Two items in the world of aviation caught my eye this week, courtesy of USA Today's travel blog:
First, that Airbus 380 is one big plane. Take a look at these two slideshows as it made its first flights to the United States. I'm curious to see whether a 500-plus passenger aircraft is viable in our air transportation system.
Second, it looks like Southwest is making Philadelphia the City of Brotherly LUV. It's a distant second to US Airways in passenger volume at Philadelphia International, but it appears to be responsible for all of the growth--and lower fares to boot:
More than a decade ago, federal regulators adopted the term "the Southwest effect" to describe the way air fares plunged and passenger traffic soared each time Southwest Airlines started flying to a new city.
Today, there's no better example of the phenomenon than what's happened at Philadelphia International Airport since Southwest came to town in May 2004, according to airport data.
In 2006, for the second year in a row, Philadelphia set a record for passenger traffic, with all of the growth attributable to a 23 percent increase in Southwest customers. The airport had a total of 31.8 million passengers last year, and 31.5 million in 2005.
Greater volume and lower prices? Better be careful. That can be a recipe for a backlash.