FlyPNS1
Topic Author
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The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 2:47 am

The applications for the six slots (in-perimeter) at DCA are now rolling in, so far here are the applicants.

USAirways:
DCA-PNS 1x daily
DCA-MOB 1x daily
DCA-SAV 1x daily

Airtran:
DCA-FLL 2x daily
DCA-RSW/PBI 1x daily

Midwest Express:
DCA-MCI 1x daily (to improve existing frequencies)

ATA:
DCA-MDW 1x daily (to improve existing frequencies)

Great Plains:
DCA-OKC 1x daily
DCA-TUL 2x daily

Most of the applications makes sense, but I really don't understand Airtran's application. Why provide nonstop service to Florida cities, instead of ATL? These Florida markets already have a good deal of low-fare service (especially FLL). Plus, DCA-ATL flights would connect on to many smaller markets like SAV,TLH,PNS,GPT and benefit them as well. Airtran's current application only benefits people in a handful of So. Florida markets.

Of course, Airtran's entire application is confusing as it makes reference to slots from Vanguard, but the currently vacant slots come from Midway and Spirit.
 
MAH4546
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 2:55 am

These Florida markets already have a good deal of low-fare service (especially FLL).

Very simple. Miami's #3 O&D destination out-of-state is Washington, D.C. (after New York City and Atlanta). MIA is well served to DC, with AA's 12 daily flights, plus airTran to BWI and United to IAD. But FLL is way underserved to DC, with only three flights a day to DCA and only two to IAD (an I think six to BWI, but BWI does not hit it big with business travelers). There was a point last year when FLL had zero service to Washington, D.C. after Spirit dropped DCA, DLX dropped FLL-DCA, and USAirways was still not able to re-start FLL-DCA. That is when jetBlue came in and started FLL-IAD. Since then, USAirways has brought back DCA-FLL, and Delta Connection replaced Delta Express' FLL-DCA service, but with only one daily RJ.
a.
 
gigneil
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 3:42 am

Also, BWI and IAD are very inconvenient airports for the rapidly growing 95 south corridor all the way to Fredericksburg.

The existence of low-fare-air at DCA also would have made me a happy, happy camper when I lived in DC, as the times of day to catch routes from BWI and IAD made for a long drive.

Lastly, there's not really much low fare left from IAD. Just jetBlue and existing Airtran service.

Only 2 years ago, there was much more. Even Metrojet nonstopped to FLL from IAD.

N
 
masseybrown
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 4:06 am

Gigneil, if only Richmond had built on the NORTH side of town, SW could bleed off Washigton traffic from two directions.
 
gigneil
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 4:11 am

UA also used to have MIA-DCA service. It was an early morning flight timed for connections with arriving South America flights.

I took it one way back from Brazil once, but I had left via IAD directly from work one day so I don't know what time it departed DCA-MIA.

Richmond is a cute little airport. A lot of people from Fredericksburg and even Stafford do drive there. It would be better if it were north instead of east.

N
 
Guest

RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 5:01 am

Mah4546: The reason is actually b/c FL knows that they wouldn't get three flights to ATL, so therefore, they would stick these flights somewhere else, and try to get ATL next time there is a big auction(US goes Ch. 7, etc.). FLL/PBI/RSW are cities that don't have big competitors with any other carrier where FL is trying to add a presence to.
 
MAH4546
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 5:13 am

UA also used to have MIA-DCA service. It was an early morning flight timed for connections with arriving South America flights.

Yup, always one of those odder UA routes. Suspended after 9.11 and was supposed to resume on 6 June 2002, but never did.

a.
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 6:30 am

AirTran's proposal makes lots of sense. They should be allowed to get their foot in the door at DCA--a large low-fare carrier that has been able to succeed at large and congestion-prone East coast airports. Lowfareair is correct, I think; these Florida flights would get FL in the door, and then they could buy a bunch of slots later, say at a US Chapter 7, to start ATL. I'll bet they'd want to run four or five dailies on day one.

It's not surprising that ATA wants another slot--DCA-Chicago area low-fare flights are a natural. But ATA has existing DCA slots, and could upgrade from 738's to 752's or 753's if they want to add capacity. (US has been flying 321's into DCA for awhile so the 150-seat rule must be gone) It'd be cool to see 753's at DCA, though they might fall afoul of the no-heavies rule despite being narrow-body.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
scottysair
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 6:38 am

MAH4546,

I've do knew that one for Spirit Airlines was used nonstop from MLB to DCA flight by connecting from FLL-MLB-DCA flight after 9/11 was droppped. Yes, this is correct one for last of Delta Express did flown to DCA and it was gone now. Right now, It's was use by ASA by CRJ one daily roundtrip nonstop and I think how is load factors was doing out of FLL to DCA by ASA.

Can you exactly want to know when will be began for AirTran will be flying nonstop to FLL flight? Can you please get me a comfirm with the press releases for me. Thanks!!

Regards,

Scott W.
 
CactusA319
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 6:47 am

Can you exactly want to know when will be began for AirTran will be flying nonstop to FLL flight? Can you please get me a comfirm with the press releases for me. Thanks!!

Scotty, they are applying for these routes meaning there is a chance the slots will not go to them and they won't be starting service any time soon.

 
Guest

RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 6:55 am

I would certainly like to see Great Plains get slots. This is an airline with potential serving the underserved midwest markets (a la Midwest Express).
 
SegmentKing
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 7:08 am

don't forget Frontier is up for one of the AIR21 former TW/N7 slots into DCA... they want to have 2 dailies between Denver and DCA..

-n
~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
 
FlyPNS1
Topic Author
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 7:19 am

You're a little out of date, SegmentKing. The two beyond perimeter slots (that came from N7) were awarded to DL last month. DL starts nonstop DCA-SLC service on Jan 31, 2003.

I'm still not sure if Airtran's application is as strong as it could be. If Airtran applied for ATL-DCA, they could market low-fare service for both the ATL-DCA route (only DL flies ATL-DCA) and all the connecting markets (20+ cities). With this application, Airtran only provides low-fares to two markets and thats it.

One of the goals of the AIR21 slots is to increase benefits to as many people as possible....Airtran's application doesn't really do that.
 
gigneil
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 9:02 am

Frontier continues to push for additional slots at DCA, despite the perimeter rules.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Airtran wouldn't really be competing for AIR21 slots, since the proposed routes are within the perimeter, right? Or are they also AIR21 slots?

The vultures are circling, man. DL is pushing hard with Connection flights from DCA, and if AirTran makes it in... US will sweat a little more.

N
 
jjbiv
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 9:54 am

I'd award the slots like this:

AirTran (3):
DCA-FLL (2)
DCA-RSW (1)

Midwest (1):
DCA-MCI (1)

ATA (1):
DCA-MDW (1)

The logic being FL certainly deserves to enter the DCA market if they want to give it a shot and ATA definitely -- and I imagine Midwest probably -- need another frequency in order to offer truly competitive service. The idea of using larger aircraft will prove to be a solid one down the road, but with MDW being a rolling hub out of necessity, frequencies are what is needed now to build service to the point where it can support larger aircraft. I'd offer Great Plains the last slot for service of their choosing.

As far as I can see, the US application seems to be borne more out of a desire to block other carriers from the market than any true interest in serving the cities for which they applied. Great Plains' application seems excessive for a small airline serving the middle of nowhere. The public's interests will be best served by awarding the slots as outlined above.

joe
 
FlyPNS1
Topic Author
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 10:26 am

Jjbiv,

Your allocation would require 12 slots. There are only 6 available. Remember, you need 2 slots to operate a roundtrip flight...one for takeoff and one for landing. In this case, there are only 3 roundtrips available.

Since Airtran is choosing to operate the flights to Florida instead of the ATL hub, I would allocate them as follows.

2 slots to ATA for an additional flight to MDW: This benefits many communities because of ATA's MDW hub to both small and midsized markets.

2 slots to Midex to MCI: Improves service to MCI and connecting opportunities for Midex.

2 slots to USAirways for DCA-PNS: I'm just biased on this one. Big grin Big grin

If Airtran operated the flights to the ATL hub and hence increased the network benefits, then I would just give Airtran all six slots.
 
jjbiv
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Fri Dec 27, 2002 11:28 am

Doh, sorry about that... As long as ATA gets 2 (one RT) I'll be happy  Wink/being sarcastic We sorely need the additional connection possibilities.

joe
 
srbmod
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sat Dec 28, 2002 4:09 am

I think AirTran is being smart by proposing flights to FLL and RSW or PBI instead of to ATL. Delta has a monopoly on the route right now, offering prctically a flight an hour, and AirTran would need between 12-20 slots to effectively compete against Delta on the route. I'm surprised that they didn't propose an MCO-DCA flight, especially since Joe Leonard's always going up to DC to testify before Congress about the airline industry, and lobbying for the low-fare carriers.
 
Guest

RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sat Dec 28, 2002 4:49 am

Srbmod: probably politics. I bet that someone involved in the selection process has ties to S. Florida, similar to the wierd coincidence between the fact that McCain was involved in the beyond perimeter slot giveaway, and that HP received half of them.
 
ouboy79
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sat Dec 28, 2002 8:28 am

I would also like to see Great Plains get these slots. They would offer the first nonstop service from OKC & TUL to the nation's capital...something all the other markets already have. That service would be the most beneficial...of course then suddenly Great Plains becomes a US Airways Express carrier.  Big grin
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sat Dec 28, 2002 10:43 am

If I were the gov't (and thank your particular diety I'm not...), after having given US a guaranteed loan I would strip say 20-30 slots from them and sell them to new entrants, to recoup some of the $$$.
Coast to Coast and Border to Border, Ozark Flies YOUR Way!
 
CcrlR
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sat Dec 28, 2002 12:09 pm

What do you mean by perimiter rules? Is this the same as Dallas Love and the wright Amendment?
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
 
gigneil
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sat Dec 28, 2002 6:24 pm

Similar to the Wright Act, I guess. The Perimeter rule allows flights within a radius of 1,375 or so miles only.

Heh its a loan. You don't sell things to make people repay loans until they default. I'm sure if that happens, those slots aren't the only thing to go.

N
 
AmtrakGuy
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Joined: Thu Sep 09, 1999 11:25 am

RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sat Dec 28, 2002 11:48 pm

I am still hoping for Southest would apply for the slots...I know 3 land/take off slots is not enough for Southwest, but I do hope they'll make an exemption to their own policies.

If not, then Air Trans should get it.

ATA can wait for other slots to open up. After all, I think the slots should go to any low cost airlines that do not fly into DCA.

Dave
 
ouboy79
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sun Dec 29, 2002 5:20 am

OzarkD9S Said:

If I were the gov't (and thank your particular diety I'm not...), after having given US a guaranteed loan I would strip say 20-30 slots from them and sell them to new entrants, to recoup some of the $$$.

So you would make a struggling airline even weaker? This statement also shows your lack of understanding of the conditional loan guarantee approval. The US Gov't does not shed out one dime unless US Airways defaults on the loans. The US Gov't is not out of any cash until that day occurs - should it at any point. That is the reason why the ATSB is very critical on meeting certain cost reductions to ensure the loan can be repaid. UAL didn't meet the critera to be able to pay the loans back...but US Airways is almost there - hence the conditional approval.

If the slots are to go to a low cost carrier...then they should go to Great Plains. These slots, if used by anyone else, will simply be used in markets that already have nonstop service (AirTran filing) or markets that can be accomodated with existing slots (US Airways filing). How would I give the slots out?

Great Plains 4
Midwest or ATA 2
 
gigneil
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sun Dec 29, 2002 6:02 am

There is more at stake preventing Southwest... including very high landing fees and an extremely large presence at BWI.

WN's focus would be better served at Richmond, IMHO.

N
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sun Dec 29, 2002 6:31 am

If I were the gov't (and thank your particular diety I'm not...), after having given US a guaranteed loan I would strip say 20-30 slots from them and sell them to new entrants, to recoup some of the $$$.

As OUboy noted, the gov't isn't out any cash unless US defaults, so there isn't any taxpayer cost to recoup at this point. One problem with stripping slots from US is that US serves a lot of medium-and-small-size markets out of DCA. Were US to lose 20-30 slots, those markets--not the almost shuttle frequencies to PIT, PHL, or CLT--would get cut.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
gigneil
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sun Dec 29, 2002 6:39 am

Congresspeople love US. Its the same logic that keeps National open despite its threat to the security of the Nation's Capital.

All those little towns where members of congress live that aren't served by their "homestate's" airline, fly on US. They run screaming out the door at noon on Friday to get home to their constituencies (read: Families).

But watch DL. They're adding routes like wildfire, via connection carriers.

N
 
masseybrown
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sun Dec 29, 2002 6:49 am

The cynical opinion in DC is that Delta is really trying to kill US Airways with their expansions in NY and Washington. A dead US would make DA instantly profitable again and this is the cheapest and fastest way to achieve that end.

I'm not sure I believe this story, but it matches the facts.
 
gigneil
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sun Dec 29, 2002 7:52 am

A dead US would also solidify DL at DCA... especially now that DL has the unique right of serving all their hubs nonstop, even extra-perimeter.

DCA has all the nifty DL gadgets that just used to be at Atlanta too... the automagic boarding calls and the gate displays. I love those. They're much better than UAs, and more widespread. I can't wait for UA to get them in Denver (hello? Its DENVER people!)

I don't know how well a bunch of RJs will compete against US's mainline jets, but obviously Mullin believes it to be possible.

With CVG so nearby... I wonder how quickly or if DL would move to make DCA a mainline hub in the event of a US liquidation.

DCA is one of those noise sensitive airports I was mentioning earlier when discussing DL and the 717. Wonder if DL would shift 738s, MD-90s, and 757s there. Who knows.

N
 
scottysair
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sun Dec 29, 2002 7:55 am

Well? I wonder think about need extra more slots into DCA by US, DL, NW, AA, TZ, F9, HP, UA and etc. Do you think need get expansion for the new runway out of DCA future? I do think reason know why does that for DOT given up slots.
 
gigneil
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sun Dec 29, 2002 8:08 am

Scotty-

I would rate it at nearly impossible to build a new runway at DCA.

The airport is basically in the Potomac River as it is, bordered by GW Parkway, and the terminal and concourses are built in a manner that another runway is out of the question.

DCA also is heavily NIMBY'ed, so noise abatement is very important. For the same reason that Arlington county refuses to allow a widening I-66 to make it a reasonable thorougfare (right now, its HOV only in one direction depending on time of day... yep, the whole Interstate in one whole direction), I doubt they'd allow another runway even if it were possible.

Finally, I'm positive the Pentagon would object to additional air traffic in WAS airspace. I'm not sure they've reinstated the river visual approach yet, but for the longest time (perhaps still) traffic queues and takes off in a straight line to allow people to watch more carefully for deviations.

This is much to the dismay of residents and businesses, especially in Georgetown, Foxhall, and Alexandria, who are now once again in the direct line of air traffic. Normally I'm not one of those NIMBYs (in fact, I hate them) but the acoustic properties of Georgetown make every directly overflying airplane sound like a Nazi air raid. The River approach and takeoff allowed the noise footprint to be centered over the Potomac as much as possible, giving us a great view of the aircraft but much less noise.

Hope this provides some insight... DCA is one of my favorite airports.

N
 
gigneil
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Sun Dec 29, 2002 6:08 pm

boink.

I like this topic. Don't want to see it die just yet.

n
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: The Battle For Slots At DCA

Mon Dec 30, 2002 10:47 am

Probably the only way another runway could physically be built at DCA would be to build a second, parallel 1-19 about 1000 feet east of the existing 1-19. It would require some fill off the south end of the airfield, which would not interfere with Potomac River flow. Probably such a runway could be no longer than 7000.' Such a runway could allow simultaneous movements in most weather, which is really the only big airfield capacity improvement that could be done at DCA.

But as you noted Gigneil, there won't be any increase in the airport's slots ceiling anytime soon, so there isn't really a need for it. The current system of three intersecting runways, while less than ideal, seems to keep the place moving pretty well.

I'm actually surprised, that with the land-fill overruns built for the existing 1-19, that that runway has never been extended to 7000' or 7500' for safety reasons. Probably the Georgetown and Alexandria NIMBY's would have bowel-rupturing s*** fits, they don't give a rat's tail about safety.

I've done a couple of deliveries recently for my job in the Foxhall area, and did notice that the planes are directly overhead again. I didn't think they were terribly loud, but these were departing planes that were at least 2000' or 3000' feet up.

Wonder which gate AirTran or Great Plains would use? AA no doubt uses the old Spirit gate since they've been growing at DCA. Probably they'd get stuck over in the old A terminal.

Jim

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)