Global Air Capacity Up Slightly Last Month
Global air capacity was up three percent for November 2009 over November 2008, according to OAG, the aviation data company. Global frequencies are up 1% compared to November 2008, with a total of 2.3 million flights for November 2009, despite an average North American frequency decline of 2%.
Worldwide, frequencies and capacity in the low-cost sector are both up by 8%, compared to a year ago.
Transatlantic capacity between North America and Western Europe decreased 8% year on year; frequencies were down 10%, (Source: OAG press release).
Aviation Group Reports Uptick in Demand, But Airlines Still Have Lost Two Years of Growth
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported international scheduled traffic results for October 2009 showed passenger demand was up 0.5% compared to October 2008. That was much better than the 5.4% drop IATA reported in September and marks a return to a trend of gradual improvement that began in March.
Still, the crisis has cost the industry two years of growth, according to IATA, which credited much of the improvement to careful capacity management. (Source: IATA press release).
JetBlue Relaunches TrueBlue Loyalty Program
JetBlue Airways has relaunched TrueBlue, its’ customer loyalty program. The program now has no blackout dates; every seat on every JetBlue flight is now available for redemption. Membership account numbers remain unchanged, and previously issued TrueBlue points and Awards remain intact and available for redemption based on their original terms.
TrueBlue Points are earned based on dollars spent with JetBlue or charged on a member's JetBlue Card. For every eligible dollar spent with JetBlue, members will earn 3 TrueBlue points. Customers who carry the JetBlue Card will earn 1 TrueBlue point for every $1 of eligible spending, with double points awarded for purchases made at www.jetblue.com.
JetBlue is also offering bonuses for frequent travelers. (Source: JetBlue press release).
Continental, United Upgrade Services for Their Most Loyal Customers
United Airlines and Continental Airlines have announced that members of each carrier’s frequent flyer program who have earned elite status will receive unlimited, complimentary domestic upgrades on flights operated by both airlines when space is available.
Members of each airline’s loyalty club will have access to premium seating—United’s Economy Plus and Continental’s Premium Seating. These new benefits will begin to roll out in mid-2010. (Source: Continental and United press release).
International Registered Traveler Program Expands
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expanding and making permanent its Global Entry international registered traveler program.
Global Entry—currently available as a pilot program at 20 U.S. international airports—allows pre-approved members a streamlined, automated alternative to regular passport processing lines.
The proposed rule would make Global Entry permanent and expand it to more international airports. The program currently reduces average wait times by more than 70 percent, with more than 75 percent of travelers using Global Entry processed in under five minutes. (Source: DHS press release).
Flyers Interest in Flying Green
American consumers seem eco-friendly with 28% saying that they would be more likely to fly a certain airline if it introduced more "green" practices.
When asked which domestic airlines operate in the most "green" manner, JetBlue, Southwest, Virgin America, Continental and Delta, in order, landed the top five positions. Also important to airline consumers: direct routes and reasonable prices. (Source: Zagat press release).