IslandHopper From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 327 posts, RR: 2 Posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2597 times:
According to this website, CO Micronesia has added an additional flight to its island hopper route, which usually serves HNL-MAJ-KWA-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM. However, this new flight will only serve HNL-MAJ-KWA-TKK-GUM and back the same day.
Just wanted to warn anyone who booked an island hopper flight (my favorite route and namesake) to make sure to get one of the old flights that stops on each island. I'm glad they're increasing service though...those flights are always full. I wonder if demand there would support another airline which would drive prices down a little. I'm sure CO enjoys their monopoly though, a typical ticket on that route costs over $1000.
Ex_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1435 posts, RR: 5 Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2565 times:
I'm sure CO enjoys their monopoly though, a typical ticket on that route costs over $1000.
Funny you should mention this - when I was recently in PNI I met a friend-of-a-friend who lives there, and being the good respective ethnic Chinese and Jewish people that we were, we started plotting ways in which to take over the local economy . We briefly discussed an airline but dismissed it because CO would definitely have the resources to drive that startup out of business through predatory pricing, if necessary....
IslandHopper From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 327 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2425 times:
>we started plotting ways in which to take over the local economy
Yeah...I taught at the SDA school for a year there in Pohnpei, what a great experience! Who do you know there...such a small island, I probably know him! I don't think it would be too hard to take over the economy there...everything costs 2x to 4x as much as Hawaii! There has to be some way to cut costs.
>CO would definitely have the resources to drive that startup out of business through predatory pricing, if necessary
Other airlines have served some of these locations, notably Air Nauru (Kosrae and Pohnpei), Air Marshall Islands and Aloha (Majuro and Kwaj), but nobody has ever tried to compete on CO's exact island hopper route.
It would be tempting to pick up an ATP, ATR, or Dash-8 for dirt cheap and fly MAJ-KWA-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM and back. Leaving off the HNL leg would allow for the prop's limited range, and you could keep fares low so that poorer islanders could visit their relatives or take a trip to Guam once in awhile.
Call it "IslandHopper Airlines" if CO hasn't trademarked that name. I've never heard them call it that officially. Nice to dream.
Scottb From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6442 posts, RR: 33 Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2384 times:
I suspect the idea of operating props in competition to CO Micronesia wouldn't work for several reasons:
(1) Even skipping the HNL-MAJ leg, props still wouldn't have the range to make it from GUM to TKK *and* reach an alternate (probably PNI) with acceptable fuel reserves for holding for 30-45 minutes. I think having acceptable fuel to reach an alternate and/or turn back would be difficult on most legs unless you severely restricted passenger/cargo loads.
(2) HNL-MAJ is probably far, far more popular for Marshallese (and anyone else going to/from MAJ) than MAJ-KWA-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM. While MAJ is closer in distance to GUM than HNL, there's more in the way of connecting opportunities, shopping, etc. available in HNL than GUM.
(3) Props are slow and noisy. Why spend three hours flying GUM-TKK when it only takes 1.5 on CO Micronesia? And that only gets magnified with the farther a passenger goes. GUM-KSA would be a very long trip on a prop; sort of like flying BOS-CLT-JAX-MIA on a prop.
(4) Props have higher direct operating costs per ASM than jets. It would be easy for Continental to underprice you (and my understanding is that residents of the FSM, Marshalls, and Palau don't pay the same fares CO charges foreigners, anyway).
(5) Making arrangements for fuel on some of the islands might be a bit of a challenge, and you'd probably need to fuel at each stop (the 738 doesn't require this).
Ex_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1435 posts, RR: 5 Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2361 times:
IslandHopper: I don't want to reveal exact names on this forum, but I know former resident S.L., and he introduced me to C.R. who introduced me to his extremely obese cat Also met the folks at The Village.
Scottb: As you are probably aware, one of the reasons why CO's fares are so high is because there is a lot of military and government travel on the islandhopper. Even the fares for residents are quite outrageous, from what I hear. When my friend's aforementioned obese cat was ill it cost an arm and a leg to get it to GUM to see the vet! It probably merits deeper analysis, of course taking into consideration the very valid operational constraints you mentioned.
IslandHopper From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 327 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2094 times:
I knew "The Village people" very well when I lived there. The owner's son has seven daughters and several went to my school. I was the computer guru on the island and people all over used to get me to fix theirs. I traded my services for a free meal at The Village. I LOVE that place! Wish I could replicate it here in the U.S.
>I mean even by cutting CO fares by 60-70% it should make some money.
My thoughts exactly!
OK, so maybe my prop idea wasn't the best, but 80's era jets can be bought/leased for dirt cheap as well. Maybe a 722, 733 or MD80 would do the job. Would any of those make it all the way to HNL?
>The rumour is that an anonymous New England-based carrier will expand and operate Continental Connection out of Guam using newly acquired ATRs...
Where would these fly? It's Continental Connection anyway though, so prices wouldn't be affected most likely.