A new strategy outlined by United Airlines last week envisions significant reductions in operating costs, redeployment of aircraft and changes in its global route network — as well as a big increase in revenues from more sales of ancillary services to passengers.
Air Travel News
Major U.S. airlines have taken a look at the future of long-haul international air travel, and they don’t like what they see. New aircraft orders last week by the “Big Three” Mideast airlines — Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways — have left their U.S. rivals sounding scared about how they can effectively compete for intercontinental business in the years ahead.
Delta Air Lines and its transatlantic joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic — in which Delta holds a 49 percent stake — have taken steps to coordinate schedules and airport operations starting in the spring.
Gogo, the provider of in-flight Internet service for several major U.S. airlines, said it is talking with carriers about offering passengers a new “Text & Talk" service for their smart phones — one that won’t require the installation of any new equipment on aircraft.
Now that American and US Airways have reached a settlement with the Justice Department that will allow their merger to proceed, members of both carriers’ frequent flyer programs could expect to start seeing changes in mileage earning/spending coming very soon.
The American-US Airways merger is just one more front in a battle for Texas air travelers that is going to heat up considerably in 2014 at both Dallas/Ft. Worth and close-in Love Field — especially if Delta gets its way with a big planned expansion at the latter airport.
With the trial of the Justice Department’s antitrust case against the American-US Airways merger due to begin in a couple of weeks, there is growing speculation that the matter might be headed toward a settlement.
In news of U.S. airlines, Delta is adding still more routes into Seattle; several airlines have quickly adopted the new federal rules ending a key restriction on passengers’ use of electronic devices; and Frontier announces several new routes even as its acquisition by new owners moves to a conclusion.
Price inflation continues to plague road warriors who play the mileage game. In the latest example, members of United’s Mileage Plus program will soon have to pay a little more for a premium seat on international award flights — or a lot more if they want to travel on one of United’s partner carriers in the Star Alliance.
Air fares are constantly changing as airlines adjust them to match fluctuations in seat availability and passenger demand. And now one low-cost carrier is asking why the same concept shouldn’t apply to all of those ancillary fees that airlines have adopted in recent years.