BOSTON & DALLAS — We start off by wishing Vinay a Happy Birthday, but certainly, a “mediocre birthday” (his words) pales in comparison to the continued woes for AirBerlin and Alitalia (1:10) after we perform a health check on Europe’s biggest ailing carriers (for now).

And the drama doesn’t end there: Ryanair, which once appeared to be one of the highest bidders for some of Alitalia’s assets, is suffering from extensive operational and commercial fallouts over a pilot shortage (16:35). With no end in sight, will they be able to recover from a tarnished image in spite of the “Always Getting Better” program oriented around customer service?

However, not all is woeful in Europe: Turkish Airlines seems to have recovered from a crummy 2016 and placed a blockbuster order for 787-9s (30:18) and may have more orders in the pipeline from both Boeing and Airbus.

Furthermore, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic JV partner Delta will be adding new routes and cities to Europe in Summer 2018 (36:30), diversifying beyond traditional bread-and-butter markets and going places where long-haul LCCs are absent.

To recap, the idea behind the Airways podcast is to take a weekly deep-dive into three or four important aviation stories or trends, with a particular focus on aerospace and the U.S. airline industry.

This is not a news podcast (in fact, almost everything we cover will have been written about on the site by the time we discuss it), but rather one focused on in-depth analysis and assessment.

If you enjoy the Airways podcast, please consider contributing to our Indiegogo campaign to help us upgrade our equipment and production standards.

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That’s the best way to get more people to listen to our show! For a limited time only, if you write a review and shoot us an email with a screenshot of your review, you’ll be able to pick a topic for Rohan and me to cover on the podcast.

This topic can be aviation-related or something completely off topic (our love lives, however, are off-limits).

As we evolve the format of this new Airways feature, we would love your feedback as we look to find the optimal mix. For now, consider this “Podcast Unplugged”. We’ll be adding production value enhancements as we move forward, in addition to special guests and contributors.

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below or directly via email.