Air China to Montreal and Havana in 2015: a case study in Guanxi?

Earlier this week, stated-owned Chinese flag carrier Air China announced intentions to commence a salvo of new routes from its Beijing hub to expand its long-haul network in Asia, Africa, Oceania and North America in 2015. Among the list of new destinations Air China wishes to serve from Beijing include Melbourne, Johannesburg, ...

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2014 wrap-up, and thank you


Another year has come and gone as quickly as the one that preceded it, and here we are preparing for 2015 to commence in just a few days.

2014 brought many expected and unexpected changes to the airline industry as we knew it 365 days ago. This week alone, we are commemorating endings and new beginnings, such as the final ...

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American Domestic First - DFW to LAX on a 767



I traveled with my family the day after Thanksgiving to Los Angeles as we had plans to visit SoCal and attend the Notre Dame - USC game massacre. I booked a multi-segment itinerary originating in Minneapolis on Tuesday, November the 25th and returning on a red-eye from LAX to MSP (via Phoenix) departing on the night of ...

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Houston continues growth to Asia with additions of ANA and EVA Air in 2015


Houston Bush Intercontinental airport will receive two new Star Alliance carriers in 2015 with the introduction of nonstop routes to Tokyo Narita and Taipei on All Nippon Airways and Eva Air, respectively, continuing a period of rapid growth between Texas and Asia within the past two years. Houston has seen the entrance of Korean Air to Seoul in 2014 and Air China ...

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Air Canada hedges on 787 to viably serve challenging Canada - India market


Advent of fuel-efficient aircraft and alliance benefits enables re-launch of YYZ-DEL

Air Canada announced on 04-December-2014 that it will resume nonstop services between its Toronto Pearson hub and New Delhi, India, effective November 2015. The route resumption, rumored for some time by Air Canada, occurs nearly a decade after ...

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American reshuffles transatlantic routes and schedules for S15

American Airlines is adding five new routes between four of its US hubs and select European cities in summer 2015, although these changes reflect more surgical additions across its gateway cities rather than overall growth for the combined US Airways and American Airlines entity. 

In March 2015, American will add a second ...

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American suspends DFW-Rio amid economic challenges in Latin America

Economic slowdown in Brasil plunges DFW's nonstop flight to "Cidade Maravilhosa" 

American Airlines' decision to end its Dallas/Fort Worth to Rio de Janeiro flight in February 2015 underscores the difficult competitive environment in Latin America due to the macroeconomic slowdown in Brasil and continued exposure to the ...

Things change in a year

For those of you who have been following my posts on Upgrd, you may have noticed that I typically do not write about the same content as Matt, Rocky, James, Sriram and Brad pertaining to in-flight experiences, recommendations/tips, mileage runs, deals and offers. Those guys do such an excellent job in covering that material, each providing an individual and unique ...

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United enjoys a solid Q3 2014, but far from out of the woods

United records largest quarterly profit in the carriers' history at $924 million

Chicago-based United Airlines earned $924 million in net income for Q3 2014, with earnings per share at $2.75 (excluding special items) ahead of analyst predications of $2.70.

That's a heck of a lot better ...

Virgin Atlantic revamps network, focuses on transatlantic and Delta JV


U.K.-based Virgin Atlantic Airways (VS) is reshuffling its network strategy following last month's stated intentions to withdraw from several long-haul routes and pull the plug on its short-lived narrowbody operation, Little Red. Most of these changes can be traced to Virgin's plan to return to profitability by 2018, and while the carrier has made improvements ...

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US Airways Domestic First Class meal, Phoenix to Minneapolis


Last Friday, I flew US Airways from Salt Lake City to Minneapolis, via Phoenix. At online check-in, I was selecting my seats and noticed that I could select a seat in First class on both segments (SLC-PHX, PHX-MSP) for free.

Did this mean I was upgraded? 

As many of you are aware, I ...

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A big month ahead for commercial aviation in Dallas/Ft. Worth

Today kicks off an extremely exciting few weeks for travelers and aviation geeks based in North Texas, beginning with the arrival of Qantas flight QF7 from Sydney, Australia. 

Although the flight has been operating into Dallas/Ft. Worth on a scheduled basis since May 2011, it will be the first time that Qantas is sending in the Airbus A380-800 series into its DFW ...

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Philippine Airlines returns to New York, but will face challenges in the short-run

Philippine Airlines, also known as PAL, has finally received the green light to move forth with its ambitious expansion efforts in the United States after restoration to Category 1 by the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year. Between 2008 and 2014, PAL was prohibited from changing aircraft gauge, adjusting flight frequency and adding ...

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Cathay Pacific announces Boston, denoting strength of North American network


Cathay Pacific will commence four weekly nonstop flights from its Hong Kong hub to Boston on May 1, 2015, operated on a 4-class Boeing 777-300ER. As one of the world's most globally-renown premium network carriers, Cathay has been highly exposed to the downturn in business travel over the past few decades, along with the surge of competition from low-cost carriers ...

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United announces upgrades to premium domestic meal services


The days of surf and turf are now numbered for United customers traveling in first class cabins within the U.S., Canada, Caribbean and most of Mexico, because eating chicken and shrimp salads is sooo 2013.  

Today, United unveiled its newly-redesigned menu for premium customers starting on September 1, 2014 for flights over ...

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