In news of international airlines, one of Europe’s largest airline companies is kicking off a new low-cost division; two foreign airlines are adding new routes to the U.S.; Virgin Atlantic Airways is bringing some class to Upper Class with art sales; and Qantas will debut a perk for premium passengers to bring its product into line with its new partner Emirates.
Air Travel News
In news of international airlines, Air China announced plans to begin flying to Beijing from a fifth U.S. gateway this summer; Cathay Pacific says its premium economy seating option will be available from all of its U.S. gateways this week; and Alitalia will drop one U.S. route this spring.
In news of international airlines, Airberlin introduces a new business class configuration and will expand code-sharing with American; Austrian Airlines overhauls its long-haul aircraft; Virgin Atlantic hires an American Airlines executive as its new chief executive; and LOT Polish will shrink to stay alive.
Despite the ups and downs of the global economy, airline passenger traffic is expected to maintain a steady increase on both domestic and international routes for the foreseeable future, according to a new report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA)—but for U.S. carriers, growth will be slower than in the rest of the world.
In news of international carriers, the Oneworld alliance set a February 1 date for the formal integration of its newest member; Air Canada reveals more plans about its new low-cost subsidiary; and Australian officials give tentative approval for a major new Qantas partnership.
In news of international airlines, Qantas determines that the availability of in-flight Wi-Fi is not necessarily a good idea in all markets; Lufthansa says it will revolutionize intra-European low-cost service; and Canada’s WestJet unveils some technology initiatives.
Over the past few years, the British government has repeatedly increased its Air Passenger Duty (APD)—a head tax on all airline travelers departing the country—to the point where it is the highest of any major nation. And in 2013, the government plans to raise it again, raising an outcry from the airline and travel industries on both sides of the Atlantic.
The global trend toward a premium seating option in the economy cabin is taking another step forward with news that two big international carriers—both members of the Star Alliance—plan to introduce that amenity in the months ahead.
In news of international airlines, employees at Spain’s Iberia Airlines plan pre-holiday walkouts; Air Canada announces new international expansion for 2013 and a new code-sharing partner; and Lufthansa issues an update on its growing in-flight Internet technology.
The Oneworld global alliance, which includes American Airlines and British Airways, is adding three new affiliate members, including two U.S. regional carriers and one airline that targets the transatlantic business travel market. Meanwhile, Star Alliance has taken on a new Asian member.