United Airlines, the wholly owned subsidiary of
United Continental Holdings Inc.
), recently unveiled satellite based Wi-Fi Service on its
international flights. The new services represent the first ever
wireless service offered to onboard passengers on any long haul
The services will be initially available on the company's
Boeing 747 aircraft and two Airbus 319 aircraft flying
international passengers. By the year-end, United Airlines deploy
Wi-Fi services in almost 300 aircraft. The onboard Wi-Fi platform
is based on Panasonic Avionics Corporation's Ku-band satellite
technology and passengers will be able to use the service through
inbuilt hot spots in the aircraft.
In addition to the latest enhancement, the company also
introduced a baggage delivery option. This service entails the
delivery of checked bags directly to ones final destination
without claiming baggage upon arrival. Initially the service will
be available to passengers traveling to Boston, Chicago,
Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles and Orlando from any U.S.
United Continental is making continued progress in expanding
its on-board products and services in both domestic and
international fleets. The company continues to improve service
features and introduce products that will enhance value and
profitability. United Continental has completed the installation
of Economy Plus seats on 86% of the mainline fleet and will
extend it to the entire fleet by January 2013.
The premium cabin flat-bed seats have been installed in 87% of
the international fleet, including the first reconfigured and
retrofitted International 767-300ER. The company expects to
complete the installation in all international flights by the end
of the first quarter of 2013. Further, United Continental started
offering global satellite-based Wi-Fi in August last year,
introducing the product first on Airbus A319 aircraft, followed
by the Boeing 747 and 737-900ERs.
We believe the company's efforts to enhance customer
experience will lead to revenue growth and increased market
traction. However, we expect these aspects to be overshadowed by
the concerns over fluctuating fuel prices, rising non-fuel
expense, competitive threats from other carriers like
), new advertising policy, unionized workforce and a sluggish
United Continental currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)
rating. For the long-term, we have a Underperform recommendation
on the company.
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