Leisure carrier Thomas Cook Group Airlines has turned its attention
to the corporate market. Over the past several years, its Condor carrier
has been upgrading its product, including lie-flat seats in business class, and
upping its sales capabilities to broaden its appeal to corporate travelers, said
Jens Boyd, long-haul and revenue management director for Thomas Cook.
At the same time, Condor has expanded its network to connect Frankfurt
to “niche markets with no access to Europe,” he said. In the U.S, it added
service to New Orleans, San Diego and Pittsburgh this year. Last year, it also
converted its Seattle summer service to year-round. Currently, Condor’s
corporate business is mostly small and midsize companies, and it is using
its business class fares as a selling point to grow that, he said. A few months
ago, Thomas Cook hired a Chicago-based salesperson, North America
senior sales and business development manager Jason Faltinek, to build
corporate agreements across its entire portfolio. While Condor is the most
obvious fit for corporate travelers, Faltinek also will look at the appetite for
corporate business on Thomas Cook Airlines, which connects several U.S.
cities to Manchester, England.
On Oct. 27, United Airlines will begin daily nonstop service between
Los Angeles and Singapore on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft,
pending government approval. The 8,700-mile flight will be the longest scheduled
flight operated by any U.S. carrier, a distinction currently held by United’s San
Francisco-to-Singapore service, which began last year.
On July 1, United added premium service on widebody aircraft on flights
between Boston and San Francisco. The service was already available on
flights between Newark and both Los Angeles and San Francisco. The carrier also
added services to those three transcontinental routes, including free hot meals
for Economy Plus travelers and hot towel service for business class travelers.
On July 1, United ended its
service between Houston and
Caracas, a route that “was not
meeting our financial expectations,” according to a United
spokesperson. As Venezuela experiences an economic crisis and
civil unrest, several airlines have
ended or cut service, said Peter
Cerda, Americas VP for the International Air Transport Association.
Venezuela also is withholding $3.8
billion in funds for ticket sales, he
said. “Slowly, Venezuela is cutting
itself off from the outside world. It
won’t be fully cut off, but connectivity will be focused on a few
Air Canada now offers its
Premium Economy cabin on
longer North American routes.
As of July 1, the cabin—which
offers larger seats, bar service and
a premium meal service—is on
Boeing 777-300ER, 777-200-LM,
787-9 and 787-8 aircraft, as well as
Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
Lufthansa will move five of its 14 A380 aircraft from its
Frankfurt hub to its Munich hub in the summer of 2018 to
serve routes to Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Beijing. At the
same time, Lufthansa will begin service between Munich and Singapore five times per week and bump its Munich-Chicago flights
from seven times per week to 10 times per week. Lufthansa faces
increased competition at Frankfurt, particularly from Ryanair,
which is building up its operations there. Lufthansa also will begin
service between Frankfurt and San Diego five times per week