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GRR...why No LCCs Other Then Allegiant?  
User currently offlineTtailfan From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 69 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 2591 times:

I'm curious what you all think about my question.

I understand that the landing fees at GRR are rediculous and it has been dominated by NW for so long.

But beyond those two things, what other reasons are there for why a 1.3 million population base in the Grand Rapids/Muskegon/Holland statistical area isn't able to attract serious interest from a WN, FL, B6, etc.?

I know there have been talks with some of them over the years, but nothing seems to come of it. And this is a region that could greatly benefit from what one or more of those airlines could offer it.

Thanks in advance.

[Edited 2009-10-28 18:44:45]

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRedTailDTW From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 751 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2567 times:

As far as Southwest goes, I don't see them coming to GRR since they have been at DTW since the early 90's and haven't really taken off there.

FL probably hasn't came to GRR because they may not want to cannibalize their operations at FNT and DTW. I would love to see FL come to GRR though with flights to ATL and MCO.

B6 has more important priorities it seems these days. That and hey would probably come to DTW before they came to GRR or any other Michigan city for that matter.

I really do hope that they bring in a new LCC sooner or later...



Mason



Northwest Airlines. Now you're flying smart! (RIP 1926-2009)
User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3006 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2548 times:



Quoting Ttailfan (Thread starter):
I'm curious what you all think about my question.

I understand that the landing fees at GRR are rediculous and it has been dominated by NW for so long.

But beyond those two things, what other reasons are there for why a 1.3 million population base in the Grand Rapids/Muskegon/Holland statistical area isn't able to attract serious interest from a WN, FL, B6, etc.?

I know there have been talks with some of them over the years, but nothing seems to come of it. And this is a region that could greatly benefit from what one or more of those airlines could offer it.

Thanks in advance.

We have the same situation at GSP. Metro population a hair under 1 million, but easy access to ATL and CLT burbs and other adjacent regions as well. G4 is going like gangbusters here , but they don't really drive fares down like WN or FL would.



Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1999 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2413 times:

I think one thing GRR has suffered from (in the past) is what will Big Red do? GRR was under the strangle hold of Northwest and would most likely have retaliated if any airline were to start service. Now that Delta has taken over, I don't think we'll see too much retaliation which appears evident as Allegiant is going gangbusters up there without much response from Delta. That's not to say Delta wouldn't respond to say AirTran to ATL, which I'm sure they would upgrade to E175s/CR9s on the GRR-ATL route or increase service from GRR-LGA if jetBlue were to start JFK.

I also think GRR has been slow to respond to airline's requests to lower their costs. There was a lot of talk about a LCC coming in back in 2004 or so as Chicago Express was the only LCC there. However, at that time, they had some of the highest costs around and wouldn't budge or give out incentives. Kind of biting them in the butt now.

I think they could easily land F9 E190s 2x a day to DEN. Even though F9 serves DTW, I think GRR would be a good fit for them. WN is putting pressure on F9 in DTW by starting a 1x daily flight (which I think will lose boatloads of money) and I think this would be a good option. Starting GRR-DEN would also compliment the existing GRR-MKE flights on Midwest.

As for Southwest...I don't think they'll start as I don't think they have the volume in the winter months to fill the seats.


User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3006 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2309 times:



Quoting Flyinryan99 (Reply 3):
I also think GRR has been slow to respond to airline's requests to lower their costs. There was a lot of talk about a LCC coming in back in 2004 or so as Chicago Express was the only LCC there. However, at that time, they had some of the highest costs around and wouldn't budge or give out incentives. Kind of biting them in the butt now.

Another parallel to GSP - wow. I just know the administrators of both airports have got to be more savvy than that, but.... Well, where's the beef?



Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlineTjwgrr From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2410 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2227 times:

Not sure of the details but I recall reading GRR offers some sort of reduced fees to G4 as long as G4 provides X number of seats per week.

I still think FL would be a great fit at GRR. FNT is 120 driving miles from Grand Rapids, and almost 150 miles from Holland. DTW is about 160 driving miles from both Grand Rapids and Holland. I don't think it would cannibalize those ops much if any.



Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
User currently offlineTtailfan From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 1994 times:



Quoting RedTailDTW (Reply 1):
FL probably hasn't came to GRR because they may not want to cannibalize their operations at FNT and DTW.

That may be the case, but Flint is a lot closer to Detroit then Grand Rapids is. If they are operating out of both of those airports, GRR won't be a "direct" competitor.

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 2):
We have the same situation at GSP. Metro population a hair under 1 million, but easy access to ATL and CLT burbs and other adjacent regions

That has some truth to it. For people in this region, it is not big deal to drive 3 hours either way to DTW or ORD.

My "argument" for that is unless you are flying with 3 or 4 people or more in your party, by the time you pay for gas, parking, and spend 6 hours of your life driving...are you really saving money when their fares on only $100 or so less. To may, the obvious answer is YES. But they don't take into consideration that their time is also worth "something."

Just a thought...thanks for the replies everyone.


User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 1941 times:
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So I'm the only one that thought the OP was growling at the thought/thinking G4 was the only LCC?

Quoting Ttailfan (Reply 6):
My "argument" for that is unless you are flying with 3 or 4 people or more in your party, by the time you pay for gas, parking, and spend 6 hours of your life driving...are you really saving money when their fares on only $100 or so less. To may, the obvious answer is YES. But they don't take into consideration that their time is also worth "something."

Actually, I've found that for long trips, driving to reliever airports can save a great deal on parking..



When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
User currently offlineDLDTW1962 From United States of America, joined May 2009, 393 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1850 times:

I know after talking with B6, that they do not want to go head to head with NW/DL in alot of areas. And Frontier / Republic airways is already servicing GRR. With Non-stop flight to MKE. GRR has alot of money and business in that area. And their are alot of people who will not take an LCC flight. They want their main carriers only. Don't ask me why, but that is
just the way people in GRR see it. The fact the G4 is their will not last long. I expect to see them pull out of GRR sometime late next year or early 2011.

Chuck


User currently offlineG4resagent From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 300 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1739 times:



Quoting DLDTW1962 (Reply 8):
I expect to see them pull out of GRR sometime late next year or early 2011.

We would all like to know why you think this...


User currently onlineFWAERJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 3700 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1719 times:

Quoting DLDTW1962 (Reply 8):
I know after talking with B6, that they do not want to go head to head with NW/DL in alot of areas.

Was that back in the NW "heartland strategy" days, or today? DL seems to have dumped NW's "heartland strategy" tactics, except when using their traditional DL tactics in defending the ATL hub against FL. And B6 does not fly to ATL.

Witness DL's closing of the NW IND focus city and handing over the IND market to FL on a silver platter, along with dumping all the ex-NW Midwest-Florida P2P that were all specifically developed to drive out G4 (and worked, in some cases). This is because DL's profit-minded management knows that losing money on "heartland strategy" fare wars, triple miles, and EK-style capacity dumping in the Midwest doesn't work anymore.

[Edited 2009-11-02 08:22:49]


I don't work for FWA, their tenants, or their ad agency. But I still love FWA.
User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1999 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1704 times:



Quoting DLDTW1962 (Reply 8):
The fact the G4 is their will not last long. I expect to see them pull out of GRR sometime late next year or early 2011.

Really? According to this article back in September, they are going gangbusters.

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-m...llegiant_air_adds_nonstop_fli.html

Quote:
"Allegiant was successful right out of the gate with the two flights to Florida," said airport spokesman Bruce Schedlbauer. "Their flights are running 95 percent at a time when most airlines are between 45 and 85 percent."

Allegiant will have 5 destinations with 24 weekly flights in March. I don't know how that stacks up against the larger stations in Allegiant's network but I would have to bet it's in the top 5.


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4485 posts, RR: 33
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1648 times:

24 weekly flights? That's getting close to...AirTran potential. FL seems to want 4-5 dailies out of the gate (as it were) at new stations. The problem is, though, that they'd probably want at least two of the dailies going to ATL to get hub connectivity. With Allegiant going all nonstop, the question would be, does connectivity and low fares around a network trump nonstop convenience? IMO an open question in a market this size, but I'd favor AirTran. I'd guess 2x ATL, 1x MCO, 1x TPA for an AirTran station at GRR.

If they're feeling adventurous, maybe 2x daily LGA if they can buy slots shaken loose by the DL-US "electric slide" at LGA-DCA. But there's almost no connecting potential there, so probably two 717's would be too much capacity. Maybe 2x to BWI, but would probably mostly cannibalize Florida connecting pax from ATL flights with less O & D than NYC would offer.

As RedTail noted, JetBlue seems to have othe priorities these days; they only want to go after new markets that are large or Caribbean/ Latin. So 2x daily E190 to JFK, which I agree with FlyinRyan99 could work, are unlikely. Anybody remember the list of 40-ish potential cities B6 published--including lots of medium-size cities like GRR--when they started? D'OH!

I'd guess that FWAERJ is right that the "Big Red" problem will ease somewhat with DL in charge, not least also because they have much bigger fish to fry in their integration. I wouldn't make much of the GRR catchment area historically having lots of money and flying legacy carriers and YX. It's a new economy, and it's Michigan.

I'd give GRR good potential of getting an LCC, most likely AirTran. But...I hope GRR didn't shoot themselves in the foot by building that huge parking garage and canopy, because fees *have* to be reasonable if they want a big LCC. Maybe an incentive would help.

Jim


User currently offlineToltommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3286 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1610 times:

With FL really taking on G4 at LEX, I could see them opening up GRR in a similar way. No ATL at first, but MCO and TPA service, both less than daily.

User currently offlineTtailfan From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1527 times:



Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 12):
It's a new economy, and it's Michigan.

Now there's an understatement...especially with the governor we have. Not that the President is any plus for our situation either. In this state, its all about take more, not less to solve the revenue problems. They don't understand less IS more in the long run.

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 12):
But...I hope GRR didn't shoot themselves in the foot by building that huge parking garage and canopy, because fees *have* to be reasonable

That isn't a problem. That will be paid for by those who use it. My understanding is that it will pay for itself over time by the parking fees (which I hear will be a "sticker shock" moment for those when its time to leave. The fees on the AOA side of things aren't supposed to be involved with the parking garage. Two distinctly separate sides of the terminal building.

But that could all change by the simple vote of the board if it isn't working the way they want it to.


User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7498 posts, RR: 28
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1453 times:



Quoting DCA-ROCguy" class=quote target=_blank>DCA-ROCguy (Reply 12):
As RedTail noted, JetBlue seems to have othe priorities these days; they only want to go after new markets that are large or Caribbean/ Latin. So 2x daily E190 to JFK, which I agree with FlyinRyan99 could work, are unlikely. Anybody remember the list of 40-ish potential cities B6 published--including lots of medium-size cities like GRR--when they started? D'OH!

Exactly.
Under the old B6 business plan, it seemed likely that they would eventually show up in DTW and GRR, particularly once they started getting E-190's.
However, the with the new B6 strategy, it seems rather unlikely that they will be in GRR, let alone even DTW. They aren't interested in mid-sized markets in the midwest anymore, particularly connecting midsized markets over JFK to points beyond.

I don't even think we'll see them in DTW anytime soon. I think they would've started it already if they really wanted it, but it is possible to see DTW-JFK/BOS at some point in the future.

Quoting DCA-ROCguy" class=quote target=_blank>DCA-ROCguy (Reply 12):
I'd guess that FWAERJ is right that the "Big Red" problem will ease somewhat with DL in charge, not least also because they have much bigger fish to fry in their integration. I wouldn't make much of the GRR catchment area historically having lots of money and flying legacy carriers and YX. It's a new economy, and it's Michigan.

True, but it depends what type of traffic someone is trying to steal. DL has declawed NW somewhat; if someone is coming in to steal leisure/low-yield/Florida traffic from GRR - good riddance, they don't need nor really want that traffic anymore. In GRR they are still focused on the business traffic, international, and higher yield. Hence why they let G4 go at it, they don't want that kind of traffic, because they don't have the cost structure to compete against it.

Quoting DCA-ROCguy" class=quote target=_blank>DCA-ROCguy (Reply 12):
24 weekly flights? That's getting close to...AirTran potential. FL seems to want 4-5 dailies out of the gate (as it were) at new stations. The problem is, though, that they'd probably want at least two of the dailies going to ATL to get hub connectivity. With Allegiant going all nonstop, the question would be, does connectivity and low fares around a network trump nonstop convenience? IMO an open question in a market this size, but I'd favor AirTran. I'd guess 2x ATL, 1x MCO, 1x TPA for an AirTran station at GRR.

If they're feeling adventurous, maybe 2x daily LGA if they can buy slots shaken loose by the DL-US "electric slide" at LGA-DCA. But there's almost no connecting potential there, so probably two 717's would be too much capacity. Maybe 2x to BWI, but would probably mostly cannibalize Florida connecting pax from ATL flights with less O & D than NYC would offer.

FL is the most likely new carrier to enter GRR. Their route network compliments the type of demand from GRR. Not terribly different from markets like MDT or LEX. Essentially DTW on a smaller scale. FL could come in with a 2-3x ATL, maybe an MCO or TPA flight like mentioned but not much more than that . The question is whether they can coexist with G4? Is there enough to go around?

GRR-LGA/BWI on FL make little sense and will likely bleed money. With NW/DL offering the daily nonstop on GRR-LGA and all of the connections over DTW, plus CO on GRR-LGA, those will will be getting all of the business traffic with their schedules, and FF programs. FL would be left with the junk fares, have no connectivity, and be flying very empty planes at off-peak times.

So in short, perhaps you'll see FL in GRR. All depends on the priority of things in their strategy and whether they feel there is room with them among the entrenched legacies and G4.


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