Airline News October 2005.

 
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Inexpensive holiday airfares scarce, travel experts say. The cheapest fares for holiday travel are already gone, according to travel experts. The number of travelers booking tickets early has increased along with demand for travel. Higher fuel costs have caused prices to climb an average of $40 to $45 per round-trip ticket, compared to last year, travel analyst Terry Trippler said. Oct 30, 2005

Cancun operators will not resume holidays to the Hurricane Wilma-battered resort area until at least next week as hotels and infrastructure counts the cost of the devastation. Hoteliers, including Marriott, have announced closures while they rebuild resorts hit by the hurricane. More than 10,000 tourists were evacuated after enduring days of frustration as airports remained closed due to damage. Operators including Thomson, Thomas Cook and MyTravel laid on special flights to bring people home. Oct 30, 2005

Business travel demand to push airfares up in 2006. Strong demand for business travel will push prices for airline tickets and hotel rooms higher in 2006, according to the American Express Business Travel annual forecast. Globalization is fueling demand for long-haul international travel and hotel space, said Matthew Davis, director of global consulting at American Express. Oct 26, 2005

Travelers enjoy buyer's market for business fares. Fares for business travelers are still at relatively low levels. The average one-way business fare has dropped 36% over the last three years. Competition from low-cost carriers has kept prices low, but analysts say fares will probably increase next year. Oct 25, 2005

Cancellation policy could irritate travelers. Carriers that cancel flights on short notice to conserve fuel risk alienating loyal travelers, The Wall Street Journal's Scott McCartney writes. Delta Air Lines, for example, said it would cancel some flights if the level of bookings does not make them financially viable. Oct 7, 2005

Flight attendants grow less tolerant of surly travelers. Flight attendants are enduring higher stress levels since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and are less likely to tolerate travelers who don't follow in-flight rules, according to The Washington Post. Airlines side with their flight attendants in any dispute with customers. Some carriers keep lists of travelers who verbally abuse crew members and are escorted off departing planes. In some cases, passengers are barred from future flights for a period of time. Oct 5, 2005

Seats disappear, prices climb ahead of holiday season. Travelers will face higher fares and fewer available seats this holiday season, The Wall Street Journal's Scott McCartney writes. Several financially troubled airlines are cutting capacity to reduce their costs, and many carriers have limited the number of inexpensive fares available during the peak holiday season. Oct 4, 2005

Delays, cancellations climb in August. Delays and cancellations are on the rise according to Department of Transportation statistics. One in every four domestic flights was late in August, making the month the third-worst August on record. Airlines also canceled more flights as they dealt with smaller staffs. The number of flights increased, however, because carriers are flying smaller planes. Oct 4, 2005

Mexican officials have confirmed the sale of Aeromexico and Mexicana will go-ahead this year as planned. The move was made following Iberia pulling out of the bidding process due to poor market conditions. Spanish tourism group Globalia is understood to be the front runner for one of the carriers as Mexico looks to privatize the airlines to make them more competitive. http://www.mexicana.com Oct 24, 2005

Air France and KLM continue to integrate flights with the start of the winter season. KLM is to suspend services to Malabo on the island of Bioko, part of Equatorial Guinea, offering passengers alternative Air France flights through Paris. Likewise AF drops Paris - Kuwait, with passengers routed over AMS. The Dutch airline will take over Air France services on the Amsterdam - Bordeaux route, suspend operations on Rotterdam - London City and begin operating thrice-daily roundtrips between Eindhoven and Paris Charles de Gaulle. On 11 December Dutch Railways will begin operating high frequency direct rail services between Eindhoven and Schiphol, KLM dropping its services. Entebbe (Uganda) comes on line three times per week from Amsterdam and the new routes, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Khartoum (Sudan), stay. Hyderabad will be added to the KLM route network this winter. http://www.klm.com http://www.airfrance.co.uk Oct 10, 2005

Air Scotland which first flew in March 2003 and has operated under the AOC of Athens registered Greece Airways (whose web site http:://www.greece-airways.com is published as Air Scotland). Last Friday a Boeing 757 Air Scotland flight to Malaga was severely delayed when fuel suppliers BP refused to supply the aircraft until outstanding debts were paid the aircraft, it eventually getting away only through the goodwill of BAA. Air Scotland chairman Dhia Al-Ani is reported to have sold the business to the Spanish hotel group H Top Hotels, the problem arising due to paperwork difficulties it is claimed. http://www.htophotels.com http://www.air-scotland.com Oct 17, 2005

AirTran to launch Minneapolis-Chicago flights. AirTran Airways said it will launch flights between Minneapolis and Chicago Midway Airport starting Dec. 6. ATA Airlines last week announced it was leaving the market. Oct 18, 2005

AlphaOneAirways, the Isle of Man startup, will offer three new routes by the end of next month. Southampton is to be launched on November 7, while Blackpool and Edinburgh will come on line later in November. The carrier, which is the brainchild of teenager Martin Halstead, will use two 18-seat Jetstream 31 aircraft and operate under the Air Operator's Certificate of established regional airline Love Air. Halstead had announced plans for flights between Oxford and Cambridge but switched to the Isle of Man for a more promising market. http://www.flyalpha1.com Oct 31, 2005

Entry into new international markets creates challenges for airlines. The global economy will force airlines and other companies to adapt to unfamiliar markets and unfamiliar cultures. For its new flight to Delhi, India, American Airlines had to negotiate with the Indian government, change its work rules, train its staff in cultural differences and plan the best route. Oct 31, 2005

American to end mainline service in Pittsburgh. American Airlines will stop operating mainline flights out of Pittsburgh in December. The airline cited weak demand and revenue. The airline will shift passengers from 136-seat planes to smaller 70-seat regional planes flown by American Eagle, its affiliate commuter carrier. Oct 19, 2005

American cuts 15 flights as it faces rising fuel costs: American Airlines will suspend 15 daily roundtrip flights at its hubs in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. The temporary cuts go into effect Wednesday and will re-evaluated Oct. 29. The airline will also stop serving its Chicago-Nagoya, Japan, route at the end of October. Oct 3, 2005

Capacity cuts may not help big carriers, some analysts say. Airlines are cutting back capacity as fuel costs increase, but analysts disagree on whether the reductions will help the industry. Some observers say cuts by legacy airlines will create new opportunities for discount airlines, which could result in lower fares. American Airlines said it would cut 15 flights in response to higher fuel prices. Oct 2, 2005

Competition heats up on New York-Boston route. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines quickly lowered their prices for flights from New York to Boston after low-fare carrier JetBlue Airways entered the market. JetBlue this week launched the service with prices as low as $25 each way. American matched JetBlue's fares, while Delta cut its fares to $40 each way, one analyst said. Round-trip prices were close to $300 before...

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