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How Long Until WN Allies With A Legacy?  
User currently offlineenilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 7691 posts, RR: 15
Posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3337 times:

I'm not trying to stir the pot, but it seems like it's just a matter of time (2-5 years) until somebody (AA/CO/DL/UA/US) adopts the "if you can't beat 'em strategy" and forms an alliance with WN. It might be as small as a reciprocal frequent flier arrangement, but they are the ultimate ally for an internationally focused carrier who has basically given up on the domestic market. Obviously there are union issues, but CO and UA and US have overcome them.

I'm not saying WN would ever go into SkyTeam, Star, or OneWorld. I'm talking a strategic one-off alliance with a domestic legacy carrier. WN is becoming more and more like a legacy carrier. This is the logical next step for them. It's not that far afield of relationships with Volaris or WestJet (R.I.P.).

My over/under:

American - DAL/DFW makes it very difficult for AA to ever do
Continental - IAH/HOU is a problem, but not as big as DAL/DFW. EWR/CLE fit nicely.
Delta- Best network mixture (DL cares less and less about domestic), worst attitude mixture (DL hates LCCs)
United - MDW/ORD is a problem, but UA could be a kind of "Ted" elsewhere. IAD/SFO/DEN fits well.
US Airways - Fits best. Gets the WN brand into DCA. WN could take over feed at PHL/PHX, no overlap at CLT.

[Edited 2010-04-02 17:35:18]

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinethegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2311 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3253 times:

The best thing to do is a B6-Aer Lingus/Lufthansa type agreement

Quoting enilria (Thread starter):
US Airways - Fits best. Gets the WN brand into DCA. WN could take over feed at PHL/PHX, no overlap at CLT.

What there's overlap there everywhere except CLT.....



Our Returning Champion
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3104 times:

Quoting enilria (Thread starter):
I'm not saying WN would ever go into SkyTeam, Star, or OneWorld. I'm talking a strategic one-off alliance with a domestic legacy carrier.

That's a good point, I think, and unless CO/UA merge, I think it probably makes AA and DL the most likely suspects because it would be a bit strange to partner with only one of CO/UA/US (CO/UA in particular). As between those, I think AA is the more likely choice because of Delta's attitude toward LFCs (although partnering with Delta would solve WN's ATL problem). With DAL as capacity-constrained as it is, I don't see DAL/DFW as a big hurdle - certainly not as bad as or DEN/DEN or IAD/BWI,



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinepmk From United States of America, joined May 1999, 664 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3021 times:

It's never going to get that cold down there. WN's model doesn't fit the other airlines. Both DL and UA tried to be LLCs, I'll never forget my flight on TED and Song was just as big a joke.

Southwest survives by being unique, and individual. I see no benefit to WN joining with any legacy.

PMK


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2957 times:

Quoting pmk (Reply 3):
Southwest survives by being unique, and individual. I see no benefit to WN joining with any legacy.

Is the B6/AA agreement folly?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineMrSkyGuy From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2952 times:

I actually see WN more likely to partner up with a Mesa/SkyWest/Republic/ASA/Etc regional before I'd expect something like you are suggesting.


"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
User currently offlineUAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2392 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2924 times:

Quoting MrSkyGuy (Reply 5):
I actually see WN more likely to partner up with a Mesa/SkyWest/Republic/ASA/Etc regional before I'd expect something like you are suggesting.

A deal with SkyWest was rumored to be very close before the industry went to hell!

I don't see WN doing this for a long time to come!



/// UNITED AIRLINES
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2879 times:

Quoting enilria (Thread starter):
I'm not trying to stir the pot, but it seems like it's just a matter of time (2-5 years) until somebody (AA/CO/DL/UA/US) adopts the "if you can't beat 'em strategy" and forms an alliance with WN.

I can see what's in it for the legacy...what's in it for Southwest?

Tom.


User currently offlineberyllium From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2854 times:

Quoting enilria (Thread starter):
I'm not trying to stir the pot, but it seems like it's just a matter of time (2-5 years) until somebody (AA/CO/DL/UA/US) adopts the "if you can't beat 'em strategy" and forms an alliance with WN. It might be as small as a reciprocal frequent flier arrangement, but they are the ultimate ally for an internationally focused carrier who has basically given up on the domestic market. Obviously there are union issues, but CO and UA and US have overcome them.

I think, WN will eventually be able to start international operations themselves, and won't need the legacies as partners for that purpose.
It is hard to imagine any sort of partnership between WN and any of the big 5. WN will want to call the shots, and the pride of the big guys will present an obstacle. If I had to name someone among those 5, I think I would name US as the most likely candidate for partners with WN (as you pointed out, it fits best - I agree, among those 5 it does).

I think, in the foreseeable future partnership between WN and someone "ala TZ" is much more likely - maybe HA?...


User currently offlineswalifebtw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2744 times:

Hopefully WN wont betray it's self like America West did when it merged with US. I hope WN never try's with Legacy carriers. Instead merge with Spirit for the Caribbean and Central America routes. Or B6 for JFK and some Caribbean routes. Also a partnership with AS would be a nice fit for Alaska, Hawaii, and Mexico.

User currently offlineEDICHC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2727 times:

Quoting swalifebtw (Reply 9):
Or B6 for JFK and some Caribbean routes. Also a partnership with AS would be a nice fit for Alaska, Hawaii, and Mexico.

How about an international link up.... with JetStar or Air Asia X from the West coast to serve the Pacific and with EI across the Atlantic?

[Edited 2010-04-02 21:37:04]

User currently offlineswalifebtw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2712 times:

Quoting EDICHC (Reply 10):
How about an international link up.... with JetStar or Air Asia X from the West coast to serve the Pacific and with EI across the Atlantic?

Baby steps....I think focusing on the western hemisphere first. Canada, Mexico and Central America, Caribbean and perhaps northern South America. Basically anywhere a 737-700 can get to from MDW,MCO,PHX,BWI,FLL

[Edited 2010-04-02 21:49:29]

[Edited 2010-04-02 21:49:59]

User currently offlineMrSkyGuy From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2565 times:

Quoting swalifebtw (Reply 11):
Baby steps....I think focusing on the western hemisphere first. Canada, Mexico and Central America, Caribbean and perhaps northern South America.

Good point. SWA still has vast amounts of untapped territory available.. the future is a vast and unknown place for WN.



"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
User currently offlineenilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 7691 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2221 times:

Quoting thegreatRDU (Reply 1):
The best thing to do is a B6-Aer Lingus/Lufthansa type agreement

I think that by doing an alliance with an LCC they would greatly benefit the LCC in terms of legitimizing them as a national carrier. I don't think WN wants to help another LCC. OTOH, gaining access to a legacy frequent flier program is very valuable to WN. So, I think there is nothing in it for WN to do an alliance with a domestic LCC. Plus, it would create mote union problems. I CAN imagine WN buying a domestic LCC, but I'm talking alliance.

Quoting thegreatRDU (Reply 1):
What there's overlap there everywhere except CLT.....

The thing is that I consider US to be in reverse, so I think they'd be happy to cut overlapping stuff and let WN fly it i they were allies. That's not something you'd see DL ever do, for example.

Quoting pmk (Reply 3):
It's never going to get that cold down there. WN's model doesn't fit the other airlines.

Think about this way. A legacy that wants to basically give up on the domestic market and just do int'l. Obviously that's an exaggeration, but there's a lot of unprofitable domestic that WN could take over from a legacy.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 7):
I can see what's in it for the legacy...what's in it for Southwest?

WN will never kill a legacy. They realize that. Getting access to a legacy loyalty program would be very valuable to them. Their loyalty program is comparably weak. Also, they'd get feed traffic connecting to the legacy and probably wouldn't lose anything.

Quoting beryllium (Reply 8):
I think, WN will eventually be able to start international operations themselves, and won't need the legacies as partners for that purpose.

Yes, BUT international to them is North America only. I don't see them with 787s in the next decade.


User currently offlinejolau1701 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 239 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2177 times:

Certainly not with AirTran!   

Quoting pmk (Reply 3):
I'll never forget my flight on TED and Song was just as big a joke.

Personally, I liked TED.


User currently offlineberyllium From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2126 times:

Quoting enilria (Reply 13):
Yes, BUT international to them is North America only. I don't see them with 787s in the next decade.

That's true.
But, I think that if they decide to try themselves in the international operations they will start slow, with Canada and Mexico only in the beginning (maybe a few Caribbean and Central America destinations).
By the time they would be ripe to fly overseas (TransPacific or TransAtlantic) they would be so big, that the business model (to fly B737 exclusively) would be asking for modifications, and they will start ordering wide-body aircraft.
The model to fly nothing but B737 is very cost-effective, and it works perfectly for small- or medium-sized airline. But, the bigger you grow, the more flexibility (in terms of capacity) you need. And WN is already huge. So, I think that deviation from B737-only flying is just a matter of time for WN. I am not saying that it is gonna happen this or next year, but I can see it happening in 8-10 years from now (maybe even earlier). (By that time, their domestic market share in most of the U.S. metropolitan areas with sizable population will dwarf everybody else's domestic operations (hubs of other major airlines - ORD, ATL, DFW, IAD, JFK, a few others - will be the only exceptions) and they will be simply maxed out in terms of further domestic growth, and will inevitably be looking for international opportunities, including long-hauls)...


User currently offlineMoltenRock From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2076 times:

Why would WN want to become more "mainline/legacy"? That is a recipe for disaster, bankruptcy, and ineptitude with service standards. WN will not be partnering up with any legacy in the US in the next 10 years or beyond. No way.

User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2016 times:

Quoting enilria (Reply 13):
A legacy that wants to basically give up on the domestic market and just do int'l.

But how does that work in practice? There is flying that WN cannot do profitably and legacies (or, more accurately, their regional partners) can - mainly to smaller cities, but probably also some p2p routes like BNA-DCA. It seems like the WN and its partner would need a deep (ATI-like) relationship to manage that dynamic.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineOzarkD9S From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5231 posts, RR: 21
Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1985 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 17):


But how does that work in practice? There is flying that WN cannot do profitably and legacies (or, more accurately, their regional partners) can - mainly to smaller cities, but probably also some p2p routes like BNA-DCA. It seems like the WN and its partner would need a deep (ATI-like) relationship to manage that dynamic.

I wonder if WN will simply do something in-house, such as an international subsidiary and/or a regional subsidiary? Have a three tiered operation where regional pilots and FA's move up to "regular" Southwest, and "regular" Southwest pilots and FA's move up to the international subsidiary. Each subsidiary could theoretically operate one aircraft type; Q-400, 737, 787 to simplify each operation. Q-400's could operate regional p2p say MDW-PIA-STL-SGF-DAL-ICT-MCI-DSM-MDW etc...in much the same way WN schedules equipment. "Regular" Southwest would include 737 international flying with international (787) Southwest operating BWI-Europe, OAK-Asia, etc...

I wonder if the unions would go for it? Or would it be far more complicated then I'm imaginging it to be?



The best IFE: A window seat and a good book.
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