United aims at bud­get trav­ellers with ‘ba­sic econ­omy’ fares

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS -

UNITED AIR­LINES is mak­ing a pitch to pas­sen­gers at both ends of the plane – bud­get fly­ers and lux­ury pas­sen­gers – as it at­tempts to boost prof­its.

The air­line an­nounced Tues­day that it will sell lower ‘ba­sic econ­omy’ fares that don’t let buy­ers pick seats ahead of time and limit them to a sin­gle carry-on bag that fits un­der the seat. They’ll be the last to board.

The new fares will go on sale in Jan­uary for flights start­ing af­ter March, a spokes­woman said.

United hopes the lower fares lure pas­sen­gers who pick car­ri­ers like Spirit and Fron­tier on price. Delta Air Lines al­ready sells a sim­i­lar, stripped-down ticket, and Amer­i­can Air­lines plans to fol­low.


Mean­while, the air­line plans to be­gin a new ser­vice called Po­laris for pre­mium pas­sen­gers on in­ter­na­tional routes next month, and may ex­pand it to do­mes­tic flights.

United said it ex­pects those and other changes, cou­pled with cost con­trols, will in­crease profit by US$4.8 bil­lion be­tween now and 2020.

United Con­ti­nen­tal Hold­ings Inc, also said that it will post­pone de­liv­ery of 61 of the 65 new Boe­ing 737 jets that it planned to buy and con­vert the or­ders to a new, more fuel-ef­fi­cient model that Boe­ing calls the 737 Max. The four jets that United gets next year will be slightly larger planes than it orig­i­nally or­dered. The shuf­fle will re­duce United’s cap­i­tal spend­ing through 2018 by US$1.6 bil­lion.

CEO Os­car Munoz, who be­came CEO last year, made the

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