Print from Airliners.net discussion forum
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/5823419/

Topic: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: CIDFlyer
Posted 2013-07-19 20:37:36 and read 6190 times.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayi...h-bend-from-its-route-map/2522417/

Sorry to hear F9 is pulling out of SBN. I suppose with Chicago close by its hard to compete.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: BMI727
Posted 2013-07-19 21:39:53 and read 6049 times.

Quoting CIDFlyer (Thread starter):
Sorry to hear F9 is pulling out of SBN. I suppose with Chicago close by its hard to compete.

I think you miss the mark blaming this on the proximity of Chicago. It's closer than other cities that support service more effectively, but road miles bring SBN closer to parity.

[Edited 2013-07-19 21:40:23]

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: boilerla
Posted 2013-07-19 22:15:40 and read 5969 times.

Not surprising given the fares. I grew up in SBN and frequently fly home there from the west coast. DEN-SBN on F9 could easily be had for $200 during the summer, when I frequently paid >$500 for similar or shorter flights into SBN on UA. Given the high CASM of the 319 they operated, I'm not surprised it wasn't profitable.

I'm guessing UA will be relieved, as they have been substantially down at SBN since F9 started flights. Not sure they're directly related though.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: Surfandsnow
Posted 2013-07-19 23:36:58 and read 5863 times.

It's almost impossible to predict what will or won't work for F9. The Midwestern college town markets of MSN, BMI and CID seem to be doing well (enough), while SBN quickly failed.

At least the airport still has nonstop G4 service to a bunch of popular destinations. It sounds like DEN-SBN was pretty disappointing, so I doubt even UA(X) would be interested in filling the void?

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: BMI727
Posted 2013-07-20 00:56:19 and read 5805 times.

Quoting Surfandsnow (Reply 3):
The Midwestern college town markets of MSN, BMI and CID seem to be doing well (enough), while SBN quickly failed.

Of the three you cite, only Madison could honestly be called a college town. Both the Twin Cities and Cedar Rapids are home to large companies with State Farm and Rockwell Collins respectively. Even Madison is home to a fair number of smaller companies in addition to being the state capital.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-20 04:34:39 and read 5691 times.

Actually if you analyze the number of flights that F9 operated into and out of SBN per month and the number of passengers enplaned and deplaned in SBN you would find that F9 traffic was picking up at the expense of UA. F9 in March took 30% of United share of passengers and connected them in the more convenient hub of DEN. Look at F9's traffic for May in SBN it was very good. The problem is that with their CASM for the A319 and the winter loads they could not use the spring and summer load profits to sustain the winter losses. If Frontier and SBN could have put 10 more bodies on those flights they probably would have stayed in the market. The flights also were not very well marketed by F9 or the airport. A couple of billboards placed around town just won't cut it and I pointed this out to the airport when I was in SBN last. F9's yield management Dept. effed up on this to. They should have priced the flights to make a profit. My fare from DFW-SBN was 306.00 where comparable fares from DAL-MDW on SWA was about 425.00. United did serve the SBN-DEN route after deregulation with a B727 which I took back then and they would only fly about 70 passengers in and out of SBN. Last month Frontier on average flew 130 passengers into and about 120 out per flight out of SBN and an A319 is cheaper to operate than a B727. This service was originally proposed as daily service with an E190 jet which would have been full on every flight and probably would have been overbooked on every flight. We all know what happened to that one. Frontier also was phasing out the A318 which would have made more sense for this route and would have made a profit if the tickets were priced right. One thing coming out of this is that United is putting Mesa CRJ700's back into SBN-ORD on some flights starting in October to take their traffic back. Now DGS has all the better ground servicing equipment in place in SBN for the Notre Dame football season to handle their larger mainline jets.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-20 06:34:49 and read 5552 times.

Qouting Surfandsnow reply 3

"At least the airport still has nonstop G4 service to a bunch of popular destinations. It sounds like DEN-SBN was pretty disappointing, so I doubt even UA(X) would be interested in filling the void?"

I dont think I would call filling 111-120 and sometimes 134 seats disappointing. Pretty disappointing would be the winter loads like the flights I was on in January filling 65-70 seats. UA(X) had a Saturday flight SBN-DEN-ORD using Shuttle America E175 metal for a few random months on their early morning flight so they have data to. They were getting their collective arse kicked by Frontier and in March lost 30% of their passengers to Frontier. Some would say it was Frontier's lower fares, well United's fares were the same for comparable routes and tickets as I priced them. I also kept up with Frontier's loads using their website charts for available seats as well as SeatGuru as well as the airport did and since March they have been doing quite well. I just don't think they cared to develop the route (They had to be prodded to advertise the service on more than one occasion) when they were given a SCASD grant to operate it. They priced themselves out of the market with their CASM's and that's the fault of their yield management department.

When Frontier leaves United can operate these flights using Shuttle America metal as this frees them from their Mainline pilots vs Express operations non-compete scope clause. They can also right now offer the service on Skywest CRJ700 metal. With the loads Frontier was flying UA(X) could operate 2 CRJ700 or E170 flights a day SBN-DEN connecting to multiple connecting banks and one flight a day during the slow winter months of January and February and be profitable and at the same time free their passengers of unreliable service and connections in Chicago.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: CIDFlyer
Posted 2013-07-20 07:02:27 and read 5506 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
Of the three you cite, only Madison could honestly be called a college town. Both the Twin Cities and Cedar Rapids are home to large companies with State Farm and Rockwell Collins respectively. Even Madison is home to a fair number of smaller companies in addition to being the state capital.

While technically speaking that's true about Cedar Rapids, the CID airport also serves Iowa City which is home to the University of Iowa and is just a hop skip and a jump over the Johnson County line which is the Iowa City metro area and the airport is within 10-20 miles of the population of Iowa City/Coralville/North Liberty metro base. Combined this area has a population of 420,000.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2013-07-20 07:18:27 and read 5478 times.

Quoting boilerla (Reply 2):
Given the high CASM of the 319 they operated, I'm not surprised it wasn't profitable.

It's not so much the CASM as it is the profit margins of the airline running the plane.

DL needs only a 66% LF to make the A319 work on a route, while F9 needs 94+% LFs to make the same A319 work because they are a ULCC and their margins are so thin. If you're G4 or NK (two fellow ULCCs), you can have a 94% LF on an A319, and they do that just fine because both focus on O&D traffic. But F9's LFs have been stuck in the 80% range, and they carry a lot of connecting traffic.

That said, I wonder if UA will start FWA-DEN now that the F9 SBN threat is gone? FWA-DEN is a larger O&D market than SBN-DEN, so I see UA trying FWA first.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2013-07-20 07:23:19 and read 5468 times.

Official SBN statement:
http://www.flysbn.com/press_article.php?id=39

SBN-DEN LFs were 79% on average through May.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-07-20 07:59:12 and read 5400 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 8):
That said, I wonder if UA will start FWA-DEN now that the F9 SBN threat is gone? FWA-DEN is a larger O&D market than SBN-DEN, so I see UA trying FWA first.

If UA wanted to start it, they would have. I don't really think they are threatened much by F9 right now. The problem with SBN and FWA getting UA service to DEN is that it is more efficient to just funnel people through ORD and call it good. Let's be honest...FWA-IND drive isn't all that much longer than FWA-SBN. So if UA was so worried about F9 in SBN, why wouldn't they let the services out of IND be a determining factor as well? As far as SBN...MDW and GRR are both around 2 hours or less of a drive away to catch nonstops on WN to DEN.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 5):
United did serve the SBN-DEN route after deregulation with a B727 which I took back then and they would only fly about 70 passengers in and out of SBN. Last month Frontier on average flew 130 passengers into and about 120 out per flight out of SBN and an A319 is cheaper to operate than a B727.

Unfortunately we can't always harken back to the days of just after deregulation to determine who can fly where today. United use to fly DC-10s 3x daily from COS to DEN, does that mean they can or will today? Nope. Similar to SBN, UA flew DC-8s and 72Ss from TOL-DEN, does that mean they will today? Definitely not.

What we are seeing is the SBN market has potential, like many markets that aren't served today, but it is too seasonal and fickle with prices. Perhaps an option could be to allow for a season daily flight to see how it works, but even then they are going to want a certain ROI on the high cost CR7 that would operate it.

I would love to see a lot of the previously lost air service restored to the smaller airports in the Great Lakes and Northeast, but I just don't think it'll happen as much as we all want. We got married to the high cost RJs and high frequency service and it killed most of those markets.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-20 08:42:12 and read 5338 times.

Qouting FWAERJ
Official SBN statement:
http://www.flysbn.com/press_article.php?id=39

SBN-DEN LFs were 79% on average through May.
That includes the very slow months of January and February where they averaged 71% LF. March had about 84% LF on average and may had 94% into SBN LF and May had 82 % load factor out (2,032 divided by 18 flights) and 90% going into(2,239 divided by 18 flights) SBN from DEN. Now with those loads for 18 flights operated that would mean an average of 113 going out and 124 coming in.

If this flight was operated by Frontier's only A318 a 118 passenger airplane that would equate to a LF for 18 flights operated of 96% going out and 100% coming in with inbound flights oversold by 6 passengers. Could they have made money this way and built up to an A319 operation? I don't know what their costs per CASM are on their only A318 which they are phasing out. Remember this service was originally proposed in the SCASD for daily flights on Republic 99-seat E190 jets which SBN would have filled and oversold on every flight.

I still don't see SBN-DEN service lost for good and it may return seasonably in the future. Also if by an outside chance Frontier survives and stays part of Republic and gets to operate the C-Series aircraft markets like SBN could get this service returned and maybe FWA may get these flights also.

WN's average load factor is 80%. Could they have operated these flights and made money like they do at GRR and drove F9 out since they would be connecting people in DEN but would be operating these flights technically point-point tag flights with service to other cities beyond DEN?

[Edited 2013-07-20 08:45:47]

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2013-07-20 09:15:50 and read 5256 times.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 11):
WN's average load factor is 80%. Could they have operated these flights and made money like they do at GRR and drove F9 out since they would be connecting people in DEN but would be operating these flights technically point-point tag flights with service to other cities beyond DEN?

Possibly. WN has a much higher profit margin than F9.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-07-20 09:17:28 and read 5255 times.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 11):
WN's average load factor is 80%. Could they have operated these flights and made money like they do at GRR and drove F9 out since they would be connecting people in DEN but would be operating these flights technically point-point tag flights with service to other cities beyond DEN?

WN is going to focus more on the O&D market though. F9 was only capturing 83 ppd, or only 41 pdew, at a rate of $118 one way. WN will also require a 15% ROI. 41 passengers isn't going to cut it.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-20 11:31:16 and read 5100 times.

Quoting Outboy79

"WN is going to focus more on the O&D market though. F9 was only capturing 83 ppd, or only 41 pdew, at a rate of $118 one way. WN will also require a 15% ROI. 41 passengers isn't going to cut it."

I thought I would ask anyway. Will be flying WN to MDW this week. I think F9 could have made it on this route if they would have stuck to the original plan. Also they did very little advertising. Southwest does lots of advertising. I think the part of the problem was that some far southside Chicago and NW indiana F9 passengers were driving to SBN for lower parking rates and shorter security lines to take F9 instead of getting on at MDW and it was hurting their MDW business a little. F9's fares were to low also but even though DL and UA had matching fares on most connecting routes UA lost 30% of their business to F9 and it wasn't because of fares, it was reliability issues at UAX.

They are resuming some ORD connecting flights with Mesa CRJ700's after F9 pulls out in addition the to current Shuttle America E170's on some flights. Also they are switching Expressjet aircraft from E145's to CRJ200's.

There is still opportunity for connection in DEN though and like I posted earlier if these flights were operated as originally planned on E190 aircraft (Which F9 phased out) the service would still be there.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: iowaman
Posted 2013-07-20 11:51:55 and read 5045 times.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 11):
SBN-DEN LFs were 79% on average through May.
That includes the very slow months of January and February where they averaged 71% LF. March had about 84% LF on average and may had 94% into SBN LF and May had 82 % load factor out (2,032 divided by 18 flights) and 90% going into(2,239 divided by 18 flights) SBN from DEN. Now with those loads for 18 flights operated that would mean an average of 113 going out and 124 coming in.

The DOT numbers are only available through March, but they come pretty close to what you have posted for Jan/Feb/March for F9 at SBN:

Year Month Domestic Load Factor %

2012 10 79.28%
2012 11 80.05
2012 12 80.68
2012 TOTAL 80.07
2013 1 72.12
2013 2 72.19
2013 3 87.12
2013 TOTAL 77.44

Quoting Surfandsnow (Reply 3):
The Midwestern college town markets of MSN, BMI and CID seem to be doing well (enough), while SBN quickly failed.

For comparison purposes, here are the loads for the markets mentioned.

CID (only three months of DOT data available so far) started off pretty poorly but is picking up:

2013 1 56.57%
2013 2 71.00
2013 3 86.34
2013 TOTAL 70.94

BMI has significantly varying loads, although F9 was less than daily in 2012, and had just three flights in May of 2012:

2012 5 97.83%
2012 6 90.52
2012 7 75.75
2012 8 56.06
2012 9 64.60
2012 10 80.52
2012 11 80.43
2012 12 80.74
2012 TOTAL 76.30
2013 1 79.10
2013 2 86.50
2013 3 92.21
2013 TOTAL 86.22

MSN:

2012 1 70.85
2012 2 75.81
2012 3 77.96
2012 4 77.56
2012 5 84.06
2012 6 93.17
2012 7 86.47
2012 8 88.32
2012 9 81.63
2012 10 88.61
2012 11 63.41
2012 12 78.70
2012 TOTAL 82.13
2013 1 93.84
2013 2 98.37
2013 3 87.79

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-07-20 11:56:48 and read 5011 times.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 14):
I thought I would ask anyway. Will be flying WN to MDW this week. I think F9 could have made it on this route if they would have stuck to the original plan. Also they did very little advertising.

Oh I agree with you. We've seen it time and time again with airlines that go into those markets up there (SBN, LAN, TOL, etc) that fail it comes down to poor marketing and horrible revenue planning. The 190 is definitely made for routes like those. I've talk to a few people regarding F9 at TOL and it really came down to not having the 190 anymore followed by their fear of Delta. If your costs are low, product is good, and you let people know it is there...what Big D does up the road shouldn't matter.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 14):
They are resuming some ORD connecting flights with Mesa CRJ700's after F9 pulls out in addition the to current Shuttle America E170's on some flights. Also they are switching Expressjet aircraft from E145's to CRJ200's.

There is still opportunity for connection in DEN though and like I posted earlier if these flights were operated as originally planned on E190 aircraft (Which F9 phased out) the service would still be there.

Well that's good they are putting some more capacity in there. No one is a bigger champion for more service in the Lower Lakes than me. I know at times things get heated with some folks who think their airport has to compete against the others, but in reality...there is little market overlap with most cities unless pax are being forced to drive 2 hours. Every airport up there can probably support more than it has right now, but there just isn't a strong business case when people are trained to drive to get nonstop flights from a bigger airport or hub.

Deep down I hope we could see someone with ATRs or Dash 8s come in and rebuild the old Air Wisky or USAir route network between the markets there - Southwest P2P style. Just not feasible right now unfortunately.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: BMI727
Posted 2013-07-20 14:35:49 and read 4423 times.

Quoting CIDFlyer (Reply 7):
While technically speaking that's true about Cedar Rapids, the CID airport also serves Iowa City which is home to the University of Iowa and is just a hop skip and a jump over the Johnson County line which is the Iowa City metro area and the airport is within 10-20 miles of the population of Iowa City/Coralville/North Liberty metro base.

I know Iowa City is close by, but there is still enough other business and such going on that I wouldn't call it a "college town." A town with a college in it for sure, but not a college town the way that South Bend or Bloomington, IN are.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-20 15:11:09 and read 4278 times.

Thanks for posting things Iowaman. The only airport with real good loads for F9 was MSN and BMI and SBN is actually better than CID. They just never gave SBN a chance as May's numbers are pretty stellar and June is going to be likewise. SBN really only had bad loads in the slow months of January and February. I guess they looked at those two months and got spooked and jumped the gun early. SBN's advance booking probably spooked them also as an average of 88 would book in advance and the flights would fill up later. I would have at least took this the complete year and maybe till the end of the Notre Dame football season. Speaking of which Delta is going to use MD88's in SBN on football weekends.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: GentFromAlaska
Posted 2013-07-20 15:37:43 and read 4156 times.

I have a inkling SBN will return to the F9 timetable; be it seasonally. F9 returned to FAT who originally wooed the carrier with SCASD grant dollars. F9 pulled the plug and then returned after a 2-3 year hiatus.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: CIDFlyer
Posted 2013-07-20 15:50:43 and read 4084 times.

Quoting iowaman (Reply 15):
For comparison purposes, here are the loads for the markets mentioned.

CID (only three months of DOT data available so far) started off pretty poorly but is picking up:

2013 1 56.57%
2013 2 71.00
2013 3 86.34
2013 TOTAL 70.94

this surprises me...Id be curious to see the 2012 numbers since this started in May 2012. The airport said it was doing good and boardings at the airport have reached record highs. None the less glad to see its gained steam.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: kcrwflyer
Posted 2013-07-20 18:04:16 and read 3633 times.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 5):
Frontier also was phasing out the A318 which would have made more sense for this route and would have made a profit if the tickets were priced right.

If you can't make it work with an A319 an A318 only makes the margins worse.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 6):
With the loads Frontier was flying UA(X) could operate 2 CRJ700 or E170 flights a day SBN-DEN connecting to multiple connecting banks and one flight a day during the slow winter months of January and February and be profitable and at the same time free their passengers of unreliable service and connections in Chicago.

Based on loads alone, yeah..But the reality of the situation is different. UA would have to charge F9 fares to generate the same amount of traffic. That happening is an impossibility.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 11):
If this flight was operated by Frontier's only A318 a 118 passenger airplane that would equate to a LF for 18 flights operated of 96% going out and 100% coming in with inbound flights oversold by 6 passengers. Could they have made money this way and built up to an A319 operation?

Like I already said, the A318 has higher costs per seat.. which is why they're being removed. I'm not sure what difference it makes though given the A318 isn't a factor anymore.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 11):
Remember this service was originally proposed in the SCASD for daily flights on Republic 99-seat E190 jets which SBN would have filled and oversold on every flight.

Remember that the amount of seats in a market affect the way it is priced. You can't assume that an A319 flight that's got 120 will sell 99 seats on an E90 because they have to demand a higher price on the E90.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 11):
WN's average load factor is 80%. Could they have operated these flights and made money like they do at GRR and drove F9 out since they would be connecting people in DEN but would be operating these flights technically point-point tag flights with service to other cities beyond DEN?
Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 12):
Possibly. WN has a much higher profit margin than F9.

I don't see how given WN's operating costs are so much higher than F9's.



Once F9 gets all of their costs lowered to their ULCC goal levels, this might be a route that they can come back to at some point. I wouldn't be shocked either way. The loads weren't terrible, especially given the months the flight operated. I don't believe any route between any two cities can ever be gauged based on half a year's performance, but airlines aren't willing to develop routes anymore. It works from the start or gets axed.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-20 18:23:42 and read 3562 times.

Here is a comparison on another post of the CASM's for the A319 aircraft filed with the DOT.

Legend = Total block Hour Cost USD / Burn per hour gallons / Average stage length / CASM

A319
DL - $5476 / 688 / 710 / 12.9 (probably very high due number of VIP configured aircraft, and low ASM count)
F9 - $3928 / 715 / 908 / 7.9
NK - $3424 / 756 / 886 / 6.3
UA - $4514 / 761 / 1042 / 9.7
US - $4530 / 738 / 727 / 10.7
VX - $4067 / 669 / 1695 / 8.1

Correct me if I'm wrong SBN-DEN is planned for 988 sm. Frontier's Block time is 2 hrs and 15 min so total block hour cost for this trip would be $8838/1609/988/7.9 Average CASM for the whole airplane: 138 seats times .079 times 988 equals $10,771 and change CASM for the flight. Frontier's average SBN-DEN fares were 118.00 if they filled 80% of their seats which would be 110 seats at 118.00 that would be $12,980 now some paid more for their tickets and some paid less. Also I'm not figuring in the fees they had to pay to DGS to ground service their aircraft. So they would only make $2,209 if that on the flight which clearly isn't sustainable.

And to the comments from GentFromAlaska. I think you are right F9 is going to take some time to digest the numbers and when they get their costs in line I feel they will return to this route. Loads were actually not that bad and lately most flights would sell out by flight time. ND Graduation weekend, Memorial Day weekend and 4th of July weekend had most seats taken on the F9 flights.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: kcrwflyer
Posted 2013-07-21 10:08:21 and read 2987 times.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 22):
Correct me if I'm wrong SBN-DEN is planned for 988 sm. Frontier's Block time is 2 hrs and 15 min so total block hour cost for this trip would be $8838/1609/988/7.9 Average CASM for the whole airplane: 138 seats times .079 times 988 equals $10,771 and change CASM for the flight. Frontier's average SBN-DEN fares were 118.00 if they filled 80% of their seats which would be 110 seats at 118.00 that would be $12,980 now some paid more for their tickets and some paid less. Also I'm not figuring in the fees they had to pay to DGS to ground service their aircraft. So they would only make $2,209 if that on the flight which clearly isn't sustainable.

I don't think your math is wrong, but the equation isn't completely set up. You'd need to know what percentage of the traffic was connecting, where they connected, and what they paid to get an accurate revenue calculation. If everyone were just flying to DEN at that fare I think they'd still be flying the route.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-07-21 10:44:23 and read 2933 times.

Quoting kcrwflyer (Reply 23):
I don't think your math is wrong, but the equation isn't completely set up. You'd need to know what percentage of the traffic was connecting, where they connected, and what they paid to get an accurate revenue calculation. If everyone were just flying to DEN at that fare I think they'd still be flying the route.

This the big one. When I looked at the numbers yesterday, it roughly worked out to 41 pax each way on O&D. So all of a sudden you are down to around 70 seats where the fare is going to split to pay for the 2nd leg. For simplicity lets just make it a 50/50 split (which it won't be)...you just went from $2K profit to a $2k loss.

This is why you see WN dropping long standing routes like MDW-IND and OKC-MCI. Too much connecting, not enough O&D.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: kcrwflyer
Posted 2013-07-21 13:06:32 and read 2867 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 24):
This the big one. When I looked at the numbers yesterday, it roughly worked out to 41 pax each way on O&D. So all of a sudden you are down to around 70 seats where the fare is going to split to pay for the 2nd leg. For simplicity lets just make it a 50/50 split (which it won't be)...you just went from $2K profit to a $2k loss.

And therein lies the kicker. 41 isn't going to get it done at that fare and it's a pretty safe bet that most of the connecting yields aren't as high as the nonstop yield. Like you said, even at 50/50 they're probably still bleeding.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-21 18:31:40 and read 2719 times.

Thank you for the information kcrwflyer and ouboy79. We just don't know what the connecting yields are. When I flew F9 to SBN last January my fare from DFW was 360.00 R/T. Comparable fare to MDW from DAL on WN was 424.00 R/T. The real kicker then is the hub and spoke concept is a money loser. The only reason F9 was brought into SBN in the first place was to offer an option of better connecting flights to the west. They were doing a good job at it.

Here is a few examples of flights I just priced on F9 leaving SBN on Monday Aug 12th and returning Aug 15th. This is just the base fares minus any taxes.

O/D SBN-DEN lowest fare $379.72 R/T for a one way fare of $189.86 figuring 41 pax O/D as in the example above that is a total of $7,784.26. Now lets say the other 70 connecting passengers that day were going to LAX. Lowest published fare for SBN-LAX connecting in DEN on F9 is $578.79 R/T for a one way fare of $289.39. Now just pricing the connecting flights individually out of DEN that actually make the connection out of SBN the DEN-LAX leg is $140.99 going to LAX and $173.99 coming back so with that being said if the ticket legs were bought individually the one way fare from SBN-LAX should be $330.85 so Frontier would loose $41.46 for each connecting passenger in this example for a total of $2902.00. However these connecting passengers for example if they are all going to LAX paid a total of $20,259.30 at F9's cost per available seat mile of 7.9 and sat rounding off their costs to $11,000 dollars for the flight they would still make a little over $17,000 dollars for the flight even with connecting passengers but could make more in this example if they priced the flights individually. Now I just threw this example out for grins as I have no way of knowing where SBN's connecting passengers go after DEN and what they pay for a typical flight and what the average mix of O/D vs connecting passengers are for a typical flight as there are to many variables. That's the job of the bean counters in revenue management and it's their fault if they are not pricing the product to make a profit as it is on any airline. Also we do not know what percentage of O/D versus connecting that F9 needs to remain profitable on any given route.

[Edited 2013-07-21 18:40:36]

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-07-21 18:37:26 and read 2750 times.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 26):
That's the job of the bean counters in revenue management and it's their fault if they are not pricing the product to make a profit as it is on any airline.

Huh?

All an airline can do is offer - it can only charge what the market will pay. There is always resistance if the price goes too high and sometimes by even only a few bucks.

mariner

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-21 19:10:50 and read 2682 times.

Thanks for chiming in mariner I missed you on here. I think Frontier was charging a reasonable fare to make a profit but who knows maybe their cost's were out of whack. They actually did quite well on the route from March to May on the route and loads continued to increase and this month looks good also. The SBN market is really no different than what the loads were in CID a market they are staying in for now. It seems like MSN and BMI have the best loads of any of the secondary midwest cities. It wouldn't surprise me either that when F9 gets their CASM in line with say Spirit's that they return to the SBN-DEN market. They bounced in and out of markets in TYS, MDT, and FAT for the last couple of years and it seems to be a habit with them.

F9 also didn't advertise this service very well in the SBN market according to my sources in management at SBN. They were in the market for three months or so before they got the talking animals on local television. The route was just beginning to click for them though. The problem is that most airlines out here today do not have the time to develop these routes anymore and if it doesn't work from the beginning they pull them. Allegiant was an exception in SBN. They started offering service to LAS and then added SFB. They promoted these flights by running local promotions at Notre Dame sporting events, minor league baseball games etc.

I dont know if this is applicable or not but I'll throw it out there. SBN went through a few management changes between when the service was first proposed and when it actually began. SBN had a very likable Airport Manager in John Schalliol and a Director of Air Service Development Elizabeth Ceconni. John and Elizabeth were a team who worked very well with the airlines. John retired and Elizabeth took a more national job related to air service development. I'm sure Elizabeth would have made this work. She was just that good. Anyway food for thought.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-07-21 19:47:43 and read 2634 times.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 28):
They bounced in and out of markets in TYS, MDT, and FAT for the last couple of years and it seems to be a habit with them.

They're still at MDT and TYS - but seasonally, because the real problem is winter. They sure gave TYS the go as year round, flying it through the first winter, but loads were around 50% on low fares.

The original FAT service was yonks ago - and winter killed it - but that was in days before the low frequency concept was put in place. I hope it survives the winter this time but I don't think it will be easy.

Someone's going off their brain on another thread because although Frontier extended the season, it isn't maintaining DEN-MDT (which does extremely well) through deep winter. It is a fact of life, loads fall off a cliff and the ski season in DEN is not enough to sustain many of the routes. Same happened with DEN-PHL - the problem was not summer, which was terrific, or even shoulder, but deep winter. So I hope that DEN-ILG will work, on a reduced frequency, but it's a case of fingers crossed.

I'm not surprised that Allegiant makes SBN work because it is very leisure destination specific - LAS and SFB - but DEN isn't really in that category, at least for Frontier.

Everyone wanted SBN to work, no one wanted it to fail, but it simply didn't do well enough to sustain. There may be all sorts of reasons for it, but ultimately, all the airline can do is offer.

mariner

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-07-21 20:03:00 and read 2611 times.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 28):
SBN had a very likable Airport Manager in John Schalliol and a Director of Air Service Development Elizabeth Ceconni. John and Elizabeth were a team who worked very well with the airlines. John retired and Elizabeth took a more national job related to air service development. I'm sure Elizabeth would have made this work. She was just that good. Anyway food for thought.

Elizabeth is with Sixel now. She is actually took over leading the marketing and development for TOL.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-21 20:07:54 and read 2606 times.

Quoting Mariner:

"Everyone wanted SBN to work, no one wanted it to fail, but it simply didn't do well enough to sustain. There may be all sorts of reasons for it, but ultimately, all the airline can do is offer."

I think it was actually beginning to work but it could be a seasonal market. Deep winter loads were horrible. The flight I took to SBN in January from DEN only had 65 people on it. March loads were stellar. April fell a bit , May was good and I hear June was good but it is not published yet. Even Allegiant would suspend their SFB service during the slow season.

Also I think F9 didn't know the demographics of the area and could have made a lot off of the Notre Dame Football season had they started the service in August instead of mid October of last year and they probably should of least continued the service in SBN thru the ND-USC game weekend in early October. Anyway Delta has that weekend covered already running MD88 and DC9-50 mainline flights to ATL and DTW for connecting passengers.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-21 20:17:11 and read 2579 times.

Anyway I can't remember who posted these on here but this is what Frontier's spokesperson animals think. Have a good night folks.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-07-21 20:20:27 and read 2576 times.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 31):
Also I think F9 didn't know the demographics of the area and could have made a lot off of the Notre Dame Football season had they started the service in August instead of mid October of last year and they probably should of least continued the service in SBN thru the ND-USC game weekend in early October. Anyway Delta has that weekend covered already running MD88 and DC9-50 mainline flights to ATL and DTW for connecting passengers.

As I said, you can find all the reasons - or excuses - you want, but a great research is done into things like demographics.

But they have to put the aircraft where they can make the most money, not to nurse what can only ever be - in winter and at best - adequate.

ILG sees some inland/cold weather frequency reductions in winter as well - but Florida gets a boost in frequency.

mariner

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-07-21 20:34:58 and read 2538 times.

Quoting mariner (Reply 33):
As I said, you can find all the reasons - or excuses - you want, but a great research is done into things like demographics.

But they have to put the aircraft where they can make the most money, not to nurse what can only ever be - in winter and at best - adequate.

Well it is Frontier...so it is wherever the dart lands next.  

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-07-21 20:40:36 and read 2543 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 34):
Well it is Frontier...so it is wherever the dart lands next.

Sure. And Southwest still hasn't been able to kill it.  

mariner

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: kcrwflyer
Posted 2013-07-21 20:46:06 and read 2527 times.

Quoting mariner (Reply 27):
All an airline can do is offer - it can only charge what the market will pay. There is always resistance if the price goes too high and sometimes by even only a few bucks.

Thats true, though pricing and inventory management aren't perfect. I'm sure they were itching to get the fare up, but if you're running 75-80% that's easier said than done unless it's a newfound business market that's not price sensitive.

If you find yourself selling out every flight and running 90-98% full and the airline says they're not making money....then they should probably seek answers from within.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 26):
Also we do not know what percentage of O/D versus connecting that F9 needs to remain profitable on any given route.

I'm sure they have a desired ratio, but it's really just about revenue. If they end up flowing people to the west coast in mass at $600 fares, I'm sure they could care less who terminated in Denver.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 31):
I think it was actually beginning to work but it could be a seasonal market. Deep winter loads were horrible. The flight I took to SBN in January from DEN only had 65 people on it. March loads were stellar. April fell a bit , May was good and I hear June was good but it is not published yet. Even Allegiant would suspend their SFB service during the slow season.

Winter is tough, even to Florida in some cases. You can always make the case to just fly seasonally, but you can only do so much seasonal flying because there has to be a corresponding route that can be profitable in the winter.


Maybe Mariner can help with this, but I don't know why people go to DEN in the summer and not winter. I love the city, personally, and have been and enjoyed myself in the warmth of summer and in blizzard conditions. Besides the strong summer travel season, I can't think of what would actually drive strong summer traffic that wouldn't be there in the winter.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-07-21 20:53:55 and read 2523 times.

Quoting kcrwflyer (Reply 36):
If you find yourself selling out every flight and running 90-98% full and the airline says they're not making money....then they should probably seek answers from within.

I don't believe SBN was ever running those kind of loads.   

Quoting kcrwflyer (Reply 36):
Maybe Mariner can help with this, but I don't know why people go to DEN in the summer and not winter.

I can only speak for myself - I don't do cold. Snow is something I look at through the window of a well heated room. It never gets to freezing where I live, but I still head off to northern Australia every winter.

When I had a house near Boston I lasted until about mid-January and then headed off to St. Martin to live.

Yes, a lot of people ski, and that helps, but loads from many places to DEN are a problem in winter, as above.

mariner

[Edited 2013-07-21 20:56:54]

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-07-21 21:52:53 and read 2462 times.

Quoting mariner (Reply 35):
Sure. And Southwest still hasn't been able to kill it.

Siegel will do that well enough on his own. LOL Southwest isn't out to kill Frontier off. They got their market share that they wanted in DEN and are entrenched. F9 chasing ILG and TTN isn't going to interest or impact UA or WN.

Quoting kcrwflyer (Reply 36):
If you find yourself selling out every flight and running 90-98% full and the airline says they're not making money....then they should probably seek answers from within.

Exactly. Granted SBN was never that high, but chances are they could have bumped up fares a bit more and made money. If the market is too fickle to accept that, then it wasn't going to work.

Quoting mariner (Reply 37):
Yes, a lot of people ski, and that helps, but loads from many places to DEN are a problem in winter, as above.

They need to do better marketing then or go to more seasonal service.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: slcdeltarumd11
Posted 2013-07-21 21:55:09 and read 2460 times.

Quoting mariner (Reply 37):
Yes, a lot of people ski, and that helps, but loads from many places to DEN are a problem in winter, as above.

Cities where the skiiers live are excellent in winter though. Traffic is very high to DEN and SLC in the winter. South Bend is an area that is probably not high to Denver with skiers. Plane and simple. TTN for example would have much higher demand with skiers if they were to operate it in the winter.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-07-21 21:59:07 and read 2456 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 38):
Siegel will do that well enough on his own. LOL

You're always so gracious and positive about Frontier - LOL.

If Southwest could achieve what they wanted in spite of Frontier, why did they try - and fail - to buy the airline?

Still, there is a thread for this kind of smack talk - the Frontier thread - in which i don't participate.

mariner

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-07-21 22:19:06 and read 2448 times.

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 39):
Cities where the skiiers live are excellent in winter though. Traffic is very high to DEN and SLC in the winter.


I don't remember a time - even in its most profitable days, twelve years ago, long before Southwest hit town - when Frontier made a decent profit in the winter, Q1.

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 39):
TTN for example would have much higher demand with skiers if they were to operate it in the winter.

They can't operate TTN-DEN - in winter or summer - except as a one-stop.   

mariner

[Edited 2013-07-21 22:31:51]

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: SYDAIRPORTS
Posted 2013-07-21 22:23:10 and read 2439 times.

when did F9 pull out od GDS's ?

Looked up F9 schedule on Amadeus. It was there, but no actual flight inventory loaded.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-07-21 22:45:07 and read 2409 times.

Quoting mariner (Reply 40):
You're always so gracious and positive about Frontier - LOL.

Hey i've flown them several times. Only have one flight a day from DEN-DTW killed that though.

Quoting mariner (Reply 40):
If Southwest could achieve what they wanted in spite of Frontier, why did they try - and fail - to buy the airline?

What would they have actually achieved in buying F9? The entire fleet would have been parked, along with Lynx, and it would have just been a bunch of debt and employees. Organic growth from within was much better for them and they still got what they wanted. I don't look at the acquisition proposal of F9 as a failure for WN...it was a blessing in disguise. The pilot unions couldn't agree in time and that kind of speaks to the issues that would have followed. F9 pilots wanted relative seniority, WN pilots wanted them stapled since the F9 guys would still get a pay raise. However, we are now way off topic. We can continue this in the Frontier thread if you fill inclined.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-07-21 23:00:38 and read 2396 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 43):
What would they have actually achieved in buying F9?

I've no idea, I don't ask Mr. Kelly his business, The only reason I participated in this thread was because - I thought - it was about Frontier and SBN, a limited conversation.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 43):
We can continue this in the Frontier thread if you fill inclined.

Why?

It's old ground that has been thrashed out many times and I don't participate in the Frontier threads anymore - too much smack talk for me.

It isn't why I come to a.net.

mariner

[Edited 2013-07-21 23:05:11]

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-22 04:21:19 and read 2293 times.

Quoting Ouboy79

Exactly. Granted SBN was never that high, but chances are they could have bumped up fares a bit more and made money. If the market is too fickle to accept that, then it wasn't going to work.

SBN load factors at their highest in May were about 81% out and 93% in. I also think they gave away to many low fares at the beginning. I know the stimulate the market thing but they did not have to. They had no problem filling up 88 seats in advance with the fares they had. I think that they could have bumped up fares slightly and probably would have made it.

People all talk about load factor out of other midwestern cities like CID being so great but in reality CID is maybe just a little higher than SBN but not by much so LF is not the only thing it is CASM vs RASM and whole list of factors. SBN just couldn't fill seats in January or February.

I think there were other outside factors related to this service but I wont speculate or get into it.

The service was fine while it lasted and lot of people did fly it.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: KarlB737
Posted 2013-07-22 07:59:07 and read 2131 times.

Local media report:

Courtesy: South Bend Tribune

Final Frontier Flight To Denver For Sept. 9

"Kate O'Malley, a spokeswoman for the airline, confirmed the news via e-mail on Monday. "Bookings did not meet expectations for a new market......."

"Between its first flight and the end of December, more than 10,000 passengers used the service, according to a March report in The Tribune. At that time, the airline said the route was performing as expected.

On average, Frontier's flights were 79 percent full through the month of May, and peaked at 85 percent in March, the airport reported."


http://www.southbendtribune.com/news...0-edfd-11e2-b696-0019bb30f31a.html

[Edited 2013-07-22 08:00:13]

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: Buddys747
Posted 2013-07-22 10:58:20 and read 2019 times.

Quoting Mariner "Someone's going off their brain on another thread because although Frontier extended the season, it isn't maintaining DEN-MDT (which does extremely well) through deep winter"

Come on Mariner, i have more respect for you and your support for F9, I wouldn't expect thay from you. Did you read my whole post ? I like F9, it doesn't mean I have to support every decision they make. I was just hoping a few flights a week to DEN could be sustained through winter. You can't compare PHL-DEN to MDT-DEN, there were three other carriers on the route. The fact it lasts till January I am happy for, just was hoping for more, same with MCO.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-07-22 11:24:36 and read 1977 times.

Quoting Buddys747 (Reply 47):
Come on Mariner, i have more respect for you and your support for F9, I wouldn't expect thay from you. Did you read my whole post ? I like F9, it doesn't mean I have to support every decision they make.

I doubt anyone supports every decision they make - I sure don't.

The point is about deep winter, and not just about DEN-PHL or DEN-MDT:

Quoting mariner (Reply 29):
They sure gave TYS the go as year round, flying it through the first winter, but loads were around 50% on low fares.
Quoting mariner (Reply 29):
The original FAT service was yonks ago - and winter killed it -
Quoting mariner (Reply 29):
So I hope that DEN-ILG will work, on a reduced frequency, but it's a case of fingers crossed.
Quoting mariner (Reply 41):
I don't remember a time - even in its most profitable days, twelve years ago, long before Southwest hit town - when Frontier made a decent profit in the winter, Q1.

Deep winter is tough for most airlines - Delta, generally flying high, made $7 million last Q1 - and while the ski season in Colorado may help a little, it only alleviates, it isn't a magic bullet, it doesn't change the genuine difficulties that many airlines face.

So I'm sorry if you feel I misrepresented your position, but I think those difficulties are seriously under-appreciated on a.net, for many airlines, not just Frontier.

mariner

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-22 19:43:04 and read 1829 times.

Frontiers SBN numbers for May were about 81 percent enplaned and about 92 percent deplaned.

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: rampart
Posted 2013-07-23 06:15:02 and read 1718 times.

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 49):
Frontiers SBN numbers for May were about 81 percent enplaned and about 92 percent deplaned.

Either they were making babies on board, or South Bend has a weird in-migration pattern from Denver.

Seriously, I feel your frustration. A darned shame.

-Rampart

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-24 03:10:19 and read 1531 times.

New article in todays South Bend, Tribune.

http://www.wsbt.com/news/wsbt-south-...-frontier-20130723,0,3186605.story

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: exFWAOONW
Posted 2013-07-24 13:24:54 and read 1386 times.

Quoting mariner (Reply 35):
Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 34):
Well it is Frontier...so it is wherever the dart lands next.

Sure. And Southwest still hasn't been able to kill it.

What did they steal the dartboard from DL?

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 22):
Correct me if I'm wrong SBN-DEN is planned for 988 sm. Frontier's Block time is 2 hrs and 15 min so total block hour cost for this trip would be $8838/1609/988/7.9 Average CASM for the whole airplane: 138 seats times .079 times 988 equals $10,771 and change CASM for the flight. Frontier's average SBN-DEN fares were 118.00 if they filled 80% of their seats which would be 110 seats at 118.00 that would be $12,980 now some paid more for their tickets and some paid less. Also I'm not figuring in the fees they had to pay to DGS to ground service their aircraft. So they would only make $2,209 if that on the flight which clearly isn't sustainable.

You need to add (subtract) landing fees, jetway fees, ground handling fees, ticket counter rental, etc. to get a more complete picture of costs/revenue. Your net might cover the landing fee to the airport. How much office / counter space did Frontier rent or were they handled by someone else?

Topic: RE: Frontier Cancelling South Bend
Username: freakyrat
Posted 2013-07-24 14:18:27 and read 1335 times.

Frontier has a separate ticket counter at SBN but was completely handled by Delta Ground Services (DGS). The flights were averaging 111 passengers per flight on a 138 seat A319. This was quite an accomplishment for SBN as after deregulation United ran a B727-200 DEN-SBN-FWA-SBN-DEN R/t and averaged only 65 passenger at best on the flights.

Frontier carried an average of 40 O/D passengers to Denver along with about 71 or so Connecting passengers on a recent flight. During certain weeks like Spring Break an Holiday weekends there wasn't a seat to be had on the plane and lately they were carrying at least 125 or so per flight. I just don't think that even with the increased loads they were not carrying enough O/D traffic top Denver to make the flight profitable. I would say they needed at least another 10 O/D passengers per flight and the flights would have made it.


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/