No surprises here, and no new information, but Gary Kelly says Southwest will make "every effort" to keep the smaller FL stations, but stopped short of guaranteeing no changes if the merger with FL is approved. He specifically addresses ICT in an interview with their local newspaper.
He also says not to expect any changes before 2012.
I don't see Flint or Tunica or Normal, IL to remain at all.
Bloomington/Normal draws from Peoria, Springfield, Decatur & Champaign/Urbana. I would give it a better than 50/50 chance to survive the first round of cuts at least. Flint also has a unique drawing area seperate from DTW. WN will figure out how to make some of these boutique stations work. Not all of course, but I think there will be a few surprises.
Next Up: STL-OMA-STL. Just a day trip and one more state off my list.
kb9uwu From United States of America, joined Nov 2010, 3 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 11498 times:
Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 10): Bloomington/Normal draws from Peoria, Springfield, Decatur & Champaign/Urbana. I would give it a better than 50/50 chance to survive the first round of cuts at least. Flint also has a unique drawing area seperate from DTW. WN will figure out how to make some of these boutique stations work. Not all of course, but I think there will be a few surprises.
I live 50 miles from BMI and every FL flight I've been on has been full. I'd rather connect in ATL than drive an extra two hours (ORD, MDW, STL) and pay for parking. Not saying WN wont ax BMI, rather lots of people actually fly from that tiny airport.
Quoting kb9uwu (Reply 11): live 50 miles from BMI and every FL flight I've been on has been full. I'd rather connect in ATL than drive an extra two hours (ORD, MDW, STL) and pay for parking. Not saying WN wont ax BMI, rather lots of people actually fly from that tiny airport.
I'm with you guys. I've used BMI several times from the Kankakee area, via AA, UA, and NW over the years. About the same drive time to MDW and a lot less than ORD. The easy security checkpoint, terminal amenities, and FREE parking (unlike CMI) make it that much more attractive. Everyone I convince to use BMI, even with a stop in ORD appreciate the ease of using BMI. I actually expect WN to keep BMI and route an aircraft MDW-BMI-ATL and ATL-BMI-MDW. WN could probably also support a flight(s) through STL, IND and MKE to meet connections at those airports.
LoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4028 posts, RR: 30
Reply 15, posted (4 years 10 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 11065 times:
Quoting mtnwest1979 (Reply 8): I reaad and heard a couple months ago that the casino subsidies to ArTran for Tunica will not be renewed. So Tunica will be off the airline map even before WN takes over.
service to/from UM ends on May 2
Source (It's in the fine print towards the bottom)
JBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4500 posts, RR: 19
Reply 16, posted (4 years 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 11047 times:
Lip service. If it doesn't add to the bottom line, or add enough to justify its existence, it'll get the axe. WN has no emotional attachment, as well it should not. As a shareholder I wouldn't want it any other way.
It's bad management to say "we'll probably cut these stations" or "these jobs," etc before you have to. That's begging for trouble. This is the only thing he could say, if he had to say anything at all.
BD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 818 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 10 months 5 days ago) and read 10673 times:
I wouldn't read too much into the statements, of course he will never guarantee anything, that would be reckless in front of his shareholders who expect decisions to the benefit of the overall company. Demand and ability to generate enough revenue will always determine where any airline flies. If it can make money it will survive, if not, it's probably going away. Doesn't matter if it is WN, DL, AA, UA or anyone else, the bottom line rules.
SurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2994 posts, RR: 29
Reply 18, posted (4 years 10 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10500 times:
We should all look back to the Morris Air acquisition for clues as to what could happen. They cut the small cities - EUG, FAT, COS, IFP, and also far-flung ANC. They did keep the major SLC "hub" operation as well as the likes of RNO, GEG, BOI, and SNA around, though. All of the markets that stayed on grew tremendously as the airline did, and those that got cut still have little or absolutely no LCC service today.
Looking at the FL route map:
ATL and DCA obviously have nothing to worry about, other than finding room for WN to grow. DFW will be closed due to the Wright Amendment. UTM ends next month (no surprise there).
There seems to be a question mark over the international stuff, since WN has publicly stated that it won't be upgrading its reservation system to handle int'l flights anytime soon. But, I would be shocked to see WN give up on prime markets like CUN and MBJ. Whether they'll codeshare in the interim or simply use FL's res system going forward, they'll find a way to keep the int'l stuff around. Either all foreign stations get cut (highly unlikely IMO), or none do. Even seasonal BDA and distant AUA have tremendous potential.
I am not sure whether SJU is "international" from an operations/reservation standpoint or not, but if WN is soon going to be serving Hawaii from the West, they will surely also be serving Puerto Rico from the East (and South).
I imagine hub airports CLT and MEM have very little to worry about - in fact, WN could potentially grow far beyond the small FL operations both host today. Along with those two, I would say HPN and SRQ have a very, very strong chance of being kept as well (since they allow WN to grow in the key NYC area and Florida markets).
Beyond that, things are far less certain...
MIA appears to be terrible for FL, but they seem to be keeping it open (with a token frequency) so that WN can ultimately decide its fate. I would think it would be an attractive primary airport to complement the big operation at the alternate - think SFO vs. OAK/SJC, BOS vs. PVD/MHT, LGA vs. ISP - but others don't seem to think so.
BKG should be able to muster up generous incentives like ECP did to keep WN service.
FL basically made FNT, CAK, and PHF into what they are today. WN would be foolish to abandon these loyal markets entirely. I would think they all stay, or at least get a chance to prove themselves.
I would think ACY, GRR, RIC, ROC, PWM, MDT, DSM, DAY, TYS, and ICT should have high enough traffic numbers to hold onto their service. All of them will probably have to offer incentives though. PNS and HSV might just make the cut here too.
EYW is a unique market that can command some pretty good yields. It will probably stay.
That leaves MLI, BMI, AVL, LEX, CRW, and ABE to get cut. I just don't see how any of those could ever support a profitable WN operation.
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
Kcrwflyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3933 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (4 years 10 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10437 times:
Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 18): I would think ACY, GRR, RIC, ROC, PWM, MDT, DSM, DAY, TYS, and ICT should have high enough traffic numbers to hold onto their service. All of them will probably have to offer incentives though. PNS and HSV might just make the cut here too.
I'm pretty sure HSV is hands down the worst performing station for FL, followed by ICT. DL seems to have a hold of HSV where the sun doesn't shine. ICT's subsidy is endless for now, HSV's isnt. Without the subsidy, ICT doesn't even almost work. Are you basing your assumptions off current airport traffic numbers alone?
Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 18): That leaves MLI, BMI, AVL, LEX, CRW, and ABE to get cut. I just don't see how any of those could ever support a profitable WN operation.
The only one of those cities I would personally write off would be AVL. Proximity to GSP/CLT and what I'd consider a very finite amount of originating traffic...I'm not sure how much traffic they can pull from surrounding areas.
Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 18): EYW is a unique market that can command some pretty good yields. It will probably stay.
EYW has limits with their runway... There's no way that operation is sustainable if you don't think ABE can work... or LEX for that matter.
Flytravel From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 873 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 10 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 10360 times:
If WN decided to leave MDT or ABE, I think B6 could easily pick these markets up and make them work. Both have 2x daily MCO service and some? FLL service. All B6 would need to add is BOS and the two markets have network access (to points west) along with LCC leisure access into Florida. Maybe B6 could make MDT-JFK work. It'd be a similar setup as the upstate NY markets that have network access via BOS or JFK, short backtracking but ability to reach points west, and in some cases, nonstop Florida access. B6 can make a market work with 3-4 flights, and it helps that MDT and ABE are just a short backtrack, being in the Northeast, into BOS or JFK.
As far as ACY, there is NK. WN passed on the subsidy that was offered for CHI service a couple years ago. NK picked it up, operates ACY-ORD now and sells tickets at $19 a seat with 5 days out possible, a great bargain compared to any MDW offerings from any of WN's east coast stations. That said, I don't think WN would want to fly ACY-MDW w/o subsidy and at a much higher price point compared to NK.
To beef up ACY-ATL (2x), maybe one MCO offering can be offered again. NK's fares to MCO aren't very low and NK doesn't seem to have a subsidy for MCO AFAIK. While a short route, it'd be interesting if WN linked ACY-BWI to permit travelers from NJ and Philadelphia region to tap into BWI's network and reach areas like Ohio and upstate NY easily, via park and ride at ACY and quick flight and change planes at BWI; US and UA/CO generally have high monopoly fares on the nonstop routes from PHL or EWR. Without BWI, 2 daily ACY-ATL and maybe a couple more flights, is somewhat trivial to the 60 WN flights plus 8 FL flights at PHL, that flights out of ACY would end up being more inconvenient (less frequencies, etc) to take and likely more expensive, that it wouldn't be of value for the pax nor to WN. However, I've read that ACY is pulling in pax from Northern NJ for its easiness and lower cost; it has great pull that is something WN might value. Travelers from Monmouth and Ocean counties NJ are probably more likely to drive 1 hour 10 mins to ACY than the same time/distance to PHL, and consider ACY over EWR (even if EWR is 30 mins closer) if EWR is too big and has expensive parking.
What about HPN? I've heard that airport is small and doesn't have much parking. Would WN be able to increase FL's presence to make it atleast 7 daily flights?
SurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2994 posts, RR: 29
Reply 21, posted (4 years 10 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 10070 times:
Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 19): I'm pretty sure HSV is hands down the worst performing station for FL
I don't know about that, but I do remember hearing how it was doing quite poorly. That said, WN could route DAL flights through the airport (ATL-HSV-DAL, anyone?) while the Wright Amendment remains in effect. Or at least link HSV with HOU (lots of O&D there) and MDW. I have no idea if expansion would be viable or improve the station's performance, but this is a market right between two major WN strongholds (BNA and BHM, where I bet many locals currently drive to catch flights) that manages to support mainline AA and DL as well as nonstops all the way to DEN. Imagine what kind of demand WN could spur by drastically lowering airfares to all markets across the country!
Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 19): ICT's subsidy is endless for now, HSV's isnt. Without the subsidy, ICT doesn't even almost work.
I think ICT's saving grace is that it too can offer service to DAL, such that WN could do stuff like MDW-ICT-DAL through there. I think FL's problem is that it is really only serving Florida and the Northeast with the ATL flights it offers. WN could get people to ever-popular PHX, LAS, LAX, etc. (not necessarily nonstop, of course). Wichita is an isolated market about the same size as DSM and MDT, and bigger than JAN. So, based on size, it seems like an appropriate market for them to serve.
Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 19): The only one of those cities I would personally write off would be AVL.
I'm just not sure any of them will be able to fill at least 5-6 daily, omnidirectional 737s (or 717s) to multiple stations. Outside of Texas, that is just the way WN does things. LEX, AVL, and CRW have never been linked to anything but Florida hotspots - on a less-than-daily basis. It isn't exactly hard to fill a plane to MCO when you charge the insanely low fares that FL does. Perhaps routes like MDW-CRW and LEX-ATL could succeed and keep the stations going, but I just don't see it happening.
Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 19): EYW has limits with their runway... There's no way that operation is sustainable if you don't think ABE can work... or LEX for that matter.
EYW is very different from ABE and LEX though. People pay insane amounts of money to get right in there, quite a few high-end tourists. As great as Allentown or Lexington might be, it's the opposite - enticing locals with low fares so that they can get out. It's like comparing ASE, an airport with a heck of a runway issue that F9 is bending over backwards to keep serving, vs. FAR, an market that was just too small for them to keep serving.
DL has shown us that a 73G can get in to EYW from ATL, and I'm shocked that FL tried TPA-EYW instead of ATL-EYW. It could probably work with something like 2x daily ATL and 2x daily MCO...
Quoting Flytravel (Reply 20): If WN decided to leave MDT or ABE, I think B6 could easily pick these markets up and make them work.
Well, it's not like PIT has been a raging success for them, and they haven't even tried PHL. I don't think Pennsylvania is particularly high on their expansion agenda.
Buddys747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 540 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (4 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 9665 times:
MDT has a lot of business travel and folks here tend to pay higher fares than say ABE, which has a hand full more leisure destinations and lower fares with FL, G4, and Direct Air. WN I think could make a profit in MDT.
knope2001 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3306 posts, RR: 33
Reply 23, posted (4 years 10 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 9411 times:
Quoting rj777 (Reply 13): I know this has probably been discussed to death, but by "smaller cities" are we talking about places served by SkyWest?
Each city Skywest serves as FL* already has mainline WN or FL aircraft.
--OMA, IND, STL, MKE, and PIT all are current WN cities, so dropping Skywest wouldn't end them.
--CAK is a significant FL station, so for CAK to be in danger it would take a lot more cuts than just losing Skywest.
The only Skywest city in danger is Des Moines. It has 13x/week CRJ's to Milwaukee and 2x/week 717's to Orlando, so it is both a Skywest city and a low-frequency Florida city like CRW and AVL.
Des Moines could reasonably fill conventional Southwest service, perhaps to MDW, MCO and LAS. The question is if Southwest will see it as profitable, and profitable enough to use aircraft to keep DSM and not instead serve some other XXX-YYY route.
That's essentially the same story as everyone chimes in about each of these on-the-bubble airports. There's a pretty good chance that each of these can put 80+ people on a 717 to Midway, or Orlando, or Atlanta, etc, etc. But would it be profitable, and profitable enough to justify service and not instead using those resources for some other service?
Cubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 24311 posts, RR: 21
Reply 24, posted (4 years 10 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9321 times:
Quoting knope2001 (Reply 23): There's a pretty good chance that each of these can put 80+ people on a 717 to Midway, or Orlando, or Atlanta, etc, etc. But would it be profitable, and profitable enough to justify service and not instead using those resources for some other service?
But, again, wouldn't people be saying the same thing about GSP if it were a FL city rather than a WN city? After all, if FL were in GSP, it would be sub-daily MCO service, just like so many of the other cities people are discussing here.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
: Based on FL's rumored loads to BWI.....not very much. That's a product of FL's network and business model. They're not WN. They don't have the networ
: Agreed, especially when the Wright Amendment stopover factor is propping up some of what they are doing in STL - as STL grows, the need for that goes
: The only reason WN made this statement is because the state is trying to kill the ICT subsidy and FL can't really argue they need it since they will p
: Of course. And in the case of GSP perhaps Southwest would say "yes, it is projected to be profitable enough to justify service instead of using those
: While I don't disagree with your conclusion--AVL and a few other FL stations will likely lose WN service--the one thing that AVL has that some of the
: I could see them giving ICT-DAL a shot with a couple of dailies -- with fare stimulation and connections to the rest of Texas and MSY/ABQ, it could w
: Yes, many locals drive to BNA and BHM for their leisure travel. Business travel tends to stay at HSV, since the business absorbs the fare difference.
: So why would WN drop HSV-MCO? And isn't there still a fair amount of business traffic between HSV and Kennedy, even with the decline of the shuttle p
: You are correct about the traffic, but my thinking is that connections through MCO are limited compared to the potential at BWI. So they might drop H
: I think they will drop DEN-AMA-(DAL) and switch it to DEN-ICT-DAL which will be quite a bit better and not terribly out of the way. DEN-AMA has no lo
: Aren't they ending it? I have had several friends visit from ATL and AirTran has not been bookable to MIA for any of them. I have, however, seen the
: Believe it or not, DEN-AMA really isn't that much smaller a market than DEN-ICT, and WN has an inherent advantage as the dominant carrier in AMA. The
: That doesn't really make any sense. Using that logic, WN will have effectively paid hundreds of millions of dollars just to shut FL down. Doing what
: Just kidding, a quick reference to Airtran's website shows that they only fly to Miami from Baltimore. My mistake
: WN will use the FL system until they get thier own replacement. They have no other choice. They are not simple going to drop all international servic
: Additionally, if that were WN's main objective, you'd think they would've bothered to introduce non-stop service on MDW-OKC and MDW-TUL by now, which
: Just to put a few of these "hunches" to bed: The FA contract is currently open for negotiations THIS WEEK to incorporate INTERNATIONAL flying, ETOPS
: This is very true. FL is hiring alot of FA's as well I guess in response to the coming need. The fact that people seem to miss when it comes to the F
: You are going to see a lot of smaller cities flights redirected away from ATL to make may for larger cities. Places like PVD, BDL, SDF, LIT, BNA and
: I agree. Something like 2x daily MDW, 3x daily ATL, 1x daily MCO seems like something they could support. WN could draw upon a wide swath of central
: Isn't it more like a perky pretty woman saying "You'll find someone" after telling you "you're too nice to date?" There are rules on how to tell some
: I'd be surprised to see it stay long term. Not a chance for either I bet. And if they cut what they have, people will just jump in their cars and hea
: The main reason I wanted to know about the SkyWest service is because I'm hoping that WN will keep the MKE-OMA route so I can have another choice besi
: Actually, AirTran announced DSM-MCO on the heels of the DSM-MKE announcement, about 2 1/2 months before the first DSM-MKE began. November 4, 2009 Air
: I still don't understand why Airtran doesn't offer connections on the DSM-MCO flight instead of relying solely on O&D. I also think this route wo
: I expect you are correct. Time will tell. Is there a schedule to put FL codes onto WN flights? David
: Michael Boyd has chimed in on the subject. Personally I give very little weight to his remarks on this subject since no one really knows what WN will
: I really don't see PHF survivng with it being so close to ORF I think DEN is a real possibility if DSM stays it would stop people from driving to OMA
: Why would they drive to OMA/MCI when they can fly from DSM to DEN? mariner
: DSM suffers a lot of leakage to those two markets because of the "Southwest Effect" albeit that might change with gas hitting $5/gal
: Nor do I since it seems he's made a name for himself by telling small airports what they want to hear.
: You can't be talking about the guy thats pissed off more people than you can count by NOT telling them what they want to hear? 4800ft, and 5700 are d
: WN has the thrust kits on the 737 that FL does not, so I dont see why WN couldnt do ATL-EYW when FL cant. At the same time, does EYW have demand for
: What I can't figure out about why ICT-ATL is at the bottom of FL's financial and operational performance is that they have the far better and more com
: I forgot to add that unless WN can figure out the solution to the ICT-ATL problem, then I will bet they will drop that route because WN just doesn't f
: It may be because DL has the advantage of having far more connecting flights and destinations (including Asia, Europe and Central and South America)
: How do you figure? Certainly, they came pretty close to taking them in South Carolina.
: The money was there for the taking if they wanted it, they left it on the table which leads me to believe
: DL and FL carry about the same number of passengers between ICT and ATL (within 10% or so). DL's load factors will potentially be higher because they
: If ICT sticks around, I would guess by looking at O/D numbers the WN would try 2x daily to DEN, DAL, MDW and 1x daily LAS. for a total of 7 daily fli
: IIRC DL has had to put special heavy duty brakes on their birds that fly into EYW.
: Wn was already looking ICT with flights if I recall something along the line of 2 las 2 stl and 3 dal. But ICT got put back on the short list due to s
: I'm not worried about ATL or MCO.. but anything beyond that probably doesnt look good on performance data. FWIW, I believe FL's 73Gs have a serious d
: I think theres are about 3000lbs less thrust then the delta 73g's which are the most souped up. The 73g's at fl have no issue going in znd out of EYW
: That's not my recollection (but it's quite possible I'm misremembering). Do you happen to have a link?
: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/fligh...-carolina-southwest-airlines_N.htm This article doesnt have the detailed back and forth, SC was trying to get a
: I don't know about that - there was a lot of wrangling and some implication at the time that the different treatment of CAE in the final package, and
: Maybe, but then again, in the Wichita article, it noted: I think the only subsidy they've ever accepted in the past was ECP and as flygirl747 noted,
: Doesn't everybody? Politics have stood in the way of progress way too many times!
: FL has already closed SAN; I wonder if the same fate is in store for MIA? Of course SAN is already a healthy WN station so I realize San Diego is a s
: That's right as far as I know. Here's what I think might be true: We talk a lot about the "old WN" and the "new WN," and I think that's a useful para
: I don't know of a specific example, but in a Dallas Morning News article from May of 2010 about WN serving ECP, it noted: ECP has been open for less
: I have no doubt that that's true - it's tough to imagine that an airline that had been around for 35 years was never offered a subsidy. That's really
: As far as ECP is concerned, I think I would call it a guarantee rather than a subsidy. Since WN operations there have been profitable, they did not re
: Txagkuwait is correct. It all depends on exactly what type of agreement an airline enters into as to whether it's a subsidy or a revenue guarantee. Su