TWAAF9 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 88 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 11531 times:
From a public bulletin to employee email this morning:
Communications Bulletin 07-11
May 2, 2006
Frontier Announces New Service Between Los Angeles and San Francisco
Later this morning in two unique press conferences to be held in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, we will announce new, non-stop service between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) beginning on June 29, 2006. This new service will commence with a total of five daily flights between the two cities. Obviously, this is very exciting news for all of us at Frontier, but undoubtedly you will have some questions about the announcement, so we had Frontier President and CEO Jeff Potter answer some of the bigger questions for you in advance in the Q & A below.
Why are we flying point-to-point? Don’t we run a hub and spoke operation?
Yes, we do run a hub and spoke operation, meaning our flights connect out of our hub in Denver. This announcement does not mean that we are moving away from that model, only that we saw a great opportunity to grow outside of Denver as well as mitigate some of the current constraints at DIA. Know that the majority of our growth will continue to happen in Denver. We also saw the need to bring the low fares and outstanding customer service that we are known for to the underserved route, as we will be the only low cost carrier (LCC) to serve the popular non-stop route between LAX and SFO.
Why these two markets?
As stated in the press release, John Happ, Frontier’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Planning commented, “This is a great day for Frontier and for California as we provide a better and more cost-effective travel option to connect Southern and Northern California. We feel strongly that the San Francisco market is underserved for high-value, low fare service and there is clearly a strong business and leisure connection between these two cities. We are eager to begin service so that we can help bring low fares back to their proper Bay Area home: San Francisco International Airport.”
In addition, the new service complements our already existing flights — seven daily flights between Los Angeles and Denver, and five daily flights between San Francisco and Denver. As stated in today’s press release, “This new service from Frontier between SFO and LAX make summer travel in California even more enticing," said San Francisco International Airport Director, John L. Martin. "Arriving or departing from SFO is an authentic San Francisco experience, from the fresh, local food and beverage options such as Perry's to on-site BART service that bring travelers downtown in less than 30 minutes. SFO's full range of services and amenities, combined with Frontier's great customer service and low fares, make for a great new option in travel between SFO and LAX.”
Is this like when we launched our LAX expansion/focus city?
No, it is not. I want to be very clear that this is completely different than the LAX expansion we tried several years ago. This is a very targeted, highly established and high traffic route with no current LCC service. So, we have the opportunity to come in with lower fares (the lowest), fly a better product (the best!), show passengers what the best customer service in the industry feels like and offer an alternative in flying out of SFO instead of Oakland, which is the only low fare choice many passengers have at this time.
Will we be hiring more people?
Yes, with the additional service, we will be hiring 40 new employees in Los Angeles for a total of 70 employees, and will utilize three common-use gates in Terminal 3. In San Francisco, we will hire over 40 new employees for positions that we previously outsourced, and the new flights will coincide with our move to our new gates, 41 and 43. We also intend to expand ticket counter space at both airports to between six and eight positions, including four kiosk or express check-in units.
What kind of planes will fly that route and where will they come from?
We will fly our mainline A318s and A319s on the route. Some will come from new planes we get from Airbus and some from changes in schedules and frequencies.
Are we looking at any other point-to-point options?
Not at this time, but we will keep you posted.
How are we letting people know about the new service?
We have a highly targeted advertising and media campaign that will start this week, both in California and here in Denver, so hopefully, you will all see and hear more about it in the paper or on TV. Of course there will be signage throughout both LAX and SFO, and in addition we have come up with some exciting incentives for passengers to try out the new route including:
· Introductory fares starting at $59 each way
· Free DIRECTV for a limited time on this route
· Double EarlyReturns miles for a limited time
Well, I know you are probably going to have more questions and we will do our best to keep you informed and updated. I hope that each and every one of you is excited and on board as we continue our growth. Lastly, the new schedules between LAX and SFO are as follows:
Los Angeles-San Francisco
Flight Number Departs Arrives Frequency
San Francisco-Los Angeles
All times given in local arrival or departure city times.
Cubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 21821 posts, RR: 19 Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 11390 times:
I'm not real familiar with Southern California, so this is an ignorant question, but I will ask anyway. SFO is clearly a good choice for targeting O&D pax in the bay area, between its location and the relative ease of getting there on BART or by car. Can the same be said for LAX and Southern California? Would there be a better L.A. area airport for this service? One poster said he would have preferred BUR... would that be a better choice for something like this which is targeting exclusively O&D?
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
I wouldn't speak too highly about most of the people working at the F9 market planning/revenue management department . Most aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed. A couple of them are qualified, but several have been hired based on their knowing someone at the office, not based on their merit. Unfortunately I witnessed this first hand.
Back to the topic at hand, this seems like a drastic move (starting LAX-SFO) with no clear motive....except trying to compete with UA and WN. No matter how good the service is, five flights per day cannot compete with the virtual shuttle service that UA and WN offer between the two cities (and yes, OAK is not SFO, but it is convenient for many).
I hope F9 enjoys being in the red because if they keep on doing things like this, they'll be there for awhile.
Hiflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2133 posts, RR: 4 Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 11294 times:
"Constrained DEN" "Underserved route"
Flighttime they are burning there means less potential for fighting LUV at DEN and begs the question of are they giving up at DEN because of LUV and looking elsewhere?
Too many carriers have proved...and are still proving...that SFO is horrible for dependable flying. F9 has an ontime machine with DEN and needs to go to similar airports or risk throwing the DEN hub into disarray with continually late trips dragging in from the west. You know at least some of these trips will be round robins..ie DEN SFO LAX DEN and vice versa which means SFO weather will nail both the SFO and the LAX arrivals back into DEN.
Junction From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 766 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 11275 times:
I'm surprised an LCC didn't move in on this a long time ago. LAX-SFO has got to be one of the last markets in the U.S. offered only by UA and AA (except for the one AS repositioning flight). It also seems this has been the longest LAX-SFO has ever gone without an LCC in it.
ScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6442 posts, RR: 33 Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 11197 times:
Well, I suppose I will go against the conventional wisdom here and say that it will be interesting to see how this new service pans out for Frontier. As far as I can tell, the fares look to be comparable to what WN is charging between OAK/SJC and LAX/BUR/SNA/ONT. Part of the story, of course, will be how AA and UA respond in the market, as well as how much traffic shifts from LAX-OAK (and less so LAX-SJC) to LAX-SFO as a result. I don't see much traffic shifting otherwise, given that a BUR-OAK passenger would probably be flying LAX-OAK if they preferred LAX as their origin. The BUR/SNA/ONT-SFO markets are relatively small anyway.
Five daily flights is probably the bare minimum F9 needs to be remotely competitive in this market, and they have the morning and afternoon business peaks reasonably covered. If United responds aggressively, though, their huge schedule advantage will make life difficult for Frontier. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now; at some point, Frontier does need to build successful routes which don't touch DEN if they intend to continue to grow.
F9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4872 posts, RR: 29 Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 11129 times:
Actually this does come as a shock. I will say this though... The market is hot. It will require alot of marketing though. SFO and LAX are going to need billboards and commercials to raise awareness of the markets.
The only downside is...... Constant delays due to weather and flow control.
Quickmover From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2478 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 11129 times:
I can't understand why it would take 40 additional employees at each station for 5 additional flights each way. The point to point idea between existing stations is a good idea. The facilities and people are better utilized and the cost of operating should be less compared to opening a new station. I think they will do well on this route traffic wise. Hopefully they can keep the costs down.
WhiteBirdFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 11048 times:
As a frequent flyer between the SF Bay Area and Los Angeles, I almost always choose WN from OAK to BUR. I'd rather fly out of SFO sometimes because I could get to SFO via BART and not deal with parking $$$$ which often cost more than the airfare on WN. However, I rarely use SFO-LAX primarily because in my experience UA's intra-California service is horrible compared with WN.
However, if F9 can get a good service going, they'd have a lot of my business. To be sure, SFO is heck on schedules due to unpredictable weather delays apparently unique to this part of the globe, but UA has also never put much "fun" into their SFO-LAX service, either. Due to their position at SFO, UA has let their LAX service slide to bare minimums. Give pax a good alternative to UA and, even with delays that everyone in the SF area is used to already, I think F9 will easily fill their planes. That's a good start for something.
Laxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 23548 posts, RR: 50 Reply 18, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 11048 times:
While LAX-SFO has considerable O&D demand and relatively high yields, United certainly will not let this move by Frontier go unnoticed.
In addition Frontier must also face fierce competition from other established corridor carriers such as Southwest, Alaska and American, plus even Jetblue now doing business between LGB and OAK.
Its nice to see Frontier think outside the box, however they certainly managed to pick one competitive market to try. Also I hope for Frontiers sake they manage to get their name out and advertise significantly more than when they previously had their LAX focus city if they expect people to associate them with the intra-state flights.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
AADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 1970 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 10960 times:
I do not think that LAX-SFO is necessarily the disaster that some previous posters have made it out to be. Sure they have to fight UA head-to-head, but they have been doing that in DEN all along. AA is also there but probably does not need to protect its turf like UA.
When the fog rolls in, SFO is a disaster, but F9 can keep one pair of planes to go up and down all day on what would be almost entirely an O&D route, to prevent delays from rolling through the system. They are connecting two existing stations, so the startup costs are not nearly as great as adding a new city.
SFO now has a Bart station in the airport for quick trip to the City while OAK passengers have to take the AirBart bus. OAK is also has few gates available and only one commerical runway for the forseeable future. OAK is going to hit the wall on capacity soon.
DEN is in the comic position of having more capacity than any airport on the planet but F9 is running out of space because they do not want to pay to have Terminal A extended and UA is squatting on gates to force them to pay (just as UA had to pay for its massive Terminal B).
Correction, it will be hard for UA and AA in the SFO-LAX markets, where each command a fortune for a walk up.
Quoting FLY2LIM (Reply 19): Also, it's a little misleading to advertise LAX-SFO "non stops"
The flights are "nonstop" so there is nothing misleading!
Quoting Laxintl (Reply 18): While LAX-SFO has considerable O&D demand and relatively high yields, United certainly will not let this move by Frontier go unnoticed
There is a very good chance that UAL will rotate the 777 or 744 into 3 daily rotations on the SFO-LAX flights, in the aircrafts downtimes. Some people may say that does not make sense, and others are seriously thinking it is a brilliant idea. Instead of 3 737 or A320 flights there would be a single 777 or 744 in its place. Take that ratio at peak periods - 7a, 1p, 6p in which they may operate the widebodies and in the other off peak hours such as 6a, 9a, 10a, 2p, 3, 4p, 7p, 8p, 9p, 10p and operate the A320-A319.
Your entire post is exactly what F9's wants to hear. The gamble is - can they move OAK people on to their planes that really want to fly to/from SFO? Marketing will be the key, and all they really need to advertise is that they are the only LCC flying between LAX and SFO. Even if UA and AA match, F9 will be a new alternative.
25 Sean-SAN-: Let's not forget that UA has a virtual monopoly on this route, and often charges well over $200 for this 55 minute flight.
26 BigGSFO: Agreed. Remember also the massive amounts of UA and AA loyal fliers in both Norcal and Socal and for the 55 minute flight, the option to go on F9 wou
27 WhiteBirdFlyer: I'll have to send their marketing department a bill. Since you put it that way, I think I may see where some of their gamble is coming from, and how
28 Ikramerica: While it is risky, there are reasons that make sense. CA is a "destination" and it is an O&D destination for airlines like F9 and WN. But, like CO, yo
29 Laxintl: Yes, however LAX-SFO is one of UA's top-10 routes in both regards to daily passenger volume and yields. Of all the overlap Denver flying for UA and F
30 Alphascan: ALL of F9's new routes in the past year have performed up to system averages far faster than the one year period the carrier anticipated. Just becaus
31 Iowaman: No it won't, they will most likely price match and dump capacity. UA also have the loyal frequent fliers on both ends, as well as connecting traffic
32 MtnWest1979: Well, maybe this note is for pax that remember actually stopping in MRY, FAT, SCK, MOD, MCE, etc, many years ago on a trip between NoCal and SoCal. A
33 N1120A: The route is often offered for very good deals Your guess is as good as mine
34 YOWza: I'm really curious how all of this is going to play out. I'm a little surprised at this announcement but I'm sure that there is enough of a market for
35 N1120A: No one runs that, it is only a 15nm trip.