State of the Airlines

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Others match low Delta fares; some say cuts will hurt revenue

US Airways and Northwest Airlines have matched Delta Air Lines' fare cuts of up to 50% in markets where they compete with Delta. One analyst expects the fare cuts to cost the industry $3 billion a year in revenue. Delta's changes are expected to benefit business travelers who will pay less for a first-class ticket. However, the lower prices may lead to fewer first-class seats available for frequent flier upgrades." Source: AP via the ATA Smartbrief

My Commentary: Yeah yeah...I know I commented on a similar article yesterday but I wanted to hit up the analyst quote, "One analyst expects the fare cuts to cost the industry $3 billion a year in revenue." I don't know if this holds true in the new airline world order. My opinion is that $3 billion was never going to be realized. Business flyers are shopping for fares, planning trips in advance and cutting back on first class travel. And if the price isn't right they are simply staying put. So I say that $3 billion was a ghost anyway. Now, if you start putting more reasonable fares with fewer restrictions in front of these folks I think they start flying more. Delta isn't just throwing this out there willy nilly...they've had this in place in a couple of test markets. If memory serves it put more butts in seats at prices that Delta can still make money on...what a novel concept.