DIA
Topic Author
Posts: 3053
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

AA Caribbean Dominance

Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:15 am

Take this subject however you see fit.

I simply am wondering how A^A (of all U.S. carriers) got to be the dominant airline in the Caribbean. I do not know of any other U.S. carrier running widebodies down there, especially Puerto Rico. Why is A^A the chosen tool? Is it because of their hubs in Miami and JFK? If so, was Eastern as big in the Caribbean once upon a time? Why isn't Delta bigger down there? Was Pan Am a big player? Just some thoughts...
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
dc10hound
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 4:18 pm

AA Caribbean Dominance

Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:25 am

Trans Carribean Airlines.

 Wink
"Eagles soar. But weasels never get sucked into jet intakes.."
 
User avatar
jfklganyc
Posts: 3930
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:31 pm

AA Caribbean Dominance

Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:31 am

Most of their flights down there started out of NY/JFK in the 70s I believe. Then when they took over Eastern's ops in Miami in the early 90s they had a dual gateway working in their favor.

Very similar to DL taking over Pan Am European Ops. A dual gateway to a region certainly helps. In DL's case JFK/ATL- Europe.

In AAs case JFK/MIA-Carib. Keep in mind that the two most sought after destinations from the Caribbean are Miami and New York.

Major reasons behind this:

1. Large population centers
2. Large immigrant populations
3. Lots of vacationers

#2 is the most telling though. AA has managed to reach out to the immigrant community it serves with these routes like no other airline.

-City offices in immigrant neighborhoods such as NY's Washington Heights allow Dominicans to buy tickets with cash and in person

-Perfect Aircraft for LOTS of cargo. The A300 is the perfect plane for these routes because when immigrants travel back to their homeland they bring EVERYTHING. Cargo is the determining factor on the Caribbean flights, especially to the Dominican Republic

-Large marketing campaign in Spanish also attracts a lot of people returning home


Remember, JetBlue couldn't make inroads on the NY-Santo Domingo route. The above reasons play a big part in that.

PJ
 
aa1818
Posts: 1515
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:03 am

AA Caribbean Dominance

Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:34 am

I think AA became big because of their major hub in SJU and MIA central spots for us Caribbean dwellers! Not very insightful but that's all I can come up with!

AA1818
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
 
USPIT10L
Posts: 1866
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:24 am

AA Caribbean Dominance

Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:34 am

MAH4546 and Commavia could give more details, but after AA purchased Trans-Caribbean in 1971, they continually made an effort to build up a presence in the Caribbean. They swapped trans-Pacific authority to SYD and AKL for more Caribbean route authorities from PanAm from New York. Other expansions followed, and by 1986 SJU was a full-fledged hub. Other airlines have tried to build a presence in the Caribbean to compete with AA, with varying degrees of success. Some, like EA and TW, didn't make it. Others, like US and CO give AA a little competition from the US. Intra-Caribbean, there really is no one to give AA a serious run for their money. But that could change if jetBlue proceeds with a code-share arrangement with Cape Air. I hope that answers some of your questions.
It's a Great Day for Hockey!
 
commavia
Posts: 9628
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

AA Caribbean Dominance

Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:44 am

AA's dominance of the Caribbean began with the 1970 merger of AA with Trans Caribbean Airways (really an AA takeover). This gave AA its first real presence in the Caribbean, which was solidified in 1971 with flights to Puerto Rico, the U.S.V.I., Haiti, Curacao, and Aruba, and in 1975 to Bermuda, Santo Domingo, Barbados after trading these routes for AA's own rights to the South Pacific with Pan Am. By 1977, AA had also launched flights to Jamaica, Guadeloupe, and Martinique.

In November 1986, AA opened its Caribbean hub in San Juan, the only major airport in the islands capable of handling a major Caribbean hub operation, and -- luckily for AA -- also the only major Caribbean airport in U.S. control. AA's hub at SJU gave AA an opportunity no U.S. airline before or since has had, namely the ability to link many smaller island communities throughout the Caribbean basin right into the network of a global, U.S. carrier. AA brought with it to SJU and the Caribbean a massive fleet of jet and Eagle turboprop aircraft, sophisticated pricing and marketing programs the likes of which no local Caribbean carrier had ever even dreamed of, and massive feed funnelling into SJU from all across the eastern seabord.

Finally, what really solidified AA's dominance of the region came much later, in 1991, when AA took over Eastern's MIA hub. This gave AA the power to operate many, many more flights to the islands and link them to AA's huge and growing hub in South Florida, an O&D magnate for Caribbean travel. By complimenting AA's immense lift from JFK in New York to the Caribbean (which served an equally immense O&D market of mostly VFR traffic from the TriState area to the islands) with a new hub at MIA that was able to serve more cities with more flights, AA's dominance was set.
 
kkfla737
Posts: 1017
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:28 am

AA Caribbean Dominance

Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:26 am

Quoting DIA (Thread starter):
If so, was Eastern as big in the Caribbean once upon a time?

EA's routes to the Caribbean were largely via SJU or MIA. They never had many direct JFK or BOS flights to islands beyond Puerto Rico. I would say AA was slightly larger than EA to the region but a healthy competition existed between the two. AA really didn't have a presence of any sort in MIA prior to opening a crew base in 1989. Pan Am rebuilt its Caribbean network between 1982 and 1985 (PA had basically bailed on the region after the route swap with AA although they maintained a few flights from Miami to Santo Domingo and Port Au Prince and re-entered San Juan-Miami after merging with National) but always seemed to be battling upstream at MIA versus Eastern. (the same goes for Latin America: Pan Am had a large hub out of Miami and probably served as many if not more int'l destinations from MIA than EA, but they never had sufficient domestic feed to really overtake EA).
 
aacun
Posts: 432
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:47 am

AA Caribbean Dominance

Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:04 am

Eastern ran L1011 from JFK to SXM ANU SJU and as far as I recall, SDQ. They also ran 727-100´s from JFK to PSE back in the 80´s. But during 1986 while Eastern was having its labor problems, both airlines started running a hub out of San Juan simultaniously! Once Eastern pulled out, AA just took over the operation, along with the facilities they had in the airport, and that´s how the present terminal came to be.
 
citationjet
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 2:26 am

RE: AA Caribbean Dominance

Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:36 am

Quoting DIA (Thread starter):
I do not know of any other U.S. carrier running widebodies down there, especially Puerto Rico.

DL operates 763 ATL to San Juan. I was on one two weeks ago.
US operates 762 PHL to San Juan - there was one parked at the gate next to our DL 763.
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
User avatar
SLCUT2777
Posts: 3407
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:17 am

RE: AA Caribbean Dominance

Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:40 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 5):
AA's dominance of the Caribbean began with the 1970 merger of AA with Trans Caribbean Airways (really an AA takeover). This gave AA its first real presence in the Caribbean, which was solidified in 1971 with flights to Puerto Rico, the U.S.V.I., Haiti, Curacao, and Aruba, and in 1975 to Bermuda, Santo Domingo, Barbados after trading these routes for AA's own rights to the South Pacific with Pan Am. By 1977, AA had also launched flights to Jamaica, Guadeloupe, and Martinique.

In November 1986, AA opened its Caribbean hub in San Juan, the only major airport in the islands capable of handling a major Caribbean hub operation, and -- luckily for AA -- also the only major Caribbean airport in U.S. control. AA's hub at SJU gave AA an opportunity no U.S. airline before or since has had, namely the ability to link many smaller island communities throughout the Caribbean basin right into the network of a global, U.S. carrier. AA brought with it to SJU and the Caribbean a massive fleet of jet and Eagle turboprop aircraft, sophisticated pricing and marketing programs the likes of which no local Caribbean carrier had ever even dreamed of, and massive feed funnelling into SJU from all across the eastern seaboard.

Finally, what really solidified AA's dominance of the region came much later, in 1991, when AA took over Eastern's MIA hub. This gave AA the power to operate many, many more flights to the islands and link them to AA's huge and growing hub in South Florida, an O&D magnate for Caribbean travel. By complimenting AA's immense lift from JFK in New York to the Caribbean (which served an equally immense O&D market of mostly VFR traffic from the TriState area to the islands) with a new hub at MIA that was able to serve more cities with more flights, AA's dominance was set

Probably the best explanation for this overall. Why does it continue? Very simply put, the geography of hubs and route establishment. AA has hubs in MIA and SJU which can effectively cover the region, especially during the busy winter season when the population of the eastern seaboard escapes the cold winter for some nearby tropical sun, one of the few corners of planet earth where this can be done in relative close proximity.
DL is the only other carrier that can come remotely close to AA's dominance of the region, with hubs in ATL and a large focus operation in FLL and dominance of the Florida market which is right at the northern gate to the region. US and CO have some market share, but nothing compared to the above two.
DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
 
usairways85
Posts: 3534
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 11:59 am

RE: AA Caribbean Dominance

Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:45 pm

US operates an A333 daily year round PHL-SJU and also a 762 PHL-SJU and maybe even a 762 CLT-SJU during the winter. So that's 3 US widebodies daily in the winter

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 817Dreamliiner, Aesma, AirlineCritic, aljrooney, ARN, BlueF9A320, Carpethead, DOHspotter, ehaase, FrenchieDC, Google Adsense [Bot], HALtheAI, Krzys29, MrHMSH, pasu129, qfatwa, ROT371, Someone83, wedgetail737, Yahoo [Bot] and 347 guests