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US Airways has announced a codeshare agreement with Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways that could take effect as soon as next month, pending regulatory approval. The move by the two Star Alliance partners comes as airline alliances across the Atlantic come under increasing scrutiny from regulators in the U.S., who worry that such arrangements could reduce competition and raise prices.
As the Commodity Futures Trading Commission holds further hearings today on oil speculation, The Wall Street Journal says further regulation could lower prices in the short term while leading to even greater price swings in the future. Limits on speculation could also make it harder for airlines to hedge their fuel prices, the Journal warns, because such contracts require a party on the opposite side of the deal.
Alaska Airlines says its passenger count edged up 0.1% in July, while the monthly load factor jumped nearly 5 percentage points on a 5% reduction in available seat miles. Meanwhile, revenue passenger miles slipped from 1.6 billion in June to 1.5 billion in July.
A surge of summer leisure travelers and several days of bad weather led to a slight decline in June on-time performance for U.S. airlines, snapping a months-long streak of steadily improving numbers. Still, June's on-time rate of 76.1% was markedly better than the 70.8% recorded in the same month last year, and 43% of delays were blamed on bad weather. Mishandled bags and customer complaints also fell in year-on-year comparisons.
Senators drafting climate-change legislation may be too busy with health care legislation to deal with proposed cap-and-trade plans, according to Washington insiders. "The reality is, [the health reform bill] is going to happen before cap and trade," said Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. "Who knows if it will ever come out of the Senate?"