2014 is shaping up to be a big year in the airline industry. With big mergers, fewer restrictions and record profits, airlines will be getting a lot of attention this year. Here are some of the big things to watch for in the airline industry for 2014. From cell phone usage on planes to route changes to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.
The Wright Amendment
Wright Amendment of 1979 is a federal law governing traffic at Dallas Love Field, an airport in Dallas, Texas, USA. For the last 35 years it has restricted flights from Love Field to several nearby states. However on October 14th of this year, the last of the restrictions under the Wright Amendment will be null and void. This will likely alter the flight schedules of larger airlines, like Southwest who use the Love Field airport, allowing them to make long haul trips to destinations such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. We will also likely see changes in fares as the airlines compete for business at the surrounding airports.
On December 9 of last year American Airlines and US Airways officially merged to form American Airlines Group — the world’s largest airline. The Group has begun sharing codes across business segments, allowing their passengers to book flights on either airline. They have also given members of club and benefit programs reciprocal rights, allowed frequent flier program miles to be honored across the airlines, and have begun training for customer facing employees. The majority of technology integration is expected to come in 2015, but the airlines new leadership will need to tackle thousands of policies and processes this year.
New leader at DFW
In 2014, DFW airport will be getting a new leader. After 19 years Jeff Fegan’s position will be filled by former Virgin Australia executive Sean Donohue. Donohue took over the top spot in late October and hasn’t made any significant changes yet. However 2014 is a new year. Donohue faces new competition from Love Field as the Wright Amendment ends and will to keep costs down on the airports $2.3 billion terminal renovation project.
Cellphones on planes
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is ready to repeal their ban on cell phone use in flight. However, some carriers, including Delta and Southwest airlines have announced that they will still not allow calls while in the air. Be sure to watch out to see how the federal laws and carrier policies battle for control.
The airline industry has seen a good last few years, and 2014 looks to be even better. The International Air Transport Association said it expects global airlines to earn a net profit of $19.7 billion in 2014 on revenue of $743 billion. This would be the largest profit from the airline industry ever. The large revenues are largely related to an increasing passenger demand, increasing 5 to 6 percent, which in return boosts the airline profits from ancillary fees.