In the US, successful low cost carriers are adding amenities. JetBlue’s coach product is probably the best in the sky. Airtran offers business class and ATA is adding it. Entertainment and nice seats are commong among discount carriers (except with Southwest, but word is that even they are evaluating it), even to the extent it isn’t available from the majors.In Europe, discount means no frills. Discounter Ryanair is taking this to new extremes. Ryanair has confirmed it is taking “no-frills” flying a stage further by ordering a fleet of planes without reclining seats or window blinds. The budget airline could make savings of more than
USAirways has a plan to return to profitability, but I’m skeptical — both that they can pull it off and that it will matter if they do.USAirways wants lower costs. All airlines and almost all employers want lower costs, and employers facing strong unions have a hard time achieving those costs. Even after $1 billion in union concessions, USAirways has costs that by some measures are 2/3 higher than Southwest’s.Increased productivity by changing work rules. This is probably the most important thing that USAirways needs to do, and it will face some of the toughest union opposition.Leveraging strenght in the Northeast. If this is new, then I wonder what the airline has been doing for the past decade.Sell new amenities. Amenities have helped create the JetBlue brand, which has garnered fierce loyalty. JetBlue began selling…
United is finally catching up to the other major carriers by offering 1,000 bonus miles for booking award travel online. The bonus is valid only once, however.
After reading yesterday about U.S. involvement in the creation of a new Iraqi national airline, I tracked down the national airline of Afghanistan, Ariana Afghan Airlines.Ariana flies A300, Boeing 727, and Antonov 24 aircraft. The Antonov plane is 44 years old.The airline is pushing new ‘online booking’ which just consists of a fill-in form to enter your name and the dates you would like to travel. There’s no real-time availability or even online payment available. The same “online booking” for the Hotel Inter-Continental Kabul is offered. Under “Safety” the website discusses the history of Pan Am ownership and procedures in the 1950s, hardly inspiring for today. Then it skips to: At present Ariana posses four Boeing 727-200 and three Airbus 300B4 which are in good are reliable condition. Note that they say nothing about the…
An interesting blog discussion on the economics of corporate travel and competition for corporate travel management by major online travel sites like Expedia and Orbitz.I recently participated in an online survey on the subject (handsomely compensated for my brief time), and it’s clear that the major online services are pushing into business travel management. While Orbitz snagging McDonalds as a client is big news, the more significant opportunity may be in small and medium size businesses that cannot create and inhouse travel department but that can outsource it online.
ANA has a co-branded Visa for the U.S. market which comes with a $70 annual fee and 10,000 bonus miles with first purchase. Offer is valid through September 30, 2004. Details are also available on the ANA website.For U.S. domestic flyers, bear in mind that ANA is a partner of United Airlines (and the rest of the Star Alliance) so there are plenty of redemption options for ANA Mileage Club miles.
I haven’t verified this myself, but a reader writes that Jay Leno’s monologue on Thursday night included the following: Police in Miami have detained 3 men who entered the U.S. by shipping themselves in a container on a cargo flight. Don’t worry, they weren’t with al Qaeda. They were with Priceline.com.
The US is pushing to create a new Iraqi national airline and Delta has surfaced as a potential codeshare partner. Delta is already Royal Jordanian to provide air-mail service to Iraq.The expected case is that the existing Iraqi carrier will be liquidated, along with its outstanding debts to Kuwait and Airbus, and that it would lease aircraft with USAID and World Bank financing.
The Wall Street Journal‘s Weekend Journal carries a piece on low fare carriers and their perks.While American Trans Air is adding a business class cabin to their planes, United’s TED carries no first class offering. Ted’s introduction at Dulles, where flights will go as far as Las Vegas, is a real disappointment to this United flyer.I told the Journal’s Paula Szuchman that gimmicks and marketing wouldn’t get me to fly Ted, and that the loss of a first class cabin was a huge disincentive. For Gary Leff, it’s no contest. Low-fare carriers rarely match the majors on offerings that matter most to him, the 29-year-old finance director says, and he won’t be tempted when Ted expands flights to his hometown airport, Washington’s Dulles. He’ll fly Continental to earn flier miles and get business-class upgrades not…
Earn 5000 bonus Delta miles when purchasing elite level Ambassador status with Priority Club.