Citrus heads West

UAL777DEN:

I can see COS/DEN being lumped together, since LUV would definitely create some drive traffic from DEN to COS!

LUV no longer serves SFO.

ManagementGuru:

I agree that FAT makes total sense for LUV. It makes me realize that once LUV is at FAT, it will have substantially replaced almost all former PSA/Air Cal service on the west coast. Most of it within 5 years of their mergers. Very impressive. The negative side is that, LUV has been trying to duplicate that success in the east, which seems to be the reason for putting off COS and FAT.

AirTran comments:

I still think that AirTran made a strategic blunder here. Which surprises me, because I've thought they've made some great decisions. I think there is a general idea out there that ATL-DEN/COS was just a touch out of reach for the B717, so no need to worry about AirTran. This shows that it is not, and that COS could be a target. If I were running LUV, COS just jumped in importance. I think if AirTran gets their first, COS folks will support it after getting snubbed by Southwest for so long.
 
funguy2,

Good point about LUV and PSA/AirCal. But there are still quite of few of those former cities for Southwest to open in.

The former PSA/AirCal cities (those operated in 1986 just before the mergers) that LUV still would have to add besides Fresno are:
Long Beach, Palm Springs, Stockton, Concord, Eureka, Lake Tahoe, Medford, Eugene, Bellingham, Pasco, Yakima, and international to Vancouver and Los Cabos. Plus there would need to be a return to SFO.

Lots of growth left for LUV in the West before they completely replace our old favorites. [img src='http://www.usaviation.com/idealbb/images/smilies/10.gif']
 
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On 1/9/2003 2:16:05 PM funguy2 wrote:

UAL777DEN:

I can see COS/DEN being lumped together, since LUV would definitely create some drive traffic from DEN to COS!

LUV no longer serves SFO.

ManagementGuru:

I agree that FAT makes total sense for LUV. It makes me realize that once LUV is at FAT, it will have substantially replaced almost all former PSA/Air Cal service on the west coast. Most of it within 5 years of their mergers. Very impressive. The negative side is that, LUV has been trying to duplicate that success in the east, which seems to be the reason for putting off COS and FAT.

AirTran comments:

I still think that AirTran made a strategic blunder here. Which surprises me, because I've thought they've made some great decisions. I think there is a general idea out there that ATL-DEN/COS was just a touch out of reach for the B717, so no need to worry about AirTran. This shows that it is not, and that COS could be a target. If I were running LUV, COS just jumped in importance. I think if AirTran gets their first, COS folks will support it after getting snubbed by Southwest for so long.
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The general public doesn't care who gets to COS first. When they start looking at fares and are looking at a market that, say, Southwest and Air Tran both compete in, they won't care who came to COS first. They will look for the lowest fares first, then the most convenient schedule. That being said, I think you all over estimate the importance of COS. If COS were so important and such a highly profitable market then West Pac would have been able to make it work. They didn't. For many reasons, but one can't ignore the fact that COS wasn't the gold mine they had hoped. Second, if COS were so profitable, you would see the other airlines flying more than one or two flights a day from their hubs. You don't. Third, Southwest would be looking more urgently at COS if the $$$$ was that great. The fact is that DEN has attracted ALOT more new traffic just in the last year, than COS has since W7 went bankrupt.

What I believe is that there are alot of COS cheerleaders here that are ignoring the real dollars and cents of the whole thing in the hopes that some airline, any airline, will add flights to COS so that their little airport will start looking like a big airport. It is what it is folks, and it's not going to get dramatically better anytime soon. If you think WN flying to COS is going to draw hoards of other airlines I think you are mistaken.
 
funguy:

I noticed the turn around times at DEN for the Airtran flights seem long (2+ hours). I would imagine that they too think this is a stretch for the 717 and have padded the schedule for a possible stop during certain conditions especially westbound...
 
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On 1/10/2003 8:41:40 AM midway7 wrote:

funguy:

I noticed the turn around times at DEN for the Airtran flights seem long (2+ hours). I would imagine that they too think this is a stretch for the 717 and have padded the schedule for a possible stop during certain conditions especially westbound...


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Midway 7

Check it again the schedule I'm looking at shows a :45 minute turn in DEN. You are right this will be a stretch for the 717, one of the longest, if not longest leg Airtran flies. Going Westbound of course this could propose a problem, COS should be a good alternate 90% of the time.
 
ac500

Sorry, I stand corrected. Must have mistaken this schedule for some other service somewhere else...

Its been a heavy newsweek here in Chicago Aviation...

 
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On 1/10/2003 11:23:41 AM rumorboy wrote:

Everbody lately has been questioning the range of the 717. As of matter of fact Airtran actually has a longer flight in its system. MKE-FLL is 1080 miles and the ATL-DEN is 1040 miles. Boeing has the 717 range at 1580 miles so I don't see the big deal. This airplane with full fuel, full boat, and an alternate can get there no problem. Even in the winter. We do charters for the military and for the white house press that really stretch the range sometimes. I've seen some 1200-1300 mile flights with the 717.
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Are you a pilot? I was wondering about the ability of the 717 to takeoff at MTOGW (full of folks and gas) at 5430 MSL. I think C-springs is on the level of 7000 MSL (prob the REAL reason Vangard went from 737-200s to MD-80s)
 
Everbody lately has been questioning the range of the 717. As of matter of fact Airtran actually has a longer flight in its system. MKE-FLL is 1080 miles and the ATL-DEN is 1040 miles. Boeing has the 717 range at 1580 miles so I don't see the big deal. This airplane with full fuel, full boat, and an alternate can get there no problem. Even in the winter. We do charters for the military and for the white house press that really stretch the range sometimes. I've seen some 1200-1300 mile flights with the 717.

I think all DEN is doing is building up ATL a little more. Offering connections to the east coast. As I said before COS is nice but, DAL only has 2 flights aday out of ATL and they have 5 times more flights than Airtran.
 
Our 717s are actually derated at 18500. The TWA 717s are 20500. From what I have heard(haven't gotten a bulletin yet) but we will up all our 717s to 20500 for takeoff thrust. To change the thrust all we have to do is a software adjustment. Airtran save millions of dollars a year with derated thrust. Since we use power by the hour, it saves a lot of money on the warranty plus we get money back from Rolls Royce the more derated takeoffs we do. Since we are not starting service till May I probably won't see a bulletin for a while.
 
The general public doesn't care who gets to COS first. When they start looking at fares and are looking at a market that, say, Southwest and Air Tran both compete in, they won't care who came to COS first. They will look for the lowest fares first, then the most convenient schedule. That being said, I think you all over estimate the importance of COS. If COS were so important and such a highly profitable market then West Pac would have been able to make it work. They didn't. For many reasons, but one can't ignore the fact that COS wasn't the gold mine they had hoped. Second, if COS were so profitable, you would see the other airlines flying more than one or two flights a day from their hubs. You don't. Third, Southwest would be looking more urgently at COS if the $$$$ was that great. The fact is that DEN has attracted ALOT more new traffic just in the last year, than COS has since W7 went bankrupt.

What I believe is that there are alot of COS cheerleaders here that are ignoring the real dollars and cents of the whole thing in the hopes that some airline, any airline, will add flights to COS so that their little airport will start looking like a big airport. It is what it is folks, and it's not going to get dramatically better anytime soon. If you think WN flying to COS is going to draw hoards of other airlines I think you are mistaken.


With all do respect Cartpusher, basing the failure of Western Pacific on COS is really not fair.

Continental dropped Denver as a hub in 1995. Does that mean Denver is a poor market? Does Denver just not generate the real dollars? Is that why it's the 10th busiest airport in the world and United's 2nd largest hub?

I really felt like ignoring your reply because when one person makes a reply about a topic he hasn't really researched, I just laugh.

I've studied the COS market for nearly 5 years now. Airline consultants such as Mike Boyd agree that COS is a very underserved city for the size of it's market.

Western Pacific failed AFTER the new CEO took the decision to move to Denver which was a very bad move. It was an extremely poorly managed airline. They flew 737s to Tulsa from COS!

I'm sorry, but blaming Western Pacific's failure on COS just is not right and completely false.

By the way Cartpusher, traffic in COS is up 36% from pre-9/11 levels. What does that tell you? Is that because it's a sucky market?

Since October 2001, COS attracted 3 carriers and that is a good number for COS.

They attracted Great Plains Air, Vanguard Airlines (now gone of course), and Allegiant Air.

Allegiant Air added additional frequencies just recently and Great Plains Air just announced COS-AUS service. Is that because COS is a crappy market?

America West is bringing back mainline service to COS while other America West cities see continous downgrades to America West Express. Is that because COS is a crappy market?

Delta operated a 3rd seasonal flight from ATL, is that because the market of COS isn't good?

America West launched LAS-COS service and a few months later added a 2nd flight, is that because the market is bad?

Is the fact that 3 new carriers have come, additional routes, additional frequencies, and a 36% rise in traffic because COS is a bad market? You really aren't being realistic CartPusher. Blaming COS because of the failure of one airline? No offense CartPusher, but that is very narrowminded thinking. You simply jumped to a conclusion because of one failed airline.

Did you know Southwest officials have visited COS several times and gave there word in serving the city? They asked for the airport to do some improvements and they were done. Now what? COS is #4 on the list of Southwest cities. What does that tell you? Because COS is a crappy market, they are #4 on the list?

Guess what CartPusher, National Airlines shutdown in November. Oh, I guess LAS is a crappy market then. Right? What airline would ever want to fly to LAS?

American Airlines over the years has been doing many cuts in LAX. They aren't as big as they used to be. I guess LAX is not a very big market, right? Must be a pretty crappy one, right?

Right.....
 
Another thing CartPusher, the reason why Denver was able to attract so many carriers lately is because Denver Airport offers incentives for new airlines.

They bribe them. They give them free advertising for a while. They give them great discounts on operating and landing fees.

COS has never done that. They're advertising campaign was extremely weak until recently. That's when they attracted 3 new carriers within a time frame of 6 months. That's why air traffic in COS has improved lately.

But the advertising campaign is still no where near as big as Denver's. They don't offer any discounts or any sort of incentives like Denver does.

There is a difference my friend. Last time I checked, similar markets such as TUS, ABQ, FAT, etc. have not attracted 3 carriers within a 6 month time frame, now have they? I guess you think TUS, ABQ, and FAT are crappy markets too right? Or is it only COS? Do you have something personal against COS? I hate to say it, but it sure sounds like it.

Or you just feel like blaming COS for the loss of an extremely badly managed airline. Interesting......
 
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On 1/10/2003 5:15:03 PM UA777DEN wrote:

traffic in COS is up 36% from pre-9/11 levels.
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Just to be specific about your reference, that figure represents flights not passengers at COS. I haven't compared COS schedules but that could be due to RJs replacing larger aircraft.

The last passenger counts I saw for COS (unless you can point me to something else) were YTD figures through October. Unfortunately, for the first 10 months of the year COS was still about -1% below the same Year-To-Date period last year. Hopefully they had a good Nov and Dec.

COS has been seeing an annual drop in passengers every year since WestPac left. 2000 and 2001 were only about 1/2 the counts of 1996. But considering the bubble of 75% annual increases for 2 years that WestPac created with connecting pax and low fares that is not bad. They are still way ahead of the pre-WestPac days.

And just to comment on my home airport. FAT didn't add new airlines the last 6 months but did see the highest passenger counts in years and added both new flights and larger equipment from existing airlines compared to pre 9/11. Definitely not crappy. But the terminal and parking lot were in the midst of a major rebuild this past year which created problems for passengers and left no gates available. Watch for 2 or 3 airlines to announce Fresno soon. [img src='http://www.usaviation.com/idealbb/images/smilies/9.gif']
 
Just to be specific about your reference, that figure represents flights not passengers at COS.

Yes, those figures represent passengers.

However, passenger traffic did increase as well, but I am not sure of the percentage.

I'll look around and see if I can find out and post them here.

WestPac actually made COS busy. Those were good days........

Regards
 
UA777DEN -

Before you throw your next hissy fit, please read THOROUGHLY my post. The post to which you are referring said that West Pac couldn't make it work for many reasons, COS not being the gold mine they had hoped for was only one. That having been said, I would like to address your various comments:

W7 moved to DEN in the hopes of capitalizing on a percieved larger market. By the time they made this move they were already in the midst of financial ruin. They had also acquired a bad reputation and were losing customers left and right. Once in DEN, UA matched their fares and drove them out of business for good. There time in DEN was brief and at the tail end of their life.

As for CO moving out of DEN - they too were in desperate financial times and were suffering miserably at DEN, thanks to United and Frontier. Closing DEN was one of the things they did to survive as an airline. If they hadn't closed their DEN hub they might never had made it.

You've touted the three new airlines that COS has lured to their airport, out of three, only two are still operating. Both are in poor financial shape. You hold up Allegiant Airlines, Great Plains Airlines and Vanguard Airlines to show how "well" COS is doing? Vanguard tanked (unfortunately), Allegiant, in their short life, has filed for Chapter 11 once already and Great Plains is all over the map flying little Dork jets, their success remains to be seen but is doubtful given that the government has already, and without a whole lot of hesitation, refused to back a loan to them. Also, Great Plains is having trouble financing some new jets to begin their much talked about new service to the east coast from TUL/OKC. So far, the COS track record isn't looking good. Kind of a magnet for troubled airlines.

As for WN - they may well be able to make COS work. They've been pretty succesful at flying to markets, such as COS, that people would be willing to drive to from a nearby major city. ISP, MHT, BWI, OAK all being prime examples. For what it's worth, however, if COS is #4 on this "list" (that people talk about, yet nobody ever really has posted anywhere) and WN isn't planning on adding any new cities this year, then when does COS look forward to this new service? If it was such a goldmine, wouldn't WN want to move in quick and get some of the $$$$ before anyone else? Also, since 9/11, all bet's are off. Any "words" that were given prior to 9/11, I have to believe, are subject to the conditions of the new marketplace post 9/11.

Delta added a "SEASONAL" flight - that makes perfect sense, given COS relative proximity to some major ski areas. But as you said, it's seasonal. 2 flights on Delta, plus one, still only make 3. How many does DL operate to DEN? Even during the summer, DL operates SUBSTANTIALLY more service to DEN. On widebody jets too. You don't see scheduled passenger service on widebody jets into COS anymore. Those days are long gone. And who else has added any seasonal service to COS? Anyone?.... Anyone?.... Anyone?....

Your 36% increase in traffic can be attributed to the many new regional jets that are replacing mainline service at COS, as one poster has already pointed out. Even with more flights, COS is still down in numbers of passengers. Even so, I don't think that you can look at statistics now and compare them with last year or the year before, given the catastrophic events that drove the airlines to their knees. It stands to reason that nearly any fair sized city would record increases as the airlines attempt to recover and restore service as they are able. 2002 was better than 2001 and 2003, barring a war, will hopefully be better than 2002. And so it goes....

Why doesn't COS offer incentives to gain new service? It works for nearly every other airport in the country. Air Tran has moved into a number of new cities in the past couple of years that offered many incentives. Some have worked, some not. I'll bet if COS had made their airport more financially appealing, they might have gained Air Tran as a new tenant.

I never called any market "crappy". If you can find the word "crappy" anywhere in any of my posts, I will recant entirely and apologize from the bottom of my heart. You are right about TUS, ABQ and FAT. They haven't lured in three financially ailing carriers in the last year. Poor them. Just think of all the unpaid fees they could have racked up when they all three go out of business. So far, COS has only had to write off the Vanguard money owed to them.

Listen, I don't hate COS - I don't really care at all about them. I'm just being a realist. If it were such a goldmine and so lucrative then many carriers would be anxious to fly there. Those that currently fly there don't offer alot of flights for a reason. The market there may be soft for now. Maybe it will pick up. I don't know - I do know there is a reason that Air Tran, Alaska, Mexicana, Spirit, Horizon and Jet Blue have chosen DEN over COS.
 
[P]Thanks because I'd like to see newer numbers for COS. The most recent thing I can find is this that says it was 1% below 2001 as of 12/21. [A href="http://www.krdotv.com/DisplayStory.asp?id=5113"]http://www.krdotv.com/DisplayStory.asp?id=5113[/A][/P]
[P]Through YTD Oct 2002, it appears COS was not having a good year in 2002. The graph at the bottom of page 3 at this link shows it well[BR][A href="http://www.springsgov.com/Units/Airport/Reports/COS1002TrafficRpt.pdf"]http://www.springsgov.com/Units/Airport/Reports/COS1002TrafficRpt.pdf[/A][BR][A href="http://www.springsgov.com/Units/Airport/Reports/COS10YrPaxRpt.pdf"]http://www.springsgov.com/Units/Airport/Reports/COS10YrPaxRpt.pdf[/A][/P]
[P]I also saw this article quoting Mike Boyd and another consultant on 12/15/02[BR][A href="http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/gazette/abstract/268915561.html?did=268915561&FMT=ABS&FMTS=FT"]http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/gazette/abstract/268915561.html?did=268915561&FMT=ABS&FMTS=FT[/A][/P]
[P]A couple of excerpts:[BR][EM] "Southwest could and would do well in Colorado Springs, but they won't because they are focusing their resources elsewhere - where they can make more money," said Mike Boyd... "The conventional wisdom is that a low-fare carrier could come to the Springs and get the Denver traffic without the hassle of DIA," Boyd said. "But Southwest typically doesn't attack other airlines."[BR] Scott Hamilton, a Seattle-based aviation consultant, said Southwest likely would expand into Colorado only if United slashed operations or shut down its Denver hub. [BR] "Southwest sees more opportunity east of the Mississippi and on the West Coast than they see in Colorado, because that is where the population is," Hamilton said."[/EM][/P]
 
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