SAN FRANCISCO – Upstart Reno Air has become entangled in a dog fight with troubled giant Northwest Airlines along the Reno-Minneapolis route, where the two ai" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" >

Reno Air, Northwest Fly Into Battle By Daniel S. Levin

SAN FRANCISCO – Upstart Reno Air has become entangled in a dog fight with troubled giant Northwest Airlines along the Reno-Minneapolis route, where the two ai

Reno Air began with newspaper ads from agency Goldberg Moser O’Neill here announcing it would begin service three times a day between the two cities. The ads took a David and Goliath posture and positioned the airline as having empathy with the jaded traveler. The airline features a young fleet of jets, full amenities and airfares about half the price of major carriers.
While other airlines have avoided fare wars with Reno Air, Northwest responded by announcing non-stop service along the route and matching Reno Air’s fares. That’s caused Reno Air to take aim at Northwest with an increasingly aggressive set of ads. ‘If you want to find out the new fares the other airline is offering next week, call this number: 800-RENO-AIR,’ one of the ads reads. GMO said it had produced a variety of ads in anticipation of Northwest taking different responses, and so far has wound up using its most aggressive campaign.
The carrier was facing a similar competitive shootout with Northwest along three of its other routes – San Diego, Seattle and L.A., but in recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Transportation quashed that, forcing Northwest to cancel its expansion into those markets.
Reno Air, which initiated service in July, has met with early success. It now has 42 flights daily along the West Coast and has begun serving Kansas City. Though Reno Air operates fewer routes than many other airlines, load factors in recent months have ranged between 65% and 80%, well above the industry average of 40-55%.
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