Roundup – Retirement, Ohio Bribes Continental, New Service, and More

By | June 27, 2007
  • Amadeus has signed an international rail distribution agreement with Wandrian, a global rail specialist, to distribute rail content to travel agents outside Europe who want to book rail globally. Through the web-based Amadeus RailAgent, travel agents outside Europe will have online connectivity and tools enabling them to book global rail passes and point-to-point tickets for travel in Europe, the US and Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India. The system also allows booking and payment for inter-modal itineraries (combining air, rail and car) in the same platform. These features enable agents to offer complete and tailored service to each customer, enhance satisfaction, and increase customer loyalty…Press release promotion aside…we think intermodal travel planning tools are great.
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport announced that British Airways will move its daily Dallas-Gatwick flight to serve Heathrow instead, beginning March 30th….taking advantage of the EU-US Open Skies agreement. American Airlines will continue to serve Gatwick. Slots at Heathrow, despite Open Skies, remain hard to come by. Industry pundits predict that airlines holding the coveted slots at the airport will switch resources from European flights to Transatlantic flights to take advantage of the lucrative post-Open Skies boom.
  • United Airlines will be adding more flights between Washington and Kuwait City, increasing the service from three times weekly to daily service beginning January 2nd. Pending regulatory approval, United will be codesharing on Qatar Airways allowing more options to the Middle East, as well as South and Southeast Asia. For the first time ever, United customers will have service to five countries new to United’s offerings, including destinations such as Doha, Qatar; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Male, Maldives; and Peshawar, Pakistan.
  • Speaking of Qatar Airways, their maiden flight to the United States, touched down last night at Newark Liberty Airport to a water-gun salute. The service from Doha, the capital of Qatar, operated via Geneva, the airline’s newest European destination, will operate four days a week. Service is operated with an Airbus 330 in a three class configuration…12 first class seats, 18 in business, and 208 in economy. Qatar will also begin nonstop service daily from Doha to Washington DC effective July 19th.
  • American is offering South Florideans free companion tickets for travel from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale to select destinations in the Carribbean, the Bahamas, and Latin America. Travel must begin September 4th through November 12th, and completed by November 14th. The last date to purchase tickets is July 3rd. Fares as low as $109-159 each way for the paying passengers. For more details, check out their press release.
  • Westjet, Canada’s #2 airline, announced the introduction of seasonal nonstop service from Toronto to Montego Bay Jamaica(three times weekly effective December 10), Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic(two times weekly effective December 11), and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic(two times weekly effective December 13th). Westjet is also adding services between cities it already serves, connecting the dots between Calgary and Halifax, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, and Nassau; Halifax to Ft. Lauderdale and Nassau; Ottawa to Vancouver; Toronto to Los Angeles and Saint John. It is also increasing frequencies on multiple routes. For more details, and dates, review their press release
  • Ohio has offered $16 million in incentives to Continental Airlines for an expansion to add flights and about 700 jobs at Cleveland’s Hopkins Airport. The incentives would be a combination of grants, loans, tax credits and hiring services. Continental estimates the expansion of its Cleveland hub would cost $50 million. The site competes with the airline’s other hubs in Houston and Newark, N.J., for capital improvements.The airline has announced it plans non-stop service to Paris beginning in the summer of 2008.
  • America West’s most-senior pilot, now part of the unified US Airways, flew his last flight last week, according to USA Today’s Today in the Sky blog, Randy McNerlin, turning 60, must retire from commecial service. He plans on flying for an Indian carrier before retiring for good.
  • The Consumerist pointed us to the fact American Airlines is offering no interest no payments for six months on airline tickets…certainly an interesting way of purchasing airline tickets…namely the same way you buy appliances…and you have six months to pay off the tickets or you will be charged interest from date of purchase at up to 26.05%. That is…of course…bad. Might work well for the vacation of a lifetime that you need time to pay off.
  • A 4 year old child’s tantrum over not getting apple juice quickly enough caused a North Carolina bound Delta commuter plane from New York to divert to Philadelphia. Passengers will be spending the night in Philadelphia.
  • Skybus has applied to the US Department of Transportation for permission to begin flights six days a week to Nassau and Cancun from Columbus, beginning October 1st. Should be interesting to watch, if nothing else.