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2011 predictions: new routes and fees

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The second week of 2011 has just begun. At this time, we already have a good deal of information on what's going to happen in the airline industry. Many new routes have already been announced. Experts predict we will be seeing more of the much hated fees. Read on to find out more.

More than 600 routes to be launched

Most airlines have already uncovered their route plans for 2011. Experts at anna.aero have analyzed all of them. They say about 600 new routes are scheduled to be launched this year. It is about the same as was found January 2010. Comparing the final numbers on flight routes launched, over 2,400 started in 2010. It was 2,100 in 2009. Similar pace of improvement is expected this year. All in all, anna.aero predicts 2,700 new routes for 2011.

The most new routes was announced by Ryanair. No change here since the last year. Currently, 60+ routes are officially starting in 2011. Jet2 and Wizz Air follow up, both with 20+ new routes. Southwest Airlines is launching the most routes among American air carriers, 20 to be precise. This year, plans to launch new routes have been announced by about 140 different airlines.

Will we see more of the hated fees?

Fees have become a substantial profit source for the airlines. No matter passengers hate them, we will be probably seeing more of them in 2011. George Hobica came up with a few examples. According to him, small children are likely to be charged. Nowadays, you can fly your kid free of charge while he/she sits on your lap. Voices are rising in America this should be banned for safety reasons. If this is approved, parents will be required to buy an extra seat even for the little ones. Additionally, a fee for in-person check-in is likely to be introduced. Particular airlines may even start to charge for carry-on baggage. A service charge for booking online is common for many low cost airlines. We may see this spread to scheduled airlines too.

Source: anna.aero and Miami Herald

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