Tourism Industry News
Airlines: Must get New York fliers
Competition in the nation's busiest air travel market is the fiercest in decades.
Airlines are slashing fares, stamping their names on local institutions and aggressively courting corporate fliers in a bid to capture passengers — particularly lucrative business travelers — at a time the number of paying passengers flying in and out of the New York area is down by double digits.
"It is probably as intense a market as I have seen in my 25 years with American Airlines," says Jim Carter, vice president for passenger sales in American Airlines' eastern sales division. "There are a number of dynamics working that many of us have never seen before."
Delta is offering rewards club members 2,500 bonus miles through July 26 for each leg of its shuttle flight that caters to business fliers traveling from New York to Washington or Boston.
Southwest, a low-cost airline known for triggering fare cuts across the board as other airlines try to compete, begins flying to Chicago and Baltimore from LaGuardia airport on June 28.
British Airways plans all-business-class service between London City Airport and John F. Kennedy this year.
"The goal right now is make it through these tough times," says Terry Trippler, founder of TerryTrippler.com, a travel information website, about the efforts being taken in the New York market. "But they want to be in the position to grow when the economy makes its big turn."
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