US BTS reports 4% rise in domestic air fares in 2Q2012
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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.
jetBlue Airways: confident of long term margin performance, despite short term RASM pressure
jetBlue Airways feels confident about its unit revenue trajectory, even as its 1Q2017 performance in that metric will be weaker than at some of its larger industry peers. The company has stopped short of predicting when its unit revenue will turn positive, opting not to set expectations that could fail to materialise.
Still, jetBlue believes its current and future network composition will position the airline to bolster its revenue generation, along with contribution from its Mint premium product, branded credit card pacts and fare bundles.
The company remains confident it can deliver competitive margins at growth rates in the high single digits for the near term. The majority of jetBlue’s growth centres on its focus cities, where it holds dominant positions. It continues to build out Boston and Fort Lauderdale, touting its ability to leverage its strong position in those markets to drive revenue.
For the past several years jetBlue has undertaken numerous initiatives to build up its corporate base, ranging from making its schedule offering attractive in Boston to the creation of Mint. The gamble on Mint has paid off, and helped jetBlue capture significant corporate share in Boston. But jetBlue fundamentally remains weighted toward leisure passengers, and the company believes a higher leisure passenger base should help it to maximise returns.