LoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3811 posts, RR: 34
Reply 1, posted (12 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2578 times:
I, too, was surprised to see that AirTran was starting up BWI-MCO service, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. For one thing, Metrojet is going away in December, and Delta Express has is cutting way back, yet Southwest recently said they most likely won't be adding any new frequencies until at least April. So if AirTran wants to compete on that route, now is the perfect time. Strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.
Also, AirTran's initial flights fit in nicely with Southwest's current schedule. (I'm looking at Southwest's nonstops only).
Right now, Southwest has nonstop departures out of BWI at 7:50 a.m., 11:10 a.m., 5:55 p.m. and 8:35 p.m. AirTran's 3:35 p.m. departure fills in a gap between Southwest's 11:10 a.m. and 5:55 p.m. departures.
Out of MCO, Southwest has nonstop departures to BWI at 8:40 a.m., 10:05 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 5:35 p.m., so AirTran's 12:45 p.m. departure also allows for more flexibility for people flying MCO-BWI.
Later on in March, when AirTran adds it's second roundtrip in that City pair, their 7:30 a.m. departure will compete somewhat with Southwest's 7:50 a.m. departure, but AirTran can advertise that they have the first departure of the day.
And from MCO, AirTran's 7:35 p.m. departure back to BWI will be the last flight of the day, a full 2 hours after Southwest's last nonstop flight in that direction, so I think Southwest's and AirTran's schedules on that route compliment each other very nicely. I hope AirTran does well on this route and I think there's plenty of passengers for both AirTran and Southwest.