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Airline Industry News – Week Ending 01.27.07

Aeromexico will let you smuggle a bunch of people over the border for a reduced rate. But it’s only available for flights from Houston to Mexico City with Aeromexico’s five for four (or cinco por cuatro if you need to practice your espanol) discount.

AirTran Airways, is launching of the new A+ Rewards Wireless program with InPhonic, Inc. to offer A+ Rewards through wireless purchases. They have also announced plans to begin seasonal service between San Diego and Atlanta on May 24, 2007, as well as service between St. Louis and Atlanta on May 8, 2007.

American Airlines passengers on flights 1348, 534 and 1008 are petitioning for a Passenger Bill of Rights for airline passengers after being stranded on their aircraft with no access to food or water for eight hours after being diverted to Austin because of heavy storms in Dallas. Something similar to European customers rights to refunds following delays perhaps?

American Eagle, the regional affiliate of American Airlines, will add nonstop service between Lambert St. Louis International Airport and Springfield-Branson National Airport beginning April 10. In addition, seasonal service between Dallas and Montrose, Colorado will start on September 4, 2007.

British Airways employee strike looks like it will result in numerous cancellations at Heathrow next week. BMI is planning on offering expanded service to accommodate passengers who are left high and dry because of the strikes.

Continental Airlines is happy to announce the first ever nonstop service between Jackson, Mississippi and Newark, New Jersey. Look out New York…

FedEx is testing cargo aircraft with Northrop Grumman’s Guardian anti-missile system, which is “designed to detect a missile launch and then direct a laser to the seeker system on the head of the missile and disrupt its guidance signals. The laser is not visible and is eye-safe.” The goal is to put these bad boys on passenger aircraft, thus giving all pilots the illusion of being Tom Cruise in Top Gun. I know it has nothing to do with business travel at this point, but it’s just interesting. Via CNN.

Frontier Airlines is expanding like crazy with new routes planned to Albuquerque, Atlanta, Billings, Boise, Guadalajara, Indianapolis, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, Omaha, Orange County, Portland, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Tulsa. They’re offering 1,000 bonus miles for booking online.

Midwest Airlines is expanding service to include daily routes between Seattle/Tacoma and Kansas City beginning April 1, 2007.

Silverjet, a low cost British airline, launched business class service between Luton Airport in London and Newark. Perks include: 30 minute pre-departure boarding time (with no luggage); lie flat beds; no carts in the aisle (to facilitate sleeping); “Breakfast Express” to go breakfast; gender specific lavatories; personal entertainment systems; and power outlets for laptops at each seat. They offer a reduce your carbon footprint bribe on behalf of each customer. We’ll talk more about that last part soon.

US Helicopter has the green light from the US Transportation Security Administration to offer service from the East 34th St. Heliport to offer airport shuttles.