United announces 787 routes; Tokyo Narita, Lagos and Shanghai to see 787 service
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United Airlines works to start anew as its rivals work to widen their competitive advantages
The US global network airlines Delta and American regularly receive accolades for the execution of their respective merger integrations. Assessment of the merger between United and Continental has been different, even from the airline’s own executives, who admit the integration was more challenging and took longer than anyone had anticipated.
United is working to adapt to changed pricing structures ushered in by the ULCCs – shifting more of its operations from regional to mainline and ensuring that customers fully understand the attributes of its various product offerings once its version of a basic economy fare debuts later in 2016.
United’s executives are also acknowledging the long standing gap it has in margin performance vis a vis its peers, and stresses its commitment to margin improvement. United in many ways is starting again, attempting to build a new foundation of trust with customers, employees and investors.
Air New Zealand defends Australia-USA transit market as Qantas plans further USA growth with 787-9s
Air New Zealand is turning up the volume. For years the airline had a tidy, under-the-radar business carrying transit passengers between Australia and the US over its Auckland hub. Air NZ is now directly targeting the Australia-USA market with a sales and marketing push that includes an advertising campaign called "Better Way to Fly". CEO Christopher Luxon said in a statement that "capturing just a little bit more of that market would see hundreds of thousands more Aussies flying with us to North and South America...Many Australian travellers still think of us as a trans-Tasman carrier and that’s a perception we’re determined to change."
The shift that Air NZ envisages is being sought now – and not five or even 10 years earlier – largely because of external factors and competition. Air NZ's marketing may suggest an opportunistic push, but the reality is Air NZ is on the defensive. In the Australia-Americas market competitors have lowered their costs, adding city pairs, product improvements and significant capacity growth. 2017 and 2018 are expected to mean even more growth as a resurgent Qantas adds 787-9 services between Australia and the US, and in particular – to Dallas.