Independence Air has lots of problems. Their CASM is much higher than expected, and their RASM is less than expected. So how do you fix FlyI? Simple! Find ways to increase RASM and lower CASM!
Ohh its not that simple? I have to explain how? OK
Rework the flight schedule. Several cities have too many daily flights to IAD
, such as CRW
. However, every city in their system has at least 6 flights/day. This is a good thing- they get pretty good utilization from their airport assets. But they should get more out of those cities with only 6-8 flights. Better use of the gate and personnel. Like WN
does it. So for CRW
, instead of 6x IAD
, maybe 3x IAD
, 3x JFK
and 2x BOS
. Same for SAV
. Instead of 6x IAD
, drop to 4x and add 2x to JFK
and 2x to MCO
. Try to limit the routes where they compete head to head with big jets. Especially out of IAD
Shifting flights from IAD
to more point to point flights will reduce their CASM (more efficiency) and hopefully increase RASM.
Get ticketing agreements with the other main GDS. They finally got one with Galileo. They need to be everywhere for the time being. When (if) they reach the point where customers know to book them they can leave the GDS.
Someone said earlier that FlyI should reduce the number of fare buckets. I disagree. They only have 5; I think they need at least that many, and maybe more. I also think they should make the fare structure slightly more complicated: every fare is a one-way fare. It doesn't have to be that way!
right now is (Each way):
Instead, have the following structure:
Still simple, just getting slightly more revenue out of passengers who buy one-way fares. And also not gouging one-way customers. WN
I would also really limit availability in the lower fare buckets on connecting flights. Connecting people at low fares is not profitable. Either raise the connecting fares or don't sell cheap connecting fares. FlyI needs a LF
in the 70s, and to make money the majority of their passengers need to be O&D.
FlyI needs to get a real frequent flyer program! I like the premise of the one they have now, it makes sense, however when your competition (UA) is giving away gobs of miles and free tickets and also matching your fares, you have to react with something. Maybe a buy 2 get 1 free promo. Whats wrong with running up a frequent flyer reward liability if you might not be around for long? Either way they have to do something- their loyalty program is pitiful when compared to the competition.
I think the airline needs to approach the pilots about temporary concessions. I don't advocate this and don't want to see it happen, but if the company is going to weather these times and turn the corner, relief from the pilots would not hurt. I mention the pilots because they have the most to lose should FlyI go to plan B and bid on the UAX contract- no airbuses to move up to. "Either take temporary concessions or you might not ever see that Airbus." Management would seem to be in a strong negotiating position.
Regarding codesharing- I think that could create a sizable expense for them when they want to keep their costs low. However, interline ticketing (and bag transfer) with the major foreign carriers that fly to IAD
should be looked at to see if the benefits outweigh the costs.
Also for those who want to piss on IAD
, the airport straddles the nation's wealthiest county (Fairfax) and the fastest growing county (Loudoun). There is an underground walkway to the FlyI concourse that just opened. The airport layout is ideal for a hub operation. Where exactly should they have put a hub? FlyI's biggest problem with IAD
will come this winter when passengers have to trudge through snow to get to their planes- this also needs to be rectified.
So there you have my best shot at a solution, if there even is one.