United, Delta and American Airlines announced their latest USD10 hike on round-trip fares has failed as LCC giant Southwest Airlines did not follow suit (AP/Wall Street Journal, 06-Apr-2011). On 05-Apr-2011, the increase collapsed at the same time AirTran and Frontier put a limited number of seats for summer travel on sale. The average ticket price for a US domestic economy seat sold on Expedia has been up 6% to 17% weekly in 2011 compared with the same weeks in 2010. Services from LaGuardia to O’Hare cost 27% more in Mar-2011 on average. Tickets sold for LA-New York were 21% more expensive than in 2010.
United, Delta and American Airlines fare increase fails
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jetBlue may return to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Intl to stimulate competition in a changed market
jetBlue Airways appears to be making a major network move in 2017, with a potential return to Delta-dominated Atlanta after a short-lived stint at the airport in 2003. Both jetBlue and the US industry have undergone significant change during that thirteen-year time period. jetBlue has widened its passenger base to encompass business passengers along with VFR (visiting friends and relatives) customers, and has successfully introduced a premium cabin within the LCC business model. Changes in the US domestic market include sweeping consolidation and the rise of ultra-low cost airlines, which have arguably created permanent disruption in airfare pricing.
Dynamics have also shifted in Atlanta during that time period. Although Delta remains the dominant airline, Southwest has acquired AirTran and put less emphasis on Atlanta as a hub. Ultra-low cost airlines have also made moves in Atlanta during the past couple of years. Those changes could create an opening for an airline that offers a different product proposition in the market.
jetBlue’s return to Atlanta depends on the airport granting the airline’s request for specific gates. A launch of flights would be mutually beneficial for both jetBlue and Atlanta. jetBlue gains access to one of the largest US domestic markets and Atlanta would broaden its number of airlines spanning three distinct business models – full service airlines, medium frills LCCs and ULCCs.
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.