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February 25, 2005

Northwest Raises Fares

Northwest announced that it has increased fares $10 each way on long-haul flights and $5 each way on domestic flights.  American has matched some of these increases.  While this is not normally big news, Northwest rarely starts a price increase (and tends to quash others' attempts at raising fares).  Not earth-shattering news, but the fact that Northwest did it is interesting. 

In other fare news, just about all of the carriers are offering $59 one-way fares between Chicago and Boston/New York/DC for travel through May.  Book by Monday, Feb 28th. 

February 25, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 24, 2005

Bush's Visit Scraps Flights

Lufthansa said that George Bush's visit to Frankfurt caused the cancellation of 77 flights and delay of another 178, as increased security caused a ruckus at the airport.  Lufthansa said it is considering whether to seek compensation from the state-owned air traffic controllers.  For its part, the controllers said that bad weather, not Bush, was responsible for the disruption. 

February 24, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

JetBlue to Burbank

Good news for the myriad JetBlue fans out there:  The carrier announced new service from JFK to Burbank, beginning with 3 daily flights May 24th (more flights will be added later).  Burbank, like Long Beach, is a dream, with easy access to rental cars and none of the general annoyance of LAX.  This is the only nonstop service from Burbank to NYC, and fares will start at $99.

February 24, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ryanair Orders 70 Planes

Ryanair has ordered 70 Boeing 737-800s and taken the option on 70 more to be delivered in the 2008-2012 timeframe.  The airline says the lower operating costs afforded by the aircraft will allow it to offer lower fares in the coming years---a remarkable feat considering they currently have seats on sale for about GBP 1 (yes, I know, their credit card fees and other ridiculousness push the final cost way up, but still...)

February 24, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 23, 2005

Independence Air Gets New Life

Independence Air finally has some good news after a week of missed payments and airplane repossessions:  They have done some serious restructuring that should give them a major boost towards actually making it through the year.  Most importantly, they will return 24 regional jets and 21 turboprops, and they will put off $70 million in lease payments due this year until next year.  Plus, their CEO said that their March load factors will approach 70%, a huge jump from their sub-50% figures in January.  All-in-all, a good omen for the fledgling airline.

February 23, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Routes to China, Liberia

You may remember (or not) that American, Delta, and Continental (among a couple of others) were vying for new routes into China.  Well, you can stop holding your breath:  American was granted a new route from Chicago to Shanghai, and Continental will fly from Newark to Beijing.

In a lesser celebrated new route, Universal Airlines will begin 1-stop service from JFK to Monrovia, Liberia in March for $995 round trip.  In a billion years you wouldn't guess where it's stopping.  OK fine, I'll tell you.  Guyana.  It's a one-stop to Liberia with a stop in Guyana.  Go figure.

February 23, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1)

February 22, 2005

Northwest's Old Planes

Here's a tidbit:  The average age of Northwest's DC9 fleet is older than me...

In case you're interested, here's an AP article talking about Northwest's 1995 decision not to sell its old DC9s (34 years old, on average, with several going back to the LBJ administration.)  Northwest has the oldest fleet of the top 60 airlines worldwide.

Fret not, the planes are as safe as any other in the sky. 

February 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

An Open Letter to Continental (not mine)

Joe Sharkey, who writes a business travel column for the NY Times, offers an open letter to Continental Airlines that speaks for many of us who feel loyal toward the airline.  Sharkey writes that he took a 30 hour trip to Alaska late last year as a mileage run to maintain his Platinum Status.  He was then dismayed when he sat in middle seats back and forth to Florida last week.  Hi laments the shrinking availability for first class upgrades, wondering what his loyalty has earned him (Continental, for its part, says that it will now reward upgrades in large part based on fare paid).  Sharkey says now, "I'm opting out of the annual elite-status marathon and looking around the industry for alternatives who don't play games..."  I know how he feels.

February 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

BA: No More Onboard Stretchers

If you're going to collapse and nearly die on an airline, try not to do it on British Airways.  The carrier has announced that it will no longer carry stretchers on its aircraft as a measure to save time and money.  I wish I had a list of airlines that did carry stretchers, because I will go and tell my more infirm/drunk readers to fly those airlines so they can be removed from flights in comfort.

February 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 21, 2005

The Offices Are Closed...

The OTR offices are closed for President's Day today, so there's no posting other than me consoling my London based reader (s?) for Chelsea's FA cup loss...

February 21, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1)

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