flyboy80
Posts: 1816
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 8:10 am

Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 4:01 am

I have noticed that AS flies somewhere around 110 flights (mainline, excluding QX) out of SEA on there bussiest days. As most of you know SEA is AS's largest and main passenger hub.

What I am wondering is, has AS put to much effort into building a hub at SEA? I've noticed them flying routes like seven flights a day to SFO, ane nine flights a day to SNA, and several flights to other destinations on the west coast. But, is the demand really there for these flights? OR are they just trying to head forward with growth without the traffic? I can see where the nine flights a day might fit in with SNA as this set of flights is the main gateway I would say from Montana, Washington, Idaho and possibly Oregon, to SNA (Except for the fact that PDX has non stop service to SNA).

But what I am wondering is if the demand for Alaska's flights are really there out of SEA, or are load factors weaker then what they are from other more "accomplished hubs" such as UA at ORD and other super hubs of ATL and DFW?

Now remember, Im not simply refering to AS's SEA-SNA flights, but all their flights from SEA.

I know there has been a lot of talk about AS at PDX and how it seems (certainly to me) that they (AS) wanted a hub there to work, but there just wasn't enought South/ North traffic to hold a "real" hub there. I believe they fly about 40 flights a day out of PDX, and maybe in a small carrier's eyes, such as Alaska, that might be a hub, but certainly not a hub to most other airlines!

BTW, maybe if AS scales down a lot in PDX, and allows more traffic to fly from PDX and make a connection to fly south in SEA, then maybe (in the advent the loads are indeed low out of SEA) better load factors for the SEA flights as increased traffic enters SEA.

In the cast where the loads are good right now out of SEA, AS might take away from PDX, and add flights in SEA, or possibly, just possibly, we could see flights being added to a new "start up hub" Canadates for this would be the LAX sattelite city, or SLC, COS, or DEN!
Im looking forward to hearing all of your guy's ideas and information as always!
Your favorite 15 yr old aviation forum member, (By the way I've been here for a long time, and I hope i was once the favorite 13, and 14 yr old one as well LOL)

Brian (Bri)
 
copaair737
Posts: 3571
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 5:00 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 4:16 am

perhaps they will expand the QX in BIL, like 10 years ago when they had service to like 8-9 places. they could also use Big Sky Air as a feeder and feed the flights to like DEN, BOI, SEA, PDX, SFO, LAX. I would say there will be service increases to LAX and maybe SFO too.
Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C, and Cocaine
 
as739x
Posts: 5001
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 7:23 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 4:37 am

Flyboy80- I'm having trouble following what you are trying to say or ask. SEA is or #1 hub and headquarters. We have the largest amount of pax out of Seattle hands down. There is enough demad for SEA to the citys you said above in you post, or we wouldn't fly them. We are hoping to start more flights to the east coast, but at this time we don't have the aircraft for it. We also are limited in capacity due to the amount of gates in SEA. There is no where for us to move. We should be getting more when AA moves to the south side. PDX is a hub for us, and yes it may be a secondary hub for other airlines but what do you expect,were not that big. We operate around 110 flight cause we only have 103 planes. I think you are expecting a United type hub for an airline with 1/5 the amount of planes.You will not see a hub in any city outside of LAX, I asure you. COS? never. SLC? we haven't touched the market and no plans for it soon. I hope this helps you Brian, but remember we are not a large scale major, we are the smallest of the majors! Any other questions about AS, let me know.
ASSFO
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
 
United777
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 8:04 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:13 am

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air hands downs down are the best airlines and most flown airlines in SEA. In no way are the flights from SEA not full at all. I think if anything to some cities from SEA flights should be added. Don't forget AS flies passengers from for American Airlines, Northwest Airlines and Continental Airlines through there partnerships. Like AS739X said, AS will get more gates in SEA once all the re-modeling is done there.
 
flybynight
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:20 am

AS739X - With AS's expansion back East (Miami, Newark, DC), it sure would be nice to see AS buy bigger planes. There is certainly nothing wrong with a 737-700, but I prefer a larger plane such as a 767 for cross-country flying.
Heia Norge!
 
B4REAL
Posts: 2557
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 5:53 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:22 am

Flybynight: AS wouldn't do well with a 767 in my opinion. Besides, I really like the 737NG. Even for transcon flights. Took the 737-800 on DL ATL-MEX just recently (with my upgrade) and it was really a home run.
B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
 
User avatar
EA CO AS
Posts: 13438
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 8:54 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:40 am

While AS has definitely been looking at other aircraft (kicking the tires on the 738 and discussing launching the proposed 739X), 757 or 767 equipment isn't something they're looking at.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
as739x
Posts: 5001
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 7:23 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:14 am

As my buddy EA CO AS said, we are looking at a larger fleet of 738 or 739's. I actually was talking into an inside source today who was saying the company is looking into more 737-900's. The 757/767 will never happen. What some people forget is that there is millions of dollars of equipment that goes with these planes. To add to that, most of our larger hubs don;t have many gate built to accomidate the larger planes. As of right now the gates here here in SFO can handle nothing larger then the 73NG.Same with LAX,although some of the new gates aquired can. New sim's,loader,training. Just not going to happen. Do look for AS to be a possible 739X launch customer if Boeing builds it like EA CO AS said.
ASSFO
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
 
wedgetail737
Posts: 3638
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2003 8:44 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:26 am

AS739X:

I had also heard that Alaska was looking to buy 737-700C's as a possible replacement for their older 737-200C's. Anything new on that?

Go Alaska!!!! I try to fly AS every opportunity I get! But it's kind of hard to do that when you live in Kansas.
 
as739x
Posts: 5001
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 7:23 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:46 am

Not until the FAA approves the cargo wall the can be moved. This has been a tug and war with the FAA. The only 737-700C that operate are for the Navy and they have a solid (fixed) wall. I don't know the terminology of the wall. (Firewall maybe or movable bulkhead). Since AS changes pax/cargo configurations its not an option right now.
ASSFO
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
 
wedgetail737
Posts: 3638
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2003 8:44 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 11:22 am

Typical name for the wall is either a bulkhead or partition.
 
User avatar
EA CO AS
Posts: 13438
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 8:54 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 12:10 pm

Just another thing to add; I asked Gregg Saretsky about our proposal to Airbus. He said we "set the bar REALLY high for Airbus." Basically, to win Alaska's business they would have to:

Offer very VERY competitive prices on A321/A320/A319 aircraft
Develop an A319 combi aircraft with an FAA certified movable bulkhead
Pay for the cost of crew training
Pay for the cost of spare parts inventory and housing of said spares
Pay for full-motion simulators for the new aircraft
Take MD-80 equipment as trade-ins for the new aircraft


And even if Airbus met these conditions, Alaska would STILL shop Boeing to see if they'd match or come close before going with AI equipment.

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 4:31 pm

The term you are looking for is quick change.


A little history here.

Alaska was based out of Anchorag untill just before the Second World War when a new owner, an unscruplous junk dealer from New York named Raymond Marshall, had the headquarters moved to Seattle so that it would be in closer contact with his New York office.

Marshall, started a profitable sidleline buisness selling junk aircraft parts to the airline. The situation got so bad that the CAB eventually had to put it's own man(I belive David Nelson) in to run the airline, in place of Raymond's guy.

The situation improved enough that eventually the company didn't need to be run by the government again. Nelson went on to help pull Hawaiian Airlines out of bankrupcy, Marshall hired a man by the name of Charles Willis to run the company. Marshall eventually died, Willis ran the company until he was ousted by the board of directors in 72 or 73. Wooten, if memory serves was fired by Marshall and Willis was the one that replaced him.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Cessna172RG
Posts: 642
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2000 8:31 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:46 pm

I have flown on Alaska a few times, and each flight is filled to about 60% capacity between Seattle and Los Angeles (LAX). Those have been mid day or evening flights on either MD-80s or 737s. Maybe the late and morning flights are a little fuller.
Save the whales...for dinner!!!
 
BCAInfoSys
Posts: 2617
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 11:09 pm

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 11:51 pm

OK, maybe a little off-topic, but I was hoping someone could help me understand something. I found out that QX just started service from SEA to IDA (Idaho Falls)! I was in a state of shock when I saw that, I just can't believe that there'd be enough traffic from SEA to IDA to fill a Q400. My Mom flew it the other day and said there was only 20 or 30 people. Can anyone tell me why QX would open up such an oddball route?
Militant Agnostic - I don't know and you don't either.
 
United777
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 8:04 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Tue Oct 07, 2003 6:25 am

BCAInfoSys,

It could because the Dash-8-200 doesn't have the range to fly from Seattle to Idaho Falls. It is intresting they offer two daily flights on that route with the Q400.
 
737-990
Posts: 332
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2000 3:41 pm

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Tue Oct 07, 2003 6:57 am

I agree that loads (and even yield) are not a problem for Alaska out of Seattle. Dispite the recession, Seattle has a robust and diversified economy to support the Alaska hub there. There are also very good interline opportunites present in SEA. There are times in the summer that you can't get on a plane from SEA-ANC and that's with 17 daily flights! Its no accident that most of our growth has been out of SEA over the past 3 years. Unfortunately for Portland it doesn't have the economy or the population density to support a strong hub. Even with low fares it's hard to fill up a flight to PDX, that is why you are seeing more Horizon flights in tradional Alaska markets (already PDX to SFO, and next year to BUR, OAK and ONT).
Happiest is a man who has his vocation as a hobby
 
as739x
Posts: 5001
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 7:23 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Tue Oct 07, 2003 7:44 am

BCA-The Q400 doesn't need much load to make profit or break even. I'm sure another reason it fleet utilization. Specially with the evening flight to IDA. Also maybe ski season ( I'm not very familiar with how close IDA is to any resorts ). QX is trying to utilize planes a little more, thats why they have been losing money with the CRJ. Thats the reason the SUN-OAK flight is at an aweful time.
737-900- great points made above! Where you from?
ASSFO
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
 
User avatar
clickhappy
Posts: 9042
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 12:10 pm

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Tue Oct 07, 2003 7:52 am

SEA>IDA will be a killer route for ski season. Many people (myself included) fly into Idaho Falls instead of Jackson due to the price. Flying SEA> SLC> IDA is about $300 cheaper than SEA> SLC> JAC
 
SuperDash
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 1:52 pm

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:16 pm

Alaska and Horizon just posted Load Factor gains on growth for the month of September. I can't think of too many major airlines that did that (if any). As for gates in SEA, there really is plenty. Horizon in the past 3 years seems to have operated off of just about every gate at the airport...B concourse, South Satellite and North Satellite. Now Alaska is using the North Satellite. On my trip thru SEA today, I noticed that US Air is now on the North and Hawaiian is on the B. That means about 3 or 4 gates on South should be available. I think the real key to Alaska Air Group is that they really don't have a lot of great new opportunities out of SEA. So, I think route profit potential is the real driver (or lack there of). They could get the concrete if they wanted it. Even AA won't need as many gates as they pull down their SEA schedule (loss of many STL flights). It may not be 24/7 but they can rotate flights on vacant gates. Remember, Alaska/Horizon is not yet profitable. They are doing better than the Uniteds' and American's, but they still are not profitable. That's likely the real driver in SEA growth. It's been nice and conservative so far and it looks like a good strategy and not a big struggle
 
flybynight
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:46 pm

Isn't the range for the 739 too short for SEA to Miami runs?
Heia Norge!
 
EIPremier
Posts: 1462
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 8:17 am

RE: Alaska Struggling For Capacity At SEA?

Tue Oct 07, 2003 1:00 pm

I have noticed that AS flies somewhere around 110 flights (mainline, excluding QX) out of SEA on there bussiest days. As most of you know SEA is AS's largest and main passenger hub.

Actually, this summer, Alaska had about 150 mainline departures each weekday from SEA.

Who is online