How much you wanna bet AC Tango folds in less than 2 years??? What about KLM's buzz?
When are airlines going to learn: an airline-within-an-airline is a good idea on paper, but a helluva lot harder to execute and make succesful.
One of the pioneers, United Shuttle, just kicked the bucket. Metrojet...gone. DLX...near to gone. BA's "Go" -- sold. CAL lite failed miserably before anyone even noticed it existed.
The only way you can have multiple airlines under one roof is to make them different operational subsidiaries. Cases-in-point: AA/Eagle/TW, Virgin/Virgin Blue/Virgin Sun (heck, even Virgin was trying to sell Virgin Express). The only reasons why the DL and US Shuttles have done well are because they were originally seperate entities, and they cater to a very high-yield market.
AIRLINES... take a clue from Southwest!
STOP TRYING TO BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE.
The geographical makeup of business makes it so that markets are unevenly distributed. This is a simple, basic fundamental. Southwest realized this before it even started. It opened up air travel to discretionary travelers who wouldn't have flown before; it created its own market. And it's stuck with them. They are still WN's bread and butter. On the plus side, the reputation pf and respect for WN has attracted biz travellers.
Like all businesses and economies, airlines would do best to specialize by catering to one specific market, region, or audience. Specialization is key.
The current bloodletting and purging of excess capacity provides a window of opportunity to realize this, and perhaps rethink their business plans more dramatically.
We are already seeing United switch to a purely "mainline" carrier due to costs; United is drastically shrinking and shifting smaller stations to lower-cost, lower-frills regionals. However, United has a hidden agenda to: to funnel United Airlines money into a whole new, risky venture.
Spreading an airline's resources across many operations *other* than the airline tends to reduce economies of scale. It's a basic economic principle. At least jetBlue has found its own niche, and is sticking to it.
If WN emerges as the nation's largest airlines in the short-run, or even the long-run, it will have been the best for the country.
When will the airlines learn? Keep it simple, stupid.