SurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2588 posts, RR: 31 Reply 4, posted (3 years 4 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1604 times:
New aircraft for WN! What an exciting time for the airline and its pax, provided these planes aren't replacements but true additions to the fleet. If the latter is the case, what does the future hold in store? Even just a few years ago, there were several major holes in the WN routemap, but now that the likes of BOS, LGA, DEN, MSP, and MKE have been added, ATL is really the only gaping hole left to fill (and I guess you could argue CLT as well). Of course, now that ECP will soon come online, just about anything could potentially be fair game - CVG has lost a ton of flights, but still has no LCC service whatsoever, MEM's ONLY low-cost option is FL to ATL, heck, even GSO could probably fill several daily LCC flights as it did with CO Lite and Skybus. I also think WN would do well from other primary airports - MIA definitely comes to mind here (no slot issues), but if WN could get a couple gates at ORD or slots at EWR or DCA, I think the investment would be well worth it (some users of these airports already trek to FLL, MDW, PHL, and BWI to catch WN flights, respectively). Maybe someday we could even see WN come to DSM or ICT, or [gasp], foreign soil!
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
I'm not privy to the delivery dates; the info I have comes from Southwest's 10-Q filing with the SEC for the third quarter. The company announces its 2009 earnings in several hours, and I expect they will provide more detail about their deliveries as part of that. They took no new aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 4): New aircraft for WN! What an exciting time for the airline and its pax, provided these planes aren't replacements but true additions to the fleet.
It really depends on the economy and traffic/revenue trends. The -300 and -500 fleets are now both on average over eighteen years old, so Southwest will retire more and more of those over the next decade. It's hard to believe that the first WN -700 is twelve years old already! But in any event, if trends improve, we'd likely see Southwest management keep some of the -300's around a bit longer (by extending leases for short terms, for example). If traffic and/or revenue stay weak, the ten deliveries this year will mostly just be replacements.
Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 4): Even just a few years ago, there were several major holes in the WN routemap, but now that the likes of BOS, LGA, DEN, MSP, and MKE have been added, ATL is really the only gaping hole left to fill (and I guess you could argue CLT as well).
The city additions in 2009 were primarily redeployments of capacity. WN had a lot of exposure to markets that were hit particularly hard by the housing bust and recession -- like California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. There are probably still at least twenty airports in the U.S. which can support the traditional WN model of a minimum of eight to ten daily departures, though.