TgAxKuwait....I agree completely. If JetBlue is going to do this LGB thing, and has those slots, they need to use them. Maybe start by flying all to existing JetBlue stations as someone suggested above--DEN, FLL, SEA, OAK, maybe even TPA. That way they minimize the costs since they won't have to set up new stations.
AAgent...History is a perfectly good basis to predict what an airline is likely to do. One doesn't need absolute off-Carty's-desk confirmation of plans to say what historical data suggest is very likely to happen. Moral certitude is an ordinary part of debate. And there's a very strong moral certitude that AA's sudden interest in LGB is only JetBlue-related.
That said, AA entering LGB on JetBlue markets would of itself *not* be strictly predatory, as AluminumShower says. IF AA simply matches capacity and fares, they would be acting legally. The question becomes, if they start undercutting JetBlue with fares that even B6 couldn't profit with, then there's a problem. Or if they dump 763's into the market or something.
In a fair fight, I think JetBlue would do fine. They cater to a different market, one that isn't drawn by armchair-type seats and FF miles good to Tokyo. AA would probably just lose money, since gold-platium-uranium AAdvantage members want to go to LAX anyway.
And as I said earlier, "slots" at a small airport like LGB shouldn't even be an issue. Airports have an interstate commerce role, which Congress can regulate, but I'm not convinced that local communities can. Better that LGB was open and anyone who wanted could come.
But these are tough times for the Cartel, and the temptation to turn predatory is pretty strong. I think Ashcroft would enforce anti-trust law--remember, he is the AG who killed UA-US. There'd be a lot of Congressional pressure for a probe if AA turned pit bull, and I don't think the Bush-AA connection would stop it.
777d--hehe, haven't you read one of my sermons about the Cartel before? They're my specialty.
To he or she who asked "why the hostility towards the major airlines"....if you were from Rochester, New York, you'd understand our hostility. I've spent my life being gouged to fly home, even on 21-day advance, because the low-fare airlines weren't there for so long. The "Cartel-low fare" market duality only works as long as a big low-fare carrier is at your airport. Otherwise, it's bend over. And we've been real sick of that for many years. Fortunately, JetBlue is at ROC and AirTran arrives on Thursday. And we haven't given up on Southwest, either, BUF or no BUF.
But as I said above, both kinds of carriers have roles to play in the marketplace. The low-fares are quite happy to "live and let live," offering low fares and great service wherever they can. It's the Cartel that doesn't seem to accept the idea of both kinds of carriers existing. Their past behavior makes clear they have to be watched.