LAXintl
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AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:12 am

Funny timing. They just decided to pull out from the Bahamas, and now talking about adding other Carrib locales.

Quote:
AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations
07/27/2007


AirTran is weighing the addition of Caribbean destinations to its network, and could make inroads into the region early next year, said carrier President and COO Bob Fornaro.

According to Fornaro the points at the top of AirTran's list are Cancun and various cities in Puerto Rico. Currently, the carrier flies to the Bahamas from Atlanta. Fornaro noted AirTran won't need to change its business model to push into the Caribbean. Serving the region is similar to domestic flying, he said. "It's not that complex."

For the rest of this year, Fornaro doesn't anticipate adding another city, with the caveat that another could possibly be added in December. This year, AirTran launched service to Portland, Maine; Charleston, S.C.; Daytona; Phoenix; Newburgh, N.Y.; St. Louis; and San Diego. It now has 20% of its available seat miles on routes from the East Coast and Midwest to West Coast destinations.

Full Story (subscription)
http://www.aviationweek.com/publicat...siders+More+Caribbean+Destinations
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atlaaron
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:13 am

Service to SJU would be a natural.
 
md90fan
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:27 am

How ironic given they just quit Freeport after serving the place since 2000, apparently since they were reluctant to compete with DL and new landing fee prices  sarcasm 

Anyways, not many where they can fly (profitably) in the Caribbean where big, bad Delta isn't serving  wink  Best of wishes to them, I hope to see them in The Bahamas again, maybe this time a daily ATL-NAS flight with 717 equipment and 73G service on weekends  sly 
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mke717spotter
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:39 am

In their SEC filing, FL has said they would fly MKE-CUN and MKE-SJU should they aquire YX.
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hiflyer
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:52 am

Not sure I have seen them file a lot of overwater routes....do they carry the gear? They can do SJU without them following the islands but CUN pretty much requires going 'out there'.
 
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deltadawg
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:12 pm

Quoting Hiflyer (Reply 4):
Not sure I have seen them file a lot of overwater routes....do they carry the gear? They can do SJU without them following the islands but CUN pretty much requires going 'out there'.

They got the authority to fly CUN several years ago. In fact, they showed the destination on their route map shortly before the Hurricane went through CUN. Afterwards they pulled out before even starting the route. I suspect that CUN would be their first Caribbean desitination. Also, should not be a problem for the 737-700's to do a ATL-CUN as well as an ATL-SJU.

I have always been surprised it has taken them this long to get into the Caribbean. I always expected them to be bigger in that market than they are. I would think a BWI-SJU would do well for them also.

If successful in these markets perhaps they may just option for some 738's for routes out of MKE?

[Edited 2007-07-27 14:13:55]
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USPIT10L
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:16 pm

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 2):
How ironic given they just quit Freeport after serving the place since 2000, apparently since they were reluctant to compete with DL and new landing fee prices

FL was the first airline to fly to FPO from ATL, not DL. In fact, DL added EV CRJ service in 2002 IIRC, just to step on FL's toes. Bottom line--FL can't fly anywhere without subsidies--look at SRQ, TLH and ICT. Sorry to invoke OttoPylit's main argument, but it's true. They can't handle anything outside of ATL, period.
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B757capt
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:54 pm

Do any of you read? The reason the FPO service is being dropped is because the airport said it would waive fees for 3 years and continue to pay revenue guarantees to FL. In April, they stopped thats why FL is leaving FPO.

Not to mention that if we are going to fly somewhere completely unfunded then why not fly somewhere a hell of a lot nicer then FPO.
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Mikey711MN
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:06 pm

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 6):
Bottom line--FL can't fly anywhere without subsidies--look at SRQ, TLH and ICT. Sorry to invoke OttoPylit's main argument, but it's true.

According to AirTran's website, they fly to 56 destinations. You've named three that purportedly operate with subsidies, which leaves 53 to go to substantiate your claim.

Good luck with that,
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727LOVER
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:14 pm

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 6):
look at SRQ

And as far as I know, SRQ isn't subsidized anymore.

SUBSIDIZED, is that a word?
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SkyyMaster
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:36 pm

Can't imagine that there are too many places in the Caribbean FL could go into without bumping into Delta. Seems DL has the region pretty well covered, either by mainline or Connection.

Quoting B757capt (Reply 7):
Not to mention that if we are going to fly somewhere completely unfunded then why not fly somewhere a hell of a lot nicer then FPO.

IMO, an airline should not really have to rely on subsidies, particularly from foreign destinations. If you can't make it there on your own merit, then don't fly there at all. Don't just up and leave when someone stops buttering your bread.
 
quickmover
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:41 pm

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 6):
FL was the first airline to fly to FPO from ATL, not DL.

Didn't Eastern fly this route in the 80s and 90s?
 
MAH4546
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:41 pm

Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 8):

According to AirTran's website, they fly to 56 destinations. You've named three that purportedly operate with subsidies, which leaves 53 to go to substantiate your claim.

Freeport (which ends in September) and Gulfport/Biloxi are suported by local hotel/resort contracts.
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Mikey711MN
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:44 pm

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 10):
IMO, an airline should not really have to rely on subsidies, particularly from foreign destinations. If you can't make it there on your own merit, then don't fly there at all. Don't just up and leave when someone stops buttering your bread.

I disagree, at least in part.

That is, the whole point of subsidies is to defray some of the startup costs that may otherwise prohibit a business from operating there, which may be ultimately successful in the longer term. The issue then becomes whether or not said business can be conducted on a self-sustainable basis upon cancellation of the subsidies. That's the whole premise after all; no airport authority nor municipality wins by "throwing money" at an airline only to have them bail when those subsidies are cut off.

To that end, it is entirely the business's decision to "cut and run" once those subsidies end. But the subsidies themselves provide a greater opportunity for them to do business and to potentially expand, and for that, FL--nor any airline--can be blamed.

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N276AASTT
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:44 pm

It would be great to get FL into St. Thomas. Not sure if it'll happen as they'd take on DL directly and they've had that route to themselves for a long time. Did Eastern fly ATL-STT? It'd be a bloodbath, so to speak.
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SkyyMaster
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:46 pm

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 12):
Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 8):

According to AirTran's website, they fly to 56 destinations. You've named three that purportedly operate with subsidies, which leaves 53 to go to substantiate your claim.

Freeport (which ends in September) and Gulfport/Biloxi are suported by local hotel/resort contracts.

At one time, ICT was subsidizing Airtran service. I don't lnow if that's still the case.
 
MAH4546
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:56 pm

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 15):

At one time, ICT was subsidizing Airtran service. I don't lnow if that's still the case.

It definitley is. The ICT subsidies have been the most controversial.
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md90fan
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:16 pm

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 6):
FL was the first airline to fly to FPO from ATL, not DL. In fact, DL added EV CRJ service in 2002 IIRC, just to step on FL's toes.

Did you read what I said? I said "reluctant to compete", this doesn't belittle the fact Delta entered the market after AirTran, it means they got tired of competing with them. Delta has 2x daily CRJ-700s to Atlanta btw.

Quoting Quickmover (Reply 11):
Didn't Eastern fly this route in the 80s and 90s?

Idk, but in the 80s they had a 2x daily MIA-FPO service with the L-1011.

Quoting N276AASTT (Reply 14):
Did Eastern fly ATL-STT?

Not sure, I know for a fact they did MIA-STT with the 757, keep in mind the runway was a little over 5,300 ft. at the time.
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FLYGUY767
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:05 am

Quoting Laxintl (Thread starter):
Funny timing. They just decided to pull out from the Bahamas, and now talking about adding other Carrib locales.

This rumor has been ongoing for the past 3-4 years now. I wouldn't put much stock into it. If anything will come of it, I would venture to say that we will see SJU, STT, CUN. From both Atlanta and Orlando. However there is the remote chance that we could see them open a Caribbean focus ala F9 Cancun and Los Cabos.

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quickmover
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:10 am

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 17):
Idk, but in the 80s they had a 2x daily MIA-FPO service with the L-1011

Really?
I remember taking of from FPO in a TWA 727 and I thought the runway was short. I would have loved to see a 1011 blast out of there.
 
CitrusCritter
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:26 am

Y'all are assuming service will be from ATL...as we saw with PWM, that's not necessarily the case. SJU and "other cities in Puerto Rico" would probably be served from MCO given Central Florida's huge Puerto Rican community as well as connections to many FL stations.
 
MAH4546
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:37 am

Quoting Citruscritter (Reply 20):
SJU and "other cities in Puerto Rico" would probably be served from MCO given Central Florida's huge Puerto Rican community as well as connections to many FL stations.

Serving San Juan from Orlando would be pointless. The market is large, but overcrowded with Delta, American, jetBlue, and Spirit. If they want to serve San Juan, they should serve it from Atlanta and, going out on a limb, but Miami (where AirTran has added four destinations since January), which is a high-fare market to San Juan, despite Spirit's pressence at FLL.
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Rampero
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:08 am

Quoting Citruscritter (Reply 20):

Other cities in Puerto Rico are San Juan(sju) , Ponce(pse) and Aguadilla(bqn)

Rampero
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CitrusCritter
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Sat Jul 28, 2007 5:33 am

Sorry...am on my Blackberry only so I can't quote and my research capability is very limited. However, I do not believe MCO is pointless. FL has a lot of connections into MCO from throughout the system, and they are strong locally. B6's advantage would be their strength in the NYC market, which also has a sizeable Puerto Rican population. I do agree that MIA would be a good station, as well as TPA. I'd expect BWI for sure...the whole BWI op is largely serving non-WN stations - would fit that niche.
 
atlaaron
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:00 am

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 10):
Can't imagine that there are too many places in the Caribbean FL could go into without bumping into Delta.

That doesn't matter. I think FL has prooved they can compete in ATL with Delta.

Quoting Citruscritter (Reply 20):
Y'all are assuming service will be from ATL...as we saw with PWM, that's not necessarily the case. SJU and "other cities in Puerto Rico" would probably be served from MCO given Central Florida's huge Puerto Rican community as well as connections to many FL stations.

You are 100% correct. I am guilty as well, I immediately thought of them serving from ATL. I have several friends who live in SJU (and are not aviation buffs) and they would welcome FL with open arms. They would do just fine to multiple different destinations.

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 21):
Serving San Juan from Orlando would be pointless. The market is large, but overcrowded with Delta, American, jetBlue, and Spirit. If

Are you saying that route is overcrowded or San Juan in general? Because the route itself certainly is not.
 
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na747
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:05 am

Give FL time, they will jump into the Caribbean. I'm sure they're busy with the YX situation.

MAH may have a point about the saturation of the MCO-SJU route, but the Puertorican population keeps growing and spreading in and around Orlando.

Though it is interesting to read "other cities in Puerto Rico"...there are really only 3 choices, unless you can plop down a jet in Fajardo or Mayagüez.
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MAH4546
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:12 am

Quoting ATLAaron (Reply 24):
Are you saying that route is overcrowded or San Juan in general? Because the route itself certainly is not.

I'm saying the route does not need a fifth airline.
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kimmykun
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:40 am

Quoting NA747 (Reply 25):
Though it is interesting to read "other cities in Puerto Rico"...there are really only 3 choices, unless you can plop down a jet in Fajardo or Mayagüez.

MAZ's runway is 4,998 feet long, could a 737 or 717 operate from there? Especially taking into account the typical Mayagüez heat. Of course, the heat wouldn't matter if it were early morning flights. Geographically speaking, MAZ is pretty centralized in Western Puerto Rico, so it would probably attract the same passengers BQN does. Not that it matters, the Port Authority only cares about BQN and has all but forgotten about MAZ.
 
atlaaron
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Sun Jul 29, 2007 5:07 am

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 26):
I'm saying the route does not need a fifth airline.

Wow I stand corrected. I had no idea there was that much service from MCO-SJU already. Ok now I agree, FL should not serve SJU from MCO, BWI could be a good idea though as well as ATL.
 
2travel2know
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:38 pm

Both Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands are pretty much U.S. domestic destinations regardless if both countries are in the Caribbean. AirTran could be successful flying to those places if they choose the best routes to fly wisely.
Puerto Rico: Maybe avoid SJU and fly to BQN or PCE from ATL and/or MCO.
U.S.V.I.: STT airport seem to be very crowded at times, so any service to STT may require odd times or keeping an aircraft overnight overthere, however, it seems St Croix needs a bit more flights to the mainland and has room for Airtran practically any time of the day.

About CUN, CUN doesn't have a U.S. Port of Entry facility, so any Airtran arriving ATL from CUN will have to use a gate at the International arrivals pier and move to the AirTran pier after passengers have disembarked.

There are some parallels between AirTran out of ATL and Frontier out of DEN, both are based (rather said, have their biggest hubs) at airports which are hubs to major U.S. airlines (DL and UA); however, while DL has build up an array of Caribbean and Latino destinations out of their mega hub, UA hasn't done that (yet) out of DEN, thus given Frontier some room to grown in Latinamerica and the Caribbean. Would Frontier fly DEN-SJO if UA was covering that route?
What it could looks as the best way to develop Caribbean and Latino destinations for Airtran (if flying out of ATL) may be to try first those destinations not served already by DL or at least, if they those destinations are attractive enough, to operate there at times DL doesn't. I know DL flies daytime to SAL while there's a demand for a evening ATL-SAL flight and that SJO theoretically could support a red-eyes SJO-ATL.

If AirTran would think Spirit, which routes from secondary airports in the main U.S. cities may be attractive? routes like ONT-SAL, PVD-GUA, SWF-SDQ, BWI-SJO, TPA-MBJ ??

What i really would like to see is some U.S. LCC fly to Latinamerica / Caribbean out of HOU, if HOU had an in-terminal F.I.S.
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fpofllflyboi
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RE: AirTran Considers Caribbean Destinations

Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:55 am

Quoting Quickmover (Reply 19):
remember taking of from FPO in a TWA 727 and I thought the runway was short. I would have loved to see a 1011 blast out of there.

Must have been a hot and heavy day in Freeport whilst on that TWA 727. Their runway has been over 11k feet since built if i'm not mistaken. I flew on 2 of the L-1011 flights to and from FPO to MIA. Ahhh, the good ole days.