Daily Points: Boeing Grounds the 737MAX; Hilton Promo

Daily Points

Boeing will pause 737 MAX production, a new Hilton promo is out, airline shopping portal bonuses, United’s new Cape Town flight starts, and airline startup Moxy will be headquartered in Salt Lake City.

Boeing Will Pause 737 MAX Production in January


Boeing is planning to suspend the production of the 737 MAX planes in January 2020. Boeing says it does not have plans to lay off or furlough workers at its Renton, Washington facility where the MAX is produced. However, 600 other companies that supply parts for the MAX will face tough times.

It is unclear how long the production line will be halted, but it appears heavily dependent on when regulators clear the MAX to fly again. 

Boeing was making 40 MAX planes per month in anticipation of regulatory approval of the fixes to the plane.  Currently, over 400 new aircraft are in storage, which is causing a major cash drain on Boeing, who loses $4.4 billion in cash each quarter the MAX remains grounded. 

Further, customer concessions could double to $11 billion from the previously announced $5.6 billion. American Airlines canceled MAX service until April, but it seems like further delays are likely.


Travel News

  • David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue, will base his new airline in Salt Lake City. The airline has 60 A220s on order with deliveries starting in 2021. Further, New Haven, Connecticut is under consideration as an East Coast focus city. (I used to live in New Haven, so this addition is great news. Currently, only American has 3 flights a day into the airport.)
  • United’s inaugural Newark to Cape Town flight took off yesterday. TPG’s Zach Honig was on the flight. It is great to have new options from the U.S. to South Africa and the first U.S. to Cape Town flight.
  • Priority Pass re-added the Russian railway stations in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Normally, we wouldn’t cover lounge additions in Russia, but I find it interesting that you can use your Priority Pass at a railway station. The lounges were originally added in 2018, but were removed a few months later. Here’s a review of the Moscow lounge.
  • Hawaiian Airlines started its inaugural service between Maui and Las Vegas using an Airbus A321neo with 16 recliner first-class seats, 44 Extra Comfort Seats, and 129 Economy seats.
  • Delta is adding daily flights from Atlanta to Boise, Bozeman, and Spokane. On July 6, 2020, Delta is adding a daily flight from Salt Lake City to Memphis.
  • Hong Kong Airport seizes 7 airplanes of troubled Hong Kong Airlines. Hong Kong Airlines received an emergency loan last week, but luckily these planes were not in service.
  • American Airlines and Royal Air Maroc are entering into a codesharing agreement for several routes: Casablanca to Boston, Miami, New York-JFK, and Washington-IAD. 
  • Singapore Airlines is adding a flight to Brussels starting October 25, 2020, using an Airbus A350-900. 
  • Qantas is moving their Melbourne to Tokyo route from Narita airport to the much closer Haneda Airport. 
  • Korean will be operating a 747-8 on the Seoul-Tokyo-Honolulu route starting March 29, 2020, replacing an Airbus A330-300.
  • Qatar Airways is launching seasonal flights to Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Santorini, Greece. Qatar is also adding more flights on several routes.

Deals and Points News

  • New Hilton Promo: 2,000 points every stay plus 10,000 points every 10 nights when you register in advance and stay January 6-May 3. 
  • Airline Shopping Bonuses: There are several airline shopping portal bonuses that each expire on December 22, 2019:
  • Free Museum Days- Bank of America added six additional days to their free museum days from December 26-31. There are over 220 free museums that you can access for free with a Bank of America debit or credit card including the MET (NYC), the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National World War I Museum (Kansas City), and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.  [DOC]
  • Singapore Airlines Spontaneous Escapes– Singapore Airlines released their January promo awards. Several good deals to Europe, but only one to the U.S. (NYC to Frankfurt in premium economy for 32,900 one-way)
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