Etihad Airways has always needed “something more than organic growth to gain global scale”, according to it’s Chief Executive James Hogan. Admission into any of the three global alliances Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance has not been an easy task for Gulf carriers. So it comes at no surprise that airlines in this part of […]

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JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU) today reported a 2014 net profit of $401 million, a notable increase from $168 million in net income in 2013. The New York-based hybrid carrier plans to introduce “three branded fare bundles” in the second quarter of 2015 according to Robin Hayes president of the airline. Hayes estimates that these […]

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It is ironic that Willie Walsh, head of the organization currently in talks to buy Aer Lingus, only two years ago said that Aer Lingus would be better off being owned by Ryanair than Abu Dhabi-based Etihad. “Ryanair wants Ireland and, whatever you say about Michael O’Leary, he’s proud to be an Irishman, lives here […]

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With an award-winning loyalty program and over 30 million outlets to spend their miles worldwide, both Etihad Guest and its members have good reason to celebrate. Last month Etihad announced that it formed a separate company, Etihad Guest LLC, to manage the (Etihad Guest) loyalty program. Etihad Airways, Air Seychelles and Air Serbia currently use […]

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In aviation, few things have been more discussed than low-cost carriers (LCCs), and talk nowadays is mainly about LCCs hybridising from their present strategic and market positions. No alternative Christos Shephard, Head of Business Development and Start-Up Airlines at Mango Aviation, told me: “In mature markets, where operational costs are much higher and air ticket […]

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I’m a huge fan of ancillary revenues.  This isn’t just because of the huge money-making opportunities, with ancillaries growing from $2.4 billion in 2008 to $42.6 billion in 2013.  It isn’t just because it is – for many airlines – a life-saving mechanism and a crucial way of helping to increase, or to just achieve, […]

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For obvious reasons, many airports use the “London” tag, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, City, Southend, Oxford, and Ashford. Oxford and Ashford are 62 and 74 miles from London respectively.  By comparison, Frankfurt Hahn, the most distant secondary airport for both Ryanair and Wizz Air, is 76 miles from Frankfurt itself. What’s in a name? […]

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Few airlines arouse more anger, annoyance, and disbelief than Spirit. The self-styled ultra-low-cost-carrier (ULCC) is undoubtedly very controversial, but that’s a key part of its appeal – for me, anyway. A money-making machine More to the point, it’s a money-making machine.  Despite its relatively small size, between 2011 and 2013 it earned a collective $661m […]

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Having started in 1979 as Jersey European, then later as British European, flybe (The ‘be’ in its name derives from British European) is now Europe’s largest regional airline. The carrier ranks fourth in the UK with 4% of the country’s weekly seats behind BA, easyJet, and Ryanair. It also has other subsidiaries, including flybe Nordic. A classic […]

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The complete transcript of communications between the pilots of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and Kuala Lumpur air traffic control have been released today by Malaysia’s defense and transportation department. The delay in releasing the transcript caused suspicion among some international observers, apparently ignoring the fact that the transcripts were part of an active Malaysian police investigation. […]

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Conventional wisdom in loyalty marketing, or just about any kind of marketing for that matter, suggests that one would want to promote a customer offer as much as possible. However, Apple has offered a discount-based loyalty program for some time now that the average consumer has never heard about. The main reason for the incognito […]

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Passengers can now use their Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) gate-to-gate on jetBlue and Delta. The airlines both worked very closely with the FAA to meet the safety standards necessary to allow PED usage below 10,000 feet. jetBlue flight 2302 (pictured above) on 1 November 2013 was the first US commercial flight to allow gate-to-gate PED […]

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Perhaps we could see the trend of charging for carry-on luggage continue once William A. Franke and his team at Indigo invest $36 million in cash into Frontier Airlines. Indigo recently began divesting its stake in Spirit Airlines with Franke and Indigo principal John Wilson resigning from the Spirit board of directors last month. Indigo […]

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Just 2 weeks after leaving Aeroplan, Canadian bank CIBC plans to launch its own travel loyalty program called Aventura, allowing customers to redeem points on any airline. Perhaps more impressively, Aventura members can use their points to pay for taxes and fees.

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New York based low cost carrier jetBlue has announced it will offer premium service with lie-flat seats on trans con routes with A321s starting in June 2014. jetBlue released a statement saying: “There will be a dedicated sub-fleet of 11 brand new Airbus A321s initially used for the two core transcontinental routes [JFK-LAX and JFK-San Francisco], […]

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For a communications medium entering early middle age, email at 42 (closer to 50 by other estimates) would seem to be suffering some unwelcome aches and pains. Let’s be honest. Do you still have an AOL email account? Or better still, when was the last time you checked it? Do you even remember your login […]

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When it comes to Baby Boomers, Millennials and customer loyalty, both groups can learn from each other. That’s especially true when topics like social media, corporate loyalty initiatives and mobile wallets are being discussed. All three aspects of loyalty engagement are undergoing profound change. Social media is constantly evolving so much so that even the […]

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Waiting for the Virtual Ponzi Scheme to Collapse Here’s a recent headline that caught my attention: Gamification Hits the Middle East. It struck me due to the juxtaposition of its wording related to a region in constant turmoil and conflict. “Hits” sounds violent. The headline evoked in me a feeling of digital bombardment – virtual […]

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What does the future of customer loyalty look like and what can different generations – from the youngest Millennials through to Baby Boomers – learn from each other? And, as mobile technology advances, collecting and disseminating a host of consumer metrics across a variety of marketing channels, how will the balance between status-driven loyalty and […]

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With all the disheartening airline and hospitality news of late, it’s easy to become skeptical – especially when you’re discussing the state of the two industries’ loyalty programs. When it comes down to it, loyalty is an old fashioned quid pro quo, support the brand with your pocketbook and the brand will reward you for […]

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Imagine if booking a flight or buying pre-flight add-ons through your smartphone was as easy as asking Siri (or a similar program) to update your To-Do list. And what if, after booking, your phone informed you of additional offerings that were just as straightforward to accept? Airline apps might not be there yet. But perhaps […]

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Earlier this month, Purdue University and Wichita State released their annual Airline Quality Rating report, and it was a mixed bag. Traveler complaints were up 22% from last year, but metrics like lost baggage rates and on-time percentage both moved in the direction travelers want them to: lost baggage was down and on-time percentages up. […]

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The acquistion is limited to Hitit’s loyalty division where Amadeus will integrate the CraneFF platform into its own Altea platform or sell it as a separate product. The rest of Hitit’s airline IT suite was not included in the deal and will be promoted as they were before.

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