Low-frills airlines in Europe currently hold 18 percent of the market share, and that could go to 32 percent in just the next few years, according to Kark Garnadt, senior vice president-Network for Lufthansa. Speaking at the 13th annual Phoenix Aviation Symposium, Garnadt said that how quickly they grow depends on the response of the legacy carriers, which have been complacent in responding to the new competition. Michael Whitacker, vice president of alliances, international and regulatory affairs for United, said airlines no longer fit neatly into buckets of domestic and international and low-cost and point-to-point carriers. Most experts agreed that global aviation would eventually evolve into a system of three global alliances with many partners, and then many smaller operators.
Air Berlin's Stansted operation is to be joined by Manchester and Southampton as UK departure points on 1 November. Manchester will again be daily services Berlin-Tegel (in competition with BA) and Dusseldorf (which also has Lufthansa on the route) plus a four times a weekly route to Paderborn. Southampton to Paderborn will be served three times weekly. The successful Stansted operation continues Berlin-Tegel, Dusseldorf, Hanover, Munster-Osnabruck, Nuremberg, Paderborn and Palma de Mallorca. www.airberlin.com
Air France has confirmed that it will stick to its summer flight schedule even though it cannot use Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E, part of which collapsed last month at Paris's largest airport. However there will changes of schedules for some long-haul flights, including Boston, Miami, Toronto and Rio de Janeiro. The idea of moving some flights to Orly seems to have been dropped after heavy local lobbying. Whilst in many ways better located than CDG Orly is only supported from the UK with London City operations and does not have the interline connections of Roissy. www.airfrance.com
Air New Zealand unveiled plans to transform the long-haul flying experience for both its economy and its premium customers. From mid- 2005, Air New Zealand will offer its long-haul customers new cabin interiors, seats, in-flight entertainment system and food and beverage service. ANZ's fleet of Boeing 747s will be refitted at a cost of around $100 million, beginning in the middle of next year and work on the last aircraft should be completed by early 2006. Eight new Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft, which will start arriving in September 2005, will have the same interiors and product.
Air New Zealand has signed agreements to acquire eight new Boeing 777- 200ER aircraft and two Boeing 7E7 aircraft, as well as the rights to buy an additional 42 long-haul airplanes, pending shareholder approval. The aircraft will enable the carrier to stretch its wings in the long-haul marketplace. " These aircraft will allow us to develop new routes and increase frequency on existing routes, as well as provide an overall increase in both passenger and cargo capacity," says Ralph Norris, managing director and chief executive. Norris adds that putting a new fleet in place will mean lower operating costs and better financial performance than the carrier would realize by expanding its existing fleet of 10 Boeing 767s.
AirTran Airways announced on June 29 2004 enhancements to its existing frequent traveler rewards program, A+ Rewards. The enhancements come amidst the reduction of benefits on other airlines and offer members the unique opportunity to gain a free(a) ticket to anywhere in the world, whether the airline flies there or not. "AirTran Airways is known throughout the industry not just for low fares, but exemplary customer service and the most-friendly Crew Members in the business," said Bob Fornaro, president and chief operating officer. "We chose to enhance our rewards program to expand upon the existing benefits to passengers, and reward our most loyal customers. We, in large part, owe our success to their business, and this is our thank you."
AirTran Airways launched on June 22 2004 a four-day sale featuring four fare tiers on four travel periods for flights to all 45 destinations with fares starting as low as $34 each way. These special fares are available for purchase June 22 through June 25, 2004, are good for travel through November 2, 2004, and are not valid for travel on Fridays and Sundays. Like all AirTran Airways fares, prices included in this sale are one-way tickets and do not require a roundtrip purchase or a Saturday night stay. Travelers may purchase these sale fares at http://www.airtran.com, through travel agents or via AirTran Airways' reservations system at 1-800-AIR-TRAN. For Spanish, call 1-877-581-9842.
AirTran Airways reports that its first Boeing 737-700 aircraft flew its first revenue flight on June 17 2004. Flight 303 took off at 9:30 am (EDT) from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in route to Denver International Airport. AirTran Airways just took delivery of the aircraft a week ago when the aircraft made its inaugural flight from Seattle to Atlanta following a celebration at Boeing Field. This aircraft is the first of 100 ordered by AirTran Airways in July, 2003. "Not only do the Boeing 737s boast remarkable fuel efficiency, they will also allow us to serve longer-haul markets. Combined with the dependability of our Boeing 717 fleet, the increased flexibility and greater range of the 737s enables AirTran Airways to solidify our position as an industry leader well into the future," said Robert L. Fornaro, AirTran Airways' president and chief operating officer.
AirTran Airways launched June 7 2004 a 36 hour sale for flights to all 45 destinations with fares starting as low as $39 each way. Travelers may purchase these sale fares at airtran.com, through travel agents or via AirTran Airways' reservations system at 1-800-AIR-TRAN. For Spanish, call 1-877-581-9842. These special fares are available for purchase through 11:59 p.m. (ET) June 8, 2004, are good for travel through November 2, 2004, and are not valid for travel on Fridays and Sundays. Like all AirTran Airways fares, prices included in this sale are one-way tickets and do not require a roundtrip purchase or a Saturday night stay.
AirTran Airways began June 5 2004 two new daily nonstop flights between Akron-Canton Airport and Boston's Logan International Airport and two new daily nonstop flights between Newport News/Williamsburg Airport and Boston's Logan International Airport. The announcement comes at the beginning of a big week for AirTran Airways, as the low-fare provider is accepting delivery of the first of 100 new Boeing 737-700 aircraft on Wednesday, June 9. AirTran Airways already operates the youngest all- Boeing fleet in the United States, and this summer XM Satellite Radio will be added to all its aircraft.
Alaska Airlines celebrated on June 29 2004 the grand opening of its state-of-the-art passenger concourse designed to expedite passengers through Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The new Concourse C features a layout, unique in the industry, for the airline's two-step check-in process. The layout virtually eliminates the conventional check-in counter. It is designed so that Alaska Airlines' passengers can move swiftly to security and on to their gate to board their flights. All of Concourse C's nine gates will be operated exclusively by Alaska Airlines. "I am extremely proud of our staff for designing this process themselves," said Vice President, Customer Services Ed White. "Passengers will discover they can move through this system much faster providing them with much more control over their airport experience. This is the wave of the future for moving people through an airport." The two-step process begins either at home, where the passenger checks- in on line and prints out the boarding pass, or does the same at the airport using an Instant Travel Machine (ITM). In the second step, the passenger takes the boarding pass to the nearby bag check location where the agent scans in the boarding pass, the luggage tags are printed and attached to the passenger's luggage. The passenger then heads off to security.
Alaska Airlines began daily nonstop roundtrip service on June 7 2004 between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport, becoming the only airline to fly the route. The carrier is using a Boeing 737-700 on this route.
The Italian government agreed on June 22 2004 to guarantee a short-term bridge loan in a bid to stave off bankruptcy at the state-controlled airline Alitalia. The announcement was made at the end of a Cabinet meeting at Premier Silvio Berlusconi's office in Rome.
Aloha Airlines in September 2004 is adding a daily nonstop between Las Vegas and Honolulu and another between Sacramento and Kahului, Maui, bringing its daily total of nonstops between the Continental U.S. and Hawaii to 10. Tickets will go on sale June 18 for travel starting Sept. 7. The carrier began serving Las Vegas in February 2001 with one-stop service from Honolulu on its Honolulu-Oakland route, and in April 2003 did a similar one-stop extension to its Kahului-Burbank route to add Sacramento. After Sept. 6, however, Aloha is eliminating service to Phoenix and nonstop service between Burbank and Kahului, as well as its short-haul flights between Oakland and Las Vegas, Burbank and Las Vegas, and Burbank and Sacramento. The airline says it is re-accommodating travelers with reservations after those dates. www.alohaairlines.com
Aloha Airlines will begin nonstop flights this fall from Honolulu to Las Vegas, and from Maui to Sacramento. Tickets go on sale on June 18, and flights will inaugurate on Sept. 7. The airline currently serves Las Vegas as a beyond point to its Honolulu-Oakland service, and to Sacramento on its Maui-Burbank flights. Traffic to these cities is now sufficient to promote direct flights. It also said that it will continue to operate two daily nonstops this fall from Oakland to Honolulu...