Tom in NO
Topic Author
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

Articles On US Airline Losses And Lo-fare Airlines

Wed Jul 31, 2002 5:04 am

Two outstanding articles in today's USA Today make for good reading regarding financial losses at the Big-6 US airlines, and also regarding the growth of low-fare airlines in the US, especially Southwest and JetBlue.

Here are the links:

Airline financial losses: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2002/2002-07-30-big-six.htm

Growth of low-fare airlines: http://www.usatoday.com/money/biztravel/2002-07-29-mid_size_x.htm
(the print version of USA Today for Tuesday-Money section-has a graphic depicting airports with low-fare airlines, as well as a chart witht the growth of low-fare airlines at various airports since 1992)

Feel free to post comments.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3890
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Articles On US Airline Losses And Lo-fare Airlines

Wed Jul 31, 2002 11:34 am

Both articles are good summaries of their respective subjects--a real achievement for USA Today, whose aviation coverage is usually poor-quality. The second-generation-after-deregulation low-fare carriers are prospering for two reasons: 1) good management, and b) good product. Southwest, JetBlue and AirTran choose routes and battles very carefully, and *don't expand beyond their capitalization.* Passengers do want a clean aircraft and decent seat pitch (Southwest's and JetBlue's is better than some Cartel carriers').

The observation about Northwest is intriguing--it lost the least money of the unprofitable Cartel carriers this quarter, partially due to the fact that it has been the least impacted by low-fare carriers. Think about it--MEM, DTW, and MSP don't have say an AirTran hub, or say an MDW 10 miles across town. Northwest's hubs are also all fortress hubs, unlike say ORD. They also serve regions and cities--particularly the Upper Midwest--whose cities the low-fares have so far mostly shunned. I don't know why that is.

I wonder how that will change? MKE has lured AirTran, and certainly GRR could support an AirTran station. But cities like MAD, TVC, GRB, OSH, RST, I don't know. Unless Southwest decides that a real assault on MSP or DTW is a feasible possibility, I think the balance won't shift much in the region. The fact hat WN has kept a respectfully small operation at DTW for years--less than 30 flights--indicates clearly that they have not wanted a head on battle with Northwest.

A Southwest station at GRR, with flights to MDW, BWI, and maybe STL, would certainly help things in Western Michigan. Upper Wisconsin is probably out of WN's reach; GRB isn't big enough. I bet AirTran could pull off a Fox River station though, probably at GRB, and also one at MAD. MKE's station should be able to support itself.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
prosa
Posts: 5389
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2001 3:24 am

RE: Articles On US Airline Losses And Lo-fare Airlines

Wed Jul 31, 2002 11:43 am

From the USAToday article:

So the couple and their two young children left home at 4:30 a.m., took a cab to Grand Central Station, caught the Long Island Railroad to Hicksville, N.Y., and then a $69 cab to Islip, Long Island, to catch a Southwest flight to Fort Lauderdale. Airfare for four: $476, booked on Southwest's Web site.

As the earliest possible date for Long Island Rail Road (not Railroad) service to Grand Central Terminal (not Station) is 2010, that would be quite an accomplishment. Careless reporting like this does not add to the article's (or USAToday's) credibility.
By the way, it's hard to understand why the family didn't take the LIRR to Ronkonkoma, which is only a few miles from ISP and has cheap van service to the terminal.

"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
Jeff G
Posts: 438
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2002 9:56 am

RE: Articles On US Airline Losses And Lo-fare Airlines

Wed Jul 31, 2002 11:59 am

For that matter, why not take the subway/free PA bus to JFK and fly on JetBlue to FLL? Must've been some savings.
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3890
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Articles On US Airline Losses And Lo-fare Airlines

Wed Jul 31, 2002 2:39 pm

As the earliest possible date for Long Island Rail Road (not Railroad) service to Grand Central Terminal (not Station) is 2010, that would be quite an accomplishment. Careless reporting like this does not add to the article's (or USAToday's) credibility.

Hey, that's asking too much of USA Today!  Insane Remember, this is the same newspaper that ran the silly Cartel-written "Southwest's fares aren't always lowest" article last summer.

By the way, it's hard to understand why the family didn't take the LIRR to Ronkonkoma, which is only a few miles from ISP and has cheap van service to the terminal.

I wondered about that too. Apparently they didn't do their homework.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
micstatic
Posts: 603
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2001 10:07 pm

RE: Articles On US Airline Losses And Lo-fare Airlines

Wed Jul 31, 2002 9:21 pm

DCA-ROCguy,
I have to disagree with you on your opinion of USA Today having poor aviation coverage. I cannot think of any other paper that is available in so many markets that covers aviation as much as USA Today. Granted, sometimes the scope of the articles are limited. But you have to keep in mind that this is a newspaper that has to assume the general public has little or no knowledge of airlines, then build from there. I think the paper also is aware that it is the newspaper of choice for many business travelers. Bottom line, is that the paper regularly devotes whole pages to aviation. Name another non-trade paper that does that?

S340,DH8,AT7,CR2/7,E135/45/170/190,319,320,717,732,733,734,735,737,738,744,752,762,763,764,772,M80,M90

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 32andBelow, Bing [Bot], Dutchy, Finn350, flyinryan99, Google Adsense [Bot], ikolkyo, izbtmnhd, jtwillia, KarelXWB, LAX772LR, MAH4546, Mumrik, nws2002, NZdsgnr, PW100, rajincajun01, TheDeputy, timf, TWA302, VN777, VS4ever and 382 guests