A dire turn for airlines


bankrupt1.jpgA dire turn for airlines — The risk of multiple, simultaneous bankruptcies in the U.S. airline industry is growing, according to credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, and could be triggered by renewed terrorism, a spike in fuel prices or pension liabilities. Credit analyst Philip Baggaley Thursday warned that “the breadth of credit deterioration” in the airline sector, despite the economic upturn in the United States, indicates that credit profiles won’t rebound as they did in the 1990s after a similar downturn.

Small airports take bite out of big hubs — The relaxed pace at Akron-Canton Airport doesn’t reflect that it’s one of the fastest growing airports in the country. Akron-Canton and other small to midsize airports are taking business from larger hubs with a formula for success that starts with a discount airline.

Northwest hikes fares — Northwest Airlines Corp. announced Thursday that it will increase fares for all U.S. and Canada markets in all fare classes. The company will increase fares by $5 for flights under 1,000 miles, and by $10 for flights of 1,000 miles or more, according to company spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch.

Alberta cuts hotel taxes to attract visitors — Tourism spending is about to jump in Alberta under a bill that will cut the provincial hotel room tax slightly and dedicate the remainder to attracting visitors. Government house leader Dave Hancock said Thursday the Tourism Levy Act is one of about 40 bills Ralph Klein’s Conservative government plans to introduce during the spring session of the legislature.

More trouble for Hitler hotel — A luxury hotel is set to open on the site of Adolf Hitler’s Alpine retreat at Obersalzberg in Bavaria – triggering a fresh row about Germany’s Nazi past. Michael Friedman, former vice-president of Germany’s main Jewish organization, said the project was “tasteless and robs the place of its history.”

Space planes are becoming a reality
— Reusable spaceplanes that propel ticket-holding passengers to the edge of space are slowly becoming reality. Among several firms literally hammering away at this prospect is Rocketplane Limited, Inc., an Oklahoma corporation. The company is eager to make space travel as safe, convenient, and routine as air transportation, with work ramping up on their Rocketplane XP design.