United Airlines and US Airways began rolling back the USD4 to USD10 increase in round-trip fares over the weekend, according to media reports. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines and Virgin America began doing the same on 27-Feb-2012. The increase was initiated last week by United Airlines and Continental Airlines.
Latest US fare increase may be rolled back
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Frontier to celebrate ULCC transition with an IPO: intensity grows in the US competitive landscape
After toying with the idea of engaging in an initial public offering for more than year, the US ULCC Frontier Airlines now intends to go public as its major shareholder, ULCC specialist Indigo Partners, sets its sights on Argentina. Frontier has arrived at and passed many ULCC milestones, including producing unit costs excluding fuel below the USD6 cent benchmark for the ULCC model, placing it on par with its fellow ULCCs Spirit Airlines and Allegiant.
Frontier markets its product differently from other US ULCCs, giving passengers the options to purchase product in a bundled form or a la carte, but it still maintains ultra low fares. However, Frontier couldn’t escape the pricing pressure that permeated the US market in 2016, joining the majority of the country’s airlines in posting distinct yield and unit revenue declines.
Obviously, despite the pricing pressure and changing dynamics in the US market, Frontier remains bullish on the opportunities for ULCCs in the market place, concluding that numerous markets exist for it to operate profitably with low fares.
During the past several years Frontier’s network focus has been somewhat murky. Now Frontier’s network strategy is targeting high fare, underserved routes. And like its rival Spirit, Frontier also singles out medium sized markets that offer some protection from larger competitors.
More nuanced network changes for Spirit Airlines as "basic economy" pricing sets in
For the past year Spirit Airlines has alluded to changes in its network structure to include a larger number of smaller to mid-size markets as competitive dynamics in the US market place have shifted. Few details have emerged other than announcement that smaller markets, including Akron-Canton, Ohio and Hartford, Connecticut would join its network.
Now more clarity about Spirit’s strategy is emerging. The airline has declared its future network composition will still feature a mix of larger and smaller markets, but some changes are occurring in frequencies operated. Spirit has concluded there are opportunities to serve a number of markets less than daily while still preserving its cost advantage. Some of those types of changes are occurring in its existing service from Akron, and from new routes debuting from Pittsburgh and Hartford later in 2017.
New basic economy offerings debuting from American and United have generated a lot of industry buzz, but Spirit maintains a belief the changes in fare structures will ultimately firm up the pricing in North America.