If Airtran and JetBlue don't watch their spending soon...they won't have to worry about the 'next decade'! WN is still the financial barometer on how a carrier should be leveraged.
That's a very fair point. However, with an industry restructuring going on, the opportunities are very good for carriers with good management, good product, and low cost structure. What I've read in Aviation Week and Washington Post indicates that Wall Street doesn't think the LCC's are leveraging themselves beyond capitalization, though. In these bearish times, that judgment probably doesn't reflect overenthusiasm, either.
Not that the LCC's couldn't go overboard, and they indeed should keep expansion within capitalization in order not to overextend themselves. I just think--and that's admittedly an observer's judgment--that WN
could probably figure out how to drop their starting minimum to 5-7 dailies and still keep 7.4 cents or close to it.
Scott, I'd *love* to think there are 30+ more airports where WN
could enter with 10+ dailies. I really hope you're right. I wasn't saying that WN
*can't* enter a market where other LCC's are present, sorry if I wasn't clear. I still think they could enter any number of .8 million--1.5 million person metro areas (and of course larger areas) with 10 dailies. But they do limit themselves, and might make it tougher to compete.
In any event, God speed to LCC's.