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Southwest To Fresno In 2 Or 3 Years?  
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5800 posts, RR: 15
Posted (12 years 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1403 times:

I've mentioned before that I thought FAT would gain Southwest service in 2 years (there are a few cities that provide better opportunities). It appears I may be only slightly off, mainly due to the current state of the industry.

A newspaper article this week reports that 6 WN planners met with a small Fresno delegation of the Mayor, airport management, and consultant Mike Boyd.
http://www.fresnobee.com/business/story/3976135p-5001771c.html
This is the second meeting since 9/11 between FAT and WN that I am aware of. While interested, WN seems to be continuing its no new cities stance while strenghtening its current cities for the next year or so.

For the doubters who say that every city contacts WN I would point out that if Southwest met once or twice a year with all 150 seeking service, the planners and decision makers would never have the time to do their analysis that keep WN adding profitable routes.

These meetings are an encouraging sign that FAT remains high on the short list of potential Southwest cities.





"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNational_757 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1381 times:

Southwest coming to FAT would be some good news for residents and bad news for Allegiant Air. I don't know what the deal is, but if Southwest comes to Fresno, I'd bet that Allegiant will have to stop scheduled service IMO.

Hey FATflyer, any new news on Allegiant in Fresno BTW?


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4499 posts, RR: 33
Reply 2, posted (12 years 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1362 times:

What's the population within a two-hour drive of Fresno? The key question is, can the market support 10 dailies at satisfactory yields on day one? If Fresno can reach that, y'all have a chance.

As US Airways continues to weaken, I think Rochester's chances continue improving strongly, as do Syracuse's. JetBlue is thriving in both markets, and AirTran has made a strong start at ROC. The growth of Denver and Colorado Springs helps COS, I think.

Unfortunately, everyone will probably have to wait til next year for an announcement, unless Southwest changes its no-new-cities-in 2002 policy announced last fall.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5800 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (12 years 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1343 times:

Jim,

As the article mentions using different terms, the regional population is 3.5 million within the roughly 2 hour circle. BFL is roughly 100 miles south and SCK is 100 miles north. Beyond those 2 cities, it makes more sense to use SMF, OAK, BUR, etc.

FAT has been seeing year over year increases in pax numbers nearly every month this year. That compares to many of the other west coast cities that seem to still be running 10-20% below last year.

The driveaway situation at FAT has increased as the area population has increased. FAT handles roughly the same number of passengers as it did 20 years ago with double the population in the region. Why? Better airfares available 3 or 4 hours away combined with the majors converting to regional services. For example, UA shifted from 737s all the way down to 19 seat Bandits (flights to LAX and SFO every 30 minutes) in the 80s at FAT. That drove up driveaways which have increased from 20% of the market to over 50% according to a recent study.

Filling planes is not a problem. AA added an additional DFW flight this year that has seen high loads from day 1. Eagle saw no drop in FAT-LAX when the flight started. In fact, Eagle has begun upgrading to ERJs at FAT, one of the few west coast airports to see the jet. AWX is upgrading to 70 seaters on the PHX runs.

Yields have been seen as the problem at FAT in the past for most majors. There is a growing base of small and midsized businesses but few large employers in the area willing to pay high Y and F fares. The smaller firms watch their travel budgets, but still have to travel. They just have a hard time with $500RTs to LAX, etc. Driving makes more sense financially. But it seems the days of high fare travel are gone in a lot of regions.

I agree with you about SYR and ROC. However, I think that if JB and AirTran continue to increase services there, it also reduces the opportunities for WN. And I tend to disagree with many about the fate of US. While the company will contract, I think it falls into the area of too big to be allowed to fail (a la Chrysler). No other airline is in the position to replace US's service in the east.




"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5800 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (12 years 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1336 times:

National_757,

Allegiant's loads out of FAT have been good although I hear COS-LAS has been lower than they would like. But the scheduled aircraft does not cost them much, just flight costs.

The charter side has been doing very well. It's rare to see one of the aircraft on the ground at FAT, unlike the past where I saw them regularly.

Allegiant seems to be in the process of redefining itself. There has been an increased public presence in the Fresno area. Their vacation group has expanded its package offerings. They may have learned some lessons from their ill-fated moves at TVL and LGB. The focus seems to be on keeping a strong mix of scheduled and charter service, rather than leaning mainly on one or the other.

When WN arrives at FAT, I expect Allegiant to simply identify a new city pair to operate in.




"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 47
Reply 5, posted (12 years 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1318 times:

This is something I have been dreaming about for years. I would love to see them come in. I've made numerous posts about this.

Now the question remains:

what cities would be served from FAT on Southwest?

My guess would be:

LAX
LAS
PHX
OAK or SJC

Also, hows the new terminal construction coming along?


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4499 posts, RR: 33
Reply 6, posted (12 years 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1299 times:

Yields have been seen as the problem at FAT in the past for most majors. There is a growing base of small and midsized businesses but few large employers in the area willing to pay high Y and F fares. The smaller firms watch their travel budgets, but still have to travel. They just have a hard time with $500RTs to LAX, etc. Driving makes more sense financially. But it seems the days of high fare travel are gone in a lot of regions.

If yields are a problem for the majors, but the population and business base is growing, that makes a market more attractive for Southwest. Fresno should definitely keep campaigning hard, and retaining Mike Boyd in these matters helps too.

I agree with you about SYR and ROC. However, I think that if JB and AirTran continue to increase services there, it also reduces the opportunities for WN. And I tend to disagree with many about the fate of US. While the company will contract, I think it falls into the area of too big to be allowed to fail (a la Chrysler). No other airline is in the position to replace US's service in the east.

US will be allowed to fail (after the election), and the other network carriers will pick up whatever pieces are desirable (IMO, the PHL and CLT hubs, and DCA/ LGA/ BOS). NW is weak along the whole East Coast, UA is weak in the Southeast, and AA wants a DCA/ LGA/ BOS shuttle. (That's why they've started their ERJ shuttle on the route, they think they can start bleeding US people with their FF miles, and prep for an eventual US bankruptcy). The East Coast will do just fine without US, much as we hate to see such a good airline go. And the low-fares will be able to expand, with good loads and yields right out of the starting gate.

Jim




Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5800 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (12 years 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1294 times:

Matt,

You are pretty close on what I've heard about initial routes out of FAT. More likely it would be OAK not SJC. Additional cities might be SAN and RNO. NAS Lemoore, south of Fresno is one of the largest west coast Navy bases with something like 14 Hornet squadrons based there with lots of connections to San Diego. Reno has seen a lot of dropoff in tourist traffic from other cities and has pushed from its end for a FAT-RNO connection from many airlines including WN to help the casinos.

There are also possibilities discussed about later expansion to any or all of these: SEA, PDX, SLC and ABQ or a Texas city.

The concourse expansion is back on track after several problems with construction. Currently it looks like an October opening. The jetways are installed as are elevators and escalators and much of the interior. Mainly finish work remains in the interior. The last major piece is the installation of the 3 story glass wall that provides views of the Sierras. I hope to load some exterior pics in the next few weeks with interiors coming as soon as I can get inside.

Also, concession contracts have been awarded to a couple of national vendors who can't wait to get started on their spaces.




"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineUal777contrail From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1286 times:

I wonder if southwest will come into COS before UNITED pulls out altogether.
i would give it maybe 1.5 to 2 years before this happens.(UNITED pulling out)


any feedback about WN would be cool,thanks



ual 777 contrail


User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 47
Reply 9, posted (12 years 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1288 times:

FATFlyer:

In case you didn't know, I consider the Fresno area to be my "second home". I have a lot of relatives up there (uncle in Fresno, cousins in Reedley, grandparents in Kerman, and aunt and another cousin in Clovis) and know the city and the surrounding area as well as my own neighborhood. But because of my gruelling owrk schedule, I haven't been able to take a drive up there for almost a year now. I sooooo badly want to pay another visit. So that's why I would love to see decent jet service between SoCal and FAT. That drive up the 99 is pretty long and boring.

Speaking of RNO, I know that they've been hurting ever since Reno Air was slAAughtered by a certain Mega-Carrier. Which is a more popular destination out of the Fresno Area? Reno or Las Vegas? I know that neither are easily accesible by road from Fresno. To get to Reno, you have to take 99 all the way to "Sac" and then go over Donner Pass. Even though Reno is only about 180 linear miles from Fresno, actual driving distance is something like 250 or 300 miles.

Las Vegas is even worse. Because of the same thing hindering access to Reno (those pesky Sierras), you have to take 99 all the way to Bakersfield, then cut across through Tehachapi and Mojave to Barstow on 58, then backtrack all the way up the 15.

Isn't the drive to Vegas from Fresno something like 8 or 9 hours and almost 450 miles-even though-as the crow flies-its only about 250?


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 10, posted (12 years 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1260 times:

Ual777contrail,

United is not going to pull out of COS.............



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (12 years 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1234 times:

With Fresno being stuck in the middle of California I can't see Southwest turning up for a while. Haven't the short flights being cut the most due to more security measures.

Fresno to Las Vegas is 394miles, will be a good future route for Southwest
Fresno to Los Angeles is 216mile, is this too short for a Southwest flight.
Fresno to San Diego is 339mile, would be good future route for Southwest
Fresno to Oakland is 160miles, probably to short.

I can't see Southwest turning up for a while say 2 years, there are bigger fish in the East.




Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlineTbonecapalbo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1215 times:

Southwest still has many short routes. In Florida, there are many daily flights operated between TPA-FLL and TPA-JAX, both of which are shorter than 200 miles.

User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (12 years 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1187 times:

BA: I think he means UA mainline. Express won't pull out of COS anytime soon.

User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5800 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (12 years 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1150 times:

Matt-
You have mentioned your connection to Fresno before but I wasn't aware how extensive it is.

Growth has slowed in San Jose and other parts of California. But Fresno is growing twice as fast as the rest of the state and the US, even with a recession, so when you do visit be sure to see the changes to the area in the last year: Grizzlies Stadium where Fresno is now one of the top AAA baseball cities for attendence in the country; the steel frame rising for the 16,000 seat arena at Fresno State; the freeway system expansions (which are still being extended); the 6 story hospital expansion on Herndon Ave; the multitude of downtown construction projects including the 20 story federal building, medical center expansion, several new office towers, the soon to start new convention center hotel, etc.

BNE-
I understand that WN feels that both FAT-OAK and FAT-LAX although short are important to include when the city is added. It may be due to connections as well as being able to steal O&D from OALs, Amtrak and autos. And as I mentioned, you are right, it is still about 2 years away.




"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineJmc1975 From Israel, joined Sep 2000, 3266 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (12 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1134 times:

BNE,
I don't know where you get your mileage data. But, according to the OAG, FAT-LAS is 257 miles, not 394. Also, FAT-SAN is 313 miles, not 339. You were probably looking at a road atlas. The OAG mileages are as the crow flies.



.......
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 16, posted (12 years 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1115 times:

Lowfareair,

I know he means UA mainline.

They are not going to pull out of COS.

They just replaced a United Express flight on DEN-COS with a 737 flight. In the press release regarding ORD-COS downgrading to United Express, they clearly stated that United will still operate from DEN to COS.

Also, ORD-COS might return to mainline next year if United recovers as planned.......

United will always serve COS. It won't go all Express.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineDeltaBoy777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 411 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (12 years 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1108 times:

COS is also a major contender for WN. I mean look at it 5 Gates sitting empty, a brand new Terminal connector, a lack I think of flights to more major US cities, & United dropping flights. What else can you need. Right now seat levels for COS are already performing over what was expected, and when I went there in July the terminal was packed with people. I had never seen that airport like that before, and I have gone there at least twice every year since '98. So look out COS, a new gun may take over!!


Thanks and Gig Em!
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