with the new JetConnect schedule out for may, 2003, I noticed that they are going to replace the equivalent of about 3 more 717s. With the delivery rate going to be at least 20 more next year, will there be even more explosive growth?
Doubt we'll see any western expansion, I hope not. AirTran was designed for it's niche, the Eastern and Midwest sections of the United States. Western expansion would not be possible, they are already constrained on gates in ATL, they've got CRJ's coming, small market potential in the midwest. Thats what would be best for now, we've got Southwest and jetBlue for the west.
Colin: There will be 9 new 717s next year, in addition to the 5 or so that will be replaced by JC. With 14 new ones(about 65-80 daily flights), there has to be somewhere for them to go. Starting up ATL-DEN/ABQ/AUS/OKC etc. would increase the stage length of the 717, meaning less flights to take up precious ATL space. OTOH, they can add more flights to other point-point routes if they wanted to, possibly things like BWI-MSY/MSP, PHL/ROC-BOS, CAK-BWI/TPA, etc.
The westward expansion will happen, not if but when. FL will be successful as long as they don't go immediately to the West coast a la JI, but instead fly out there slowly.
I think you will see connecting dots and a few new cities. If you listen to the conference call they seem to be undecided about how to go west. Do you put aux tanks in the 717? I heard boeing quoted Airtran about 2 miilion a pop. Or do you find a focus city somewhere in the midwest where you can have the range to touch the whole west coast. Time will tell. The airline has stuck to there business plan for the most part and because of that they are profitable. As long as there operation runs well I think Airtran will do just fine in what ever they decide.
Rule OKC out for another year or so. The terminal construction will reduce the number of gates for awhile. However, once complete they will go from 17 to 25 gates. The only problem with OKC & TUL -- they wouldn't welcome an airline that could harm their baby (Great Plains). Take out OKC and TUL and your city choices for a focus city fall. COS may work, but most of the DEN traffic is happy with Frontier. MCI seems like the only other likely city - but then you run into Southwest.
FL's best bet is to stay in the eastern half of the country and continue to serve their niche. If Delta can fill mainline flights to CR7s out of some cities...AirTran can make a go at it in most market.
When it comes to focus citys in the midwest I agree there are not a whole lot of choices. I thought MCI would be good but LUV just announced major expansion there. And as we all know you really don't want to go head to head with the big 1000 pound gorrilla. Very few choices. I like to be a fly on the wall in MCO to see what there plans are. One things for sure we are getting a lot airplanes next year, so something is up.
On 10/30/2002 9:35:06 AM jj wrote:
Why cant Airtran put a hub in ICT.I remember Wichita was begging Peidmont a few years back.Not much local but if you put the right feed in their it could work.
They are bleeding cash (draining the travel bank) with 2 flights to MDW. If they can't support service, on their own, to one of the largest cities in the nation (Chicago)...how are they going to support a hub? They are doing okay as a spoke to the ATL hub...but if they cannot support some O/D markets on their own - they will forever be just another spoke.
Let's call apples, apples and oranges, oranges. Granted Chicago in one of the largest cities, but from ICT ? Come on! That market is going to take a little time to develop. I am sure it's on the list to convert to CRJ service. The marketing dept did it's research and believes there is something there. More than likely that route is for Boeing's benefit.[BR][BR]Kansas City might be a good hub, but I let the professionals make those decisions. So farthey are doing a very good job>
On 11/14/2002 4:38:19 PM jj wrote:
Heres a good route for ICT.ICT-LAX.UAX was looking into the route but never happened.TWA way back when had a 727 on the route-short lived though. Good ERD or CRJ route local traffic.
Many routes saw larger jets way back. Heck United flew DC-8-7Xs into TOL, but you don't see planes that size flying the route anymore.
Let's call apples, apples and oranges, oranges. Granted Chicago in one of the largest cities, but from ICT ? Come on! That market is going to take a little time to develop. I am sure it's on the list to convert to CRJ service. The marketing dept did it's research and believes there is something there. More than likely that route is for Boeing's benefit.
Kansas City might be a good hub, but I let the professionals make those decisions. So farthey are doing a very good job>
I would love to show you the O/D figures for ICT-CHI...but unfortunately the DOT site isn't participating right now. An airline isn't going to go into a route like ICT-MDW unless a good percentage of the traffic will be O/D. After figuring in any competition on the route, they simply came to the conclusion that there was a market great enough - ALREADY IN PLACE - to support 2 717s a day. That market has yet to meet the expectations of FL. It has already completely drained the travel bank for the year.
Regardless of your appeitite for fruit salad, or fruit cake (for the season)...excuses can only be accepted for so long till it is time for action. That action is the suspension of MDW-ICT and just making ICT what it is meant to be - another spoke. ICT-ATL is working well...stick with what works. I doubt we'll ever see MDW-ICT go to a RJ. Why? they going to have to rotate that jet back through the system some how. So either a MDW-ATL trip or ATL-ICT trip will need to become an RJ or an extra section added.
Previously mentioned was an LAX nonstop - unfortunately it doesn't seem possible for an airline to offer the service profitably, especially UA with only 32% of the market. If the numbers translate over...that would be 21 people per flight. That would still be pushing profitability on an RJ, especially into today's market where people want 50 buck fares every where and the airlines need to charge $200 to make money.