American Airlines ( AAL ) on Tuesday said it will add seasonal service between Dallas and Iceland, while ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines ( SAVE ) announced new service from Richmond, Va., to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
[ibd-display-video id=2642056 width=50 float=left autostart=true] The announcements come as American and legacy rivals Delta Air Lines ( DAL ) and United Airlines ( UAL ) look for ways to compete against budget long-haul carriers in Europe, and as Spirit positions itself for Spring Break.
American said that it would begin offering its seasonal service from its Dallas-Fort Worth hub to Iceland’s Reykjavik-Keflavik airport on June 7. Tickets go on sale on Nov. 20. The move would pit American against WOW air, a low-cost, long-haul carrier in Iceland that also offers flights between those two airports.
Reykjavik, American noted, has become “a very popular leisure destination” and complements its “continued growth from Dallas-Fort Worth, including Rome and Amsterdam.”
WOW Air in August said it would add flights from four Midwestern U.S. cities to Reykjavik starting this coming spring for as low as $99.99 one way .
During its third-quarter earnings call last month, American said that unit revenue in the trans-Atlantic market, where competition from European discounters is intense, rose during the third quarter. Better pricing and “easing comps from past terror events” in 2016 helped with the improvement.
Still, management said that they expected to see more of the same in the region for the fourth quarter, with discounting from expanding low-cost carriers still “aggressive.” However, the company said premium-cabin fare offerings, and the carrier’s Premium Economy fare class, would help prop up results.
Delta last month said also said that its trans-Atlantic business would show a bigger quarter-to-quarter improvement than any other segment in Q4. The carrier cited stronger business travel and Europe’s rebound from a recession as reasons.
Shares of American were up 0.4% in the stock market today , while Delta was down 0.1%, and United dipped 0.3%.
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Spirit, meanwhile, said it would begin daily, nonstop service from Richmond International Airport to Orlando International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on March 15.
“Our commitment to low fares will bring more travel opportunities to the area, whether it be a family theme park vacation or last-minute beach getaway,” the company said in a statement.
The carrier last week said it would broaden its service in New Orleans. Spirit at that time also said it would start flying from Chicago and Baltimore to Cancun.
Shares of Spirit climbed 2.8%, Southwest Airlines ( LUV ) added 0.8%, JetBlue (JBLU) rallied 2.9% and Alaska Air (ALK) edged up 0.8%.
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