American Airlines confirmed (01-Aug-2013) the commencement of 76-seat Embraer E175 operations on 01-Aug-2013. The aircraft will be operated by Republic Airlines under the American Eagle Airlines brand as part of a 12-year capacity purchase agreement, and will initially be based at Chicago O'Hare. The carrier expects two to three E175 aircraft to enter service per month, reaching the maximum of 47 in 1Q2015. The aircraft are configured with 12 first class, 20 'Main Cabin Extra' and 44 economy seats. American Airlines VP network planning Chuck Schubert said: "For the first time in American Airlines history we are offering large regional jet flying as an option. In addition to strengthening our longstanding partnership with Republic Airways, this is a strong step forward in the diversification of our fleet and an important enhancement from one of our key hubs. It’s also great news for our customers, who will now have even more flight choices and opportunities to travel in the first class cabin." [more - original PR American Airlines] [more - original PR New Orleans Airport]
American Airlines confirms launch of E175 oeprations
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Las Vegas McCarran continues to chart solid growth despite the consolidated US market place
Las Vegas McCarran International Airport reached a milestone in 2015, surpassing passenger throughput levels achieved in 2008 prior to the Global Financial Crisis. The airport’s passenger levels were lifted by a mix of new domestic and international services, including new services with Copenhagen and Stockholm introduced by Norwegian, which also became the first airline to operate the Boeing 787 to the airport.
Norwegian plans further growth in Las Vegas in 2016 with the introduction of flights to Oslo. Lufthansa low cost subsidiary Eurowings also plans to add new flights between Cologne and Las Vegas. The airport appears to fit the profile for service by long haul low cost airlines, and the services launched by Norwegian and Eurowings allow Las Vegas to position itself positively, with other airlines adopting that business model.
Growth by US low cost and ultra-low cost airlines during the last couple of years will also continue to lift passenger numbers at McCarran. During the first two months of 2016 the airport’s passenger numbers expanded by 8%.
Frontier Airlines and its network challenges: starting and leaving routes as US ULCC dynamics shift
US ULCC Frontier continues to make numerous changes to its network. In early 2016 it unveiled a network blitz, tabling 42 new routes that start in Apr-2016 and continue through Jun-2016, including a return to the smaller market of Colorado Springs. It also joined Allegiant Air in injecting some ULCC competition into Pittsburgh, and it continued expansion from Orlando International airport.
At the same time Frontier has opted to reduce its footprint in Atlanta after joining fellow ULCC Spirit Airlines in making a push from the airport in 2015. Atlanta is a market dominated by two of the large US network airlines – Delta and Southwest. It is not clear whether that has bearing on Frontier’s evaluation of its strategy in Atlanta but Orlando is largely an O&D market, which could be better suited for Frontier’s ULCC operations.
The only conclusion that can be drawn from many of Frontier’s network moves is that no distinctive pattern emerges. There are major competitors in every market that it is leaving, but that is also the case for the remaining routes the airline is serving from Atlanta. Despite the shifts by Frontier, a small ULCC presence remains in one of the world’s busiest airports.