It’s one of the biggest concerns these days, not only for aviation, but for the overall world economy. Will the oil price continues to drop? Will fares continue to drop? The International Air Transport Association estimates 3.6 billion passengers will fly in 2016. Airlines can still turn a profit between the increase in passengers and ancillary fees even if they lower airfares. Despite the big picture about the oil pricing and how it affects several economies, it means great news for travelers in 2016.
New Long-Haul Routes
Since the beginning of the year we started to see new routes being added and new aircraft to serve them.
It’s a race for the ultra long-haul title! United will start flying non-stop to Singapore (years after the Asian carrier ceased the world-record non-stop flight between the city state and New York due to its unprofitability) and Gulf carriers Qatar and Emirates will soon be flying non-stop to Auckland.
The world is getting more and more connected, which is always great news for international travelers. Will those routes turn into profits? At Travel Consulting Hub, we believe they will succeed as both carriers will leverage their unique position on the globe and their ability to offer one-stop connections between most of the cities on earth.
Down under, Qantas is replacing the Boeing 747 for the A380 on the Sydney-Dallas route, meaning they’ll bypass the Brisbane stop. Not only it’s more cost-effective, but the airline is also adding more seats, which will mean greater seat availability if you want to redeem your air miles on this busy route!
All in all, more non-stop flights and more connections will be offered to international passengers in 2016. If you can take advantage of all the perks and connections that airline alliances offer, it will mean greater comfort and added value to your travels.
Read More: Travel Consulting Hub's 2016 Comprehensive Guide to Airline Alliances
US/ Gulf Carriers Dispute
The big three U.S. airlines — Delta, American and United — put together a report that states that UAE and Qatar governments were allegedly subsidizing Emirates, Etihad and Qatar airlines. The US carriers claim is that those airlines have been unfairly competing on major international US routes. Delta, American and United are behind a lobbying group called Partnership for Open and Fair Skies that seeks to protect their market share on these routes. Emirates, meanwhile, claims that it is doing nothing wrong. In fact, the Middle East’s three major carriers are uniquely positioned. Fly eight hours in any direction from Qatar or the UAE and you reach three-quarters of the world’s population. That allows Etihad, Emirates and Qatar airlines to gain even more ground on the international long-haul market depending on how the U.S. Open Skies ruling goes. It’s a “war” that needs to be followed with great attention.
Now that US and Cuba have restored diplomatic relations and have reached an agreement on restoring regularly scheduled commercial flights, the race is on. The biggest U.S. carriers have expressed interest to fly to Cuba.
But who’s going to be first, and who’s going to be best? In our opinion, it’s not likely that the first actual commercial flight takes place before summer because U.S. airlines need to fine-tune what it likely has been working on since this time last year in terms of a network and routes to Cuba.
As far as we’re concerned at Travel Consulting Hub, we believe that American Airlines will be the first one to start flying to Cuba. Their Miami hub is a great advantage and an easy entry-point to Cuba. If you’re in the US and are planning to visit Cuba this year, you can aim for a summer vacation flying American!
What are your travel plans for 2016 and what do you think it will happen? Share your thoughts and ideas and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter & Facebook!