|Published : 14 Oct 2016, 22:00:53|
Top airlines look to no-frills fares to win back travelers to Europe
An escalating fare war over the Atlantic is forcing big airlines to consider chopping prices, redesigning cabins and adding restrictions to win back budget-conscious vacationers drawn to upstart, low-fare rivals, reports Reuters.
Delta Air Lines Inc is reviewing cabin layouts, fares and the rules that come with them for international flights, its President Glen Hauenstein said on a call with media on Thursday.
"The exercise we're going through is to see what do people really want to buy and what are they paying for it," Hauenstein said. "It includes all kinds of fare products; it includes cabins we don't have today."
The airline's marketing partner, Air France KLM SA, said last month that it was looking at every option to fend off low-cost entrants.
And US rivals American Airlines Group Inc and United Continental Holdings Inc plan to roll out stripped-down fares for domestic travel, though a spokesman for American declined to comment on whether this would be extended to Europe, and United representatives did not immediately comment.
The moves by the big carriers follow a summer in which budget long-haul airlines, notably Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, shook up the trans-Atlantic travel market by offering ticket prices as little as half what rivals charge.
Norwegian has said it can do this profitably because its labor costs are low and it flies some of the most fuel-efficient aircraft available.