Southwest Profits Hit by Fuel & Reservation System Costs
Southwest Airlines passenger revenue increased 0.6 percent year over year to $4.4 billion in the first quarter. The carrier reported a quarterly record for the number of passengers, and traffic increased 3.3 percent year over year. CEO and chairman Gary Kelly noted a “challenging fare environment,” with the average fare down 2.6 percent to $149.78.
Southwest increased capacity 4.1 percent year over year in the quarter, and its load factor declined 0.6 percentage points to 79.9 percent.
Kelly also said the carrier planned to end the practice of overbooking flights. Source: Business Travel News
American Grows Revenue on Improving Corporate Marketshare
American Airlines reported it increased its share of corporate business in the first quarter as total revenue increased 2 percent year over year to $9.6 billion. Corporate business had “strong results across the network” during the quarter, and that has continued for American this month, president Robert Isom said in the carrier’s earnings call. Isom also said the carrier will expand over the next two months its new Basic Economy fare, which comes with heavy restrictions, including not allowing passengers to bring on bags that require overhead space, beyond its first 10 launch markets. About half of travelers who see Basic Economy fares when purchasing a ticket ultimately opt for the standard economy fare, Isom said. Many corporations, however, are choosing to block Basic Economy fares from their travelers due to the heavy restrictions. Source: BTN
United Overhauls Policies Following Review of Forcibly Removed Passenger
United Airlines is cutting back on overbooking and has bumped its cap for denied-boarding compensation to $10,000. The changes follow its review of an incident last month in which a passenger was forcibly removed from a flight. They are part of a series of “concrete and meaningful actions that will avoid putting our customers, employees and partners into impossible situations,” United said. Source: BTN
Airlines To Shuffle Among LAX Terminals in Mid-May
Nearly a third of the 70 airlines at Los Angeles International Airport will move their operations’ locations over five days in May. The moves, spurred by Delta’s relocation from terminals 5 and 6 to terminals 2 and 3, will occur overnight on May 12, 14 and 16, according to the airport. Other carriers slated to move during that period include Air Canada, Avianca, JetBlue, Virgin America, Virgin Australia and the international flights of Southwest Airlines. Source: BTN
Accelerated Track Work To Snarl Penn Station Summer Train Schedules
Amtrak is speeding up infrastructure repairs at New York Penn Station, which will result in track closures and schedule changes throughout the summer, according to Amtrak president and CEO Wick Moorman.
Penn Station, the busiest train station in the U.S., has seen significant delays and disruptions over the past few weeks, including two train derailments. Those problems likely will persist unless current plans for track repairs are accelerated, particularly on the tracks and switches that help route trains entering from the Hudson River tunnels and Long Island Rail Road’s West Side Yard, Moorman said. Source: BTN
Hertz Will Provide Carbon Footprint Reporting & Offsets
Hertz will provide carbon emission reporting to corporate customers, which then can buy offsets against their carbon footprints through carbon offset provider TerraPass. The offsets support such projects as preservation of 200,000 acres of rainforest in Acre, Brazil; a wind energy project in Minot, N.D.; and a combustion unit to reduce emissions at a Fort Myers, Fla., energy facility. Source: BTN
Security Anxiety Marks the Modern Business Traveler
They may want good work-life balance and access to a better technology experience, but more than anything else, today’s business travelers want a better sense of security when traveling on behalf of their organizations, according to a joint survey conducted by American Express Global Business Travel and the Association for Corporate Travel Executives.
Building on a survey from last fall, the current survey asked travel buyers how often travelers ask about work-life balance issues, about traveler-centric technologies, about traveler safety and about alternative suppliers. With only six months between the companion surveys, traveler concern about safety and security grew faster than other topics. Source: BTN
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