View Full Version : Wrapup of where many airlines stands in view of...

3rd Oct 2001, 23:46
The following is a New York Times wrapup of many of the world airlines' cuts and delivery programs. We've had bits and pieces of each, but I think this piece kind of puts it all together.

However, by raising fares, I think the airlines are shooting themselves in the foot. If they want the pax to return offer them a "limited time" $199 round trip JFK-LAX ticket. They should eat the security surcharge, in my opinion, just to get the pax aboard again, mostly in cattle class.

Anyway, enough of me. Here is the New York Times article:

Fewer Passengers, Fewer Flights

AIRLINES around the world have reduced the number of flights between cities, and even dropped some cities from their routes, following the Sept. 11 attack in which terrorists hijacked and destroyed four jetliners, prompting the unprecedented closing of American air space.

People still willing to fly find their choices limited, service to some cities ended, nearly all airlines reducing the frequency of flights and, on flights to medium-size cities like Rochester or Chattanooga, large jets being replaced with small regional jets or even smaller turboprops. In the first week and a half after travel resumed, most airlines posted schedules of 80 percent of their flights but flew far fewer because demand was weak.

When airlines drop cities they look first to those generating the least revenue and then to how to simplify the complex routing of planes, whose capacity must be matched to the number of passengers in different markets, said Sean Menke, vice president for marketing and planning at Frontier Airlines.

Most airlines decline to specify just how much business has been lost, but America West, the nation's ninth largest airline, said nine days after the attack that its bookings had fallen by half.

The Air Transport Association, an organization of major domestic carriers, said that it expected airline revenues in the last three months of the year to be 40 percent below those of the same period last year.

While the six largest domestic airlines — American, United, Delta. Continental, Northwest and US Airways — all announced cuts in their capacity of about 20 percent, further reductions are certain if the transport association estimate proves correct.

Only one major domestic airline, Southwest, said it would not cut flights. But with passengers so scarce in late September that check-in at many airports was a breeze, despite increased scrutiny of carry-on bags and repeated checking of identification papers, even Southwest may be forced to cut its schedule.

United Airlines stopped flying to New Delhi from both London and Hong Kong immediately after the attacks. United also said that it would not proceed with plans to begin nonstop service from Chicago to New Delhi next month.

Northwest Airlines said that "market conditions" would compel it, too, to suspend flights from Amsterdam to New Delhi, but that it would continue flying to Bombay.

Delta Airlines has canceled, at least through Oct. 31, flights between Kennedy Airport and Tokyo, Munich, Shannon and Dublin, Cairo and Dubai, Brussels, Stockholm, Tel Aviv and Zurich.

Continental Airlines, as of tomorrow, will have dropped service to 10 airports and suspended service to two others.

Continental and its commuter operation, Continental Express, said that as of tomorrow they were ending service to Atlantic City; Daytona Beach and Melbourne, Fla.; Abilene, Waco, San Angelo, Houston Hobby Airport and Houston-Tyler Airport in Texas; Stansted Airport near London; and Düsseldorf, Germany.

Continental said it was suspending flights between Cleveland and Gatwick, near London, and nonstops between Newark and Rio de Janeiro, also as of tomorrow. It said it would not proceed with plans to begin service late this year from Newark to Montego Bay and Kingston, Jamaica.

Scheduling data released to its pilots revealed that US Airways has dropped service from Baltimore-Washington airport to Midway Airport in Chicago, and by December will end its discount Metrojet service, which served 19 cities, and stop trans-Atlantic flights out of Charlotte, N.C.

It will also quickly replace jet service to 10 cities with either smaller regional jets or turboprops. Those cities are: Akron-Canton, Ohio; Charleston, W.Va.; Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn.; Columbia and Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Huntsville, Ala.; Roanoke, Va.; and South Bend, Ind.

These cuts in jet service were in addition to a major shift away from large jets, announced before the attacks, that affects flights between La Guardia Airport and upstate New York cities and some other medium-size Northeast cities.

JetBlue, a discount airline based at Kennedy, reduced daily flights to 79 from 84 on Sept. 20 by cutting two of five daily flights from Kennedy to Rochester and one each from Kennedy to Buffalo, New Orleans and Syracuse. JetBlue also said it would, as planned, begin new service between Dulles Airport outside Washington and Long Beach, Calif., on Oct. 8.

American said it would cut flights by 20 percent, but as of Sept. 24 would not say whether it would drop service to any cities.

America West and Frontier said they were not dropping any cities from their routes, but would reduce service by about 20 percent.

One airline closed the day after the attacks — Midway, a discount carrier based in Raleigh-Durham Airport in North Carolina that was already in bankruptcy proceedings. Its creditors agreed to let it refund $20 million in prepaid tickets.

Another discount airline, AirTran, said it would add daily flights beginning Nov. 6 between its base in Atlanta and Pensacola, Fla.

SkyWest, which operates short flights on the West Coast as the United Express, said it did not expect layoffs but is re-evaluating the current makeup of its fleet. It has not changed its plans to shift from turboprops to regional jets.

American Trans Air, also known as ATA, took delivery of two new Boeing 737's this month and said that six more would arrive before the end of the year. It seemed to be flying nearly all of its posted schedule.

Many foreign airlines were also affected by the attacks. Virgin Atlantic said it would stop flying to Chicago and Toronto from London and reduce capacity on other flights.
Aer Lingus, British Airways, Lan Chile and Lufthansa all cited a drop in passengers to and from the United States as the reason for reducing capacity by as much as a fifth.

British Airways said that it still intended to resume Concorde flights between London and the United States next month, while Air France said that its Concorde flights would resume in November.

Singapore Airlines, which relies on flights to the United States for nearly a fourth of its revenue, said it would make unspecified cuts in service.

Aeroméxico, the largest carrier in Mexico, did not immediately cut flights, but its president, Alfonso Pasquel, said that he expected the number of passengers between Mexico and the United States to decline by a fifth.

Air Canada, already facing economic problems from its acquisition of a smaller competitor, Canadian Airlines, has asked Ottawa for at least $1.9 billion in aid, because of a decline in traffic to the United States as well as international markets.

Qantas, the Australian airline, said it would also reduce its international flights, although some of them are expected to be taken over by British Airways, which owns a minority stake in Qantas.

None of the airlines based in Arab countries announced cuts.

Cathay Pacific, based in Hong Kong, and EVA, based in Taiwan, said their bookings, including those on flights to the United States, were normal despite the attacks.

Those who do fly may soon encounter higher fares as the changes wrought by the attacks bring new pressures on the airlines. Fewer passengers and a greater emphasis on security, which will mean that each plane can spend fewer hours in the air generating revenue, will squeeze the airlines.
Airlines around the world have also been told that their war-risk insurance would becanceled by tomorrow. Air France said new insurance would cost 10 times the old; Singapore Airlines was the first to announce a surcharge of $1.25 per passenger to cover the higher premiums.

The price of oil is also likely to rise if, as President Bush predicted during his address to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 20, the campaign against terrorism is protracted. A 1-cent increase in the price of a gallon of jet fuel adds $800 million in annual operating costs for domestic carriers, or at least it did before the attacks led to a sharp drop in the number of flights.

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON is a reporter in the business section of The Times.