cloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 737 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7961 times:
For East Coast flyers, there are a lot fewer choices out there. Three mergers (UA/CO, DL/NW, WN/FL) have decreased offerings, American seems stagnant at best and unwilling to go after new business, and JetBlue seems to have become stuck on the vacation travelers. Does this give Alaska, as one of the more successful domestic airlines, a chance to get a good foothold in the eastern part of the country? They already serve some locations, but they only serve Seattle. What if Alaska were to open a hub in the east? This would give them new feeds into their network and allow them to grow. It would provide a realistic option for frequent flyers who want a full service airline that offers first class, but don't have to be part of some huge airline conglomerate where there are so many frequent flyers already no one is really truly more frequent than the others.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
bavair From Germany, joined Jul 2011, 117 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7947 times:
This might be far fetched and only viable looking into the rather distant future, but could Alaska make use of their locations in the north-west as a hub for long-haul travel? I know they wouldn´t be anywhere near the size of what Emirates has in DXB, however they could use their Hubs for some long-haul travel to Asia.
I know this is very far fetched and would probably never happen as well though.
Airport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7915 times:
While it's fun to think of expansion scenarios for AS, overall it's too large of a risk for too little reward. The Alaska brand is strong throughout the West Coast, but beyond that it's not very well recognized and would likely have a lot of trouble competiting on the East Coast or in Europe or Asia. This is where codeshares become important for the airline. Overall, everything is working very well as is, so there isn't a whole lot of reason to upset that balance.
ItalianFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1015 posts, RR: 2 Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7839 times:
Quoting STT757 (Reply 3): PHX would a great place for AS to set up a second large hub to compliment SEA.
While not a large hub...they did have a pretty decent operation in PHX as recently as the early 00s...offering connections from several western cities to a handful of Mexican destinations. Only way I could see a large PHX push now is if WN draws down siginificantly or US goes bust....neither likely at this point.
PacificF27 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 67 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7704 times:
It would make more sense for Alaska to shore up the West with a hub in the Southwest--say San Antonio-- than going too far East. San Antonio is looking for additional carriers, has a newly expanded terminal and could easily feed Alaska's Mexico destinations. A second--smaller-- hub to complement Seattle.
BMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15058 posts, RR: 26 Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7592 times:
Quoting cloudboy (Thread starter): Does this give Alaska, as one of the more successful domestic airlines, a chance to get a good foothold in the eastern part of the country?
I think that trying to set up a major hub elsewhere to increase reach is a big risk for Alaska. I think that as far as route development goes, they might try to aim for becoming something like a West Coast JetBlue (if you ignore LGB) flying up and down the West Coast, transcons, and to Mexico and Hawaii.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
MSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6344 posts, RR: 50 Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7397 times:
I don't think AS sees the need for an eastern hub. They are very successful at what they do. To just go ahead and open up a hub in an eastern city would probably result in lots of $$$ being lost. I can see AS add a few more cities in the eastern portion of the U.S, but to SEA only. Every airline doesn't have to be everything to everyone.
wedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5740 posts, RR: 5 Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7268 times:
If we see any expansion at AS, it will be either increased Hawaii, Mexico and maybe some additional flights to their existing east-coast cities. But with the limited aircraft resources they have now, nothing big will happen. I think we might some small increases in the seats between SEA and the east-coast and midwest cities when the 739-ER's come on line.
Alias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2682 posts, RR: 2 Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day ago) and read 6981 times:
Right now they seem to be focusing on Hawaii and adding east coast markets from SEA and PDX. There's still room to keep adding from those cities for a while longer. A more interesting idea to me is to try ANC as an international gateway again to secondary destinations in Asia. I wonder if any of the Russian destinations that were previously served might be viable now. Another interesting one would be a 73G to Sapporo. As long as the flights are timed for connections to SEA, LAX, ORD, and PDX they might be able to make that work. Maybe add an ANC-SFO to help feed the flights. I wonder just how far you could stretch the 73G into Asia from ANC and still carry a full cabin, with bags and cargo? SDJ? HRB?
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
If AS expands, wouldn't ANC be sort of a logical place to start? I believe that they fly all year to SEA, PDX and ORD along with Hawaii, and seasonally to SFO, LAX, DEN. Wouldn't there be a few more cities that ANC would be able to serve successfully, at least during peak season? Or maybe a couple of destinations from FAI?
wedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5740 posts, RR: 5 Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day ago) and read 6934 times:
Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 15): Right now they seem to be focusing on Hawaii and adding east coast markets from SEA and PDX. There's still room to keep adding from those cities for a while longer. A more interesting idea to me is to try ANC as an international gateway again to secondary destinations in Asia. I wonder if any of the Russian destinations that were previously served might be viable now. Another interesting one would be a 73G to Sapporo. As long as the flights are timed for connections to SEA, LAX, ORD, and PDX they might be able to make that work. Maybe add an ANC-SFO to help feed the flights. I wonder just how far you could stretch the 73G into Asia from ANC and still carry a full cabin, with bags and cargo? SDJ? HRB?
I would love to see AS restart some of the Russian Far East service. AS has the aircraft much more suitable for the distance than before. I think Vladavia wants to restart ANC-Petropavlovsk/Kamchatskiy-Vladivostok using A320 or Tu-204-300 aircraft.
Byrdluvs747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2265 posts, RR: 1 Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 23 hours ago) and read 6876 times:
Outside of fantasy, I don't see AS having too many eastern expansion opportunities. At this point in time, every city on the east coast would offer intense competition with AA, B6, US, UA, or DL. At the very least, they should have looked into buying out HP before the US merger. They could have dominated the entire western US. Instead now they're pigeon-holed in the northwest.
Outside of a merger with B6, NK, or VX, I see no real hope of expansion for AS.
wedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5740 posts, RR: 5 Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 14 hours ago) and read 6613 times:
Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 18): Outside of fantasy, I don't see AS having too many eastern expansion opportunities. At this point in time, every city on the east coast would offer intense competition with AA, B6, US, UA, or DL. At the very least, they should have looked into buying out HP before the US merger. They could have dominated the entire western US. Instead now they're pigeon-holed in the northwest.
I tend to agree. If AS were to open a new east coast city, it would probably be PHL. Otherwise, any expansion to the East Coast would be adding flights to existing markets or using large airplanes, i.e. the 739-ER's when they finally take delivery.
I think the same sort of scenario goes for AS routes to the Midwest... Add to existing routes. Maybe cities like SAT, COS or even ABQ could be contenders, but not for a long time. If Boeing was a significant influence, like SEA-STL, then maybe SEA-ICT using a 73G X67, but I'll believe that when I see it.
And as long as they're making record profits, that's a bad thing because.....?
Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 18): I never bought that argument. With effective marketing, I don't see that as a real barrier to building a hub.
It's already very difficult to market AS to Mexico and Hawaii, but they've been successful due to a very creative marketing team. The thing that's kept it afloat is that AS has made it clear that it's a West Coast airline, not limited to the State of Alaska, and that the state is, by public perception, "close" to SEA, PDX, LAX and the Bay Area. In addition, AS in the grand scheme of things doesn't really have a lot of flights to Hawaii and Mexico compared to the amount of flights a successful major hub would require.
Let's pretend for a moment that Alaska suddenly decides to open up a hub in Pittsburgh. How would they even attempt to market that? For one, the AS brand has absolutely zero recognition in Pittsburgh, which that alone would be a major problem when competing against the likes of Southwest and US Airways. Secondly, not only does AS have to develop a strong recognition in Pittsburgh, it must also develop a strong recognition to all of the spoke cities as well. Passengers who need to fly from Louisville to Pittsburgh? Considering AS has no brand recognition in Louisville either, how or why would a passenger in Louisville who has never heard of Alaska Airlines suddenly decide to look on alaskaair.com for SDF-PIT flights?
So now AS has to broadcast commercials and usher in a major eastern US "New hub in Pittsburgh* of all places" marketing campaign that would cost a lot of money... and for what? A hub in Pittsburgh or another eastern destination? Considering AS is making over a 15% ROIC, what is there on the East Coast that is worth risking such a successful business? There aren't really any cash-cow markets that are begging for a hub, so going back to my original point, it's far too great a risk for too little reward. I would say it's more likely that Alaska would change its name/logo, or that Alaska would merge with Delta (and I don't think that's happening anytime soon, if ever) than they would open up a hub in the eastern US.
That's just one reason, another reason is because focusing on an Central-Eastern hub would not only be expensive, it would also be a needless distraction to their operations in Alaska/Hawaii/Mexico/West Coast. AS has survived exactly because they are not large and conservative in growth -- that allows them to be focused, nimble and able to quickly react to the huge levels of constantly-changing competition.
*Not saying Pittsburgh is a bad place or can't support a hub... just it doesn't make sense for AS to open a hub far outside their target region.
Sorry for the novel of a post. My point in summary is that not only does it not make sense now to open an Eastern hub, it has never in the history of the airline made sense ever.
wedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5740 posts, RR: 5 Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 12 hours ago) and read 6464 times:
...Plus they don't have the aircraft to start a new hub. AS would have to significantly reduce their currently profitable routes to entertain a new hub, or grab 2nd-hand airplanes from the desert. With record profits in a slumping economy and record fuel costs, I think Alaska's business case is doing just fine.
PHX was tinkered with. It won't happen. They were serving Mexico, YVR from PHX but anything domestically is met head on with WN/US. And though they have been very successful in many markets against these 2, this was from AS dominate city's.
Cloud, to answer your question. Personally I would not look for a new AS hub. They have shown no indications they are thinking of it. AS has a good thing going right now and looks to continue to build on it's current strengths.
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
rgreenftm From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 292 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 9 hours ago) and read 5814 times:
I'll throw this out there, but I'm not sold on this yet myself, but the only option I see as making any sort of sense for Alaska would be to buy SY and grow out of MSP. Of course you still have a major problem of marketing, but it gets them a stronger presence in a somewhat established market (if you consider 3-4 years in a market established).
However that said, I don't see them wanting to rock the boat too much with Delta, nor does the high amount of seasonal flying SY has, really fit into the AS model.
Ultimately I ask myself, why? Why the need to open another hub, especially in a market they have little or no brand awareness? Why not try to grow this more organically? Using MSP only as an example, I'd think AS would be more succesful trying to grow slowly, by adding flights from say SJC, LAX, PDX, ANC, etc. I personally would rather see AS grow by adding more destinations to places as CLT, RDU, MEM, BNA, MSY, SLC, PHL, MCI, MKE from SEA or PDX.
25 Lambertman: I know you're just throwing this out there, so I'm not bashing you, but Sun Country isn't that valuable and Minneapolis would be a blood bath. Delta
26 SASMD82: Would ANC be a perfect base for connections to NRT/ICN/KIX/BJS/PVG? Does the 739 has the legs for such a trip? (btw: I would not not select a narrow b
27 USAirALB: ANC-NRT is 2984 NM. The range for a 73G is 3365, and thats cutting it close. AS would need 757s.
28 keagkid101: BWI wouldn't mind having year-round service to SEA and PDX (which currently no carrier serves non-stop seasonal or year-round).
29 hatbutton: The next likely focus will continue to be the Bay Area. AS recently launched a credit card promotion in the Bay Area similar to what they did in PDX a
30 coffeepilot: Yeah, I feel the same way. AS is getting about 20 more aircraft over the next year and although some are going to replace some of the older fleet mode
31 wedgetail737: I think the only benefit AS would get out of buying SY is the additional airplanes for its existing network (remember the absorption of Jet America)
32 Byrdluvs747: The most effective method would be to simply start PIT routes to AS hubs and focus cities at competitive pricing. Pricing via Orbitz, Kayak, etc is t
33 hatbutton: It's possible. But SJC-AUS didn't work even without WN. So perhaps it's just not a great market. I also don't think the loss of BOI/GEG to SJC is a h
34 breaker1011: 20 years ago, who'd have thought Southwest would be what it is today, all over the east coast, now at LGA, and one of the top carriers in Florida. Th
35 tomassjc: SJC-AUS wasn't really a failure. Planning felt that the equipment was "better used" to operate higher yielding routes to the Islands. Before SJC-AUS