Kohflot
Topic Author
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 1999 5:31 am

In The Yeeeear 2006.....

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:11 am

Ok, that's my lame Conan O'Brien rip-off... but all kidding aside, there is an interesting development in the airline industry that I think begs some serious discussion. I got to thinking about this after perusing ACA's latest slideshow presentation.

We've all seen the recent growth of low-cost carriers in the US. We've all heard the plans these airlines have for future growth. But "growth" is really just an extremely vague term for "increased fleet size". Beyond adding planes, there are very very few details of where and how this growth is going to occur - obviously because of two reasons. 1) The planning groups of these airlines don't want to give away any secrets or 2) they don't even know themselves.

We're already seeing situations where the LCCs are going head-to-head.. and it's been mostly harmless so far, but let's fast forward to the end of 2006 (really just over 3 years from now) and see what the LCC landscape might look like.

I don't have numbers from every carrier. Those I do have come from a combination of sources. If anyone has numbers for other carriers or changes to the numbers I have, please post them and we'll see if we can't come up with an accurate "LCC Fleet" number going into 2007.

Southwest currently has over 350 aircraft. They're currently on track to receive at least 95 more by year-end 2006. The -200s will likely be retired by then (someone got a firm number of -200s left? OG?), which will likely yield a fleet of at least 420 aircraft.

AirTran will, by the end of 2006, have at least 75 717s and 24 737s. A fleet of over 100 aircraft.

JetBlue's fleet will be over 120 strong with 97 A320s and at least 25 ERJ-190s.

Frontier will have at least 45 Airbus aircraft and at least 9-10 JetConnect CRJs operated by Horizon. Approximately 54 aircraft in all...

ACA will be operating 80 CRJs and 33 narrowbody aircraft. 111 total for them..

That's over 800 aircraft operated by low-cost carriers vying for your travel dollar. And these are just the airlines with announced future growth plans that I had handy! If anyone has numbers out to 2006 for ATA, America West, or Spirit, please share them. My hunch is we'll be pushing 1000 aircraft at that point.

Those 1000 don't even include Song or Starfish, nor do they include financially re-established and more competitive mainline carriers, nor do they include future plans by Richard Branson and Edward Beauvais to start LCCs of their own in this country!

We could, without stretching imagination too far, be looking at 1200-1500 aircraft operated by competing low-cost carriers in three years' time.

My question is - where are they all going to go?

[Edited 2003-11-04 03:14:48]
Ask why..
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2820
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: In The Yeeeear 2006.....

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:19 am

I think there will be some of those in that picture that don't survive. I don't see how ACA will make it with RJs because they cost almost twice as much to operate per seat. I think the LCCs are onto something though.

Nice Conan reference there, I think they still do the "In the Yeeeear 2000" thing. Even funnier in 2003  Smile
DMI
 
TheGov
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2003 6:44 am

RE: In The Yeeeear 2006.....

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:30 am

-----where are they going to go???

How about multiple frequencies on a point-to-point system. With more aircraft, you can bypass the hub-and-spoke system.

Always a pallbearer, never a corpse.
 
mav75
Posts: 172
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2000 10:02 am

RE: In The Yeeeear 2006.....

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:35 am

RJ's may have higer operating costs, but when the flights are an hour or less, the cost differential is a wash, especially when the airplanes are operated with load factors as high as ACA's.
 
airways6max
Posts: 474
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 6:22 am

RE: In The Yeeeear 2006.....

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:38 am

Never prophesy, especially about the future.
 
iflyatldl
Posts: 1796
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 1:41 am

RE: In The Yeeeear 2006.....

Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:37 pm

Seems like I read somewhere on here(different thread) that ACA was going to upgrade some aircraft so they could "compete" more viably as a LCC. If that's true, they will need to find some "not-so-shy" investors
Ah, Summer, Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox and Beer.....
 
swacle
Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2003 1:41 pm

RE: In The Yeeeear 2006.....

Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:44 pm

WN has 22 -200's left today, all will be beer cans by the end of 2004 =(
Aircraft Flown: SF3 DH8 DH4 328 ERJ CRJ CR7 CR9 E70 E75 D9S M80 712 72S 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 739ER 752 318 319 32
 
SWAFA30
Posts: 436
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 1:57 am

RE: In The Yeeeear 2006.....

Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:59 pm

Southwest currently has over 350 aircraft. They're currently on track to receive at least 95 more by year-end 2006. The -200s will likely be retired by then (someone got a firm number of -200s left? OG?), which will likely yield a fleet of at least 420 aircraft.

I think our fleet count in right at about 385 right now. As SWACLE said the
-200s are in their final days, I have heard both late 2004 and early 2005 for the final retirements. In any case it is only a difference of a few months. Although I hate working the -200s, part of me will be sad to see them go...like losing part of our history. I feel the same away about the changeover to the new livery. Oh well, gotta change with the times. One thing you may want to keep in mind is that we began taking delivery of -300s waaaayyyy back in 1984. By 2006 your are looking at 22 year old airframes with a whole lotta cycles on em. If they are not ready for retirement by then they will be darn close.


[Edited 2003-11-04 05:11:23]
 
elwood64151
Posts: 2410
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2002 10:22 am

RE: In The Yeeeear 2006.....

Tue Nov 04, 2003 2:17 pm

You're forgetting about AirTran's JetConnect service operated by Air Wisconsin, which right now operates something like eight or ten aircraft for them. I believe that number is to be 16 by the middle of next year, IIRC.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.