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Why Alaska Won't Open A Hub On The East Coast?  
User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 998 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 11019 times:
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Is it time for Alaska to set up shop on the East-Coast??

There's a few large-airports on the East capable of sustaining "a Hub". (PIT, CVG, RDU, MCO)

US Airways pulled out of Pittsburgh many years ago, Delta is dialing back Cincinnatti considerably, that's two options right there.

any thoughts?

[Edited 2013-03-31 15:09:40]

43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3108 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10967 times:

Because there is no need. AS serves their role as a niche airline that has an excellent West Coast, Alaskan, and Hawaiian route network. They are making money as it is, and I see opening up a East Coast hub as risky. Not only that, but AS has codeshares with AA and DL that help serve AS passengers on the East cost. Besides, the East Coast is already well-served with existing hubs.

Quoting g500 (Thread starter):
US Airways pulled out of Pittsburgh many years ago, Delta is dialing back Cincinnatti considerably, that's two options right there.

US and DL have scaled back PIT and CVG because there were too many hubs in the area. The Midwest is efficiently served today via ORD, DTW, CLE, MSP, and to some extent, CVG.



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User currently offlineboeing773ER From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 434 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10957 times:

I think the reason why AS won't open a hub on the east coast is because they don't have as stron as a brand recognition on the east coast. Sure people know about Alaska Airlines but they don't know how great of an airline they are.

Also another problem is the name, people are gonna think "Alaska" and not Seattle or Portland



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User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2257 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10930 times:

AS would get slaughtered. Here on the East Coast they don't have anywhere close to the same brand equity that they have out West.

Better to focus on their strengths than trying to expand just for the sake of expanding.


User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 998 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10904 times:
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Quoting Polot (Reply 3):
AS would get slaughtered. Here on the East Coast they don't have anywhere close to the same brand equity that they have out West.

Jetblue didn't get "slaughtered" in long Beach, and I'm cetain Alaska has more brand recongnition than Jetblue


User currently offlinejetbluefan1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2991 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10840 times:

Quoting g500 (Reply 4):
and I'm cetain Alaska has more brand recongnition than Jetblue

Are you inferring Alaska has more brand recognition on the East Coast than JetBlue has on the West? I highly doubt that is the case for the following reasons:

-All West Coast markets that B6 serves has nonstop flights to more than one destination (except BUR, which is a recent development). AS almost exclusively flies to SEA from its East Coast spokes.
-B6 has an LGB focus city. AS does not have an equivalent on the East Coast.
-B6 competes in the high profile JFK/BOS-LAX/SFO markets, whereas AS does not have an equivalent.

AS has incredible brand equity on the West Coast, in Alaska and Hawaii. But it is a virtually unknown carrier for most of the East Coast public.



Most people on a.net hate JetBlue. Get used to it.
User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 998 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10796 times:
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Quoting jetbluefan1 (Reply 5):
Are you inferring Alaska has more brand recognition on the East Coast than JetBlue has on the West?

No I'm inferring that Alaska has more brand recognition than Jetblue as whole... Alaska has been around for a long time. I flew Alaska when I was a kid, and Jetblue wasn't even an idea back then


User currently offlineatxpatriot811 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10714 times:

when I see Alaska Airlines at DCA, I'm thinking of an airline that will take me west, maybe not all the way to Alaska, but certainly something somewhat in that direction. Living near DCA, if I'm going to MIA or JFK, Alaska is probably not the first name that pops up in my head...

User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17657 posts, RR: 46
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10675 times:

There are still too many hubs in the US right now--adding another one would be suicidal.

Quoting g500 (Reply 4):
Jetblue didn't get "slaughtered" in long Beach, and I'm cetain Alaska has more brand recongnition than Jetblue

LGB has some of the lowest fares in the country. I wouldn't call it so much a hub as an albatross.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinecloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 835 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10645 times:

I think most people know who Alaska is. They may not have the equity JetBlue does, but that is not a show stopper. In fact they are in a better position because they also don't have as much negativity association with their airline either on the East Coast. I think there is more than just room - at this point a real opportunity - for a 4th full service airline. Frequent flyers especially are going to look for an airline that offers a first class.

Of course I don't see it happening. Number one - Alaska doesn't seem very oriented to substantial growth - they like to play it safe. Number two - they have ties with DL and AA. Both of which want to make sure those ties keep them from becoming a major airline. Airlines see short term - they can't see the potential long term gains of a full national network versus the short term loss of their code shares.



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31097 posts, RR: 85
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10635 times:
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Alaska's expansion strategy outside of the west coast is to codeshare with a larger carrier (originally NW, CO, DL and AA - now DL and AA) from SEA to their hub and once sufficient Alaska Mileage Plan customers fly the route to fill an AS 737, launch their own non-stop service to capture those MP customers and their revenue.

As such, AS''s west-coat / east-coat traffic is O&D or connecting at SEA. If that MP traffic needs to go somewhere else, they do so via codeshare once they get to their partner's east coast hub.

[Edited 2013-03-31 16:09:31]

User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2257 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10550 times:

Quoting g500 (Reply 6):
No I'm inferring that Alaska has more brand recognition than Jetblue as whole... Alaska has been around for a long time. I flew Alaska when I was a kid, and Jetblue wasn't even an idea back then

That doesn't mean squat. Presence in a market determines brand recognition, not how old the airline is overall. Whether AS is better known on the West Coast versus B6 is completely immaterial to it's brand recognition (or lack thereof) on the East Coast.


User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10335 times:

Quoting g500 (Thread starter):
Is it time for Alaska to set up shop on the East-Coast??

There's a few large-airports on the East capable of sustaining "a Hub". (PIT, CVG, RDU, MCO)
.



No. I don't think AS will or should set up a hub on the east coast. The cost of building a hub along the east coast will would not be worth it for AS. To establish share, AS would have to offer very attractive fares that will erode their margins.

I believe you used B6 as an example. B6 was able to build up LGB by attracting passengers with very low fares. LGB has the second lowest airfare in the country out of the top 100 airports. However, B6 has a very low cost structure that gives them the ability to offer very low fares to steal share. If AS tried something similar along the east coast, they too would need to offer very low fares, but at their cost structure, this would most likely be an unprofitable venture for them.

AS will need to grow their network over time, but I think they will accomplish this by replicating a focus city approach in other western cities as they did in SAN / SJC / Hawaii or launch more point to point routes within the west.

[Edited 2013-03-31 17:13:18]

User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2932 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10154 times:

Alaska Airlines is successful because they have a conservative growth strategy focusing on the west coast. This is their strength and they know this and are doing well capitalizing on their core strengths. There is no need for them to open up a significant operation on the east coat (or midwest etc) as they have comprehensive marketing agreements with Delta and American which can provide them the feed much more efficiently.

If anything, expect to see more west coast-Hawaii flying and more Seattle/Portland/San Diego flying.


User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 9995 times:

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 13):
Alaska Airlines is successful because they have a conservative growth strategy focusing on the west coast.

An east coast hub is a bad bad idea.


User currently offlineKD5MDK From United States of America, joined Mar 2013, 363 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9808 times:

So, I'm going to go out on a limb and wonder about a Horizon hub in PIT. Put a bunch of capacity PIT-SEA, PIT-LAX, PIT-PDX, and then fly very cheap, high quality flights on Q400s from PIT to YYZ, PHL, BDL, PVD, MHT, BWI, EWR, IAD, CLE, etc. AS has very low costs. By putting the long haul not going all the way to the transcend but pilling up feeder flights, I wonder if they would be able to have a cost advantage over the existing transcon incumbents.

It would be aggressive, it would be risky. But if anything were to happen, I can see it being that.


User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3151 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 9649 times:

Quoting boeing773ER (Reply 2):
Sure people know about Alaska Airlines but they don't know how great of an airline they are.

Agree. IMHO AS is the best domestic airline. I don't need Direct TV, just good service and almost always on-time, which they are.

Quoting boeing773ER (Reply 2):
Also another problem is the name, people are gonna think "Alaska" and not Seattle or Portland

I was getting on the rental car shuttle at MIA a few years ago and told the driver, "Alaska Airlines". Everyone on the van assumed I was going to ANC or somewhere in the state of Alaska. Having said that, AS seems to be able to hold their own in the likes of SAN-PVR; LAX-DCA; SJC-GDL, LAX-ZIH and other very non-state-of-Alaska routes. I'm sure if Brad Tilden thought that AS starting more routes within the east was a good business decision, AS could make it work and build the brand loyalty.


User currently offlineslcdeltarumd11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3544 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 9430 times:

Alaska has both DL and AA as partners. Absolutely no reason they need or would want an East Coast Hub.

Alaska is more profitable by focusing on one area and making it a really good product. They don't have to be a national or worldwide carrier. For the same reason they have been so profitable for so many years not being in an alliance they are smaller but leaner and meaner. Alaska does so much right no reason to change or risk profits. What they have works.


User currently offlinecbphoto From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1567 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 9401 times:

Quoting g500 (Thread starter):
Is it time for Alaska to set up shop on the East-Coast??

Sorry, but if isn't broke, don't fix it! Alaska is one of the most profitable airlines right now and know how to run a smart airline. They don't need to waste money by opening up bases and hubs on the east coast, when their brand and loyalty are mostly on the opposite side of the country. Alaska's focus has always been connecting passengers on the west coast and Alaska and it works great for them!



ETOPS: Engines Turning or Passengers Swimming
User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1390 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 9062 times:

What advantage does Alaska get from starting an east coast hub. They would be better off starting a new subsidiary (Arkansas Airlines? Horizon?) and building a hub.

They would be better starting off a hub in the west. They have some brand awareness and some route synchronicity.

DEN - buy out F9 (for the gates) and head towards a national brand, PHX - wait for AA to abandon, SLC - if Delta expands in SEA, someplace in the bay area - SJC or OAK, someplace in the LA basin - LAX, BUR, ONT or such.


User currently offlinewoodsboy From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 1031 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8952 times:

There are zero reasons AS should have an East Coast hub. Why risk your stable and continuous profitability with a dumb expansion to a new hub totally outside your sphere of influence? The legacy carriers struggle to make money and be even a little profitable so obviously having more hubs doesn't have any connection to profitability. AS is lucky that it has been so successful and weathered the disasters that have caused all the legacy carriers in the US to go bankrupt and CLOSE hubs...just saying.

User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 1294 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8214 times:
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Quoting ADent (Reply 19):

Wait for American to abandon SLC?? I recently saw an AS airplane here in ORD, Did AMR or UAL abandon ORD??
Is Delta going to pull out of SLC?? What kind of strategy are you espousing? If they want to build a hub??
Then Build it and defend it!


User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3364 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7724 times:

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 15):
It would be aggressive, it would be risky. But if anything were to happen, I can see it being that

Something AS does not do ever, is "be risky" their approach is usually very well thought out and contemplative.

Quoting KD5MDK (Reply 15):
So, I'm going to go out on a limb and wonder about a Horizon hub in PIT. Put a bunch of capacity PIT-SEA, PIT-LAX, PIT-PDX, and then fly very cheap, high quality flights on Q400s from PIT to YYZ, PHL, BDL, PVD, MHT, BWI, EWR, IAD, CLE, etc. AS has very low costs. By putting the long haul not going all the way to the transcend but pilling up feeder flights, I wonder if they would be able to have a cost advantage over the existing transcon incumbents.

The only was AS will be operating even a focus city out east, is if they were to merge, which ain't going to happen. PIT is going to have about .01% brand recognition in in PIT. No O & D would work, and PDX/SEA-PIT does not have the numbers to support a trans con from AS.

IMO, AS will continue expanding from the West Coast only, To Hawaii and from SEA/PDX or to a lesser extent SAN or SJC



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User currently offlinehohd From United States of America, joined May 2008, 433 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7122 times:

Instead of having a hub, they should explore an alliance with JetBlue. Jetblue is strong in east and Alaska in west. After the AA/US merger, there could be some changes to the alliance with AA and DL is starting some flights from Seattle, competing with Alaska.

User currently offlineGSPflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 369 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 6985 times:

They will have a lot of Hubs in the east if they merge with DL.   

Do I think it will happen? No. Would it be a good business move? Not for AS. Will someone say it in this thread? Absolutely.


25 msp747 : Look at the post again. He was saying wait for AA to abandon PHX. I guess that's a good focus city IF AA bails, but I don't see it happening. Even th
26 STT757 : I think there might be an opportunity for AS to grow if the combined AA draws down in PHX. PHX makes sense as a new growth opportunity for AS. It's a
27 ItalianFlyer : As I have said before...the exciting days of hub building in the USA are O V E R. Even G4 has covered every viable vacation destination in the country
28 WesternA318 : Boy where was this forum back in the days of MarkAir and other airlines in the late 80's/early 90's, lol. Y'all wouldve had a field day with the imbe
29 Post contains images ItalianFlyer : We share the same brain lol....I was thinking the same thing today!! Too bad the drama of MarkAir, KIWI,Air South, PrivateJet/National II etc all pre
30 cloudboy : Why does everyone assume the airline industry is working towards some stable written in stone structure. We already see that the big three pretty much
31 EA CO AS : With what lift? QX has extremely limited capacity available these days. The argument always goes "PHX has crap yields" etc, and to some extent that's
32 airbazar : That's nonsense. That's only relevant for us aviation enthusiasts. Alaska is as niche carrier as you will find in the US. For the general public outs
33 GentFromAlaska : Any Eastern focus city would have to be am multi-tasker. MCI might work if it were combined with Mexico service. I still think SEA-BNA is going to hap
34 Tango-Bravo : Really? As I see it, according to the definition of insanity*...it would be insane for Alaska Airlines (or any airline) to attempt a hub at any of th
35 msp747 : It's more than just the Pacific Northwest. I would say that AS is more recognizable up and down the west coast than B6. However, once you leave the w
36 B727FA : While I agree that there's no reason for them to expand into a "presence" in the East, Alaska becoming known for more than "out west" is possible. Ce
37 dabpit : PIT has enough traffic, that currently makes connections, to fly daily to SEA with a 737-800. This has been discussed in another form. There are roug
38 MasseyBrown : This is easier said than done. In fact, you might call it an oxymoron. The short haul flying you propose has essentially been killed by today's secur
39 ouboy79 : Everyone airline does not have to fly to every market. I don't see why this is even being discussed. What's next? "Why doesn't Cape Air fly to Topeka?
40 WesternA318 : I'm waiting for it...that and when will they install an F Class....
41 Roseflyer : AS ha the highest profit margins in the US other than allegiant. Why on earth would they want to go head to head in an already saturated market? Conne
42 GentFromAlaska : Because Topeka rolls up their sidewalks at 6:00 PM most evenings.
43 baw716 : Answer to question: NO. Alaska has no wish or desire to grow beyond a west coast airline. Yes, they may grow more routes into Seattle from other US m
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