Popstars, cocktails and lie-flat beds

  As part of Air New Zealand’s in-flight product relaunch, its crack marketing team converged on London recently to promote the charms of its new services to assembled journalists, travel agents and frequent fliers. And, after quaffing the rather good sparkling wine, who were we to contradict them? So glitzy was this event that even […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }

AirAsia teams up with Manchester United

When Airline Business first received the news that AirAsia, the Asia-Pacific’s pioneering low-cost airline brand, was to become the official low-fare airline for UK Premier League football team Manchester United, we were, as the slang phase goes: “Gob-smacked.” Just what is a carrier with operations in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore doing in bed with a […]

Continue Reading Comments { 2 }

Star finally commits to IT platform

It’s been a long time coming, but the Star Alliance has finally given the nod to the common IT platform, which will be built by travel IT provider Amadeus. The go ahead for this project is a significant milestone in the development of alliances, which have tended to rely on communication between the different IT […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

Fighting on many fronts

It’s a plane. No, a train. And Northwest Airlines’ striking mechanics are picketing it. Yes really. In the second week of a strike largely ignored by the flying public, the union formerly known as AMFA picketed a railroad marshalling yard about 60 miles from the airline’s Detroit hub to draw attention to its grievances. An Aircraft […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

Red Letter Day

The first of the month is a red letter day for most US airline observers. That’s when Continental Airlines issues a revenue report. It’s all the more closely watched because Conti is the only major to break out revenue from traffic on a monthly basis. For August, unit revenues were up by about 4.5%, based […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

Told ya so

When they struck Northwest on 20 August, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association said the airline was going to go into bankruptcy anyway and would just blame the union. Amost two weeks into the AMFA strike, the airline said it may well be forced into Chapter 11 soon - but not because of the union. The strike […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

EasyJet gets its man

The word on the street was right – UK low-cost carrier easyJet has gone outside the airline industry to recruit its new chief executive. In fact it seems it wasn’t really interested in hiring an “airline” person at all. But the new man does have a transport background. From 1 December, Andrew Harrison, 48, who […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }

Cutting GDS costs

After months of wrangling, SAS has finally presuaded Amadeus to lower its distribution costs in exchange for full access to all SAS fares. The Scandinavian carrier has been a vehement critic of the Global Distribution System (GDS) model whereby travel agents receive several dollars per ticket in kickbacks to book with a particular GDS. The […]

Continue Reading Comments { 2 }

How can they tell?

Northwest Airlines went through the second week of a mechanics strike with flying colours, or colours flying. The airline is fulfiling more than 98% of its schedule and operating at about industry average punctuality. The union, AMFA or Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, half-heartedly disputes the airline’s on-time performance data but says the real effects of […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

One-way tickets to ride

SAS has become the latest European carrier to go for one-way fares on its short-haul route network, following in the footsteps of Aer Lingus and the UK’s bmi. The Irish flag carrier became the first network major to follow the example of low-cost players and offer cheaper one-way fares, and do away with the much-hated saturday night […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }