Does anybody really think WN is going to add a pile of destinations 19 days after opening CVG?
I certainly don't think it will happen in the near-term. I expect 1 or 2 destinations added in the next schedule extension, but at CVG they said they would evaluate traffic for 6-8 months to determine which routes they will expand to. I personally feel WN will wait until Delta responds in some way, either expanding or pulling back. I think WN's comments are trying to get DL to respond by challenging their position. At this point, I am not sure WN is comfortable trying more routes until DL's plans are clear. Here are the scenarios I envision, from most likely to least likely (in my opinion):Moderate competition by DL and WN:
Remain relatively quiet for 6-12 months, then starting small adds by WN, followed closely by small adds from DL, however, most routes are well planned and sustainable rather than rash acts to drive the other carrier outNeither WN or DL act:
DL stays constant ---> WN stays relatively the same, 2-3 new routes in the next 1-2 years (sustained for the long term)Longterm DL retreat:
DL stays constant ---> WN expands steadily with 1-2 routes every few schedule extensions ---> DL dehubs Cincinnati in the 2020-2025 time-range DL acts first:
DL aggressively price matches/increases capacity to ~100 flights/day ---> WN partially or fully retreatsDL and WN aggressively compete:
Both DL and WN add routes back and forth, possibly pushing out or reducing G4/F9WN acts first:
WN aggressively adds routes while DL remains constant or dehubs in the 2020-2025 timeframe
Of course there are probably other scenarios, but DL and WN fly to Cincinnati to make money, so I expect a gradual adding of frequencies, routes, and aircraft size. Long term I believe both carriers can coexist, CVG's passenger numbers lag behind comparable cities. Based on population numbers, I expect a leveling out around 9 million passengers a year.