Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said he remains confident that a proposed takeover of rival Virgin America will happen. But he acknowledged to Wall Street analysts Thursday that he had been hoping the $2.6 billion deal would have closed “a couple of weeks ago.”

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton about why the World Trade Organization is calling Airbus subsidies "unfair," and why it won't have much effect on Washington's Boeing employees.

AirAsia bought 100 Airbus A321neos at the Farnborough Airshow. Airbus has more than 1,200 orders for the new plane.
Airbus YouTube

Boeing has a problem with its airplane product lineup, and its name is the Airbus A321neo. The A321neo is bigger and longer-range than the Boeing 737 MAX 9. As a single-aisle jet, it’s a different plane from Boeing’s next size up, the wide-bodied 787.

Airlines around the world are rushing to order the A321neo, which has posted more than 1,200 orders so far. And that leaves Boeing with a question: Does it need a new plane?

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW economy reporter Carolyn Adolph about Joe Sutter, the Boeing engineer who led the development of the 747, the biggest airplane the world had ever seen.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum called Sutter "the father of the 747," and gave him the 2013 Lifetime Achievement award.

Delta Air Lines announced it was grounding nearly 300 flights Tuesday, a day after a computer outage hobbled the carrier's communication and booking systems and forced it to cancel about 1,000 flights worldwide.

Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded on Monday.

In a statement, Delta said the additional cancellations were to allow the carrier "to reset the operation and get crews, aircraft and other operational elements in place to take care of customers."

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

Delta flights around the world were delayed this morning because of a "computer outage," the company says.

A power outage in Atlanta around 2:30 a.m. ET was responsible for the problem, the company said in a statement.

The end of an era: Boeing may stop production of the 747

Aug 1, 2016
The Boeing 747, with its characteristic hump, may go out of production.
Flickr Photo/Michael Brunk (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton about why the 747, Boeing's iconic jet, might be nearing the end of its run.

The trip had mechanical setbacks, and the plane's average speed would be legal on many American streets. But when the Solar Impulse aircraft touched down in Abu Dhabi in the early morning darkness Tuesday, it successfully completed a round-the-world voyage using only solar power.

Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg took turns flying the single-seat aircraft that began its trip on March 9 of 2015, flying more than 26,700 miles in a total of 17 stages (23 days) as they soared under the sun's power and then glided through the night.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

Updated May 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Automated transmissions from the missing EgyptAir plane reportedly indicate smoke was detected in a bathroom. The data are among the last bits of information collected from Flight 804, which disappeared from radar and crashed into the Mediterranean Sea as it headed for Cairo on Wednesday.

File Photo Courtesy Boeing

The 787 Dreamliner has been billed as Boeing’s “game changing” plane, with fuel efficiency that would help Boeing win its competition with Airbus.  Now Wall Street is starting to give up on a profit for the plane.

Alaska Airlines executives sounded upbeat after their first meeting with antitrust regulators about Alaska's proposed acquisition of rival Virgin America.

"So far, so good" was Alaska Air General Counsel Kyle Levine's summary of how the initial meeting with the U.S. Department of Justice went.

A view from inside a Boeing factory.
Courtesy of Boeing

Kim Malcolm talks to the Wall Street Journal's aerospace reporter Jon Ostrower about the steps Boeing has to take in pursuing a deal with Iran. 

A solar-powered plane called the Solar Impulse 2 is preparing to resume its flight around the world after nine months on the ground for repairs.

The team's goal: to be the first plane to circumnavigate the globe using only solar power.

NPR's Geoff Brumfiel tells our Newscast unit that the plane is getting ready for liftoff in Hawaii. Here's more from Geoff:

Alaska Airlines management is expressing confidence about integrating its rival Virgin America, whose pending acquisition was announced Monday. Any airline merger poses challenges and this one is no exception.

Alaska Air outbid rival JetBlue Airways to acquire Virgin America in what Alaska Air CEO Brad Tilden described as "a hard fought competition." Alaska Air won the bidding war with a $2.6 billion all-cash offer that was announced Monday.