sllevin
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Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:46 pm

Many times some pundits have said "Southwest missed out by not going to JFK, opening the door to jetBlue to be started and capture a rich market."

The it hit me...why couldn't Southwest by US's shuttle operation and gates at LGA, and make a profit?

For the shuttle, well, there's no assigned seating (at least on Delta's Shuttle -- haven't flown US) -- so typical WN works there. They could even base some -200's as backups for the shuttle since they are paid for, and wouldn't eat much sitting as backups (instead of retiring them).

There's also some excellent yield markets out of LGA to fly. They could operate LGA as its own little network, with planes largely doing out-and-backs, so delays would be confined to LGA and the connected markets (something people are already used to), and there wouldn't be a ripple effect through the entire route system.

And certainly WN has the cash to make an offer!

Steve
 
N670UW
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:53 pm

The shuttle at US is no longer a separate operation. The hourly flights between BOS, LGA, and DCA are just regular US mainline flights operated by mainline crews. The US Airways Shuttle brand technically no longer exists. US Airways mainline just happens to fly hourly flights between those three cities. Any airline can start its own shuttle any time it wants.

The only to really acquire would be gates at BOS and slots at LGA and DCA.


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DC10GUY
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:57 pm

I would like to see Southwest get USairs DCA slots ....
Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
 
ltbewr
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:06 pm

No way would WN want to get into EWR/JFK/LGA due to the weather and traffic delays and operational and initial set up costs. Yes, the 'shuttle' operations would seem to similar to WN's operations - standardized a/c, short flights, top revenues, quick turnarounds, no need for food service - but since they don't offer services already at DCA nor even BOS (?) why mess with the profitable situation they already have?
 
flyibaby
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:22 pm

I seriously doubt that WN will consider going into DCA, when they already run such a huge operation in BWI. They would wind up competing against themselves.
 
rjpieces
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 3:37 pm

WN missed its opportunity in NYC. The only possible airport they could have started at was JFK. Back in the preB6 day, nobody, myself included, thought a LoCo could work at JFK.....We still haven't seen how they will do in the longrun. So I don't blame WN for not entering NYC. They can fly in a sh*tload of markets and make money; Why bother with NYC where there is more than enough competition?

The only possible way they might ever do LGA is if they got the Marine Air Terminal. They would have shortest taxi to runway time, their own terminal and that might just barely work....But again, why go against their timetested model?

I think WN went as far into big cities as they are willing to go in PHI.......If US does collapse, I expect B6 to expand services to BOS and LGA and perhaps start DCA.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:04 pm

No I don't see Southwest running the Shuttle in the BOS-LGA-DCA market for all the reasons you mentioned above and with the landing fees high in the NYC airports Southwest isn't likely to fly out of LGA. Southwest will rather pick other airports in the surroundings (they are already looking at PHL) where landing fees may be lower.

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FriendlySkies
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:39 pm

Would WN want to go into DCA or LGA? The slot fees are tremendously high, and WN's business model directs them towards "cheaper" airports. Isn't that why they stopped flying to DEN and SFO?
 
bennett123
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:44 pm

Given all of US's problems, would'nt WN be wiser to let it fail and then join the auction?.
 
rjpieces
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:46 pm

Unless everybody else stopped flying to LGA or DCA, I seriously doubt WN would start ops there........Especially in today's market when margins are thinner as it is.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 10:42 pm

>>>Isn't that why they stopped flying to DEN and SFO?

SWA pulled out of DEN (the old Stapleton) and SFO primarily due to those two airport's propensity towards major ATC delays when the weather precluded the use of visual approaches. When this happened, it meant they had to use ILS approaches, and while each airport had parallel runways with ILS approaches, the parallel runways involved were too close to one another so both could be used.

(You need 2,500' between the centerlines for parallel ILSes, and 4,300' for simultaneous ILSes. I don't remember what Stapleton's centerline distance was, but SFO's (28L and 28R) was only 600'-700').

The effect of all this was that once a relatively "minor" 2,000' cloud deck rolled in and/or visibility dropped below 4-5 miles, you'd lose one of the parallel approaches and the airport's ability to land aircraft would get cut by about 50%. An ATC delay program would then follow, and then 1-3 hour delays would ensue and adversely affect the rest of the airline's schedule.

The -new- DEN airport doesn't have those runway separation issues, but does have some high cost issues. SFO still has the problems, but there's been discussion of possibly rebuilding 10L/28R further away from it's twin.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
prosa
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:05 pm

WN missed its opportunity in NYC. The only possible airport they could have started at was JFK. Back in the preB6 day, nobody, myself included, thought a LoCo could work at JFK.....We still haven't seen how they will do in the longrun. So I don't blame WN for not entering NYC. They can fly in a sh*tload of markets and make money; Why bother with NYC where there is more than enough competition?

I still don't understand why WN will not promote ISP as a form of service to New York. They have no problem with promoting BWI = Washington and PVD = Boston, even though the travel times aren't much shorter.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
planespotting
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:11 pm

i think it's safe to say, that as of right now (and for the next 5-10 years) WN wants no part of any airport that imposes slot restrictions or user fees, which in turn bring about ATC delays. They're already having problems right now at PHL just with US Airways trying to slow them up. No telling how the system would get screwed up if they went to DCA or LGA.
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DCAYOW
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:10 am

Southwest could buy the shuttle, but highly unlikely they will.

More likely suitors would be jetBlue and AirTran. AirTran already has stations at all three. B6 would only have to open DCA.

Retorne ao céu...
 
EMBQA
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:43 am

Why is everyone so hot on Southwest doing this, or doing that. Their investment in the northeast is over. No other open city even comes close to fitting into there model. BOS-LGA-DCA all are very anti Southwest type airports....heck, in BOS and LGA if the wind blows wrong there are huge delays.
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Cory6188
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:13 am

Even if WN wanted to get space in LGA in order to operate a shuttle service to DCA and BOS, there wouldn't be any gates for them to operate out of. CO owns the terminal that US operates their shuttle out of at LGA (they pay rent to CO), and there is no way in he** that CO would rent it to WN.
 
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RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:39 am

Actually, I think WN could very easily (and profitably) run a DCA-LGA-BOS shuttle. They could pick up where US left off....PROVIDED THAT:

  • they were able to successfully purchase the necessary slots from US

  • they were able to lease the US Shuttle Terminal at LGA from CO (who owns it)

  • they operated a closed-cycle of dedicated shuttle-only aircraft and crews


  • It's a much higher-cost operation than WN would normally want to get involved with, but the revenues are there if they try.

    Furthermore, this would give WN a HUGE amount of exposure and presence in the NYC market, even though their customers would be limited ti flights to/from ISP if they wanted to hit the rest of the WN route system.

    But then again, there's nothing that says they couldn't buy ADDITIONAL slots at LGA from US (that aren't being used for the shuttle operation) and throw LGA-PHL, LGA-BWI or even LGA-HOU on there!

    And make no mistake, a WN shuttle purchase with LGA-HOU flights (providing connectivity to the rest of the WN system) would make the rest of the legacy carriers collectively crap a brick.
    "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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    RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

    Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:25 am

    They're already having problems right now at PHL just with US Airways trying to slow them up.

    Odds are those US aircraft will still be tying up the airfield at PHL for the next few weeks or even months - but eventually they'll be stationary and parked in one place.
    "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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    cha747
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    RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

    Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:54 am

    I still don't understand why WN will not promote ISP as a form of service to New York.

    PROSA - I think that the problem is with actually getting from ISP to NYC. I used to live in Mount Kisco and the cab drivers in Westchester didn't even know that ISP existed (I kid you not)!

    How much would a cab cost from ISP to midtown and back? Probably the same as a roundtrip ticket to ISP on WN. When I (briefly) lived in Nassau County, I used to hear stories of tourists showing-up at ISP thinking that they were a $5-10 cab ride from Manhattan. Were they in for a rude awakening! Hence, I don't think that WN would be smart to tout this at NYC service when if fact, if you pay a little more, you can be within closer reach of NYC.

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    isitsafenow
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    RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

    Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:38 am

    Herb doesn't like airports with delays like DCA and LGA. He can't have his planes lined up for take-off for 30 to 40 minutes. He likes to spin them around in 20 minutes and be off to another destination. Utilize the planes..thats his style.
    You couldn't give him the shuttle...heck, SW doesn't NEED it.
    It will be interesting to see who does pick it up. Maybe Branson, maybe NW, maybe airTran, maybe Independence....who knows?
    safe
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    sllevin
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    RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

    Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:42 pm

    Delays are certainly a factor at LGA...but so are yields! If you make it it's own little universe (unlike at SFO) -- well, people are used to delays when it comes to flights to/from LGA. As far as the shuttle, sure, they have ops at BWI, but the shuttle is different -- and you'd have enough turns at DCA and BOS to justify it.

    SFO was a different case because of OAK and SJC. And if Southwest flew to JFK or EWR, well, then, you'd have a point -- but they don't. ISP isn't going to get the last minute business traveler who will happily fork over a (mere) $399 each way to get into LGA.

    If WN can't make money at LGA, no one can. Not NW, not Airtran, not Independence... WN can make a lot more money there, AND lock out a significant growth path for competition.

    Steve
     
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    RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

    Thu Sep 16, 2004 1:45 pm

    You're all correct about DCA, LGA and even BOS being delay-prone....but WN could make a go of it with a shuttle service...but only if they operated a separate, dedicated fleet of 'shuttle' planes and crews that would never be used in the remainder of the system.

    This would keep any delays at LGA from causing a ripple effect throughout the rest of the system.
    "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
     
    planespotting
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    RE: Could Southwest Buy The US Shuttle?

    Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:59 pm

    and just so we complete the circle jerk effect here, Southwest is not going to take a major risk, i.e. buying a piece of the dying US Airways system that had its heyday in the mid 80's.

    The chances of southwest buying the US Airway shuttle are 0. nothing. I can almost guarantee it's not even being looked at as a possability. Even starting their own shuttle system will not happen.

    To those of you who might compare an eastern shuttle system (LGA, DCA, BWI, BOS, etc..etc..) to what southwest started in the 70's in Texas (SAT, HOU, and DAL): The markets and airports are nowhere near the same. San Antonio Int'l is a large enough airport but doesn't produce near as much traffic as DFW or IAH, so it was convenient to run there from HOU and DAL. With those 3 airports delays are not significant if there are even delays at all. If you look at the east coast however, 3 of them (LGA, DCA, BOS) are extremely prone to heavy delays that screw up airports as far away as ORD and MIA. Just because the system is available doesn't mean southwest should jump on it.

    Do you like movies about gladiators?