Aviation News Spotlight for September 2015

Hello again and welcome to J & K Connectors’ regular feature in which we discuss notable events and newsworthy items in the aviation industry. This month, we’ve got Concorde news, U.S. flights to Cuba, and an app that allows you to book a private plane. Let’s get started!

The Concorde Lives?

The world’s only supersonic passenger jet may have found new life after more than a decade in retirement. A group of aviation fans in England have come together along with private investors to raise more than $400 million for a Concorde tourist attraction in London and a private plane for use in fly-overs and private charters. For many, the Concorde represents the last major effort in luxury flight, as service aboard the Concorde was enviable and flight times very short – once making the New York to Paris journey in under three hours.

Will the legendary Concorde return to the skies? Or are we destined to subsonic passenger flights for the foreseeable future?

Flights Between the United States and Cuba Coming This Year?

A decades-long interruption of air service from the United States to Havana, Cuba, may resume sooner than you might think. Talks between the two countries have reportedly advanced to such a degree that a single additional meeting may be enough to finalize arrangements to allow commercial air travel between the two nations. According to Reuters, the number of Americans visiting Cuba has already reached over 100,000 since President Obama relaxed restrictions earlier in 2015. Previously, specially chartered flights were sanctioned for authorized visitation, but a U.S. embargo signed by President Kennedy in October 1960 essentially sealed relations between the two countries. Someday soon, however, we may be able to book flights to and from the Caribbean nation.

Private Planes from Your Smartphone?

An Uber for the skies is on its way. Wheels Up, the private aviation app company, has secured over $100 million in funding to develop its application. However, ordering a plane won’t be as simple as hitting a button on your phone. Wheels Up will have a required initiation free of over $17,000, plus annual dues of $8,500 to retain membership. This should limit the club to upper-end business class and executives who can’t yet afford their own plane. However, a ridesharing feature may reduce costs well enough to take on major airlines and booking agencies that have long dominated the consumer market, but unless you’re a frequent flyer, we can’t see the benefit of ponying up 17 grand for the privilege to visit grandma at Christmas.

For more aviation news and updates, check back to J & K Connectors. While you’re here, check out our inventory of the largest in-stock parts and accessories for industrial machines, aircraft, and more!

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