AWA: Next new cities?

dfw79

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
308
0
TOL will be happy with an RJ or two to PHX or LAS...if they can make it. LOL Of course, HP would have to wrestle with ATA to get their old counter back here. When ATA moved in they still found left overs from HP...took a couple of things for my own collection. Maybe it is a sign....




....that they didn't clean very well.
 

motnot

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
185
0
Well, if we're talking mainline cities, it will almost certainly not be BUF, which is a LUV city and basically an "alternative airport" for YYZ, which AWA serves.

AWA will likely add only high-fare, non-LUV cities in the near-future. The possibilities include CVG and CLT, although the latter is the overwhelming favorite in my mind.

AWA continues to beat up on U, adding frequencies out of PHX to both PHL and PIT. If AWA adds CLT and takes traffic away on that route, too, that move could easily force U to cut back further its PHX service, perhaps eventually cause U to pull out and let partner UAL serve PHX.

That's why I think it will be CLT. The only other such possibilities in my mind are CVG and MEM (which will be served by Express).

As for adding Express cities, company officials have said probably a few will be adding in the next couple years. There are numerous possibilites in the West; my best guess is Palmdale, CA.

If CUN works out OK, Cozumel is always a possibility, and my dream Mexican city (which, though a smaller market, badly needs some "reasonable fares") is Veracruz.
 

wings396

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,672
1,122
Don't get to big about beating up on U. Once CH-11 is behind us and we get some more mainline A/C, things will change and you will not be taking candy from a baby any longer. PHX is a low yeild market anyway, but you won't be running us out of town anytime soon.
 

motnot

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
185
0
Well, best of luck to U, and especially its employees. But I just don't see U being a long-term survivor, unless it merges with someone else.

What I find interesting is that, currently, U serves AWA's hubs, LAS and PHX, with only 757s, apparently to get the more competitive CASM that those planes allow. However, that many seats hardly makes for a "nimble" route. To me, it looks like U has to choose between having too many seats or not enough frequency on those PHX and LAS routes.
 

wings396

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,672
1,122
U has as good if not a better chance to be a so called long term survivor as AWA. What would make you think that your outlook is better than ours? We now have leadership that wants to run the airline instead of selling it off. Granted none of us like the cuts that have come our way, but our costs are now at a competitive level. Remember that after the PI merger we had 454 A/C compared to todays 279. Once the dust settles and the war is over, look for the fleet numbers to increase. Also bear in mind the possible fragmentation of UA, and what US could end up getting with financing from RSA and Bonner.....
 

mga707

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
1,330
2
----------------
On 3/20/2003 8:14:53 AM wings396 wrote:

U has as good if not a better chance to be a so called long term survivor as AWA. What would make you think that your outlook is better than ours?
----------------

Fine, fine...may you BOTH survive in the short term, prosper in the longer term, and eventually merge, as has been speculated about for years and years...
 

motnot

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
185
0
First of all, I don''t work for AWA, but I am a shareholder. And I think U''s got the kind of leadership almost any airline would want.

But I''m not convinced about U''s costs. An AP story a day ago quoted Siegel as saying U''s costs after bankruptcy would be 6th-lowest among the major airlines. A little figuring says that''s behind LUV, AWA, NWAC, CAL and DAL. If this were three years ago, I''d say U would be able to compete just fine.

In 2003, however, what sets AWA apart from U (and others) is that it is a low-fare carrier. I just don''t believe we will any time soon get back to the kind of airline revenue environment we had a couple years ago. Maybe in 2-3 years at the absolute earliest, or maybe not. But by then this industry will have forced more change.

AWA is on the verge of joining other low-fare carriers in the black, even in this awful revenue environment.

Now, of course, anything can happen. Mergers are always a possibility, and if U acquired part of UAL''s system, to because a truly national airline, then who knows? Maybe then U could actually get the fare premium it needs. Mind you, I don''t think AMR, CAL, DAL or even NWAC are in much better position.

I like to say that in a few years, there won''t be low-fare carriers anymore, because that''s what everyone will be. Maybe that''s oversimplifying things, but my point remains.

Again, I wish the best for U. It''s been a long, tough road for you guys, and you have many things going for you. I''m just not sure it''s enough.
 

wings396

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,672
1,122
Thank you, and I hope that things turn around soon as well.
As far as saying that our costs are still high, I can''t imagine how. They have taken as much out of pockets as possibe and our wages are much lower than most including SWA. On top of this we are going to lose another 5% due to the war for up to 18 months. No other carriers are taking this hit. If a high cost probles still exists, management has internal issues to fix.
 

motnot

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
185
0
wings, costs are not a problem in the absolute. I agree U has chopped away, and the employees have had to bear the brunt of it, although necessarily. But costs are a problem in relation to revenue. If the airlines can''t get revenue up, the cost cuts aren''t going to make a big difference.

I don''t see any reason to believe that full-fare travelers will come back in anywhere near the numbers that they were. And, unfortunately, the cartel airlines need those folks to pay up.

Now if supply gets matched better with demand, that will allow the raising of fares on the bottom end, which will help all airlines, but especially low-fare airlines. But while some of the cartel airlines might be able to squeak out some profits, they won''t have margins near what they used to, without the high-fare travelers.

As for U itself, they''ve never figured out how to compete on service to/from the West. That will need to change, but hasn''t shown any signs of doing so. Also, PHL looks like it faces increasing revenue erosion from AAI and perhaps others.

Tom, as for a U and HP merger, it certainly would make sense in many ways. But the AWA route map won''t support U costs, even reduced as they are. (Well, I guess we''ll have to wait for more info from a post-BK U in order to make a final determination on that, but I doubt it.)

Back to the original topic, OKC was mentioned. That would be a decent RJ city, and probably the farthest non-mainline city being considered. It being a LUV-locked city means there''s probably not much more opportunity there than that in the forseeable future.
 

RowUnderDCA

Veteran
Oct 6, 2002
2,123
1
www.usaviation.com
I agree that U and HP make some sense. And doesn''t the stage length differences between the cramped east and the wide-open west make CASM comparisons confounding? I think the markets are just different, as well as the geographic psychlogy of easterners and westerners. Their respective perceptions of distance and travel convenience aren''t the same. But that''s a whole ''nother subject.

U is going to generate higher yields in the east, because they''re in the east, flying easterners. That would continue if U and HP merged. The west market and geography wouldn''t change either.

Don''t you think that this analysis would require a look at cost inputs?
 

motnot

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
185
0
That''s what I saying. We can''t really get a clear picture of U''s costs until probably Q2. Yes, the stage length does affect CASM, but U used to be so far above AWA in terms of CASM that it wouldn''t matter. I still don''t think it''s enough.

But even though U would still be flying in the East at East prices, paying AWA workers U wages and flying in the West at West prices would not work. And that''s what would happen in a merger.

Also, I don''t see U adopting AWA''s "low-fare" model, or AWA selling out to anyone (too much potential for shareholder returns at this point). So while some parts of a U-AWA merger are very tantalizing, I think it''s much more unlikely than all the other unlikely mergers.