Indy, no ATA wouldn't have garnered much loyalty. Until very recently ATA has been a vacation oriented low-cost carrier. Vacation travellers don't, and can't, care about loyalty. For the father booking a flight for his family of six to Orlando, he's booking travel on whichever airline has the lowest fare.
Business is where the loyalty lies. If you have good service with a comfortable business section offering frequent and convenient service to multiple destinations, and can get a company enrolled in your frequent flyer program - that's where you get the loyalty. That's one of the reasons why Northwest is here. Indianapolis is one of their largest business frequent flyer cities.
As for IND
, they have 1,068 daily passengers in that market, so the passengers and chance for profit are definitely there. Now if only somebody could win the airfare war on that route, so that the remaining airlines can charge reasonable but not ridiculous fares. Which is what it appeared we were on the verge of having with Delta's withdrawal and ATA's stumble. (we all know that if NW
were the last two standing on this route, and if NW
would raise it's IND
round trip fare to $198, WN
would also raise their fare), but with the arrival of AirTran, we're right back to square one. Let the battle begin.
As for IND
, the Indy to New York market sees 884 daily passengers, so I think that 12 daily regional jet non-stops, and 3 daily mainline non-stops, in addition to 2 daily Southwest one-stops to ISP
, are probably enough. The one thing I would think might make a little money would be an American Airlines non-stop to their new terminal at JFK