Cal Jet announced (01-Feb-2013) it will suspend all services on 05-Feb-2013 instead of its planned suspension date of 07-Apr-2013 due to a decision by the Sinaloa Group of Mexico. The following services were operated by Xtra Airways utilising Boeing 737-400 equipment;
Cal Jet ends operations 8 weeks early
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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.
Logic dictates approval of Alaska-Virgin America merger; anti-trust hawks loom large
A pushback in the closing date of the merger of Alaska Air Group and Virgin America – to allow the US government more time for its review of the transaction – created some jitters among investors about the eventual approval of the tie-up, evidenced by a drop in Virgin America’s stock price, which had soared after the deal was tabled in Apr-2016.
Despite the extra time regulators are taking to review the merger, a full-blown rejection of the deal is unlikely given the drastically smaller scope created by Alaska and Virgin America. Indeed, the combined airline creates a more viable entity to compete with the mega-carriers created by previous mergers; not a threat to consumer choice.
Close scrutiny by US regulators was always expected, as are some form of concessions in order for the agreement to ultimately gain the government’s approval. The form those concessions could take has spurred significant speculation from slot divestitures to the relinquishment of gates. Perhaps the key for Alaska is ensuring that the composition of those concessions does not compromise the economics of the transaction.