Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 18 July 2018, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America. The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST.
New US Airline Commits To 60 Airbus A220-300 Aircraft
When Virgin America was folded into Alaska Airlines earlier this year, many passengers mourned the passing of a young upstart and continued consolidation in the US airline industry.
There now appears to be firm plans for a new US airline start-up. Airbus has confirmed that an as yet unnamed airline has committed to 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft (formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries) for delivery from 2021. Last week JetBlue also announced that it had ordered 60 of the Airbus A220-300 aircraft.
The new airline will be founded by a group of investors led by David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue. It should be noted that at this stage there is only a Memorandum Of Understanding, and not a firm order.
Breaking into the US domestic market is not easy. Readers may recall the launch of Virgin America was subject to intensive lobbying efforts which delayed its launch. There were also competitive responses to new route launches with incumbent airlines aggressively adding capacity on matching routes to dilute fares.
United Fleet Order
On a more cautious note, United has announced it has ordered 25 Embraer E-175 aircraft and 4 new Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
The new Embraer aircraft will be delivered in 2019 and will replace an equivalent number of CRJ-700 aircraft operated by United Express. The Boeing 787-9 aircraft will be delivered in 2020 and will also act as replacement aircraft, but no further detail has been provided.
Primera Air confirms Winter transatlantic schedule
Primera Air’s launch of transatlantic routes from the UK did not get off to the best start.
It cancelled the planned launch of transatlantic routes from Birmingham to Newark and Toronto. The launch of Stansted to Toronto was delayed. It had to wet lease aircraft to cover Stansted – Newark and this route has been beset by delays and cancellations.
However, Primera Air is soldiering on into the winter. Routes from Stansted to Newark, Toronto and Washington will continue throughout the winter. Stansted to Boston will end in early December. Primera Air has yet to confirm schedules for Summer 2019.
US “Big Three” Airlines Release Q2 Results
All of the “Big Three” US airlines have now released their Q2 financial results.
Some performed better than expectations, notably United. There is less positive news at Delta which is seen as the industry leader. It reported a fall in net profit. A key theme is increasing fuel prices which airlines will seek to pass on to passengers through higher ticket prices. No doubt this will be a similar theme in Europe as well.
Also Of Note This Week
Air Canada is to open a refurbished Maple Leaf Lounge in St John’s International Airport this autumn. (Air Canada)
Alaska Airlines launches its new summer menu which will be available until 15 November 2018. (Alaska Airlines)
Late Post Publication Updates:
[Reseved for updates during the day.]
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