well according to the Boston Herald...we're suppose to announce something this week. it will be interesting to see what we'll be adding...CAN
here's the article:
THE BOSTON HERALD
Efforts of low-cost airlines give bigger carriers fight-for-flight response
By Greg Gatlin -- Monday, January 5, 2004
When JetBlue Airways Corp. flies its 24 channels of DirecTV, leather seats and low-cost fares to Boston this week, full-service airlines say they'll be ready to fight.
``We're not going to give up traffic to low-cost carriers,'' said Roger Frizzell, vice president with AMR Corp.'s American Airlines. ``We're going to be very aggressive.''
Last week, American cut fares to cities, including the five markets that JetBlue will serve out of Logan International Airport. JetBlue starts flights to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa, Fla., as well as Denver, on Wednesday, and commences flights to Long Beach, Calif., south of Los Angeles, later this month.
American didn't go as low as JetBlue's introductory fares to those cities. But, clearly, the battle is joined.
American, which boarded 2.4 million passengers at Logan last year, is ramping up its own marketing in a bid to convince local consumers that it, too, offers low fares. Frizzell says Fort Worth, Texas-based American will also be trying to burnish its image as a ``fun'' airline to fly.
US Airways has ceded ground to low-cost carriers in some markets. It bailed out of Baltimore, leaving it to Southwest. But that won't happen in Boston, spokesman Dave Castelveter said.
``We will be competitive,'' Castelveter said. ``We're going to fight, and we'll stand our ground with other low-fare carriers including JetBlue in Boston.''
Observers say JetBlue's launch of 11 daily flights out of Boston by the end of the month - its biggest launch ever - is part of an airline industry ``remorphing'' that happens about once every 30 years. And it's playing out locally.
Low-cost carriers including JetBlue, Southwest, AirTran, America West, ATA and others are all forcing the so-called ``legacy airlines,'' such as American, US Airways, Delta and United, to operate more like their younger, less-expensive competition. Or in some cases, they're starting their own low-cost versions to compete.
Delta has the low-fare Song, and United recently unveiled plans to launch a carrier called ``Ted.''
At the same time, low-fare carriers are starting to behave more like full-service airlines, starting transcontinental routes out of major cities and adding frills.
``It just really spells good news for the customer who uses Logan Airport,'' said Tom Kinton, Logan's director of aviation.
Low-cost carriers account for 30 percent of the overall airline market, Kinton said. ``They are a force to be reckoned with.''
Delta's Song, which entered the Boston market last May, already has about 15 daily departures to five Florida cities.
America West flies from Boston to Phoenix, Los Angeles and Las Vegas and will start service to San Francisco in March.
AirTran added more flights in November to Baltimore and Philadelphia.
ATA flies four times a day to Chicago.
Virgin USA plans to launch a low-cost U.S. carrier next year and likely would add Hub flights.
And Atlantic Coast Airlines has talked with Kinton about bringing its proposed Independence Air to Boston, with as many as 17 flights a day to Dulles Airport in Washington and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., next spring, Kinton said. That, he said, could push United to bring its Ted service to town.
No-frills airlines such as Southwest, which historically operated on the periphery of major cities by flying in and out of secondary markets, were not viewed by larger airlines as hugely threatening. But the story has changed since low-cost carriers started taking direct aim at big airlines' core markets by serving major cities such as Boston.
Until several years ago, locals seeking low-cost, no-frills transportation often had to go to Manchester, N.H., or West Warwick, R.I.
``Now you have a whole menu of choices at Logan,'' Kinton said. ``That trend will continue.''
And as low-cost providers offer more satellite TV
and other onboard entertainment, mainline carriers are faced with the perception they're not as young and hip as low-fare rivals.
Since launching at Kennedy International Airport in February 2000, with more than $100 million in capital, JetBlue's fleet has grown to 53 jets flying in and out of 22 cities. It recently placed an order for 100 more 100-seat Embraer 190 ``regional'' jets.
JetBlue boasts of being the first airline to offer 24 channels of live satellite television at every seat, though other low-cost carriers are catching up fast. It also trumpets leather upholstery and legroom.
Still, there are questions about whether JetBlue's rapid expansion might have a dark side.
Last month, the New York-based airline warned that it might not earn as much as expected, citing disappointing revenue. Some analysts say that as the economy improves, full-service airlines are regaining market share and may be slowing the momentum of low-cost carriers.
This week, JetBlue is expected to unveil a relationship with a major movie studio that would provide the airline with all kinds of movie and TV
programming. And it is expected to unveil an audio program that will give passengers more music selections.
It plans to launch an advertising blitz on Boston airwaves and billboards to herald its Hub arrival. JetBlue employees will hit area colleges and highly trafficked areas this week, handing out blue potato chips, JetBlue's official snack.
``We'll put them in Jet Blue jump suits,'' said Gareth Edmondson-Jones, a company spokesman. ``We tend to do slightly more guerrilla-style promotions.''
American will step up its marketing locally as well.
Frizzell, the American executive, says the carrier's prices are competitive with low-cost rivals, including JetBlue, in key markets. But its reputation is for higher costs.
``We don't want to let perception beat us in the marketplace,'' he said.
American recently offered a promotion in Chicago where residents could win use of a jet for 100 friends. Frizzell says there'll be more ``fun'' to come.
``In the past, people who looked at American didn't think as much of fun,'' he said. ``Our bread and butter may not be in the fun department, but we have a lot of fun people. You'll see more of that.''