I think the success of ExpressJet is predicated on their competition coming up with that same conclusion for every to-be-announced route, and therefore not offering any competing flights to erode ExpressJet's market. They are, after all, flying only 50 seats between the two cities and may charge a premium to business fliers, for example, who are interested in the nonstop service vis-a-vis connecting.
What remains to be seen is if the on-board amenities can get this market segment on board and if the frequent flier program will get them to come back.
CALMSP From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3728 posts, RR: 8 Reply 5, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3402 times:
one problem is getting those FF that have large accounts on their fave airline who pay higher fares to come over. For someone to start over at the bottom with no special privileges like an elite member or such, might be difficult. I dont think they can survive on Granny Jones looking for a 100 fare r/t.
okay, I'm waiting for the rich to spread the wealth around to me. Please mail your checks to my house.
Mikey711MN From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1381 posts, RR: 8 Reply 7, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3283 times:
Quoting CALMSP (Reply 5): I dont think they can survive on Granny Jones looking for a 100 fare r/t.
Nor are they claiming to. That may have been a page from iAir's philosophy, but it seems as though the ExpressJet folks have learned quite a bit about why they failed. From the article:
Quote: Fares will run roughly $150 to $300 one-way, about the same as the price structure today. It is trying to be a bit upscale to attract business travelers: ExpressJet plans to serve free snacks, sandwiches and cold pasta dishes, have its own segment-based frequent-flier program and sell tickets online, over the phone without added fees and through travel agents.
In other words, they're not charging ridiculously low fares, they're catering to a specific market segment, and they'll offer their product through a wide network of sales points, nothing that iAir did (or at least until it was too late).
I'm actually quite curious now on what MCI routes will be announced. That is, YX has offered up the notion that its growth is at least somewhat attributable to the use of 50-seat RJs, 10 of which will be based in MCI and some of which will open up new routes for them.
Now if they're looking at the same numbers that ExpressJet is looking at, methinks they're targeting the same city pairs. Given that ExpressJet will be first in line to offer these flights, I further wonder if that will give YX's RJ deployment plan a bit of pause.
I guess we'll have to see when both plans are announced and fully implemented.
ScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6439 posts, RR: 33 Reply 11, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3061 times:
Well, one of the issues I see is going to be offering enough frequency to make the non-stops competitive. Taking a route like SAN-OMA, the dominant carrier (WN) offers what are essentially five different schedule choices. One daily round-trip won't be enough unless the flights are cheap. The total O&D in the market would support 3 daily round-trips if they got 100% share. Similarly, on MSY-SAT, WN offers at least six different schedule choices in each direction (and CO is very competitive in this market, too). One or two daily round-trips won't cut it unless the flights are cheaper.
Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 8): I believe in the earnings conference call it was said there will be 59 city-pairs total for the 24 cities. So it will be interesting to see how things all tie together.
With 59 city-pairs and 44 aircraft, I don't see how most markets will see more than one or two daily round-trips if the average stage length looks to be somewhere in the neighborhood of one-and-a-half to two hours (not that most of the likely markets could support more than that based on traffic numbers). I don't believe that's enough to let them compete on product if they won't be able to compete on price (given their cost structure).
DesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1424 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2663 times:
I fly TUS-SMF about 10 times a year and am happy to see this new service. I usually fly WN and once in a while US. I am interested to see their schedules and fares. I am not too excited about riding on the RJs. I like WN because of their mainline service.
LoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3751 posts, RR: 36 Reply 15, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2551 times:
COS will be another nonstop destination from ONT (and SMF & SAN) according to this article from the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Colorado Springs Airport will get nonstop flights to three California cities beginning April 30, officials announced Wednesday.
ExpressJet Airline will provide the new service on 50-passenger jets between the Springs and Ontario, Sacramento and San Diego, said Mike Kazmierski, president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp.
There's more to the article including comments from Mike Boyd.
Maybe I'm just getting senile, but this is the one part that I'm confused about.
The initial articles about Expressjet's new service indicated that tickets would go on sale today (Thursday, February 1) Today's article in the Colorado Springs Gazette also indicates this. It says:
Tickets go on sale today at www.xjet.com and through travel agencies by March. Mark Earle, aviation director of the Colorado Springs Airport, declined to comment at the request of the airline until a news conference Monday.
Other articles in other papers around the country have speculated on new city-pairs and most have said we wouldn't know for sure until Monday, when the press conferences are held at the various airports.
If the tickets go on sale today, won't we know today what the new nonstop city-pairs will be?
So does anyone know for sure if the tickets are going on sale today, or is it really going to be sometime next week?
BTW, and this is off-topic, but the Colorado Springs Gazette mentions that the last new flight at the airport was AA nonstop service from COS-SAT. Wasn't it United Express flying that route when they had their short-lived focus city at SAT?
Flyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1948 posts, RR: 10 Reply 16, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2532 times:
Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 15): Wasn't it United Express flying that route when they had their short-lived focus city at SAT?
Yes, you are correct.
I like these routes out of COS. Depending on the amount of flights they offer, I think they will work out pretty good. UA has expanded some flights to California out of COS, but it's no where near the mainline AA M80s they used to have.
Ont 737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 576 posts, RR: 2 Reply 17, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2484 times:
Great, low frequency flights with high cost RJs on low demand routes..... how could they loose!!! We all know how those business travelers love those RJs. ScottB hit the nail on the head. Nonstop service is convenient, but schedule options (although thu or connecting) are very important. 1 or 2 daily nonstops (with no conx or thu to help fill it up) are going to be very hard to fill up with a decent have fare.
Lets have a little fun with math.
.10 CASM (being *very* generous on a 50 sea RJ)
70% load factor (again being very generous)
This flight makes 66,200 ASMs for a rough cost of $6,620. A 70% load factor means there are 35 butts on the plane. It would take an average fare of $189 to just cover the costs. Ouch. SAN-OMA's average fare is $160 with only 233 daily customers. (2Q 2006 DOT stats) Ouch again. I would suspect it is a very similar story on almost all of their proposed routes.
LoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3751 posts, RR: 36 Reply 19, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2429 times:
Here's another story, this time from one of San Antonio's local TV stations. It doesn't mention possible nonstop destinations from SAT, but it does bring up a good point, IMO.
"My great fear is that someday we will lose some of the major companies that we have because it's just too hard for them to schedule some of their executives on a convenient basis," former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros said.
The Chamber of Commerce has a task force set up that is trying to get more direct flights to San Antonio.
Obviously frequency on a given city-pair is an important part of convenience, but so is the amount of time it takes to get from Point A to Point B.
Using SAT-MSY as an example, yes WN offers lots of frequency in this market, but look how long it actually takes to maake the trip factoring in the connection or stop. Anywhere from 2 hours 25 minutes to 3 hours 50 minutes. Three of the eight daily departures are under 3 hours and the other five are over three hours. This is for a 494 mile trip.
How long would a nonstop in a regional jet take? I'm guessing an hour and a half at most. A savings of one to three hours each way might appeal to business types, especially if they are making an out and back trip on the same day.
And if Expressjet's fare structure is like most other airlines, it won't matter if these "day trippers" book their ticket one day in advance or three months in advance. If there's no overnight stay involved, then they'll most likely be paying full fare.
I've read in the past that Southwest sells a higher percentage of full fare tickets than most of the other carriers. One reason is because their walk-up fares are reasonable, but another reason might be that many of their flights are short-haul and they have a lot of same-day out and back travelers paying full fare.
It's for this reason I think Expressjet may see some success in some of the short and mid-haul markets. It depends on the timing of these flights, though. I think a morning departure and late-afternoon or early-evening return in each direction plus maybe a mid-day flight would work.
Rampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3015 posts, RR: 7 Reply 20, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2394 times:
Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 15): COS will be another nonstop destination from ONT (and SMF & SAN) according to this article from the Colorado Springs Gazette.
That is welcome news for Colorado Springs. Many Cal ex-pats and Colo ex-pats need something other than one or two flights to/from Los Angeles. Something to Seattle might work as well. Recent new service by the likes of Great Plains and Vanguard to points east (OKC, MCI) didn't do as well, the successes (DL, US, UA, Allegiant) have looked west. I would have thought UAExpress to SAT (Trans-States, right?) would have done better, but guess not, unless ExpressJet can work it better. The only other eastbound that might work that isn't already covered would be NYC somewhere (probably too long for a stage) and reinstating STL that TWA operated for years.
Quoting Ont 737 (Reply 17): We all know how those business travelers love those RJs.
Many of them probably do, have you taken a poll? I find ERJs much preferable to cramped 737s. I'm GUARANTEED either an aisle or a window. Many of my colleagues think likewise. I can't be alone on that thought.
Great mini-analysis and thanks for the links. From the second one, there is a quote that pretty much sums up why I feel ExpressJet will not be successful:
“The convenience of non-stop doesn't always work," says Barbara Prossen, assistant to the San Antonio aviation director. The Express-News says Prossen cited “frequent-flier programs used by competitors such as Southwest and American” as a reason United's service might have underperformed. It's a likely indication that San Antonio travelers were not willing to abandon their chance to earn miles or elite status on these airlines.
I don't see why San Antonio area business travelers are going to be any different form New Orleans, Ontario, Colorado Springs, etc.
This concept would stand a much better shot if they started a codeshare agreement with a major airline.
Ont 737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 576 posts, RR: 2 Reply 24, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2326 times:
Quoting Rampart (Reply 20): Many of them probably do, have you taken a poll? I find ERJs much preferable to cramped 737s. I'm GUARANTEED either an aisle or a window. Many of my colleagues think likewise. I can't be alone on that thought.
6ft tall cabin and 31 inches of seat pitch... What's not to love about that? And I just love the last row where you have to smell the lav after everyone takes a dump in it.
What is the longest flight you have ever been on in a RJ? I flew IAH-DCA on ExpressJet. 2.5 hours on a EMB-145 is no walk in the park.
What criteria are you using when you say the 737 "cramped"?
"The world is run by C students"-Harry Truman
25 Rampart: Personal preference, I guess, but like I say, I'm not alone. I don't go about measuring seat pitch, but I felt better in ERJs from COEx and AmericanE
26 Joeljack: What website is this route map on? I couldn't find it.
27 AirTranTUS: xjet.com is the site for the independent ExpressJet. Just figured that out myself. And I had to edit because if you use the "www" in front, you get t
28 MAH4546: Bakersfield only has a San Diego flight.
29 Gigneil: I can't help but think this is a horrible idea. Have they forgotten FlyI? NS
30 FATFlyer: Poor job on the route map. If you click BFL the line appears to go to ONT then SAN.
31 RJNUT: ONT does not light up, however, but I agree they could reroute the little zoomy thing to go around ONT.
32 DeltaDAWG: Can anyone at Xpressjet say: "Independence Air"? At least Independence had some sense of style about it. Also, how quickly are they going ot figure ou
33 San747: Wow, looks like SAN gets a decent operation there too! The map shows SAN- Bakersfield Monterey Fresno Boise Spokane Omaha Colorado Springs Tulsa Oklah
34 ERJ170: How in the hell can you say that? Are you blind? Independence Air was hub and spoke system from Washington-Dulles going head to head with United/US A
35 San747: Don't worry ERJ170, I feel the same way as you... I just want to see what happens, and as a SAN guy, I'm always happy to see new services/airlines at