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Topic: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Knope2001
Posted 2008-07-01 09:33:17 and read 7965 times.

AirTran recently published their winter-into-spring schedule, and comparing it to last year shows them dropping nonstop service in 35% of their point-to-point Florida city pairs. By point-to-point, this excludes flights to their hubs in Atlanta and Baltimore.

These numbers are for March of 08 versus 09:

Nonstop Point-to-Point Florida City Pairs -- 35.1% reduction
77 in 2008
50 in 2009

Here are the city pairs flown in March of 2008 but missing in the 2009 schedule:
BOS - PBI
BOS - SRQ
BOS - TPA
CAK - FLL
CLT - MCO
DTW - FLL
DTW - RSW
DTW - TPA
HPN - FLL
HPN - RSW
LGA - DAB
LGA - MCO
LGA - TPA
MCI - MCO
MCI - MIA
MCI - RSW
MDW - MIA
MEM - FLL
MSP - TPA
PHF - TPA
PHL - FLL
RDU - MCO
SAN - MCO
STL - SRQ
SWF - MCO
SWF - PBI
SWF - TPA

Certainly this is several months out and there could be additions or resumptions before then. However AirTran's general practice has been to publish flights for sale many months out and then pull them as the start date approaches if they have not sold well....generally not the other way around.

Considering that the strength of Florida flying has generally been a feather in AirTran's cap and given then strong profits from roughly Valentine's Day through June, it's sobering to see this many cuts. I think it is a good window in to what the industry is facing...or fears it will be facing...this winter.

[Edited 2008-07-01 09:47:10]

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: CatIII
Posted 2008-07-01 10:24:55 and read 7687 times.

Makes sense. Florida is low yield. Might as well redeploy thise airplanes to higher yield markets.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Richierich
Posted 2008-07-01 10:40:46 and read 7569 times.



Quoting CatIII (Reply 5):
Makes sense. Florida is low yield. Might as well redeploy thise airplanes to higher yield markets.

Yeah, it makes sense although I don't think are many high yielding markets left in the US at the moment.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Knope2001
Posted 2008-07-01 11:24:42 and read 7312 times.

Quoting RSWA330 (Reply 2):
MCI-RSW was flown for only four days.

Yes...it was planned daily but then only operated weekly.

When I did this comparison, I strictly compared "some nonstop service" in 2008 versus "no nonstop service" in 2009.

So a market drop like MCI-RSW really only was 1x per week in 2008 to 0x per week in 2009. I think there are only one or two more like this.

But by the same token, a market like STL-MCO which was daily last year and is dropping to weekends-only in 2009 does *not* show up on the dropped market list. So it's kind of a wash.

[Edited 2008-07-01 11:32:20]

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: SANFan
Posted 2008-07-01 11:57:38 and read 7118 times.

This point has already been brought up in the thread but here's another example of a city-pair that somewhat skews the impact of the list: SAN-MCO service was discontinued at the end of March 2008, so was long gone before the oil crisis really bagan. (And of course it was only 2x weekly so it wasn't much of a route to begin with but that's for a different discussion some day.)

An interesting and revealing list, Knope; as always, thanks for the effort.

bb

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: MOBflyer
Posted 2008-07-01 12:29:22 and read 6998 times.



Quoting Richierich (Reply 7):
Yeah, it makes sense although I don't think are many high yielding markets left in the US at the moment.

Quite to the contrary, there are plenty of high yielding markets, many of which have yet to be tapped by nonstop service, or even competitive connecting service. They are found in the likes of smaller, secondary markets, that lack an LCC. HSV, XNA, MOB, CRW, HPN (sans Florida) - and many many more are very high yielding airports.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Knope2001
Posted 2008-07-01 13:14:13 and read 6790 times.



Quoting SANFan (Reply 21):
This point has already been brought up in the thread but here's another example of a city-pair that somewhat skews the impact of the list: SAN-MCO service was discontinued at the end of March 2008, so was long gone before the oil crisis really bagan.

Yup...I just did a straight year-over comparison March versus March. A number (not all) of these markets are seasonal anyway so they come and go. Not clear if SAN-MCO was ever considered seasonal, but in any case it isn't planned to return.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: EXAAUADL
Posted 2008-07-01 13:24:44 and read 6742 times.

All these posts so far and no one has said what they think will be done with all the spare aircraft time, if anything.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: MD88Captain
Posted 2008-07-01 14:13:32 and read 6563 times.

Airtran's pilot union has been informed to expect a significant RIF in the fall. The details will be coming out soon. This Fall schedule is just part of the story. Its good for Airtran that the pilot's rejected that big pay raise offer.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2008-07-01 14:58:06 and read 6442 times.



Quoting MOBflyer (Reply 5):
Quite to the contrary, there are plenty of high yielding markets, many of which have yet to be tapped by nonstop service, or even competitive connecting service. They are found in the likes of smaller, secondary markets, that lack an LCC. HSV, XNA, MOB, CRW, HPN

The problem in those markets is demand, not yield - in many cases there's just not enough demand to warrant the lift an airline would need to provide to justify a station's existence.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: MOBflyer
Posted 2008-07-01 15:12:27 and read 6387 times.



Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 9):

The problem in those markets is demand, not yield - in many cases there's just not enough demand to warrant the lift an airline would need to provide to justify a station's existence.

True for many, but not all markets. HSV, for example, has Washington, DC service that rivals what many larger cities do. XNA can be explained in one word: Wal-Mart. CRW supports substantial regional service, with generally exceptional financial performance. HPN is in richpeoplesville, and legacy carriers that aren't taking folks to Florida perform quite well. MOB, as part of the MOB/PNS/GPT corridor, has nearly 500 O&D to Washington, $100,000 in daily revenue, and no nonstop service from any airline to any of those airports.

But as you said, there is most definitely a critical point that must be reached in one of two ways: yields or passenger loads. Theirs a delicate balance there.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Oaktowntwinz
Posted 2008-07-01 15:34:22 and read 6301 times.

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/bus...ation/2008/06/traveling-to-an.html

This article, discussed in another post re MCO cuts, mentions Airtran's plans to expand RIC MCO service which would replace the cuts made by DL in that market.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: MKE22
Posted 2008-07-01 15:56:06 and read 6149 times.



Quoting Oaktowntwinz (Reply 11):
http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/bus...ation/2008/06/traveling-to-an.html

This article, discussed in another post re MCO cuts, mentions Airtran's plans to expand RIC MCO service which would replace the cuts made by DL in that market.

I think the link is broken,

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Jaysan
Posted 2008-07-01 16:43:17 and read 5932 times.

From what I understand HPN to MCO and PBI are also going to disappear later this year...

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: MKE22
Posted 2008-07-01 16:45:04 and read 5896 times.



Quoting Jaysan (Reply 13):
From what I understand HPN to MCO and PBI are also going to disappear later this year...

I bet FL MKE-PHX doesn't return for the winter.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Oaktowntwinz
Posted 2008-07-01 17:08:23 and read 5782 times.

Sorry, I didn't post the link correctly but the article in the Sunday Orlando Sentinel did a great job describing the cuts in MCO. It also mentioned what I alluded to earlier re Airtran beefing up service between RIC and MCO.

[Edited 2008-07-01 17:19:16]

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2008-07-01 17:48:33 and read 5584 times.



Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 7):
All these posts so far and no one has said what they think will be done with all the spare aircraft time, if anything.

The problem is that FL has put itself in a position where it cannot easily redeploy the capacity. The conventional wisdom was that FL didn't need to build cities like MDW or DFW because Florida flying was easy money, so they should go after the easy money. With the easy money gone, it's not clear what the best way forward is.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Knope2001
Posted 2008-07-01 17:52:56 and read 5561 times.



Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 7):
All these posts so far and no one has said what they think will be done with all the spare aircraft time, if anything.

This could be your answer...

Quoting MD88Captain (Reply 8):
Airtran's pilot union has been informed to expect a significant RIF in the fall. The details will be coming out soon. This Fall schedule is just part of the story.

Earlier AirTran forecasts suggested flat growth into 2009, deferring or selling off new aircraft deliveries for essentially no net change. If they are planning to reduce the pilot ranks, perhaps that means AirTran is going to join the ranks of airlines reducing their fleets.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Travatl
Posted 2008-07-01 17:59:31 and read 5522 times.

AirTran is currently operating 141 aircraft, and plans to be between 135-140 by year's end.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Knope2001
Posted 2008-07-01 18:05:19 and read 5493 times.

Reported elsewhere on the net, the pilots' union is expecting an estimated 180 layoffs this fall.
No word on related layoffs to F/A or ground forces.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Gr8SlvrFlt
Posted 2008-07-01 18:05:36 and read 5493 times.

Current fleet is 143 aircraft (but I think the newest 73G never entered service). In recent public SEC filings, AAI has stated the year-end fleet will be between 135 and 140 aircraft, subject to additional reductions if conditions warrant.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: FL787
Posted 2008-07-01 18:48:19 and read 5289 times.

My dad just informed me that in addition to the 180 layoffs, they are asking for an 11% paycut. Even though this really sucks I don't think it's asking for anything crazy in the current conditions. My dad and I both think management is doing whatever it takes to survive.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: ThegreatRDU
Posted 2008-07-01 20:29:42 and read 4868 times.

Wow this frees up a ton of aircraft they have to shed their fleet

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: FlyMIA
Posted 2008-07-01 21:09:06 and read 4698 times.

Sucks to see MIA-MDW and MIA-MCI gone. Looks like its a AA dominace on the MIA-Chicago route again, well there is UA too.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: MKE22
Posted 2008-07-01 23:09:39 and read 4397 times.



Quoting FlyMIA (Reply 23):
well there is UA too.

Maybe not for long. UA has cut other Florida cities, such as FLL, not saying this will happen, but still you never know...

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: MAH4546
Posted 2008-07-01 23:11:47 and read 4395 times.

Quoting MKE22 (Reply 24):

Maybe not for long. UA has cut other Florida cities, such as FLL, not saying this will happen, but still you never know...

Haha. Good laugh.

United isn't leaving Miami. They dropped FLL and PBI to focus on MIA, which will be seeing capacity increased a fair amount this winter. UA will leave dozens upon dozens of markets - like Milwaukee - before they leave Miami (or Orlando or Tampa for that matter), regardless of how token a presence it might be.

[Edited 2008-07-01 23:13:13]

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: MKE22
Posted 2008-07-01 23:34:45 and read 4472 times.



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 25):
UA will leave dozens upon dozens of markets - like Milwaukee - before they leave Miami

Obviously. If I were UA, i'd do the same thing. I did say 'not saying this will happen'.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2008-07-02 10:12:04 and read 3305 times.



Quoting FL787 (Reply 21):
My dad and I both think management is doing whatever it takes to survive.

I hate to be a pessimist, but I wonder whether it's too late. FL has squandered a lot of advantages, particularly with the business traveler set (when you tell the Chicago Tribune that CHI-BOS and CHI-CLT are "somewhat more leisure markets for us than business markets," that signifies a major problem with business travelers). ATL seemingly works well, but they've got too many employees and aircraft to become F9 east.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: EXAAUADL
Posted 2008-07-02 10:20:59 and read 3264 times.



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 27):
I hate to be a pessimist, but I wonder whether it's too late

Too late for what? Survival? Please. Why is it when ever an airline does some retrenching netters are out in force saying this is the "end" of airlne X. I think this increases the possiblity of survival for FL. IT is possible youll see some gates come open at ATL with the others shrinking.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2008-07-02 10:32:18 and read 3242 times.



Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 28):
Too late for what? Survival? Please.

I wouldn't be totally surprised to see very little or no flying outside of BWI and ATL in a year or two, and I honestly don't know whether that's sustainable for FL.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Travatl
Posted 2008-07-02 11:22:36 and read 3161 times.

It's completely sustainable. BWI, ATL, and MCO (which will see some reduction, but minimal and temporary) can rock along just fine whilst the industry rights itself. If this is going to turn into a game of "who and how many fail first?", as it seems to be shaping up to do, AirTran will be one of those with a seat when the music stops. CASMs don't lie. Cutting out the low yield stuff only helps.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: FlyPNS1
Posted 2008-07-02 11:32:15 and read 3135 times.



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 27):
FL has squandered a lot of advantages, particularly with the business traveler set (when you tell the Chicago Tribune that CHI-BOS and CHI-CLT are "somewhat more leisure markets for us than business markets," that signifies a major problem with business travelers).

It signfies that the Chicago market is oversaturated with seats...too many carriers chasing too few business travelers.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 29):
I wouldn't be totally surprised to see very little or no flying outside of BWI and ATL in a year or two, and I honestly don't know whether that's sustainable for FL.

Depends. If FL has a two hub operation, BWI/ATL, I think that's a pretty sustainable carrier (though the BWI "hub" is a little iffy). Of course, that also ignores any opportunities that might arise should other carriers fail.

Now if fuel continues to skyrocket, there will come a point when everything is unsustainable. I don't think FL can survive at $200/barrel oil. But based on current fuel prices and projected losses, FL has 2-3 years worth of cash before they really start to get in trouble.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: KarlB737
Posted 2008-07-02 16:22:24 and read 2833 times.



Quoting MD88Captain (Reply 8):
Airtran's pilot union has been informed to expect a significant RIF in the fall. The details will be coming out soon. This Fall schedule is just part of the story. Its good for Airtran that the pilot's rejected that big pay raise offer.

Courtesy: Associated Press

AirTran Airways Wants To Cut Employee Pay

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080702/airtran_pay_cuts.html?.v=2

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Crewchief
Posted 2008-07-02 17:51:21 and read 2762 times.

The discussion of credit card holdbacks in the 31 March AAI 10-Q is interesting. Apparently they had no holdbacks at 31 March. The 10-Q goes on to say:

"Our agreement with the MasterCard/Visa credit card processor contains covenants which permit the processor to holdback cash remittances to us if the processor determines that there has been a material adverse occurrence or certain other events occur....The amount which the processor may be entitled to withhold varies over time and is up to the estimated liability for future air travel purchased with Visa and MasterCard cards ($217.8 million as of March 31, 2008)"

Sure, AAI might do OK during this difficult period. They have 50-60 undelivered 737s they can sell, and apparently they have other liquidity options. However, I think one of the factors to watch is whether the leisure traveler keeps flying. Because of Frontier, I'm also leery of the credit card situation.

Finally, I recall when Midwest shares were down around 2 and Tim bought 10,000 shares. Anyone who mirrored that trade made a huge amount of money. Recent AAI activity is all director "Acquisition - non open market" at zero dollars per share. Other than that, I don't see insiders acquiring shares, particularly for cash. Did I miss something?

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Doug_Or
Posted 2008-07-02 19:08:09 and read 2672 times.

143-18=135, so I'm guessing they will drop to at least 135. (180 furloughs at about 5 CAs and 5 FOs per plane).

Quoting Gr8SlvrFlt (Reply 20):
AAI has stated the year-end fleet will be between 135 and 140 aircraft, subject to additional reductions if conditions warrant.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Rumorboy
Posted 2008-07-02 20:01:51 and read 2601 times.

Actually the staffing is about 6-7 crews per airplane.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2008-07-02 20:17:11 and read 2583 times.



Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 31):
It signfies that the Chicago market is oversaturated with seats...too many carriers chasing too few business travelers.

...and that FL is unable to effectively chase those business travelers. That seems like a problem with business travelers to me.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 31):
Depends. If FL has a two hub operation, BWI/ATL, I think that's a pretty sustainable carrier (though the BWI "hub" is a little iffy). Of course, that also ignores any opportunities that might arise should other carriers fail.

The problem for FL is costs. Both labor costs and fixed (i.e. station) costs may become a concern.

When a carrier accomplishes a reduction in workforce through RiFs (or furloughs, if you prefer that term), it increases the average seniority of the workers left since it furloughs those who are less senior. That means that the average wage goes up so CASM increases. As the carrier shrinks more, the problem becomes more acute. There's another potential problem if the grounded planes are not the oldest in the fleet (I'm not familiar with FL's aircraft ownership/leasing situation, so I'm not sure if they'll have this problem). As average fleet age increases, so too do maintenance costs. With both of these problems, keep in mind that FL doesn't exactly have a stellar RASM (which arguably goes back to the business traveler problem).

Cutting the Florida flying leads to increased costs per departure at outstations. Let's take STL, my home airport. Right now, we have the following FL departures:

0600 ATL
1022 ATL
1304 MCO
1353 ATL
1817 ATL

...and the following arrivals

0949 ATL
1229 MCO
1323 ATL
1658 ATL
2159 ATL

The MCO flight is getting cut, but that's hardly going to have any effect on the costs of keeping the station open because it's timed so close to the mid-day ATL flight. Multiply that across the system and you start to have a potential problem.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Burnsie28
Posted 2008-07-02 20:20:45 and read 2572 times.



Quoting Knope2001 (Thread starter):
DTW - FLL
DTW - RSW
DTW - TPA



Quoting Knope2001 (Thread starter):
MEM - FLL
MSP - TPA

I'm sure that NW isn't having any problems with either of these reductions.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: PSU.DTW.SCE
Posted 2008-07-03 05:44:15 and read 2416 times.



Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 37):
I'm sure that NW isn't having any problems with either of these reductions.

And NW didn't really care about this traffic either. Particularly from DTW, there is plenty of competition, and the traffic is low yield. FL is generally a non-factor at DTW. They are no more than a leisure fare, excess spill carrier at DTW - getting the scraps leftover from NW, NK and WN.

FL was giving NW more problems up at FNT, but for the most part they've now reached an equilibrium. In FNT, they actually have somewhat of a decent following.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: SHUPirate1
Posted 2008-07-03 11:39:44 and read 2221 times.



Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 34):
143-18=135, so I'm guessing they will drop to at least 135. (180 furloughs at about 5 CAs and 5 FOs per plane).

Except 143-18=125, not 135. Your calcuator may need replacing.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Isitsafenow
Posted 2008-07-03 11:45:17 and read 2202 times.



Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 37):
Quoting Knope2001 (Thread starter):
DTW - FLL
DTW - RSW
DTW - TPA



Quoting Knope2001 (Thread starter):
MEM - FLL
MSP - TPA

I'm sure that NW isn't having any problems with either of these reductions.

Neither is Spirit with the top three.
There aren't a whole lot of NW or Spirit trips into FLL or RSW in July thru early December.

Topic: RE: AirTran Cuts 35% Of Florida Point-to-point Routes
Username: Bagpipes
Posted 2008-07-03 17:05:15 and read 2083 times.

FL dropped TPA-LGA back in April I believe, I used to work that flight (for teh short time we had it) was never really full except on a few occasions. The flight was always delayed on a GDP (it was scheduled out around 1900 IIRC). MKE got 3 MKE-LGA so we lost ours which was great so we could get our 100% days again.

TPA-SWF (717)is a shocker FL 599 was almost always full and i believe FL598 was as well. But they are closing SWF so end of service

TPA-DTW (717)no shocker, The first time we had it back in 06 the first flight left with 6 pax on board. TPA-FNT does pretty well

TPA-MSP (717)used to hear from delayed NW pax that they prefered our 717's to the NW birds. it seemed like three times a week we would get a line of NW pax trying to buy tickets on us because NW had delayed/Canx flights

TPA-PHF (717)was never full, it was a through flight to LGA IIRC the flight number was 644

TPA-BOS (717)is another shocker, always 3/4 if not more full

looks like TPA is down to GPT, FNT, ATL, BWI, ROC, IND, MKE, PIT (all 737 cities from TPA)


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