With the present conditions offering little reason for airline execs to break out the expensive cognac to toast to their success, some airlines (at least those who aren’t fearing for their lives) are looking to the future. The likes of Cathay Pacific and Finnair are developing routes to Asia that they hope will become lucrative once the world economy starts playing nice. These airlines are starting early, trying to have their brands in place before the competition. Some are offering added amenities or advertising new, faster routes. Here are some of the players:
1. Finnair claims it has the shortest route between New York and New Delhi, via its hub in Helsinki.
2. Cathay Pacific, already one of the top names in Asia, is trying to compete by adding flights to India via its Hong Kong base.
3. Northwest Airlines is trying to further develop its long running service to Japan.
4. Even American Airlines announced a 12% increase in passengers on its routes to Japan and China.
5. Singapore Airlines launched an all business class service between New York and Singapore.
6. New airlines are also competing for this growing market. India-based Jet Airways is developing a route between San Francisco and Mumbai that has become favorite of business travelers.