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Southwest Expands Codeshare with ATA June 26, 2005

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Passengers greeted the Southwest codeshare with American Trans Airlines (ATA) enthusiastically when the agreement was announced several months ago. Today, Southwest fulfilled its promise to expand its codeshare with ATA to include service to Hawaii. Beginning August 4, passengers will be able to fly to Honolulu from over 19 Southwest destinations. In the latest codeshare expansion, Southwest primarily expands upon its Las Vegas to Honolulu service, as Las Vegas serves as the connecting airport for all Southwest flights to Hawaii. One way fares to Honolulu will range from $199 to $299, excluding airport taxes and promotions. According to Stan Hula, vice president of ATA, “the addition of the Honolulu-to-Las Vegas connection service is the next logical step in our codeshare program. Many more of our Customers now have access and can take advantage of the great, low fares to a greater amount of destinations in the continental U.S.” Southwest’s move into the Hawaii market, via the codeshare, marks the end of legacy carriers domination on this particular route. These carriers can no longer afford to charge top-dollar prices, as passengers are now intent on paying the low-fares they’re accustomed to seeing on Southwest flights within the Continental United States.

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Japan, France to Develop Next Generation Supersonic Airliner June 15, 2005

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Representatives on behalf of the French and Japanese governments signed an agreement to today to develop a supersonic jet to replace the recently retired Concorde. The countries will split the initial research costs between themselves for the first three years, until a decision is made whether to formally launch the aircraft. According to the newly founded consortium, the group seeks to make a supersonic airliner capable of flying the “Tokyo-to-New York route in six hours… with up to three times as many seats” as the Concorde. While the Concorde was an incredible engineering achievement and a status symbol for Great Britain and France, the aircraft never was able to be profitable for the few airlines that operated the aircraft. The fate of the Concorde was sealed at the turn of the millennium, after a horrific crash shortly after takeoff from Charles De Gaulle Aiport in Paris. Although Japanese officials outlined the Japanese companies to be involved in the project, French representatives were unwilling to elaborate on the European members of the newfound alliance. Analysts have greeted this announcement with skepticism, as American aerospace giant Boeing has twice investigated a similar supersonic aircraft, yet shelved it both times because it could not overcome obstacles such as poor fuel economy and the elimination of the sonic-boom. As airlines reel from high fuel-costs, the development of a fuel-guzzling aircraft seems contrary to the current status quo in the industry. Currently, airlines are lining up to purchase the Boeing 787, which Boeing promises will deliver fuel savings 30% greater than current aircraft in its class. It remains to be seen whether the airline industry will collectively shift towards an emphasis or speed or efficiency over the next few decades. Still, in an era where passengers are flocking to low-cost carriers such as Jetblue or Ryan Air, a shift towards speed in the short term is unlikely.

Future Absence June 9, 2005

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The Aeroposte staff regrets that it will be able to only post new stories infrequently through June 23rd. However, please check back, as there are plenty of interesting stories in our archives.
Sincerely,
Aeroposte Staff

British Flybe to Purchase Embraer Jets June 6, 2005

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According to a Reuters, a news agency, British low-cost carrier Flybe plans to purchase $1 billion worth of Embraer 195 aircraft to replace its aging BAE 146 jets. Flybe placed firm orders for fourteen aircraft, while alluding that it may purchase twelve more aircraft at a later date. The Embraer 195 is part of a new family of aircraft Embraer recently launched. The largest in its family, the EMB 195 will seat 118 passengers in a four abreast configuration. So far, the aircraft in this series have been extremely well-regarded by its operators, which include United Airlines, US Airways, and a host of European carriers. This order is a crucial win for Brazilian based Embraer, as Flybe initially sought to purchase 150-seat aircraft from either Airbus or Boeing. Flybe will be the launch partner for this aircraft, and expects to receive delivery of its first aircraft in August 2006.

Southwest Load Factor Dips in May June 3, 2005

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Southwest Airlines, the poster-child of the airline industry, saw its load factor slip 1% in May when compared to last year. The airline carried 1.5% less passengers this May than it did in 2004. Total passenger traffic for Southwest grew in May, however the expansion of the airlines fleet ensured a drop in load factor for the month of May. As of May, Southwest’s yearly load factor was down 1% from 2004. Even so, the feisty airline continues to eke out a profit, thanks to fuel hedging and an efficient route structure.

Airbus A380 Falters June 2, 2005

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Qantas Airlines, a dominant Australian carrier that ordered twelve Airbus A380’s, confirmed today that Airbus has delayed their first delivery by at last nine months. Singapore Airlines, the first airline slated to receive the behemoth aircraft, believes that delays are imminent for their aircraft as well. Under the current agreement, Airbus is liable to pay compensation for missed milestones. Qantas has publicly stated that they will seek compensation, while the other airlines that ordered the A380 have yet to comment. An Airbus spokesman was quoted as saying that the delay was “for a variety of things”, not one specific issue. Airbus’ parent company EADS stock dropped 1.2% on the latest bad news.