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Prediction: F9/YX Cross Utilization Won't Work  
User currently offlineN7371f From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1749 posts, RR: 12
Posted (5 years 2 months 20 hours ago) and read 5699 times:

I have a hard time believing this F9 operating as YX and YX/RP operating as F9 will be successful...from a marketing and branding standpoint. Operationally, we'll see. However I believe operations and branding are tied to one another.

How can you protect the brand if you're Frontier and you have a Midwest Connect painted plane operating as Frontier operated by Republic Airways? And on the Midwest side you walk up to the gate and see Frontier in bold letters across the plane? It defies the essential argument Brian Bedford made when he announced both purchases: the brand is the most valuable asset.

Sure the savvy flier will know what's going on but the majority of the customers won't. Frontier has built its brand around new Airbus', extra legroom, DirecTV and other items. The first three items don't fly with YX-colored Embraers flying around F9's system operated by a third entity, RP. Midwest built its entity around other elements, some of which don't connect to a F9-operated plane (although I would argue there's a far greater upside for YX routes being flown by F9 than there is for E190's flying F9).

And, sure, F9 has routes operated by Lynx on Q400's. But that is a Frontier branded aircraft and the plane flies generally regional routes. Take a look at the F9 schedule for November...E190's fly alongside A318/A319/A320 routes like SEA,LAX,SAN and so forth...that can only dilute the F9 brand unless the E90 is pimped out in F9 colors and DirecTV. And even then, operated by RP crews, I argue you're still diluting the F9 brand.

Remember all of the comments made during the rush to save Frontier. It was what Frontier is that has given it a league of dedicated customers. There's an expectation when you make a reservation. The greater the chance the customer will fly on something that's not core Frontier - the more you risk losing the dedicated relationship.

Also you wonder if F9 will come under some sort of ire of the DOT by selling flights that are operated under one name but by a different airline for another airline. Recall the fines several years ago when the majors were not fully disclosing who was operating what. What does F9 do to fairly list the RP flight? Frontier flight #1400 operated by Republic Airways under Midwest Connect name? Frontier flight #1400 operating as Midwest Connect operated by Republic Airways? How confusing is that or any other combination?

By January 1, Midwest will be nothing more than a marketing name. It's operating certificate will be dormant. Heck there won't be a single YX pilot or flight attendant in the air (unless a sudden agreement is reached with unions). Frontier will still be a full operating airline. Is it really worth the risk of muddying two brands to keep a virtual brand afloat?

At some point this whole separate branding is going to come to a head...

60 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15810 posts, RR: 27
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 20 hours ago) and read 5692 times:

Here is my take on it from another thread:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
The thing is, in my estimation, one of the strongest things about both Midwest and Frontier is the brands. In both cases there is a brand that is known and loved by the local market, but doesn't have the same recognition outside of their hometown. This is more of a problem with Midwest than Frontier. I live in a place that is unquestionably part of the Midwest, but I'd be willing to bet that less than half (probably way less) of the people around there know what Midwest Airlines is. They will most likely blend together, but they need to be careful and probably slow about it.

Overall, we are just seeing the beginning. Things will get more seamless as time goes on. Maybe some plane will get reconfigured, maybe YX will get TV, etc. Right now everything is in a state of constant change and some of it is kind of ad hoc, but that is okay. After all, it isn't like F9 can reconfigure however many A319s just like that before sending them to MKE. These things take time. If you don't believe me, just look in the photo database for all of the various transition schemes planes have worn during mergers.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4514 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 20 hours ago) and read 5653 times:

Maybe Midwest can start painting dairy cows, white-tailed deer, and squirrels on the tails of their Embraer's. At least those are the animals I've seen in Wisconsin....

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15810 posts, RR: 27
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 5623 times:



Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 2):
At least those are the animals I've seen in Wisconsin....

There are the people too.  duck 



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineLuv08 From United States of America, joined May 2009, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 5585 times:



Quoting N7371f (Thread starter):
I have a hard time believing this F9 operating as YX and YX/RP operating as F9 will be successful...

Don't let Marnier see you write this about his beloved F9! LOL!


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25547 posts, RR: 86
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 5554 times:
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Quoting Luv08 (Reply 4):
Don't let Marnier see you write this about his beloved F9! LOL!

Why? The OP wants to rush to judgement, I shrug.  confused 

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineJlbmedia From United States of America, joined Jun 2002, 622 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 5501 times:
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Please delete, Thanks.

[Edited 2009-09-24 18:03:55]


JLB54061
User currently offlineN7371f From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1749 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 5438 times:



Quoting Luv08 (Reply 4):

Don't let Marnier see you write this about his beloved F9! LOL!

Oh believe me...the moment I hit submit I was wondering how long it would take for him to respond.

Thing is...I'm a F9 fan. Been a stock owner. Met several of the current and former execs. Want them to succeed and thrilled F9 beat WN. I think the Frontier name has a ton of history to it with its ties to the original. I just don't see how this is going to work in the end...


User currently offlineEnilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 7535 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 5440 times:



Quoting N7371f (Thread starter):
Also you wonder if F9 will come under some sort of ire of the DOT by selling flights that are operated under one name but by a different airline for another airline.

Actually, you know what has just come to mind? Has DOJ/DOT blessed this whole mess? I haven't seen a peep and they are already doing schedule coordination. That would seem to be a major boo-boo. They are already acting like there is a de facto merger in the wings and REP hasn't even completed the purchase of F9 yet.

Regardless, I agree that this is a branding mess. Operationally it will be fine, but how do you define whether the branding is confusing customers...you just lose traffic and don't really know why?


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25547 posts, RR: 86
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 5419 times:
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Quoting N7371f (Reply 7):
Oh believe me...the moment I hit submit I was wondering how long it would take for him to respond.

Oh, sorry, to disappoint.

I thought I responded to Luv08, who, for someone who works for Southwest, seems to spend a lot of time worrying about or JetBlue or Frontier.

I don't think I have responded to anything you've said.  confused 

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26016 posts, RR: 50
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 19 hours ago) and read 5390 times:

In the long run to make this cross fleet flying more cost efficient things need to be done under a single roof. Single work group, single seniority, single operating cert and suppose a cleaner single product onboard etc.

Just the cost of TDY crews out of base for the month quickly adds cost such as perdiem (which is paid based on time away from base), hotels etc.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25547 posts, RR: 86
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 5379 times:
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Quoting Enilria (Reply 8):
Has DOJ/DOT blessed this whole mess?

I thought they had? Certainly, they have anti-trust immunity.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineMKENut From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 699 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 5343 times:

I'm going to withhold judgment for now on this subject. I don't know of any regional doing this in the past so there is no precedent to go by.

User currently offlineAirport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 5300 times:

My 2 cents...

It's too early to tell. Sure it may be confusing for F9/YX customers who don't give a rip about aviation and don't follow the airline industry to find themselves on a plane painted as YX but flying as F9, but I don't think it's as if there will be scores of people checking in and then deciding to miss their flight out of fear of boarding the wrong aircraft. Considering the booking process, which isn't changing so far as I know, and considering all the steps taken by a customer from buying a ticket to walking through the jetway, the paint on the outside of the aircraft will matter fairly little.

Especially if F9/YX agents make it clear to the customer the situation.

Now if it stays like this for 5-10 years, which I highly doubt it will, then yes, there could be a potential problem, but for the short term I don't think it'll affect business in a disasterous way. If it does, then what RP needs to focus on is awareness of the situation to the customer. I don't think that'd be too difficult a task.

Overall, I think the benefits will far outweigh the setbacks in the long run. F9 will have E-170s and E-190s at their disposal (perhaps even the E-135/E-145?), and YX will have the 319s and 320s if they need them. There is a strong variety of new and efficient aircraft that well covers the spectrum of capacity from 37 seats to 160, allowing for optimal capacity on routes with low CASMs. If this fails, I don't think it'll be by a lack of fleet variety.


User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4580 posts, RR: 18
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 5278 times:

My opinion is that in time YX and F9 will operate under the Frontier brand. I would like to see the incorporate the best of the two airlines. I think if they do that the finished product will be something special. And we'd have an airline that would go against the industry norm which is to lower the service bar as far as possible. The new product would raise the bar as high as possible.


Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlineEnilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 7535 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 5261 times:



Quoting Mariner (Reply 11):
Certainly, they have anti-trust immunity.

Show me anything/anywhere that says that? I've heard nothing about that.


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25547 posts, RR: 86
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 5233 times:
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Quoting Enilria (Reply 15):
Show me anything/anywhere that says that? I've heard nothing about that.

It was published in several articles a day or two before the auction.

It was one of the reasons given for the Frontier BOD selecting Republic - that Republic already had ATI and Southwest did not.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlinePlaneAdmirer From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 564 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 5207 times:



Quoting N7371f (Thread starter):
pimped

Does this word have to be used? A pimp is nothing more than a slaveholder who keeps prostitutes in line by violence or the threat of violence. It's beyond comprehension why this is glorified in any way.

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 2):
Maybe Midwest can start painting dairy cows, white-tailed deer, and squirrels on the tails of their Embraer's. At least those are the animals I've seen in Wisconsin....

A cow jumping over the Mars Cheese Factory perhaps (only for those who have driven I-55).

Quoting Airport (Reply 13):
Considering the booking process, which isn't changing so far as I know, and considering all the steps taken by a customer from buying a ticket to walking through the jetway, the paint on the outside of the aircraft will matter fairly little.

The customers will hopefully be pleasantly surprised when they get on an F9 plane.

Quoting Indy (Reply 14):
I would like to see the incorporate the best of the two airlines.

Cookies in Colorado?!?! My wife and kids would be thrilled.

This has nothing to do with this thread, but I am stunned the number of threads and posts concerning F9. This little airline really attracts attention and posts far in excess of it's size, passenger carry, fleet size, and other measures. I can't think of another carrier that gets anywhere near this level of attention. F9 is right up there with Boeing and Airbus in terms of posts and passions it seems.


User currently offlineAirport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 5209 times:

Quoting Indy (Reply 14):
My opinion is that in time YX and F9 will operate under the Frontier brand. I would like to see the incorporate the best of the two airlines. I think if they do that the finished product will be something special. And we'd have an airline that would go against the industry norm which is to lower the service bar as far as possible. The new product would raise the bar as high as possible.

Ahh, just imagine...

-PTVs in every seat
-Fresh Onboard Cookies
-All leather seats
-A merging of Best Care Cuisine and Grizwald's Gourmet Cafe
-The friendly crews of both carriers (that I've experienced anyway)
-Service to almost every major city from coast to coast

And then imagine if they implented such amenities like...

-Complimentary beer and wine
-Complimentary copies of the Wall Street journal at the gate
-Complimentary coffee and beverages at the gate
(yes at this point I'm following the old QX model)
-No checked bag fees
-Complimentary pastries and delicacies on long flights

(yes I understand such drastic measures would raise CASMs by a probably high amount and completely not yield results, but keep in mind I'm only dreamin' here!   )

[Edited 2009-09-24 19:28:24]

[Edited 2009-09-24 19:32:32]

User currently offlineNorCal From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 5188 times:



Quoting Indy (Reply 14):
My opinion is that in time YX and F9 will operate under the Frontier brand. I would like to see the incorporate the best of the two airlines. I think if they do that the finished product will be something special.

That's easy, serve warm cookies in a cabin with no middle seats, provide TV, and paint cute animals on the tail. All done  Wink


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4514 posts, RR: 34
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 17 hours ago) and read 5093 times:

There are the people too.

Are you kidding? The people are the best part of Wisconsin. The state is one of my favorite place to visit, for friends and its beautiful places. A nice change of pace from DC, too.

On the topic....I agree with those who think the two carriers will at some point be merged, as Frontier with some YX features added, like the cookies. I'm not as pessimistic as the OP; history suggests that Bedford, et. al. know what they're doing--though they'll face some challenges integrating the carriers.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineMsntriathlete From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 17 hours ago) and read 5071 times:

I do agree with the OP's concern about diluting brand identity, especially after Bedford's comments about how important the identity of each niche brand is.

The strategy, at least on the Midwest side (where I live), seems to be to restore as many of the former Midwest routes as possible, even if at the expense of brand identity. Assuming the brand-identity issue is somehow resolved in a year or so, and no one knows yet how, this would be a temporary problem. Having that critical mass of flights and routes out of MKE is a high priority, though. I can't tell you the number of times my coworkers and I have found in the last year that Midwest doesn't fly where we want or when we want. When we end up on Delta or even Airtran enough times, we stop thinking about Midwest. I therefore think Bedford's sacrificing some of that brand identity to build up the necessary critical mass.

Whether that ends up working remains to be seen.


User currently offlineAlphascan From United States of America, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 937 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 4987 times:

The strengths of both Frontier and Midwest are their employees and the service they provide . Their cultures to put it in a nutshell. Paint isn't an issue unless you are an airline nerd. This thread is much ado about absolutely nothing.


"To he who only has a hammer in his toolbelt, every problem looks like a nail."
User currently offlineMASTYC From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 12 hours ago) and read 4865 times:

It's gonna be a big ole jumbled mess for a bit. I am choosing to look at it in the same way as Alamo and National car rental. Same colors too. I am figuring that five years from now you will either have a dual branded airline with no differences in on board product, or you will have Frontier that serves cookies.

User currently offlineAirport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 11 hours ago) and read 4835 times:



Quoting Alphascan (Reply 22):
The strengths of both Frontier and Midwest are their employees and the service they provide . Their cultures to put it in a nutshell. Paint isn't an issue unless you are an airline nerd. This thread is much ado about absolutely nothing.

I agree, though I don't think this thread is much ado about nothing. It's just harmless speculation, and that's what a.net was made for!  Smile


25 OzarkD9S : The OP used it as a verb, not a noun. In this context, referring to painting planes in a colorful manner, I don't find it offensive in the least. It'
26 Enilria : Do you have a link?
27 Airfrnt : I tend to agree with this, but not that it won't be economically successful. Rather I think you will see the YX brand slowly filtered out as the F9 b
28 Post contains links FATFlyer : I'll save you having to wait for Mariner to join this thread this morning. Here are a couple of links. Southwest's offer probably would have triggere
29 Stburke : I think we all have that little spot for the underdog in our hearts, and F9 seems to occupy most of ours. And you're spot on with the amount of passi
30 Mcg : I thought from the beginning of the acquisition of F9 by PAH that the biggest problem they would have is branding. They've got a conflict between two
31 Cberflyer : As an F9 Summit member, here's some fine print that was in an e-mail I received from F9 yesterday (the e-mail was about F9's inability to generate Ear
32 Mariner : The E170's flew some long-ish routes without it. mariner
33 Mrocktor : JetBlue E190's have Direct TV, its certified.
34 Mariner : That's unfortunate, but again - that's as it is now. The Delta/Midwest code-share puts some onerous restrictions on Midwest with regard to other part
35 Runway23 : What will happen to Frontier's partnership with Air Tran? Presumably it will go away soon?
36 Mariner : That's the intriguing question. When the Frontier/Midwest code share was announced, a lot of people thought Airtran would immediately cancel the deal
37 Atlwest1 : Maybe the two have something in the works. No not a merger but something like a close relationship, true codeshare. Though a combined YX/FP/FL and rep
38 UAL747DEN : The fact that they are operating together like they are is proof. If you want to try to bash F9 at least find a reason that has some merit. That leve
39 KL911 : He's far away in New Zealand, don't worry... On topic: I wouldn't put to much energy in the direct tv thing, after all, we're talking domestic flight
40 Jreuschl : That's what will probably happen with WN in Milwaukee. We're pretty loyal in WI and we are now warming up to FL. I'm sure many around here will find
41 Onaclearday : And as a Frontier employee, I definitely share your concern about brand dilution. Recent communication (today-Friday 25th-to be exact) from managemen
42 Post contains links Mariner : To be fair to Midwest they have been operationally profitable this past early summer: http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...chief-executive-bryan-be
43 Onaclearday : Duly noted, and I am definitely a fan of your optimism, Mariner, however: Such an equipment swap is still diluting a winning brand for a shaky brand.
44 Mariner : I don't believe it is. I think it is a bit of a bonus for Frontier, just as the routes from MKE are a bonus. The routes from MKE to Florida are not j
45 UAL747DEN : I agree with you that Frontier is a GREAT brand, and the numbers show us they are one of the best, but the Midwest brand is not all that bad itself.
46 Mariner : I think that is probable, too, although I hope the cookies stay. But Republic is not reinventing the wheel here. It is quite common for very large co
47 AirFrnt : Yes, but the entire thinking of this world wide has been shifting. Multiple brands aren't a positive any more, they are a liability because of the wo
48 UAL747DEN : Worldwide shifting? Who? Where? What? The car companies are not a good example at all. It's not so much a branding problem, none of the brands sell.
49 Knope2001 : There’s so much I’d like to post to these overlapping threads but am not sure how I’d possibly have time even if I didn’t work for a living. L
50 AirFrnt : Fortune 500 brands - for example, the "collection of brand companies" such as P&G, etc are all taking steps to rationalize branding. My own company h
51 Mariner : Lufthansa doesn't seem to have that memo yet. And I note that GM has chosen to retain four brands. The point is simply that Republic isn't doing some
52 AirFrnt : That are in functionally different spaces. Midwest and F9 are both low cost carriers, without enough differentiation to justify the overlap in brand
53 Mariner : I suppose the most interesting - and exciting - times of my life have been when I have watched the conventions being broken, or I have broken them my
54 Atlwest1 : Mariner it certainly has been interesting. I think this whole Republic airline acquisitions is up there as one of the most or more genius plays in the
55 YXwatcherMKE : Well as I person that lives in the Milwaukee Metro area and watch TV and radio a great deal, I can tell you that the powers to be at RAH are hard at w
56 SkyguyB727 : The YX flying will be done by RW, not RP. I don't even think RP comes into this mix other than by being another subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdin
57 BMI727 : RP will be operating some ERJ-135s for YX.
58 AirframeAS : And we love ours (F9) as well. So hopefully heavy maintenance will stay in DEN.
59 Iowaman : Yeah, WN hasn't went up against the fierce DL loyals at DTW at all, or the CO loyals in CLE, or the UA loyals in IAD, etc etc. The MKE market is some
60 BMI727 : That's what I've been saying this whole time. RAH got two strong, well known and loved brands in their home market that are relatively unknown outsid
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