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Why Did Air Tran Stop PHL-PIT.  
User currently offlineDecman From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 107 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3423 times:

I was wondering why Air Tran stopped their their PHL-PIT flight. And is it possible that they or another carrier would restart this flight which is controlled by US Airways?

Decman

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3400 times:
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No in this case I understand US gave as good as they got, US put up the fight and FL gave in.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4506 posts, RR: 33
Reply 2, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3369 times:

Several factors were in play.

--Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as you know are both hubs for US Airways. The business communities in these cities both have the US FF needle jabbed very deeply into their arms. Any Pennsylvanians who know differently please say, but I'd bet that the vast majority of air travel between PIT and PHL is business-related. And the AirTran flights, if I remember right, were tried during 2000-2001, before 9-11, and businesses were less price-sensitive. So road warriors were in a position to demand being booked on US.

--US Airways is Pittsburgh's largest employer, and the airline's association with SW PA goes all the way back to All-American Aviation. I lived near Pittsburgh for two years in the mid '90s, and got the strong impression that Pittsburgh has a lot of pride tied up in the US hub too. That's a psychological factor that can definitely affect travel patterns.

--US offered over 10 dailies, and AirTran offered four.

--Whether US just matched fares (legal) or predatorily dumped low fares (illegal) I don't know. No case was ever brought, that i know of.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette used to complain regularly about airfares when I lived there, but they might as well have been talking to a brick wall. Business pax wanted their FF fix, and their employers could afford to support their habit. So a lot of people drove to Cleveland for WN or didn't travel by air.

AirTran would probably still have a hard time making that city-pair work today, or as long as US exists. US would probably match prices as long as needed, and count on FF loyalty to take up the slack. PA is the only Eastern state with two hubs by the same network carrier, and in PIT is a fortress hub. Even when US shuts down the PIT hub--which they will do, I think within a year--they will still have a strong RJ presence, and a hub in PHL.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3366 times:

US was matching fares with FL and FL couldn't turn this route into a profit...FL loads were pretty low IIRC...US and FL are going at it again on PHL-BOS...except this time AA and DL also operate PHL-BOS so its 4 airlines competing...

Greg

Edited to fix some major typos...

[Edited 2003-12-10 03:14:14]


Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4506 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3346 times:

Anyone know how AirTran is doing on PHL-BOS? That's a business-intensive route, and FL is only offering two dailies. All three network competitors offer more than that. I'd be surprised if FL makes it work with so few frequencies.

Contrast that with BWI-BOS, where AirTran offers seven dailies, and is prospering.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineGr8slvrflt From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1606 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3321 times:

In a web chat earlier this year, Bob Fornaro, President of AirTran, mentioned that they will be returning to the PHL-PIT market in the future. PHL-BOS is doing well.

User currently offlineN670UW From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1605 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3317 times:

US Airways is Pittsburgh's largest employer

Not to be off topic, but actually UPMC is Pittsburgh's largest employer. US Airways doesn't even make the top five. (1. UPMC, 2. U.S. Gov, 3. Pennsylvania, 4. West Penn Allegheny, 5. U. of Pittsburgh

[Edited 2003-12-10 03:32:07]

User currently offlineHaveric From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1247 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3312 times:

Not sure how Aitran is doing on PHL-BOS, but one of the 717s had an emergency landing a few weeks back and the reported loads were very light.

Of course, given the choice between a low fare and no miles and low fare and miles, the decision is a no-brainer for an elite on US. The difference today, is that US can't compete price-wise as easily as they did PHL-PIT, one of their premier routes.


User currently offlineHaveric From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1247 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3294 times:

On a related note.... I'm studying for my antitrust exam at the moment, and after reading this thread, I read the following line in my notes:

"courts are not sympathetic to claims of predatory pricing" -- primarily because they are VERY hard to prove (because they don't, in actuality, make that much economic sense).


User currently offlineRthrbeflying86 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 243 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3286 times:

Again, not sure about how FL is doing PHL-BOS, but whatever it is, it is forcing US to match fares as low as $68 roundtrip! I snatched this fare, only to be snowed out  Sad.


I'd rather be flying.
User currently offlineA330323X From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 3039 posts, RR: 43
Reply 10, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3285 times:

From what I understand, FL is doing rather poorly in PHL-BOS. There's of course the usual US frequent flyer bases at both ends to consider, but I think more importantly is the fact that FL's 3 frequencies just can't hold a candle to US's 15. (It's the most frequencies offered by US on any non-shuttle route, although I think they were only offering 12 or 13 before FL started the route.)

US has actually had a good amount of success fighting FL in business markets. While FL has clearly won the battle in PHL/PIT-ATL and is doing quite well with PIT-MCO and PHL-MCO/TPA/FLL/RSW/PBI, US has successfully chased FL out of PIT-PHL/MDW/LGA.



I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.
User currently offlineHaveric From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1247 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3252 times:

I'm suprised US doesn't do better on PHL-ATL, since it seems that most of the FL traffic (at least the 2x I've flown the route) is connecting.... and PHL-ATL is a major business route (it's in the top 5 PHL O/D routes)

Nonetheless, US has reduced capacity a lot, as has DL..


User currently offlineN670UW From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1605 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3243 times:

US Airways has pretty much given up on the ATL market, especially from Pittsburgh. US Airways formerly flew 4-5 daily 737's on PIT-ATL, but are now flying 3-4 ERJ's. That can't really compete with AirTran's 4 717's and Delta's 10 MD-80's.

User currently offlineUsairways85 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 3404 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3174 times:

US has been flying 15 daily flights between PHL-BOS for a while. However recently one or two RJ's have replaced mainline flights. Also American Eagle who also operates the route has decreased service from 6 daily flights to 5.

Airtran just added a 5th ATL-PHL flight 6 months ago and i wouldn't be surprised to see another flight.

I've paid attention to Delta's ATL-PHL flights and there hasn't been much of a decrease. It's stayed at 11 daily flights since 9/11. Recently though it has been flown with about 8 daily md-80's and a CRJ with some 757's and 738's, however in Jan. Delta is scheduled to fly 5 757's a day between ATL-PHL. We were scheduled to get the 763, but they took it off the schedule a month before it was to be started.


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4506 posts, RR: 33
Reply 14, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3160 times:

Not to be off topic, but actually UPMC is Pittsburgh's largest employer. US Airways doesn't even make the top five. (1. UPMC, 2. U.S. Gov, 3. Pennsylvania, 4. West Penn Allegheny, 5. U. of Pittsburgh

That's a change from when I lived there, when the Post-Gazette specifically said that US was the region's largest employer. Of course, US has shrunk the PIT hub considerably since that time (1994-96). Glad to have updated info.

Haveric--that's what the USA v. AMR judge (the Vanguard case) said. Both predatory pricing and capacity dumping are tough to prove. The Sherman Antitrust Act was written long before there was an airline industry, let alone byzantine computer reservations systems.

The law needs to be toughened with stricter guidelines, in order to make antitrust cases easier to prosecute. When Congress tried this in 1999, as you may remember, the Cartel published big newspaper ads lying to the public about 'reregulation' and spooked Congress into backing off.

US has actually had a good amount of success fighting FL in business markets.

The only dense Northeast business city pair where AirTran seems to be succeeding is, as I noted above, BWI-BOS. But US and the other network carriers had let that one slip, to where none of them even had mainline a/c anymore. AirTran saw the opportunity, pounced, and by all accounts I read is doing well. Seven flights means there's a flight going at least every couple of hours, which is more business-friendly.

PHL-PIT, PIT-LGA, and PHL-BOS, by contrast, all have strong mainline service by US and only got a 2-4 dailies by AirTran. Business travelers are used to 10+ dailies on these routes, and none of the routes seem to have a strong leisure component.

If AirTran wanted to seriously challenge US in a Northeast city-pair bigger than BWI-BOS, they would more or less have to set up a shuttle. And they'd have to offer all sorts of FF incentives--like a lower number of segments to get a ticket on another carrier to Europe, or something like that.

Jim




Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineCaptaink From Mexico, joined May 2001, 5109 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3158 times:

I checked the system from sunday to wednesday to rebook some pax inconvenience on their flight PHl/BOS due to the snowstorm. Guess what?

PHL/BOS sold out every flight every class on sunday. And similar loads for the rest of week. Seems like that route is doing well. I can't remember the exact eqquipment they used for all the flights, but i remember seeing at least 3 or 4 B733.



There is something special about planes....
User currently offlineHaveric From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1247 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3106 times:

M-F, there are actually 16 PHL-BOS flights, on a mix of equipment (733, 734, 319, 757).

There is an increase in capacity, although it was still heavily served before Airtan entered the market. In the past, they've beaten back attempts by DL, AA to build up service on the route. It's hard for them to compete with RJ service that's less frequent, though.

On other business routes, US has dropped capacity a lot. The route I fly the most, ORD-PHL, US has much less frequency than UA or AA. US has only about 2/3 of their pre 9/11 service, which was almost hourly (like AA and UA).


User currently offlineNotdownnlocked From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 935 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3089 times:

DCA-ROC Guy- What would you legally suggest to stop the airline specific internally developed and self funded "byzantine computer systems" as you suggest: "Haveric--that's what the USA v. AMR judge (the Vanguard case) said. Both predatory pricing and capacity dumping are tough to prove. The Sherman Antitrust Act was written long before there was an airline industry, let alone byzantine computer reservations systems."

"The law needs to be toughened with stricter guidelines, in order to make antitrust cases easier to prosecute. When Congress tried this in 1999, as you may remember, the Cartel published big newspaper ads lying to the public about 'reregulation' and spooked Congress into backing off."

Instead of preaching your daily splooge here why don't you either:
A. Go to Washington, change/toughen the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to fit your specific agenda and legally eliminate airline computer developed reservation systems or,

B: Spend your time more being a proponent of the less fortunate such as volunteering to help the needy as I know there are many upon many there in upstate NY. Most people here on this website that are your target audience already have the funding to fly where they wish. Your argument is old and well worn. Buddy, It's time to get an alignment or break out the spare because the wheel/argument that you stand behind ad finitum is about to come off and the bare axle you are driving on will do nothing but steer you off the course and onto the side of the road or:

C: Contact your local congressman/senator/mayor and explain the angst you have concerning US business practices and how they are so unfair and how everyone is being so mistreated. You may get farther along than just spouting endlessly here at this website. I know you have an opinion but it's the same everyday and the tire is already off the rim.


User currently offlineNotdownnlocked From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 935 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3054 times:

Jim, In another post you stated, "As Ssides noted, if AA just matches JetBlue's capacity and fares on competing routes at FLL, that isn't predatory. In this case, probably all that will happen is that AA is going to lose a bunch of money. Let them.

What would be predatory, and illegal, would be if AA were to dump capacity and/ or predatory price. Sorry, Air757200, but the United States has the Sherman Antitrust Act, for good reason. Big companies with high costs and prices don't like it when a new smaller competitor with lower costs, who can make money on lower prices, tries to compete. Antitrust law exists to protect the free market from would-be monopolist or oligopolist big companies who would shut it down and gouge.

Jim

What exactly is your view on the Sherman Anti-Trust Act??? Most of us here within the US have studied this act before our senior year in high school. You seem to be undecided on your opinion concerning this act by reading your different posts in different threads. In one thread "JetBlue vs AA in FLL" you seem to have a different opinion of the S/A Act than you do here in the "FL PIT-PHL" thread. I as well as perhaps others would like your "REAL"opinion concerning this but then again perhaps we really wouldn't.




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