Posts: 264
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 10:08 pm

Start-up Airline Idea

Sat Apr 01, 2000 1:59 am

I came up with this idea for a start-up airline, and I wanted to hear opinions about it.

Thinking about the US Airways strike, I realized how many people hate US Airways. Most of them haven't flown them since the old USAir days when they were truly awful.

Nonetheless, of the three main US Airways hubs, Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Pittsburgh, there is virtually no alternative for nonstop flights.

Charlotte and Pittsburgh are literally locked down, while Philadelphia is slightly less locked down by US Airways.

So I thought a start-up airline operating out of one of the US Airways hubs, in direct competition to them, could possibly work because so many people hate US Airways.

Then there is the issue of which one. I came up with Philadelphia. First, it has the largest population of the three cities. Also, it has the most corporations based there. Second, it is located directly on the Northeast corridor. By train, someone could go from PHL Airport to downtown Washington or midtown Manhattan in three hours. SEPTA has a rail link between PHL Airport and downtown Philly, with a stop at 30th Street Station. From 30th, Amtrak can take you to DC or Manhattan in two hours, less with Metroliner or the upcoming Acela Express.

Many people connect on AA or UA or DL just to avoid US Airways. So if this airline could offer cheap flights, good schedules, and great service, I think people will flock over from US Airways.

ValuJet boomed in comparason with Delta before the crash. Many people don't remember it, but ValuJet was amazing. They are still doing pretty well today as AirTran.

The airline would focus on two groups: first the business traveler, then the leisure traveler (snowbird) to Florida.

Proposed name: CityJet Airways

Looking forward to hearing your ideas,

Posts: 2181
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 1999 11:05 pm

RE: Start-up Airline Idea

Sat Apr 01, 2000 2:22 am

As you know, airlines are very protective of their hubs. US would undoubtedly resort to near-predatory practices by matching fares on the routes, offering double miles and other amenities. Unless you're a Southwest, it's unlikely anyone can make a dent in a US hub (like BWI was).
Free-thinking, left-leaning secularist
Posts: 264
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 10:08 pm


Sat Apr 01, 2000 2:29 am

Yes, that is true. But there are many exceptions:

1. ValuJet/AirTran has survived with predatory pricing by Delta.
2. Sun Country and Northwest
3. ProAir and Detroit (though different airports)

My point is that if we could drag customers from US Airways by offering reliability, service, and comfort, it might work.

Posts: 7048
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 2:18 am

RE: Start-up Airline Idea

Sat Apr 01, 2000 2:39 am

Most customers won't make airline selections based on emotion. They view airlines as a commodity- all basicall y the same (equally crappy). My father is a very frequent flyer and, half the time, he can't even remember which airline's plane he just stepped off. You'd find that people will, by an overwhelming majority, choose to fly the cheapest fare., regardless of how badly they're treated. That's why hubs are uncrackable unless a startup has tremendous capital resources to ride out the immediate and inevitable price war.
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
Posts: 264
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 10:08 pm

RE: Start-up Airline Idea

Sat Apr 01, 2000 2:51 am

Ok, well, see if you help me with this...

Instead of going into a major airline hub, how about the same idea (airline serving both business and leisure travelers) but with a different city.

My other idea was Greensboro/High-Point.

Posts: 7048
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 2:18 am

RE: BizJet

Sat Apr 01, 2000 3:05 am

That would have a better chance of succeeding. I'd position it as a low-cost business-travel focused airline. Companies are doing ANYTHING to save an extra buck or two in the travel dept, even if they have to shuttle their employees to distant cities to catch a plane. Maybe a coach or rail connection to charlotte... maybe even regular ground shuttle stops at various company locations (could be pre-arranged) so employees could get right from the office to the plane, like a hotel courtesy shuttle. Employees won't be as annoyed if you remove the commute hassle.

I don't know about route structure. I'm sure you've given it a lot of thought. I'd go with frequent flights w/ small, new equipment- 737NGs or RJs.
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2000 1:45 am

City Jet

Sat Apr 01, 2000 3:31 am

The name CityJet is already taken... I think they are operated by or affiliated with Jersey European Airlines.
Posts: 1256
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 1999 10:47 am

RE: Start-up Airline Idea

Sat Apr 01, 2000 10:45 am

BizJet, do you have any evidence to back up your accusations, concerning US Airways and their customers? Or could this be your own synopsis that you're trying to rub off on everyone else? Please DO NOT assume that everyone hates US Airways, because you and I know that's absolutely not true!In this industry, it is next to impossible to please 100 percent of the people, 100% of the time! There's always those few people in the crowd that are chronic complainers or whiners, and some people have a particuar airline they just love to hate, for whatever reason. There's some personalities you just can't ever please, but that's just a fact of life!Case and point, all airlines at one point or another will have a service failure or a flight cancellation, we're human and we deal with very complicated pieces of machinery. It's how you handle that failure that MAKES the DIFFERENCE!To single out US Airways in your statement was just plain wrong. US Airways has many loyal customers who are pleased with the service it provides on a daily basis, on good days and bad.

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