Position:Industry Overview

The American Stock Exchange's Airline Index rebounded from a sharp downturn on Oct. 5 2004, climbing 1.6 percent to 44.61 points in recent activity. Although low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways Inc. reported higher September traffic, the company's overall plane occupancy declined 3.6 percentage points to 76.6 percent, JetBlue said Wednesday. Shares were recently up 14 cents, or less than 1 percent, at $21.24 on the Nasdaq. Investors pulled back from U.S. Airways Group Inc. ahead of news that its pilots' union will vote on a new contract with as much as $300 million in concessions, including an 18 percent pay cut. U.S. Airways last month filed for its second bankruptcy in four years, and is seeking about $1 billion in annual savings as the carrier attempts to reformat as a low-cost airline. Its shares fell 13 percent, or 18 cents, to $1.20 recently on the bulletin-board exchange. Oct 6, 2004

Airline stocks moved higher Oct. 1 2004 after US Airways Group Inc. moved closer to a deal with its pilots, which is needed to keep the carrier aloft. The American Stock Exchange Airline Index rose 1.13 points, or 2.64 percent, to $43.95. Delta Airlines Inc., which rose 16 cents, or 4.9 percent, to $3.45, was a winner on the day. American Airlines-parent AMR Corp. was up 24 cents, or 3.3 percent, to close at $7.57. Jet Blue Airways Corp. ended the regular session up 73 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $21.65. Oct 1, 2004

According to the Air Travel Consumer Report issued on Oct. 5 2004 by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Hawaiian Airlines ranked for the 10th consecutive month, as the nation's most punctual airline in August 2004 with an incredible 95.5 percent of its flights arriving on time.

Air Travel Consumer Report On-Time Performance - August 2004

Rank - Airline - % Arr. within 15 min

  1. Hawaiian Airlines 95.5

  2. SkyWest Airlines 86.2

  3. Continental Airlines 81.3

  4. Northwest Airlines 81.2

  5. ATA Airlines 80.7

  6. AirTran Airways 80.7

  7. Atlantic Southeast Airlines 80.6

  8. United Airlines 80.1

  9. ExpressJet Airlines 79.3

  10. Comair 79.2

  11. Atlantic Coast Airlines 77.7

  12. Southwest Airlines 77.4

  13. Alaska Airlines 77.2

  14. Delta Air Lines 76.2

  15. US Airways 75.6

  16. JetBlue Airways 75.4

  17. America West Airlines 74.9

  18. American Eagle Airlines 74.0

  19. American Airlines 73.5

Total Average 78.3

In addition, Hawaiian finished #1 among airlines nationwide for its handling of customers' luggage, and for recording the fewest number of flight cancellations. Hawaii's biggest and longest-serving airline also ranked highly with the fewest number of consumer complaints.

Hawaiian's industry-best punctuality was just one facet to its customer service record for August, as the company also ranked at the top in the other categories reported by DOT for mishandled baggage reports, flight cancellations, and consumer complaints. For the second straight month, Hawaiian topped all carriers nationally with its handling of customers' luggage, recording only 2.41 mishandled baggage reports per 1,000 passengers served. The company also had the nation's best record in terms of fewest flight cancellations. Out of Hawaiian's 4,469 flights in August, only 0.4 percent, or 19 flights total, were canceled, topping all other carriers. Hawaiian ranked as the industry's fifth-best airline in terms of consumer complaints, with the DOT receiving only two complaints, the fewest of any airline, out of the 512,770 passengers served in August, representing just 0.39 complaints for every 100,000 passengers. Dunkerley noted, "No airline anywhere is doing a better job at serving its passengers." The DOT's Air Travel Consumer Report for August is available online at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/reports/atcr04.htm Oct 1, 2004

Aer Lingus has introduced a simpler, more consistent fare structure" for travel to and from the United States. No roundtrip purchase is required, the typical Saturday night stay over rule and the maximum six-month stay requirement have been eliminated, and any weekend surcharges are gone. In addition, itinerary changes are permitted for $30 a segment, and even name changes are allowed for $60. Effectively immediately, Aer Lingus has also reduced economy fares by 20-30 percent, and closed the gap between its highest and lowest fares. The highest walkup one-way economy fare is now $503, compared with $838 previously. In addition, Aer Lingus is now offering business class travel at rates more akin to economy levels. For example, the one-way business fare from New York or Boston to Shannon and Dublin via Shannon is now $1,104, a 50 percent reduction, while the one-way business fare for nonstop New York to Dubin routing is now $1,304, a 43 percent reduction in that fare. Other one-way business fares to Ireland from Chicago and Los Angeles are now $1,504, 50-60 percent savings over the previous one-way business fares in those markets. Aer Lingus...

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