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Is SWA At EWR A Good Idea For Them?  
User currently offlinecontrails15 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1181 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4756 times:

Article pretty much says it all. Gonna be interesting to see how Southwest deals with the challenges that EWR will bring them. 20 min turn times it says in some of their cities. Thats incredible. We just have 60, 45 and 30.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/7190629.html

[Edited 2010-09-09 04:13:56]


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35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinecokepopper From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1179 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4699 times:

It will be interesting indeed. Unless they have a dedicated EWR fleet, I can't see how it
won't mess up a good portion of their operation


User currently offlineOzarkD9S From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5048 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4694 times:

Quoting cokepopper (Reply 1):


It will be interesting indeed. Unless they have a dedicated EWR fleet, I can't see how it
won't mess up a good portion of their operation

WN will take these factors into consideration when scheduling EWR. You will not see 20 minute turns scheduled, except "maybe" at off-peak times, but even then it's doubtful.



Next Up: STL-LGA-RIC-ATL-STL
User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4092 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4685 times:

Years ago, I would have said this was foolish. That's because Southwest's legendary '20-minute turns' would be laughably impossible in the congested Bos-Wash corridor. But here they are: happily weaving their web in the 'Bos-Wash Corridor.'

So, why now? Well, they know that the 'other' carriers aren't in a really healthy state where they can fight back with redeployed assets and flights. They're forced to 'watch' as Southwest and JetBlue play 'can-you-top-this.'

I remember back to the days of American Airlines and their heavy-handed tactics when they wanted to vanquish an interloper. None of these carriers have the resources or the inclination to fight back that strongly, and Southwest knows this.


User currently offlinejfklganyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3431 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4518 times:

Delays aside, if you want to be a major player in the US aviation market, you have to be where the population is.

BOS, NYC, and DC have to be covered.

Ironically, WN and B6 have approached this differently.

B6 started in the hornet's nest and is still expanding from there. Their focus now is BOS and DCA, coupled with a large NYC presence.

WN started in the heartland and grew and extensive network over 2 decades before they attempted to enter the NE with BWI.

I don't know which idea is better, but I am sure B6 would like WNs presence is the middle of the country and WN would love B6's terminal and slots at JFK.


User currently offlinetharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1864 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4481 times:

I assume they'll figure out how to schedule their operations such that EWR delays don't propagate throughout the whole system. It's a small part of their overall operation, anyway. It's a bigger deal if you're actually hubbed at a problem airport.

As for turn times, I bet they still manage to make a profit, even with longer turn times than their target at other airports.

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 4):
Delays aside, if you want to be a major player in the US aviation market, you have to be where the population is.

I don't know what is a "major player". By some measures, Southwest is the biggest airline on earth, without even leaving the US. Seems major enough to me.

End of the day, the job is to make a profit. Not to have a route network that meets the aesthetic requirements of anetters.


User currently offlineunmlobo From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 205 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4469 times:

The 20-minute turn times are referring to block in, block out times. Unless there are ground-delay programs (which I do hear happen quite often at EWR) and the aircraft can't push from the gate then 20-minute turns are still possible. The aircraft will be on the ground well longer than 20 minutes however with all of the time waiting in-line to take off, but I have a strong feeling block times will be padded for this as well as for arriving flights.


The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of Southwest Airlines its Directors or its Employees
User currently onlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22862 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4276 times:

Quoting tharanga (Reply 5):
I assume they'll figure out how to schedule their operations such that EWR delays don't propagate throughout the whole system. It's a small part of their overall operation, anyway. It's a bigger deal if you're actually hubbed at a problem airport.

Yes - and they already have figured out LGA, haven't they? What's different?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1713 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4023 times:

Because WN likes frequency a late arriving plane's passengers who missed a connecting flight are likely to be able to connect with another one. I noticed this one day at Midway, the East Coast had been hit by thunderstorms, and they simply announced that flights to my destination would be changed by several minutes. And were asking for volunteers to change schedules. It was largely a non-event. Had I not had time constraints at the end of the journey I would have volunteered.


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4001 times:

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 4):
B6 started in the hornet's nest and is still expanding from there. Their focus now is BOS and DCA, coupled with a large NYC presence.

WN started in the heartland and grew and extensive network over 2 decades before they attempted to enter the NE with BWI.

I don't know which idea is better, but I am sure B6 would like WNs presence is the middle of the country and WN would love B6's terminal and slots at JFK.

Without a doubt, WN's strategy is much better. WN was able to build a strong domestic network first, and then attempt to enter more challenging markets such as New York.

Since a large portion of B6's network is dependent upon New York and Boston, any disruptions in service to these locations paralyzes B6's operations as we have seen on a number of occasions. This leads to poor public perception.

WN's network is more balanced and can better absorb disruptions that comes from operating in delay proned cities.

[Edited 2010-09-09 16:06:31]

User currently offlinetraindoc From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3973 times:

Responding to ChrisNH, the legacies have a new strategy. They are not going to use resources to crush competition with new routes or increased frequencies. Their strategy now is all about capacity control! That is why they are making money again, and also parking planes at the same time. I think they have finally figured out how to stay in business. However, flying is becoming more expensive as the airlines have discovered that reduced capacity equals increased demand for fewer remaining seats. They are going to charge accordingly.

User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2092 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3966 times:

Quoting cokepopper (Reply 1):
Unless they have a dedicated EWR fleet, I can't see how it
won't mess up a good portion of their operation

They have 500+ airplanes and 3,500+ flights a day. A group of 36 flights will not "mess up a good portion of their operation." It's not like they have 400 flights into EWR.

EWR goes down, a plane flying EWR-MDW-OAK or something, gets swapped out at either OAK or MDW. The onward portion of the journey is close to OT and that plane ends up flying a later flight out of MDW or OAK. I see them do this all the time in when weather/mechanicals get in the way.


User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2087 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3959 times:

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 3):
Years ago, I would have said this was foolish. That's because Southwest's legendary '20-minute turns' would be laughably impossible in the congested Bos-Wash corridor. But here they are: happily weaving their web in the 'Bos-Wash Corridor.'

So, why now? Well, they know that the 'other' carriers aren't in a really healthy state where they can fight back with redeployed assets and flights. They're forced to 'watch' as Southwest and JetBlue play 'can-you-top-this.'

I remember back to the days of American Airlines and their heavy-handed tactics when they wanted to vanquish an interloper. None of these carriers have the resources or the inclination to fight back that strongly, and Southwest knows this.

I think WN can make 20 minute turns at the gate. The problem is the planes getting to the gate and leaving the gate. If the weather is even slightly bad then they will get delayed in landing or take off queues or get sent to the penalty box. As a small corner of their route structure, WN can survive delays at EWR and LGA and I am sure they pad the block time but when business picks up again, as it inevitably will, and as WN grows in the region, delays will snowball across the system and it is unclear how WN would deal with chronic delays.


User currently offlineexFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3950 times:

Quoting EricR (Reply 9):
Since a large portion of B6's network is dependent upon New York and Boston, any disruptions in service to these locations paralyzes B6's operations as we have seen on a number of occasions. This leads to poor public perception.

In all fairness, JetBlue has learned from the past mistakes (particularly the St. Valentine's Day Massacre) and made appropriate changes, particularly in being more willing to cancel proactively.

Quoting EricR (Reply 9):
Without a doubt, WN's strategy is much better. WN was able to build a strong domestic network first, and then attempt to enter more challenging markets such as New York.

Perhaps, but I'd be willing to bet a really good steak dinner that if you offered Southwest management a chance to go back in time and start ops at JFK before JetBlue was started, they'd take it in a heartbeat, instead of being in the position they're in now of having to get slots piecemeal as they become available.

Just as JetBlue was hamstrung by its ideology of "avoid cancellations above all else", Southwest passed up some opportunities before they became more flexible about crowded airports and turn times.


User currently offlineEWRandMDW From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 416 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3899 times:

I think WN will do far better at EWR than anyone thinks and that over time it will become a major player for the airline.

User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3899 times:

Quoting exFATboy (Reply 13):
Perhaps, but I'd be willing to bet a really good steak dinner that if you offered Southwest management a chance to go back in time and start ops at JFK before JetBlue was started, they'd take it in a heartbeat, instead of being in the position they're in now of having to get slots piecemeal as they become available.

Agreed (but you can still buy me a steak dinner). However, this still does not change the fact that B6's strategy was better. By the time the JFK slots became available for B6, WN had already established a strong domestic network. Therefore, would WN have purchased them in hindsight? Probably. But the impact on operations still would not have been as severe as B6's since WN had already developed a sizeable domestic network to absorb any disruptions at JFK.

Quoting exFATboy (Reply 13):
Quoting EricR (Reply 9):
Since a large portion of B6's network is dependent upon New York and Boston, any disruptions in service to these locations paralyzes B6's operations as we have seen on a number of occasions. This leads to poor public perception.

In all fairness, JetBlue has learned from the past mistakes (particularly the St. Valentine's Day Massacre) and made appropriate changes, particularly in being more willing to cancel proactively.


I agree that their cancellation strategy was PARTIALLY to blame. However, regardless of their cancellation strategy, B6 still would have encountered severe network issues since their main hub and main focus city were located in highly congested traffic areas.

[Edited 2010-09-09 17:03:00]

User currently offlineexFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3868 times:

Quoting EricR (Reply 15):
I agree that their cancellation strategy was PARTIALLY to blame. However, regardless of their cancellation strategy, B6 still would have encountered severe network issues since their main hub and main focus city were located in highly congested traffic areas.

True, but at the same time, highly congested traffic areas are highly congested, at least in part, because that's where the people are. Yes, JetBlue has more network issues because JFK is at the heart of its network. But would JetBlue have grown as rapidly and successfully as it did if it had tried to duplicate Southwest's strategy?


User currently offlineTOMMY767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3853 times:

EWR has craved an airline like WN for many years. I think they'll do just fine.


"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3838 times:

Quoting exFATboy (Reply 16):
True, but at the same time, highly congested traffic areas are highly congested, at least in part, because that's where the people are. Yes, JetBlue has more network issues because JFK is at the heart of its network. But would JetBlue have grown as rapidly and successfully as it did if it had tried to duplicate Southwest's strategy?



Would they have grown as rapidly? - probably not. But how important is RAPID growth? I would much rather have structured, steady growth that is manageable. In some ways, I think B6 may have grown too rapidly to the point where they were not able to manage their operations effectively.

B6 had some big issues there for a while. Granted some issues were due to the cancellation policy, but other things factored in as well.

It is nice to have a hub in a large urban center like New York. But there are drawbacks, especially when it is your main hub. Also, don't forget that WN was able to become the largest domestic carrier before entering in cities such as New York, DC, or Boston. That is an impressive accomplishment.


User currently offlinemrskyguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3624 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 7):
Yes - and they already have figured out LGA, haven't they? What's different?

Bingo, and Denver too.. that place is a zoo in the winter. But the difference at LGA is the closed loop WN keep them on with MDW and BWI. I suspect we'll see longer legs out of EWR to places like DEN and HOU, but I beleive that WN will likely institute a similar closed-system to LGA's operation. It won't hurt their competitiveness at EWR, because delays are airport-wide and not predjudicial to an airline or aircraft type.  
Quoting EWRandMDW (Reply 14):
I think WN will do far better at EWR than anyone thinks and that over time it will become a major player for the airline.

  

If an individual flies in to the ZNY airspace, WN or otherwise, they accept the possibility of delays/congestion. WN's going to periodically suffer from these issues, but no more so than the other airlines in the area. People seem to forget that WN is no longer the same airline they were in the 1990s, avoiding places like this at all costs. The WN system is large enough to accommodate snags (which LGA already gets plenty of) and still make a buck without major domino-effects felt at other cities.



"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
User currently offlineizbtmnhd From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 259 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3608 times:

Contrary to East Coasters beliefs...the Bos-Wash corridor is about 35-40 mil. or so and only makes up 15-20% of the US population. I think an airline can turn a profit with the remaining 250+ million or so!

User currently offlineexFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3361 times:

Quoting izbtmnhd (Reply 20):
Contrary to East Coasters beliefs...the Bos-Wash corridor is about 35-40 mil. or so and only makes up 15-20% of the US population. I think an airline can turn a profit with the remaining 250+ million or so!

A good point, but the area also contains both the political and financial capitals of the US, and much more than 15-20% of the country's wealth.

The Southwest model of one aircraft type, 20 minute turns, frequent flights, etc. led to solid growth and profitability for many years, but then they started to run low on new markets and had to change the model. Rather than change their aircraft philosophy or go into smaller cities where they might only get one or two 737s worth of passengers a day, they've adopted to the operational needs of the Northeast, 'cause that's where a big chunk of the country's money is.


User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19203 posts, RR: 52
Reply 22, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3356 times:

Thinking retrospectively, and thus somewhat pointlessly, just think about the size and dominance of WN in the NYC area had it launch JFK pre-B6...


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineizbtmnhd From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 259 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3207 times:

Quoting exFATboy (Reply 21):

Much more? I can't believe it's wealth is even as high as 25% of the country. Per Capita people in the Bos-Wash corridor aren't making that much compared to the rest of the U.S.

Also, the Bos-Wash corridor is growing at slower rate both economically and in population terms then the rest of the U.S. Outside of the Washington DC MSA, the other areas growth has been fairly anemic over the last few decades.

It's an important area of the country, no doubt, but WN has shown you can grow an be very successful without it!


User currently offlineJBAirwaysFan From United States of America, joined May 2009, 962 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3147 times:

Also keep in mind that LGA serves lots of Long Islanders as well. Not just the five boroughs. WN has been at ISP since March 1999 and has seen great success. ISP is also in the Bos-Wash Airspace and in, if not just barely outside of the NYC Airspace. ISP service attracts people from the eastern end of the five boroughs (Eastern Queens and Brooklyn) through Nassau County and obviously Suffolk County. The drive isn't that bad either. I suppose ISP tested NYC waters as BWI tested Washington (PVD and MHT did for Boston as well).


In Loving Memory of Casey Edward Falconer; May 16, 1992-May 9, 2012
25 PSU.DTW.SCE : I also don't see the 'legendary 20-minute turns' like you used to. WN schedules flights often with way more than 20 minute turns these days.
26 EricR : First of all, I wouldn't necessarily say they were running low on new markets. I can think of a number of new destinations that they could feasibly s
27 Cubsrule : It depends on the airport. Here at BNA - with few delays and little congestion - most aircraft are scheduled to be on the ground for 25 or 30 minutes
28 WNCrew : The longest turns I've seen on any pairing I've worked is 35mins... which isn't really that long in and of itself. For a short while we actually had
29 PolarExpress : Southwest undoubtedly has and will continue to be a strong contender in US aviation, and may indeed continue to be the largest US carrier even after t
30 EricR : I don't think anyone is downplaying the importance of the northeast corridor, nor the fact there are wealthy counties in the northeast, but the entir
31 bohica : WN can do 20 minute turns in EWR all day long. That is NOT the issue. The problem is that EWR is subject to ground delay programs for arriving A/C, ca
32 dartland : Ummm, not so fast there. First off, you can't compare WN being founded 30 years ago to B6 being created in 2000. It's just not a fair comparison. Sec
33 izbtmnhd : I'm saying the Bos-Wash corridor is important. It's just not the "be all to end all" market to making money in aviation in the U.S that some folks in
34 EricR : The question I responded to was which strategy was better, not whether B6's strategy was stupid or not. And at the end of the day I think WN's strate
35 izbtmnhd : I don't get why you can't compare B6 and WN these days. They're both for-profit airlines, no? It's been over 10 years now since B6 came on the scene.
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