« February 19, 2006 - February 25, 2006 | Main | March 5, 2006 - March 11, 2006 »

March 03, 2006

AirTran and Delta Fight Over On Time Performance

AirTran and Delta are in a bit of a pissing match after Delta put out a press release saying that their on-time performance topped that of AirTran in Atlanta.  While this is true, it was overshadowed by Delta's announcement yesterday that it lost $300 million in January.  Well done.  Anyway, in response, AirTran put out a wonderfully bitchy press release ripping on Delta for their overall operations, noting: "Based on the most recent DOT report, Delta was 21 percent more likely to cancel your flight, 64 percent more likely to lose your bag, an astounding 1,440 percent more likely to bump you against your will and, I suppose, not surprisingly, Delta customers complain 93 percent more about their Delta flights and service than AirTran customers."

The release concluded: "So if you don't need to get there and don't really like your luggage, fly Delta."

Damn, that's good stuff.

March 3, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Air Gabon International to Launch

With financial and operational help from Royal Air Maroc, Gabon's new flag carrier Air Gabon International has launched.  While this isn't huge news for you (unless you're flying quite a bit to Gabon), it's part of a larger trend that's good for African aviation.  African airlines have been notoriously under-funded and poorly run, leading to an unacceptable number of crashes.  However, in the past couple of years partnerships such as this one (Air Sengal's partnership with Royal Air Maroc, for example) are bringing first-world safety and operational standards to the region.  This will benefit everyone, whether you travel quite a bit in Africa or you're there for a once in a lifetime trip. 

March 3, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 02, 2006

Helicopter Tickets Now Bookable for JFK Flights

Due to the overwhelming (?) popularity of my story a couple of weeks ago about new helicopter service from lower Manhattan to JFK airport, I thought I'd let you know that you can now book tickets on US Helicopter at flyush.com.  The 8 minute flight costs $139 each way, but it will eventually jump up to $159.  As readers have pointed out, a car service to JFK costs about $70 (and up) and can take an hour or so.  It's not a bad deal...

March 2, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Southwest Now Offers Reward Tickets to Hawaii

As part of its code share with ATA, Southwest Airlines is now offering Rapid Rewards tickets to Hawaii.  Flights will require double the number of Rapid Rewards coupons and are heavily capacity controlled.  I'll give Southwest a ton of credit for coming out and saying that demand will outstrip supply for these rewards.  Gotta appreciate the honesty.

March 2, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Malaysia Airlines Great Fares to India, Singapore, Malaysia

Malaysia Airlines has a great sale going on for flights from New York and Los Angeles to southeast Asia.  From New York, fares to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore are $599 round trip.  Bali, Phnom Penh, Yangon (Burma/Myanmar) and Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City are $669.  Cheap tickets to India are available at $780 round trip.  Fares are similar from Los Angeles.  For some of these more obscure cities in Asia (ie, Yangon), these are amazing fares.

March 2, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 01, 2006

New Service to Africa

Good news for people trying to travel to Africa:  two announcements yesterday from airlines adding service to the continent.

Delta's application to fly from Atlanta to Johannesburg (with a stop in Dakar, Senegal) was approved yesterday.  Service begins December 4th.

EasyJet announced that it will fly its first route to Africa with service from London to Marrakesh, Morocco, beginning in July.  (The airline also announced service to Istanbul and Rijeka, Croatia, where I went on vacation last year and can highly recommend).  Fares start at about $45 each way.

March 1, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

JetBlue to Try to Raise Fares...and Delta's not Leaving

The NY Times takes a look at the state of JetBlue and finds that the carrier is struggling to raise fares in its highly competitive northeast-to-Florida markets.  JetBlue has blamed the low fares on irrational competition from Delta (and Continental, to an extent).  The article notes that JetBlue has been able to fill its planes to a higher capacity at a higher average fare than Delta, which is impressive.  But the fares are not high enough.

And while JetBlue had 2 days to celebrate a report that Delta was significantly reducing capacity on northeast-to-Florida routes, it turns out that report was not true.  A data error caused Delta to report schedule changes incorrectly, leading one airline analyst to assume that it was cutting back routes.  Oops.  Let the irrational competition continue.  On a plus note, consumers will continue to benefit from the ridiculously low fares from New York to Florida.

March 1, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Southwest to Move to Phoenix?

Southwest Airlines, which has not been happy with the restrictions placed on its Dallas Love base, is considering moving its headquarters to Phoenix.  Chairman and airline founder Herb Kelleher mentioned during a conference yesterday that several cities have approached the carrier about moving its headquarters, but the airline is only seriously considering the Phoenix proposal.  He also added that while the Dallas Love restrictions were annoying, it was not enough to make the carrier move.  However, you can imagine a financial proposal from Phoenix that would make it difficult to turn down.  Even so, Southwest is so linked to Texas a move seems unlikely.

March 1, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

10% Off Midwest Airlines Flights

(Thanks to the View from the Wing blog for the heads up):

Thanks to Hertz, you can get 10% off any Midwest Airlines flight over $200 by entering the coupon code HGMIDWEST when buying at Midwest's website.  Flights must be purchased by May 15th and are good for travel through June 16 (a handful of blackout dates apply).  Always nice to see airline coupons out there.

March 1, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Good Bye Boeing 767?

Boeing said yesterday that it is doubtful that it will be able to keep its 767 production line running this year due to a lack of orders.  That means that end of a 25 (or so) year era, with both the 767 and 757 lines shutting down and Boeing focusing its efforts on the new, more efficient, 787.  The manufacturer had originally thought that it could keep the 767 going by converting the aircraft to a military refueling plane, but a procurement scandal blew that idea away.

March 1, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 28, 2006

Mother: Ryanair Made Me a Baby Trafficker

Here's an odd one:  A passenger on Ryanair has accused the airline of making an error that lead (somehow) to Italian police arresting her as a baby smuggler.  The short version:  a British woman was bringing her newborn to Italy to be christened.  Ryanair told her the baby did not need a passport.  Not true, it turns out, and the woman found that out the hard way.  The hard way being when Italian police interrogated her and accused her of trying to sell her daughter.  Which is not what she was doing. 

To add insult to injury (as they say), she was held by British authorities on her return to England and accused (once again) of being a baby smuggler.  (If this all sounds confusing, I agree.  You can read the whole story at the above link).

In short, she wants Ryanair to refund the money for the tickets which, of course, the airline refuses to do.  The lesson here?  If you are a baby smuggler, do not fly on Ryanair.

February 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ryanair's Founders to Launch Mexican Airline

The Ryan family, which founded Ryanair, announced that is has joined forces with one of Mexico's largest bus companies to launch a low cost carrier aimed at Mexicans with family in the US.  The new carrier, reportedly named AeroBus, will launch in September and will likely target US cities with large Mexican populations, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Houston.

February 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

SirLankan Airlines Is Looking to Hire Pilots

Are you an out of work pilot looking for a new airline to join?  I may have something for you.  SriLankan Airlines has lost 30 of its 200 pilots since late 2005, a situation that has gotten so dire that it actually cancelled 2 London-bound flights last week because of a pilot shortage.  You should know that these pilots have left because they were offered better deals elsewhere.  Even so, if you're willing to bear the indescribable traffic in Colombo, this may be a job for you.

February 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Singapore Airlines' Roomy A380

Last week I noted that airlines are looking to squeeze an extra seat in every coach row of the new Boeing 787 aircraft.  This week I thought I'd pass along some good news about seating:  Singapore Airlines has announced that it will only put 475 seats in the new A380, an airplane that can hold up to 800.  On the other hand, Airbus recently noted that it is considering a stretch A380 that could hold up to 1,000 passengers. 

February 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 27, 2006

Airlines Try to Make Fare Advertisements More Confusing

Legacy airlines are pushing a proposal that would make it more difficult to compare fares.  I know you'll be shocked by this, but a number of airlines (United, American, Delta, Continental and Northwest) want to be able to exclude fuel surcharges from the fares that they advertise.  Currently, the fares they advertise must include all of the revenue that they get to keep (and excludes certain taxes and other fees)  Why is that a big deal?  Because airlines could then publish $3 fares from New York to London, and tack on a so-called $275 "fuel surcharge."  This is nonsense.  Let the Department of Transportation know that you won't stand for this crap.  (Or more likely that you will stand for it because let's be honest, they're not going to listen to you).

February 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

$499 Round Trip to Casablanca, Morocco

Royal Air Maroc is putting Morocco on sale at incredibly low prices.  Flights from New York to Casablanca are available for $499 round trip for travel between May 17 and June 12th.  Tickets must be purchased by May 1 and this fare does not include taxes and other evil charges.

February 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)