American, Delta, & United Report 7-9% Transatlantic Traffic Declines, Post Election Bump Domestic

by Adam

Those fares to Europe are so cheap because traffic on the major US and European carriers is down quite significantly. November operational reports released earlier this week by the major carriers show a -7.2% decline for United, a -7.9% fall for Delta, and a -8.8% drop for American. The carriers say the threat of terrorism in Europe, Pound and Euro devaluations (raising prices for Europeans wanting to visit the US), and according to Delta “Middle Eastern carriers violating the law” are causing the drops.

“We are facing Middle Eastern carriers that are violating the law,” Bastian said in the webcast, referring to “Open Skies” agreements with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

On the bright side, all 3 carriers are experiencing a post-election bump in domestic travel and have increased improvements from prior guidance for 4Q16.


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Greg December 16, 2016 - 7:55 pm

Maybe if they didn’t close up most of their business/first class award space so those of us with families could take them with us when we BUY a ticket, they’d see more sales. I usually purchase mine and my wife’s tickets and fly at least one of the kids on an award ticket, but it’s getting increasingly more difficult to find award space, even at 330 days out.

ghostrider5408 December 16, 2016 - 8:27 pm

I can not understand that if in fact the “mideastern” airlines are violating the law why haven’t the lazy US carriers taken them to court? I can tell you I have not flown US metal overseas for five years now and I had had no complaints. the planes are not “Smithsonian” eligible, really pleasant FA’s and food that is edible. Frankly getting tired of the same old $%#$%#%$ from the US carriers.

As a business executive don’t you think you should get on with your life and run an airline to compete rather than whine?

GL December 19, 2016 - 8:25 pm

Whose court would they take them to? Which nation’s? What would be the damages?

It is the US Government’s (DOT) responsibility to fine or ban airlines which violate treaties with the United States. Right now, the United States (present leadership) won’t sour our relationships with the UAE or Qatar because we need them as strategic “partners” in the Middle East and we also need them to take into account our feelings on oil prices.

As far as business executives go… American, Delta and United all make a healthy profit. Something that the Middle East 3 carriers haven’t done in quite a while. They also don’t submit themselves to outside auditing and don’t open their books, which is illegal in the US, Canada and EU, but hey… who cares, right? You get your pretty 18 year old flight attendants to enjoy.

Ken December 17, 2016 - 3:04 am

Totally agree with ghostrider. They have upped their game a bit by installing 1-2-1 direct access fully flat seats. But food and service is just way behind. These days I prefer American over other airlines on transatlantic routes if it’s 777-300er or refurbished 767. I am also fine with delta and alitalia along with air Berlin but with the recent changes in their ffp I don’t mind flying other discount airlines because they still offer decent prices even after paying extras and premium cabin. Not as good as Asian carriers but still much cheaper and totally acceptable for 6 and 7h flights. We need Singapore to fly more 5th freedom routes and qatar to join the game over transatlantic.

GL December 19, 2016 - 8:27 pm

Both Singapore and Qatar are taking quite large hits on revenue and profits in the last few years. Singapore is downsizing and Qatar is getting really “creative” in the way they cook their books. They’re eating their countries’ taxes like there’s no tomorrow.

Delta Switching to 757-200 on One New York - Paris Route - Point Me to the Plane January 22, 2017 - 4:04 pm

[…] Of course, none of this is that surprising given the drop in transatlantic traffic. See – American, Delta, & United Report 7-9% Transatlantic Traffic Declines, Post Election Bump Domesti… […]

DaninMCI January 22, 2017 - 5:38 pm

So if the decline is true it will be adjusted for long term as they swap aircraft out, change frequency, etc. but why don’t they open up award seats more to at least fill the seats.


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