US Airways' Reagan Washington National-San Francisco Proposal is Best Choice for DOT Exemption Slots

C

chipmunn

Guest
The DOT's slot exemption comment period expired yesterday. Expect the regulators to announce thier decision shortly.

Chip
 

DCAflyer

Veteran
Aug 27, 2002
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Well, it certainly seems that U has made some very impressive arguments in support of our application. I think our chances are pretty decent of picking up one of the slots. The only two non-majors who applied for slots (a) already own exemption slots and (B) will duplicate exemption service. DL's application for a SLC exemption doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of O&D traffic.

I do have a couple of questions:

(1) When is DOT scheduled to release its decision?

(2) And again, forgive my ignorance on this one, but my mind is wondering a bit. I read several years ago that there is one widebody aircraft that has the capability of taking off and landing at DCA, even though no airline currently offers widebidy DCA service. Is the capable A/C per chance the 767? It would be great to have that A/C operate these SFO/DCA runs. If demand is as great on this route as U indicates in its DOT submission, the additional 21 seats on the ultra-comfortable 767 would be very beneficial, not to mention the prestige of operating the only widebody out of DCA. This also plays into the UAL feed in SFO theory for PAX's heading to Hawaii or the Pacific Rim, where they would get widebody service out of DCA into SFO and widebody again in SFO. Getting the extra seat and cargo capacity would be great.

Any thoughts on this?
 
C

chipmunn

Guest
[P][FONT face=Times New Roman size=3][STRONG]US Airways Disputes Delta's Efforts at DCA-Salt Lake City Slots [/STRONG][/FONT][/P]
[P][FONT face=Times New Roman size=3]WASHINGTON (Aviation Daily) - US Airways took a shot across the bow at Delta's efforts to gain more than two beyond-perimeter slots at Washington National Airport. Claiming its DCA-San Francisco proposal should be given the highest priority as the market is underserved, US Airways charged that Delta unleashed its 'armada' of paper and lobbyists in this proceeding. Delta has spent, so far, the most money and resources, but expenditures cannot hide the fundamental weaknesses in Delta's bid to get the slots for the thin DCA-Salt Lake City route. Delta CEO Leo Mullin stated that Delta would aim its armada at the US Airways-United domestic code share, which DOT has allowed to proceed. US Airways would code share beyond SFO with United. (Docket OST-00-7181)[BR][/FONT][/P]
 

LDKIAM

Member
Oct 29, 2002
99
0
[P][BR]767 aircraft are not permitted in Washington National, due to security restrictions the 757 and A321 are the largest type of aircraft able to operate in and out of DCA, and I believe no one has used widebodies in DCA ever. US Airways has stated they will use a 757-200 on the route. Plus our 767s have 24 seats up front, not 21.[BR][BR]US Airways would operate the new service using 182-seat Boeing 757 aircraft, offering First Class and Coach Class service. Each of US Airways' 757s are among the quietest aircraft in the industry. DOT is considering requests for new long-haul service after National Airlines relinquished the slots that had been used to fly between Reagan Washington National and Las Vegas. While multiple airlines have filed for the slots, US Airways is the only carrier to request the slots to provide new nonstop service to San Francisco, the only market in the DOT proceeding that lacks competitive nonstop service from Washington.[/P]
[P] [/P]
[P]President Bush Announces [BR]Reopening of Reagan National Airport[BR]Flight Operations to Resume October 4th [/P]
[BLOCKQUOTE]
[P]Today, President George Bush announced that Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport will reopen on Thursday, October 4th.
[P]This is welcome news to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the thousands of individuals who work at Reagan National Airport. We will work with the airlines and the businesses at the Airport to ensure that all the necessary security and operational actions are taken to enable us to return to business as outlined by the President.[/P]
[P]We want to thank our regional leaders in Congress; local elected officials in Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland; the business and travel and tourism community; and the individual citizens of this area who have tirelessly worked for the re-opening of this airport. We value the trust and confidence that this support suggests, and we will do our best to continue to serve the region from both Washington Dulles International Airport and Reagan National Airport.[BR][BR]Beginning on Oct 4th, the following operations will begin at National:[/P]
[UL]
[LI]US Airways Shuttle and Delta Shuttle flights to Boston’s Logan Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport.[BR][BR]
[LI]Additional service will be offered to the following destinations:
[UL]
[LI]Atlanta[BR]
[LI]Chicago [BR]
[LI]Dallas-Ft Worth[BR]
[LI]Minneapolis-St. Paul [BR]
[LI]Newark [BR]
[LI]Pittsburgh [/LI][/UL][/LI][/UL]The following airlines will provide initial service starting October 4th: American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways.
[P]Passengers should contact these airlines for specific flight information.[/P]
[P]During this initial three-week period, National will have nearly 200 scheduled flights operating daily. Additional destinations will be added over the ensuing 45-day period.[/P]
[P]Beginning October 4th, the following operational procedures will be implemented:[BR]
[UL]
[LI]Straight-line flight approaches and departures will be used;[BR]
[LI]Flight operations will be temporarily limited to between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.; [BR]
[LI][FONT style=BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffff00][STRONG]Aircraft size will be limited to 156 seats or less. [/STRONG][/FONT][/LI][/UL]
[P]Beginning Thursday, October 4th, passengers can expect additional security measures at Reagan National Airport. Some of these measures will be visible, while others will not.
[UL]
[LI]Curbside check-in service will not be offered at this time.[BR]
[LI]Parking will not be available at Lot A-1. All other parking lots and the three parking garages will be open.[BR]
[LI]Passengers will be limited to one carry-on bag and one personal item (a purse or briefcase). [BR]
[LI]Prior to boarding the aircraft, passengers’ identification and boarding passes will be checked to ensure they match. [BR]
[LI]There will also be random additional screening of passengers. [BR]
[LI]Similar procedures will also be in place at pre-designated secured gates at the eight airports at which service will begin to and from National.[/LI][/UL]
[P]In addition to these special security measures, current security restrictions required by the FAA will apply. Those include:[/P]
[UL]
[LI]Implementation of the Federal Air Marshals program. [BR]
[LI]Some airlines are again offering curbside check-in service with the approval of the FAA. Please contact your airline for information.[BR]
[LI]Only ticketed passengers will be allowed through security. [BR]
[LI]Special arrangements can be made with your airline for accompanying children and those needing special assistance to get to the gate. [BR]
[LI]If you are meeting passengers at the airport, please park in the hourly parking garages and meet them on the baggage claim level. [BR]
[LI]No parking or waiting will be allowed on the curb areas at National. [BR]
[LI]Unattended bags will be immediately confiscated by Airports Authority Police. [BR]
[LI]With these increased FAA Security measures in place, passengers are required to bring a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or current passport. [BR]
[LI]FAA security measures require careful screening of carry-on luggage. [BR]
[LI]Passengers are urged to leave any sharp objects (pocket knives, razors, nail files, scissors, etc) at home or in their luggage checked in at the ticket counter. [BR]
[LI]Passengers are urged to arrive 2 hours before their flight due to increased time it may take to get through airline ticketing and security. [BR][/LI][/UL]
[P][/P][/BLOCKQUOTE]
[P] [/P]
 

DCAflyer

Veteran
Aug 27, 2002
821
0
LDKIAM,

Thanks for your reply.

The 154 seat restriction at DCA has been lifted. That was put in place post 9-11 for security reasons. U and other airlines are currently flying aircraft with higher capacity than was allowed under the initial post-9-11 restrictions into and out of DCA. Neither 757's or 321's were allowed.

The 21 seat differential I was referring to was not related to F-class seats, it was the difference between 757 capacity (182) and 767 capacity (203).

IF 767's have sufficient take-off room on the DCA runway, and IF we get the DCA-SFO slot, I wonder if we can later apply to DOT for an aircraft type change. Just something to think about down the road.
 

geo1004

Senior
Aug 22, 2002
288
0
IF US gets the DCA-SFO authority, look for an A-321.


And who says DCA isn't served by wide-bodies? Anyone remember the NW DC-10 (yes, DC-10!) that was diverted from BWI to IAD and then again from IAD because of thunderstorms? It landed safely at DCA. Then it sat overnight and was loaded with just enough fuel to make DCA-BWI (25 miles). They flew it empty. Lots of folks on-hand to watch that one take-off.... successfully!
 

AOG-N-IT

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
1,132
1
www.usaviation.com
With demand for seats being as low as they are industry wide..Starting off with a B767 on this route doesn't make sense...unless advance booking levels dictate it? Why allocate more airplane than the demand warrants?

Currently niether DCA or SFO are set-up to handle the 767's from a maintenance standpoint...even the allocation of 757 parts was dropped after the 9-11-01 issues.

The choices of type go beyond preferences..or perceptions. To keep everything in perfect order , from the support aspect. The A320 or A321 would be most desireable...and the B757 would be next , but would require re-allocation or substantial bolstering of thier on-hand material assets for the RON and Thru-Flight issues that will take place.

SFO is completely ready for either the B757 or A321 by current tasking levels.
 

LDKIAM

Member
Oct 29, 2002
99
0
[P]From the US Airways Press Release, is it so hard to read and comprehend?[/P]
[P]US Airways would operate the new service using 182-seat Boeing 757 aircraft, offering First Class and Coach Class service. Each of US Airways' 757s are among the quietest aircraft in the industry. DOT is considering requests for new long-haul service after National Airlines relinquished the slots that had been used to fly between Reagan Washington National and Las Vegas. While multiple airlines have filed for the slots, US Airways is the only carrier to request the slots to provide new nonstop service to San Francisco, the only market in the DOT proceeding that lacks competitive nonstop service from Washington.[BR][/P]
 

geo1004

Senior
Aug 22, 2002
288
0
[blockquote]
----------------
On 11/2/2002 2:46:27 PM LDKIAM wrote:


From the US Airways Press Release, is it so hard to read and comprehend?

[/blockquote]


I assure you, I am quite literate. And, yes, I do comprehend the Press Release.


I am also quite familiar with the source of this press release and I've know them to change their minds about certain things when logic kicks in.

 

AOG-N-IT

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
1,132
1
www.usaviation.com
DCAFlyer, Sure we have the option of using UA Maintenance and Logistics presence in SFO..We do use it routinely...but at a price.

We try to maintain levels to be self-sustaining where possible..and in SFO we can do that pretty well with the B757.

Going to your nieghbor for a Cup of Parts is not always a cheap proposition or alternative. Borrow parts cost plenty..then you have the added expense of removng them..installing your own parts..then returning another carriers property to them...this is designed to be a 5-day turn-around.

The better we can consolidate the types flown into our Non-Hub cities..the cheaper that operation can operate..and hince aid in profit making.

Going to your nieghbor for things in an emergency need..is one thing , but Acft in stations like SFO have overnight issues to address on every aircraft that remains there.

Surely you can see the benefits of keeping things as streamlined as possible..with that in mind. After all , this type of streamlining is what helps makes carriers like WN and JetBlue profitable ...even Air Tran has reaped benefits of ditching thier B737's...and retireing thier fleet of aging DC-9's for an all B717-200 fleet by late next year.

I have every confidence that a B767-200 could operate safely , in and out of DCA...but again, at what cost when looking at all aspects of doing so?

B767's require space..and DCA is not exactly spacious either..this would take alot of juggling for safe operaton at the gate areas. Would a B767 on the gate...render the next gate beside it un-useable?
 

DCAflyer

Veteran
Aug 27, 2002
821
0
LDKIAM said:

We don't have enough widebodies to spare to put on a marginal route

DCAflyer replies:

Why do you think this is a marginal route? There are currently more than 1400 passengers a day who fly between DCA and SFO, and there is no current nonstop service. And this does not take into consideration the potential for increased traffic once the codeshere is under way. I am willing to bet it wouldn't be difficult to find 203 passengers who would love nonestop widebody service (where even on a full A/C only 25 people would have middle seats but increased headroom) especially if they are travelling beyond the west coast. UAL has a huge Pacific Rim operation that we could feed from DCA.

Also, SFO is UAL's largest maintenance facility, so, assuming some maintenance issue comes up, chances are there will the parts available in SFO.

I am not saying 767 service is the most practical, but I do think it makes sense and is worth looking at if we get the slot and after we have begun flying it.

My initial question hasn't been answered... will the runway at DCA accommodate a 767-200?
 

LDKIAM

Member
Oct 29, 2002
99
0
Borrowing or buying parts can be quite expensive and then their is commanality problems, if you fly an airplane into a city there is a a basic set up or parts that are required and special ground equipment for the 767, like I said we do not have enough widebodies for the european flights and carribean, you will not see a 767 operate the dca-sfo route and I believe the runway is not long enough to accomidate a full airplane of passengers, cargo and fuel.
 

AOG-N-IT

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
1,132
1
www.usaviation.com
[blockquote]
----------------
On 11/2/2002 3:40:29 PM LDKIAM wrote:

Borrowing or buying parts can be quite expensive and then their is commanality problems, if you fly an airplane into a city there is a a basic set up or parts that are required and special ground equipment for the 767, like I said we do not have enough widebodies for the european flights and carribean, you will not see a 767 operate the dca-sfo route and I believe the runway is not long enough to accomidate a full airplane of passengers, cargo and fuel.
----------------
[/blockquote]
LDKIAM...You are absolutely right Sir!!..A classic example of not being ready before stepping off on a venture was the return of B767-200 service to LAX last year.

The first Acft to RON there..needed to be repositioned that night. To LAX MT's surprise..nobody had even begun to consider the need for a Tow-Bar...We not only had to borrow one for the initial movement...but for the Push-Back in the morning too.

Everything requires planning and provisioning to make it work at optimum effeciency...without planning? You get calls in the middle of the night from the Duty Manager who's freaking out ..and wanting to know who dropped the ball?
 

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