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Old April 8th, 2011, 05:36 AM   #881
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UAL seeks Japan expansion, irritating Delta

WASHINGTON, April 7 (Reuters) - United Continental Holdings, the parent of United Airlines, is taking another run at expanding its Japan service, irritating Delta that has suspended flights at Tokyo's nearest airport due to last month's massive earthquake.

The effort by United, which continues its post-merger integration with Continental Airlines, is an indicator of the sector's confidence in the potential for Japanese travel to rebound from the March 11 quake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.

United asked the U.S. Transportation Department last week to be considered for access rights to Tokyo's Haneda airport in the event Delta Air Lines does not resume flights.

Delta responded that it was not abandoning Haneda, that its current flight suspension met U.S. rules, and that United's petition omitted key facts.

More than 7 million passengers flew between the United States and its territories and Japan last year on all airlines, U.S. government figures showed.

"I think if you look at the Kobe earthquake (in 1995), you will find the market recovered after two months, so most of the airlines are hopeful of a similar result," said Helane Becker, an analyst with Dahlman Rose & Co.

Becker noted an uptick in aircraft passenger loads from a dramatic drop in the days after the quake, and said business in the second half of the year is expected to pick up strongly.

"People (airlines) who aren't in it want to be, and people who are in it want to protect market share. That's what you're looking at," she said.

United, Continental, Delta, and American Airlines, a unit of AMR Corp , all fly to Japan's Narita airport, which is 40 miles from central Tokyo. Haneda, which is downtown, has been expanding and attracting U.S. carriers that want to offer business and other travelers more convenience.

Delta and American were awarded limited Haneda service by U.S. transportation planners, as permitted by a treaty signed last year that relaxed limits to U.S.-Japan travel.

Delta began flights from Los Angeles and Detroit in February and halted them after the March 11 quake.

It plans to restart service in June, in time for peak travel, but United, which like Delta and American has also cut back post-quake service, is positioning itself for quick entry to Haneda in case Delta or American pull out entirely.

"If any of the incumbents abandons Haneda service, there will be inevitably be a significant delay in selecting a replacement. This will lead directly to loss of much needed Haneda service," United said in a regulatory filing.

United was shut out in its initial bid for Haneda slots and a follow up attempt at default status in case a rival canceled plans was also denied.

Delta said United's latest bid was unwarranted and omitted key facts for Delta's decision on Japan, where it said commercial conditions are highly unusual right now.

"Japan has suffered a tragedy of almost unimaginable proportions," Delta said of its rationale for pulling back flights. "United does not mention the Japanese tsunami or its impact on U.S.-Tokyo air service."
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Old April 13th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #882
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United pulls out of Island airport
Carrier says fuel prices dragging down financial performance

13 April 2011
National Post

The newly merged United Airlines has abandoned its plans to launch a new service from Toronto Island, putting into play the 16 landing slots its was granted there.

"We have decided not to continue with this plan," Rahsaan Johnson, a spokesman for the airline, told the Financial Post in an interview. "The long and short of it is, with fuel prices where they are, we just don't think we'll reach our financial performance expectations."

The U.S. carrier may consider service from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport sometime in the future, but in the meantime would be forfeiting its current landing slots, Mr. Johnson said.

"We'll reassess in the future when economic conditions look more favourable," he said. "But we've elected not to launch that service."

Continental Airlines was granted 16 landing slots at Billy Bishop last year in an auction that also granted 44 additional slots to incumbent carrier Porter Airlines Inc. and 30 slots to Air Canada. Continental has since merged with United Airlines under the latter's name.

Air Canada intends to launch its own service from the Island on May 1, under its new Air Canada Express brand, offering 15 daily flights between Billy Bishop and Montreal.

The Toronto Port Authority will consult with the firm it hired to run the slot auction, Airport Coordination Ltd. (ACL), to determine what to do with the United landing slots, said Mark McQueen, the authority's chairman. He said the priority is to grant the slots to a carrier that will add new destinations.

"Our goal remains to increase the number of new destinations that are served by Billy Bishop airport. Our intention is to work with industry to find a way to achieve that goal," Mr. McQueen said. "We certainly will welcome Continental/United down the road should they change their minds. But in the meantime, we're going to have to sit down with ACL."

Any airline wishing to offer service from the airport, however, will still be subject to an exclusivity agreement between the port authority and the City Centre Terminal Corp., which is also owned by Porter Airlines chief executive Robert Deluce.

Under terms of the five-year deal, carriers wanting to offer service from Toronto Island must rent terminal space from CCTC.

Mr. McQueen said it remains a possibility that the United landing slots may ultimately be offered to Air Canada or Porter, if they're interested.

An Air Canada's spokesman said the carrier would definitely be interested in new landing slots at the airport if they were made available.
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Old April 14th, 2011, 07:06 AM   #883
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Georgia House approves extension of tax break for Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines
13 April 2011

ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Senate has extended a tax break for Delta Air Lines Inc. over Democratic objections that the company doesn't need a giveaway.

Lawmakers approved the measure 39-13 after an hour of heated debate. Supporters say the state must work to keep Delta Georgia-based because the company brings millions in economic development.

Opponents said when the tax break originated six years ago, the company faced bankruptcy and needed help. They said it boasted more than $1 billion in profits last year and doesn't need the hefty tax break now.

The bill caps the exemption at $20 million for fiscal year 2012 and $10 million for fiscal year 2011. Delta's current tax break had been set to expire at the end of June.

The bill returns to the House.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 07:08 PM   #884
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WSJ: United Airlines 2010 Midair Close Call Detailed In Report
16 April 2011
Dow Jones News Service

Details of a midair near-collision that put a departing United Airlines Boeing 777 barely a few hundred feet from a single-engine propeller aircraft near San Francisco International Airport last year reveal that local controllers initially documented the incident but didn't consider it an error.

A report released by accident investigators on Thursday highlights the dangers of the March 27, 2010 close call just after the heavily-loaded Boeing 777 took off for Beijing--and the unusual efforts by its crew to determine the cause of the incident.

Henry "Hank" Krakowski, the head of the FAA's traffic-control organization, resigned the same day the report came out, amid unrelated public and congressional criticism of controller lapses, including falling asleep while on duty. Mr. Krakowski's organization also had faced criticism from inside and outside the agency for the way it documented and investigated some controller mistakes.

In its report, the National Transportation Safety Board said United Flight 889 had just retracted its landing gear and was climbing past the end of the runway at about 1,100 feet in good weather when a controller alerted the crew about a high-wing Cessna 182 just a few hundred feet above. The Cessna's pilot had been told to maintain visual separation and pass behind the Boeing 777, but ended up flying much closer to the jetliner than permitted by FAA rules.

According to safety experts, such an midair encounter poses particular hazards when a widebody jetliner has just started to climb, because it doesn't have the speed or maneuvering capability to take swift evasive action.

The local FAA controllers recorded the unusual event but "did not initially file an operational error report," the safety board's report says. After further discussion and analysis with traffic-control officials in Washington and elsewhere, such a report was filed about a week later. FAA officials have told investigators they made good-faith efforts to understand what happened, acted appropriately and in the end, local controls and higher-level managers decided together to categorize the event as an error, according to people familiar with the matter. On Friday, an FAA spokeswoman declined to comment.

The board said that after review by higher-level officials, San Francisco tower controllers were "directed to file an operational error report."

Shortly after liftoff, a cockpit collision-avoidance warning sounded in the jetliner's cockpit, and the United pilots later recounted "seeing only the underside of the airplane." Despite the relatively low altitude, the United copilot pushed down the nose of the big jet and stopped its climb-as instructed by the onboard safety system. The report indicates the planes were only separated by 300 feet vertically and less than 500 feet laterally.

The minimum required separation was a minimum of 500 feet vertically or 1.5 miles laterally, according to an FAA spokesman.

Before switching the radio to a departure frequency, one of the United pilots told the tower controller that the collision-avoidance warning had sounded and "we need to talk."

Four minutes later, one of the United pilots contacted the controller in charge of the tower on a frequency that couldn't be heard by other aircraft, and requested that radar and radio-transmission data be preserved.

Later in the flight, according to the report, the United flight's captain was concerned enough to take the unusual step of re-contacting the tower, and "said she was very upset over the incident because of the close proximity of the Cessna" and lack of adequate warning. "She questioned the tower's procedures," according to the NTSB, and "stated she would be willing to file paperwork on the incident."

The controller who made the slip told investigators he was distracted by taxiing aircraft when he cleared the United jet for takeoff, and failed to check radar for potential airborne conflicts, according to the report. The controller in charge was attending to administrative duties, so he wasn't monitoring the operation. A third controller in the tower, who was a trainee, told investigators "it was pretty loud up there" and she didn't recognize the problem prior to the event.

As a result of the incident, the FAA implemented a number of short-term actions to prevent a repeat and also initiated a study to enhance procedures to handle planes passing through airspace close to the airport.

The area has a reputation among pilots for being difficult to fly through, because of frequent fog, sometime heavy small-plane traffic and runways at San Francisco International Airport that are spaced closer together than at most other major fields.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 06:18 PM   #885
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 04:27 AM   #886
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Tomarrow AirTran airways will be history!

AirTran Holdings Inc. will dissappear but nothing else.
Airplane painting wont start until SW and AT has one operating liscense.
Some comparisons for you frequent fliers on the airlines:

The things that will go away:
Business class? Gone.
Assigned seating? Gone, but WN's current open seating system isn't as cattle-call style as it used to be.
FF programs? A+ Rewards will go away in favori of Rapid Rewards.
Aqua tailed planes? Get ready for Canyon Blue.

On the plus side:
Bag fees? Gone.
Change fees? Gone.
Free snacks? Here to stay.
The 717 fleet? Still flying, but in Canyon Blue.
International routes? Likely to be expanded.

So enjoy your numbered days flying on AirTran and stay posted for more updates.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 08:03 AM   #887
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any pics?
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Old May 13th, 2011, 11:34 AM   #888
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United Continental flight attendants: Too many at United, not enough at Continental
12 May 2011

CHICAGO (AP) - The company that runs United and Continental airlines is asking flight attendants for flexibility so it can avoid potential furloughs next year.

United Continental Holdings Inc. says it will soon have almost 1,800 too many flight attendants next year when that many return from a voluntary furlough. But it will be 900 short at Continental.

The company will eventually combine United and Continental into one airline, but until then it operates them separately. Flight attendants at United and Continental have separate unions, and their contracts don't allow them to work on each other's flights. The company is hoping to change that and avoid involuntary furloughs.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 05:34 PM   #889
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Delta jet clips another plane with its wing while taxiing at Atlanta airport
13 May 2011

ATLANTA (AP) - Authorities said the wing tip of a Delta Air Lines jet struck the back of another airplane at Atlanta's airport.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that no one was hurt in the Thursday night accident at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said Flight 566 was stopped when it was clipped by Flight 552, which was taxiing at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

She said both planes had landed in Atlanta.

Talton said Delta will cooperate fully with the investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

------

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com
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Old May 14th, 2011, 05:40 PM   #890
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Virgin weds Delta, but still looking around
12 May 2011
The Sydney Morning Herald

THE newly renamed Virgin Australia will step up efforts to find airline partners in Asia after securing the rights to form an alliance with Delta Air Lines on the Australia-US route.

In a timely boost to the Australian airline, the US air regulator has reversed its decision to block the joint venture with Delta because the airlines had made "substantial changes" to their initial application. The deal is part of Virgin's strategy to snare a bigger share of the corporate travel market from Qantas.

Shares in the Australian airline, known as Virgin Blue until last week, rose more than 6 per cent after the US Department of Transportation's decision. They later closed up 1¢ at 32¢.

Virgin Australia's chief executive, John Borghetti, said the deal's approval allowed Virgin to focus on the last plank of its international strategy, aimed at cementing alliance partners in Asia, by the end of this year. Its plans for Asia could include tie-ups with several airlines, he said. "Right now what we are focused on is bilateral alliances. The only part missing is Asia," he said.

Industry insiders consider Malaysia Airlines or Japan's All Nippon Airways as likely partners. Singapore Airlines would be the best bedfellow but it is considered less likely.

Virgin needs premium airlines in Asia to partner so that it can provide corporate travellers with a network that links Australia to the business hubs of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. But Asia is regarded as a tougher market.

Virgin made a "very small profit" on the Australia-US route in the first half of this financial year but Mr Borghetti hinted that it had fallen back into the red since fuel prices soared early this year.

"Without this [Delta deal] the opportunity of growth was almost zero at best. It is not just savings but it is a revenue uplift," he said.

He would not disclose what the deal was worth to Virgin in terms of savings or revenue.

Government figures show Virgin's long-haul offshoot, V Australia, had the highest passenger loads on the route in February, with 86 per cent of seats filled. United Airlines and Delta both had 82 per cent of seats filled, and Qantas 81 per cent.

After the US regulator rejected their proposal last year because they had failed to show substantial consumer benefits, Virgin and Delta guaranteed they would not reduce non-stop services between Australia and the US and demonstrated that they would offer more destinations.

Mr Borghetti said the benefits included better frequencies and schedules, pricing, and an ability to earn and redeem loyalty points on more flights.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #891
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INTERVIEW-UPDATE 2-Airline biz tough but still fun-United CEO

CHICAGO, May 16 (Reuters) - The airline industry that was spawned nearly a century ago by aviation luminaries like Juan Trippe and William Boeing now attracts a different kind of thrill seeker, the head of the world's largest carrier said.

Jeff Smisek, the chief executive of United Continental Holdings , was talking about a breed of executive who enjoys running a business that sometimes seems to live on the edge of financial instability.

"The big, charismatic, larger-than-life figures are gone. And that's good," Smisek told Reuters in an interview on Monday.

"The margins in this business are so razor thin. If you get it right, you can be a hero. If you get it wrong you can be a goat really quickly," he said.

Sitting in his corner office overlooking downtown Chicago, Smisek, 56, discussed the nuts and bolts of the 2010 merger of United Airlines and Continental Airlines. He says everything is on track for full integration, and the pairing is meeting expectations.

But he lit up when asked about some of the aviation-related knickknacks in the room, including models of vintage commercial airplanes and a photograph of his father who was a pilot in World War II.

Times have changed, said Smisek, who is not a pilot himself. He quickly added that the shift in personality types of those who now lead the industry is for the best.

"You can have a romantic industry -- and it really is romantic --; you can have a cool industry -- and it really is cool. But you need very professional managers because it is such a difficult business," Smisek said.

The airline industry is clawing its way back to stability after a years-long downturn sparked in part by the 9/11 attacks and later exacerbated by volatile fuel costs and a global economic downturn that drained travel demand.

United Continental's predecessor, UAL Corp, restructured in bankruptcy. Other major carriers experienced similar traumas, with some big names like Trans World Airlines vanishing altogether.

The industry is starting to recover with help from sweeping capacity cuts and consolidation like the $3.17 billion merger of United and Continental last year. Smisek had been CEO of Continental prior to the merger.

He said the merger has made the airline stronger and better able to withstand the shocks of soaring fuel costs as the price of crude oil hovers near $100 per barrel. He said there is scope for more consolidation among major airlines because the global industry remains too fragmented.

United Continental is on track to achieve the $800 million to $900 million of incremental annual revenue executives promised ahead of the merger, he said.

Smisek said he enjoys the challenges of running an airline despite the near constant threats to the viability of the industry.

"It's enormously fun," he said. "It is, however, a really tough business."

"Has it changed from the days of Juan Trippe and the swash bucklers of the world? Absolutely it's changed," he said.

"It's such a cosmically greater scale and complexity than the founders experienced that the best thing that's happened in this business is professional management has taken over."
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:14 AM   #892
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:24 AM   #893
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United's new look coming soon to IAH
19 May 2011
Houston Chronicle

United Airlines has a new look at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, and the rebranding soon will come to Houston. Chicago- based United and Houston-based Continental Airlines merged on Oct. 1, but the carriers cannot fully combine until the Federal Aviation Administration issues a single operating certificate. For now, they operate as subsidiaries of United Continental Holdings.

On Wednesday, the merged company revealed some of the cosmetic and policy changes it has made as part of the integration of the two airlines.

At its Chicago hub check-in counter and boarding areas, signs now reflect a common look - the United name, a blue and white color scheme and Continental's globe logo. That change will come to Bush Intercontinental Airport and other hub airports in the third quarter.

Harmony at the kiosks

Other changes took effect Wednesday. Continental and United passengers now can check in and print boarding passes at either carrier's kiosks in Houston and other hubs.

"The alignment of airport procedures, particularly for our most loyal customers, and the rebranding of our operations at our hometown airport are the newest visible signs of the successful integration of United and Continental," said Jeff Smisek, CEO of United Continental Holdings.

Some United passengers found at least one of the new rules unwelcome.

United's most elite-level frequent flier participants have been permitted to board their flights first followed by the next tier of rewards program members. Now, all tiers of frequent fliers board Continental or United aircraft at the same time.

"It makes the United customers unhappy," said Joe Brancatelli of the business travel website Joe Sent Me.

The mingling issue

That was evident on FlyerTalk, an online forum for frequent fliers.

"It's sad you'll have to mingle with the 'lesser' folks when checking in," one FlyerTalk commenter said.

The boarding changes went into effect about a week ago. Brancatelli said many United passengers were annoyed they were not informed before going to the airport.

United Continental Holdings also announced on Wednesday that customers of either airline can shop for flights, obtain seat assignments and check flight status on either airline's website.

And passengers who have both United Mileage Plus and Continental's OnePass frequent-flier accounts can now link their miles, although the programs won't be integrated fully until later this year.

The airlines still have different rules for accumulating miles, for example.

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Old May 24th, 2011, 04:33 PM   #894
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Old May 25th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #895
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Delta, US Airways reach revised slot-swap deal

ATLANTA, May 23 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines and US Airways Group said on Monday they had reached a new agreement to swap takeoff and landing rights at New York and Washington, D.C., airports, revising a 2009 proposed deal that was never completed.

Under terms of the new pact, Delta would acquire 132 slot pairs at New York's LaGuardia Airport from US Airways; and US Airways would acquire 42 slot pairs at Washington's Reagan National from Delta as well as rights to operate additional daily service to Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2015. Delta would pay US Airways $66.5 million in cash, the companies said on Monday.

A slot pair is the authority to operate one takeoff and one landing.

The revised transaction, which is subject to government and regulatory approval, could result in the divestiture of up to 16 slot pairs at LaGuardia and eight slot pairs at Reagan National to airlines with limited or no service at those airports should regulators require it, the carriers said.

For Delta, the swap would allow it to continue to expand in New York, a key business market.

US Airways told an investor conference last week that the swap with Delta would give it access to profit-enhancing assets in Washington, while allowing it to let go of LaGuardia assets that are not profitable.

Delta and US Airways said they will dismiss their appeal of a Department of Transportation order involving the 2009 proposed swap that is currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington. That earlier transaction included terms that were unacceptable to the carriers.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 10:54 AM   #896
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Delta expands Atlanta-Brasilia flying to 6 days a week
26 May 2011

ATLANTA (AP) - Delta Air Lines Inc. said it will now fly six times a week from Atlanta to Brasilia, Brazil, starting on Tuesday, up from five times per week now.

Delta said the addition fits with its strategy in that market.

The flight will be on a Boeing 757-200, which seats 162 people.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 07:26 AM   #897
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747 @ PVG

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Old May 29th, 2011, 02:16 AM   #898
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One of delta's planes is on fire in ATL. Flight form PIT to ATL.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 12:45 PM   #899
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Old June 18th, 2011, 02:28 AM   #900
GTR66
GTR66
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Here is some updates of the AirTran/Southwest merger

Southwest Airlines Adds Capacity from Milwaukee

Southwest Airlines and its wholly-owned subsidiary AirTran Airways are to boost links between Milwaukee and Denver, Des Moines, Akron-Canton and St Louis from this September. According to Southwest, AirTran will add two daily flights to Akron-Canton and Des Moines, while it will initiate a twice service to St Louis, as well as offering a daily link to Denver, a route already served once daily by AirTran. These flights will all commence on September 6 when AirTran’s existing marketing partnership with SkyWest Airlines on all these routes ends.

"As we continue to integrate AirTran into Southwest, we have the opportunity to provide new Customer itineraries out of terrific cities like Milwaukee," said Bob Jordan, Executive Vice President Strategy and Planning, Southwest Airlines and President of AirTran Airways. "In working together with AirTran, I think we have an excellent plan for providing more capacity and options to Milwaukee. AirTran and Southwest have each achieved great success in Milwaukee, and Southwest remains committed to that market with a combined total of more than 50 daily departures to more than 20 nonstop destinations."

Frontier Airlines currently dominates capacity at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee and competes on routes to Des Moines, St Louis and Denver, with United Airlines also offering service to the latter. However, AirTran is currently the sole operator to Akron-Canton with 20 flights per week using a Bombardier CRJ200 of SkyWest Airlines. Southwest Airlines currently serves six destinations (Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall, Kansas City, Las Vegas McCarran, Orlando International, Phoenix Sky Harbor, Tampa International) from Milwaukee offering 77 flights per week.

Southwest airlines also added new flights in Denver and Newark.
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