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Southwest Widebodies?  
User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2979 posts, RR: 13
Posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 16531 times:
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Moderators: Please feel free to delete this as I can imagine its been discussed before! I did try and look for a thread.

So, I have never flown Sothwest, but from a distance I do admire it very much. Their business model has been a marvel to watch (although today doesn't seem as rosy as yesterday) so perhaps some innovation is in order?

How come Southwest never decided to move beyond its impressive fleet of 737's and get into the international game? An LCC with a current huge following that would easily find passengers to London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam or Tokyo or deep South America. I would imagine Boeing (given their loyalty) would have given them a good deal on some LAN- like new 767's or a 787 order. They seem to like new planes, but their must be some good leasing deals out their too.

Besides their livery looking great on a big bird, Southwest would offer the Southwest experience, a mostly Y configuration and perhaps 10 rows of premium seating, (not beds, but perhaps a comfy recliner) I'd think that high traffic big city destinations with amazing connectivity in the USA, it could work. Sort of The People Express of the new millienium - advanced fuel efficent ac with great IFE, WiFi etc. I would think that seeing a 767 or even a 772 Southwest aircraft in Europe would make a huge splash. Naturally it would work only if they did cost less and if they could fill those planes. It just could not be cost neutral with AA, DL, UA or AF/KLM etc.

I am not an armchair CEO, they must have given thought consideration many times. My question is how come they never tried?


The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 16454 times:

Southewest's business model called for:

One type of aircraft to keep training and parts inventory expenses down.
Stay domestic with their service.
Keep it all Y class with unassigned seating to speed up boarding.
Keep expansion at a controlled pace going to destinations where they know they can make money.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Southwest has always had pride in the fact that they are just not the same as everyone else is in the business. I think that if Southwest did all the things you questioned in your post they'd be the same as any other airline and having the same problem with cost control that the other airlines have experienced.


User currently offlineQANTAS747-438 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1984 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 16278 times:

I can totally see WN getting 787s by 2020 or 2025. A short range 787 would get them deep into South America, as they have said they wanted, as well as West Coast to Caribbean or even Europe. In my mind the future WN will be 737MAXs and 787s.


My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31375 posts, RR: 85
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 16248 times:
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Southwest also maximizes the utilization of their airframes by flying multiple short missions. An international service would not allow this both because of the stage lengths and because long-haul flights tend to operate within departure and arrival blocks.



Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 2):
A short range 787 would get them deep into South America, as they have said they wanted, as well as West Coast to Caribbean...

The 737-7 and 737-8 should be able to perform those missions, as well, and stay within WN's single-family model.

[Edited 2012-12-30 11:11:53]

User currently offlineluv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12150 posts, RR: 49
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 16182 times:

If the business model is not broke why change it. Why is it everyone thinks it is the end all of end all's to fly either International and or Hawaii.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 15871 times:

Quoting luv2fly (Reply 4):
If the business model is not broke why change it. Why is it everyone thinks it is the end all of end all's to fly either International and or Hawaii.

Exactly. Their business model has been tweaked over the years, but to make to jump to widebody a/c is a pretty sizable one, even for an airline like Southwest. Bigger planes means bigger costs for an airline.


User currently offlinesteeler83 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 9268 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 15755 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
The 737-7 and 737-8 should be able to perform those missions, as well, and stay within WN's single-family model.

Doesn't CO (well, UA now) fly 738s out of IAH to places like Lima, Peru or Bogota? I suppose they'd have the range to fly out of FLL or MCO to BOG or Lima...



Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 1396 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 15723 times:
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UAL is now shifting Airbus Aircraft to IAH to fly south America,

User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2979 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 15677 times:
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Well this must have been discussed by WN and probably for the exact reasons mentioned above. However times change and what worked well for decades may not work in the future. I agree with all the points about cost issues but their product and marketing can differentiate them from the majors easily. But if one additional aircraft type and the complex issues associated with international flying makes it prohibitive to lower fares than UA, AA or DL etc, then I guess end of story.

But Southwest is a unique airline and I'd love for them to bring that product and equity to the world. Just a dreamer I am  



The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlineouboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4615 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 15642 times:

Quoting srbmod (Reply 5):
Exactly. Their business model has been tweaked over the years, but to make to jump to widebody a/c is a pretty sizable one, even for an airline like Southwest. Bigger planes means bigger costs for an airline.

Indeed. As the 737 family continues to evolve, I would expect to see a further expansion internationally that is with in range (and margin goals) of the MAX models. I would almost say it is more likely that WN would go smaller and not larger if it were to add a 2nd fleet type to the family.

I think many are discounting just how many opportunities there will be for the WN network spread throughout the rest of North America and getting deeper into South America.


User currently offlinePSA53 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3089 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 15632 times:

Widebodies?

Rumors have it,(lol) WN will buy two A380's and offer new "train service" coast to coast with 150 stops in between to not just compete with LCC's but with Amtrak and eliminate all 737's.(lol)

But in seriousness,no I don't see that expansion in WN.Maybe create an off shoot independent carrier if they do,but stepping away from a business core system is never a good idea.



Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
User currently offlinesulley From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 539 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 15543 times:

VC10er, a Southwest with widebody international service would hurt your (my) beloved United. Would you really want that?  


In thrust we trust!
User currently onlineinfiniti329 From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 815 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 15490 times:

WN can only compete in northern South America ie; Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador anything further south it will be hard for them to compete even if the 738 MAX has the range.... If the goal is get some of south american market wide bodies will be needed

Take a look at the (north american) airlines whom based themselves off of WN. they have realized rather quickly the while a single aircraft fleet is great there comes a point where you must turn away from it to EFFECTIVELY compete. I may get torched for this but o well...


User currently offlinecaribb From Canada, joined Nov 1999, 1639 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 15436 times:

I'm just waiting for them to come to Canada let alone other continents. I believe I've read that the turnaround time on international flights are prohibitive for them to start service to YYZ and YUL... so I gather anything more extensive say to Europe or South America would require a change in their operating model. Then you have to add in foreign languages and new aircraft types.. Canada and Mexico would be a good start before heading overseas but I see no sign of this happening soon.

User currently offlineSXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2440 posts, RR: 23
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 15380 times:

Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 2):
A short range 787 would get them deep into South America

Which would have been a 787-300, I am pretty sure Boeing canclled that project.

Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 2):
I can totally see WN getting 787s by 2020 or 2025.

There is a Boeing 787-900 model in WN colors at DAL, but IMHO thats about as close as we will ever see to seeing on wearing WN colors. I think for the foreseable future, we will ONLY operate the 737.. Then again in 2003 no one would have thought we would be flying a 737-800 and flying into DCA,LGA, ATL, EWR and some other places..

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 12):
WN can only compete in northern South America ie; Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador

I am looking forward to WN serivce to S.America. Hopefully its only a matter of time before it happens..



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently onlineAVENSAB727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 973 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 15274 times:

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 7):

Not all routes will go Airbus I think.



Always look on the bright side of Life!
User currently offlineORDFan From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 378 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 15219 times:

Not sure what WN's widebody plans are (if any), but there were more than a few times I thought they could use them on MDW-LGA.  
I don't think I've flown on their 738 on this route yet, either, which always seems completely full. What routes are the 738s currently flying?


User currently offlineUnited727 From United States of America, joined Nov 2010, 412 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 15149 times:

Although not a WB, isn't WN picking up the 737-9??? Thought I heard something about an acquisition of that sort. Wouldn't a -9 be able to handle the longer routing for an International routing for WN???


Looking for the impossible way to save those dying breeds!!!!
User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 15002 times:

Only if it was a 737-900ER.

User currently offlineWingtips56 From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 14987 times:

Quoting ORDFan (Reply 16):
I don't think I've flown on their 738 on this route yet, either, which always seems completely full. What routes are the 738s currently flying?

I know the 738's are regulars in SMF (one on the ground at the moment), flying at least SMF-PHX and SMF-MDW. Looking at Flight Aware, they also run through LAS, and AUS-DCA/BWI, MCO, PHX, and others.



Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines
User currently offlineYULWinterSkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2185 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 14343 times:

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Southwest would offer the Southwest experience, a mostly Y configuration and perhaps 10 rows of premium seating, (not beds, but perhaps a comfy recliner) I'd think that high traffic big city destinations with amazing connectivity in the USA, it could work. Sort of The People Express of the new millienium - advanced fuel efficent ac with great IFE, WiFi etc. I would think that seeing a 767 or even a 772 Southwest aircraft in Europe would make a huge splash. Naturally it would work only if they did cost less and if they could fill those planes. It just could not be cost neutral with AA, DL, UA or AF/KLM etc.

Europe-N Am is already a blood bath for all airlines involved and all what WN needs to do is stay away from it at all costs.
WiFi would not work across the ocean if I'm correct.
10 rows of premium seating is actually a lot of premium seating. Think 60 seats or so. Most US airlines struggle to make money with less than such premium capacity on many routes across the pond.



When I doubt... go running!
User currently offlineogshelly From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 14122 times:

There is politics as well. For many years, I heard that WN was going to fly to Mexico Cuty, but the routes are negotated at high level, and Continental had evidently much more influence. With Express Jet, Continental conquered Mexico as successful as Hernan Cortez, serving at least 30 cities. From Hobby airport WN's hub), Interjet will fly to Houston from Mexico utilizing either Airbus or Sukkoi. Again, WN behind! My two cents. Happy New Year amigos

User currently offlineouboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4615 posts, RR: 23
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 14061 times:

Quoting United727 (Reply 17):

Although not a WB, isn't WN picking up the 737-9??? Thought I heard something about an acquisition of that sort. Wouldn't a -9 be able to handle the longer routing for an International routing for WN???

I believe the -9 is included in the options they are picking up. Which should be more than enough to get to most of the places the company wants to serve.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 18):
Only if it was a 737-900ER.

We'll probably never see those. Will have to wait for the -9.


User currently offlineouboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4615 posts, RR: 23
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 14017 times:

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 20):
WiFi would not work across the ocean if I'm correct.

Depends where the satellites are.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12178 posts, RR: 51
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 13847 times:

WN has to keep an eye over their shoulder and stick to the business model that works for them. With the new PeoplExpress coming in 2013 and beginning service along the east coast, WN will have another LCC competitor.

PeoplExpress is going to be flying the B-734, and are rumored to be working a deal for 14 of them from QF.


25 incitatus : Likewise, what works for other companies might not work for Southwest. They have been judicious limiting business risk and complexity, in a way that
26 qqflyboy : Effectively they are serving Mexico now through AirTran. I think one of the biggest benefits of the Airtran merger for Southwest was to get a foot in
27 Post contains images VC10er : Yes, of course I did think of that. I was only just curious about what folks thought about a Southwest LCC flying abroad. It seems like its kicked up
28 Post contains links srbmod : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm81LSKJC2k I don't think WN (or anyone else for that matter) is sweating them. I don't see them adding anything larger
29 morrisond : The perfect future aircraft for Southwest would be the NSA that has been discussed here many times before. The version with a twin aisle Eliptical fus
30 UA787DEN : Everything mentioned I agree with. Also, I think most people buy WN because it is easy, cheap, convenient, and does what it needs to. Their service mo
31 WESTERN737800 : I don't think WN needs to change their business model. If they want to do any international I think Canada and Mexico is as far as they need to go. I
32 cschleic : One of the problems with widebodies is reduced flexibility. They only work on some routes. But smaller planes, such as 320's and 737's work on almost
33 Post contains images FI642 : Thanks, just spit coffee all over my laptop.
34 luv2fly : Let's all pause and reflect on how well the L1011''s worked out for PSA! And airline WN is based on.
35 cschleic : Exactly! Too few routes for it. Or America West and its 747's to Hawaii.
36 flyiguy : SWA was supposed to be the 787 launch customer when Boeing still had it on the drawing board but when Boeing chose to make it a wide body aircraft, S
37 UA787DEN : Boeing had been considering Narrowbody? That would be one hell of a plane. 242 pax in a 3-class narrowbody. And that's just the -8 model! What about
38 flyiguy : Originally it was supposed to be a narrow body single aisle aircraft and then Boeing chose to make it into a wide body.
39 Post contains images Polot : The 7E7 was always a widebody, it just looked more like a shrunken 777 before getting a makeover. The 737NG only entered service in 1997 and there is
40 Post contains images Stitch : What WN might have is a model of Yellowstone 1, which was designed to be a 737 replacement. Since 787 was the next number in the sequence, Boeing cou
41 Post contains links and images SXDFC :
42 UA787DEN : Honestly, canyon blue looks a lot better on a 737. But that is indeed a 787 model. Look at the nose and wings. I still don't think though that WN will
43 LoneStarMike : In addition to all the other reasons given, they would have also had to update their reservations systems to be able to handle international flights
44 Post contains images TWA772LR : If Bombardier's claims of TATL range are true on the CSeries, could WN order them and launch EWR or BOS to Ireland and UK? And then get ambitious even
45 aztrainer : They only way I could see WN doing a bigger aircraft would be if they plan to transition most of its fleet to that type of aircraft, Commonality and c
46 srbmod : The AirTran brand is slated to disappear by 2015 once all employee groups are integrated into Southwest. So to keep the AirTran brand and operation a
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