Wed, Jul 16, 2003
Saves the Rest for High-Cost Unit?
United, eight months into Chapter 11, is talking publicly about
setting up a low-cost subsidiary airline, to compete with the
profitable airlines in its markets.
A long way from UAL's
stillborn Avolar (which was to have launched with an all-new fleet
of RJs), the new unit will go head-to-head against stiff
competition on the ankle-biting vacation flyer routes.
The new unit, codenamed 'Starfish' at headquarters, will be
headed by Sean Donohue, whose official title (beyond his current,
'vice president') has not been announced. ['Big Tuna' was
reportedly discussed, but already claimed in the Chicago
Well, anyway, it looks like the low-cost branch will be flying
as many as 40 of the older 737s and A320s, machines that still have
a lot of life left in them, but which are increasingly hard to make
appealing to the premium-paying business-class travelers that
United hopes to retain on its traditional routes.
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