Sunday, January 30, 2011

Travel warnings as riots grip Egypt

Australia has issued travel warning to Egypt as police were ordered back on the streets of the capital, Cairo,

In Australia, the government is urging Australians not to travel to Egypt, after looting and demonstrations in main cities, also including Alexandria and Suez.

Australians who are in Egypt have been advised to stay away from protests.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has also warned Egypt's international airports are currently very busy and those with confirmed flights should allow five or six hours and take their own food and water.

Friday, January 28, 2011

TUI Travel Finally Back on Track Despite a Very Difficult Start to the Year

TUI Travel has been proving that it has what it takes to make it in a hard travel industry. In fact, TUI has announced that it is back on track despite the very difficult start to 2011. The political uprising in Tunisia and even the snow have caused a lot of travel chaos for the UK this current year. However some companies, like TUI, have overcome the odds to come out on top.

TUI does remain on track to reach its target for winter bookings. However, it is the summer bookings that look actually good for the company. Apparently the summer bookings are very strong as customers seek value.

The company went on to say that bookings since its earlier trading statement in early December were down 1 percent as Arctic conditions led to the closure of a number of British airports. On top of this, the company had to cancel all flights to Tunisia on January 15, following a series of very violent demonstrations and riots across the country.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fears of fragmented air travel market allayed

American Airlines
and Sabre Holdings have agreed to suspend litigation surrounding their airfare distribution contract.

During the suspension, the organisations have agreed to operate as they had been prior to when the conflict between them began, while they work towards a fresh airfare distribution agreement.

The agreement means travel buyers will benefit from a totally transparent view of airline data on Sabre Holdings, one of the world’s largest global distribution systems, including American Airlines travel information.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Airlines' path for profits: Fly less, charge more

After a decade of multibillion-dollar losses, U.S. airlines appear to be on course to prosper for years to come for a simple reason: They fly less.

By grounding planes and eliminating flights, airlines have cut expenses and pushed fares higher. As the global economy rebounds, travel demand is rising and planes are as full as they've been in years.

Profit margins at big airlines are the highest in at least a decade, according to the government. The eight major U.S. airlines are forecast to earn more than $5 billion this year and $5.6 billion in 2012.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Orbitz vs. American Airlines: The traveler is the loser

Maybe you've heard about the little issue between American Airlines and several online travel agencies, including Orbitz and Expedia.

Maybe you've noticed that when you go fare-shopping on those travel websites, you aren't offered any American flights.

Maybe you've told to yourself, "So what?"

"It's truly an inside baseball kind of story," admits William Swelbar, a research engineer in MIT's International Center for Air Transportation.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

British Airways strike: time to grow up

British Airways cabin crew will announce the result of yet another ballot for strike action tomorrow. Most commentators seem to think that they will again vote in favour ,but this time there will be less taking part in the ballot and possibly a smaller majority. There is also a widely held confidence in the management of the airline that they can ensure the majority of flights will operate throughout any action.

As a captain with BA, I have flown freshly with those cabin crew colleagues who trust they must fight on, those who have given up, those who never took up the strike and those who have volunteered from other parts of the airline to break the strike. Sometimes it was all of the above on the same crew – which is no basis for the calm and professional service on which my colleagues and the airline pride themselves.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

AMR 4Q Loss Narrows Amid Improved Business Travel, Fare Trends

The parent of American Airlines on Wednesday reported a narrower fourth-quarter loss and pledged to keep costs flat current year in an effort to narrow the gap with rival U.S. carriers.

American also plans to expand capacity more than its network rivals in what is a crucial year for the country's third-largest airline as it tries to leverage expanded alliances with overseas partners, rejig its domestic network and secure fresh deals with labor and third-party ticket sellers.

"As we focus on the year ahead, we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to build on our present momentum," told Chairman and Chief Executive Gerard Arpey in a letter to staff. "The economic recovery is real, albeit fragile, and our network is much stronger than it was a year ago."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

As American Airlines clashes with Sabre, travel agents suffer

A fight between the big boys is currently hurting the little guys.

With Sabre Holdings announcing previous week that it would drop American Airlines' fares from its system in August and in the meantime make those fares harder to find, some travel agents say their agencies are paying the price.

"I can't have an agent spending all day long checking airline websites for an airfare," told Debbie Stevenson, owner of Ridgmar Travel in Fort Worth. "I feel totally helpless. I'm at the mercy of two big companies, American and Sabre."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter storm moves north and causes more travel headaches

Travelers all over the southern area of the United States are already experiencing headaches. The Atlanta airport, the busiest in the world, had dozens and dozens of flights canceled as a rare winter snow storm crippled much of the southern United States. Currently, however, the National Weather Service is warning that the same storm is headed north and east.

The cities in the path of the storm, according to the Weather Service, include major travel hubs. Philadelphia, Boston and New York are all expected to take a hit. New York is expected to get between 8 to 14 inches starting Tuesday night and on in to Wednesday. Boston is predicted to get between 9 to 15 inches.

New York’s Governor Cuomo activated the state’s emergency plans on Tuesday. He did so in an effort to ensure that the streets will be cleared and that residents have access to the resources they need.

The National Weather Service has issued a “weather emergency” and is advising motorists and travelers to stay off the roads. Major cities have also initiated parking bans and are allowing snow taking away crews to tow and remove cars parked in snow zone.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

American sues Sabre in battle over flight listings

American Airlines is suing Sabre to prevent the company from downplaying American flights in displays that it provides to travel agents.

American says if Sabre is allowed to favor other airlines in information searches, it will cost American "countless sales."

The lawsuit was filed Monday in state court in Fort Worth, Texas. It's the newest blow in an escalating fight over how airline tickets are sold.

American wants to force travel agents to get information about flights and prices straight from the airline to reduce middleman expenses. Sabre, a travel-data provider, retaliated last week by making it harder for travel agents to find information about American flights and raising fees that it charges American.

Monday, January 10, 2011

American Airlines feud: bad news for consumers

American Airlines wants travel agents and consumers to buy tickets directly from its online site rather than online travel agencies such as Orbitz, Expedia or Travelocity, which offer a broad choice of airlines, ticket prices and flight times. Podcast: Find low-priced fares as American Airlines fights travel sites.

As anyone who’s bought tickets online knows, those travel agencies offer discounts, plus a convenient means of choosing which flights, and which airlines to fly. We use these websites to make purchases based on price. American wants you to buy based on services.

“American is forcing a situation where you almost have to roll back the clock [to] where it makes it more hard for the consumer to access comprehensive fare and schedule information,” said Mike McCormick, executive director of the National Business Travel Association.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2 Airlines Say They'll Waive Some Fees If Weather Disrupts Travel This Weekend

JetBlue Airways and American Airlines say they'll waive some change fees if your travel plans are disrupted by bad weather conditions this weekend.

American Airlines is allowing passengers to change their flights to or from Bradley International Airport and other East Coast destination, with Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Pa., and Boston.

If you are traveling to, from or through any of those airports today and your ticket was issued no later than Wednesday, you may change flights as late as Sunday with no penalty.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Latest fare war: Airline vs. online

Travel industry watchers say a struggle is brewing for manage of the air travel reservations, and that travel websites and even some travel agents are already feeling the effects.

American Airlines and online ticketing sites Orbitz and Expedia are at odds over the airline's efforts to steer more air ticket purchases through its latest reservation system. As a result, American's flights are no longer sold through Orbitz and Expedia.

"American Airlines wants to stop paying the global distribution systems charge and instead have people come to them directly," said Charlie Leocha, director of the nonprofit Consumer Travel Alliance in Washington, D.C., a subscription-supported consumer advocacy group.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sabre joins American Airlines ticket spat

Sabre Holdings Group said Wednesday that it will stop distributing American Airlines' inventory of airline tickets and other goods to travel agents this summer, escalating the battle over how air travel is sold by third parties.

Sabre, which runs the world's major clearinghouse for travel transactions, intends to end its contract with American in August, a month ahead of the termination date. In the meantime, Sabre is ending discounts it had provided to the Texas-based carrier, while also making American's fares more hard for travel agents to find than those of other carriers.

The moves turn American's battles to gain greater control over its fare data into an outright war with some of its closest delivery partners, analysts said. Processing more than 1 million transactions per minute during peak times, Sabre's travel network was built by American Airlines in 1960 and spun out of American parent AMR Corp. in 2000.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Global air travel industry will perform well in 2011

Following the global crunch, which affected severely all aspects of the global market, and air travel in particular, passenger and freight traffic reported healthy growth in 2010, and the forecast is even better for 2011, United Nations website reported on January 5 2010.

In a report compiled yearly for its international members, the UN International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) said "substantial growth in traffic reflects positive economic prospects worldwide – based on a forecast of a four per cent raise in the world’s real gross domestic product".

According to the statement, the healthiest growth was accounted for by the airlines of the Middle East with 21 per cent, followed by those of the Asia/Pacific region with 12.9 per cent, Latin America with 11.4 per cent, and Africa with 10 per cent. Traffic in the mature markets of North America and Europe grew by 6.2 per cent and 6.7 per cent, respectively.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

GLOBAL MARKETS: European Stocks Rise; Bullish Tone Exists

European stock markets push top Tuesday, with shares in London leading the way, as market participants are seemingly hopeful about the global economic outlook in the year ahead.

Equity markets are expected to trade powerfully through 2011 on a combination of multiple expansion and earnings growth, told Royal Bank of Scotland. It added that increasing optimism around the U.S. economy may contribute to pro-equity asset allocation flows, while in Europe, earnings-per-share growth could be just over 20%, as the global economy helps the top line, while domestic labor market slack ensures favorable unit labor cost trends persist.

"Our Stoxx Europe 600 year-end target of 320 implies circa 15% upside from present levels, and would see the market multiple rise to 12x 2011 earnings [currently around 11x]," added RBS.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Online travel firm Expedia drops American Airlines

Internet-based travel company Expedia said it has suspended the sale of American Airlines tickets from its site, calling American's latest direct online marketing strategy "anti-consumer and anti-choice".

"As a result, the sale of American Airlines flights on our website has been suspended," Expedia said in a statement, adding however that it remained "open to doing business with American Airlines on terms that are satisfactory to Expedia".

"American Airlines is attempting to introduce a new straight connect model that will result in higher expenses and reduced transparency for consumers, making it difficult to compare American Airlines ticket costs and options with offerings by other airlines," it added.