Transportation Nation

Delta's Big New York Expansion

Friday, December 16, 2011

Photo (cc) by Flickr user caribb.

Delta Air Lines will be the largest carrier from New York area airports by summer 2012. The airline announced a major expansion of service from New York's LaGuardia airport Friday, with the addition of more than 100 daily flights to 29 new cities.

The new routes target American Airlines and put Delta in a better position to compete against United, the current top airline by passenger seats in the region.

Delta says it plans to add four million passenger seats per year, in large part by using larger planes on the new flights. If the airline reaches that figure and competitors hold their passenger numbers steady, that would push Delta above Continental for the top stop in the New York Area. See current airline and passenger statistics at the Port Authority website.

Gail Grimmett, senior vice president for Delta in New York, wouldn't comment on the potential impact on fares. "We can't talk about future pricing, but I will tell you, this is a very competitive market and we do want to be... the carrier of choice for the people of New York."

United and Continental's merger into the world's largest airline puts Delta in second-place by traffic.

"It's about increasing Delta's overall appeal and utility to the high-yield business traveler," said Henry Harteveldt, a travel analyst at Forrester Research Inc. "Delta is going for scope of service, rather than always having the largest number of flights to a smaller network of cities."

The expansion came about from a swap of airport slots with U.S. Airways. Delta gave up flights from Washington, D.C. National Airport and U.S. Airways ceded 117 LaGuardia slots. The U.S. DOT required the airlines to divest an additional 48 slots at the two airports as part of the deal. Those went to JetBlue and West Jet.

Delta will renovate two terminals at LaGuardia and begin the new flights in the summer of 2012.

With AP and with reporting from Claudia Morell.

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Transportation Nation

DOT: Airline Passengers Rise in 2010, Not as High as Pre-Recession

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Airlines carried 2.1% more passengers in 2010 than the previous year, according to the US Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which released 2010 data today. But passenger totals still remained 3.2 percent below 2008's level of 812.3 million.

2010's top airline was Delta. Following its merger with Northwest, the Atlanta-based airline carried over 110 million passengers last year.  More total system passengers boarded planes in 2010 at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International than at any other U.S. airport; and more international passengers boarded planes at New York John F. Kennedy than at any other U.S. airport.

You can read the full report here.

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Transportation Nation

Delta Fined for Violating Disability Rules

Thursday, February 17, 2011

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) The U.S. Department of Transportation said today that it fined Delta Air Lines $2 million for violating federal rules on passengers with disabilities.

This civil penalty is the largest penalty ever assessed against an airline by the DOT in a non-safety-related case.

Airlines are required to report disability-related complaints to the DOT, which provides that information to the public here. In 2009, the most recent year for which this information is available, Delta had more complaints lodged against it than any other domestic carrier.

The DOT said today that its investigation had found many violations of the requirements to provide assistance to passengers while getting on and off airplanes. The government also said that Delta frequently did not respond adequately to disability complaints from passengers.

Delta says it's addressing the problem.  "We take the responsibility of serving customers with disabilities seriously and have made significant investments in technology, feedback assessment, and training since the issues in 2007 and 2008 that the DOT cites in its consent order," said spokesman Morgan Durrant. "We will continue to coordinate with DOT and our Customer Advisory Board on Disabilities to ensure that these efforts are appropriately supporting customers with disabilities and providing them with a consistent travel experience."

Delta is allowed to use most of the fine to improve its service for travelers with disabilities, especially those in wheelchairs.

You can read the DOT's press release here.

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Transportation Nation

Delta Airlines Posts $19 Million Profit

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

(Detroit -- Noah Ovshinsky, WDET) Delta Airlines reported its fourth quarter earnings today. Michigan’s dominant carrier reported a quarterly profit of 19 million dollars, disappointing Wall Street analysts, who had expected higher numbers. Delta President Ed Bastian says the company was hurt by bad weather during the holidays.

"The severe winter weather that we experienced throughout the U.S. and western Europe reduced our December quarter profit by 45 million dollars due to approximately 4,000 flight cancelations and the associated effects.”

Bastian say Delta will take another hit in the first quarter due to severe weather. The airline canceled flights at its Atlanta hub last week. Officials say higher gas prices are also taking a toll on Delta’s bottom line.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Daley Pines for High Speed Airport Rail Link, Villaraigosa wants better federal transit financing, and roll-bar rebate rolling out in Vermont

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

LA Mayor Villaraigosa testifies before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, asks feds to create a "national program of innovative financing tools" for major transit projects (Los Angeles Times). At same hearing, committee chair Barbara Boxer questions the need for President Obama's proposed infrastructure Bank (Streetsblog).

NYC's Department of Transportation rescues engagement ring after would-be groom drops it during proposal on the Brooklyn Bridge. (New York Post)

Delta flight attendants begin voting on union representation today. (Minnesota Public Radio)

Caltrain installs suicide prevention signs on tracks. (Silicon Valley Mercury News)

Roll-bar rebate: a new Vermont program will reimburse farmers to prevent tractor rollover deaths -- the leading cause of death on farms. (Burlington Free Press)

Chicago's Mayor Daley visits China, admires high speed rail, hopes that foreign investors will build a similar link between O'Hare and downtown (ABC7Chicago).

Just how politically divided is the country over the issue of high-speed rail? The Infrastructurist has a chart that breaks it down by state. Just about every Republican candidate opposes it, while Democrats support it.

Following up on last week's story about a man who commutes to work via kayak, here's a more...vertical commute story: follow along as a technician climbs 1,700 feet into the air to get to his job, repairing broadcast antennae (via AltTransport).

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Transportation Nation

WSJ Finds Gas Mileage for Airlines. Will it Change Your Choice?

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's was a wonderful piece of reporting this week in the Middle Seat column of the Wall Street Journal: a review of DOT data, yielding what amounts to an MPG rating for the airlines.  Alaska came out on top, with a bit of luck (like being West Coast-based) and some good practices (like shutting down engines quickly at the gate).  The worst guzzlers turn out to the three biggest U.S. carriers.

But here's the big question: would information like this -- that getting you from LAX to JFK sucks around 10 gallons more fuel on Delta than it does on JetBlue on average -- cause you to change who you buy your ticket from?  Let us know in the comments.

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