Week in Review – August 16, 2013

airplaneAir travel topped the news this week when word broke of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit to block the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

The move drew strongly worded statements from both sides of the lawsuit. American Airlines and US Airways have jointly promised to mount a “vigorous and strong defense” of the merger. The Business Travel Coalition (BTC) weighed in in support of the lawsuit, warning of the merger’s potential impact on airline pricing. Finally, the union for both pilots and flight attendants have released statements defending the merger, arguing it is the only way to preserve their respective companies and jobs.

Our readers also seemed concerned with the merger’s potential impact on airline pricing. On our Facebook page Aaron Mase said, “It will eventually go through and when it does you can bet airfare will be up industry wide and fewer selections. I am glad it is being held up.”

Other readers compared the issue to other recent mergers between United and Continental and Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines.

“To me this just means this mega merger is going to raise fares all the way around,” said Atrav Eldiva on our Facebook page. “No one made a huge deal when United / Continental merged, dominating more than 71% of departures out of EWR.”

Similarly, in our comments section Professor Sabena pointed out, “That the DOJ filed this suit is interesting. Where was the DOJ (and let’s just say the Attorney General for the great state of Tennessee) when Northwest and Delta merged? Unraveling this merger sets up a great challenge for the DOJ and Department of Transportation to deal with. The path to inevitability came with the Delta and Northwest merger and was cemented by Continental and United. Using the issue of DCA as the catalyst is a big red herring because the DOT and DOJ both allowed the slot swap between Delta and US (LGA and DCA respectively).”

In Europe news, a fire on Santorini left the island without power Tuesday. Wednesday Mayor Nikolaos Zorzos reported that new generators and repair equipment had arrived and the situation was improving.

In consortia news, this week was Virtuoso Travel Week. The opening session looked forward to the next 25 years of luxury travel. We also gleaned top six luxury trends from the event.

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest travel industry news, trends and updates.


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