Delta Topples US Airways as Dominant Carrier at Norfolk, Va., Airport

deltawatch

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
887
0
www.usaviation.com
Delta Air Lines has ousted longtime leader US Airways as the dominant carrier at Norfolk International Airport.
September and October passenger counts show Delta in the No. 1 spot for market share. Delta wanted to review the figures before commenting.
This is exciting news, said spokeswoman Peggy Estes.
US Airways had commanded the local skies since 1989. But the airline has fallen on hard times. In the past year, it has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, slashed flights and laid off workers.
The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks only amplified the financial and operational problems that already plagued the airline.
In October, Delta carried 27 percent of passengers at Norfolk International compared with US Airways'' 23.5 percent. Delta first squeaked past US Airways in September with 25.37 percent of travelers versus US Airways'' 25.33 percent.
But US Airways'' stronger numbers during the previous months will likely keep the airline on top for the year, said Charles W. Braden, the airport''s director of market development.
Over the past year or two, Braden has watched Delta''s numbers creep up while US Airways slowly slipped. Delta''s been coming on for some time now, he said.
Still, Braden does not downplay US Airways'' importance to the area. The carrier, he said, goes to major hubs that we need.
Another thing to watch in the rankings, Braden said, is whether Southwest Airlines, the low-fare leader that stimulated unprecedented air travel growth at Norfolk, will overtake US Airways and slide into the second position. Southwest now has a 17.5 percent market share.
Braden said Delta has been fairly aggressive in offering discounted fares to compete with Southwest, as well as AirTran at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport.
For beleaguered US Airways, the news that it had slipped to No. 2 in Norfolk was not surprising.
We''ve been reducing capacity across the system since 9/11, said David Castelveter, an airline spokesman.
He said that in August 2001, a month before the attacks, US Airways had 42 daily departures out of Norfolk. Last month, it had 31.
And it''s not over yet. As we speak, we''re trying to find ways to further reduce our expenses, Castelveter said.
Meanwhile, Delta has boosted its presence in Norfolk, increasing daily departures from 12 to 15 in the past year.
But what''s more telling is the number of available seats. Delta''s seat availability rose 14.2 percent from 1,634 to 1,866 from October 2001 to October 2002. US Airways seats dropped 21.4 percent from 2,767 to 2,176 over the same period.
 

DLFlyer31

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
444
0
What's odd is that US has a clear advantage in the number of n/s cities served having PIT, PHL, CLT, LGA, DCA and RDU. DL's schedule only offers service to three cities.

9 flights to ATL
5 flights to CVG
1 flight to JFK

In December, ATL-ORF will lose one flight, however CVG-ORF will have one RJ upgraded to mainline.
 

ITRADE

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
2,860
0
DCA/IAD US2
www.geocities.com
[P]
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]----------------[BR]On 11/22/2002 10:56:51 AM DLFlyer31 wrote:
[P]What's odd is that US has a clear advantage in the number of n/s cities served having PIT, PHL, CLT, LGA, DCA and RDU. DL's schedule only offers service to three cities. [BR][BR]9 flights to ATL[BR]5 flights to CVG[BR]1 flight to JFK[BR][BR]In December, ATL-ORF will lose one flight, however CVG-ORF will have one RJ upgraded to mainline. [/P]----------------[/BLOCKQUOTE]
[P][/P]DL operates a lot of big equipment from ATL - mostly 757s.[BR][BR]US's DCA is all Dash-8 service. RDU, if it still exists, is/was J32 service.
 

gilbertguy

Senior
Aug 29, 2002
368
0
Shouldn't this posting header read ? Topples US in any city...fill in the carrier's name.....
14.gif']
 
OP
D

deltawatch

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
887
0
www.usaviation.com
Delta Connection® to Add 70-Seat Jet Service Between Cincinnati And Baltimore, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City and Sarasota

Friday November 22, 9:03 am ET
Larger Jets Provide Customers Expanded Access To Delta's Cincinnati Hub


CINCINNATI, Nov. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Delta Connection will offer customers the convenience of expanded service capacity with new and larger jets between Delta's (NYSE: DAL - News) Cincinnati hub and four cities in January 2003. Beginning Jan. 28, Delta Connection carrier Comair will use the 70-seat CRJ700 jet to operate one daily, round-trip flight between Cincinnati and Baltimore, Indianapolis and Oklahoma City, and a second CRJ700 roundtrip flight to Sarasota, Fla.
 

AgMedallion

Advanced
Aug 31, 2002
220
0
[blockquote]
----------------
On 11/22/2002 10:56:51 AM DLFlyer31 wrote:

What's odd is that US has a clear advantage in the number of n/s cities served having PIT, PHL, CLT, LGA, DCA and RDU. DL's schedule only offers service to three cities.
9 flights to ATL
5 flights to CVG
1 flight to JFK
In December, ATL-ORF will lose one flight, however CVG-ORF will have one RJ upgraded to mainline.
----------------
[/blockquote]

As pointed out by others, many U flights are glorified puddle jumpers, i.e. Dash 8s and even smaller. Also, Delta often matches WN's fares and beats U's out of ORF, not to mention superior equipment. As I've said before, it's my gut feeling that U will eventually turn stations such as ORF, RIC, PVD, etc. into express stations. This will primarily take place because it's much cheaper to man stations with $13+/hr (at most) agents instead of the $20/hr mainline agents. Since many U flights out of ORF are already Dash 8's, turning the station into an express city and upgrading to RJ's, once they start adding more of them to their fleet, is a win-win situation for U and customers who choose to stick with U. The only downside is for U mainline employees, who will start a slow but sure decline in numbers, given the financial incentives for U mgt to get rid of high-priced help. The other factor which will incentivize U to convert stations to express status is the presence of low cost carriers like WN, Jetblue, Air Tran, etc. Personally, I don't see how this tactic will work for U since most customers would probably prefer the big iron and equal or lower fares offered by either Delta or low cost carriers. Who needs an RJ if you can fly on an AB, 737, 757, etc. ? That's why I can't see RJ's as the panacea which U mgt considers them to be. This should get even more interesting.
 

weatherman

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
121
0
PVD is important to U. They have lost very few flights since U decided to drop a large portion of its schedule. PVD is very much a business orientated market. They currently operate 4 mainline jets to DCA daily. That is more than most northeast cities. I find it very hard to believe that they would ever convert PVD to an express station.
 

sfb

Veteran
Aug 21, 2002
771
1
www.usaviation.com
The problem with converting the medium-sized cities in the US Airways system to Express is that you end up with a very minimal mainline operation in the end. Consider that PVD is roughly the 10th-largest US Airways station while ORF ranks around 15th for them. Then again, cuts over the last year, coupled with an inability to compete effectively with low-cost carriers (primarily WN) have cost US Airways its dominant position in an increasing number of airports. US is no longer the #1 carrier at BOS, PVD, MHT, BWI, etc.

Shrinking the mainline operation and adding lots and lots of RJ's doesn't provide a solution to the low-fare competitive threat. The CASM for the RJ's is even higher -- you just need to sell a smaller total number of seats to fill the plane.

I think it's been clear for years, though, that the expansion of the low-fare carriers on the East Coast has been directly tied to exploiting the weakness caused by the inefficiencies in the US Airways network. Since WN opened BWI, virtually every station they've opened has had US Airways as its #1 or #2 carrier. US's post-PI merger strategy hasn't amounted to much more than using its market dominance to charge some of the highest fares in the industry in its captive markets. It's not a workable long-term strategy.
 

autofixer

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
1,804
241
www.usaviation.com
Today 12-3-02 DAL awarded DCA-SLC route authority. They are chipping away at U. RJs and now 757s from DCA (a long time U stronghold)to a western hub with connections to places U never heard of.
 

geo1004

Senior
Aug 22, 2002
288
0
You forget that US tried for the DCA-SFO route authority.

Simple matter of fact is that a combined effort on behalf of MANY western state members of congress won this deal for DL. They were just tired of connecting twice to get to places like Jackson, WY, et al.

In a you scratch my back, I'll scratch your's wolrd, there was just not enough political energy behind US getting the DCA-SFO authority which would have been a financial win for US in a market where it has little or no political clout.
 

autofixer

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
1,804
241
www.usaviation.com
You are correct geo. It is amazing that U management always contended that they needed the headquarters in the DC area (high rent and all) to stay close to the action. What a bunch of bumpkins the U management has been. I guess you can arrange political clout from ATL or DAL or even IAH. I realize the past is just the past, but this is just another link in the long chain of events that got U to where it is today.