think about the possible ramifications of this, DFW, DAL, and the Wright Amendment.
I'm kind of confused here. If Southwest gets control of ATA, would they operate it as a separate airline like they did when they took over Muse Air and renamed it TranStar?
And if so, might they consider moving the bulk of ATA operations to DFW?
For one thing it would get Southwest the gates they want at Midway. I think after the last of the newly announced MDW flights commence, Southwest will be up to 170 daily departures. With 25 gates, that would work out to not quite 7 departures per gate per day. Enough departures per gate that the other airlines couldn't accuse Southwest of hogging gates and not using them, while still providing enough room to add 60-80 additional flights over the next several years.
Then they could move the bulk of ATA's operations to the vacated Delta gates at DFW and use their new separate little airline to compete with both AA and AirTran at DFW.
Suppose new ATA had 12-15 flights a day to DFW - MDW. Since Southwest would be code-sharing with them, Southwest customers could fly ATA to MDW and connect to other Southwest flights to the northeast.
I wonder if many of the 9 routes they would code share on (and would be operated by New ATA) would be routes from DFW to other large cities in the Southwest system, like BWI, PHX, LAS, and BNA, where again, Southwest customers wanting to fly out of DFW could do so via the ATA flight to the other Southwest "hub" cities and then connect to Southwest flights to destinations beyond-- cities where Dallas/Ft. Worth area Southwest customers can't currently fly due to the restrictions of the Wright Amendment.
It would give DFW more of the low fare service it so desparately needs, and it would take up gates at DFW that could potentially be acquired by other airlines wanting to compete at DFW. Not to mention they would be a thorn in AA's side, plus if they operate ATA separately they don't have to worry about merging seniority lists like AA did when it took over TWA.
That would allow Southwest to keep on doing what they're doing in other parts of the country, while they "used" ATA to compete with AA/AirTran at DFW.
Is this idea even feasable or am I missing something?
The article from the Indianapolis Star (talking about the codeshare agreement) noted that:
"This is part of a defensive move" by Southwest, Field said, noting Southwest is offering the arrangement on fewer than 10 routes out of Midway. "They saw it as the only way to match what AirTran was offering" in code-sharing.
All the codeshare flights are routes into/out of MDW, so ATA could still fly DFW - MDW and passengers could connect at MDW to other Southwest cities, but there would be no other ATA/WN codeshare flights from DFW to any other Southwest "hubs" because the other codeshare routes are also out of Chicago.
Still, Isn't DFW-ORD one of AA's bread and butter routes. If Southwest were to compete by having ATA fly fly DFW - MDW, AA would have to lower their DFW-ORD fares and probably to some other cities like DTW, MHT, CLE CHM, BDL, PVD, BWI and other places Soputhwest customers might be able to connect to from MDW.. Not enough to mortally wound AA, but just enough to be a thorn in their side.
Also, that indystar article said this:
Southwest's offer for six ATA gates at Midway startled industry analysts because it included a code-share provision -- for only the second time in Southwest's history.
This would allow ATA to sell Southwest tickets to travelers who use both airlines on one trip, such as a passenger going to Indianapolis from Fort Worth, Texas, flying the first leg on Southwest and changing at Midway to an ATA flight.
Isn't that example backwards? If you were flying from Fort Worth (DFW) to MDW, wouldn't the first leg be on ATA and the MDW-IND flight be on Southwest?