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Why Doesn't VX Serve MDW?  
User currently offlineIrishayes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2191 posts, RR: 15
Posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3889 times:

I saw from a thread dated a few months back that VX decided not to serve ORD because they would have to bus PAX to T5 at peak travel times. In this case, I was wondering...why doesn't VX expand into MDW? I cannot see there being a huge difference in choosing between MDW and ORD when it comes to BIZ pax.

...or is it that flying to ORD (as somewhat of a more mid-continent point) just not in-line with VX's network strategy...?


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38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32789 posts, RR: 72
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3888 times:



Quoting Irishayes (Thread starter):
I cannot see there being a huge difference in choosing between MDW and ORD when it comes to BIZ pax.

There is. A lot of business in Chicago is not downtown, its in the north suburbs surrounding O'Hare, including McDonald's and Motorolla, to give just two examples.

Furthermore, the wealthy population of Chicago is concentrated in the northern half of the city and suburbs, and VX also targets high-end leisure flyers.



a.
User currently offlineCALMSP From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3969 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3861 times:
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Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 1):
VX also targets high-end leisure flyers.

are you saying there are not a lot of high-end flyers on the south side??!!!  rotfl 



okay, I'm waiting for the rich to spread the wealth around to me. Please mail your checks to my house.
User currently offlineAtomsareenough From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 566 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3837 times:

I'm sure they also want to take advantage of other opportunities, such as connecting with international airlines and business travelers, that are available at a major hub like ORD. ORD is where they want to be eventually, so why invest money in MDW only to have to spend more money moving across town when the opportunity arises?

User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5957 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3830 times:



Quoting CALMSP (Reply 2):
are you saying there are not a lot of high-end flyers on the south side??!!!  

While there is a fairly significant and growing amount of wealth in the South and Southwest the majority of the extremely affluent communities and corporations are still located North/Northwest/West of the city.

I don't think that is what is keeping VX out of MDW though, I think its mostly ego.



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineRipcordd From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1168 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3813 times:

They want ORD to feed into Virgin's LHR Flights

User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21532 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3790 times:

Virgin America has as part of their mission decided to serve the primary/major airport of a city, rather than starting on the fringes like so many other LCCs have done in the past.


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32789 posts, RR: 72
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3781 times:



Quoting Ripcordd (Reply 5):
They want ORD to feed into Virgin's LHR Flights

Yes, because Virgin Atlantic does not already fly LAX-LHR and SFO-LHR.  Yeah sure

Besides, Virgin Atlantic is discontinuing O'Hare in October.



a.
User currently offlineCO58 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 51 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3673 times:



Quoting Ripcordd (Reply 5):
They want ORD to feed into Virgin's LHR Flights

Why would they want to do that?

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 7):
Besides, Virgin Atlantic is discontinuing O'Hare in October.

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6485 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3636 times:



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 1):
There is. A lot of business in Chicago is not downtown, its in the north suburbs surrounding O'Hare, including McDonald's and Motorolla, to give just two examples.

McDonalds is in the western suburbs. So is Motorola, technically.

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 1):
Furthermore, the wealthy population of Chicago is concentrated in the northern half of the city and suburbs, and VX also targets high-end leisure flyers.

You might say that, but DuPage County (WSW of Chicago) has the highest per-capita income in the Chicagoland area, and one of the highest in the countries.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17510 posts, RR: 45
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3631 times:



Quoting CALMSP (Reply 2):
are you saying there are not a lot of high-end flyers on the south side??!!!

There aren't any on VX planes anyway Wink



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineRipcordd From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1168 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3614 times:

Well they would want to feed the LHR flight from SFO/LAX it's the same reason majors do it as well to connect the lower paying passengers and get more money from non stop flights. AA flys LAX/LHR but they route some of their pass thru DFW/JFK/ORD same reason behind this and they would keep all their resources at 1 airport instead of 2 it would be cheaper. Also I did not know about virgin droping their ORD flight is that just for winter or perment.?

User currently offlineSteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1654 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3596 times:



Quoting N328KF (Reply 9):
You might say that, but DuPage County (WSW of Chicago) has the highest per-capita income in the Chicagoland area, and one of the highest in the countries.

I would consider DuPage County to be strictly west of Chicago, not really west-southwest. If you drew a line directly west from the Loop, approximately half of DuPage would be north of that line and half south. Regardless, it doesn't change the point as far as VX would be concerned as the majority of DuPage County is closer to ORD than MDW. Heck, part of ORD (and a tiny bit of the City of Chicago) is actually in DuPage County!


User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32789 posts, RR: 72
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3570 times:



Quoting Ripcordd (Reply 11):
Well they would want to feed the LHR flight from SFO/LAX it's the same reason majors do it as well to connect the lower paying passengers and get more money from non stop flights. AA flys LAX/LHR but they route some of their pass thru DFW/JFK/ORD same reason behind this and they would keep all their resources at 1 airport instead of 2 it would be cheaper.

Apples and oranges. AA is one airline; Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic are two.

The reason that VX wants to operate eight daily flights from O'Hare to LAX and SFO has nothing to do with Virgin Atlantic. Such a statement is ridiculous.



a.
User currently offlineElBandGeek From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 756 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3564 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 6):
Virgin America has as part of their mission decided to serve the primary/major airport of a city, rather than starting on the fringes like so many other LCCs have done in the past.

That's where I think it's just their ego getting in the way. MDW (as well as similar airports like LGA, DCA, etc) is really not a "secondary" airport in the sense. It's just as vital a part of the city's airport system as ORD (compared to, say SNA/LGB/ONT/BUR vs LAX), and in many respects is much better for certain routes like PD and DL's repective YTZ and LGA flights. The only reason I see VX absolutely requiring ORD is feed for VS, and even then, how much feed are they going to get anyway. I personally think they are scared of being unable to compete with WN and think that flying into MDW will ruin their reputation because as it is a major WN station, people will see it as nothing more than "an LCC hub" (which it really isn't)


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17510 posts, RR: 45
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3541 times:



Quoting ElBandGeek (Reply 14):
The only reason I see VX absolutely requiring ORD is feed for VS,

Feed to any of the Virgin carriers anywhere on earth is going to do almost nil for VX. The route has to make sense on its own on local traffic, because connections on VS and even VX metal aren't going to help. VA might help drive some volume but with all the new capacity between the US and Australia it's all going to be garbage fares as everyone tries to fill up their planes with connections to SEA/SFO/CHI/NYC/WAS.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32789 posts, RR: 72
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3514 times:



Quoting ElBandGeek (Reply 14):
people will see it as nothing more than "an LCC hub" (which it really isn't)

It's not? Tell me, how many daily flights to American, Continental, United and US Airways have to Midway?

Does it ever dawn on people that instead of making up such a stupid remarks like "Virgin America only wants to fly to O'Hare to feed their London flights" (we'll ignore the fact that Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America do not partner with each other and that Virgin Atlantic suspends all flights to Chicago in October) that O'Hare actually is a stronger, more desirable high-yielding airport?

I prefered Midway when I lived in Chicago, but I also lived downtown, so it made sense. The fact is that the demographics Virgin America is going after live on the north side.



a.
User currently offlineAtomsareenough From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 566 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3481 times:



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 16):
Tell me, how many daily flights to American, Continental, United and US Airways have to Midway?

Exactly. VX wants to compete for AA and UA legacy passengers more than it wants to compete with WN.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21532 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3389 times:



Quoting ElBandGeek (Reply 14):
That's where I think it's just their ego getting in the way. MDW (as well as similar airports like LGA, DCA, etc) is really not a "secondary" airport in the sense.

MDW is a secondary airport. Like OAK or FLL or LGB/BUR, etc.

B6 operated into as many of those types of airports as possible to start.

VX did not want to be seen as a B6 copycat, so they offered F and flew to the main airports.

They are also losing a lot of money...



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAtomsareenough From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 566 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3361 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 18):

VX did not want to be seen as a B6 copycat

I sincerely doubt anyone make important business decisions based on things like "not wanting to be seen as a copycat". In fact, if there's a successful business model out there, people trip all over themselves to be seen as exemplars of it.

Though, I suppose you can call it an attempt at differentiating themselves from a competitor, which would probably be a relatively fair thing to say. But then it does speak to the point that they are offering something a bit different than B6, with a different strategy behind it.


User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32789 posts, RR: 72
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3329 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 18):
They are also losing a lot of money...

Their most recent quarter performance was quite good, and at the rate they are going, they'll be profitable in 6-12 months.



a.
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21532 posts, RR: 59
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3312 times:



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 20):
Their most recent quarter performance was quite good, and at the rate they are going, they'll be profitable in 6-12 months.

It was not quite good. It was spun by a few as quite good.

At this rate, they will be out of money in 6-12 months.

Quoting Atomsareenough (Reply 19):
I sincerely doubt anyone make important business decisions based on things like "not wanting to be seen as a copycat".

You can doubt that all you want, but most new products are launched in an effort to differentiate the new product from other products, and being seen as a "copycat" product is something that is worried about by those making those decisions.

VX looked at what people liked about B6 and what they wished were different, tried to copy what worked and "fix" what didn't, and then marketed themselves as a new thing, a different way to fly, etc.

Their brand is all about not being seen as a B6 copycat...



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5238 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3130 times:

If you ask people in Chicago, they will tell you that MDW is the airport for low-cost carriers, like WN, FL, and F9, and ORD is the airport for the old network carriers, like UA, AA, and DL, and for flights to Europe and Asia on BA, JL, and LH.

Unless you live in southern DuPage County, along I-55, ORD is the closer airport in terms of driving time.

Most of the businesses located outside of the Loop are located off of I-88, I-294, and I-90. They are closer to ORD than MDW, althought when you get up towards Deerfield (Walgreen's) and Waukegan (Abbott Labs), MKE becomes an alternative to ORD.

A friend of mine worked up north and often took Midwest, if it had a non-stop flight, particularly in the late afternoon or early evening, when southbound traffic on I-294 is miserable.

Whether VX gets into ORD depends on what happens to DL's 5 gates on Concourse L. Despite the fact that ORD is UA's largest hub and AA's #2 hub, Mayor Daley loves to bash them for charging too much and wants more LCCs in ORD. So, the City would love to see VX take the gate space.

On the other hand, the Chicago Tribune thinks that AA may very well get the gate space, since it already has the other 5 gates on L.


User currently offlineAviators99 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3103 times:



Quoting Atomsareenough (Reply 17):
Exactly. VX wants to compete for AA and UA legacy passengers more than it wants to compete with WN.

Yes, exactly. VX does not care whether they compete with WN or not. As long as they are competing with AA and UA they are happy.


User currently offlineSFOnative From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2975 times:



Quoting United1 (Reply 4):
I don't think that is what is keeping VX out of MDW though, I think its mostly ego.

You mean just sticking to their business model.....not "ego".

I don't think any business in this current economy would be foolish enough to base their decisions on an "ego".


25 Ikramerica : Exactly. Whether the business model works or not is another story, but it's not ego that has VX focus on the highest yielding airports. It's their bu
26 Cubsrule : McDonalds (in Oak Brook) might be closer to MDW. It's certainly not markedly closer to ORD. DuPage County isn't the issue, because folks in DuPage ca
27 Ikramerica : UA and AA customers it seems. At least from their route structure so far.
28 Cubsrule : True-- but they aren't big enough to have a huge impact on UA or AA. Is it about UA/AA or is it something about the people that happen to fly them to
29 BAW716 : First I've heard of VS dropping out of ORD-LHR...hmmm. I guess I can't be everywhere. With UA, BA and AA; ORD-LHR is a tough market. As VS requires fe
30 Atomsareenough : I don't think they're trying to take down UA or AA necessarily, at least not in the near term. They just want to poach some of their high yield passe
31 Cubsrule : I can see people being fed up with the level of service on intra-west coast flights, but are AA and UA really that bad on the transcons? I can't spea
32 LACA773 : VX would be a wonderful and wanted edition (I for one) on the LAX-ORD route. I don't like UA at all! Dirty old 757s, beat up Airbuses, no service and
33 Cubsrule : Of course, that doesn't address my question, as ORD-LAX is not a PS route...
34 Slinky09 : Be great to see VX on ORD - SFO / LAX when it happens. Life gets depressing when facing the alternatives in premium cabins on this route. For the wint
35 Post contains links LAXintl : According to this article it says ORD might happen Q2 2010 as gate shuffle takes place. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aUvzvOX2eU
36 FWAERJ : I'll bet that AA will outbid them on purpose so they can expand internationally and prepare for the 787s coming online, though.
37 Cubsrule : That's probably not a bad guess. The other thing to keep in mind is that DL still controls the gates and could sublease them to AA, keeping them off
38 Ripcordd : AA/DL Already have an agrement in place which gives AA first right of refusal on any L gates on which Delta vacates. Delta does not hold slots at ORD
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