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Airline News June 2005.

Last-minute business travelers pay less as leisure fares rise. Business travelers who fly at the last minute are often paying significantly less than they were a year ago, despite leisure tickets being more costly, experts say. One-way business fares nationwide have dropped 32% since last year, according to a Harrell Associates study, while the average one-way leisure fare increased just 7%. Jun 28, 2005

Airlines discount first-class seats on competitive routes. Many airlines are deeply discounting first-class tickets on some routes, writes The Washington Post's Keith L. Alexander. The airlines are trying to generate revenue by filling seats that would otherwise remain unsold, industry analysts said. It also gives them the chance to win a customer from a rival carrier, said American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith. Jun 21, 2005

AirTran to launch Cancun flights in December. Discounter AirTran Airways will launch flights to Cancun from Atlanta and Tampa, Fla., in December, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. AirTran will compete against Delta Air Lines and Aeromexico. Jun 29, 2005

AirTran to launch Richmond, Va., service with young fleet. AirTran Airways will start service to Richmond, Va., later this month after a six-year break, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. When it left Richmond in late 1999, AirTran's planes were an average of 28 years old. The carrier has since ordered new planes, and now its Boeing jets are an average of 3.5 years old. Jun 21, 2005

AirTran inks distribution deal with G2 SwitchWorks. AirTran Airways became the first low-cost carrier to agree to a distribution deal with alternative global distribution system G2 SwitchWorks. AirTran will get a lower rate and the opportunity to obtain a minority stake in the new GDS in exchange for prepaying distribution fees. Jun 10, 2005

Airlines pitch products during flights to raise cash. Airlines have started advertising a range of products during flights. A case in point is Alaska Airlines, whose flight attendants encouraged passengers to sign up for a Bank of America credit card. Airlines say the ads help boost revenue but will not comment on how much. Jun 7, 2005

Lawyer sues Alitalia over business-class seats. A Miami lawyer has sued Italian carrier Alitalia in federal court over legroom in the airline's business-class section, the Miami Herald reported. Matthew L. Leibowitz paid $8,800 to upgrade four seats in business class. He claims that on one segment of his trip, the seats did not have "the extra width one reasonably expects from business-class seats." Jun 7, 2005

Merger creates huge demand for America West merchandise. The public is snapping up merchandise with the America West Airlines logo. Sales at the America West company store rose 800% after the airline announced plans to merge with US Airways. The America West name will disappear if the merger is completed. Jun 6, 2005

America West CEO Parker is popular among employees. America West Airlines chief executive Doug Parker is poised to run the merged America West and US Airways. Parker is credited with leading America West after the Sept. 11 attacks, restructuring pricing and lowering costs, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Employees praise Parker for improving labor relations. Jun 2, 2005

US Airways, America West merger may succeed, analysts say. US Airways has tried to merge with other airlines over the years, but the deals have always fallen through, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Some analysts believe its proposed merger with America West Airlines will succeed and say regulators are less likely to stop the merger based on competitive grounds. Jun 13, 2005

America West-US Airways deal could spur more consolidation, analysts say. If the merger of US Airways and America West Airlines is approved, it could spur more consolidation in the industry, the Boston Globe reported. The best combinations would help airlines fill gaps in their networks, analysts said. However, they point out that airline mergers are costly and cumbersome. Jun 9, 2005

American reports second-quarter revenue. Strong demand for travel and several fare increases boosted American Airlines' second-quarter revenue, the carrier said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The airline also said fuel prices have climbed, sending second-quarter unit costs up almost 6%. Jun 23, 2005

American executives, workers team up to oppose pension changes: American Airlines executives and employees teamed up Wednesday in Washington, D.C., to oppose proposed changes to pension plans, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Congress is considering changes intended to protect pension plans. American wants to preserve its plan, which is the strongest in the airline industry. Jun 23, 2005

American takes different stance on pension plans. American Airlines wants Congress to pass laws making it easier to preserve its pension plan, according to media reports. Meanwhile, other airlines are pushing for legislation that will allow them to freeze or abandon their plans. American's pension plan is the strongest of the large airlines. Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines want to stretch pension obligations over 25 years, but American wants to pay its shortfall over 15 years. Jun 22, 2005

American works to lower fuel costs ahead of busy season. American Airlines is urging its workers to concentrate on saving fuel as the busy summer travel season approaches, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The airline hopes to cut $45 million in fuel costs this year. For example, American is asking pilots to optimize airspeed and altitude and to refuel at the cheapest airport. Jun 16, 2005

Exclusion of taxes from ticket prices annoys travelers. Some travelers are annoyed with airlines that do not include taxes and fees in a quoted ticket price, the Wall Street Journal's Scott McCartney writes. American Airlines recently started pricing tickets without including taxes and fees. Many discount airlines routinely exclude taxes and fees from ticket prices. Jun 3, 2005

Led by Pacific routes, American reports boost in May traffic. American Airlines said traffic rose 10% in May, compared with year-ago figures. The company experienced the greatest boost on its Pacific routes, while European and Latin American routes also posted large gains. Jun 3, 2005

Steep competition from American has Southwest avoiding Dallas/Fort Worth: Discounter Southwest Airlines is reluctant to start flying from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport because of the heavy competition it would face from American Airlines, the Dallas Morning News reported. D/FW officials have encouraged Southwest to start flying there ever since Delta Air Lines pulled out earlier this year. Southwest Chairman Herb Kelleher noted that to his ears, "the invitation to go to D/FW Airport is like the spider saying to the fly, 'Why don't you drop in for a bite to eat?' " Jun 9, 2005

American, United take different roads back to profitability. American Airlines and United Airlines are taking different approaches to return to profitability, the Chicago Tribune reported. United has created Ted, a low-cost airline created to compete with discounters. American wants to transform itself into a low-cost legacy airline. It is cutting costs by adding seats and dropping frills such as pillows. Jun 27, 2005

Bombardier, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer who has a major plant in Belfast, is not likely to announce the official launch of its "C" series regional jet in Paris next week, according to reports originating from Montreal, where the company recently held its annual general meeting. The main problem seems to be the engine, suppliers failing to rush forward with suitable products. The world's third-largest civil aircraft maker, Bombardier recently won financial backing from the Canadian, Quebec and British governments for the aircraft, which is in the 110 to 130-seat narrow body project class. A decision is now expected in the autumn. http://www.aerospace.bombardier.com Jun 10, 2005

British Airways is to appeal regarding an employment tribunal ruling that rejected the opinion of the airline safety regulator, the CAA. As reported, the court said that inexperienced copilot Jessica Starmer had been the subject of sex discrimination because she was not allowed to reduce her hours to look after her baby daughter. BA says she must fly at least 75% of her duty hours in order to keep her current. Starmer is reported to have less than 1100 hours under her belt having been at the airline four years. The whole issue might well backfire on BALPA, the pilots' trade union, in that BA, and other airlines, will now be more reluctant than ever to take on female flight deck crew. Experienced BA lady pilots were none too impressed with the attitude of Mrs. Starmer, now expecting number two, whose husband also works on the flight deck for British Airways. http://www.britishairways.com Jun 17, 2005

Cathay Pacific tops passengers' list of world's best airlines. Cathay Pacific garnered the highest marks in a Skytrax survey that asked travelers to rank the world's airlines according to a variety of criteria. Many of the airlines rated near the top in the survey were long-haul carriers. JetBlue was the highest-ranked U.S. airline. Jun 7, 2005

Club Airways could be up and running again in June following an involvement by London - based Magna Investments Plc, whose shares are traded on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Operating out of Geneva Club Airways offered scheduled private jet flights to a number of European destinations including London City Airport. Services were suspended earlier this year and the company placed in Receivership. Under the new plan flights will take place between Geneva and Paris Le Bourget, passengers members of The Club. Nice and Olbia (Sardinia) are early targets for the new operation which will be managed by former Club Airways staff. Magna chairman Eric Kohn, who is also the Managing Partner of Barons Financial Services, an Investment Banking Advisory firm based in Geneva and London and sits on the Supervisory Board of the airline dba, will be appointed to the board of The Club. efk@magnainvest.biz Jun 3, 2005

Continental requests mediator for flight attendant talks. Continental Airlines has asked the National Mediation Board to appoint a federal mediator to help it reach an agreement with its flight attendants union, The Associated Press reported. The workers in March rejected an agreement including pay and benefit cuts. Continental hopes to reach a new cost-cutting agreement with the flight attendants. Jun 22, 2005

Continental launches direct service to China. Continental Airlines has launched daily service from its Newark hub to Beijing. The new flight is the only nonstop between New York and China. Continental said it will launch six new transatlantic flights this year. Jun 20, 2005

Continental Airlines continued with its aggressive long haul expansion plan last week with the opening up of a new daily service between Newark, New York and Beijing, and also with the announcement that, pending government approval, it would fly between Newark and Shanghai from next spring. A Boeing 777 aircraft operates the New York - Beijing service with 48 seats in BusinessFirst and 235 in economy with a flight time of approximately 13 hours. The flight becomes the only nonstop service between New York and mainland China operated by a US airline. In March 2001, Continental introduced a Newark - Hong Kong route which, at 8,060 miles, is one of the longest flights in the world. The Beijing route is being launched as Continental is beginning a number new of transatlantic routes from its New York hub. The carrier inaugurated flights to Bristol on 19 May and Belfast on 26 May. Services were started to Stockholm on 2 June and to Hamburg on 9 June. Berlin begins on 30 June and flights to Delhi on 1 November. http://www.continental.com Jun 17, 2005

Continental to double first-class seats on some jets. Continental Airlines said it will double the number of first-class seats on its 757-300 jetliners, Air Transport World reported. The airline said high demand for first-class service prompted the move. The airline is also expanding its fleet of 757-300s from nine jets to 17, Chief Executive Larry Kellner said. Jun 15, 2005

Continental's top executives meet with frequent fliers. Continental Airlines recently hosted a meeting for members of the travel Web site FlyerTalk.com, The New York Times reported. The company expected no more than 60 people to show up, but 274 arrived to share their thoughts on customer service with the airline. Jun 14, 2005

Continental could post Q2 profit on strong revenue trends. Monthly revenue statistics indicate Continental Airlines may report a second-quarter profit, airline analysts say. Strong demand helped Continental's revenue per available seat mile jump 9.5% in May, compared with the same period a year ago. Jun 3, 2005

Airlines emphasize first-class service to win travelers back. Airlines are focusing on their first-class cabins to lure travelers back and boost revenue, The Washington Post's Keith L. Alexander writes. Continental Airlines is doubling the number of first-class seats on some jets. US Airways recently resumed serving hot meals to first-class passengers. However, some observers say first class now features amenities that once came standard in the coach section. Jun 28, 2005

New Dallas/Fort Worth Airport terminal opens to 40,000 visitors. Dallas residents admired towering atriums and art displays Saturday at the opening of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's Terminal D, the Dallas Morning News reported. The terminal officially opens next month, but about 40,000 people visited Saturday. The airport will eventually shift all international flights to Terminal D. Jun 27, 2005

Dallas/Fort Worth traffic declines after Delta's departure. The departure of Delta Air Lines has contributed to passenger traffic at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport lagging behind industry averages, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The number of passengers served fell 4% in April, and officials say May figures will likely show a decline. Delta dramatically reduced its Dallas service earlier this year. Jun 3, 2005

Delta raises fares above cap set in January. Delta Air Lines has raised some fares above the $499 limit it set on economy-class tickets in January, The New York Times reported. An industry analyst said the airline lifted some coach fares to $509 on routes where Delta competes with Northwest Airlines. A Delta spokesman confirmed the increase.

Jun 17, 2005

Airlines not responsible for drunk passengers, court rules: The Georgia Supreme Court ruled commercial airlines are not responsible for the behavior of passengers who are served alcohol during flights and later cause auto accidents, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Delta Air Lines was sued by a man who was injured in a head-on collision caused by an intoxicated Delta passenger driving home from the airport. Jun 17, 2005

Delta Web site allows travelers to change travel itinerary. Delta Air Lines passengers can now change their travel dates, times or destinations on the company's Web site, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Travelers will still have to pay a $50 change fee, the airline said. Delta hopes to shift 45% of ticket reservations and other transactions to the Internet by 2007. Jun 16, 2005

Airlines need boost in revenue to break even. Airlines are not too far from returning to profitability, The New York Times reported. The industry could break even if it could raise passenger revenue by 6%, according to one analyst's estimate. The chief executive of Delta Air Lines has said carriers would break even with a 5% boost in revenue per passenger. However, he said it was unclear whether passengers would pay more for their tickets. Jun 13, 2005

Delta launches nonstop Moscow-Atlanta service. Delta Air Lines launched nonstop daily service between Atlanta and Moscow on Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Officials in both cities hope the new flights spur tourism and business development. Jun 3, 2005

EasyJet seems to be trying more and more to attract the business traveler looking for a bargain. The airline, whose major hub now is Gatwick and not Luton, has teamed up with Servisair/GlobeGround, long established with lounges at some of the world's major airports, to offer easyJetLounges. Available are complimentary beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks, snacks, newspapers and magazines, business facilities (phone, fax, Internet access, e-mail), and perhaps most important of all, somewhere to sit down and relax away from the hassle of the departure area. Prices start from just $23 / [pounds sterling]12 per passenger including VAT. http://www.easyJet.com Jun 10, 2005

EasyJet is to include five limited (not daily) sun destinations on its network for this summer. Faro will be added from Belfast (from 16 July), Ibiza from both Newcastle (23 July) and Liverpool (24 July), plus Mahon (Menorca) from Gatwick (21 July) and Bristol (23 July). Mahon is a completely new destination in the easyJet network and the services will make Menorca accessible to independent holiday makers wanting to explore the beautiful and relaxing island. These five new routes will take the total number of easyJet services on offer to 210 from 63 key airports throughout Europe during the peak summer months from mid-July to early September. http://www.easyjet.com Jun 3, 2005

Startup Eos to cater to premium transatlantic travelers. Startup airline Eos will focus only on premium transatlantic travelers, and could usher in a new era of specialization in the airline industry, Travel Weekly reported. The airline's fares will be up to 25% lower than current business fares. It will configure its 757s to seat 48 travelers, compared with the usual 200. Jun 21, 2005

Transatlantic Dedicated Business Class it to be offered by the latest paper airline Eos, named for the Greek goddess of the dawn, a US-based operation headed by David Spurlock, a former director of strategy at British Airways. The company is proceeding with the necessary regulatory filings with the Federal Aviation Administration and US Department of Transportation and says it has secured $85m in equity and $100m in lease financing in order to get under way. Target start up is September using Boeing 757 aircraft kitted out with just 48 seats and operating from JFK New York to Stansted. In the meantime Fly First, another potential business class startup, this time UK - based, has failed to meet deadlines for a launch, but says that it is still proceeding with its plans http://www.eosairlines.com Jun 10, 2005

Former British Airways executive to launch transatlantic carrier. Former British Airways executive David Spurlock will launch a new airline that will fly between New York and London. The carrier, dubbed Eos, will start flying later this year and offer only business-class service. Jun 9, 2005

Two new competitors seek transatlantic routes. More airlines are seeking regulatory approval to fly transatlantic routes, the Wall Street Journal reported. Eos, a new high-end carrier based in Purchase, N.Y., is expected to announce that it has raised enough money to start service between New York and London this fall. MAXjet Airways, a Dulles, Va., startup, has also applied for a transatlantic route. The transatlantic market is lucrative and commands some of the highest fares. Jun 9, 2005

Eurofly, a leading Italian leisure carrier, announced that it has selected New York's JFK Terminal 4 for its nonstop service to the popular Italian cities of Naples, Bologna and Palermo. The daily service on Eurofly's A330-200 airplanes with 282 leisure seats (256 economy and 26 business class seats) will begin on June 13, 2005 and run until September 18, 2005. Direct flights to Naples will be offered three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting June 13. Nonstop service to Bologna will begin June 14 and will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. And, beginning June 18, weekly service to Palermo will be offered on Saturdays. Jun 1, 2005

Flybe has finally made up its mind on a replacement aircraft for its elderly BAe 146 aircraft after originally ordering the now abandoned RJX. The airline has confirmed an order for 14 new Embraer 195 jets from Brazil, with an option for another 12. First delivery is due in autumn 2006. Flybe currently operates 99 routes to 40 airports. It is a major operator of the72 seat Bombardier Dash 400 series turboprop but after an initial interest in the smaller 50 seat regional jets has now taken on the strategy of propeller aircraft for the thinner routes and the largest of the new Embraer 170 series for heavier and longer sectors. http://www.flybe.com Jun 10, 2005

FlyBE to buy Embraer jets. U.K. discount carrier FlyBE will purchase up to 26 regional jets from Brazilian plane maker Embraer, the Financial Times reports. The deal could be worth up to $950 million, based on list prices. Jun 6, 2005

Highland Airways has appointed one of the most colorful persons in British, let alone Scottish, aviation as its chairman, Bob Macleod. The recently retired chief executive of Highlands and Islands Airports has been a sea captain, he commanded one of the BP shipping massive 270,000 ton VLCC (very large crude carrier) freighters before taking the helm at British Caledonian Helicopters, operators of the highly success air link between Gatwick and Heathrow, killed off by politics and the M25. At Highland he will lead a small team offering scheduled flights from Inverness to the Outer Hebrides, the operation of the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency reconnaissance aircraft and charter services with BAe 32, Cessna 406 and Shorts 360 aircraft. http://www.highlandairways.co.uk Jun 17, 2005

Independence Air takes big steps to cut costs. Independence Air is turning off the air conditioner on some flights, loading up on cheap fuel and praising employees who help it cut costs, The Washington Post reported. The airline will celebrate its first anniversary as a low-cost carrier Thursday. Jun 15, 2005

JetBlue considers flying new jets to cities in New York. JetBlue has ordered 100 new Embraer 190s, but it has not decided where it will fly all of them, according to media reports. The airline is considering adding new service in Rochester, N.Y., Buffalo, N.Y., and Syracuse, N.Y. JetBlue will be the first airline to operate the Embraer 190, which seats 100 and has a range of 2,000 miles. Jun 30, 2005

Lufthansa is expanding its 'Private Jet' service to Frankfurt, just two months after it was introduced at its Munich hub. First class and business class passengers flying Lufthansa to and from Frankfurt, to any destination worldwide, can now avail themselves of the service based at Egelsbach Airport, which is just 12 miles, or 15 minutes away, down the A5. Passengers landing at Egelsbach are collected and chauffeur driven to Lufthansa's exclusive first class terminal at Frankfurt, which was opened in December 2004. The terminal, which has an area of 1,800 square meters, provides a wide range of facilities for passengers waiting for a connecting flight. Lufthansa introduced 'Private Jet' at the start of the summer timetable on 29 March at Munich. Demand has been higher than expected. http://www.lufthansa.com http://www.egelsbach-airport.com Jun 17, 2005

Facing soaring fuel prices, Northwest raises fares. With soaring oil prices recently topping $60 a barrel, Northwest Airlines is trying to offset the cost by raising its prices $50 each way on fares previously capped at $499, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Continental Airlines matched the boost and Delta Air Lines matched it on some routes. Jun 30, 2005

Northwest boosts service to midsize cities. Northwest Airlines has boosted its service between small and midsize cities in the Upper Midwest as part of its strategy to survive the industry's financial downturn, the Wall Street Journal reported. The airline also is working to keep control of its hubs in Minneapolis, Detroit and Memphis. The company hopes its strategy will help it keep higher fares in place. Jun 15, 2005

Northwest fare increase fails as carriers decline to match. Northwest Airlines rescinded a fare hike that would have increased certain business fares by $50 each way, according to media reports. Two other airlines did not match the fare increase. A large hike generally needs the support of all major carriers to stick. Jun 14, 2005

Northwest takes more targeted approach to fare increases: Northwest Airlines has increased some one-way business fares by $50, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The company also added a two-night minimum stay requirement on several fare categories, a move that will affect many business travelers. "While record high fuel costs require Northwest to increase revenue through fare increases, we need to increase the fares that customers are buying and will actually raise revenue..... We need to be more targeted in our approach," Northwest Executive Vice President Tim Griffin told employees. Jun 10, 2005

Airlines cut nearly all perks from coach class. Large airlines have eliminated nearly all amenities once found in coach class, The New York Times reports. Northwest Airlines today will stop serving bags of pretzels in coach. At the same time, several large airlines are providing passengers in first class with more customer service, better food and in-flight entertainment. Jun 9, 2005

Northwest Airlines economy/coach class passengers connecting on to the carrier's domestic network, on its daily DC-10 services from Gatwick to both Detroit and Minneapolis, will find that the airline has gone even more lean, regarding catering. From this week onward even pretzels are out, this latest cost cutting measure claimed to save $2m a year. Clients can purchase a three-ounce bag of trail mix for $1. But don't worry if you feel dry, the airline says it has no plans to stop offering soda for free. http://www.nwa.com Jun 3, 2005

US Airways to sell jets, slots to Republic Airways. US Airways will sell 10 regional jets to Republic Airways, Air Transport World reported. Republic will also assume leases on 18 additional jets. US Airways will also sell slots at Reagan Washington National Airport and New York's LaGuardia to Republic. Jun 27, 2005

SkyTeam seeks more partners: The SkyTeam alliance, led by Delta Air Lines, is searching for more members, Bloomberg News reports. Members have held talks with airlines in South America and Southeast Asia. Jun 3, 2005

Delta's Song unit to launch Boston-California service in September. Delta Air Lines' Song unit will launch nonstop flights from Boston to Los Angeles and San Francisco in September, the Boston Herald reported. Song's fares will be competitive with JetBlue's, a Song spokeswoman said. Jun 6, 2005

Southwest to sell seats on ATA's Las Vegas connecting flights. Southwest Airlines and ATA Airlines have expanded their code-sharing partnership effective Aug. 4. Southwest now will sell seats on ATA connecting flights through Las Vegas to Honolulu, Seattle and West Palm Beach, Fla. Jun 29, 2005

Southwest to start service to Fort Myers, Fla., in October. Discounter Southwest Airlines will launch service at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Fla., in October, The Fort Myers News-Press reported. Chief Executive Gary Kelly said the airport's new terminal was one reason Southwest decided to serve the area. Jun 28, 2005

Southwest's headquarters walls a link to history. The walls of Southwest Airlines' Dallas headquarters are a scrapbook dedicated to the company's history, The Wall Street Journal reported. Thousands of pictures of Southwest employees, newspaper clippings and historical documents hang in a huge collage. The walls also showcase items including an employee's shorn ponytail and a motorcycle gas tank. The company recently opened a new wing with room for thousands of pictures and memorabilia. Jun 27, 2005

Southwest hopes new partnership attracts business travelers. Southwest Airlines hopes a new partnership with Expedia Corporate Travel will help it attract more business travelers, the Dallas Morning News reported. Currently, business travelers make up about half of Southwest's bookings. The Expedia agreement gives corporate travelers more exposure to Southwest, said Scott Anderson, who manages Southwest's online booking tool. Jun 15, 2005

Swiss International is not likely to slim any further according to Lufthansa boss Wolfgang Mayrhuber, speaking at the Star Alliance gathering in Kyoto. Quelling any further fears by nationals of further dilution in real terms, he said that its current size is "under critical". He sees the airline as an LH brand with Zurich as a major hub, together with Frankfurt and Munich. For the future he wants traffic from regional points to feed into whatever airport suits long haul connections both ways. Typically, a passenger could route Berlin - Zurich for a connecting long haul service and Munich - Berlin on the return, making best use of frequent connections and flight times. Sponsored by Lufthansa, Swiss has become the 17th member of the Star Alliance. http://www.swiss.com Jun 3, 2005

United, machinists reach tentative agreement. United Airlines and its machinists union reached a tentative agreement that will reduce the company's costs by about $175 million a year. Voting on the contract ends July 22. The agreement will also allow United to terminate the machinists' pension plan. Jun 20, 2005

Airlines' latest effort to boost ticket prices fails. An effort to lift airfares collapsed earlier this week, BTNonline.com reported. Major airlines have boosted fares several times over the past few months in order to counteract high fuel prices. Analysts said the latest effort, led by United Airlines, fell apart after other carriers decided not to match it. Jun 9, 2005

United to terminate troubled Denver baggage system: United Airlines will no longer use an automated baggage system at Denver International Airport. The airline will switch back to a traditional system. The $250-million system became known for damaging and losing bags. The system was originally developed by the airport and was then handed over to United. Jun 7, 2005

US Airways returns hot meals to first class on some flights. US Airways will serve hot meals again in the first-class cabin on cross-country flights, The Charlotte Observer reported. The airline stopped serving the meals in February because of problems with a food vendor. It replaced the hot meals with sandwiches, but customers said they wanted the meals back, a spokeswoman said. Jun 23, 2005

Virgin Atlantic may be looking after its pets better than its competitors but across the pond it really is a 'dog's life'. Nobody seems to know how many animals are killed or injured on flights annually. Figures as high as 1% have been suggested, or 200,000 casualties. Under new legislation airlines must report how many pets are killed, lost or injured on flights. The government estimates 2m animals fly commercially every year. Many airlines allow small pets to travel in portable kennels under seats, where the owners are responsible for their safety. Larger pets travel in cargo holds, where they can be exposed to extreme heat or cold and loud noises from aircraft engines. In 12 months or so we shall begin to know how the figures are working out. No doubt the RSPCA is watching out too. http://www.aspca.org Jun 3, 2005

Virgin Nigeria will officially take off on Tuesday June 28 from Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport to Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport. Nigeria will have again a national airline, this time backed by an operation well established in that country and with a remarkable track record. For the first two weeks only the service will be weekly then rising to three flights per week. The airline is planning a short-haul operation within Africa, details of which will be announced shortly. Virgin Nigeria is owned 51% by Nigerian institutional investors via a highly successful private placement process completed early in 2005. The 49% balance is held by Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited who are supplying a three class Airbus A340-300 for the operation. First flight from London is on Monday July 4. http://www.virginnigeria.com Jun 17, 2005
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Date:Jun 30, 2005
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