JONC777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 125 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 11413 times:
Although theres been no announcement yet, a quick serach on southwest.com for flights from AND CURRENT: Denver - International (DEN / KDEN), USA - Colorado">DEN MDW AND HOU to BKG gets a message stating service is disc as of 4/13. If so that was a pretty quick failure !
lol, you mean wn has it issues sometimes. .. . when did that start? but seriously I checked the network planning site as well for a gate sheet and got a blank page returned. . .so. . .that doesnt sound good. . . .
knope2001 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2785 posts, RR: 31
Reply 9, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10753 times:
For what it's worth, the schedule section in the Southwest website now does not show any PDF's for Branson past April 6.
I suspect it is not coincidental that Frontier briefly loaded Branson being dropped on 4/6 to their website. One of the conditions of the Branson subsidy agreement is that routes are monopolies, so suspicion that Frontier was dropping Branson because Southwest would start competing with them to Denver don't quite work. But it just seems too strange for this to be all unrelated and coincidental.
A few possible things come to mind....only brainstormed thoughts on my part not supported by anything....
(1) Might there be an end or sharp reduction in subsidy available as of 4/6? If so, perhaps Frontier was gonig to leave but has decided to stay with little or no subsidy once the airport told them that Southwest was leaving.
(2) Perhaps things are not going so well for anybody, and when the airport found that both Southwest and Frontier were leaving they tried hard to sweeten the pot and convinced Frontier to stay.
(3) Perhaps Southwest really viewed Denver as lynchpin to Branson service, and when the airport wouldn't give it to them, they decided to take their ball and go home.
Those are **only** my own brainstormed speculative thoughts, and perhaps there's something out there to shoot one or each of them down. But it just seems there has to be something more to this. A key point to remember is that just because this is a subsidized market does not necessarily mean that profits are guaranteed to be plentiful and permanent. I've heard conflicting things about the Branson contracts, so I'm not sure what to believe. Perhaps in spite of subsidy they still are losing money. Or changes to the contract mean that after April 6 they will lose money. Or, perhaps the handwriting is on the wall that current subsidies won't last forever, and things are trending poorly enough that Southwest has decided it's not worth the energy, effort and equipment in the long term to stay in Branson, even if the flying generates some profit while it lasts.
Again, just my own thoughts about what possibly could be going on. I hope we find out.
N353SK From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 782 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10702 times:
The message you were about to post is too short and probably not of any higher value to the topic at hand. You should think long and hard before posting a message in this forum and make it detailed and a valuable addition to the topic discussed.
MLI717fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10604 times:
I know load factors don't mean profit, but considering the average LF for WN @ BKG is in the mid 50% range, I'm surprised they decided to keep it around post merger. WN/FL dropped cities with more daily flights and higher loads. With Springfield and NW Arkansas not too far away, I think Branson isn't going to be able to cut it for anyone in the long term.
CRP - Grandfathered in from "old WN'
JAN - More or less forced to fly there (oh the things senators used to be able to pull off)
RSW - Not a small market
GSP - Not as small of a market as the world thinks
CHS - Not a small market
ECP - Entered because of a revenue guarantee, which they allegedly havent used. Like RSW, this is a destination
I don't think the appropriate question is "can" WN make money in small markets, because many are sure they could. They are the ones that generally don't believe they can.
Quoting MLI717fan (Reply 13): I know load factors don't mean profit, but considering the average LF for WN @ BKG is in the mid 50% range, I'm surprised they decided to keep it around post merger. WN/FL dropped cities with more daily flights and higher loads. With Springfield and NW Arkansas not too far away, I think Branson isn't going to be able to cut it for anyone in the long term.
Them staying made no sense to me. I can only assume there was serious financial backing involved. It is a private airport after all.
I'm pretty sure CRP is working. They've been there so long that the market has matured and they probably get a decent yield from CRP. Had they not ever flown to CRP and were just taking a look at the market now days, I'd bet money they wouldn't fly there.
JAN is probably on the lower end of the performance sheet, but even a marginal city can survive just fine.
What you are saying reinforces my point. They are in some small cities and making them work, yet don't seem to believe they can do it on a larger scale.