JetBlue spent the past several years teasing the idea of transatlantic flying. The company believes its Mint business class service could clean up in a market that sees high fares and relatively limited competition. Alas, it remains a dream in many ways. The market was reminded this morning at an investor briefing that such a “distraction” is not welcome at this time.
Icelandair faces a significant revenue shortfall in 2018 owing to growing competition and mistakes in growing its route network. The parent company of the airline also needs to find a new CEO. Björgólfur Jóhannsson took full responsibility for the missed numbers and tendered his resignation to the Icelandair Group Board of Directors.
United Airlines passengers will soon have the option to pay more for assigned seats on board. These are not the Premium Plus premium economy nor the Economy Plus extra legroom seats. The “Preferred” seating section will sit behind those and be an option for selection starting in Q4 2018. This news was obliquely referenced in today’s announcement of the new United Corporate Preferred program at GBTA in San Diego.
Passengers won’t pay for more space on planes. This is the commonly accepted mantra and driving logic behind the ongoing “densification” efforts to squeeze more seats onto planes. And, for the most part, that’s proven true. A growing subset of travelers are, however, willing to pay more. Delta Air Lines’ Premium Select will expand across the widebody fleet to capture even more of that revenue.
Developing a new route to profitability often takes months, if not years. United airlines is pulling the plug on its nonstop service between Los Angeles and Singapore after just one year, a quick decision that reflects the challenges of ultra long-haul flights as new, longer services are poised to launch.
Euro-biz is going away on some WestJet planes. The carrier is upgrading its WestJet Plus offering to feature the Recaro CL4710 in a proper 2-2 cabin layout. This further moves the company away from its LCC roots and into a role as a global premium operator.
Singapore Airlines is reclaiming the role as operator of the world’s longest flight. The carrier confirmed today that it will serve Newark nonstop from its Changi Airport hub using the Airbus A350-900ULR starting in October 2018. That’s nearly 19 hours on board, a trip that requires certain accommodations to keep passengers sane.
It is just an artist rendering but we finally have a first peek at how the new WestJet 787 interiors will be fitted. With three classes of service, including fully lie-flat business class, it is a solid competitor, though not necessarily the “bold” play the company claims.
Passengers still must wait a couple years, but Emirates is finally set to introduce a premium economy cabin on its A380 fleet. Sir Tim Clark offers up a few details on the effort in a recent podcast episode.
It was a busy week for United Airlines where the biggest news may have been lost in the shuffle. It isn’t as sexy as lie-flat seating but the new Aspire economy class seats now flying deliver some real improvements for passengers. And one significant drawback, too.