Spirit Airlines CEO, Ben Baldanza, defended the carrier’s decision to charge for carry-on baggage, stating the charge will eliminate delays as the carrier "identified excessive carry-on baggage as the number one controllable reason that our planes were being delayed at the gate" (Seattlepi.com, 11-Apr-2010). US Department of Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, called the Spirit decision as "outrageous" and "ridiculous", adding "I don’t think they care about their customers". Meanwhile, New York Senator, Charles Schumer, reportedly called on Treasury Scretary, Timothy Geithner, to reverse recent legislation allowing Spirit to keep the carry-on baggage charge tax free (The Consumerist, 12-Apr-2010).
Spirit Airlines CEO defends decision to charge carry-on fees
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While it was acknowledged that progress on major deals was not going to happen overnight, the hope was that as layers of sanctions came down, Iran would be embraced by the rest of the world. In return, Iran was expected to open itself up progressively to foreign trade and investment, and to travel.
The road ahead was perceived to be one that was both a very different, and far easier, one than the one Iran had already travelled. Aviation in particular was a sector that was expected to shine and lead the way for a new era for the country.
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.