That's the lede sentence in a story today from USA Today. What the story lacks is perspective. It's common industry knowledge that airlines have been asking pilots to conserve fuel—and it's been going on for sometime.
Skyway Airlines, a regional carrier for Midwest Airlines, shut down over the weekend. It's the fourth airline to close in less than a week. The other three are Aloha, ATA and Skybus. A fifth airline, Champion Air, says it will close before summer.
The last couple of weeks have certainly been interesting in the airline industry; not so much for what has happened, but for what hasn’t happened.
A month ago the industry grapevine burned up with rumor after rumor about a possible merger between Delta and Northwest Airlines. Merger talks reportedly were going full steam until it came time to get buy in from the pilots union. That’s when things came to a grinding halt (at least that’s the way it appears to be). Now, it’s dead quite.
On the coast they fly flags to indicate the weather forecast. Today I'm borrowing the one used for gale warnings...
I need to bring you up to speed on the current mood of the airline industry: gloomy.