Topic Author
Posts: 5752
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

More Indications FLL Will Be TWA Focus City

Fri May 19, 2000 3:35 am

Well TW fans, we've discussed this a lot lately, but TW announced today they're increasing their FLL-SJU service 200% (3 flights daily seasonally, 2 flights daily year round).

The interesting thing to me is what was said in the press release...

"We're adding service to meet the demands of passengers who have discovered Fort Lauderdale is THE new gateway to San Juan and the Caribbean"

This suggests 2 things to me:

1) FLL-SJU is doing extremely well on both ends, competing very well with AA, and people (like me) have discovered FLL is a hell of a lot easier to get in and out of than MIA.

2) If FLL is indeed THE new gateway to SJU and the Caribbean, and we know TW is focusing heavily on SJU and the Caribbean, we'll see more flights (new destinations) to/from FLL to feed their Caribbean network.

Whaddya think??

Here's the full press release:

One mission. The Caribbean. 
An unexamined life isn't worth living.

Might Be! ...possible Routes?

Fri May 19, 2000 5:20 am

I think the following routes would be competitive to other carriers as well cost-effective:

-FLL-Los Angeles
-Mexico City,(whould we reatempt it?!)
-Santo Domingo

...any many more. Perhaps it could warrant expansion to SOUTH america? We can only hope. Also, ahs TWA straightened what they're actually going to do w/ CDG-TLV. I heard Cairo is to go daily soon, as well as nonstop Riyadh service...?

Robert in Spain

RE: More Indications FLL Will Be TWA Focus City

Fri May 19, 2000 6:15 am

I'm excited at the prospect of a TWA focus city at FLL. Of course they're are some roadblocks that need to be navigated if this were to occur. 1) TWA has one gate at FLL, with one daily to JFK, 3 dailies to STL, and now 3 dailies to SJU. This means expansion, but where? TWA is wedged in between busy spoke operations for UAL, AA, NW, and WN. FLL is building a new terminal (T1), and form what I've heard no one is committing yet. This could work for TWA, especially to all the destinations listed above but any lease deal won't be cheap and extra cash isn't what TWA has. 2) FLL isn't a "forgotten airport". DeltaExpress, Delta, US Airways, Metrojet, Spirit, Continental, CO Connection, and Ameican all have a significant presence. WN (as is normal) does a lot with a little, meaning tons of flights with like 3 gates in T3. 3) I would drop Boston from the above list because thats Metrojet and Delta Express territory. TWA couldn't pull off a 1 or 2 in market share. No good. Philly could work, although Airtran and US both operate daily non-stops. US has 3 or 4 dailies actually. Chicago is a no-go too. Thats UAL, AA, and ATA. TWA would have a more difficult time. I would add to the list LAS, Jamaica, San Fran, and Phoenix (for the AWA feed).
Topic Author
Posts: 5752
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am


Fri May 19, 2000 6:36 am

Pretty much agree with everything you said Russ. I've been wondering about the 1 gate situation myself. The only thing I disagree with in your post is your comment about TWA's cash position in relation to procuring new gates. It's not as if an airline would have to immediately fork over a ton of cash to procure a new gate lease. But anyway, I agree with your assessment about possible destinations. For partially selfish reasons, I would add MSP to the list. NW underserves FLL from MSP (I think only 1 daily flight, if that. They seem to adjust the service often), and the caribbean market is also not very easy to reach through the NW/CO network (at least all the destinations TW serves). In addition, TW is just under the minimum number of daily flights the Minnesota Metropolitan Airport Commission recently set as a requirement to procure a permanent gate lease. As such, TW's gate lease at MSP is month to month, and subject to cancellation should the MAC decide to let a new competitor to NW come in (doesn't make any sense to me at all.... "Hey let's encourage competition with NW by giving away NW's competitor's gates to other competitors . Weird, but true. Although I don't think this is very likely to happen in TW's case.) So, my point is additional flights to other focus cities would help their position here. I know from my friend who's the Agent-in-Charge at MSP that their operations here are very profitable. Also, I fly to FLL a lot so it would be GREAT (I never fly NW on this route, and try not to fly NW at all).
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
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Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 8:25 am

RE: More Indications FLL Will Be TWA Focus City

Fri May 19, 2000 12:06 pm

TWA does sublease a second gate to Southwest directly east of the current gate and the first gate to the right after security. They could always reclaim that gate if needed.

Additionally, For a very brief time TWA was running the following schedule out of 1 gate and it amazingly worked. (Although a lot of pulling and pushing airplanes to the tarmac in the AM and PM.)

2x JFK
5x STL
2x SJU
1x charter

It was on a Saturday just after the new year. It was amazing to watch them manuvering the planes about. The JFK was an MD83 the SJU were MD83 the STL was 3x 757 and 2x MD83 and the charter was a 727-200. The inbound MD83's from STL went to SJU and the inbound MD83's from SJU went to STL the 757's were turns except the last of the night which was a RON for the 8:30am to STL The JFK was a turn as well.

10 flights out of 1 gate. Thankfully their were no late flights or delays. The gate averaged less than 15 minutes empty and it was quite a day for the PSA's I am sure...
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: More Indications FLL Will Be TWA Focus City

Fri May 19, 2000 12:09 pm

I think that the reason TWA promotes FLL as the "new gateway to SJU and the Caribbean" is very simple. Look 15 miles to the south at MIA, overcrowded, expanding, and a general pain to deal with. There aren't a whole lot of other options for TWA, they're certainly not going to go head-to-head with American, etc, at MIA.

As for gate lease options, if TWA promises the good management folks at FLL of increased service, etc etc, FLL will find them additional gates. Isn't FLL building a new terminal, as well?

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina

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