Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Never Mind ...

Two updates:

--The much-anticipated Boeing 787 may not make it this year after all. The Wall Street Journal reported a further delay in production of the spiffy new plane, for which Boeing has more than 800 orders valued at about $135 billion. Here's a summary, via Reuters.

--The airlines' rush starting Friday to slap on $50 fare hikes/fuel surcharges suddenly collapsed when Continental Airlines folded its hand. Here's Rick Seaney's latest report:

"$50 Roundtrip Airline Ticket Fuel Surcharge Officially Dead

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 1:35pm CST

This afternoon in the 12:30pm EST domestic U.S. airfare distribution the FareCompare.com proprietary airfare processing system noted significant system wide airfare increase rollback activity related to the United Airlines $50 roundtrip fuel surcharge increase attempt late last week.

Delta Air Lines and US Airways rolled back to pre-increase levels ... leaving only Northwest Airlines remaining with the increase. Northwest has been slower both matching and rolling back than other airlines and at this point has no choice but to rollback to stay competitive.

FareCompare.com got comments from United spokesperson Robin Urbanski, who said only, “We rescinded the move to keep our fares competitive with other airlines” and American Airlines representative Tim Wagner echoed those sentiments, saying his carrier rolled back because “We weren’t competitive.”

Most legacy airlines (except some United Airlines markets) had a $20 roundtrip surcharge in place before matching the United 50$ roundtrip fuel surcharge over the weekend – all but Northwest have rolled back to this previous $20 roundtrip fuel surcharge level.

Continental Airlines appears to be the spoiler in this particular increase attempt as they were the first to roll back. ...This will be the last update on this particular increase unless Northwest fails to rollback later this evening."


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