US Bureau of Transport Statistics (BTS) released (28-Oct-2009) its Air Travel Price Index, which showed the average domestic air fares fell 13.0% year-on-year for the three months ended 30-Jun-2009, the lowest second quarter level since 1998 and the largest year-on-year decline. Details include:
US domestic air fares down 13% in 2Q2009 to lowest level since 1998
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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.
United Airlines Part 1: New management declares ambitions to usher in a new competitive era
For years United Airlines has operated at a competitive disadvantage to its large US network peers. The challenges that United never seemed to overcome were largely self-inflicted, and ranged from widespread employee discontent to consistent revenue shortfalls.
Now United finally appears to be charting a course to level the competitive playing field with its large global US network competitors, to close the long-standing revenue gap it has held with its rivals. The elements of United’s plan to shore up revenues include bolstering connections at its hubs, improved revenue management, and product segmentation that entails a new basic economy fare structure whose restrictions are more stringent than those of its peers.
United’s revenue transformation will not occur overnight, but for the first time since its 2010 merger with Continental the company seems laser-focused on shrinking the competitive challenges that have hindered its performance. It projects billions in improvement – to pre-tax profits by 2020 – as a result of its doubling down on efforts to shore up revenue. Obviously the measure of United’s success lies in its execution and its ability to navigate competitive responses to its revenue-generating strategies.
This is part one of a two part series examining United’s strategies to compete more effectively with its peers on revenue and costs.