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AvTalk Episode 133: Southwest, ATC, and the rumor mill

On this episode of AvTalk, we discuss the breakdown of Southwest Airlines’ operations over the past weekend—where it all began and how social media created a new problem for the airline. Plus, Air India finally has a new owner.

Southwest’s breakdown

From Friday 8 October through Monday 11 October, Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights because of operational issues emanating from Florida. We break down what we know about what caused the trouble to start and how multiple factors made it worse. We also discuss the role social media played in turning an airline operations story into something else entirely.

DOT to audit FAA staffing

The US Department of Transportation inspector general has initiated an audit of ‘staffing and training at FAA’s critical facilities’ to ensure that there are enough controllers. We discuss our predictions for the report’s conclusions.

Tata takes Air India

The Tata Group will take over Air India after outbidding rivals for the airline. The founder of Tata Group began what became Air India in 1932 and in 1953 the airline was nationalized. Now, in 2021, Air India will once again be a private airline back in Tata’s hands.


Sensing an opportunity for low-cost flights in Australia, Bonza aims to take on existing carriers with no-frills, point-to-point flying.

NTSB job opening

The NTSB is hiring investigators, including one in the same division as Sean Payne, who we spoke with a few months ago. See how you can become an NTSB investigator.

Air New Zealand 787 vaccination site

Air New Zealand will turn one of its 787s into a vaccination site this weekend.

The L-1011 house

If your dream house includes a airline-themed cinema, we have the house for you.

Let us know what you think (and let your friends know too!)

Thank you so much for listening! Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast! Want to send us additional feedback, just email us. And tell that friend who asked you for a podcast recommendation that AvTalk is the one they want to listen to next.

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