The rock From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 39 posts, RR: 0 Posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1133 times:
Airtran will be offering nonstop daily service from ROC to MCO on their nice 717's starting 4/9/02. This is in addition to the 2 daily flights to each ATL and BWI that starts around 3/14/02. Check with www.airtran.com
It's about time we get some relief in ROC.
Come on WN.
We now have:
DCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4424 posts, RR: 35 Reply 5, posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 980 times:
The Rock--are you a new Rochester member at this forum? If so welcome! There are several ROC folks here. I live in DC to go to grad school, but I fly home to Rochester regularly.
CO 757-200-- AirTran did not leave the Rochester market in 1998 because of any weakness in the market. At that time, you may remember, AirTran was a different airline--an Orlando-based 732 operator whose business was flying one or two daily nonstops to various medium-size cities from MCO. At that time, AirTran had one daily nonstop each from ROC, BUF, SYR, Stewart-Newburgh, and ALB to MCO.
But then ValuJet bought AirTran to get their good name, and closed down the MCO hub. THey moved the planes to Atlanta to feed ValuJet routes. So ROC, SYR, Stewart-Newburgh and ALB all lost AirTran in 1998. Apparently AirTran felt that Buffalo was promising enough to attach it to the ValuJet system with 3 daily nonstops to Atlanta. That's been their only presence in Upstate New York since then.
Rochester has traditionally supported about one daily flight to MCO just fine. Fellow Rochester aviation enthusiasts will remember that as soon as the old AirTran left, MetroJet and Delta Express each added two daily nonstops ROC-MCO! The predictable result of this overcapacity was that neither could make money, and both pulled out of the market in less than a year. So US Airways resumed its one daily ROC-MCO nonstop, which it had until Sept. 11.
All five of the Cartel carriers slashed service in Upstate New York after Sept. 11. In this situation, JetBlue ascended past United to become the second-busiest carrier at ROC. This fact apparently didn't escape AirTran's notice. Also, DL chopped service to ATL by 40 percent, and US Airways eliminated jets to the DC area. (US is putting damn DH8 turboprops on DCA when they restore service ROC-DCA this month. They always used 737s before)
AirTran simply did the math. I'd look for all three of their new Rochester routes to do very well. I've already booked my first ticket home on AirTran--hope I get a 717!
DCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4424 posts, RR: 35 Reply 6, posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 974 times:
The Rock-- Sept. 11 has, in my view, greatly increased Rochester's chances of landing Southwest. US Airways is weak and will probably go under in two years. (Before Sept. 11 they would probably have lasted five or eight years). That's 45 percent of airline service in Rochester. And you have a city tired of high fares and willing to turn to high-quality low-fare service. JetBlue has been hugely successful at ROC. And we all know how many folks have been driving down the Thruway to get WN and FL at BUF.
When US nears bankruptcy, it seems to me likely that WN will enter both Rochester and Syracuse. They could wind up controlling 30-40 percent of all air travel in Upstate New York within a few years if they do this. Southwest has been known to jump into regions of opportunity before--like the wholesale moves into Florida, California, and the Pacific Northwest.
Also, Rochester's local and federal officials are still aggressively lobbying Southwest. Local businesses have become much more savvy about working with local gov't to pitch Rochester in the past few years. Jack Doyle worked his fanny off to get AirTran in, and got commitments from big companies to use them. This helped AirTran choose ROC over four other cities.
Finally, the always-tenacious Rep. Louise Slaughter is keeping up the pressure on Southwest too. I'd never vote for her because she's liberal and pro-choice, but she's a real bulldog when it comes to promoting Rochester with low-fare airlines.
CO 757 200 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 969 times:
Thanks for refreshing my memory DCA-ROC guy.....I somehow forgot the fact it's essentially not the same Air Tran by virtue of the merger with Valujet,dang I must be really tired for that to somehow have been overlooked by me!
Mexitli From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 108 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 959 times:
Thanks for all the information on service out of ROC. Very impressive. How do you keep up with all those service stats? You say that B6 is doing great in ROC. I'd be interested to know if you have any idea of what their load factors are out of ROC, and maybe even out of BUF and SYR.
In any case, congratulations to ROC for the new service. Hopefully, it's just the start of great new things for that market.
DCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4424 posts, RR: 35 Reply 10, posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 924 times:
You're welcome CO, glad to help. I keep up with ROC service issues over the Net (including reports from observant a.net forum members in Rochester ), and through talking with folks at home. I keep track of airline flight schedules on the Net and grab paper ones whenever I'm at the airport. (which is often, since I live with and around students who travel to visit their families, and I often give rides to the airport).
I don't know exact enplanement figures but read in the Upstate newspapers that JetBlue is doing well at all three markets. At ROC, the load factors must be very high, because UA has four 319s-320's daily to ORD, plus several CRJ's to IAD. If JetBlue is now carrying more pax than them, and UA has cut back capacity sharply, that would have to be at least 80-85 percent loads, probably higher.
Mexitli--I wouldn't look for AirTran to compete directly with WN at ALB. They seem to be following a strategy of going after markets WN has spurned--like ROC-BWI, and routes WN doesn't fly, like LGA, EWR, and BOS. If AirTran enters ALB, which I think is at least possible given US Airways' weakness, I'd look for 3 dailies to ATL. They probably wouldn't go head to head with WN to MCO or BWI.
Travatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7 Reply 11, posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 898 times:
You said you hoped to get a 717 when you fly. Not certain when you're traveling, but we just got the Schedule bid packets for March, and thru at least April 1, all ROC flying will be done with 717s (which, I too, only fly). I'll be doing almost all BWI routes next month, maybe I'll see ya up there.
The rock From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 39 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 879 times:
I am a rochester area aviation enthusiast.
It is great to read your input.
For the record, I believe US had only a nonstop to MCO on saturdays.
Also, I emailed Jetblue when they reduced our ROC-JFK flights after 9/11, and asked them why BUF only lost 1 flight and ROC lost 2 flights. I also asked what kind of traffic were BUF, ROC, and SYR generating.
Their response was that BUF and especially ROC were doing well. SYR was doing OK.
I received no answer to the lost flight question. Two weeks later they resored it.
ROC-JFK 5 flights
BUF-JFK 5 flights SYR-JFK 3 flights
note: SYR is losing AA SYR-JFK
why AA they kept it after BUF & ROC lost them, I don't know.
I like to think I had something to do with B6 bringing back the ROC flights.
Obviously it is the fact that we are packing them in.
DCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4424 posts, RR: 35 Reply 13, posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 856 times:
One indicator of JetBlue's success at Rochester is how the Cartel carriers, other than CO who is feeding a hub, cut back service at ROC. AA had been operating ex-BEX Eagle service to JFK and LGA since they bought BEX. The LGA nonstops were converted to ERJ-135's in 2000, I think it was. By 2001, a few months after the arrival of JetBlue, the LGA flights were gone. The JFK flights of course fed int'l flights so they didn't really compete with JetBlue. They only disappeared after Sept. 11.
And US Airways, which had steadily reduced ROC-LGA from a post-Piedmont merger high of eight daily narrowbodies, to 3 narrowbodies plus 5 props and ERJ's by early 2000, never responded to the entry of JetBlue. Now, after Sept. 11, US has six daily ERJ's. They don't seem eager to take on JetBlue.
US was indeed down to a Saturday nonstop to MCO before Sept 11, I had forgotten about that. But during the previous few years, I usually saw a daily nonstop to MCO in the timetable.
Do you know which gate AirTran is going to use? The pre-Valujet Orlando AirTran used Northwest's A4 and sometimes Continental's A3. This time, with 5 daily flights, they'll need a dedicated gate of their own.
Zrb2 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 895 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 843 times:
Always good to see an informative thread on WNY air service, especially all you folks from the ROC area. Of the 3 major upstate airports, sounds like ROC is the airport of the moment. With all the large corporations in the area it would seem like a natural for more nonstop service and Airtran will definitely cut into Southwest's monopoly on WNY to BWI low fare jet service (out of BUF).
BUF has hit it's peak for now and will probably lose a bunch of traffic from Rochester's market area. I know the airport blew it's budget already on snow removal cost overruns from December's huge storm and that's a big deal. Landing fees are going up and 9/11 really hurt what was going to be unbelievable growth. Thank you SW, AT and JB for keeping everyone else honest. I am still surprised to see Vanguard hanging around BUF as well with flights to Midway.
I still don't foresee SW moving into ROC as long as AT is providing service to their major hub of BWI and MCO. I don't think two low fare jet carriers can exist on the same routes from WNY. I certainly don't think AT will begin BWI or MCO from BUF as long as SW is there.
Finally, when are those Dash-8's to DCA at least going to turn into at ERJ's?
DCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4424 posts, RR: 35 Reply 16, posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 825 times:
If Southwest were to enter ROC, AirTran would probably pull the ROC-BWI flights and increase service to Atlanta, say to 3 dailies. Southwest would probably have 6-7 nonstops to BWI and AirTran probably couldn't compete with that. And because AirTran would still serve Atlanta and offer connections to a lot of non-WN cities through ATL, the corporations in Rochester that promised to use AirTran where possible could still do so.
WN and AirTran would probably battle it out for MCO; Southwest would probably win, as they do most marketing battles against pretty much everyone. But FL has been getting creative recently, like their new PHF-LGA service. FL probably wouldn't try to compete with hugely-successful JetBlue on ROC-NYC. But it's easy to imagine AirTran launching a couple of ROC-BOS dailies. Or ROC-MDW, unless Southwest were to do that.
These routes now have no low-fare competition, and Boston in particular is well below the capacity the market can naturally support. US's claims that ROC-BOS can't support more than 4 daily ERJ's are bulls**t. In the 1980's, the route supported four daily USAir narrowbodies and three or four Piedmont F-28's, at the same time. The fares are too high, and American Eagle dropped out of the route after Sept. 11 so the market is very ripe for the picking.
I don't picture business travelers, who are two-thirds of ROC passengers, being eager to fly into MHT or PVD for Boston. AirTran would have a natural advantage on the route by flying into Logan.
All of what I'm saying above could apply to BUF or SYR too. It depends upon how much Southwest does in Upstate NY, and how well AirTran thinks they can do jumping into the gap left by US.
Travatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7 Reply 17, posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 805 times:
It is well understood at AirTran, that we simply do not "batlle it out" with Southwest. There is, at least to my understanding in the 6+ years that I've been here (orig ValuJet), a "gentlemen's agreement" between the two carriers. We don't flood each other's markets with capacity, and we don't have cut-rate fares aimed specifically at one another (albiet same markets, but different routing). There is no reason why two successful low-fare carriers can not peacefully co-exist, especially since both carriers not only try to draw SOME passengers from the majors, but also try increase demand in a new market, by luring people that normally may not travel, or would not necessarily do so by air.
Additionally, the two carriers have somewhat different operating philosphies. Each airline attempts to largely draw leisure travelers through low fares, but each carrier also aims to attract the business passenger through different tactics.
Southwest offers high frequency and more nonstops, whereas AirTran offers assigned seating, business class, and a FF program that allows travel on other carriers. Both of which are attractive. I think there is plenty to go around in all markets where the two may compete directly, and BWI will probably be the testing ground for that.
The "new commercial aviation world" will see more and more competition among the low fare airlines with the winners being the passengers, and the losers being the big boys.
DCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4424 posts, RR: 35 Reply 18, posted (11 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 808 times:
Travis: Southwest offers high frequency and more nonstops, whereas AirTran offers assigned seating, business class, and a FF program that allows travel on other carriers. Both of which are attractive. I think there is plenty to go around in all markets where the two may compete directly, and BWI will probably be the testing ground for that. The "new commercial aviation world" will see more and more competition among the low fare airlines with the winners being the passengers, and the losers being the big boys.
Jim: This makes a lot of sense, Travis. The only reason I speculated that they might battle on the MCO route is that both carriers like to offer nonstops from medium-size cities to MCO (eg. AirTran at CAK, Southwest at BUF and ALB). It seemed to me an area of overlap. As yoy may have noticed, I've argued for a long time that the two carriers probably can prosper side by side in the East based on their different business plans.
BWI will probably work out well as a good market for WN and FL to share. The Florida traffic is so huge from BWI's catchment area that both carriers can easily coexist (as WN and MetroJet did). And there are a lot of cities that fit one carrier's game plan better than the other's. PVD and MHT fit Southwest's game plan, direct service to BOS fits AirTran's.
Still, if Southwest decided they wanted to run their 7-8 dailies into all four Upstate cities, I think they'd easily be able do it. But as I said, there are so many routes that would fit AirTran's game plan from these cities--ATL of course and BOS, and Florida cities--that AirTran would still probably be a healthy player in Upstate NY even if Southwest were at all four cities.
I'd also look for focus city service to PIT from Upstate after US goes under. The US PIT hub is toast after US goes, and the city will finally be ready for a sizeable low-fare invasion. AirTran just jumped the gun by introducing PIT-LGA and PIT-PHL service while US was still around. Pittsburgh businesses are still in such hypnotic FF thrall to US that these two FL routes were ahead of their time. Wait til US goes, then move in.