(i) I don't think I'm the one who's nitpicking. I have made my point again and again, and people refuse to concede that point. Since that point is based on "my money, my choice", it's difficult to see where the argument is.
(ii) I am aware of the links you provided. For fairly obvious reasons I am a fairly frequent visitor to the Airbus site.
(iii) Even IF
I acepted that the CASM will be higher (which I don't, but this thread is so far away from its original intent, whay the hey?), that CASM is still not going to be anywhere near, say, MESA's 14 cents for the RJ
(iv) I do not say that Frontier is immune from making bad decisions about anything. I think they have made several decisions that are, in my opinion, ill-considered, including, but not limited to, the original agreement with MESA.
But, for the record, I tend to give them more credence than a lot of other people.
(v) Summer and post-summer of 2002, every airline (including SWA, but not, perhaps JetBlue because of a limited past) experienced declining yields.
(vi) The major expansion did not occur within the last twelve months. Yes, citites were added, notably but not limited to, the Mexican destiations, but some were dropped, including Boston and Saint Louis. Oakland goes next Sunday.
(vi) Hindsight is 20-20. If the airlines had known how bad the summer of 2002 was going to be, I think a number of them would have changed their plans.
(vii) Frontier has never been a true LCC, like, say SWA, but rather "always affordable". That is, cheaper than UAL out of Denver. This has been their strength - they have able to fly just under UAL's "threshold of pain".
Will they continue to do so? That's the future, who knows? The UAL "survival plan" seems to be fluid (other than the protection at all costs of the route network, but nothing else is written in granite).
UAL does start the LCC Starfish, then it's a different ballgame. It's the future, I cannot guess. We cannot know if UAL will be able to persuade their unions to fly at a cost which makes Starfish a genuine LCC. So far, the omens are not good.
Times change, almost daily these days. A week ago, most people put UAL's chances of survival as slim to none, with slim on his way out of the building.
Now, this week, according to several analysts, slim has come back into the building.
Times change. For two quarters post 9/11, Frontier was one of the few airlines to continue posting profits. The summer of 2002 hit them, and for three quarters they have posted fairly minor losses. Last month, part of the loss was due, in part, to the blizzard at DEN
, which effectively shut the airline down for some three days. You can't make money if you ain't flying.
Times change. Bookings are on their way back up.
Times change. Frontier was able to persuade the ATSB that they would be able to repay the loan. UAL was not.
Under the terms of the ATSB backed loan, the first $10 million of any future government help would go to repay the capital of the guaranteed loan. Frontier is expected to receive about 15 million (it's been estimated at between $12 and $18 million, so I took the average). The first $10 million of this will go to the providing bank.
The end result is that Frontier will then owe the bank less than the ATSB has guaranteed. Would I rather FRNT had less debt? For sure. But they will have less debt than they did.
Times change. 18 months ago, Frontier's average fare was about $130. After summer 2002, this average dropped, hitting a low of $106 from memory, September 2002). That average fare is now, happily, on it's way back up. Within two months (assuming nothing else changes) the average fare will be similar to a year ago.
Are there some things I wish Frontier had done differently? For sure. I wish they would drop the $5 charge for the LiveTV. But they have done some things differently that I applaud. Such as installing the LiveTV.
On balance, and this is only my opinion, the "right" decisions far outweigh the "wrong" decisions.
You think Frontier's getting it wrong? Be my guest. I wish you nothing but joy of it.