Faced with an unsolicited merger plan from US Airways and increasing pressure from its creditors and its major unions, bankrupt American Airlines parent company AMR Corp. has grudgingly agreed to take a look a the possibility of consolidating with someone else – an option that management had been firmly rejecting until now.
Air Travel News
You can now wave at Santa from some twin-engine flights. Twin-engine planes such as Boeing’s 777 and 787 Dreamliner are now allowed to take a “short cut” over the North Pole, reducing both travel times and emissions. U.S. aviation regulators had required that twin-engine aircraft be no more than three hours away from the nearest place to land, since the failure of one engine on such a plane is potentially far more serious than for a plane with three or four engines. But due to safety improvements, twin-engine planes may now be five-and-a-half hours from a suitable landing spot, according to the FAA. Four-engine planes have been allowed to use “Santa’s Short Cut“ for years.
In a memo to employees detailing more of its restructuring plans, American Airlines said it needs to reshuffle the aircraft types in its domestic operation to better match capacity to demand, and also expects to make international flying a bigger part of its business mix.
In news of U.S. airlines, US Airways adds flights at its PHL and CLT hubs; Alaska Airlines installs innovative seat design in new longer-range 737s; airlines predict full flights this summer; and car buyers may soon be able to earn Mileage Plus miles.
© Courtesy of Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines is coming out swinging in New York, making a grab for prized business travelers at both JFK and LaGuardia. The carrier is spending $1.2 billion to expand JFK’s Terminal 4, where it will consolidate all its international gates and add a 24,000-square-foot Sky Club lounge, with a May 2013 target for completion. Delta’s antiquated Terminal 3 will be demolished. Meanwhile, Delta will go head-to-head with American and United at LaGuardia, where it plans to expand operations by more than 75 percent this summer with 264 daily flights from LaGuardia to more than 60 cities. Delta is spending $100 million to expand into LaGuardia’s Terminal C, though it will also continue existing operations at Terminal D. At the same time, Delta is trimming flights from Atlanta. It already discontinued service to Shanghai and is cutting routes to Athens, Copenhagen, Moscow, Prague and Tel Aviv this summer. However, ATL debuts a new Delta international terminal this summer, with a new Sky Club flagship lounge.
In a highly public split with management, major unions at American Airlines are running newspaper ads urging the company to consider a merger with US Airways as an option that might be its best route out of Chapter 11.
What’s a struggling airline to do when it’s being beaten down by the ever-rising cost of jet fuel? Start buying fuel from itself.
US Airways is the latest major carrier to start offering regular passengers the same perks enjoyed by its elite frequent flyers – for a price.
The company said its new PreferredAccess product is now available for purchase during online check-in. It provides purchasers with priority check-in, priority security lane access (where available); and priority boarding.
In news of U.S. airlines, American has reportedly gone on a hunting expedition for premium members of United’s frequent flyer program; Virgin America takes on a new international partner; and Frontier shrinks even more at Milwaukee.
When Spirit Airlines introduced the industry’s first carry-on bag fees, many fliers were outraged, but the company seemed to make the concept work. Now, Spirit is taking the concept to the next level, with procrastinating passengers facing a possible charge of $100 for that carry-on.