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Mark Vickery

United Airlines Expands VIP Services

BA DAL

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United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) announced plans to expand baggage delivery facilities to 36 markets, which it already launched last month in six markets. The company is also offering services like Premier Access that speeds up check-in and security checkpoint clearance

United Continental, the largest U.S.airline, followed by Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL - Analyst Report), is making continued progress to improve service features and introduce products that will enhance value and profitability. 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 Aug last year, introducing the product on Airbus A319, followed by the Boeing’s (BA - Analyst Report) 747 and 737-900ERs.

Moreover, the company is optimizing its network and flight routes for greater efficiency in fleet operations. The company is reducing its domestic fleet count, retiring the older and less efficient aircraft and reconfiguring domestic aircraft for international service.

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, growing competition, new advertising policy, unionized workforce and a sluggish global economy.

Other Stocks

AMR Corporation , which has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), is a stock worth considering in this sector.

United Continental currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) rating.

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