US Airways sees revenue in expanding distribution of ancillaries

Washington DC
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US Airways sees "hundreds of millions of dollars" in potential revenue from expanding the sale of ancillary products across distribution channels, says president Scott Kirby.

The Tempe, Arizona-based carrier already generates about $100 million per year from its choice seats product and this could increase dramatically as it expands distribution the seats to more channels - for example Orbitz or Travelocity - he says during an earnings call today. The seats are only available for sale on US Airways' website and at the airport currently.

Choice seats include aisle and window seats in the front portion of the economy cabin as well as bulkhead and exit row seats. These are sold to passengers at an additional fee at booking or check-in.

Kirby says that US Airways' plans to build on its new agreement to distribute the seats with travel technology company Fareportal and continue to expand to additional platforms.

The agreement with Fareportal, which Kirby describes as the fifth largest online travel agent, was announced today.

Kirby declines to comment on any other ways US Airways is looking to boost ancillary revenues. The airline also charges for various other products include checked luggage, onboard food and preferred boarding.

US Airways reports $153 million in ancillary revenue during the first quarter, which is up nearly 11% compared to a year earlier.