ContinentalEWR
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American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 12:48 pm

American Airlines is once again bragging about a bevy of new routes out of JFK, touting its new terminal, which won't be up and running until 2006. American is adding NRT, ONT, and OAK among the longhauls it will offer from JFK. Sadly, none of these routes are likely to make it.

The Japanese economy is weak and competition from NYC is broad based, with JAL, ANA, UA, NW, and CO all operating flights in this market. Delta couldn't succeed with the MD11 service it operated from April to Sept. and that route isn't coming back.

ONT and OAK are served from JFK by JetBlue and my guess is that JetBlue will undercut American to the point where AA won't make a profit.

American has often started, then dropped longhauls out of JFK to places like Frankfurt (twice), Lyon, Brussels, Orange County, Seattle, and Manchester, UK.

ContinentalEWR
 
jmc1975
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 12:55 pm

How can you be so sure about all your dynamic and dogmatic statements?
.......
 
UAL747
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 12:57 pm

Because Continetalites think that Bethune hung the moon! JK

Honestly, I think American has become pretty strategic in the past few years. I think it will survive.

UAL747
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
usairways85
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 12:58 pm

i do have to admit aa is advertising its expansion too much. as said before it wont be done for at least 3 or so years, so why are they expanding now. and about how they moved the completion date up. i think that is just publicity. chances are with the project in such an early stage that their will be something that comes along to push it back, although probably not all the way back to the original date the completion date will probably be a lot less than 6 months before the original.
 
MAH4546
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 1:09 pm

As a huge AA fan, I have to agree. I've heard that JFK-NRT is just an experienment. They have seven precious, hard to get slots at NRT that they don't want to get rid of, and will be trying JFK-NRT out. If it doesn't work, say hello to MIA-NRT or BOS-NRT. JFK-OAK/ONT is just an attempt to compete with jetBlue, thing is, I don't think it will work. What they should do is concentrate more on hub expansion. MIA is getting four new routes (so far) this year - MDE, VLN, SDI, and PUJ - which is nice, but how about MIA-SAN? MIA-SAT? MIA-BHM? MIA-AUS? I really hate how they brag about all this JFK expansion and for some reason ignore not only MIA (which is now 189 daily mainline flights; one more than 9/10/01), but also ORD. At least domesticly. Just my little grudge. I still love AA, though.
a.
 
blink182
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 1:36 pm

I think AA is probably doing consumers a favor by joining jetblue across the continent. This means lower fares. Do I think AA is going have 100% load factors on these routes? No, but I think they might be able to manage.

As for JFK-NRT. If they codeshare with JAL, I think they will definately make it. I still think though that they should have started BOS-NRT where they would be the only airline flying that route.

I'll agree with MAH4546 as far as what AA needs to do in terms of expanding out of their hubs, but I don't think MIA-SAT would do well.

blink
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
 
MAH4546
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 1:42 pm

I disagree. A daily MIA-SAT would do fine. Both are big Latin gateways with strong connections. I'll be pretty upset if AA were to start BOS-NRT before MIA-NRT. I know BOS has a bigger O&D market, but Miami the connections MIA offers far make up for it. Though I think both of those flights are not far off. Give AA 2-3 years. As for JFK expansion, there is some bad news. JFK-CLE and JFK-SYR are goners this April.
a.
 
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STT757
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 1:55 pm

AA's smoking something if they think flying two daily 757s from JFK to Ontario and Oakland (especially with that more room in coach) will be profitable.

Jeez why not something that made a little more sense for those 757s like JFK-PHX, LAS, MCO, or something along those lines. Do they even serve Ontario or Oakland from ORD?..

If they're serious about JFK and do want to really give OAK a shot why not base 737-800s there, the 757s are too big for OAK and ONT.

And how can anyone take AA serious at JFK when they don't even serve ORD and only have one flight to DFW. Four 757 flights to DFW or ORD from JFK makes much sense then waisting them to compete against Jet Blue.

Didn't Crandall say "don't over fly your hubs"?.. With no service from JFK to ORD and from ORD to OAK what's AA trying to accomplish other than to attack Jet Blue.

AA better get it's bad management under control or they're heading to a UAL like performance for the next few years.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
Guest

RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 1:57 pm

they should start JFK-PDX. no competition and it is very profitible.
 
Guest

RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 1:58 pm

MIA-SAT...thanks for thinking about me Mah4546!! I've long advocated this routing...heck, just run SAT-IAH-MIA if they are worried about viability.
 
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STT757
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 2:03 pm

CO flies EWR-PDX.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
Guest

RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 2:09 pm

Someone is getting scared and I think it is all of those Continental fans who sense the threat that an AA JFK hub poses to Continental's Newark Hub.

This is for sure, AA's facilities at JFK will be superior to anything Continental has at EWR. With expanded facilities, AA will be able to reinforce its dominance on transcon routes against UA and JetBlue. Continental hardly runs any transcons to the westcoast out of Newark. OK, one or two flights, but nothing on par with AA's capacity or frequency in all of the transcon markets. Good thing that it doesn't. It's product simply would not stand up against AA's. AA operates widebodies offering a premium transcon product. And in the LAX-JFK market, AA's facilities will be unmatched. They are in the later stages of renovating and expanding their LAX terminal with an Admirals Club 10 times the size of Continental's dark and dank check-in counters at LAX. Hard to draw premium travellers in this market when you simply cannot come up with the goods.

Once the new JFK terminal comes on line, look for AA to increase the number of connections that can be made through JFK. You can bet on this. AA has already studied Continental's network at Newark. And, the plan at the beginning will be to cherry-pick Continental's most high-yielding routes with the addition of both Eagle and mainline flights. It is true JFK will never become for AA what EWR is for Continental, but it doesn't need to be. AA already has ORD. Still, AA is finally going to put the screws to Continental in some of its connection markets. You can bet on it.

In the meantime, AA is experimenting to an extent. But, let's not forget that unlike Continental it has the means (i.e., the "peak-time" slots at JFK from the TWA acquisition), the partnerships with foreign carriers (i.e., JAL) and the financial wherewithal (i.e., 7 billion dollars in unencumbered planes and 3 Billion dollars in cash) to try out some new things. It is quite likely that AA and JAL will codeshare on the new service to Tokyo. That makes AA a serious player from day one.

Given all these possibilities, is it any surprise that the Continental fans on this board want to dismiss AA's operational objectives? Not at all... I'd be scared too, especially if my chief competitor in the New York market had more assets, cash, and room with which to expand in that market than I did.
 
Fleet Service
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 2:30 pm

A corporate press release announcing new service from JFK is bragging?

Do you expect them to just load it into Sabre with no hype and just let "word of mouth" sell the seats?


As for talking up the new terminal goes, thats good PR.
Keeping New Yorkers working,showing AA's commitment to the New York market,that sort of thing.

Not to mention the money had been allocated and ground broken.

New York figures prominently in AA's long range plans,so of course anything regarding New York is going to publicized.

Yes, FRA was dropped twice.AA does drop markets that don't live up to expectations.If OAK and ONT don't perform,they'll go away.NRT will probably stay,cargo revenue alone will probably keep that afloat.Not to mention the value of the NRT slots is such that they will not be allowed to go unused.


I see the progress on that terminal everyday,they may well get it done 6 months early.It is really moving right along.

You certainly are entitled to your opinion,after all it's just that,an opinion.

Yes, I actually *do* work for an airline,how about you?
 
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STT757
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 2:47 pm

That's if AA makes it to 2006, the bigger they are the harder they fall. Just look at UAL, $2 Billion loss last year (ouch).

It's not just CAL fans, on the front page of yesterday's Wall Street Journal there's a great article about CO and Gordon Bethune, basically it's how CO (unlike AA) has not cut in flight services or closed clubrooms and that it's paying off big for the airline as customers avoid the others to specifically fly CAL for it's "Superior service".

The WSJ site is a subscriber site so I'll quote you some of my favorite lines,

"Howard Z. Brooks, travel manager at Sony music Entertainment Inc., says Continental is picking up more of his business. Leslie Leventman, head of travel for MTV Networks , a unit of Viacom Inc., says workers have suprised her when they come back from trips with praise for Continental's food. " It's a big deal they're still providing food," she says"

The article also mentions EWR's new Airtrain link to Manhattan bound NJ Transit and Amtrak trains, here's a quote.

"The train has convinced Martin Wragg, sales director for MGM Home Entertainment, a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., to use Newark for all his trips, whether bound for London, Los Angeles or St.Louis. New York's La Guardia Airport is "shambolic," the native of Scotland says, adding, " I avoid Kennedy[Airport] like the plague" because of its distance from Manhattan and traffic.

"Monica McKenzie also switched her buisness to Continental at Newark because of the train. She checks in at the monorail station and rides to the terminal knowing she won't have to deal with airport check-in lines." It's smart. It's clean. It's fast. It's like a little ride at Disney." says Ms. McKenzie, a model with Wilhelmina Models in Manhattan."

" Over the past five years, Continental's share of the New York market has grown to 20.3% from 17.6%, while American's has grown far more slowly, to 17.7% from 16.8%. Delta's has slipped to 12.5% from 13%.

"Between New York and Los Angeles, a huge market for airlines, Newark had 40% of the passengers in November, compared with 35% in November 2000. That gain came at the expense of Kennedy, which saw its market share fall to 48% from 54%".

And this is my favorite quote from the article, it's from no other than Donald Carty.

"Stung by traffic losses and Mr. Bethune's bravado, American's CEO, Donald Carty, also has launched am initiative to improve American's on-time performance-a longtime Continental strength, which it has maintained in recent months. Airlines that run on time, Mr. Carty said in a recent message to employees, "are considered superior airlines."

Get a copy of this article from Monday's WSJ, great reading.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
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STT757
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 2:50 pm

And by the way Ladevale CO has way more flights to the West coast from NY than AA does, and as for that superior service stuff read my previous post.

Do your homework, and read the Wall Street Journal.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
Boeingfan
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 2:59 pm

AA knows what they are doing. First the JFK NRT is called "slot" retention and preservation at NRT. They have value and need to keep them.

The new transcon are to give a "gentlemens" competition to JetBlue. Preserving territory.

AA has strength and marketing prowes. The JFK terminal expansion will be phased in through 2006. AA is marketing their commitment to the NY market. They need some positive PR there.

Smart airline. MRTC! AAdvantage will win'em every time.
 
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STT757
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 3:19 pm

Slot retention, did somebody forget to tell DL?..

The slot retention is a bunch of BS since Japan airlines is in One World and a partner of AA, AA could have just givin the slots for JA to hold until things picked up. DL probably gave their slots to Korean.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 3:32 pm

You know, AA has some sort of plan with all this. I certainly hope (actually know for a fact) that the management at AA is a lot smarter about route planning and running an airline than people on this forum. They have people, the technology, and the database to find where people are flying, predict yields, and best utilize their aircraft. This isn't some half-cocked idea by AA, they have an agenda behind this. If its to poach off JetBlue or CO, fine, let it be. Competition is part of the business world.

As mentioned before, AA has those slots at NRT they don't want to give up along with many extra 777's that aren't making money by being under utilized.
 
Fleet Service
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 3:48 pm

"That's if AA makes it to 2006, the bigger they are the harder they fall."


AA will make it to 2006.I know that pains you to no end, but we will survive.

There are still several billion dollars of unencumbered aircraft assets that could be utilized, as well as the Gov't loans, should things get to that point.

Yes, I actually *do* work for an airline,how about you?
 
Mark_D.
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 4:07 pm

All of these routes' longevity are going to be interesting to watch indeed  Smile

I wonder what their marketing and fares are going to be, for the Domestic transcons going up against Jetblue.

As for the new T8/T9 mega-replacement.. hey just let 'em work on the thing. Announcements about it at this point I figure are pretty much just attempts to generate a bit of a buzz to keep the interest stoked during the long construction phase. Not much intrinsic connection to what routes they announce and fly now.

(and of course I wish 'em all the best on their NRT flights, yeah move it if they have to to some other U.S. destination but by all means hang on to the slot)
 
Guest

RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 8:21 pm

>>I think AA is probably doing consumers a favor by joining jetblue across the continent. This means lower fares. Do I think AA is going have 100% load factors on these routes? No, but I think they might be able to manage.<<

Right... did you happen to check some of those fares in monopoly markets by the sweet American? To fly MIA-DFW non-stop with a 1 day advance and no Sat. night stay, the fare is about $1600, then there are $130 in taxes and fees. Why are there over $100 for those? Is it a monopoly surcharge?
 
Greg
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Tue Feb 05, 2002 11:43 pm

I am constantly amazed that some of the lesser informed forum members equate a single year or two of losses with 'instant bankcruptcy.' Although most the majors have had astronomical losses, they do have cash and liquid assets to see them through this.

Pan Am lasted ten years before Chapter 11 without really making any money at all (although they had to downsize considerably).

Sure, they're have been profitable quarters, but TWA didn't make any yearly profits from operations in over 15 years.

I think AA will weather this just fine.
 
cv640
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:47 am

AA isn't in nearly as bad of a situation as some here believe. They have some wheer around 2-3 billion in cash. They also have numerous assets that they own, would be easy to borrow off of. Plus in an emergency they do own a large number of their aircraft, selling them and leasing them back would work, as a last resort of course. Add to that the fact they they have fantastic lease terms on their A300s, the MD80s they are leasing, and they 767-300s that they are leasing. They can turn these aircraft in on 1 months notice and only pay an additionla 1 months penalty. AA also has incredibally sharp management team.

Plus as Greg mentioned, it takes years for a large company to go under, Eron is definitely not usual. Remember TWA, Eastern, and PanAm help out for year sin much worse shape. Also there are government loans out there as a last resort, although sounds like the terms, in amount of control the government would have, are too high for most carriers to go for.
 
codc10
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 3:12 am

Ladevale, Ladevale, Ladevale.

Your extreme hatred of CO is once again apparent.

Let me correct several of your misguided points, then I'll add a personal opinion.

First, as a person residing in San Diego, in all due respect, you are not in a position to comment about NYC airports, unless you transverse them often. I live in the catchment area of all three major airports, and have flown through all of them numerous times, in fact, 2-3 times a month can be considered normal for me.

Next, your comment about CO transcons is wrong, wrong, and wrong. I've got the electronic timetable on the computer, so I'll do a little digging for you.

CO runs EWR-LAX/SFO/SAN/OAK/SNA/SJC/PDX/SEA. Nobody in the New York area can give you choices like that out of one airport on one airline. And Ladevale, there is a huge difference between "one or two flights" and 21 flights. In the summer, that number increases to 27 with additional frequencies to San Francisco, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, Seattle, and a nonstop to Anchorage. As much as you'd hate to admit it, they ARE the transcontinental leader in New York.

They may not run widebodies, but they do feature a premium product worlds better than anything AA could wish for (flown both many many times) in BusinessFirst on select 757s. The service on board is impeccable. Even though only several flights are flown with the Internationally-configured 757s, the service on the 737s and domestic 757s is identical in all aspects but the seat. MRTC is great, but the service on CO is decidedly more personal, and the entertainment options are equal.

Concourse C-3 at Newark is one of the finest facilities of its kind anywhere. AA can't even come close with their operations out of Terminal A, generally accepted as the least favorable terminal at EWR (although BAA is taking big steps to bring it on par with Terminal C). The rest of Terminal C is airy and efficient, with multitudes of shops and eateries lining the hallways. AA's A-3 is almost utilitarian, but is certainly headed in the right direction.

Gordon said it before, and it is true. Continental owns New York. Other carriers can come in and fool around, but the truth remains that CO is the biggest player in the world's largest air market.

Now, for my personal opinion, I believe that in terms of delivering a quality product consistently, CO wins hands down. I do most of my flying with them for that reason, and bad flights are few and far between. I fly American often as well, and find that, while the service can at times be very good to excellent, they are much more inconsistent with their product. However, both of these airlines look great when compared with United, an airline that I now try to avoid simply because of inconsistency. When you fly as much as I do, you come appreciate an airline that can deliver a quality product time and again, and that's why CO is my first choice.
 
travelin man
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 3:50 am

STT757 --
For someone who said dismissively "do your homework and read the Wall Street Journal", I find it ironic that you then proceed to tell everyone AA should just give JAL their NRT slots because they are "a OneWorld partner."

Why don't you go to the OneWorld website and tell me where JAL shows up as a OneWorld member:
One World

Yes, JAL is an Aadvantage partner. However, a frequent flier alliance does not necessarily mean airlines can swap slots at a congested airport at will.

This is not meant to be an attack, but the "read the Wall Street Journal" remark kind of got to me.
 
iluvwestjet
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 4:51 am

JAL is definitely not a oneworld member (yet... there have been 'rumors').

Even if they were a oneworld member, why would AA give slots to JAL? Just because an airline is in an alliance with another airline doesn't mean that they can simply give and take slots from each other.

I am surprised that there's so much of difference of opinions in this thread. I never thought I'd see so many opinions from both extremes.
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 5:09 am

It seems to me that AA should just continue playing to its strengths at JFK: keep building transcons to major business-market airports; Caribbean; and Europe. Operate Eagle and where needed, mainline flights, to regional cities to feed these flights. TWA routes only add to their strength in all three areas. Of course, if AA pilots weren't demanding to fly the Eagle planes (at their salaries, of course), it might be easier, but that's something AA will need to resolve. Let LGA continue to serve as the major domestic O & D airport for AA in New York.

Don't bother competing with JetBlue, which is building a loyal customer base with its excellent but different product. Those who want Admirals Clubs and living room armchairs will fly AA. Those who want lower fares and still get more room throughout coach at the same time (162 seats one-class on A320 that can hold 186 in that configuration, do the math) fly JetBlue. Will AA's higher-end pax be interested in OAK or ONT? It seems to me unlikely.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
N79969
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 5:15 am

I think they will be squeezed tight at JFK by JetBlue and Delta. If I'm not mistaken, Delta has quite a few trans-Atlantic flights from JFK. American is regarded as an aggressive competitor by most airlines. I think their plans for JFK are too aggressive for AA's own good.
 
airNondo
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 5:33 am

Ladevale, you should really check some flight schedules next time before making blatantly wrong statements. BTW, I've flown PDX-EWR numerous times and CO's First on long haul flights beats anything else out there. It is also likely that PDX will receive another EWR flight come summer (as they had 2 pre-sept. 11 and Delta has recently dropped JFK non-stops).
 
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STT757
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 6:02 am

Travelin man :

Any airline can lease slots at most slot controlled airports to other airlines, DL leases many of it's slots at LGA from the former TWA. AA has to honor their agreement for the next few years, FYI US Airways leases most of their slots and their Terminal at LGA from CAL.

It's a long term lease (20 years) that the U group signed with the former Texas air group about 10 years ago, if U misses a payment or files for re-organization CAL can terminate the lease.

Leasing slots at NRT to Japan airlines (or any other airline) for a short period of time (2 years) is most likely permisive unless you know otherwise (better do your homework).

I told that arrogant miss informed person boasting about AA's superior service to read the WSJ and do their homework before making a totaly misinformed remark like "AA serves the most West Coast destinations from NY" (when as pointed out by someone else earlier up the thread CO has the most West Coast service from NY).

Advantage program and One World, for AA what the heck is the difference. They still cooperate and have corporate connections at the highest levels which would make negotiating a sublease of landing slots at NRT preferable than running them at a loss. If DL saw no profit, AA will see no profit. I would gurantee you Leo has a better handle on financials then Carty.

Im a College grad born in raised in NY (now living in NJ) , I've followed aviation here since NY Air operated a LGA shuttle and Peoplexpress were flying 747s to Oakland and Denver.

I would bet dollars to donuts that I know more about the NY air market then Donald Carty or any of his pompus executives 1,500 miles away in Dallas. I've yet to get an executive position at an airline because I just graduated last May, give it time and watch me climb.

BTW I subsribe to the NY Times and Newark Star Ledger, I get the WSJ free from the Princeton review as a thank you for taking their LSAT review.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
Greg
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 6:20 am

Another student that knows everything.
Anybody surprised?

 
Fleet Service
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 6:34 am

"I would bet dollars to donuts that I know more about the NY air market then Donald Carty or any of his pompus executives 1,500 miles away in Dallas. I've yet to get an executive position at an airline because I just graduated last May, give it time and watch me climb."


Just what the airlines need,another whiz kid with no industry experience in an executive position. Insane


You could say the same thing about executives in Houston if we followed your logic then couldn't we?
After all, they are a thousand miles away right?





Yes, I actually *do* work for an airline,how about you?
 
travelin man
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 7:10 am

"Leasing slots at NRT to Japan airlines (or any other airline) for a short period of time (2 years) is most likely permisive unless you know otherwise (better do your homework)."

Frankly, I do not have to do my homework, because I'm not the one that said AA should just give their slots to JAL because, heck, JAL is already a OneWorld member. I indicated that it might be a little more difficult of a process, one that AA may not want to do considering they have other places from which they could fly to NRT if JFK fails (LAX, SJC, MIA, etc.). I do not know.

There IS a difference between being a OneWorld member and an Aadvantage participant. And frankly, it's hyopcritical to sit there and judge others for their lack of knowledge while not admitting to your own errors.

But then again, you DO know more about the NY aviation market than any airline executive.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 7:42 am

You know, its not Carty who decided to start these routes. There is a whole department with dozens of employess that decided route planning, fleet utilization and the likes, not to mention regional VP's and managers who have a say in this. Not just one guy.
 
MAH4546
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 7:53 am

Travellin man, AA already flies SJC-NRT.
a.
 
Guest

RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 8:14 am

Dear STT757 and friends,

I suggest you do your own homework. First, you might begin by rereading my original post.

I did not say that AA has the most flights from New York to the west coast. I only asserted that AA has the most non-stop flights in all transcontinental markets combined to the west coast. Those markets would be New York, Boston, Miami, Washington D.C, Seattle, San Jose, San Diego, and Los Angeles. By the way, I do not consider for these purposes Phoenix to Newark a transcon service. In rereading my own post, I see where the misunderstanding might have occurred. But, in any case, that was my point. [The other stuff - "one or two flights" - was simply a sarcastic understatement.]

As to AA's in-flight service and facilities being superior to Continental's on both ends of its transcontinental route network, I stand by what I said. STT757 tried to rebut what I said by making reference to a Wall Street Journal article. To him, I have this to say - "Don't believe everything you read." In fact, I suggest you go read what Continental's most frequent flyers think about this article over at webflyer.com. They were not too impressed with all the amenities and "enhancements" cited in the article. Many of them, in fact, were dumbfounded at the lack of integrity of the Journal. How could it print such a flagrant fluff piece after just last week featuring an article in which it drew attention to the outrage caused by recent changes in the OnePass Program.

I'll say this for that article and Continental. They are brilliant at self-promotion and promotion in general. The truth, however, is quite different. No one less than a Continental Platinum in the OnePass program had these comments to make about all of the "little things" that Continental does:

"Just to get the facts out (which WSJ is clearly not interested in):
1) The security checkpoint upgrades were required, not voluntary.
2) The "free" audio/video headset things are self serving: it costs CO more than the $2.00 per passenger to clean, package, and carry in inventory. There's nothing negative about the program, but it's self-serving, not a charity to customers
3) The EWR terminal upgrades were too far along to cancel. Would not have been prudent to cancel with so many contractual committments and dollars already spoken for. Plus, EWR was desperatly in need of additions, and such additions were made in order to expand EWR as the valuable hub it is, expand its intl connection flexibilities, and thus increase yields - not solely to convenience customers.
4) The self check-in kiosks are a significant advantage to CO. One-time up front capital outlay requiring minimum maintenance costs. Much cheaper than paying ticket agents forever. Again, good move, but not solely to be nice to customers."

(Source: Webflyer.com/Continental forum)

In other words, none of what Continental claims in the article are customer enhancements in response to 9-11 or in response to whatever its competitors were doing actually are. To this criticism of Continental's self-serving comments, I might add that Continental, like many carriers in the US with little or no equity, depends on sweetheart deals with local governments to make any improvements to their airport facilities. They simply could not afford them otherwise. If there had been no political will in NJ to boost the prospects of Newark over JFK, Continental's simply would not have been able to secure the financing itself to do the work.

Unfortunately for Continental, this isn't true everywhere. Take, for example, Los Angeles. For those of you who haven’t been to LAX, let me paint you this picture. Continental operates out of Terminal 6. It uses a ticketing area that hasn't been renovated, except for the change of signage, since the airport was built in the 60's. Moreover, it uses a gate area at the end of Terminal 6 whose floor covering is so old that in places it has worn away to reveal the concrete. Much of the rest of the terminal seems outdated as well. If you do not believe the picture I am painting, you can read what some of Continental's own employees think of their LAX digs. Just head on over to USAviation.com: <http://216.26.168.46/cgi-bin/forums/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=8&t=000046>. If Continental had the money, they might be able to do something about these facilities. But, they don't.

Over at Terminal 4, however, AA just spent $800,000 on an artwork for the large expanse of floor directly in front of their security checkpoints. [Impressive, you should all see it while at LAX.] The artwork fits the renovated and expanded terminal quite nicely. All the work there was financed (I will have to check) through bonds secured by the airport authority. Why would the airport authority do this for AA, and not Continental? Because AA had the money to make the bond payments itself and because AA has significant operations at the airport. In fact, once things settle down, I would not be surprised to hear that AA in cooperation with Alaska plan to renovate and expand Terminal 3 (TWA's old digs) with the backing of the airport authority. You'll see that get done before the airport authority spends money for one can of paint for the Continental facilities.

[Just a brief aside: All of this work that AA is doing at LAX, including the spectacular new Admirals club in Terminal 4, speaks to the kind of customers that AA hopes to attract and keep on both ends of its transcons. Hence, it really doesn't bother me in the least that Newark now has 40% of the New York to Los Angeles market. It doesn't bother me because I am more than certain that that 40% is made up almost entirely of leisure travelers. I can tell you from general observation, as well as a long history of people watching at LAX, that Continental does not appeal to the largest proportion of premium travelers in this market. You are not going to see Julia Roberts plugging in her PC at the President's Club at Terminal 6, but come on over to the Admirals Club after the Academy Awards and you will see her and everybody else.]

So, why am I telling you this? Only to prove that the article in the Journal does not paint the full picture. If Continental were doing all it could do for its customers, while the other carriers were not, then it would be Continental and not AA that would be proceeding with their plans to upgrade and expand their facilities not only at Newark, but elsewhere. Let me remind you that AA is proceeding with its terminal projects at Miami, New York, and Los Angeles. Moreover, it has plans and designs to upgrade and expand its Boston facilities.

But, I see that this is not the only misconception I have to clear up. Who was it that said that CO's BusinessFirst product on transcons is better than AA's three-class transcon product? First of all, whoever said this failed to mention that CO does not properly speaking have a BusinessFirst product in its domestic markets. Practically speaking, what this means is that, while it may be true that Continental operates some planes equipped with the BusinessFirst cabin, BusinessFirst seat and all, on its domestic routes, it does not by the same token provide the same level of service on domestic routes as it does on international routes. In other words, it is simply not true, as someone said earlier, that the food service on a domestic first route is identical to the food service on an international BusinessFirst route. There are differences in the size of the salad and the omission of certain courses. If you do not believe me, go over to webflyer.com again and see how Continental's own frequent flyers see the differences. Moreover, it is, in fact, more often the case that your plane on a transcon routing will not be a plane equipped with BusinessFirst seating at all, but only domestic first seating with a much lower seat pitch. I think even CODC10 noted this inconsistency.

On AA's three-class flagship service (first, business, and coach), Continental's domestic first seating is the equivalent of AA's business class, or at least the business class seating that AA had before they began the More Room in Business seating initiative. On these flagship routes, AA serves a different menu than on its international routes, but the portions of the meal, both for the salad and entree, are comparable. Speaking truthfully, I don't think there is a material difference between AA's business class service on transcons and Continental's domestic first service. Where AA surpasses Continental, however, is in two areas: a first class cabin in addition to a business class cabin and seat-pitch in the coach cabin (MRTC).

In summary, then, let me say that I stand behind what I said at the beginning. AA is the dominant carrier in all transcon markets, with United being a dwindling second. AA has or will have better facilities than Continental at almost all ends of the most significant transcon markets, JFK, Miami, Boston, and Los Angeles. Moreover, and no one has yet contested this point, AA has the financial wherewithal to expand in all of these markets. Continental does not.

It also occurs to me now that I have had some more time to think about STT757's remark about how Continental's share of the New York market has grown "to 20.3% from 17.6%, while American's has grown far more slowly, to 17.7% from 16.8%." This doesn't look as good for Continental as it should. First of all, by everyone's admission on this board, Newark is a hub for Continental; JFK is not for AA. Frankly, if AA had 20.3% of the O&D market at DFW, I'd be worried for them. On the other hand, AA should feel rather good about its prospects in New York. With only the benefits of a number of transcon flights and several flights to Heathrow, CDG and South America, it has been able to stay within 2.6% points of a hub carrier with a large number of European flights out of its hub. Just how many people is poor AA packing into those Heathrow and transcon flights? I hope those people are paying a pretty penny, because otherwise AA is in trouble. He says sarcastically.


 
MAH4546
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 8:29 am

Ladevale, excellent post! Also, don't forget, AA has transcon service out of Ft. Lauderdale as well (though that is techinically Miami) and Orlando. Plus, AA even offers thier Flagship Suite 1st class service on MIA-LAX.
a.
 
travelin man
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 8:55 am

Is AA likely to make LAX an official hub with the demise of United at LAX and the paring back of service at SJC? It seems that AA may be preparing for an LAX hub with all of the terminal remodeling that has been occuring.
 
MAH4546
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 9:12 am

I don't think AA will make LAX a hub. One of AA's strongest points as always been it's strong number of popular point-to-point routes, ranging from BOS-SAN to FLL-CCS to RDU-LGW, which they will continue to build up out of LAX.
a.
 
sllevin
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 9:23 am

I can only speak to the JFK-OAK service.

While jetBlue will certainly compete on the route, I believe that AA is seeing the gradual demise of SFO as the core airport for Bay Area service. With SFO far out from SF itself, and with what appears to be the death of any real expansion, I hope that AA is going to move as much as possible to OAK (SJC would be nice, as well).

OAK is rapidly becoming closer to SF itself with the rail improvements that make it simple to get to downtown San Francisco (and a shorter ride, as well).

Like most business travelers, I prefer to try and keep my focus on a single airline. And yes, I will consider it a perk for my company to spend an extra thousand dollars a year to fly me JFK-OAK on AA rather than jetBlue. And my employer knows it as well -- if employers didn't, we'd all be flying Southwest!
 
ContinentalEWR
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 11:33 am

Glad to see so many responses to my post. I perhaps misworded by topic. I am not sure American will fail in its efforts to build more longhauls at JFK (I have seen AA build up JFK only to pare schedules quickly before) and I don't think AA is trying to emulate what CO has a Newark. Continental has a hub at Newark. American does not have a hub anywhere in the NY area and I don't think they want to. They recognize that being in the world's largest airline market means they can offer many flights to many places bypassing their hubs, as you can see from the LGA route structure they have and the fact that AA can depend on O&D to fill planes at EWR and JFK.

ContinentalEWR
 
Guest

RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 11:50 am

This bickering is great.

AA and CO are both very good airlines. I will not say that one is better than the other(although I do think one of them is), because they both have strong and weak points that are favorable to different people. For example, CO is a good airline for business travelers who fly NY-West Coast a lot. American is great for flyers from DFW. CO has the greatest ontime record. AA has MRTC. Etc, etc.

Now a couple comments:

Ladevale-If AA is so great on terminal improvements, then please enlighten me on the improvements at RDU.

All of you-If these two are the largest trans-con airlines, how come they don't have one flight longer than 2000 miles out of PHL?
 
usairways85
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:01 pm

that is exactly what i would like to know. i have been waiting for a aa flight from lax-phl and never got one. even united has 3 flights, why cant aa have at least 2. i can understand why continental doesnt have a transcon flights to phl because ewr is only 2 hrs away, but i wish they would fly something bigger than a 733 into phl.
 
iluvwestjet
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:09 pm

AAdvantage and oneworld are two totally different things. oneworld (and Star Alliance, and SkyTeam) is much more cooperative than a frequent-flyer program (or even a simple code-share agreement). Alaska is an AAdvantage member, but you won't see much co-operation at the higher levels between American and Alaska. When Alaska announced SEA-BOS nonstop, AA reinstated the same flights.

And if you say a frequent flyer program agreement means cooperation, you can say that CO is in agreement with Alaska, Frontier, America West, and Hawaiian and can lease slots to each other at ease. I don't think so.

"If DL saw no profit, AA will see no profit. I would gurantee you Leo has a better handle on financials then Carty."

What kind of backwards thinking is this? Can you not extend this to, if DL saw no profit, AA will see no profit, CO will also see no profit. I don't see how you can guarantee that Leo has a better handle on financials than Carty. Are you going to put them through some kind of college test? AA is different from DL in terms of presence in Asia. AA is in oneworld with CX and also has a code-share agreement with JL. I can't see how you can say DL's withdrawal from NRT will mean automatic failure for AA on JFK-NRT.
 
sfointern
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:32 pm

LadeFAIL,

The length of your post and gratuitous detail was applaudable, however one key point you made was downright laughable.

LadeFAIL said:
AA is the dominant carrier in all transcon markets, with United being a dwindling second.

Wrong. Try this on for size Mr. Academia:

This is a comparison of AA and UA in the transcon markets after 09/11... the parentheses indicate increased service in the summer. Luckily, the SKD for each airline has just been updated, with the exception of summer in which flights *still* might be *added*. You'll notice this includes AA's new ONT and OAK services...

AA: APR15 [44] JUL15 [55]

SEA-BOS: 1 (2)
SEA-MIA: CANCELLED
SFO-JFK: 5 (6)
SFO-BOS: 2 (3)
SFO-MIA: 3
* OAK-JFK: 2
SJC-BOS: 2 (3)
SJC-JFK: 2 (3)
SJC-MIA: CANCELLED
* ONT-JFK: 2
LAX-JFK: 8 (11)
LAX-BOS: 4
LAX-MIA: 5
LAX-FLL: 2
LAX-BDL: CANCELLED
LAX-IAD: 3 (4)
SAN-JFK: 2 (3)
SAN-BOS: 1 (2)

UA: APR15 [63] JUL15 [77]

SEA-JFK: 1
SEA-IAD: 3
PDX-IAD: 1
SFO-BOS: 5 (7)
SFO-BDL: 1
SFO-PHL: 2 (3)
SFO-IAD: 8 (9)
SFO-JFK: 7 (9)
SFO-EWR: 4 (7)
SFO-MCO: 1
SFO-MIA: 1
OAK-IAD: POSTPONED
SMF-IAD: CANCELLED
SJC-IAD: 1 (2)
LAX-IAD: 8
LAX-JFK: 6 (8)
LAX-BOS: 3 (4)
LAX-MIA: 2
LAX-PHL: 2 (3)
LAX-MCO: 2 (3)
LAX-EWR: 3 (4)
SNA-IAD: POSTPONED
SAN-IAD: 2 (3)

* * *

Put your money where your mouth is. As you can see, AA's daily flights across the country don't even stack up to UA's spring schedule during the summer.

UA may be a dwindling #2, but AA gobbled up TW, and this is it? And while AA runs plenty of 757s and 767s, UA runs a fair amount of both, as well as 777s. AA 777s dont even show up transcon.

While I do concede that AA's LAX terminal project has one-upped UA's pathetic effort to the umpteenth degree, "little old" UA is still holding its own on the transcon, even with AA expansion. The plethora of connecting opportunities through DFW, STL, and ORD is impressive, though.

Come on, the world's largest airline isn't even the leader across the country?

Keep flying AA, LadeFAIL. I'll keep on truckin on the not-so-big U.
 
sfointern
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RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:35 pm

I'm sorry, I forgot to mention AA's:

  • LAX-EWR: 3
  • LAX-MCO: 1

    During the spring and summer.

    That bring's AA's total to 48/59... like that makes a big difference.
  •  
    MAH4546
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    RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

    Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:40 pm

    SFOInterim, AA does us 777s transcon. Daily MIA-LAX. Only one flight, not as much as UA, which uses them on MIA-LAX/SFO and IAD-LAX/SFO, but still, they do use them.
    a.
     
    sfointern
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    RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

    Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:46 pm

    My bad. But you still get my point.
     
    MAH4546
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    RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

    Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:59 pm

    Yeah, I get your point. However, AA is the world's largest, IMO, like I said, because of point to point. Look at how many of those routes on the AA list are point to point. FLL-LAX, BOS-SAN, IAD-LAX, etc. These flights are basiclly supporting themselves on nothing but O&D (okay, so BOS offers some New England and CDG/LHR connections). Not only trans-con, but look at some of thier other markets, like Boston-Quebec City, Ft. Lauderdale-Caracas, Raleigh-London, etc., etc. That's what makes them so strong. Also, no official word at all, but Miami News Today reports that AA's MIA-SEA service may be back late this summer and MIA-SJC early 2003. They are a pretty reliable newspaper, but I'll believe it when it happens.
    a.
     
    sfointern
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    RE: American's JFK Expansion To Fail

    Wed Feb 06, 2002 1:16 pm

    I don't think AA became the world's largest because of that. Sure, it is arguably AA's best strength (besides a formidable hub strategy and Latin/Caribbean stranglehold)... but that is not what made them the largest.

    What made AA largest was, pure and simple, acquiring TW, which--though small--allowed AA to leapfrog UA in a significant amount of market share for the first time in history. Alas, the two had always been neck and neck before, whether one carried the title or the other  Sad