The world's airlines stand to lose more than USD$6 billion this year if fuel costs remain at current levels, the International Air Transport Association estimated recently. Qantas Airways' cost-saving plans comes close on the heels of large quarterly losses reported by American Airlines and Delta Air Lines in the US due to rising jet fuel prices. Crude oil has fallen about 12 percent from last week's record of USD$147.27 a barrel on worries over US demand and easing political tensions over Iran, but it is still trading around USD$130 a barrel, up nearly 30 percent so far this year. 7/18/2008
US airlines amid soaring fuel costs, leaving them little choice but to further hike ticket prices. As Delta Air Lines and American Airlines reported big second-quarter losses yesterday, they signaled customers should expect more hits to their checkbooks. There are signs overall demand for flying within the U.S. is softening, but industry observers insisted that will not stop rising fares, more fees and fewer domestic flights. 7/17/2008
Fuel costs and labor issues are central to American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines posting $1 billion-plus losses for the quarter. Other carriers are likely to post losses as well. So it may be a bit of a stretch to consider their problems from the perspective of brand positioning. After all, fuel is fuel--and it costs an arm and a leg regardless of which airline's wing tank gets filled. And nearly across the board, travelers are unhappy with the advent of baggage fees, impersonal, delayed and less service in general. But to Greensboro, N.C.-based marketing firm Stealing Share, the airline industry's woes present an opportunity. In its report on American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, Southwest and United, the firm argues that the carriers' marketing messages are largely the same--promoting things that every airline provides, and are not relevant to travelers. According to the firm, only Southwest and Continental have messages that stand out by acknowledging that travelers are being treated badly (in the case of Continental) and that what they really want are cheap flights (Southwest). 7/17/2008
US Air Transport Assn. said airlines' composite cost index in the first quarter rose 31.3% year-over-year to 228.7, the fastest growth since the second quarter of 1980 and greater than the US Consumer Price Index increase of 4.2%. Fuel climbed 28.7% and accounted for 29.4% of first-quarter operating costs. Overall unit cost rose 12.4% to a record 13.72 cents while yield climbed 2.6%. 7/16/2008
Asian investors took early encouragement Monday from the news that the U.S. government was planning to hand a lifeline to mortgage repackagers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But, over the course of the day, caution overtook hope, and stock indexes ended down across the region, with the exception of mainland China. US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Sunday that the government would extend its credit lines to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and, if necessary, could take an equity position to shore up either or both. The Federal Reserve also expressed willingness to lend to the mortgage giants if need be. Together, the two companies hold or guarantee about $5.3 trillion in debt, or about half the outstanding mortgages in the United States. 7/14/2008
The Air Transport Assn., Air Line Pilots Assn. and Regional Airline Assn. joined together Friday to call on Congress to pass legislation putting limitations on oil speculation, asserting that the "economic market [for oil] has become divorced from the physical market" and driven the per-barrel price to a point that threatens the viability of the air transport industry. 7/14/2008
Air Canada and Jazz Air flew 4.58 billion RPMs in June, a 1.9% increase year-over-year, while ASMs climbed 2.7% to 5.57 billion. Load factor dipped 0.6 point to 82.2%. 7/18/2008
AirTran Airways flew 1.89 billion RPMs in June, up 15.5% from the year-ago month. Capacity rose 13% to 2.23 billion ASMs and load factor improved 1.8 points to 84.7%...