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3/14/2004

United says it’s happy with Ted airline so far

The Associated Press

DENVER — United Airlines couldn’t be happier with its newborn discount carrier Ted.
The Denver-based airline-within-an-airline has filled about 82 percent of its seats in its first month of flying — 7 percent to 10 percent above the carrier’s forecasts, officials said this week.
Bookings for March, April and May also are exceeding projections, said Sean Donohue, Chicago-based United’s vice president for Ted.
It’s unclear how Ted is performing financially because United won’t release details. But Donohue said Ted aims to be profitable in 2005 and so far has “exceeded all of our business plan goals.”
Ted is part of United’s effort to fend off competition from discount carriers, including Denver-based Frontier, and to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of June.
The airline launched Feb. 12 with flights from Denver to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Denver to Las Vegas and San Francisco to Las Vegas.
It now flies to eight cities from Denver.
Ted caps its fares at $299 each way, excluding taxes.