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Delta Air Lines Aims To Make Money Outside Of Selling Airline Tickets

Delta Air Lines Aims To Make Money Outside Of Selling Airline Tickets

BUSINESS

  • Delta Air Lines to sell passengers more than transportation tickets
  • Too early to gauge customer reaction to attempts to “upsell”
  • Other carriers expected to follow suit

Delta Air Lines wants to sell its passengers more than transportation tickets: it will begin serious marketing to customers to offer them various alternative services.

Critics of that plan wonder whether the American air carrier will provoke the type of protest its European counterpart Ryanair encountered when it floated the idea of paying to use the bathroom.

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Toyota Launches Its Latest Hybrid Vehicle - The Prius C

Toyota Launches Its Latest Hybrid Vehicle - The Prius C

BUSINESS

  • Prius c said to be more compact for city drivers with better fuel economy
  • Toyota Prius was Japan’s top-selling vehicle in 2011
  • US automakers question long-term viability of hybrid electric cars

Amid the era of greener, more environmentally conscious automobiles, Toyota recently rolled out its latest hybrid vehicle, called the Prius c. The Japanese automaker's new vehicle is smaller and more affordable than its predecessor, and targets city-dwelling, first-time buyers.

Toyota debuted its latest Prius addition at the recent Detroit Auto Show, following introduction on the Japanese market in Tokyo last year. The "c", which stands for city, is being hailed for its small size and record-setting fuel economy for a conventional hybrid in city driving.

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Nokia Announces New Windows Phone Handset for US Market

Nokia Announces New Windows Phone Handset for US Market

BUSINESS

  • New Lumia 900 among first Windows Phone handsets to feature LTE technology
  • Handset expected for US release within next few months on AT&T network
  • HTC also unveils new LTE Windows Phone device

Nokia and Microsoft unveiled their new Lumia Windows Phone handset this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, as the pair step up their smartphone campaign to haul in Android and Apple.

The new Lumia 900 4G LTE will be among the first Windows-powered handsets to feature the next-generation long-term evolution, or LTE, technology, Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop and Microsoft boss Steven Ballmer said at the event.

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Aluminium: Alcoa Says Smelters To Shutdown in Italy, Spain

Aluminium: Alcoa Says Smelters To Shutdown in Italy, Spain

BUSINESS

  • Alcoa closing smelters in Portovesme (Italy); La Coruna and Aviles (Spain)
  • Up to 1,500 employees affected
  • Closures reduce global smelting by 5%

The world’s largest aluminum company US-based Alcoa Inc plans to close three European smelters. The closures affect two smelters in Spain and one in Italy, and are part of the company’s strategy to restructure its global primary products unit.

Alcoa plans to close the Portovesme in Italy facility permanently, while the La Coruna and Aviles in Spain facilities would be closed partially and temporarily. The closures affects 1,500 employees. The company told reporters in a written statement that the total number of employees who would lose their jobs would not be determined until consultations are completed.

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2012: The Year Space Travel Becomes Real?

2012: The Year Space Travel Becomes Real?

BUSINESS

  • Space travel could be launched this year for eager participants
  • Virgin, XCOR Aerospace are set to offer space travel
  • Participants should not expect journeys similar to walks on the moon

For those who have been nearly everywhere, there is a new tourist destination to visit. While it might seem light years ahead, travelers can reportedly head into space starting this year.

Virgin Galactic will take interested travelers into space for $200,000, according to various media reports. No concerns about booking a ticket, either, since the process is similar to buying a travel voucher right here on earth, according to The New York Times.

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Ford Unveils “World’s Most Efficient Hybrid”

Ford Unveils “World’s Most Efficient Hybrid”

BUSINESS

  • Ford announces overhauled hybrid Fusion sedans, pulls plug on petrol-electric sport-utility
  • New Fusion Energi Ford’s first plug-in hybrid car
  • Energi to deliver over 100 MPGe on plug-in power

Ford will change direction for its hybrid-electric vehicle program, unveiling completely overhauled versions of its Fusion sedan at the Detroit auto show.

The new Ford Fusion will come in a petrol-electric hybrid and a petrol-only model, as well as the new Fusion Energi model – Ford’s first venture into the plug-in hybrid vehicle market.

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Starbucks Pushes Prices Up For

Starbucks Pushes Prices Up For

BUSINESS

  • Starbucks raises prices in Northeast and Sunbelt by 1%
  • Starbucks hopes price increase will offset costs of coffee and fuel
  • Marks first across the board increase since 2007

Seattle-based Starbucks Corp plans to raise prices by 1% in the Northeast and the Sunbelt states. This is the first across-the-board price increase since 2007.

In November, Starbucks raised its prices in cafes located in the Midwest, Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest as well as California and Florida. And while Starbucks has yet to release a list of all the locations affected by the increase, the regions targeted include major metropolitan areas such as New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Dallas and Atlanta.

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US Automotive Industry Records 10% Growth in 2011

US Automotive Industry Records 10% Growth in 2011

BUSINESS

  • US auto sales came close to 13 million units, peaking in December
  • Chrysler sales rose 25%; Nissan and GM up around 15%, Ford up 10%
  • Chrysler to showcase 200 Super S by Mopar at International Auto Show

2011 was a good year for US carmakers, with sales rising by almost 13 million units, representing 10% growth compared with 2010. Sales are expected to continue climbing in 2012, possibly nearer to 14 million vehicles.

Ford’s F-Series pickup was the most-sold vehicle for the 30th year in a row, followed by Chevrolet’s Silverado pickup. In the category of cars, Toyota’s Camry sedan and Nissan’s Altima sedan were popular choices, followed by the Ford Escape small SUV, the Toyota Corolla compact and the Ford Fusion mid-size sedan.

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PetroChina Takes Remaining 40% MacKay River Shares From Athabasca Oil

PetroChina Takes Remaining 40% MacKay River Shares From Athabasca Oil

BUSINESS

  • PetroChina first Chinese company to fully own a Canadian oil sands development
  • MacKay River project expected to yield nearly 35,000 barrels of oil per day by 2014
  • PetroChina also made a deal with Afghanistan to develop oil, natural gas reserves in Amu Darya 

Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. is selling off its remaining 40% stake in Canada’s MacKay River oil sands project to PetroChina, Asia's largest oil company, for the sum of nearly $680 million.

This announcement comes just two years after Athabasca sold 60% of its MacKay River shares to the same China-based oil company. The deal makes PetroChina the first Chinese company to wholly own a Canadian oil sands development.

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Southwest Airlines: Pricing New Focus Now That Fuel Hedging Has Expired

Southwest Airlines: Pricing New Focus Now That Fuel Hedging Has Expired

BUSINESS

  • Southwest forced to re-examine pricing strategy
  • Southwest’s average ticket price up 39% in past 5 years
  • Ticket pricing key for airline profitability going forward

With Southwest's lucrative hedges now expired, the US's largest low-cost airline has to come up with a new strategy to drive profit. 

In the past, Southwest Airlines was the envy of the industry with its long string of repeated profitable quarterly reports thanks to fuel hedging. Southwest had locked-in buying options that guaranteed it low costs for fuel at a time when gas prices were dramatically rising.

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