Throw in YX's MCI focus city and FL may be slobbering over this.
NW has historically been a most vicious retaliator to LCC's that dare tread on their turf. But could they defeat an AirTran hub in MKE?
Hmmm...I don't know, Ozark. MKE
's catchment area, including northern Chicagoland, is well over two million, but that's still kind of small for an LCC hub. LCC's seem more dependent than Cartel carriers for big population bases and thus O & D at their hubs. Midwest, as far as I can tell, carries a strong percentage of business travelers, and as a mini network-carrier has more a/c flexibility down to 19 pax with Skyway. Plus of course their all-first class layout and service.
Would AirTran be able to pull as many people into an essentially medium-size airport and maintain a similar operation with their different product? I don't know, but it seems risky. Would Skyway be able to operate at a CASM low enough to work as JetConnect? And one couldn't call Raytheon 1900's JetConnect.
If not, would AirWisky be able to get enough CRJ's to take over all those thinner Skyway routes (GRR, etc.) Would they all work?
If Midwest goes under, Northwest won't fly as many pax through MKE
period, because many YX
pax connect. NW
will obviously want to funnel them through their own hubs. If AirTran could replicate enough of YX
's route network at LCC cost structure, they could possibly run even more pax through MKE
on the increased O & D alone.
Finally, however, as I've long argued, MKE
will probably shoot to the top of Southwest's short list if anything happens to YX
. I think that YX
's presence and local loyalty to them probably explains why MKE
has historically had little LCC service. Yes, I've heard all the arguments about how conservative WN
is about growth, especially since 9-11.
would be a good opportunity market and one that could "bracket" Chicagoland from the north, like MHT
bracket Boston. And Chicagoland is a much bigger population area than Eastern Mass/ Southern NH
. It wouldn't be a hub, though, since MDW
is in the shadow of the Sears Tower and is a WN
And if WN
enters, AirTran would probably not want to tangle with them. The existing service would probably continue, and maybe LGA
flights would be added if YX
goes. But WN
with its 10 percent lower CASM would be well-positioned to serve LAX
, and maybe later MCI
and maybe SEA