Bloomberg had a nice piece yesterday on the über-competitive NYC airline market.
At stake is a bigger slice of the $13.6 billion spent each year by passengers who start or end trips in New York, which no carrier dominates. More than 100 million people, including the corporate travelers who pay the most for business-class and walk-up tickets, flew through the world’s largest aviation market last year.
Unlike many hub cities, no airline has a corner on the market in New York:
- Continental – 29%
- United – 4%
- Delta – 23%
- American – 15%
- Jet Blue – 16%
The stiffest competition will be for business fliers who buy first-class and walk-up tickets, often determining whether a flight makes or loses money.
This will be achieved by a behind-the-scenes wooing of corporate sales/travel agents.
The new United will focus on corporate sales accounts, especially in Manhattan, in a bid to win business from Delta and American, United CEO Glenn Tilton said yesterday after speaking at a hearing in Washington.
With Delta attempting to bolster its presence at JFK/LGA and a new United that will control about a third of the NYC market, the next few months should be interesting–and hopefully beneficial to passengers.
The article notes, correctly, that airlines make their money off expensive last minute tickets. My biggest question is will the new United adopt Continental-style premium cabin pricing on domestic flights? If they do, rather than a cabin of non-revs, upgraders, and a few full-fares, we might see a lot more travel in paid Business or First.