Travatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2176 posts, RR: 6 Posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2297 times:
Which carrier currently flying will achieve "Major" status next and when?
Probably Frontier, AirTran, or JetBlue.
With regard to revenue and fleet, AirTran is on track to achieve Major status in early 2003, but a year can change a lot....plus JetBlue's explosive growth, and Frontier's steady and increasing rate of growth could change that. Any thoughts? or any other carriers you think may be the next major?
Critter From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 267 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2195 times:
I would like to see Airtran make major status next, but I would say that it would have to go to ATA, unless they have already reached that goal. I do believe that the American buyout of TWA already propelled them to the tenth largest in the U.S.
ILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3142 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2061 times:
I think that AirTran is far, very far from becomming a major. First off, if they wanted to become a major, they need something other than the 717. Maybe teh 737-800 for starters. Why? If they want to achieve "major" status, they need to be prepared to go head to head with Delta. They need to offer a product that serves all corners of the country. Also, for them to be a major, they need to have some international presence. I know that WN is the exception to the rule, but if you look at them, they are big everywhere. AirTran is still a regional airline in the south. Thats all. Ok...they have some flights out of PIT, but really, no offense to anyone esp Travatl but AirTran is really picking up the pieces that Delta is leaving behind. If Delta wanted to, they could crush AirTran like a fly being crushed by a fly swater.
Out of the three airlines that were mentioned, Fronteir and JetBlue have slightly larger chances of becoming majors...if and only if they merge. Lemme explain.
Every Airline has its regions. United has the west, Delta has the south, US Airways has the east. JetBlue is making an impact in US Airways's, and Continental's beloved east. Thats great for them! If they keep it up, they might have something. One thing that they have that Airtran doesnt is the fact that they have transcons. This way they get some feed from the west. If they merged with Fronteir they would get more of a presence out west becasue of the hub in Denver. This would allow for passengers traveling within the west, to stay there. Just as much as pax traveling in the east can stay at JFK. Also, it provides more feed to their JFK hub.
If they wanted to be sucessful at competing with the other majors, they need international traffic, as well as a premium cabin. Meals are a must. Their product must be comperable to that of Delta, United, American, Continental and so on. JetBlue needs to serve more destinations including Boston. Expand the LGB hub so that it has connecting traffic along the west coast. The more of these regions that they can tackle, the more of a chace that they can succeed.
Lowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2041 times:
A major only means that it has one billion in revenue/year. AirTran had approx. $625 million in revenue last year. at 28%/year revenue growth(they expanded 29.4% this year so far), that would put them at a tad over a billion dollars. Now all we need is one of the big six to get HP or AS to make AAI in the top ten I believe(is there another carrier in front of it other than TZ)?
YoungDon From United States of America, joined May 2001, 492 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1953 times:
If JetBlue were to merge with Frontier, that would be great. The airline would definetely, in my opinion switch to B6's style and not F9's, because of the fact that it would lose a great portion of customers going to F9's no-frills, but they could only gain customers with JetBlue's service, IFE, and reputation.
And I don't agree that Delta could crush AirTran, not at this point in time. They're there to stay at ATL. They will definetely achieve major status first, then JetBlue, if they manage themselves right. Frontier should be close behind.
Travatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2176 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1935 times:
AirTran is a LOW FARE AIRLINE - with a cost structure very similar to Southwest's. However....because they wear professional, business, dark navy uniforms have seat assignments, and a business cabin, the expectation is that they should "COMPETE" with the full service carriers. They don't and they won't.
Charlieduke From United States of America, joined May 2001, 36 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1918 times:
I think there has been some misunderstanding of this topic “Next Major Airline in US.” Some people seem to think that “Major” status means a nation-wide network carrier. In fact the DOT has a very simple, straight forward definition of a Major--- the ten largest carriers in Revenue Passenger Miles (RPM). The reason for this topic is that there will be another addition to the Majors due to the merger of AA and TWA. Essentially one of the Majors is going away, leaving a spot in the top ten list. ATA and Alaska have switched the #10 and 11 spots a couple of times over the past year. ATA passed Alaska in 2000, and Alaska has regained it this year. So once TWA and AA begin reporting their RPM’s to DOT as a single carrier (not sure when that will begin) ATA will once again join the ranks of “Major Carrier.” As for anyone knocking ATA or Alaska off the list, it won’t happen anytime soon. #11 will belong to Hawaiian and #12 will belong to AirTran. They are both less than half the size of ATA and Alaska.
Spinkid From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1296 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1854 times:
While I think Spirits growth has been large, it's been around 10 years or so and this is as big as it's gotten so far. jetBlue is still pretty new and they would seem to rival Spirit already.
I'm not sure I could see jetBlue and Frontier merging. Not only do their service levels vary, but their pricing structures do as well. jetBlue seems to be offering much better fares than Frontier these days. jetBlue really just sets itself apart from the rest.
It seems like everyone has been mentioned but Midway, I think they have about as a good a chance as anybody else of making it to major.
DeltaOwnsAll From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1173 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 1834 times:
Continental if you don't already consider them major...maybe jetblue if you do consider NW, CO, and US major...they have a great new fleet and great comfort and entertainment. I can't see a valujet airline becoming major...
Srbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (14 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 1830 times:
AirTran seems poised to become the next "major", but they will need to make some improvements in order to reach that destinction. They need to push Boeing into launching the 717-300, because with a larger aircraft, you can cut down on frequencies in some markets, and use the extra aircraft available to expand. They need to start an official second eastern hub. Focus cities are fine, but a second hub (hopefully PIT will evolve into one) in the east could strengthen AirTran until they are able to get additional gates at ATL (which looks to be at least 5-10 years down the road). They also need a midwestern focus city in order to start limited west coast service. I know that the airline for the time being is looking to remain an east coast airline, but in time they must expand to the west.
Frontier is not really in the position to become a major within the next 5-7 years. With the fleet conversion going on, and the number of Airbuses on order really is going limit their expansion. They too will possibly need to seek a second hub in order to grow, and order additional A319s.
As for JetBlue, they look like a serious contender. With the recent order they placed at Paris, they're looking like they've got their future mapped out, at least for the next decade. I see them in time (maybe within 10 years) starting flights to Europe. JetBlue has said they their intention is to be an American version of Virgin. The advantage JetBlue has over the competition is the amount of money that is available to the airline. AirTran has had struggles financially, stemming from bonds issued prior to Valujet 592 and other debt service that had floated a dark cloud over them. Frontier has had a roller coaster ride on the NASDAQ, in the past year, going from a high in the $40 dollar range to plummeting back to around $10 (most of that devaluation occuring in one trading session).