In other airline industry news last week…
- United Airlines will launch daily nonstop service from Chicago to Sarasota beginning November 4, 2012 using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. This marks the ninth city United is slated to serve in the Sunshine State and a company spokesperson was particularly keen on mentioning the route’s ability to open up United’s global network from Chicago for Sarasota-originating passengers. Separately, flight attendants represented by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) ratified a new labor contract. A total Continental-United combined contract has yet to be realized, but United is optimistic that joint negotiations will go well.
- American Airlines again hemorrhaged money this past January posting a net loss of $234 million. Fuel was the carrier’s largest expense at $704 million for the month, followed by labor costs of $601 million. In better news, American will re-launch service between Chicago and Dublin beginning April 4 with a daily two-class 767-300 nonstop, and add an additional daily nonstop from Miami to Kingston, Jamaica for the busy summer season.
- Full-time employees working for Delta Air Lines at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport are concerned over the carrier’s use of Ready Reserve temporary workers at the airport. After acquiring Northwest in 2008, Delta put a vote out and employees decided to oust union representation at MSP. As full-timers retire, other long-term staff are concerned the airline will simply increase the amount of Ready Reserve staff who earn significantly less than their airline-hired counterparts, thereby jeopardizing their jobs and pay.
- The recent FAA Reauthorization Bill passed into law opened up long-awaited slots for airlines to fly transcontinental flights out of Washington’s (Reagan) National Airport. United will begin a daily DCA-SFO nonstop, Delta a DCA-SLC trip and American DCA-LAX in the coming months. US Airways also has the right to add a flight, but has yet to name a destination. Additional slots are to be opened up to new entrant carriers who must file applications by March 12, 2012 for approval consideration.