Six major US airlines – American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United, and US Airways – have announced they’ll be reducing their number of domestic flights in 2008. The three main reasons are rising fuel prices, too much competition on domestic routes from Southwest, JetBlue and Virgin America, and a desire to add more international routes, which tend to be more profitable.
A weakening US economy, (i.e. higher gas prices, rising mortgage payments, unstable home values, unsteady stock market and potential upcoming recession), is an additional reason.
Will more competition in the international arena result in lower fares? With United potentially shifting 15% of its current fleet to international routes over the next several years, it has too! I can’t hurt! If the other five airlines allot similar percentages, then we might see the likes of Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Air France, decreasing fares. Get your passports ready!