HiFlyerAS From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 744 posts, RR: 2 Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2158 times:
I tried to go play with their website to see how their CUN and SJD loads were doing but every time I tried to 'book' a flight I'd get an error message. Kinda hard to sell seats when your website doesn't even work.
SurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2738 posts, RR: 31 Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2041 times:
A perfectly logical addition, but probably the only remaining major U.S.-Mexico opportunity that they have for now.
It never ceases to amaze me what does and doesn't work for the airlines. A prime business route like SFO/LAX-YYZ flops, but a long, thin leisure route filled with low-yielding vacationers like SFO/LAX-CUN does well. Go figure.
VX would love to fly LAX-SJD and LAX-PVR if it could, but the current U.S.-Mexico bilateral forbids more than 3 airlines from each country to serve any given city pair. Mexico feels that its airlines would be put at a major disadvantage in an Open Skies environment, and rightly so - many Americans vehemently avoid Mexican carriers, especially when headed to the beach markets.
VX actually did apply for LAX-SJD back in 2008, after F9 abandoned the route - suddenly making a scarce/coveted authority for the popular sector available. They vied for it against DL and UA, and the latter ultimately gained the authority to fly it. Today you have AA, AS, and UA serving LAX-SJD, and I wouldn't look for any of them to give up on it anytime soon.
Meanwhile, LAX-PVR is served by AS, DL, and UA, but it appears DL and UA only operate token frequencies. AS is very well established on it and UA probably isn't going anywhere now that CO's massive Mexican network/presence has come online, but there's always a chance DL could drop it (you never know what they'll do with routes involving LAX, or Mexico).
In fact, VX was somewhat lucky to grab the LAX-CUN authority. AS had dropped the route, but UA and DL kept flying it, leaving just one U.S. carrier free to serve it. I would have thought VX might see competition from AA, B6, NK, or F9 for the authority, but nobody else was interested and so VX automatically got it. Still, the route is now "closed" to anyone wishing to start it, unless UA, DL, or VX drops the route and relinquishes the right to fly it.
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
SANFan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 4970 posts, RR: 15 Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1800 times:
Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 6): but a long, thin leisure route filled with low-yielding vacationers like SFO/LAX-CUN does well.
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 7): According to whom, though? I'd like to see some info supporting the claim that these markets are profitable.
In my experience (as a long-time travel agent in San Diego and an airline employee) California-Cancun was never a particularly good market. Perhaps with the current problems (violence) in central and western Mexico, CUN is seeing a bit more traffic from the western U.S. than usual.
However, VX started with less than daily service to CUN and as far as I can tell, there has been no capacity increase since the service started a year ago August. I too would be curious to see some numbers on LF and yield on these 2 routes.
PVR from SFO will probably do okay but with UA and AS already serving the route, I expect the new kid in town (VX) might have a very slow start in this market.
The loads are solid in coach. But MSC and First is another story. Tracking the flight I rarely see First with over 2 sold seats and MCS rarely over 4. They obviously get a lot of check-in upgrades, but my guess would be the flights are not doing fantastic. But again I only see the loads via the employee site.
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
HiFlyerAS From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 744 posts, RR: 2 Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 23 hours ago) and read 1432 times:
Quoting as739x (Reply 9): The loads are solid in coach. But MSC and First is another story. Tracking the flight I rarely see First with over 2 sold seats and MCS rarely over 4. They obviously get a lot of check-in upgrades, but my guess would be the flights are not doing fantastic. But again I only see the loads via the employee site.
The entire reason AS dropped LAX-CUN and SEA-CUN was the lousy yields. The flights were full but they made very little money, especially with the long stage length out of SEA. Fares were about $400 r/t for a flight over 5hrs lin length and that wasn't efficient use of that airframe. Total leisure market with no business travel or premium seats sold. It was the same out of LAX so the decision was made to reposition those aircraft to the West Coast-Hawaii markets, a market with much higher yields.
All Mexico routes are hurting right now with the perceived safety issues. Canadians are still flocking to Mexico but U.S. travelers are wary and chosing to spend their vacation dollars elsewhere. That's why AS now has over 100 flights a week to Hawaii. For now the plan is to keep the current schedule and have the normal increase service this fall but I don't think you'll see AS or anyone else growing in Mexico....there just isn't the demand that there used to be. And if things get worse in Mexico people will stay away in droves....even those brave Canadians!