Boeingphan
Topic Author
Posts: 192
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:29 am

Frontier and DSM

Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:25 pm

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story ... 838201002/

So I'm curious on a few points in this article above. If load factors were good as the article states (journalist probably does look at true loads) why would Frontier just pull the plug on a successful route? My 2nd question is what role does an executive director of an airport play here? It says he has had no contact with Frontier which seems like a complete drop of the ball on his end. Does the executive director procure new flights to and from airports or is this not their role? Granted I realize DSM is a super small fish in the scope of things but just found it odd that if the flights were in fact full and they pulled the cord and then to have the executive director just not up and contact Frontier.....
 
drdisque
Posts: 926
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:57 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:57 pm

1. It depends on the airline. Some airlines have staff to deal with airport directors trying to market to them, some don't care, say to just send an email, and it ends up deep in the inbox of someone in network planning. If I could guess, I would say the latter is more true at F9.

2. The writer doesn't qualify what "very full" meant. All F9 flights have high load factors. SFO gate space is expensive, maybe F9 found another city that can support SFO flights on F9 year-round.

3. Airport managers "procuring" flights is not the standard procedure. Typically airlines just decide where they want to go (in the US). The only time an airline is really interested in what an airport manager has to say is when they have a subisidy/revenue guarantee to offer.
 
jbmitt
Posts: 609
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2002 3:59 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:27 pm

I lived in DSM for several years and F9 had a reputation of being cheap but fairly unreliable. Anyone who had encountered irregular ops with them likely picked other airlines for key travel.

DSM needs a year round west coast non-stop. They have LAS, and PHX with WN and could probably support LAX or SFO and seasonally to SEA.
 
evank516
Posts: 1823
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:57 pm

jbmitt wrote:
I lived in DSM for several years and F9 had a reputation of being cheap but fairly unreliable. Anyone who had encountered irregular ops with them likely picked other airlines for key travel.

DSM needs a year round west coast non-stop. They have LAS, and PHX with WN and could probably support LAX or SFO and seasonally to SEA.


I was in DSM this past October and that very flight was across the hall from mine. I believe it was delayed due to maintenance, and I don't think it was a minor delay either.
 
dbo861
Posts: 1004
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 2:20 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:27 pm

The DSM-SFO flight was a continuation of the MCO-DSM flight. The flights might have been full, but if there were a bunch of continuing passengers it might have made more sense to route those passengers through another city. I’m curious how many local passengers we had DSM-SFO.
 
n7371f
Posts: 1443
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:54 pm

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:11 am

F9 thew the dart for its next schedule release, and the dart missed.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2192
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:49 am

evank516 wrote:
I was in DSM this past October and that very flight was across the hall from mine. I believe it was delayed due to maintenance, and I don't think it was a minor delay either.


Well, I guess this explains why the route failed.
 
pmanni1
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:44 pm

Seems like UA could put a E175 on it. But then that would mean flying over the DEN hub.
 
evank516
Posts: 1823
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:26 pm

pmanni1 wrote:
Seems like UA could put a E175 on it. But then that would mean flying over the DEN hub.


Does the E175 have the range?
 
drdisque
Posts: 926
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:57 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:28 pm

evank516 wrote:
pmanni1 wrote:
Seems like UA could put a E175 on it. But then that would mean flying over the DEN hub.


Does the E175 have the range?


SFO-DSM is ~100 miles shorter than ORD-PSP, which is flown by the E-175
 
evank516
Posts: 1823
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:29 pm

drdisque wrote:
evank516 wrote:
pmanni1 wrote:
Seems like UA could put a E175 on it. But then that would mean flying over the DEN hub.


Does the E175 have the range?


SFO-DSM is ~100 miles shorter than ORD-PSP, which is flown by the E-175


Oh okay, thanks.
 
FlyingLaw1
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:05 pm

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:34 pm

I lived in Des Moines for three years; didn't realize they'd added DSM-SFO... Seems like a really oddball route for F9 to me? Generally, in this part of the country F9 is seen as the cheap "bus in the sky" that takes you to warmer locales for far less than AA, DL, etc.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 13454
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:50 pm

drdisque wrote:
evank516 wrote:
pmanni1 wrote:
Seems like UA could put a E175 on it. But then that would mean flying over the DEN hub.


Does the E175 have the range?


SFO-DSM is ~100 miles shorter than ORD-PSP, which is flown by the E-175


PSP has much nicer weather than SFO, though, which is key when you are getting close to the edge of the range envelope. The E75 could do it but I'm not sure how reliably on days with visibility and/or wind issues at SFO.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
evank516
Posts: 1823
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:06 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
drdisque wrote:
evank516 wrote:

Does the E175 have the range?


SFO-DSM is ~100 miles shorter than ORD-PSP, which is flown by the E-175


PSP has much nicer weather than SFO, though, which is key when you are getting close to the edge of the range envelope. The E75 could do it but I'm not sure how reliably on days with visibility and/or wind issues at SFO.


This makes sense. The extra spacing for low visibility days could drive a wrench into aircraft performance.
 
dbo861
Posts: 1004
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 2:20 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:13 pm

drdisque wrote:
evank516 wrote:
pmanni1 wrote:
Seems like UA could put a E175 on it. But then that would mean flying over the DEN hub.


Does the E175 have the range?


SFO-DSM is ~100 miles shorter than ORD-PSP, which is flown by the E-175


Also UA operates SFO-MSN on E-175 so SFO-DSM shouldn’t be an issue.
 
peterinlisbon
Posts: 1324
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:37 pm

I flew DSM-SFO last year and I had to go through Denver. I guess the market is just too small. Most of the flights from DSM are to hubs like ORD, DEN, DTW, etc on small aircraft. It does make it hard to go away for the weekend if you're living there, but I guess the city is too small to really support such long direct flights.
 
drdisque
Posts: 926
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:57 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:33 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
drdisque wrote:
evank516 wrote:

Does the E175 have the range?


SFO-DSM is ~100 miles shorter than ORD-PSP, which is flown by the E-175


PSP has much nicer weather than SFO, though, which is key when you are getting close to the edge of the range envelope. The E75 could do it but I'm not sure how reliably on days with visibility and/or wind issues at SFO.


As mentioned, UA has SFO-XNA and SFO-MSN which are similar lengths to SFO-DSM and also have to deal with SFO's weather and airspace constraints. They both however, are markets with specific high-yielding business demand to the bay area, which DSM does not have.
 
User avatar
Frontier14
Posts: 567
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 4:14 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:51 pm

Disappointing that F9 will not re-start the DSM-SFO pairing for the summer season. Their number crunchers obviously could not make it work, so its gone. I wouldn't be surprised if UA might not give it a go at some point. The catch though would be the UA fares would be through the roof :dollarsign: :dollarsign: :dollarsign: .

Frontier 14
 
jplatts
Posts: 2189
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Frontier and DSM

Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:31 am

Frontier14 wrote:
Disappointing that F9 will not re-start the DSM-SFO pairing for the summer season. Their number crunchers obviously could not make it work, so its gone. I wouldn't be surprised if UA might not give it a go at some point. The catch though would be the UA fares would be through the roof :dollarsign: :dollarsign: :dollarsign: .


While UA will likely charge higher fares on DSM-SFO than F9 did, UA will likely keep fares down on DSM-SFO due to WN already offering one-stop connecting service to SFO, OAK, and SJC from DSM through LAS.
 
phllax
Posts: 451
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 6:53 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:57 am

jbmitt wrote:
I lived in DSM for several years and F9 had a reputation of being cheap but fairly unreliable. Anyone who had encountered irregular ops with them likely picked other airlines for key travel.

DSM needs a year round west coast non-stop. They have LAS, and PHX with WN and could probably support LAX or SFO and seasonally to SEA.


pmUA did operate a LAX-DSM non-stop with CR7 X-Plus around 2010-2011. It left LAX around 3 and departed DSM around 7am. It was not very affordable, and connecting via DEN or ORD was much cheaper.
 
SurfandSnow
Posts: 1390
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:09 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:03 am

UA did operate LAX-DSM in the past, IIRC with a CRJ-700. I daresay the UAX E-175 is far more suitable from an ops and pax perspective with respect to that route and/or SFO-DSM, though. However, seeing as how UA just cut EWR-DSM those additions may be rather unlikely. I've also wondered about the possibility of AS trying SEA-DSM with the E-175...
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
 
joeljack
Posts: 597
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:38 pm

Re: Frontier and DSM

Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:38 am

So I have been thinking about this as a DSM resident. F9 also flew OMA-SFO which also had really good loads. United has been flying 1xE175 OMA-SFO daily that started maybe 1.5 years ago. After Frontier started OMA-SFO, the loads in June and July took a hit. Down into the 75% load factor range. United announced in the fall it was going to start a second daily flight to SFO. Now, starting in June, it goes 1x daily mainline and 1x daily E175. I think United did this to drive F9 off the route and not come back. It seems to have worked. I think that F9 saw this on several SFO flights as a retaliation from UA so they decided not to concentrate on SFO but to fry other fish. If that's the case, United drove F9 off of SFO-DSM without even flying the route nonstop. Just a thought.

On a side note, there is a market for DSM-SFO, the amount of companies going back and forth to SFO from DSM is crazy. Wells Fargo is massive in DSM, also smaller companies like Business Solver and Dwolla are huge in SFO and DSM. DSM also sends an excessive amount of travelers overseas with the farm industry. John Deere, Pioneer and Monsanto employees are always overseas. I feel like when I get upgraded that the person sitting next to me has something to do with one of these companies or another farm/ seed company traveling overseas. SFO would be a good gateway to go overseas for them too instead of ORD.
 
User avatar
stl07
Posts: 992
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 8:57 pm

Re: Frontier and DSM

Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:47 am

Look, F9 changes their routes whenever they please, it doesn't matter how good the route appeared to do, what matters is they feel they could make more more elsewhere. Nothing against DSM.
I'd rather be in FLYover country than layover county
 
dbo861
Posts: 1004
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 2:20 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:15 am

joeljack wrote:

On a side note, there is a market for DSM-SFO, the amount of companies going back and forth to SFO from DSM is crazy. Wells Fargo is massive in DSM, also smaller companies like Business Solver and Dwolla are huge in SFO and DSM. DSM also sends an excessive amount of travelers overseas with the farm industry. John Deere, Pioneer and Monsanto employees are always overseas. I feel like when I get upgraded that the person sitting next to me has something to do with one of these companies or another farm/ seed company traveling overseas. SFO would be a good gateway to go overseas for them too instead of ORD.


I agree that this is a big business route. How many business travelers were flying on F9, especially with the 3x weekly flights on this route? I'm pretty sure most business travelers were still flying one of the network airlines and connecting at a hub. The most recent FAA data shows just under 100 PDEW between DSM and SFO, and that's from second quarter 2018 which is before F9 started flying this route. I think UA could easily fill a daily E175 if they wanted to.

stl07 wrote:
Look, F9 changes their routes whenever they please, it doesn't matter how good the route appeared to do, what matters is they feel they could make more more elsewhere. Nothing against DSM.


Thank you. People are reading too much into this.
 
stlgph
Posts: 10889
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:19 pm

Re: Frontier and DSM

Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:28 am

If United added SFO, it'll be a repeat of what happened when they added LAX a few years ago. Extremely high fares to go nonstop, barely $200 to fly through another city.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
jplatts
Posts: 2189
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Frontier and DSM

Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:09 pm

stlgph wrote:
If United added SFO, it'll be a repeat of what happened when they added LAX a few years ago. Extremely high fares to go nonstop, barely $200 to fly through another city.


WN already offers one-stop connections to SFO, OAK, and SJC from DSM through LAS.

UA is also currently the only airline with nonstop service to the San Francisco Bay Area from OKC, PIT, and TPA, but WN already offers one-stop connecting service to SFO, OAK, and SJC from OKC, PIT, and TPA.

Is UA actually charging higher fares on OKC-SFO, PIT-SFO, and TPA-SFO nonstop service?

I am unsure if UA would actually charge extremely high fares to go nonstop to SFO from DSM if there are already one-stop connecting options to SFO, OAK, and SJC from DSM on WN. I think that UA might actually keep fares down on DSM-SFO since UA would have to compete against DL and WN who already offer one-stop connecting service to the San Francisco Bay Area from DSM.
 
User avatar
DL717
Posts: 1039
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 10:53 pm

Re: Frontier and DSM

Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:22 pm

Boeingphan wrote:
https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/2019/02/11/des-moines-airport-loses-direct-flight-san-francisco-international-frontier-airlines-american-delta/2838201002/

So I'm curious on a few points in this article above. If load factors were good as the article states (journalist probably does look at true loads) why would Frontier just pull the plug on a successful route? My 2nd question is what role does an executive director of an airport play here? It says he has had no contact with Frontier which seems like a complete drop of the ball on his end. Does the executive director procure new flights to and from airports or is this not their role? Granted I realize DSM is a super small fish in the scope of things but just found it odd that if the flights were in fact full and they pulled the cord and then to have the executive director just not up and contact Frontier.....


Butts in seats does not equal profitability. Their fares were too low and unsustainable.
Putting one on ignore does not squelch speech or debate, it’s quiets the noise.
 
DesMoineser
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:25 pm

Re: Frontier and DSM

Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:30 pm

drdisque wrote:
As mentioned, UA has SFO-XNA and SFO-MSN which are similar lengths to SFO-DSM and also have to deal with SFO's weather and airspace constraints. They both however, are markets with specific high-yielding business demand to the bay area, which DSM does not have.


The largest private employer in Des Moines is Wells Fargo, based out of San Francisco, with about 13,000 employees on the ground here. There's specific business demand here.
 
User avatar
compensateme
Posts: 2889
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:17 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:00 pm

The route didn't come back because it didn't perform to expectations -- no conspiracy here. A better question is why the Des Moines Register wasted print for this...

DesMoineser wrote:
The largest private employer in Des Moines is Wells Fargo, based out of San Francisco, with about 13,000 employees on the ground here. There's specific business demand here.


Poor assumption. The bulk of Wells Fargo's Des Moines employees are foot soldiers within its mortgage division -- jobs that don't require travel. The travel generated by Wells Fargo is split between Des Moines, San Francisco HQ and its former Minneapolis and Charlotte HQs. Not that F9 was ever targeting business travel.
Nobody cares what your next flight is...
 
DesMoineser
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:25 pm

Re: Frontier and DSM

Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:58 pm

compensateme wrote:
Poor assumption.


Not a poor assumption. I work for WF in Des Moines and there is plenty of San Francisco travel in my area of the company. While I'm no longer in Home Mortgage, the top brass is in Des Moines and, due to cost cutting, they don't usually fly private. Cards Services is also based here. The real traffic generators here, though, would be the IT, corporate risk, and audit divisions that are based here, of which there is plenty of representation.

A vanishingly small amount of DSM-MSP travel is by air for WF employees. It's basically policy to drive that. We generate plenty of traffic to Charlotte, that flight is basically a Wells Fargo shuttle. As stated above, the PDEW for DSM-SFO is ~100 and it's a top 10 destination for DSM. We have 21 destinations total. The demand is clearly here and could be stimulated with better service. The question is whether United wants to fly something that long and initially thin. Currently, they do not.

As far as the fares F9 was pulling, they were low and they didn't really try to raise them. It would have been interesting to see if that 90+% load factor would have held had they raised the price. I bet it would have.
 
jbmitt
Posts: 609
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2002 3:59 am

Re: Frontier and DSM

Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:33 pm

DesMoineser wrote:
compensateme wrote:
Poor assumption.


Not a poor assumption. I work for WF in Des Moines and there is plenty of San Francisco travel in my area of the company. While I'm no longer in Home Mortgage, the top brass is in Des Moines and, due to cost cutting, they don't usually fly private. Cards Services is also based here. The real traffic generators here, though, would be the IT, corporate risk, and audit divisions that are based here, of which there is plenty of representation.

A vanishingly small amount of DSM-MSP travel is by air for WF employees. It's basically policy to drive that. We generate plenty of traffic to Charlotte, that flight is basically a Wells Fargo shuttle. As stated above, the PDEW for DSM-SFO is ~100 and it's a top 10 destination for DSM. We have 21 destinations total. The demand is clearly here and could be stimulated with better service. The question is whether United wants to fly something that long and initially thin. Currently, they do not.

As far as the fares F9 was pulling, they were low and they didn't really try to raise them. It would have been interesting to see if that 90+% load factor would have held had they raised the price. I bet it would have.


I’m going to support this post. DSM has a pretty strong business community and does in fact have a strong demand for business travel.

It’s important to remember DSM metro is still only mid-size, but it’s financial services, insurance, ag, and regional law and healthcare centers, and ISU do help it punch above its size compared to similar size metro areas.

Quality of life and consumer discretionary spending/ income are pretty strong as well.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos