US Senator Charles Schumer called on 21 domestic airlines to pledge not to charge passengers for carry-on luggage over concerns other airlines will follow Spirit Airlines' lead (Syracuse.com, 26-Apr-2010). American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, United Airlines and US Airways have committed to keep carry-on luggage free. Spirit Airlines stated it has written to US senators who have proposed legislation that would forbid airlines to charge for carry-on items (philly.com, 26-Apr-2010).
US Senator calls on carriers not to charge carry-on luggage fees
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American Airlines and Delta: the worst is over for Latin America’s weak revenue performance
Latin America has been a weak spot for airlines for more than a year; Brazil’s economy has crumbled and currency fluctuations have driven weakness in demand in some of the region’s other countries. But two of the US’ large global airlines, American and Delta, believe that Brazil in particular has reached an inflection point, and they sense a slow improvement occurring on routes to Brazil due to a rationalisation of capacity in those markets.
After steep revenue declines in its Brazilian markets, American expects it could post positive unit revenue results in those markets during 3Q2016, while Delta is citing positive trends for its Latin American entity that should continue into 2017.
Of course, it will take some time for airlines to reach the levels of revenue performance they enjoyed before Latin America’s economy began to contract, but the start of the slow climb out of the revenue doldrums is a welcome sign for a region that remains one of the most promising over the long term.
Spirit Airlines touts its operational improvement, but its overall performance remains lacklustre
Spirit Airlines’ top priorities for 2016 are: improving its dismal operations after regularly underperforming the industry, and engendering a more positive relationship with its customers. The results so far are relative. Its on-time performance and customer complaint ratios have improved, yet Spirit's ranking remains near the bottom among airlines whose operational metrics are tracked by the US government. Nevertheless, Spirit is pleased with its progress so far.
Spirit acknowledges its operational performance will never rise to the level of some of the top performers in the US; but it believes that the progress it has made during the country’s busy summer high season will continue into autumn 2016, and the improvement will bolster its ULCC model over the long term.
Spirit’s unit revenue performance during the past year has shown that the ULCC model is not immune from the industry yield pressure that has stubbornly hovered over the US domestic revenue environment during that time. While the market place does remain competitive, Spirit is starting to see encouraging signs of capacity restraint among higher-cost airlines.