Pssst….wanna buy whatever the hell is left of MAXjet? Well, it looks like you can: the airline announced that its sale to NCA Sports (a charter company) has fallen through. No idea what you’ll get if you buy it, but I’m sure it’ll be a bargain.
Category Archives: MAXjet
I thought it might be useful/depressing to pass along a quick overview of the horrible/annoying/depressing things we’ve seen happen since the fuel hike:
Northwest/Delta merger (less service + higher fares = unhappy flyers in Minot)
American’s $15 first bag fee
Everyone else’s $25 second bag fee
US Airways removes snacks from domestic flights
American cuts domestic capacity 12% and decimates San Juan hub
Eos, MAXjet, Aloha, Skybus, Champion and ATA shut down. Mesa, SilverJet and ExpressJet poised to shut down.
jetBlue defers 21 a320s
jetBlue defers launching LAX service
US Airways, after begging for China route, begs to delay Beijing launch
$100 antler fee on Frontier (damn you, Frontier!)
Return of the Saturday Night stay
Airlines attempt to raise fares 16 times.
Ticket changes cost $150.
And there you go…the state of the industry. I’m going to bed.
MAXjet announced it is filing for bankruptcy and ceasing all flights today. If you are in the middle of travel on MAXjet, you will be reaccomodated on Eos if you are flying to New York (a good thing, trust me), or on another airline if you are flying to LA or Vegas. If you have a MAXjet ticket, you should ask your credit card company or travel agent for a refund.
This is a perfect example of just how difficult it is to succeed as an airline. MAXjet was offering a product that was perhaps half-a-step lower in quality than its US-based competitors, but charging about 80% less. And they still couldn’t make it work (it didn’t help that for the first year and change of their operations their planes were far less-than-reliable. Nobody tried to match MAXjet on fares, but I wouldn’t be surprised if SilverJet, which was positioned between MAXjet and Eos, tried to bring their prices up a bit (they’re struggling as well).
Alas poor MAXjet, we hardly knew ye:
The lowfare business class airline has asked that trading in its shares be suspended until it clarifies its financial position. They are not doing this because their financial position is even better than everyone thought. When Eos and MAXjet were the only two small carriers flying New York to Stansted, they had a chance because they were so differentiated. Once Silverjet (slightly more expensive, much better product though they fly to Luton), and American (worse product, but frequent flyer program) entered, and fuel prices roughly doubled from they launched, it was pretty much over by then. Sure, they’ll still be around for a bit, but this is a terrible sign. Shame – you could get a pretty nice seat over to London for $1200 round trip. I’d expect Silverjet to up their fares a bit closer to Eos once MAXjet is gone.
In case you were wondering how MAXjet was doing, you can see here that they posted a $31 million loss on $27 million in revenue for the first half of 2007. Yes, it’s difficult to run an airline profitably.
It will never happen, but MAXjet has applied to launch Seattle to Shanghai service in 2009. It would be the only all-business-class airline serving Asia. No chance they get the nod, but it suggests that MAXjet is looking beyond its London routes if it ever hopes to make a profit.
Bad news for Eos, Silverjet and MAXjet (though mostly for Eos and Silverjet): Richard Branson has announced that Virgin will launch all-business class flights between New York and a bunch of European cities within the next 18 months. They plan on purchasing about 15 planes to dedicate to this service, which will initially serve Paris, Amsterdam,
Frankfurt, Milan and Zurich, and London from New York. This is a huge blow for the upstart carriers trying to make all-business class service work from New York to London.
MAXjet announced that it will begin 4-times-weekly flights from Los Angeles to London with fares that start at $699 each way. That is stupid cheap for the business class service. They’re also upping frequencies to Vegas and Washington, DC. The airline has made a huge improvement in its operations over the past 3 months, so, for the sake of all of us cheapskates out there, that they’re able to handle this service increase gracefully.
Silverjet, one of the all-business class airlines to London) has launched a promotion where you get a free one-way ticket for each one-way ticket you purchase (ie, 50% off a roundtrip to London). In exchange for telling them what frequent flyer program you are a member of, you’ll get a round trip ticket for $899 — even cheaper than MAXjet (and quite a bit nicer). Silverjet has angled lie-flat seats and a dedicated terminal at London Luton airport (not as far away as you might think).
I’ll give credit where it’s due: After bagging a bit on MAXjet for their miserable reliability, they’ve turned things around a bit. The Cranky Flier has a good (email) interview with a MAXjet exec where we learn that, indeed, they HAVE filed their financial data that I’ve complained they haven’t filed (they don’t know why it’s not showing up on the DOT website), and that after a miserable reliability record last year, they’ve only canceled 1 flight in the past 2 months, and they’ve amassed a 90% ontime record during the same period.
I will give them a ton of credit for pulling the Washington, DC, filghts which allowed them to free up aircraft to provide better service. Well done.