Print from Airliners.net discussion forum
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/5637596/

Topic: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-12-17 10:29:05 and read 12572 times.

For many years, WN said that they would not start a city unless it could support eight departures a day from day one. This so-called "eight-flight rule" ruled out many airports from being WN candidates.

But that seems to be changing - and fast. At least four full FL station conversions (BKG, DSM, FNT, and ICT) along with several partial station conversions (EYW being one) have five or fewer departures a day. Just three years ago, when WN opened up every new city with seven or eight departures, this would have been unheard of.

Once the WN/FL merger integration is complete, could we see WN opening up more new domestic destinations with five or fewer flights? And has WN almost run out of new cities that they could start with the "eight-flight rule"? (I can think of CVG, FAT, and GSO... and that's about it.)

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: yellowtail
Posted 2012-12-17 10:35:18 and read 12537 times.

Yes, especially on the forthcoming international.....

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-12-17 10:41:42 and read 12476 times.

For many years WN did a lot of things (flew into secondary airports like PVD vs. BOS, didn't have true hubs, didn't offer connecting service, and the list goes on).

In all seriousness though: yes, that rule is dead. WN is now a major network carrier that simply lacks a regional feeder operations to fill in all the holes that even they can't make a 737 work on. As part of that, as they chase the long tail of demand, there will be fewer markets capable of supporting initial service levels meeting that criteria. That's not to say the rule isn't a good rule of thumb for looking at new stations, but as a hard and fast rule it's time is done.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2012-12-17 10:45:04 and read 12439 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Thread starter):
But that seems to be changing - and fast. At least four full FL station conversions (BKG, DSM, FNT, and ICT) along with several partial station conversions (EYW being one) have five or fewer departures a day. Just three years ago, when WN opened up every new city with seven or eight departures, this would have been unheard of.

I believe some of the new contracts allow the costs to make sense for some of these smaller cities. We'll see if it lasts. BKG and ICT are subsidized I believe. EYW is one of those unique situations.

The company is evolving and needs to find ways to make these small cities work. However, the company is still going to demand a certain ROI and level of margin on these flights. If they don't meet the margin goal they'll get cut. They also need to have a certain level of high O&D on routes since that makes more money than dealing with connecting pax.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: iowaman
Posted 2012-12-17 10:48:41 and read 12396 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Thread starter):
For many years, WN said that they would not start a city unless it could support eight departures a day from day one. This so-called "eight-flight rule" ruled out many airports from being WN candidates.

That was certainly the case for many years, although CRP had been "grandfathered" in and always has and likely will be a small station.

Quoting FWAERJ (Thread starter):
Once the WN/FL merger integration is complete, could we see WN opening up more new domestic destinations with five or fewer flights?

I think down the road it seems logical to add some more destinations and fill in holes. Cities like COS, PIA (Peoria, IL), BTR, LAN (Lansing, MI), and a few others could probably support a token presence (similar to DSM's two daily to MDW). Until WN hits a 15% ROI (Return On Investment) and the merger is largely complete I don't see this as likely.

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 1):
Yes, especially on the forthcoming international.....

  

Quoting FWAERJ (Thread starter):
And has WN almost run out of new cities that they could start with the "eight-flight rule"? (I can think of CVG, FAT, and GSO... and that's about it.)

I sure hope CVG gets WN, they are in need of more pax/operations/low fares.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-12-17 10:51:46 and read 12378 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 3):
BKG and ICT are subsidized I believe

Correct. ICT by the city, and BKG by the local tourism industry.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 2):
WN is now a major network carrier that simply lacks a regional feeder operations to fill in all the holes that even they can't make a 737 work on. As part of that, as they chase the long tail of demand, there will be fewer markets capable of supporting initial service levels meeting that criteria. That's not to say the rule isn't a good rule of thumb for looking at new stations, but as a hard and fast rule it's time is done.
Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 3):
The company is evolving and needs to find ways to make these small cities work.

As the company evolves, their rules have to evolve, too. I have a feeling that the famous "eight-flight rule" found in business school textbooks everywhere is in the process of becoming a "three-flight rule" (or even a "two-flight rule" for the upcoming international routes).

[Edited 2012-12-17 10:53:18]

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-12-17 10:52:06 and read 12344 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 3):
The company is evolving and needs to find ways to make these small cities work. However, the company is still going to demand a certain ROI and level of margin on these flights. If they don't meet the margin goal they'll get cut. They also need to have a certain level of high O&D on routes since that makes more money than dealing with connecting pax.

ouboy has a good point here, and brings up a good example of a recent exception: DCA-AUS (WN's first original WN DCA service). That flight is likely a cash cow for them even at 1x daily, and may well be a better investment than starting a small "beach market" at 2-3x a day. Obviously post merger they now have FL's ops at DCA, but that's an example of a route that might have been a good starter flight regardless.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: SEPilot
Posted 2012-12-17 10:52:25 and read 12345 times.

I would be suspicious of making any conclusions about WN policy based on the FL acquisition. It may or may not have been a good move; based on their decision to dump the 717's so fast they may be having second thoughts about the whole thing. They had to take FL as they found it; they may or may not keep all of the routes they acquired, but as for making any assumptions about what WN will do in the future based on routes acquired with FL is treading on shaky ground indeed.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: AWACSooner
Posted 2012-12-17 10:55:16 and read 12325 times.

You can add DAY and CAK to the list of

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-12-17 10:56:23 and read 12300 times.

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 8):

You can add DAY

DAY still has FL service and more than eight total WN+FL flights per day.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2012-12-17 11:09:39 and read 12225 times.

Quoting iowaman (Reply 4):
I think down the road it seems logical to add some more destinations and fill in holes. Cities like COS, PIA (Peoria, IL), BTR, LAN (Lansing, MI), and a few others could probably support a token presence (similar to DSM's two daily to MDW). Until WN hits a 15% ROI (Return On Investment) and the merger is largely complete I don't see this as likely.

COS won't shock me if it happens. PIA, BTR, LAN all would. I don't see those happening.

Quoting iowaman (Reply 4):
I sure hope CVG gets WN, they are in need of more pax/operations/low fares.

This one seems like a good possibility going forward. I do whonder if DAY would be hurt if it happens though.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 5):
As the company evolves, their rules have to evolve, too. I have a feeling that the famous "eight-flight rule" found in business school textbooks everywhere is in the process of becoming a "three-flight rule" (or even a "two-flight rule" for the upcoming international routes).

I haven't heard of the magic eight flight rule while being with WN, so to me it is meaningless. Focus more on ROI, margin, and O&D. Why do you think short haul routes like IND-MDW are dead?

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 8):
You can add DAY and CAK to the list of

They'll both be above 8 flights after FL flights are converted. CAK should be a decent sized station when it is all done.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 7):
I would be suspicious of making any conclusions about WN policy based on the FL acquisition. It may or may not have been a good move; based on their decision to dump the 717's so fast they may be having second thoughts about the whole thing. They had to take FL as they found it; they may or may not keep all of the routes they acquired, but as for making any assumptions about what WN will do in the future based on routes acquired with FL is treading on shaky ground indeed.

I don't think anyone seriously thought the 717s had a chance at WN. It might have been able to work, but the math didn't add up and it was most cost effective to sub lease them off to DL. Are they second guessing? Not at all. Things are just taking time to allow FL to be dismantled and the WN brand to back fill.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: Flytravel
Posted 2012-12-17 11:15:00 and read 12176 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Thread starter):
And has WN almost run out of new cities that they could start with the "eight-flight rule"? (I can think of CVG, FAT, and GSO... and that's about it.)

I'd add MDT. 2 million residents in PA are within 1 hour of MDT, where another major airport isn't closer. WN will have service at 4-5 OH airports but just 2 PA airports, even though PA is larger and greater in population.

MDT-MDW would probably be the network connection, but it is just under 600 miles. It would have been more ideal if that was ~350 miles, but I think WN would be competitive against UA and AA on Harrisburg-Chicago, plus having connections, and it could offer Florida service as well.

[Edited 2012-12-17 11:20:54]

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-12-17 11:24:56 and read 12084 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 10):
This one seems like a good possibility going forward. I do whonder if DAY would be hurt if it happens though.

Yup that one keeps cropping up from time to time. I'd say one thing in WN's favor is that they have the scale and muscle to break into the market that B6, F9, VX, etc. might not have. If B6 couldn't make the more openly competitive CMH market work, I'd think they or anyone else but WN would have trouble at CVG too. They could have competitive offerings to any/each of BWI, MDW, DEN, or HOU for hub connecting service, let alone other WN cities they might be able to poach from DL specifically (PHX, STL, Florida).

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: SEPilot
Posted 2012-12-17 12:11:06 and read 11868 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 10):

I don't think anyone seriously thought the 717s had a chance at WN.

That is not what WN was saying at the time.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: jetmatt777
Posted 2012-12-17 12:30:47 and read 11771 times.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
That is not what WN was saying at the time.

Talk is cheap. Especially in the airline industry.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: Kcrwflyer
Posted 2012-12-17 12:38:52 and read 11707 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Thread starter):
Once the WN/FL merger integration is complete, could we see WN opening up more new domestic destinations with five or fewer flights?

I would think.. Of course they cut a handful of cities that could have easily made 3-5 flights work before they decided they could open a station like DSM or PWM with 2 or 3 flights.

I'm sure they believe they can grow every city they keep into at least 6 or 7 flights per day over time, so I'm sure the existence of the rule is in the eye of the beholder.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
That is not what WN was saying at the time.
Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 14):
Talk is cheap. Especially in the airline industry.

As we all know, pre merger promises and discussions manufacture more BS than all the farmland in the Americas. This was no different.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: AADC10
Posted 2012-12-17 12:49:41 and read 11573 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Thread starter):
Once the WN/FL merger integration is complete, could we see WN opening up more new domestic destinations with five or fewer flights? And has WN almost run out of new cities that they could start with the "eight-flight rule"? (I can think of CVG, FAT, and GSO... and that's about it.)

One of the reasons for the eight flight rule is that with less than 8 flights, the fixed costs on the ground are spread over too few flights and there is not enough work to keep ground staff around full time. However, in stations where FL is already established, WN probably would prefer not to give up on established customers.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2012-12-17 12:52:51 and read 11497 times.

Yes, its dead. Just like WN's rule that they would never serve LGA, DCA or other congested northeastern cities. The only rul that still applies in ORD and DFW.

I would think COS would work. I dont know why there isnt COS-PHX service (Iam not counting F9's less than daily service).

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: VC10DC10
Posted 2012-12-17 13:10:54 and read 11267 times.

With the DL drawdown at MEM, is it conceivable that once the dust on the FL acquisition settles and WN starts real domestic growth again, would MEM be a possibility?

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: iowaman
Posted 2012-12-17 13:57:04 and read 10750 times.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 6):
ouboy has a good point here, and brings up a good example of a recent exception: DCA-AUS (WN's first original WN DCA service).

I think more than anything politics came into play on DCA-AUS. I'm also assuming it was an Air21 slot that gave priority to low-fare entrants that offered to serve previously unserved small and medium markets from DCA.

Quoting VC10DC10 (Reply 18):
WN starts real domestic growth again, would MEM be a possibility?

MEM will be integrated into the WN network eventually. I see no reason WN couldn't hit the key destinations and stations from MEM such as MDW, HOU, DEN and maybe other stations down the road such as LAS, PHX, BWI, and MCO. It sounds promising WN will be in MEM for the long haul and will be adding new destination(s):


Quote:
Technically they are already a reality here. They've signed a long term lease here and looking at facilities within the airport," said Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority President and CEO Larry Cox.

Cox says the carrier plans to convert all of its AirTran operations in nearly two dozen cities, including Memphis, to the Southwest name.

"We don't know the cities they will serve out of Memphis, but they currently serve Atlanta and we expect them to serve a number of other cities," said Cox.

http://www.wmctv.com/story/19837508/...hority-southwest-is-a-reality-here

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: usflyguy
Posted 2012-12-17 14:02:50 and read 10687 times.

Quoting iowaman (Reply 19):
I think more than anything politics came into play on DCA-AUS. I'm also assuming it was an Air21 slot that gave priority to low-fare entrants that offered to serve previously unserved small and medium markets from DCA.

It was part of the beyond perimeter proceedings earlier this year.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-12-17 14:05:42 and read 10663 times.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 17):
The only rul that still applies in ORD and DFW.

Even then, if gate space opened up at ORD through the proposed west terminal or other means, I could see WN grabbing a few gates and starting a 20-30 flight operation to fight for Chicago's north sider business travelers.

WN serving both MDW and ORD (plus MKE) would be like how they serve these major areas with multiple airports:
-BOS/PVD/MHT
-LGA/EWR/ISP
-BWI/DCA/IAD
-CLE/CAK
-DTW/FNT
-SFO/OAK/SJC
-LAX/SNA/BUR/ONT

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-12-17 14:07:56 and read 10635 times.

Quoting iowaman (Reply 19):
I think more than anything politics came into play on DCA-AUS. I'm also assuming it was an Air21 slot that gave priority to low-fare entrants that offered to serve previously unserved small and medium markets from DCA.

No doubt politics, but just AUS lobbying for service under:

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 20):
It was part of the beyond perimeter proceedings earlier this year.

WN really hit a home run there - breaking into DCA in their own right, getting a big route for them given the AUS focus city, and getting a beyond-perimeter exemption at DCA at that.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: planespotting
Posted 2012-12-17 15:24:28 and read 9902 times.

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 15):
Of course they cut a handful of cities that could have easily made 3-5 flights work before they decided they could open a station like DSM or PWM with 2 or 3 flights.

I know of nothing definitive at the moment, but I would venture a guess that there is more to come with WN at DSM.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: iowaman
Posted 2012-12-17 15:47:53 and read 9733 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Thread starter):
For many years, WN said that they would not start a city unless it could support eight departures a day from day one.

Interestingly enough, when Southwest first got going in Texas they had relatively small station openings. Maybe this is one thing that is actually heading the direction towards their roots. HRL was started in 1975 at 4 daily, and AMA also opened as a station in 1978 with 5 daily (all to DAL). MSY started in 1979 with just 1x HOU, and ABQ opened with 3 daily flights in 1980. LAX in 1982 opened with 3 daily.

I think the lowering outsourcing costs may have a lot to do with keeping the old FL stations as someone else mentioned.

Quoting planespotting (Reply 23):
know of nothing definitive at the moment, but I would venture a guess that there is more to come with WN at DSM.


I'm guessing one of the following may eventually come to fruitation: DEN, STL, LAS, PHX.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 21):
Even then, if gate space opened up at ORD through the proposed west terminal or other means, I could see WN grabbing a few gates and starting a 20-30 flight operation to fight for Chicago's north sider business travelers.

WN serving both MDW and ORD (plus MKE) would be like how they serve these major areas with multiple airports:

Interesting thoughts. It seems to make sense - although in the short-term I don't think they would have much luck getting gates at ORD.

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 20):
It was part of the beyond perimeter proceedings earlier this year.

That makes much more sense, thanks for the correction.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-12-17 16:41:34 and read 9536 times.

Quoting iowaman (Reply 24):
Interestingly enough, when Southwest first got going in Texas they had relatively small station openings. Maybe this is one thing that is actually heading the direction towards their roots. HRL was started in 1975 at 4 daily, and AMA also opened as a station in 1978 with 5 daily (all to DAL). MSY started in 1979 with just 1x HOU, and ABQ opened with 3 daily flights in 1980. LAX in 1982 opened with 3 daily.

That's interesting, because I would have assumed the opposite - that a small/new carrier would want such a rule in order to prevent overextension (focus on strengths until they built up critical mass).

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: Flytravel
Posted 2012-12-17 17:22:30 and read 9197 times.

Another rule was that every city had atleast one short-haul route w/ the exception being IAD. However, now markets along the East including LGA, EWR, PHL, DCA, PBI and on the west SEA have no short-haul.

With the rule changes at WN, I'd think MIA might be reconsidered as now fitting in. Routes: BWI-MIA, ISP-MIA, PVD-MIA. Just like PBI, and maybe unlike PBI, TPA-MIA. TPA is becoming a large station and I think it is far enough from MIA where WN won't think it's too close. Over 200 miles by air. It'd offer many connections as well and compete on O&D from primary airports of the region. PBI-ATL might not convert on WN however where it shrinks, but MIA could be like PBI, ancillary stations to FLL, like IAD/DCA to BWI, but serving a unique role that the big WN airport of the region doesn't serve.

[Edited 2012-12-17 18:02:45]

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2012-12-17 17:50:19 and read 9059 times.

Quoting iowaman (Reply 4):
Cities like COS, PIA (Peoria, IL), BTR, LAN (Lansing, MI), and a few others could probably support a token presence (similar to DSM's two daily to MDW).

Aren't COS, BTR and LAN too close to DEN, MSY and DTW respectively? There's no point in flying BNA-MDW-COS when I can simply fly BNA-DEN nonstop and drive from there (and yes, I know that that drive can be non-trivial in the winter). PIA - which has a pretty strong local economy and could draw from BMI (another fairly strong local economy), MLI and SPI might be interesting, but it's probably too close to MDW/STL for flights to either place and a pretty long flight to other large WN stations.

Quoting iowaman (Reply 19):
MEM will be integrated into the WN network eventually. I see no reason WN couldn't hit the key destinations and stations from MEM such as MDW, HOU, DEN and maybe other stations down the road such as LAS, PHX, BWI, and MCO. It sounds promising WN will be in MEM for the long haul and will be adding new destination(s):

   Probably also DAL in 2014. MEM shouldn't have any trouble being an "8 flight" city.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2012-12-17 17:56:56 and read 8997 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 27):
There's no point in flying BNA-MDW-COS when I can simply fly BNA-DEN nonstop and drive from there

I can see WN serving COS-PHX/LAS/MDW. Using your logic however, why should COS have any HUB air service if driving to DEN and going nonstop is preferable to connecting via DFW or ORD from COS to/from destinations.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2012-12-17 18:03:50 and read 8948 times.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 28):
Using your logic however, why should COS have any HUB air service if driving to DEN and going nonstop is preferable to connecting via DFW or ORD from COS to/from destinations.

The legacies don't count on people being willing to drive a couple of hours. WN always has.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: 737tanker
Posted 2012-12-17 19:08:39 and read 8479 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Thread starter):
For many years, WN said that they would not start a city unless it could support eight departures a day from day one. This so-called "eight-flight rule" ruled out many airports from being WN candidates.

But that seems to be changing - and fast. At least four full FL station conversions (BKG, DSM, FNT, and ICT) along with several partial station conversions (EYW being one) have five or fewer departures a day. Just three years ago, when WN opened up every new city with seven or eight departures, this would have been unheard of.

Once the WN/FL merger integration is complete, could we see WN opening up more new domestic destinations with five or fewer flights?


A few years ago, after WN had signed a new contact with their ground personnel, I had the COO on my jumpseat. He told me that since the new contract allowed non-WN (ie: contract workers) at new stations WN only needed 4 flights to be profitable. At stations with WN employees they needed 10 flights to be profitable. Having said that IMO after the FL cities are converted the only new WN cities that you will see will be international, not domestic.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: airliner371
Posted 2012-12-17 19:09:47 and read 8469 times.

Quoting Flytravel (Reply 26):
With the rule changes at WN, I'd think MIA might be reconsidered as now fitting in.

The big problem with MIA is the fees are outrageous for airlines. Thats why B6 and VX don't serve it though they seem like a good fit. FLL is close enough to count as an alternative.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: iowaman
Posted 2012-12-17 19:50:04 and read 8200 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 27):
Aren't COS, BTR and LAN too close to DEN, MSY and DTW respectively?

For comparative purposes:

LAN is approximately 1.5 hours from DTW (all of these numbers are traffic dependent), but is a little less than an hour from FNT. It's only a five gate airport so it certainly is small. Only about a quarter of the enplanements as DSM.

BTR is a little less than 1.5 hours from MSY. BTR has less passengers than I thought at about 400,000 enplaned for the year (a little less than half the enplanements of DSM).

COS is about an hour from DEN. COS has slightly less enplanements than DSM.

OMA is about two hours from DSM, and ROC is a little over an hour from BUF.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 27):
Probably also DAL in 2014. MEM shouldn't have any trouble being an "8 flight" city.

Good point - the DFW metroplex is a substantial market from MEM.

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 31):
The big problem with MIA is the fees are outrageous for airlines. Thats why B6 and VX don't serve it though they seem like a good fit. FLL is close enough to count as an alternative.

Out of curiousity I wonder how MIA compares with airports like DCA, LGA, SFO, and SEA for fees.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2012-12-17 22:40:38 and read 7484 times.

Quoting Flytravel (Reply 11):
I'd add MDT. 2 million residents in PA are within 1 hour of MDT, where another major airport isn't closer. WN will have service at 4-5 OH airports but just 2 PA airports, even though PA is larger and greater in population.

If MDT was really in the cards, it wouldn't have been dropped by FL.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
That is not what WN was saying at the time.

Just like DL said CVG and MEM were safe?  
Quoting VC10DC10 (Reply 18):
With the DL drawdown at MEM, is it conceivable that once the dust on the FL acquisition settles and WN starts real domestic growth again, would MEM be a possibility?

MEM will be a WN city.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: IndianicWorld
Posted 2012-12-17 23:09:00 and read 7354 times.

At the end of the day, theres only so many cities that can sustain that level of service to start with, so trying to maintain that would only affect the ability to grow.

They have done well to that point following the path they were, but as can be seen now, the move to change the strategy has come about as more of a need to continue to grow and service cities it knows it can do well from, although with a reduced frequency level.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: Flytravel
Posted 2012-12-18 02:26:41 and read 6938 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 33):
If MDT was really in the cards, it wouldn't have been dropped by FL.

I didn't suggest "it was in the cards" but answering to the OP's question: "Once the WN/FL merger integration is complete, could we see WN opening up more new domestic destination..."

MDT only had Florida when served by FL, and no proven network history by FL unlike say ROC. However, there are 2 million people that are close to it (within one hour) and closer to it than another major airport with service. Look at MSAs around it.

[Edited 2012-12-18 02:30:27]

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: Buddys747
Posted 2012-12-18 03:48:32 and read 6762 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 33):
If MDT was really in the cards, it wouldn't have been dropped by FL.


FL didn't drop MDT, WN made the decision. They cited they couldn't make MDT fit there model and the fact that BWI is 1.5 hours away (from the airport) as reasons for leaving.

Quoting Flytravel (Reply 35):
However, there are 2 million people that are close to it (within one hour) and closer to it than another major airport with service. Look at MSAs around it.


I think that's the key that some are missing out on. We could have kept a small station here I believe with no problems. MDW, MCO, FLL, TPA and BNA. But WN knows a lot from this area will drive to BWI. But most that do are low fare Florida bound passengers. Most business travelers still fly here instead and take a connection. That's where F9 could really step it up here and take advantage of that low fare travelers going to BWI.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2012-12-18 04:19:11 and read 6663 times.

Quoting iowaman (Reply 32):
BTR is a little less than 1.5 hours from MSY. BTR has less passengers than I thought at about 400,000 enplaned for the year (a little less than half the enplanements of DSM).

The problem at BTR is the where the airports are located in their respective metro areas. From LSU (south side of Baton Rouge) to MSY (in Kenner), for instance, it's only 72 miles. Most of that is through desolation on Interstate 10, and the drive is doable in an hour. LSU to BTR is probably a 20 minute drive and there's much less service at BTR.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2012-12-18 07:58:22 and read 5731 times.

Quoting Buddys747 (Reply 36):
FL didn't drop MDT, WN made the decision. They cited they couldn't make MDT fit there model and the fact that BWI is 1.5 hours away (from the airport) as reasons for leaving.

That's pretty much what I meant. There really isn't much of a different between FL/WN anymore. I just said FL since it was the one operating.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: usflyguy
Posted 2012-12-18 08:09:23 and read 5670 times.

Quoting Buddys747 (Reply 36):
FL didn't drop MDT, WN made the decision.

WN run's Boscov's Travel charters from many of the airports in this area to MCO and has done this for quite a while. Having done this, along with the FL financials, I'm sure they have a pretty good idea of if/why it wouldn't work.

http://www.boscovstravel.com/xcursion/TripList.aspx?TripCategoryID=5

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-12-20 14:46:56 and read 4550 times.

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 39):
WN run's Boscov's Travel charters from many of the airports in this area to MCO and has done this for quite a while.

WN has flown charters from FWA in the past even though they don't serve FWA on a scheduled basis. That said, I do think that WN would work with 3-4 flights per day from FWA (1-2x BWI, 1x DEN, 1x LAS).

Quoting Buddys747 (Reply 36):
But WN knows a lot from this area will drive to BWI.
Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 37):
The problem at BTR is the where the airports are located in their respective metro areas. From LSU (south side of Baton Rouge) to MSY (in Kenner), for instance, it's only 72 miles.

Didn't Herb once say that "we're not in the business of flying to small airports - we're in the leakage business"?

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2012-12-20 16:32:06 and read 4455 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 40):
WN has flown charters from FWA in the past even though they don't serve FWA on a scheduled basis. That said, I do think that WN would work with 3-4 flights per day from FWA (1-2x BWI, 1x DEN, 1x LAS).

WN does a lot of Honor Flight operations, so you'll see them everywhere.

The O&D numbers are going to have to be there from FWA. So unless those routes can fill up on strong O&D and allow it to hit its 15% ROI goal, it probably won't happen.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 40):
Didn't Herb once say that "we're not in the business of flying to small airports - we're in the leakage business"?

Which was accurate when MHT and PVD would launched, today not so much. Why worry about leakage when you just fly to the major city itself?

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-12-20 17:47:19 and read 4360 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 41):
So unless those routes can fill up on strong O&D and allow it to hit its 15% ROI goal, it probably won't happen.

BWI and LAS would have no problem with O&D from FWA. There are many very strong ties between FWA and DC, and also huge demand to LAS. And a lot of traffic to/from both cities (especially LAS) goes to other airports besides FWA, which presents an opportunity for market stimulation.

DEN would probably be a different story - whether it's WN, F9, or even UA, FWA-DEN would rely heavily on connections, much like SBN-DEN does for F9.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 41):
Which was accurate when MHT and PVD would launched, today not so much.

I'd say that was accurate as far back as when WN moved most of their Houston ops from IAH to HOU. And that was in the 1970s.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2012-12-20 19:16:46 and read 4257 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 42):
BWI and LAS would have no problem with O&D from FWA. There are many very strong ties between FWA and DC, and also huge demand to LAS. And a lot of traffic to/from both cities (especially LAS) goes to other airports besides FWA, which presents an opportunity for market stimulation.

It'll come down to yield then. WN expects a pretty good premium, so they better be ready to sell out Business Select and a good number of Anytime fares.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-12-20 19:21:29 and read 4249 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 43):
It'll come down to yield then. WN expects a pretty good premium, so they better be ready to sell out Business Select and a good number of Anytime fares.

Almost all the FWA-DC traffic is high-yield business and government travel, so they'll sell out the higher fare buckets on BWI in a jiffy.

LAS would be almost entirely leisure (and mostly "Wanna Get Away") fares, but LAS tends to be low-yield for any carrier.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: Kcrwflyer
Posted 2012-12-20 20:06:04 and read 4188 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 33):
If MDT was really in the cards, it wouldn't have been dropped by FL.

By FL you mean WN.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 42):
BWI and LAS would have no problem with O&D from FWA. There are many very strong ties between FWA and DC, and also huge demand to LAS. And a lot of traffic to/from both cities (especially LAS) goes to other airports besides FWA, which presents an opportunity for market stimulation.

I was gonna let that go.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 44):
Almost all the FWA-DC traffic is high-yield business and government travel, so they'll sell out the higher fare buckets on BWI in a jiffy.

Then you said this. If the FWA-Washington traffic and demand was even 1/4 of what you are marketing it as, somebody would be flying to IAD or DCA. If it really were what you are marketing it to be, you'd have service to both airports.

I don't think they're chasing any extremely low yielding stuff just to make a city viable. Yes, if you make the fares low enough just about anyone could fill a plane to Vegas.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 42):
DEN would probably be a different story - whether it's WN, F9, or even UA, FWA-DEN would rely heavily on connections, much like SBN-DEN does for F9.

Just talked me out of it.

Just for kicks. When was the last time WN went to an airport to prevent leakage to itself?

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2012-12-21 00:11:22 and read 4056 times.

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 45):
By FL you mean WN.

Indeed...which I later clarified if you scroll up.  

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2012-12-21 03:41:34 and read 4002 times.

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 45):
Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 44):Almost all the FWA-DC traffic is high-yield business and government travel, so they'll sell out the higher fare buckets on BWI in a jiffy. Then you said this. If the FWA-Washington traffic and demand was even 1/4 of what you are marketing it as, somebody would be flying to IAD or DCA. If it really were what you are marketing it to be, you'd have service to both airports. I don't think they're chasing any extremely low yielding stuff just to make a city viable. Yes, if you make the fares low enough just about anyone could fill a plane to Vegas.

FWIW, here is the FY12 GSA award for FWA-WAS:

FT. WAYNE RONALD REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT Delta C 321.00 0.00 0.00 10/01/2011 09/30/2012
FT. WAYNE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON INT'L AIRPORT Delta C 425.00 0.00 0.00 10/01/2011 09/30/2012

No real surprise to see DL here, but I would bet they probably get a good bit of official government traffic - as crwflyer said if there were really that much demand there, you'd have DCA and/or IAD.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: GentFromAlaska
Posted 2012-12-21 10:13:21 and read 3825 times.

WN must use a couple of policies either that or the eight flight per day policy allows some wiggle room for higher volume micro cities/markets.

In the early to mid 90's after my first WN flight I wrote WN asking about potential service to JNU Juneau, Alaska. WN wrote back telling me they do not consider cities unless they can get six flights in per day and JNU could not support six flights a day. The writer who I held the title of market research or planning mentioned she had just taken an Alaska cruise and was quite familiar with Juneau.

It was later discovered WN policy is not only determined by the volume of flyers but by the amount of available gates. JNU had one free gate which would have to be shared by all other carriers. There were not at the time. It was understood in the community AS entered a long term lease on all other gates with or without any intent to use them which was understood as a strategy or tactic to keep other carriers out.

A couple of years later Herb was actually seen in JNU airport which got a few people excited. It was later discovered he was in the area visiting a remote cabin on a vacation.

It would be nice if WN would return to JNU for a look at least seasonally. With all of the avionics and GPS navigation upgrades across the last 15 or so years; the weather argument is dated. I suppose JNU could be a one stop with continued service to ANC in both directions.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2012-12-21 10:34:43 and read 3785 times.

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 48):
WN must use a couple of policies either that or the eight flight per day policy allows some wiggle room for higher volume micro cities/markets.

In the early to mid 90's after my first WN flight I wrote WN asking about potential service to JNU Juneau, Alaska. WN wrote back telling me they do not consider cities unless they can get six flights in per day and JNU could not support six flights a day. The writer who I held the title of market research or planning mentioned she had just taken an Alaska cruise and was quite familiar with Juneau.

My take away from a lot of this is the whole X number of flight rules is from several years ago or longer. The WN business plan is different now and people really need to let go of the idea that so many flights must be required. If WN can make a profit to achieve its 15% ROI goal on investments, it'll consider it more than likely. If the yields aren't there and they can't make it work, it isn't happening.

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-12-21 18:27:27 and read 3561 times.

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 48):
It was later discovered WN policy is not only determined by the volume of flyers but by the amount of available gates.

Not the first time I've heard about WN needing a certain amount of gates: I heard a similar story once about FAT in the early 90s.

WN had just acquired Morris Air, and wanted a dedicated gate to continue and expand service, but the airport authority wouldn't give them one. So between that and the fact that the FAT airport authority was in bed with UA, WN decided not to serve FAT. (Almost 20 years after this happened, they still aren't there.)

[Edited 2012-12-21 18:28:24]

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: Flytravel
Posted 2012-12-22 10:29:40 and read 3067 times.

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 45):
Then you said this. If the FWA-Washington traffic and demand was even 1/4 of what you are marketing it as, somebody would be flying to IAD or DCA. If it really were what you are marketing it to be, you'd have service to both airports.

However, WN is launching FNT-BWI 3x daily, when there is no service to BWI, DCA or IAD now. I suspect it's because of the BWI being hub like, and WN is trying to substitute FNT-ATL with a shorter FNT-BWI. But, I can't figure out if WN really wants it to be targeted well for business traffic for Washington region travelers, or if it's just a low fare carrier for the Washington region. WN isn't offering BWI-MSP where MSP is a large market, but instead offering a nonstop to FNT which is a smaller region, with questionable demand from DC, as no carriers are flying DCA/IAD-FNT.

[Edited 2012-12-22 10:31:12]

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2012-12-22 18:42:10 and read 2871 times.

Quoting Flytravel (Reply 51):
WN isn't offering BWI-MSP where MSP is a large market, but instead offering a nonstop to FNT which is a smaller region, with questionable demand from DC, as no carriers are flying DCA/IAD-FNT.

Never mind the fact that BWI-MSP is more than twice as long as BWI-FNT . . .

Topic: RE: Is The WN 8-Flight Rule For New Cities Dead?
Username: crj900lr
Posted 2012-12-22 19:03:54 and read 2834 times.

Quoting Buddys747 (Reply 36):
FL didn't drop MDT, WN made the decision. They cited they couldn't make MDT fit there model and the fact that BWI is 1.5 hours away (from the airport) as reasons for leaving.

Correct. The only time you will see a WN aircraft in MDT is for their once a month charters to MCO and possibly some military movement activity.Plus you have BWI 1.5 hours away as mentioned by Buddys747 and PHL is about an hour and 20 min away.


The messages in this discussion express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of Airliners.net or any entity associated with Airliners.net.

Copyright © Lundgren Aerospace. All rights reserved.
http://www.airliners.net/