Category Archives: United Airlines

American, Delta and United CEOs respond to Etihad Airways counter claims

American Airlines 2013 logo

Yesterday (May 15) the CEOs of American Airlines (Doug Parker), Delta Air Lines (Richard Anderson) and United Airlines (Jeff Smisek) made a rare public appearance together at the National Press Club in Washington.

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The conference was perfectly timed for all three CEOs to individually and collectively respond to the recent pushback claims by Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Emirates on the on-going sparring match between the “Gulf Big Three” and the “U.S. Big Three” over who is receiving any government financial assistance and whether this creates an unfair competition for either side.

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Delta’s Richard Anderson denied a counter charge by the Gulf carriers that they receive any government subsidies. Both Doug Parker and Jeff Smisek agreed.

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The Gulf carriers claim they do not get government subsidies. The U.S. Big Three claim they have direct evidence of government subsidies. United’s Jeff Smisek said they can compete against foreign airlines, but not the rich governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

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All three U.S. carriers rejected the claim by Etihad Airways that the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process is a government subsidy.

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Not every U.S. carrier is criticizing. For example, JetBlue Airways is staying out of the fray. It has codeshare and business agreements with the Gulf Big Three and actually feeds traffic to the Gulf carriers at their respective U.S. gateways. In other words, jetBlue has decided to join rather than fight with the Gulf Big Three. However JetBlue does not have any long-range aircraft and does not compete on the same worldwide routes as the Gulf Big Three.

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American Airlines is in a bit of a tight spot since it and Qatar Airways are members of the Oneworld alliance. Despite this business partnership, American is also critical of the alleged unfair competition from the Gulf carriers.

Read the full account of the press conference by David Koenig of the Associated Press in the Boston Globe: CLICK HERE

United Airlines offers free miles to hackers to hack their websites, will lease 11 Airbus A319s, adds new domestic routes

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United Airlines (Chicago) according to Fortune, “is now offering free frequent flier miles to would-be hackers who can crack the airline’s various websites and mobile apps as part of a bug bounty program”.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Additionally, according to Reuters, United will lease 11 used Airbus A319s from AerCap Holdings NV over the next two years in order to reduce the number of 50-seat regional jets operated. The airline also has the right to lease 14 additional A319s over the next five years.

In other news, United will also offer two new twice-daily United Express Embraer 175 flights from Denver to both Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham starting on September 13 per Airline Route.

In addition, United will start summer seasonal twice-weekly United Express Bombardier CRJ700 service from Denver to Coos Bay/North Bend, Oregon (Southwest Oregon Regional Airport) starting on July 1.

Copyright Photo above: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Still active and going strong, Boeing 767-322 ER N662UA (msn 27159) climbs away from London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Finally, the Boeing 767-300s of United still are in demand by passengers. According to The Street, the 30 remodeled 767-300s are the second most favored wide-body aircraft (after the new Boeing 787) in the UA fleet according to passengers after-flight surveys.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo below: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Mesa Airlines‘ Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N85320 (msn 17000454) completes the approach to Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Airline Slide Show

United Express-Mesa Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker refutes the “baseless” claims of the “Big Three” US airlines (American, Delta and United)

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker speaks about Open Skies and the airlines expansion plans in the United States during a press conference in Washington DC (PRNewsFoto/Qatar Airways)

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker speaks about Open Skies and the airlines expansion plans in the United States during a press conference in Washington DC (PRNewsFoto/Qatar Airways)

Qatar Airways (Doha) issued this statement on its CEO Akbar Al Baker’s Washington press conference:

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is Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive for Qatar Airways, held a landmark press conference in Washington D.C. today, adding the airline’s voice to the ongoing US Open Skies debate. During his visit, Mr. Al Baker also met with government officials and prepared for upcoming US launches to Los Angeles, Boston, and Atlanta.

Mr. Al Baker refuted the “baseless” claims of the “Big Three” US airlines (American, Delta & United), calling them “a transparent attempt to block new competition and limit consumer choice.”

“US Open Skies Agreements are about offering choice – the ability to fly with the airline you prefer, to regions which are under-served by US carriers,” said Mr. Al Baker. “The Big Three want to restrict choice. World travelers would suffer if they succeed.”

Speaking from the Hay-Adams Hotel, Mr. Al Baker used the forum to clarify Qatar Airways’ position, debunk accusations of subsidy and demonstrate the broad public benefits of the existing Open Skies Agreements.

Mr. Al Baker also noted that Open Skies Agreements go well beyond the interests of the Big Three. He cited numerous American companies and groups, which support Open Skies Agreements, including US airports, travel and trade groups, consumer groups and other US airlines.

“Qatar Airways offers important services to the United States and many American interests recognise our value. We serve markets in the Gulf region and Indian subcontinent that US carriers do not serve,” Mr. Al Baker added.

Qatar Airways passengers support local economies in the US. In 2014 alone, the airline brought 248,000 visitors to the United States and made a significant contribution of $900 million to US economies and employment, all thanks to Open Skies. Qatar Airways currently operates over $19 billion worth of direct-purchase Boeing aircraft with future deliveries of another $50 billion to come.

Mr. Al Baker concluded, “The Big Three do not compete with us on a single nonstop route. The beneficial exchange of culture and commerce made possible by the US-Qatar Open Skies Agreement must not be blocked by the Big Three merely because we have chosen to serve markets that they have ignored.”

 

United Airlines previews the new United.com website

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United Airlines (Chicago) has unveiled the beta version of the company’s new homepage and flight booking features for united.com.

According to the carrier:

“The redesigned website encompasses everything from searching and sorting flight options to reserving and buying tickets. The site offers a sleek, modern and touch-friendly design, along with all-new personalized features and tools to help customers select the best flights and travel options to meet their needs.

Customers can browse and book on the preview site by visiting beta.united.com. The airline will officially launch the new united.com this summer after additional customer feedback and further refinements.”

The new flyer-friendly functionality includes:

1. Search, sort and filter your perfect flight: Customers can choose what’s most important to them when booking a flight. Whether it’s Wi-Fi availability, preferred connection cities, aircraft type, in-seat power or the inclusion of nearby cities, customers can sort, filter, include and exclude a variety of preferences to narrow or expand search results.

2. Quicker view of fare and date combinations: Search results automatically display pricing for a 15-day window (7 +/-) to show customers more options, and fares are displayed in “each way” increments to give customers added flexibility and clarity when building their travel itineraries.

3. Upgrade insight: Knowing if upgrades are available for purchase on a particular flight helps customers make more informed booking decisions. Customers can now view upgrade availability and redeem any MileagePlus upgrade prior to purchase on all eligible flights.

4. Widgets working for you: The new homepage features widgets customized to MileagePlus members’ travel histories including a quick-view of upcoming trips, saved searches and alerts, to name a few. (Bonus:Users can select travel and aviation-themed photography for their homepage backgrounds.)

5. Touch-friendly: No matter the device style or device brand, customers will have a seamless, touch-friendly user experience.

“We reimagined the flight booking experience from the ground up,” said Scott Wilson, United’s vice president of merchandising and eCommerce. “Much more than a facelift – we kept our customers’ needs and preferences for personalized travel at the center of the design to offer an entirely new and improved experience altogether.”

In redesigning the site, United also used feedback from customers to improve the features they valued most, making those tools cleaner and easier to use.

United.com by the Numbers:

2,000 visitors per minute
More than $1 million in revenue every hour
Offers flights on more than 100 airlines – the most of any U.S. carrier website
More than 1,400 destinations available

United’s new homepage features customized and personalized options.

United widgets on new website (UA)(LR)

Customers can sort, filter, include and exclude a variety of preferences to narrow or expand search results.

United search on new website (UA)(LR)

After fully launching the new homepage and booking path this summer, United will continue to phase-in additional updated pages and functionality to all of united.com. In the process, customers may be directed to existing pages that reflect the current design.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. (all others images by United Airlines). Boeing 737-924 ER N69826 (msn 42180) with APB Split Scimitar Winglets arrives at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

United Airlines aircraft slide show:

 

United Airlines and Houston Airport System break ground on new Terminal C North, announces new Boeing 787-9 routes

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United Airlines (Chicago), in partnership with Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston Airport System, will break ground today (May 11) on the airline’s new Terminal C North concourse at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) (see below).

United Airlines is building an all-new Terminal C North concourse at its Houston hub that will feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering soaring tarmac views, expansive gate-lounge areas and 20 new dining and retail options near boarding gates.

Floor-to-ceiling windows in the new concourse will offer soaring tarmac views, expansive gate-lounge areas will provide higher levels of comfort and 20 new dining and retail options near boarding gates will give Houstonians and travelers connecting through the airport more of the varied options they enjoy.

The $244 million project will create a 265,000-square-foot facility, more than 100,000 square feet larger than the existing Terminal C North, with 11 passenger boarding gates to accommodate a mix of United’s narrow-, mid- and wide-body aircraft.

When construction on the new concourse is completed, the Houston Airport System will demolish the existing Terminal C North facility at Bush Intercontinental to enable the reconstruction of the Mickey Leland International Terminal D. The international terminal is critical to Bush Intercontinental’s extensive connecting air traffic, particularly for those customers connecting between United flights and flights operated by United’s international airline partners.

United expects to complete the new Terminal C North concourse in early 2017.

From Houston, United and United Express offer nearly 560 daily flights to more than 180 destinations around the world, including to Latin America, serving 51 nonstop destinations across Latin America and the Caribbean.

In related news, United Airlines has outlined its planned Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner introductions at Houston. According to Airline Route, United will introduce the new type from IAH to Rio de Janeiro on August 18 followed by Frankfurt on September 24. Buenos Aires will follow on October 25 and Amsterdam on December 17.

Copyright Photo above: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N19951 (msn 36402) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.

Image below: United Airlines.

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Airline Slide Show

IAH Terminal C

United to drop service to Stockholm and Oslo this winter from Newark

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United Airlines (Chicago) plans to suspend winter service to Stockholm (Arlanda) and Oslo from its Newark hub between September 5, 2015 and May 4, 2016 according to a report by Reuters quoting a statement by the carrier.

United also expects to suspend one of its two daily flights between Newark and Paris from October 25 through March 26, 2016.

The carrier is reacting to weaker demand this coming winter season due to the strong U.S. dollar.

In other news, with additional Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (below) deliveries, United will start to assign the new type to the Houston (Bush Intercontinental) hub on its routes to Latin America and Europe, replacing older Boeing 767-300 ERs.

Copyright Photo below: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N38950 (msn 36401) climbs away from Los Angeles International Airport.

United Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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United Express Q400 flight 4882 is forced to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia with an engine fire

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Republic Airlines’ (2nd) (Indianapolis) United Express flight UA 4882 from Raleigh-Durham (RDU) to United Airlines’ hub at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) was forced to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) yesterday afternoon (April 28). The Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N336NG (msn 4336) with 71 passengers and four crew members on board safely landed on runway 9R-27L. The ARFF personnel put out the fire on the ground. The fire broke out in the number 2 engine.

PHL Airport put out this short statement:

United Express #4882 diverted from Raleigh to EWR. Right engine was on fire. Passengers evacuated, fire extinguished. Pax being bussed to EWR.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Read the full report from NBC 10: CLICK HERE

Top Twitter post by ABC 11 EyewitnessNews.

Copyright Photo Below: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. N336NG arrives at Washington (Reagan National) prior to this incident.

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