Why did Frontier Airlines really delay its IPO a few weeks back? Was it related to a potential merger with JetBlue? And what would a merged JetBlue/Frontier Airlines operation look like? Random things to think about as the industry continues to shift. ...

 


Musing on more airline consolidation: JetBlue + Frontier = ?!?

Frontier Airlines and its private-equity backing Indigo Partners wants to go public. The planned IPO was expected in Q2 ’17 (a date already missed when the most recent delay came about) and now looks to be delayed until late Q3 or even Q4. A few weeks ago the delay was mostly attributed to United Airlines’ aggressive stance on Frontier’s planned expansion, particularly in Denver. But rumor mills being what they are, I cannot help but wonder if there is another angle possibly in play, one that would likely be WAY better for many travelers.

United celebrates Frontier’s growth in Denver

Some folks in the industry are now suggesting that JetBlue has been poking around, possibly even making an offer for Frontier. I have no confirmation, of course, and expect that the standard “we do not comment on speculation” reply would be given but it is an interesting theory to consider.

The fleet synergies are easy to see. Both airlines run A320 family jets. The fleets...

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Alaska Airlines goes Gogo 2Ku for inflight wifi upgrade

For months now we’ve known that Alaska Airlines intended to upgrade its inflight internet service to a faster solution. Now we finally know what that solution will be: Gogo‘s 2Ku kit will be installed on the Alaska Airlines fleet starting in 2018. The full mainline deployment will complete “by early 2020” according to the company’s announcement.

The upgraded service offers a massive increase in capacity for passengers – fast enough to load movies and other rich media content – and better coverage, too. The current Alaska Airlines route structure includes a ton of flights between the mainland and Hawaii. As the 2Ku service is installed these flights will finally be able to deliver connectivity to travelers thanks to the satellite-based service.

A ton of the current Alaska Airlines route map has no connectivity today. All that gets fixed with the 2Ku upgrade.

A ton of the current Alaska Airlines route map has no connectivity today. All that gets fixed with the 2Ku upgrade.

Switching to satellite also means gate-to-gate access to the service rather than only above...

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When OTA email targeting goes wrong

The data is a few years old now, but it is hard to argue with the idea of massively improved open rates and revenue generation from slightly creepy emails. Back in 2011 a case study showed a 1640% increase in revenue produced by emails triggered from abandoned shopping carts. The practice has grown since then and nearly every travel site I search on now is likely to send such. Even if it is a complete waste of time.

Compared to standard promotional emails, the triggered emails generate on average:

  • 150% higher open rates
  • 170% higher clickthrough rates
  • 200% higher conversion rates (conversion defined as a sale made from the email)

The emails also generate a 1,640% increase in revenue per email delivered as compared to standard promotional emails.

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Amidst my most recent trip I’ve been slow in booking some of the hotels. As in waiting until on the plane to San Francisco to finally confirm a booking for that night.

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JetBlue doubles up in Atlanta

JetBlue is (finally) expanding its service at Atlanta, adding three more destinations and doubling the total number of flights. Starting on 8 March 2018 the carrier will fly from Atlanta to New York’s JFK airport, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, joining the existing service to Boston. Atlanta is the largest market not served from the three JetBlue hub/focus cities.

“We are excited to bring our award-winning service and low fares to even more markets from Atlanta,” said Marty St. George, executive vice president commercial and planning, JetBlue. “Customers flying between Boston and Atlanta have shown a strong appetite for a competitive option like JetBlue, and we anticipate we’ll see the same for the New York, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando routes.”

Three new destinations join the JetBlue route map from Atlanta in March 2018
Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

These three routes were announced nearly a year ago when the ...

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