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Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2002 2:12 pm

Why Is There No Low Cost Service In The Midwest?

Sat Jul 20, 2002 9:53 pm

I've been looking at both JetBlue and Southwest's route maps and I noticed that there are no cities being served in the middle northern states. Places like Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota are not being served by either airline. Is it because there is no market up there? Are there no major metropolitan centers that are suffering from the costs of major carriers?

Can someone provide some info to a poor clueless canadian hangar cat?

If it Ain't Boeing, I ain't Going!
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RE: Why Is There No Low Cost Service In The Midwest?

Sat Jul 20, 2002 10:43 pm

No Demand. Infact there is very little demand for anything there

RE: Why Is There No Low Cost Service In The Midwest?

Sat Jul 20, 2002 10:44 pm

In order to support low fares, airlines need to do a certain volume of business in a market. At this time, no markets in those states have enough traffic to support low fare carriers.
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RE: Why Is There No Low Cost Service In The Midwest?

Sat Jul 20, 2002 10:49 pm

AirTran just started flying into MKE. There has been talk of Southwest obtaining gate space here as well, but that's all it's been. Midwest Express offers what I think are VERY reasonable rates to many major cities, with direct flights out of MKE. But of course, YX is not a low-cost carrier. I will agree with the other members who've responded to this post when they say the demand is not there. Most likely, Southwest serves Chicago Midway airport, but hasn't made the hop to MKE for this very reason. It would be interesting to know what AirTran's load factors are on flights into and out of here.
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RE: Why Is There No Low Cost Service In The Midwes

Sun Jul 21, 2002 3:22 am

That is just like Enterprise Rent A Car. They claim to have a store withing 10 minutes of 90% of the Continental US population. Guess where the other 10% live? (hint, MT, WY, ND, SD) Plenty of land, no people and no profit.
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RE: Why Is There No Low Cost Service In The Midwest?

Sun Jul 21, 2002 3:46 am

How does ATA do with their Saab regional flights feeding MDW? As noted above the Midwest's big problem is that a lot of markets don't have the volume to support 10 73G flights (WN's requirement) or 3-5 717 flights (AirTran's requirement). I've long argued that if someone could figure out a way to apply the low-fare formula to regional service, there'd be a big market out there. RJ's are high-CASM. Attempts to do low-fare service with props--ShuttleAmerica comes to mind--have not been successful.

If ATA has found a way to get 7-8 cent CASM's with its Saabs, they could have really hit on something for the Fargos, Duluths, and Traverse Cities of the country. Do the Saabs to SBN, TOL, etc., make good money at low enough fares to stimulate business? If so, that could be a way for low-fare service to get into the Plains and Upper Midwest.

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RE: Why Is There No Low Cost Service In The Midwest?

Sun Jul 21, 2002 4:12 am

To follow on the theme above about little demand to the midwest cities (as well as the hubbing of NW at places like DTW and MSP), consider this: No one really WANTS to fly to these places, they HAVE to.
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RE: Why Is There No Low Cost Service In The Midwest?

Sun Jul 21, 2002 5:51 am

The ATA Saab 340 flights seem to be doing least judging by ATA's traffic releases. ATA Connection has done wonders for Springfield,IL...traffic is way up there. However, most of the ATA Connection cities are still pretty decent sized markets...DSM,GRR,TOL,SBN,DAY,IND,MKE,MSN all have at least 250,000 people.

There just aren't any large markets in states like Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota or South Dakota. I have doubts if people living in those parts of the country will ever see lowfare service. The traffic volume just isn't there....the only way service works is if you use small planes (like RJ's and props) and feed into mega hubs.

There are almost 430 commercial airports in the US. Looking at traffic numbers and population figures, I can't see more than about 150 airports that can support some type of lowfare service. The remaining cities will just be stuck with the major network carriers and high fares. Or in some cases, they will lose air service altogether.

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RE: Why Is There No Low Cost Service In The Midwest?

Sun Jul 21, 2002 6:21 am

There is low cost airline. It's called Midway Express and they fly out of MKE!
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