380 aircraft to service

Simon Calder, senior travel editor at online media website The Independent, shared an article on British Airways (BA) returning its Airbus A380 aircraft to service. The airline planned to deploy four of its 12 A380s operating between London, Heathrow, and European destinations from November 2021 to enable pilots to reacquaint themselves with the aircraft. The aircraft have been in storage since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The A380 aircraft with 600 seats were either placed in storage or retired by several airlines as they became uneconomical for post-Covid operations. The re-introduction of the A380 indicates that demand is increasing and also suggests that BA plans to retain the aircraft, despite being removed by competitors from their fleet.

Username: Simon Calder

Twitter handle: @SimonCalder

Likes: 81

Retweets: 8

3. Leslie Josephs’ tweet on American Airlines tripling flight attendants’ pay to avoid flight cancellations

Leslie Josephs, airline reporter at broadcast media CNBC, shared an article on American Airlines tripling flight attendants’ pay to address the increase in demand and massive flight cancellations experienced by the airline. Hundreds of flights were cancelled by American travellers citing lack of staff as the reason. Flight attendants were required to work on holidays and maintain perfect attendance between 15 November 2021 and 02 January 2022 in order to receive the increased pay.

The deal was negotiated with the airline by Association of Professional Flight Attendants, a labour union that supports 23,000 American Airlines cabin crew workers. The union stated that flight attendants were facing issues such as frequent rescheduling and lack of hotel rooms and transportation, apart from aggressive behaviour of passengers.

Majority of the airlines had urged their workers to either take a leave of absence or accept severance packages following the fall in travel demand due to the pandemic. Airlines, however, faced staff shortages when demand began to recover forcing the cancellation of flights. Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines faced similar flight cancellations, while Southwest Airlines offered double pay in order to encourage staff to work longer shifts.

Username: Leslie Josephs

Twitter handle: @lesliejosephs

Likes: 65

Retweets: 26

4. The Points Guy’s tweet on Vietnam Airlines launching its first US destination

The Points Guy (TPG), a US-based travel website and lifestyle media platform, shared an article on Vietnam Airlines launching its service to San Francisco, which is the airline’s first US destination. It is also the first scheduled US destination for a Vietnam-based airline. The airline will initially operate twice-weekly flights and increase to daily flights after the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.

The service launch follows the foreign air carrier certificate received by the airline from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It also coincides with the reopening of Vietnam’s borders to foreign travellers for the first time since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the article noted.

Username: The Points Guy

Twitter handle: @thepointsguy

Likes: 42

Retweets: 10

5. Dominic Gates’ tweet on aerospace company Boeing settling 737 MAX lawsuit

Dominic Gates, aerospace reporter at The Seattle Times, shared an article on Boeing settling a 737 MAX lawsuit filed by institutional shareholders at $237.5m. The company’s shareholders, on behalf of the company, filed the lawsuit against the failure of the company’s executives to effectively monitor the aircraft’s safety before the first crash in 2018 and the second crash in 2019. The settlement amount will be paid to Boeing by the insurers of the board of directors and top executives.

Boeing will also seek to improve its corporate control as part of the settlement. An ombudsperson programme will be established in order to resolve internal issues from FAA engineers working at Boeing. The company’s executive board acknowledged no fault or liability in the settlement, the article highlighted.

Username: Dominic Gates

Twitter handle: @dominicgates

Likes: 41

Retweets: 25