Well, Virgin America's foray into Canada was short-lived: The airline revealed it will suspend service from Los Angeles and San Francisco on April 6. The low-cost carrier will shift emphasis onto its Dallas service, boosting its daily flights to three each from LAX and SFO.
In a statement, Virgin America VP of Planning and Sales Diana Walke said, "the smaller Toronto-West Coast markets ... were not able to stimulate demand as quickly as we would have liked. As a young and growing airline we’ve decided to instead focus on the immediate opportunities that DFW and other markets offer from our California base."...read more»
Reports are streaming out of Russia that an explosion has killed 30-plus people and wounded many more at Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport.
According to the New York Times, the explosion occurred in the arrivals hall at around 4:32 p.m. local time. Msnbc adds that the explosion "took place in the lounge area near the airport’s Asia Cafe." The cause of the explosion has not yet been confirmed, but Russian officials are treating it as a terrorist attack. This is all relevant because the explosion seems to have taken place within the secure area of the arrivals hall....read more»
The OTAs have struck back: Expedia announced it has signed US Airways to a long-term agreement. In a statement, Expedia said, "US Airways has committed to offer all of its content to Expedia through the global distribution system (GDS) model, a central reservation system which is used by travel agencies to search and book travel." Expedia described the deal as a "multi-year strategic partnership" involving the agency's Expedia, Hotwire, and Egencia sites.
Expedia, you will recall, dropped American Airlines from its roster after American began to push its direct connect model on the industry. In that setup, airlines and OTAs bypass the GDS and exchange fares and transactions directly. American says this approach would save money (for the airline), while OTAs and other critics say direct connect gives airlines too much control over which fares they make available to consumers. American pulled its fares from Orbitz in December when Orbitz refused to participate in its direct connect, and Expedia dropped American a few weeks later. Earlier this week, Priceline signed on to use American's direct connect.
The most striking aspect of the deal, however, is that Expedia will market US Airways' Choice Seats program in conjunction with US Airways fares....read more»
There were zero U.S. airline fatalities last year, marking the close of one of the safest decades ever. 2010 was the third year in the past four to be free of airline deaths, and the fourth such year since 2002. According to USA Today's Alan Levin, "Years without deaths have occurred sporadically since the dawn of the jet age, but never have so many occurred in so short a period." He added, "The average number of deaths fell from about 86 a year in the 1990s to 46 a year since 2000, a 46% drop."
Last year was also the first in which there were no fatalities on airlines based in "developed" nations.
The last fatal accident was the crash of Colgan Flight 3407 outside Buffalo in February, 2009. Fifty people were killed in the accident, which sparked government investigations of regional carriers and pilot fatigue....read more»
American Airlines and Priceline have signed an agreement in which Priceline will access the airline's fares and ancillary services through its direct connect system. In a statement, American said the deal is "part of a long-term relationship" and will be implemented in the near future.
Separately, American also signed a direct connect deal with Vegas.com, which, oddly enough, was just cut loose by Delta as that airline purges smaller fare retail outlets from its portfolio....read more»
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With yet another round of base fare hikes on the books, and after hearing, again, that the hikes are meant to offset rising fuel costs, it's safe to say we have an established trend on our hands. USA Today reports that United and Delta raised fares $10 and $20 round-trip, respectively, on Monday, the fourth fare hike in a month. Most of the industry matched those hikes.
In total, airlines have added roughly $35 to their base fares over the course of the four hikes, Farecompare CEO Rick Seaney tells USA Today....read more»
TripAdvisor is out with its annual list of the best hotels in the world, including top picks for bargain, romance, luxury, and spa stays. The final tally is based solely on reviews from real travelers.
So without further ado, let's get straight to the lists!...read more»
Virgin America announced a firm order for 60 new Airbus aircraft, to be delivered between 2013 and 2019. The new planes will nearly triple Virgin America's fleet, which is currently comprised of 34 Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. The new planes are all A320s.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the carrier's order is that it includes 30 A320neo models. The A320neo is Airbus' new eco-friendly version of the A320. It offers a 15 percent gain in fuel efficiency and cuts carbon output while adding range and reducing engine noise. The neo won't be available until early 2016....read more»
Analysts have been predicting a resurgence of travel in 2011, and the abundance of new service this year supports the prediction. I checked in with each major U.S. airline to see what new routes are on offer this year, and as you'll see, there's no shortage of new routes to choose from....read more»
A judge in Spain rules that Ryanair's print-or-pay approach to boarding passes is illegal. According to the Guardian, "A judge in Barcelona said that, under international air travel conventions, Ryanair can neither demand passengers turn up at the airport with their boarding pass, nor charge them €40 (£34) if they do not."
Ryanair made the change last year and promptly began removing check-in counters from airports it serves. Under the policy, passengers pay €5 or £5 for each one-way leg of their trip at check-in, and €40 or £40 if they arrive at the airport without a boarding pass and need one....read more»