American, Qantas move to form joint business

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Photo: American Airlines

(From American Airlines)

American Airlines and Qantas have filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking approval to form a joint business to better serve customers flying between North America and Australia and New Zealand.

The proposed joint business will significantly improve service, stimulate demand and unlock more than $300 million annually in consumer benefits that are not achievable through any other form of cooperation, including:

– Up to $221 million in value from expanding codesharing between American and Qantas – opening more connections to more destinations.

– Up to $89 million in value by offering a wider range of fare classes across each other’s networks, including lower fares and discounts.

The joint business will also give American and Qantas the opportunity to launch additional routes between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand, including new flights to city pairs currently not served by either carrier.

An expanded relationship will encourage significant improvements in the overall customer experience, including additional frequent flyer benefits and investments in lounges, baggage systems and other infrastructure designed to better serve the carriers’ joint customers.

All these benefits will stimulate significant demand for new travel – generating up to 180,000 new trips between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand every year. (Full Story Here)

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Southwest Airlines partners with Nintendo

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Southwest Airlines
Photo: Bill Abbott (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

(From Southwest Airlines)

Southwest Airlines Co. is celebrating upcoming adventures of spring and summer travel with a giveaway like no other.

Now through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on March 16, 2018, eligible residents of the United States who visit Southwest.com/Nintendo may enter to win one of 30 Nintendo Switch prize packs and one grand prize including roundtrip air travel for four (does not include taxes and fees of at least $5.60 one-way).

The Southwest Odyssey Sweepstakes is an opportunity for gamers and Southwest Customers alike to celebrate the adventures of Super Mario Odyssey.

Just as Mario journeys to new worlds in Super Mario Odyssey, Southwest encourages Customers to book a getaway and explore the 100 destinations the carrier serves. (Full Story Here)

Alaska Airlines, Portland Timbers bare partnership extension

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Alaska Airlines and the Portland Timbers announce the renewal of jersey sponsorship.
Photo: Alaska Airlines

PORTLAND, Oregon — /PRNewswire/ — The Portland Timbers announced that the club has entered into a multiyear partnership extension with Alaska Airlines.

As part of the continued partnership, the iconic Northwest airline’s wordmark will continue to be featured prominently on Timbers game kits and club apparel.

In addition to being featured on Timbers jerseys, Alaska Airlines will continue to serve as the team’s official airline.

Alaska Airlines, a Founding Partner of the Timbers, has been the club’s jersey partner since its inaugural 2011 MLS season.

“Alaska Airlines and its amazing group of employees have been part of the MLS Timbers family from the very beginning,” said Mike Golub, president of business for the Timbers. “We couldn’t be more happy and proud that our wonderful partnership will continue well into the future.”

As part of the partnership, Alaska Airlines will continue to support Stand Together Week and the Portland Timbers Community Fund as well as additional community initiatives.

Alaska Airlines also will be a presenting sponsor for all MLS Timbers youth soccer camps. (Full Story Here)

Southwest Airlines has new Managing Director Ground Operations

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Southwest Airlines
Photo:PlanespotterA320 (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

(By Southwest Airlines)

Southwest Airlines Co. announced Chris Johnson as the new Managing Director Ground Operations effective February 1, 2018.

Johnson will be responsible for the daily operations of a Team of more than 18,000 Employees who work in our domestic locations across the United States.

His key responsibilities include ensuring these Employees have the resources and tools they need to deliver the safest, most reliable, and most hospitable airport experience.

Johnson joined Southwest Airlines in 1993 as a Ramp Agent in Detroit.

Since that time, he has held Leadership positions across Southwest’s Ground Operations network, most recently serving as the Senior Director over the Western Region of Ground Operations. (Full Story Here)

New Delta nonstop service links Pittsburgh with Salt Lake City

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Delta
Photo: Delta Air Lines

(By Morgan Durrant, Delta Air Lines)

Delta is linking the Steel City with Utah’s capital and its Salt Lake City hub with nonstop service beginning July 9.

“This announcement marks a doubling of nonstop routes – from 37 to 74 – in just over three years at PIT and Delta has been a great partner is helping to build that momentum.

Nonstop service to Salt Lake City adds another option for business and leisure travelers and provides convenient West Coast connection opportunities,” Pittsburgh International Airport CEO, Christina Cassotis said.

“We look forward to working with Delta to maximize their network from Pittsburgh,” Cassotis added.

For customers, the onboard Delta experience will be on Airbus A319 aircraft, with seating for 12 in First Class, 18 in Comfort+ and 102 in the main cabin. Free in-flight streaming entertainment via Delta Studio and access to Wi-Fi is available at every seat.

In addition, Pittsburgh customers will have easy, one-connection access to 90 onward destinations across more than 240 daily departures from Delta’s SLC hub, including Intermountain West, West Coast, Hawaiian, Mexican and Canadian destinations. (Full Story Here)

Delta tops on-time performance

(By Grayson Daughters, Delta Air Lines)

Delta people showed off their competitive edge in 2017, driving a top ranking among the North American global carriers in on-time performance in a new report.

The OAG Punctuality League 2018 report, which came out this week, showed Delta at No. 1 among North American “mega airlines” with an 82.8 percent on-time performance rate, ahead of Alaska Airlines, which was second in the category.

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Delta Air Lines
Photo: Delta Air Lines

“The recognition of our strong on-time performance is simply the hard evidence of how Delta people strive to deliver consistently great service to every customer,” said Gil West, Chief Operating Officer.

“Thanks to all of you for being the best in the industry,” West added.

Hawaiian Airlines had the top rate among all North American airlines at 87.2 percent, but OAG grouped it with smaller airlines than “mega” carriers Delta, American, United and Alaska. (Full Story Here)

Delta and WestJet joint venture to offer more choices for transborder flying

(By Debbie Egerton, Delta Air Lines)

Delta Air Lines and WestJet have agreed to deepen their existing partnership by entering into a comprehensive transborder joint venture that will increase travel choices between the U.S. and Canada.

The airlines have entered into a preliminary memorandum of understanding regarding their intention to deepen their existing partnership to form a commercial joint venture arrangement, which will offer customers access to an extensive transborder route network, world-class airline products, enhanced frequent flyer benefits, shared airport facilities and amenities, and a more seamless travel experience.

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North America
Photo: Bosonic dressing

Highlights of the planned joint venture arrangement, subject to board approvals, execution of definitive agreements and applicable regulatory approvals, in the United States and Canada, include:

— Coordinated flight schedules for new nonstop flights to new destinations, expanded codesharing, and seamless and convenient connections on the airlines’ extensive networks in the U.S. and Canada.

— Enhanced frequent flyer benefits including reciprocal benefits for top-tier members of both airlines.

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“With its strong brand and employee- and customer-centric culture, WestJet is the perfect partner for us in the U.S.-Canada transborder segment and together we will produce great results for our respective employees, customers and investors,” said Steve Sear, Delta’s President – International and Executive Vice President – Global Sales.

“We look forward to applying Delta’s experience building successful joint venture partnerships to this important segment of transborder travel, the second-largest international segment for U.S. travel.” (Full Story Here)

Farm-fresh, local menu added on Delta flights from L.A. to N.Y. and D.C.

(By Catherine Sirna, Delta Air Lines)

Delta continues to board farm fresh, chef-driven meals at 30,000 feet, as it expands its innovative approach to in-flight cuisine to the West Coast.

Beginning Dec. 1, Delta One customers on flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Reagan Washington National Airport will enjoy culinary creations from the airline’s new Los Angeles-based chef partners, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo.

Each dish features farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients from some of L.A.’s most beloved farmers and purveyors.

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Each dish features farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients from some of L.A.’s most beloved farmers and purveyors.
Photo: Delta Air Lines

“When we began cultivating our partnership with Jon and Vinny early on, we talked about the importance of not just stamping their names on our menus,” said Lisa Bauer, Vice President – On-Board Services. “At Delta, it’s so much more than that. It’s about partnering with chefs to create authentic, locally-sourced meals on board.”

JVThe chef duo has curated a menu that is reflective of the fare served at many of their popular L.A. restaurants, including Animal, Son of a Gun and Jon & Vinny’s.

Their debut menu for Delta includes: a starter of confit portobello mushroom carpaccio with Tamai Farms arugula pesto, almonds and pecorino, a main course of marinara braised meatballs with bianco DiNapoli tomato, garlic bread and
Gioia whipped ricotta, or Domenico’s pumpkin ravioli with Schaner Farms sage brown butter sauce and pecorino cheese, and a dessert of Tamai Farms strawberry bread pudding.

“We are so excited to partner with Delta because it allows us to introduce the smaller farmers and producers who we work with on a daily basis to its global customers,” said Shook.

“On top of that, by using the same network we lean on at our L.A. restaurants, we’re able to authentically re-create some of our most beloved dishes – like our iconic meatballs – and take it from the ground to the sky,” said Dotolo. (Full Story Here)

United Airlines bares 10 new U. S. routes

(By PRNewswire)

CHICAGO — United Airlines (UAL) has announced it will offer customers more opportunities to travel from five of its U.S. hubs to 10 cities in California, Florida, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Texas beginning in April 2018.

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United Airlines
Photo: John Taggart (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

Additionally, the airline announced it will optimize its O’Hare International Airport (ORD) schedule to provide shorter connection times and more options for customers connecting through Chicago.

“We continue to focus on making United the first choice for customers when planning their domestic and international travel,” said Grant Whitney, United’s vice president of Domestic Network Planning.

“Our new daily services connect customers to important business markets and our new seasonal summer routes provide more customers with convenient access to enjoy our National Parks.” (Full Story Here)

United Airlines introduces winter menu

(By PRNewswire)

CHICAGO — In time for the busy Thanksgiving travel season, United Airlines (UAL) is introducing its winter menu, offering customers more options of food items from the airline’s economy Choice Menu, including a 100 percent cage free egg breakfast sandwich, a first for any U.S. carrier.

Responding directly to customer and employee feedback, the winter menu also features a new take on one of the most popular items purchased by customers — the cheeseburger. United is introducing a new Smoked Gouda Cheeseburger complete with condiments by Sir Kensington’s, one of the airline’s newest food partners.

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United Airlines
Photo: John Taggart (https://commons.wikimedia.org)

The new menu additions, available now, are a result of a research process with customers and employees to understand the culinary desires of customers inflight.

Results from discussions and inflight tests with customers showed that the top three most sought after snack items were chocolate, a meat protein and potato chips. In response to this, barkTHINS, Duke’s Shorty Sausages, and Kettle Chips have also been added to the menu.

For main dish options, the Southwestern-style omelet, previously only available in United First class, has received such demand and positive feedback from customers, that United has added it to the economy menu enabling more customers to purchase it.

The partnership with Sir Kensington’s, a first for any airline, provides gourmet options for customers’ taste buds.

Two of the signature products offered included a ketchup made from whole, vine-ripened pear tomatoes, sweetened with organic raw cane sugar as well as the first and only non-GMO verified mayonnaise flavored with free-range eggs and a hint of fresh lemon juice. (Full Story Here)