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%.
After the White Paper. Time for the US major airlines and Gulf carriers to kiss and make up
Although US global network airlines American and Delta have recently revived rhetoric in the Big 3 versus the Gulf 3 imbroglio that remained a mainstay in industry discourse throughout 2015, the efforts by American, Delta and United to stymie growth by Emirates, Etihad and Qatar can be deemed anything but a success. More than anything their march against the Gulf airlines has raised serious questions about the future of liberalisation in the global airline industry, and, arguably, damaged the US’ stature as the global leader in trumpeting open skies pacts.
By-products of the Big 3’s subsidy claims include a splintering among US airlines as jetBlue, Hawaiian and others united to form a fierce opposition in the subsidy argument, claiming that the efforts by the Big 3 would jeopardise the more than 100 open skies agreements that the US has forged worldwide. Those Big 3 airlines responded with the counterargument that the immunised joint ventures created by American, Delta and United with their alliance partners had resulted in higher fares and less consumer choice, and they requested the US government to review the passenger benefits of those tie-ups. As the two opposing sides squared off, Delta chose to leave the major US airline lobbying group 'Airlines For America'; almost consequently, the application by Norwegian Air Shuttle to launch low cost trans-Atlantic flights endured a years-long limbo, a delay driven in parallel with the Gulf debate.
The US government is making no promises over when it will render a decision to hold talks with the UAE and Qatar on their specific open skies policies, and the upcoming presidential election adds a huge element of uncertainty to the process. But a recent decision to grant Norwegian approval for its new service suggests that the government may avoid slipping into an outdated protectionist mindset.