USA’s City of Atlanta and Delta Air Lines have signed a seven-year extension of the airline’s lease at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (Atlanta Business Chronicle, 21-Dec-2009). Under the agreement, Delta will back bonds to ensure the completion of the Maynard Holbrook Jackson International Terminal.
Atlanta City extends Delta lease agreement at Atlanta Airport by seven years
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United, Delta, American Airlines: Cost creep, rising oil prices put pressure on the Big 3 to deliver
For the large three global US network airlines – American, Delta and United – the final quarter of 2016 offers some hope of negative unit revenue trends starting to stabilise, a welcome sign after two years of declines. But those positive developments are occurring against a backdrop of rising fuel costs and overall cost creep for those airlines, as labour expenses rise in the face of new collective bargaining agreements they have achieved.
Although each airline has offered a nuanced interpretation of domestic trends, the general consensus is that dynamics began to improve in Aug-2016 as close-in yields started to strengthen. After enduring tough conditions in Latin America driven by Brazil’s recession, American and Delta posted positive passenger unit revenues (PRASM) in their Latin entities in 3Q2016, and expect further improvement. Higher industry capacity is creating challenges for those airlines in the Atlantic and Pacific, but generally it seems that the path of unit revenue declines in those regions should moderate progressively.
Delta is aiming to post positive PRASM early in 2017, and American believes it can reach a positive result in total unit revenues in 1H2017. For now United is not offering a specific time period for a reversal of negative PRASM, but feels confident it is heading in the right direction, given the changing dynamics in certain areas of its network.
jetBlue Airways makes strategic competitive moves as it contemplates longer-term route development
jetBlue Airways has drawn attention during the last few weeks as it became the first US airline to operate commercial flights to Cuba in more than half a century, and from its growing consideration towards launching long haul flights to Europe. But behind those headline-grabbing events, jetBlue continues to grow from its points of strength in Fort Lauderdale, Boston and Orlando.
In early 2017 the airline plans to add strategic flights from those three focus cities, entering markets where ample competition already exists. However, as a major force in Fort Lauderdale, Boston and Orlando, jetBlue needs a presence in strategic markets from those airports. Its planned route additions are areas where jetBlue lacks service, and despite the vast competition, the airline needs to offer those route options to its customers.
A recent push by Delta Air Lines into jetBlue’s Boston focus city has not appeared to spook jetBlue. On the contrary – jetBlue’s ambitious growth from Boston continues unabated as it has declared a new daily peak-day departure target of 200.