Air Travel News
Briefs: AA, Virgin add code-shares; DL suspends two Europe routes
In news of U.S. airlines, American Airlines and Virgin America have both announced plans to add new code-share partners; Delta will suspend service this fall on two European routes from Atlanta; Frontier changes pricing for in-flight entertainment; and the industry sets a record for on-time performance.
• American Airlines has applied for government approval to code-share with Air Tahiti Nui, based in Papeete. If it is approved, the deal would put American’s AA code onto Air Tahiti Nui flights between Los Angeles and Papeete, while the Tahitian carrier’s code would go onto 15 of AA’s domestic routes from LAX. American already has a frequent flyer agreement with Air Tahiti Nui by which AAdvantage members can redeem miles on that carrier.
• Virgin America Airlines has filed for U.S. approval to start code-sharing with Virgin Australia – a deal that would mark the U.S. carrier’s first-ever code-sharing arrangement. However, it would not put Virgin America’s code onto the Australian airline’s transpacific service; instead, it would assign Virgin Australia’s code to eight domestic Virgin America routes out of Los Angeles. Virgin Australia already has a code-sharing arrangement with Delta Air Lines.
• Delta reportedly plans to transform two of its year-round transatlantic routes out of Atlanta into seasonal service this fall, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Delta will reportedly suspend its Atlanta-Milan and Atlanta-Barcelona flights effective October 26, resuming the service next March. Delta has been trimming capacity to Europe recently in view of the continent’s economic troubles and continuing high fuel prices.
• Frontier Airlines on July 1 will switch from a flat fee for in-flight entertainment to a distance-based fee schedule. The airline currently charges $6 for in-flight access to 24 DirecTV channels and $8 for first-run movies. Starting in July, it will charge a bundled rate for the 24 channels plus three movie channels: $3.99 on flights of less than two hours; $5.99 for flights of two to three and a half hours; and $7.99 for longer flights. There will be no charge for passengers traveling on the carrier’s Classic and Classic Plus fares.
• The nation’s 15 largest airlines turned in an average on-time arrival rate of 84.5 percent during the first four months of 2012 – the best such rate for January-April since the government started record-keeping in 1995. The on-time rate for just the month of April was 86.3 percent, up from 82.2 percent in March and 75.5 percent a year ago. The number of cancelled flights in the first four months of the year was 1.1 percent of scheduled domestic departures, the lowest in 18 years.