American to combat LCCs with 'no frills' fares

28 Oct 2015 by GrahamSmith

American Airlines is planning cheap "no-frills" fares in 2016 to compete against low-cost US carriers such as Spirit and Southwest.

Scott Kirby, the airline's president, told analysts that American has many frequent flyers who are willing to pay for a premium service, but that more than half of its passengers fly just once or twice a year and purchase airline tickets based on price.

He said: "We have to compete for them. We can't just walk away from that size of the business."

American will offer tickets with "less frills" at a "really cheap price", but only where it competes with low-cost carriers on nonstop flights, reports Reuters.

Kirby wouldn't provide any more details on the plans for next year, which also include changes to its AAdvantage frequent flyer programme.

The announcement follows Lufthansa's decision earlier this year to launch three branded options for European economy fares (see news, March 30).

Tom Newcombe

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