Ata Downsizes Ind


Aug 20, 2002
Well... according to this press release, ATA is reducing operations at IND.

ATA also recently announced some re-alignments from MDW, including dropping some destinations, dropping some routes from MDW, but operating them from IND (like PHX, and FLL), adding frequencies to non-Southwest markets (big surprise), and rearranging Chicago Express (much of it undone with these changes).

I guess the operative question now is... what's left? Its kind of hard to tell... It looks like there will be more limited operations from IND and MDW.

The even bigger question will be whether or not this will be a profitable base to stabilize from and eventually grow, or just a step to non-existence...
I wonder if they told the judge that OK'd the WN deal that this was coming? Southwest was supposed to be the "good guy" for saving the ATA jobs.
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airport said:
I wonder if they told the judge that OK'd the WN deal that this was coming? Southwest was supposed to be the "good guy" for saving the ATA jobs.

By the sounds of it the press reports I've read (mostly from the Indy Star), it seems like ATA went full steam ahead on IND ignorning the NW announcements and new service, until after the LUV deal was approved.

On the other hand, it sounds like things are going exactly the way some have theorized that LUV wants it to go... LUV got 6 gates at MDW... Gets to experiment with a code-share and some new markets (i.e. what fares can LUV get from HNL, or from LGA, etc). ATA, continues to weaken, and will likely fail. At which point, LUV has secured more gates at MDW, prevented/eliminated a competitor's focus city, and potentially gets a crack at some of the remaining 8 gates when they free up...
Methinks that ATA is planning one of two options (or a combo of the two)...

1. Strictly International commercial flying as the "Int'l arm" of SWA. Gives SWA access to markets, such as Hawaii, without having to invest in a/c to fly there. Eliminates an LCC competitor in the Chicago MDW market.

2. Return to its roots as strictly a charter operator. It's what ATA built a successful business doing.
I have to believe that ATA is losing far more than they let on SWA. SWA probably told them to cut IND or get no more money. Just my thoughts...........Now they will just compliment each other in MDW.
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I think LUV got exactly what they watned... the six gates at MDW. LUV probably feels that the airport will not allow them to get the other eight gates, but feel that AirTran, America West, or jetBlue could not mount a "hub" from eight gates or less... Therefore, I think LUV probably got what they wanted, and are unconcerned with whatever happens to ATA from here... I they sell a few extra seats to MCI from DCA and BOS and LGA via the code-share, that is icing on the cake.
They got the 6 gates and the HANGAR. Sometimes I think that the hangar was very important as well. MDW is a a/c mx base and there was no more room to put planes to be worked on. I had also heard, and this is just passing it along, but that as collateral for the loan to ATA, that WN has the 8 additional gates. This could force the city to "buy" them back from WN if ATA defaults on the terms of the contract. Not sure, but that is my story and I'm sticking to it, for now anyway.
$117 million to not have a competitor like Airtran or Jet Blue at your airport--