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WN/FL Traffic In Selecte New Or Changed City Pairs  
User currently offlineknope2001 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2819 posts, RR: 30
Posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5752 times:

With the unconventional integration of AirTran into Southwest, there have been a number of new and/or unconventional markets added. These include:

--Southwest adding flights to the AirTran Atlanta hub, both to Southwest hubs and some lesser Southwest destinations.

--AirTran adding flights to the Denver WN hub

--Southwest taking over some AirTran markets in Milwaukee

--AirTran adding international flying from Southwest strongholds, including some domesitc respositioning flights to get aircraft to those cities.

While it is important to remember that onboard loads DO NOT directly correlate with relative profit and loss, it's not a meaningless metric. Factors such as fare and traffic composition are also key, of course. But in the contemporary fare and cost environment, as loads get softer it's hard to suggest they are anything but money losers. Loads in the 30's or 40's...or even weaker...could in theory be moneymakers if yields are high enough, but it's just not very likely. Markets with loads in the 90's sometimes still lose money if yields are crappy enough.

The latest available onboard loads for domestic flights are through September 2012. Here are loads for markets I find of particular interest.

Atlanta Southwest Flights

Baltimore
74.9% February
77.9% March
79.8% April
76.9% May
80.7% June
66.2% July
66.2% August
66.6% September

Denver
74.4% February
78.7% March
73.8% April
77.2% May
80.9% June
85.8% July
77.5% August
69.7% September

Houston
78.3% February
81.7% March
77.8% April
79.6% May
79.2% June
69.6% July
71.5% August
74.5% September

Las Vegas
81.3% March
76.7% April
80.8% May
90.9% June
80.8% July
82.0% August
66.9% September

Los Angeles
88.8% June
93.0% July
90.3% August
69.7% September

Chicago
66.2% February
76.0% March
80.2% April
78.9% May
79.0% June
69.0% July
52.8% August
53.9% September

Norfolk
58.1% August
43.4% September

Phoenix
91.2% March
80.7% April
83.1% May
95.3% June
95.2% July
81.0% August
68.0% September

Louisville
42.6% August
33.5% September

Seattle
88.5% August
61.5% September

Austin
59.3% February
71.9% March
73.2% April
72.9% May
85.8% June
81.0% July
65.1% August
49.4% September

I listed Austin last is because Austin seems to benefit heavily from thru traffic going to Dallas. In addition to the onboard loads in the monthly T100 stats, there's another set of stats listing the number of passengers by airline who flew between two points without changing planes. Here are those numbers for one way traffic departing ATL on Southwest:

2454 AUS February
1822 DAL February
4779 AUS March
2938 DAL March
4298 AUS April
3380 DAL April
3823 AUS May
3218 DAL May
3686 AUS June
3844 DAL June
3757 AUS July
4291 DAL July
3242 AUS August
4321 DAL August
2830 AUS September
3122 DAL September

In the month of May (for example) Southwest in Atlanta boarded 3,823 passengers who flew to Austin without a change of planes, and 3,218 who flew to Dallas without a change of planes. Even though Southwest does not fly nonstop between Atlanta and Dallas, we can see from these stats how many people flew on 1-stop ATL-xxx-DAL trips with no plane change. Because most (but not all) of the ATL-xxx-DAL flights stopped in Austin, it seems ATL-AUS loads reflect a lot of Dallas-bound traffic onboard.

Also, it may be no surprise that some of the ATL frequencies moved to Southwest have been returned to AirTran.

In the Southwest hub city of Denver, AirTran added flights to La Guardia, Dayton and Akron. Southwest took those markets over in mid August. The switch to an airlines with connectivity at Denver clearly made a difference, with late August and September (slower times of year) largely surpassed the summer peak loads.

Denver New Markets started by AirTran

Akron
67.3% June AirTran
87.5% July AirTran
83.6% August AirTran
87.8% August Southwest
87.3% September Southwest

Dayton
35.4% June AirTran
59.1% July AirTran
69.3% August AirTran
86.3% August Southwest
78.2% September Southwest

LaGuardia
74.2% June AirTran
86.8% July AirTran
82.8% August AirTran
93.7% August Southwest
82.5% September Southwest


In the AirTran hub city of Milwaukee, Southwest took over certain flying in mid August.

Milwaukee Markets Transitioning to Southwest

Los Angeles
81.9% August
60.3% September

LaGuardia (Southwest 2x/day....AirTran kept 3x/day at that point)
37.3% August
34.5% September

Seattle
91.5% August
82.0% September

It's noteworthy that Southwest's schedule in MKE allowed some connecting flow to/from Seattle, but far less to/from LAX.

On the flip side, one of the Milwaukee frequencies to the Southwest hub of Phoenix was transferred to AirTran, operated as a red eye. AirTran has run MKE-PHX for a few years but not during the summer, and nobody has run a redeye MKE-PHX-MKE before, except for AirTran dabbling with one a time or two during the spring break peak period -- definitely not in summer or early fall. Here's how that daily redeye did for AirTran:

MKE-PHX-MKE AirTran Redeye
59.8% May
79.5% June
70.5% July
57.0% August
26.0% September

At the same time that Southwest started taking over more of the flying at Milwaukee, AirTran increased their MKE-MSP flying from 3x to 4x in September. MKE-MSP relies heavily on connecting traffic, and the devolution of connectiity at MKE appeared to be in play. In spite of increasing the flights from 3x to 4x, AirTrna carried fewer total passengers

AirTran MKE-MSP-MKE September 2011 vs 2012

2011
184 flights
16,497 passengers
76.6% load factor

2012
220 flights
16,011 passengers
61.3% load factor

Another transition from FL to WN was in Akron, where CAK-MKE was replaced by CAK-MDW in mid August. In this case, loads did not shoot up with access to a WN hub.

Akron
47.2% January MKE FL
47.7% February MKE FL
50.1% March MKE FL
64.1% April MKE FL
76.1% May MKE FL
74.7% June MKE FL
70.5% July MKE FL
72.4% August MKE FL
47.1% August MDW WN
56.4% September MDW WN

Part of that may be due to the end of summer / fall traffic slump, and also to the 20 extra seats on a 737 versus 717. But at least the first six weeks of MDW replacing MKE wasn't exactly a barn burner here.

New AirTran international flying at Southwest strongholds of Orange County, Austin, and San Antonio included some domestic legs added for aircraft positioning. Here's how those did.

Orange County had daily FL nonstops to SFO and LAS
San Francisco
53.8% June
48,6% July
53.0% August
33.0% September

Las Vegas
29.8% June
31.3% July
32.3% August
30.2% September

Austin had FL flights to Houston about 4x/week
12.3% May
16.3% June
12.8% July
13.0% August
14.5% September

San Antonio had FL flights to Houston about 3x/week
5.1% May
6.5% June
6.7% July
6.4% August
5.8% September

Some of these tag flights (like SFO-SNA) dovetailed better with international connections, while others definitely did not.

Finally international stats are out through June, so the new AirTran international flights are just the first month or two. But we have that bit to know so far:

Austin-Cancun
71.1% May
92.0% June

San Antonio-Cancun
59.8% May
86.0% June

San Antonio-Mexico City
62.3% May
75.0% June

Orange County-Mexico City
64.8% June

Orange County-Cabo
75.3% June

Again, remember that loads alone are only half the picture in knowing how things are going financially. The lack of code sharing is likely responsible for somewhat tepid results in filling seats in many of the places FL added served to WN strongholds and vice versa. Code sharing is said to be on the horizon, although it sounds like it will be "limited" at least at first. That should offer some help in places where the lack of connectivity has hurt.

74 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1333 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5727 times:

5.1% of 137 seats is 7. That is about 91 people for the month.

User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6484 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5683 times:

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
Norfolk
58.1% August
43.4% September

Bad as this number is, it's not so bad when you consider WN was relying mostly on O+D traffic plus competing against DL who has significant capacity on this route. If WN can fill half the plane with O+D on a route like ORF-ATL, they might do better in ATL than many might expect.


User currently offlineTriple7LR From United States of America, joined Sep 2012, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5620 times:

For the ATL markets in sept the loads all dropped drastically. I think it's just a combination of two things, the end of summer travel and obviously to much capacity. As for the other markets they must be extremely high yielding with those poor load factors.

User currently offlineenilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 6838 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5545 times:

Great post!

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
Louisville
42.6% August
33.5% September
Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
Norfolk
58.1% August
43.4% September

ROTFL

No surprise here, but guess what? This is what the whole ATL hub looks like without banked connections. Atlanta must have well-timed Florida connects to carry volume. This is an embarrassment. Also, PHF-ATL was dropped to fly 50% loads.

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
Akron
47.2% January MKE FL
47.7% February MKE FL
50.1% March MKE FL
64.1% April MKE FL
76.1% May MKE FL
74.7% June MKE FL
70.5% July MKE FL
72.4% August MKE FL
47.1% August MDW WN
56.4% September MDW WN

Been saying this for a while. Part of the problem is that CLE-ORD is hub2hub for UA, so WN probably gets no local traffic on this to speak of.

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
Austin had FL flights to Houston about 4x/week
12.3% May
16.3% June
12.8% July
13.0% August
14.5% September
San Antonio had FL flights to Houston about 3x/week
5.1% May
6.5% June
6.7% July
6.4% August
5.8% September

HOLY F---
That defies all comment. If anyone said that the merger was going according to plan...that's staggering. The lack of code share is costing them buckets of money.


User currently offlineouboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4482 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5509 times:

Good post. It'll be interesting to see how these are impacted with the start of the code-share.


Any opinion/comment posted is that of my own and not that of Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineknope2001 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2819 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5184 times:

Quoting ADent (Reply 1):
5.1% of 137 seats is 7. That is about 91 people for the month.

Yup -- late May through September they operated 102 flights and carried 879 people.

It's important to note that those positioning flights to support international flying (like HOU-AUS or LAS-SNA) are not high frequency -- the Orange County flights are once daily, AUS-HOU and SAT-HOU were about 1/2 of the time. But the international flights they enabled were also low frequency. Not only do those international legs have to turn a profit, but the profit has to be awfully big to offset the certain losses suffered on those positioning legs.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 2):
Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):Norfolk
58.1% August
43.4% September
Bad as this number is, it's not so bad when you consider WN was relying mostly on O+D traffic plus competing against DL who has significant capacity on this route. If WN can fill half the plane with O+D on a route like ORF-ATL, they might do better in ATL than many might expect.

Certainly true. However Southwest did run thru and (limited) connecting flows at ATL. For example, in August the mid-day SDF-ATL flight continued on to Houston. Because it was the only "thru" SDF-HOU flights offered by Southwest in August, we can tell that the 420 passengers reported to the DoT as flying Southwest from SDF to HOU were on that SDF-ATL-HOU routing. They flew 20 SDF-ATL-HOU flights in August, and carried 470 Louisville-Houston passengers, for an average of 23.5 thru passengers on that particular SDF-ATL flight each day. We can't tell anything about connecting flows from these stats -- for example, a STL-ATL passenger might have connected in Louisville, and that would show up as a local SDF-ATL passenger. But we can weed out thru passengers to get a somewhat better idea of the tru number of local passengers Southwest served in this period. Another example of this is ORF-ATL-LAX operated as a thru flight. Southwest operated 38 ORF-ATL-LAX thru flights in August and carried 885 passengers ORF-LAX -- 23.3 thrus per flights on average.

We can indentify the total thru passengers in these markets and include that in the evaluation. These numbers below are toals are combined to+from at ATL from the start of Southwest service through September:

Nortolk
39,319 total seats
19,368 total seats occupied on those legs
15,610 seats occupied on those legs by people boarding in ATL and deplaning in ORF, or vice versa
3,758 seats on those legs were occuped by thur passengers to or from another destination
80.6 of every 100 onboard passengers boarded in ATL and deplaned in ORF or vice versa
19.4 of every 100 onboard passengers were "thru" to or from another destination
49.3% total onboard load factor
39.7% onboard load factor if thru passengers are excluded

Louisville
38,804 total seats
14,435 total seats occupied on those legs
11,292 seats occupied on those legs by people boarding in ATL and deplaning in SDF, or vice versa
3,143 seats on those legs were occupied by thru passengers to or from another destination
78.2 of every 100 onboard passengers boarded in ATL and deplaned in SDF or vice versa
22.7 of every 100 onboard passengers were "thru" to or from another destination
37.2% total onboard load factor
29.1% onboard load factor if thru passengers are excluded

Austin
113,115 total seats
78,949 total seats occupied on those legs
53,484 seats occupied on those legs by people boarding in ATL and deplaning in SDF, or vice versa
25,465 seats on those legs were occupied by thru passengers to or from another destination
67.7 of every 100 onboard passengers boarded in ATL and deplaned in AUS or vice versa
32.3 of every 100 onboard passengers were "thru" to or from another destination
69.8% total onboard load factor
47.3% onboard load factor if thru passengers are excluded

Again, note that what's shown in these stats as "local" are just those who got on in ATL and got off in AUS or vice versa. Someone who really flew ORF-AUS with a connection in Atlanta would look like a local ORF-ATL passenger and a local ATL-AUS passenger. Same with an ATL-ELP passenger who connected in AUS, for example. But we can tell the thru passengers and exclude them to get an idea of how many locals are onboard.

I don't know typically how many onboard locals is routine for Southwest -- if they are carrying 35 true locals on the average SDF-ATL flight, I'm not sure if that's right in line with expectations. If so, then when they can put 75 more connections and thurs onboard (from a fully integrated Atlanta hub) it will be great. Or....does that fall short of the norm for Southwest? But it is a good point to note that they are filling these seats at ATL without benefit of a lot of connecting flow there.

Quoting enilria (Reply 4):
Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):Akron
47.2% January MKE FL
47.7% February MKE FL
50.1% March MKE FL
64.1% April MKE FL
76.1% May MKE FL
74.7% June MKE FL
70.5% July MKE FL
72.4% August MKE FL
47.1% August MDW WN
56.4% September MDW WN
Been saying this for a while. Part of the problem is that CLE-ORD is hub2hub for UA, so WN probably gets no local traffic on this to speak of.

That could well be part of it. Also, I can't help but wonder how much might be the CAK market's affinity for AirTran and the relative foreign status of Southwest, including the need to book at southwest.com. When it came to Akron-Milwaukee, even through the true local market isn't very large, they received plenty of spillover of PIT-MKE (which recently lost nonstop service) and CLE-MKE (which is high-fare nonstop on UA*). Now flying CAK-MDW, they compete against more frequent UA nonstops to ORD, plus CLE and PIT both have frequent low-fare nonstops to CHI. There is local traffic between Chicago and the Akron/Canton area who prefers using MIdway and/or prefers Southwest, but even some of those passengers are still using CLE or PIT based on schedule and habit instead of CAK.

In general, I get that they couldn't wait forever to come into Atlanta. It's 20 months since the purchase was completed, and if they'd waited until code sharing to integrate, they'd still be waiting. But I can't help but think that the lack of code sharing has hampered plans for integration.

Obviously it's still relatively early -- some of these markets are only two months in. But one wonders if planning decisions were made based on code sharing coming much sooner than it actually is. Adding markets like ATL-HOU and ATL-MDW to feed and link to the biggest Southwest hubs makes sense, even without any linkage to AirTran. But beyond that, a lot of these soft loads are rather predictable and one wonders if they were viewed as "necessary evils" or if they expected things to turn out differently.

[Edited 2012-12-28 17:59:40]

User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1446 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5117 times:

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
Norfolk
58.1% August
43.4% Septembe
Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
Louisville
42.6% August
33.5% September
Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 2):
Bad as this number is, it's not so bad when you consider WN was relying mostly on O+D traffic plus competing against DL who has significant capacity on this route. If WN can fill half the plane with O+D on a route like ORF-ATL, they might do better in ATL than many might expect.
Quoting enilria (Reply 4):
This is what the whole ATL hub looks like without banked connections

I think Enilria is correct. This is what ATL looks like when you try and run a P2P rather than a hub spoke system. This is much worse than I expected and WN's plan of running 100 plus daily flights will fall flat. Looks like WN in ATL, unless they create connectivity, will have at max 35-45 flights per day. They can serve their "hubs" but it looks like even AUS will go away if DAL-ATL goes nonstop in 2014. It is very possible ATL will see WN service to BWI, MDW, DEN, LAS, PHX, LAX, HOU and that's it. If so WN/FL will go down as one of the industry's great failures.

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
Baltimore
74.9% February
77.9% March
79.8% April
76.9% May
80.7% June
66.2% July
66.2% August
66.6% September

BWI seemed to tank earlier than the other markets. Did WN/FL add capacity in July? Also the lack of a fall off in Sep makes me wonder if they then pulled the capacity out.


User currently offlineiowaman From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4312 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5098 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Very interestng numbers - thanks for sharing!

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
listed Austin last is because Austin seems to benefit heavily from thru traffic going to Dallas.
Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
t seems ATL-AUS loads reflect a lot of Dallas-bound traffic onboard.

I'm guessing ATL-AUS may be replaced by ATL-DAL once Wright Amendement restrictions are lifted.

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
LaGuardia (Southwest 2x/day....AirTran kept 3x/day at that point)
37.3% August
34.5% September


An unacceptable use of slots by WN in LGA in my opinion, as they can likely get healthier loads else where. I doubt MKE produces high enough yields to make up for 1/3rd full planes.

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
Norfolk
58.1% August
43.4% September
Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
Louisville
42.6% August
33.5% September
Quoting knope2001 (Reply 6):
I don't know typically how many onboard locals is routine for Southwest -- if they are carrying 35 true locals on the average SDF-ATL flight, I'm not sure if that's right in line with expectations. If so, then when they can put 75 more connections and thurs onboard (from a fully integrated Atlanta hub) it will be great. Or....does that fall short of the norm for Southwest?

Definitely not the norm on O&D.

These are great candidates to be dropped in my opinion.

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
Orange County had daily FL nonstops to SFO and LAS
San Francisco
53.8% June
48,6% July
53.0% August
33.0% September

Las Vegas
29.8% June
31.3% July
32.3% August
30.2% September

Austin had FL flights to Houston about 4x/week
12.3% May
16.3% June
12.8% July
13.0% August
14.5% September

San Antonio had FL flights to Houston about 3x/week
5.1% May
6.5% June
6.7% July
6.4% August
5.8% September
Quoting enilria (Reply 4):
That defies all comment. If anyone said that the merger was going according to plan...that's staggering. The lack of code share is costing them buckets of money

These odd-ball low load-factor flights are an extremely small portion of the daily flights and are a temporary fix to aircraft positioning while the merger is in process. I wouldn't get too concerned.

Edit:

For comparison purposes, maybe Knope would be super kind and could look up the same numbers on the following routes that have been/are being cut. Many of them have been around for years, with some of the others probably supporting a substantial connecting feed on a percentage basis.

BOI-PDX
BUR-DEN
HOU-PHL
EWR-BWI
LGA-BWI
PHL-RDU
ISP-MDW

I'd be curious to see how they compare to the low-performing WN routes out of ATL based on loads and connecting passengers.

[Edited 2012-12-28 18:54:44]


Next fights: WN DSM-LAS-PHX, US PHX-SJD. Return: US SJD-PHX, WN PHX-MDW-DSM
User currently offlineairliner371 From United States of America, joined Aug 2012, 1280 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5058 times:



Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 7):
This is what ATL looks like when you try and run a P2P rather than a hub spoke system.

A brand new airline to the market, just about 30 flights, this is no outlook as to what will happen.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 7):
WN's plan of running 100 plus daily flights will fall flat.

You can't make that accusation right now. WN is doing this almost all O&D, starting just to get in the market and be known. No codeshare or anything. One thing no one can do right now is say how WN will do in ATL, the merger may have closed last year and SOC this year but things are just going to start early/mid next year at ATL.

[Edited 2012-12-28 18:57:47]


You will either love or hate the airline industry. If you love it, it will get in your blood and it will never leave.
User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1446 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5036 times:

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 9):
WN is doing this almost all O&D,

But their long term plan is O&D. Youre right if WN's plan is to replicate the FL hub, but it isnt.


User currently offlineCIDFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2223 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5033 times:

What on earth are they doing in ATL? One would think they could have just as a successful "hub" there like they do in DEN, MDW etc. Hopefully they get it ironed out pronto. I'm really surprised at how long this merger is taking, its somewhat of an embarassment.

User currently offlineairliner371 From United States of America, joined Aug 2012, 1280 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5006 times:

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 10):
But their long term plan is O&D.

I think it is O&D but more on the lines of MDW and DEN where they do see connections quite often, just no as often as hub and spoke.

Quoting CIDFlyer (Reply 11):
I'm really surprised at how long this merger is taking, its somewhat of an embarassment.

They have a lot to handle. I would rather them go slow and keep the airline in tact rather then just plow through and kill them selves in the process. I wouldn't consider it an embarrassment, just them being careful.



You will either love or hate the airline industry. If you love it, it will get in your blood and it will never leave.
User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1828 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4956 times:

To be honest I was expecting worse numbers out of ATL. Those are some pretty good numbers considering the lack of feed beyond ATL. It's like a dog with just two or three legs, and WN is already walking or running on them. Wait till they get all four to use.

User currently offlineknope2001 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2819 posts, RR: 30
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4926 times:

Quoting iowaman (Reply 8):
Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):LaGuardia (Southwest 2x/day....AirTran kept 3x/day at that point)
37.3% August
34.5% September

An unacceptable use of slots by WN in LGA in my opinion, as they can likely get healthier loads else where. I doubt MKE produces high enough yields to make up for 1/3rd full planes.

This is the result of one of those "what-did-they-expect" scheduling moves.

Here's the schedule they ran on MKE-LGA
6:00am....137 seats....no connecting feed....Southwest
7:45am....117 seats....connections from SFO, MSP, PHX....AirTran
10:05am...137 seats....thru from STL but overlapping an STL-LGA nonstop....Southwest
12:15pm....117 seats...connections from various....AirTran
7:02pm...117 seats...connections from various cities....AirTran

AirTran's 3 flights on MKE-LGA ran 89.7% full in August and 85.0% full in September. Traditionally the three times of strongest demand on MKE-LGA have been 8:00am, 1:00pm and 7:00pm. What did Southwest possibly expect for those two flight times?

A very similar thing played out on MKE-MSP, and when we see the onboard loads for November and December I'm sure we'll see awful results. AirTran has flown MKE-MSP for a few years with 117-seat 717's, usually at 3x/day and occasionally at 4x. The huge majority of passengers have been connecting passengers. As I mentioned earlier, when AirTran increased to 4x this past September, they only flew 61.3% full. In November, Southwest took over with 5x/day in the market using 137-seat 737's. And two of the five MKE-MSP departures were scheduled so early that they will carry almost nothing but local passengers...a 6:00am MKE-MSP departure with no possible connections, and a 7:55am MKE-MSP departure whose only fortification is that it runs thru from a very early BWI-MKE inbound. AirTran has typically run about 20 or fewer local passengers per flight on MKE-MSP. What kind of load factor did they think they'd find on those two MKE-MSP flights? With the January schedule, Southwest is cutting MKE-MSP from 5x to 3x.

As a MKE-based traveler, this kind of stuff worries me. The term "set up to fail" comes to mind. We saw it with some of Frontier's scheduling, which predictably lost money and lead to cut after cut, and this kind of stuff from Southwest concerns me as well. I do not believe either airline truly intended to make MKE fail so they could cut it later on, but I'm concerned the results could be similar. On a simlar note, I worry how MKE-DCA is doing on AirTran now that it has lost all of its connecting feed. They are operating over 500 daily nonstop seats each direction and must rely completely on local traffic because all the connecting markets at MKE which supported that capacity in the past have either been cut or transferred over to Southwest, including OMA, DEN, SFO, DSM, MSP and LAX.

Quoting iowaman (Reply 8):
For comparison purposes, maybe Knope would be super kind and could look up the same numbers on the following routes that have been/are being cut. Many of them have been around for years, with some of the others probably supporting a substantial connecting feed on a percentage basis.

BOI-PDX
BUR-DEN
HOU-PHL
EWR-BWI
LGA-BWI
PHL-RDU
ISP-MDW

I'll see if I have a chance and will post if I do. Not sure that load factor alone is the driver in cutting these markets, but at least a few are definitely weak.


User currently offlinemke717spotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2401 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4756 times:

Quoting knope2001 (Reply 14):
As a MKE-based traveler, this kind of stuff worries me. The term "set up to fail" comes to mind.


I agree that some of WN's flights are poorly timed and could use connection opportunities to help with loads, but your numbers are only through September and wasn't the MKE operation pretty much split up until the most recent changeovers in November? I know that may not make up a huge difference, but I'd like to think that the numbers won't be quite as ugly once all service has transitioned over to WN.



Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
User currently offlineseven3seven From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 315 posts, RR: 34
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4749 times:

Please compare the same exact flights after the codeshare starts. I predict it will be a staggering difference


My views are mine alone and are not that of any of my fellow employees, officers, or directors at my company
User currently offlineusflyguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 790 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4740 times:

Quoting CIDFlyer (Reply 11):
What on earth are they doing in ATL? One would think they could have just as a successful "hub" there like they do in DEN, MDW etc. Hopefully they get it ironed out pronto. I'm really surprised at how long this merger is taking, its somewhat of an embarassment.

Kind of like the disaster known as United? Still having serious customer service issues, separate fleets, crews, etc...



My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1446 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4600 times:

Another issue in MKE is when did F9 pull down. MKE had much too much capacity overall. WN loads should increase overall.

What the FL merger shows us the emperor has no clothes. The vaunted WN is no more than a high cost, arrogant, tech backward airline getting by on their laurels from the Herb days. I predict by 2020 WN will institute layoffs and paycuts. Also I predict WN will be forced into a pure hub spoke system with BWI, MDW, DEN, PHX and HOU having 75% plus of all WN flights. There will still be some focus cities but the P2P will be gone as WN fare structure won't allow for much stimulation.


User currently offlinenetjetandy From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 52 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4485 times:

This is no surprise to Atlanta. O&D simply will not accept a layover anywhere on any airline out of Atlanta. They've been spoiled for all these years with FL and DL and all things being equal Delta is usually the same price, with higher frequency.

My son owns an IT company north of Atlanta with about 100 employees. They flew FL pretty much exclusively except for International and a year ago they switched to DL because of the anticipation of all this city pair nonsense and lack of dual cabin configuration. He is just one business of many.. it simply will not work here for O&D passengers.

He has told me that the corporate sales weasels have been hitting him up very hard to switch back to FL/WN with all kinds of Rapid Reward special promos and pricing in the last 3 months or so, so they know they have a problem with business travel apparently.

[Edited 2012-12-29 08:02:38]

User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1446 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4438 times:

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 17):
Kind of like the disaster known as United? Still having serious customer service issues, separate fleets, crews, etc...

I dont think UA has been a disaster. Clearly not as smooth as DL/NW, but not a disaster.


User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1446 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4416 times:

Id be curious to see how many pax are flying ATL-DAL via AUS or HOU on a PDEW basis. When DAL opens up there is going to be quite a change in service. There is no way WN will fly DAL-STL or MCI 6-8x daily like they are now. I think those will fall to 3-4x daily. ATL-DAL should be 3-4x daily. AMA-DEN will be in big trouble with DAL-DEN nonstop.

I think DAL will get new service to:
ATL 3-4x
BWI 3-4x
MDW 3-4x
DEN 3-4x
LAS 2x
PHX 2x
LAX 3-4x
BNA 1-2x
MCO 1x
TPA 1x
Cuts will happen to STL, MCI, HOU, AMA, LBB, MAF, ELP maybe some more like OKC and TUL. No markets cut but frequencies.


User currently offlineFlytravel From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 873 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4414 times:

Quoting iowaman (Reply 8):
An unacceptable use of slots by WN in LGA in my opinion, as they can likely get healthier loads else where. I doubt MKE produces high enough yields to make up for 1/3rd full planes.

I think the slots for CAK-LGA and MKE-LGA will likely be re-used for increased service on HOU-LGA and MDW-LGA, and new service DAL-LGA in 2014.

If Southwest decides to buy out Sun Country, it might consider MSP-LGA (2x maybe) and build a decent spoke at MSP.

Quoting iowaman (Reply 8):
I'm guessing ATL-AUS may be replaced by ATL-DAL once Wright Amendement restrictions are lifted.

I think the codeshare or eastern feed into ATL might help a route like ATL-AUS. e.g. LGA/DCA-ATL-AUS

If it doesn't, then it's likely gone.

I don't see ORF-ATL staying, with the direct DL competition, it not really being a destination route, no useful unique connections, and the route being over 500 miles. It could be replaced by a direct ORF-FLL for Florida, and ATL connects through BWI or MCO for ORF.

Quoting knope2001 (Thread starter):
. In this case, loads did not shoot up with access to a WN hub.

I think CAK-MDW will do better getting more connection feed, once CAK-ATL on FL is dropped. It's still kinda dumb that southwest.com doesn't associate CAK with CLE.

[Edited 2012-12-29 08:43:58]

User currently offlineusflyguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 790 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4404 times:

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 20):
I dont think UA has been a disaster. Clearly not as smooth as DL/NW, but not a disaster.

Yet, FL/WN has? What issues have non-a.net passengers had in regards to the merger? They said from the beginning it would take until 2015 to be fully integrated. I'm sure I could find a few hundred CO/UA frequent flyers that would disagree with your assessment of the UA/CO merger.



My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1446 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4387 times:

Quoting Flytravel (Reply 22):
If Southwest decides to buy out Sun Country, it might consider MSP-LGA (2x maybe) and build a decent spoke at MSP.

Is that something they are looking at? Would they do that just for a couple of slots? They can build up MSP now, they dont need SunCountry to do that.

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 23):
Yet, FL/WN has?

UA/CO didnt have the problems WN/FL has had with regards to Res System and integration. Most of the complaints come from CO pax who miss CO's level of service. WN/FL have lost tens of millions at minimum due to inability to integrate. I dont think that has been the case with UA/CO


25 airliner371 : Im sorry but you predict a lot and your predicting based on nothing. What you see now is not at all an indicator of what will happen. No lol. That co
26 Post contains links usflyguy : Those UA/CO passengers that have stood in line for hours on end (5+) to check-in as well as those that had their reservations cancelled without cause
27 usflyguy : United has lost $103 million in the first three quarters of 2012. If this is after a successful (for you) integration, it makes me wonder.
28 Coronado : Does anybody have any insights on what Delta is doing to move into this vaccuum at ATL? I see in enliria OAG flight schedule change post that they are
29 Post contains images SESGDL : Those numbers are good but DL reporting record profits is frowned upon? Those numbers are pitiful are a direct result of poor strategic and network p
30 iowaman : I'm guessing most if not all the markets WN cuts are either: Low overall load-factor Low to decent load-factor but a high percentage of connecting pa
31 OzarkD9S : What vacuum?
32 bobloblaw : I agree. Keep in mind that FL had low fares that stimulated traffic. When they reduce flights, DL is probably happy to raise fare sand let markets sh
33 bobloblaw : I should have said "it has cost them" rather than they lost. That would be better. There is no way anyone, including WN can say the merger has gone w
34 MaverickM11 : I thought LAXMEX fares were terrible but they start about $100 rt higher than SNA, which starts at $257rt all in. That's about $75ow for a four hour
35 ouboy79 : I would half expect DL to cut capacity and raise fares in the markets they aren't competing in anymore. It's all in the eye of the beholder. The comp
36 GentFromAlaska : WN seems to bucking the trend If we are to believe the analyst which claim there is still a lot of consolidation to come across the entire airline spe
37 bobloblaw : I don't think that Boeing having corporate offices in Chicago impacts SEA-MKE at all. How would it?
38 atrude777 : He didn't say SEA-MKE..he said MDW-SEA... Interesting to see how the loads transition between the two airlines. Air Tran only segments for domestic t
39 ouboy79 : Indeed. Many people completely just glossed over that point. If the plane is flying there anyway, why not try to cut the losses by selling a few seat
40 Cubsrule : The number of onboard locals is very market-dependent. Part of it is a function of length (most of the recently cut very short routes like MCO-RSW we
41 bobloblaw : That's because there has been no integration.
42 atrude777 : Air Tran Aircraft into WN Fleet=Integration FL Markets becoming WN Cities=Integration FL Employees becoming WN Employee=Integration Conversion of WN
43 enilria : When will that be? LOL We'll have many more months to look at this disaster. Perhaps, but that's not changing any time soon. Thanks. Also, I know for
44 Cubsrule : Different how? In which markets ex-LAX, CHI or DEN does WN have a frequency advantage? In which markets ex-ATL did PMFL have a frequency advantage?
45 Post contains images ouboy79 : I could say, but I like my pay check. Let's just say you have no idea on the timeline. Granted when it comes to WN a lot of your information has been
46 ouboy79 : This just completely removed any credibility (what little there was) on comments from you regarding WN. Though I guess you'd rather the two companies
47 Post contains images airliner371 : to everything.
48 Post contains images usflyguy :
49 Post contains images FlyPNS1 : But most of that occurred before WN took over....a little fact you ignore. Just like you knew that AA was going to ground all their MD80's and ERJ's
50 MSPNWA : Can you expound on those facts? The numbers for those destinations have to be nearly entirely O&D, so what's the surprise? Good case of why you d
51 Post contains links mcdu : Can you post how you derived that number? Bob is correct, WN has yet to integrate operations with FL. They are paying the FL pilots B scale wages at
52 Cubsrule : Of course WN is not immune, but is there any indication that high level elites are defecting or threatening to defect in large numbers, as UA has see
53 mcdu : Sorry I thought this thread was about WN. If you want to discuss the UA merger then perhaps you should start a new thread. Since you made the above s
54 Cubsrule : You misunderstand the demographics of WN elites, I think. Most of us live in cities where WN is the best option on many - but by no means all - itine
55 Post contains links Coronado : Just for the record 'unitedcontinentalholdings' in their statement of consolidated operations ending Sept 30, reported a net loss of U$103mm for the
56 atrude777 : Bob is wrong, and so are you. WN and FL have integrated in four different ways as I posted above and you guys simply ignored. I will repost here... T
57 MaverickM11 : ??? Are we waiting for a forthcoming massive buildup in ATL? DL's comments are based on schedule data--it's pretty transparent and not something they
58 bobloblaw : They are separate marketing airlines. No one travels between an FL and WN flight as of yet. The operating certificate maybe the same, but they are st
59 enilria : WN has a frequency advantage in all MDW markets...and no ORD/MDW are not the same market. They overlap, of course, but MDW has some geographical uniq
60 FlyPNS1 : So? What's your point? WN closed 5-10 tiny markets with almost no local ATL traffic. That certainly doesn't account for the 50% drop you are claiming
61 ouboy79 : Hey look, WN has pulled the plug on some long time short haul routes...that didn't have strong enough margins. Imagine that. Ahhh...so its only integ
62 airliner371 : Data is so easy to manipulate and that is what DL did. Actually, it is. Thats because its a DIFFERENT integration. And they won't be. They will begin
63 MaverickM11 : Not really. You can talk about departures when ASMs would be a better measure, or vice versar, but it's pretty hard to manipulate actual schedule dat
64 ouboy79 : Has anyone, educated and internal to WN, ever stated the ATL would remain a hub/spoke operation?
65 MSPNWA : When has it been proper to say "peak"? It can't mean the FL peak of years past (irrelevant). It can't mean the forthcoming WN peak (hasn't happened y
66 MaverickM11 : No, which makes the people on a.net pushing for a ATL hub even more curious. In any scheduling vernacular it's common: peak day, generally Thursday,
67 bobloblaw : Initially WN said they would keep the 717s and keep ATL's operation possibly grow it. ATL would be a major part of WN's system. It wont. It took abou
68 Flytravel : I think it will have more than those markets. Along with them DAL, SAT, (maybe AUS is still kept) for Texas MCO, TPA, FLL (the major Florida markets
69 ouboy79 : Sure they had a plan in place if they couldn't dump the 717s. They were looking at using them as replacements for the older 737s. However, the way th
70 MSPNWA : Bingo, just the reasons why the word "peak" is DL's pitch to sway their investors. They want to make things sound good for them, so they'll use the w
71 FlyPNS1 : WN has NEVER announced a hub pull down of ATL. You are lying. You're way off. FL peaked around 250 flights. Most of that was pulled down prior to WN
72 MaverickM11 : How do you reconcile this... ...with this: Those investors can look up the data pretty easily--this is not data that can be faked when it's public inf
73 Flytravel : DAL-ATL will be easy, but some of the other routes where WN will be up against DL, it will be cities/markets where WN isn't that strong on the other e
74 ouboy79 : I doubt you'll see numbers back to the 250 level.
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