The end of UniTED is Ted and Ted is Dead

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The end of UniTED: United’s slash-and-burn attack ends (among other things) TED, the low-fares airline-within-an-airline that parent UAL began in 2004; with Ted’s demise comes the end of the second generation of brands within brands, an experiment that leaves no certain result. United’s move is as much a judgement on aircraft types as it is on the sub-brand strategy, but it is pretty clear that the carrier just saw no point in operating a even lower fare unit when oil is $130 a barrel. The airline wants to use Ted’s 56 Airbus A320s in mainline service and will park its Boeing 737-300s and -500s to make way for them. This is clearly a wiser use of an asset, given the lower fuel burn of the European plane. And in any event, United is a low-fare carrier, whether or not it is low cost.

Ted follows unto its quiet grave Shuttle by United as well as two incarnations at Delta, Song and Delta Express, as well as MetroJet, a very brief experiment at US Airways, and the earlier Continental Lite. When Delta folded Song into its mainline at about the time it was preparing to emerge from bankruptcy, the airline said that people had enjoyed the tune it had carried, and seemed to like the idea of Song’s expanded in-flight entertainment as well as its snazzier snacks and snappier uniforms and so on. But the fact is, Song is silent, and Ted is dead.

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2 Responses to The end of UniTED is Ted and Ted is Dead

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