Air Transport World

Goodbye to Ted and all that.(EDITORIAL)

United Airlines' decision to pull the plug on Ted, which it announced last month at the same time that it said it would retire 100 aircraft in response to the record surge in oil prices, means that the curtain finally has come down on what may be the US legacy airline industry's longest-lived and most futile effort to respond to the changing face of airline competition without fundamentally altering its business model.

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Shuttle by United, CALite, MetroJet, Delta Express, Song and Ted each represented an effort to counter the rising popularity of low-fare carriers, primarily Southwest Airlines but also AirTran and JetBlue. All of them eventually were shut down, often at the dawn of a new crisis, such as 9/11, although up until the last day airline senior management insisted that they were working as planned. …

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