A388
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West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:05 pm

Hi,

Due to the discussion in this forum about Central American aviation, I was talking about the possibility of F9 to the Caribbean. I have read an article about F9 which mentions the airline is looking at possibilities for expansion in the Caribbean after their first steps outside the U.S. to Mexico which are performing well apparently.

So my question is if we can see a new untapped market for low cost airlines to the Caribbean. As low cost airlines are known to operate to destinations which are not served by mainline airlines (secondary airports), can we see F9 or any other low cost airline start flights to CUR from the West Coast or even from Central U.S.?

I can see potential in connections from the Western Coast to the Caribbean as it is an untapped market and it is possible to certain Caribbean islands when looking at the distance, albeit not all Caribbean island maybe. Can a 737NG or A319/320 fly DEN-POS nonstop for example?

A388
 
bennett123
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:06 pm

3,338M Denver to Port of Spain equals 2,938NM plus total reserve of 400NM = 3,338NM say 3,350NM

Range at MTOW, (all from Airlife)

B737-600 3,717NM
B737-700 3,425NM
B737-800 2,930 NM


Range with 124 passengers + domestic reserves + 200NM diversion*
Range with 150 passengers + domestic reserves + 200 NM diversion+
Range with 185 passengers + domestic reserves + 200 NM diversion@

A319* 3,697 NM
A320+2,950 NM
A321@2,707 NM

Based on these figures B737-600 fine, B737-700 rather close, and prob payload issues, B737-800 no way.
A319 fine, A320 very close, (payload issues), A321 no way.

David
 
albird87
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:43 pm

I beleive that there is a good chance for an airline to start a low cost service to the Carib, however there are a lot of desicions it would have to make.
Firstly possible aircraft. Most carib people like to always take loads of stuff and bring back tons as well!! You would need an aircraft that has plenty of payload and range so i think you would definately need to have the A320 or 738 as i think the 319 and 737-7 are maybe just too small for whats needed.
Also then with baggage allowances needing to be discussed you would then have to think of allowances or price per bag?? A lot of carib people want cheap fares but also want a good baggage allowance (I know here at KX it is very good for amount of bags you can have).
Then there is the service onboard that has to be addressed. A lot of carib airlines offer a good service (free beverages and snacks). You want to at least probably have a free soft drinks beverage and possibly a snack but again its all about prices for your tickets.
I do beleive tho the possibility of a ryanair/easyjet (basically no very cheap tickets but everything else at a price) operating from FLL (or further up the coast) flying to all the main carib destinations (MBJ, BGI, SJU, GCM, ANU, SXM, SDQ, AUA) with all the big destiations receiving at least a daily flight (and other destinations with a 4-5x weekly service) could work very well.
 
A388
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:49 pm

Quoting Albird87 (Reply 2):
Firstly possible aircraft. Most carib people like to always take loads of stuff and bring back tons as well!! You would need an aircraft that has plenty of payload and range so i think you would definately need to have the A320 or 738 as i think the 319 and 737-7 are maybe just too small for whats needed.

Okay, my thread was more looking at traffic originating from the U.S. West Coast itself. I meant what the possibilities for a tourist point of view (U.S. Citizens in the Western Coast). I can imagine people from the Western Coast usually go to Mexico for their holidays or Hawaii. As these holiday destinations have become ordinary I think there is a very nice untapped market for the Caribbean which up until now has only been more popular in the Eastern Coast.

Quoting Albird87 (Reply 2):
I do beleive tho the possibility of a ryanair/easyjet (basically no very cheap tickets but everything else at a price) operating from FLL (or further up the coast) flying to all the main carib destinations (MBJ, BGI, SJU, GCM, ANU, SXM, SDQ, AUA) with all the big destiations receiving at least a daily flight (and other destinations with a 4-5x weekly service) could work very well.

While I can agree with you on these more popular Caribbean destinations, I remember a discussion here in the forum about Americans looking for new places to explore for their holidays hence the Netherlands Antilles (Mainly CUR and BON) would be more attractive than the "usual" Caribbean destinations so to speak. This is just one of the examples.

A388
 
A388
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:09 am

Quoting Albird87 (Reply 2):
I do beleive tho the possibility of a ryanair/easyjet (basically no very cheap tickets but everything else at a price) operating from FLL (or further up the coast) flying to all the main carib destinations (MBJ, BGI, SJU, GCM, ANU, SXM, SDQ, AUA) with all the big destiations receiving at least a daily flight (and other destinations with a 4-5x weekly service) could work very well.

Also, isn't Spirit Airlines this airline???  Wink

A388
 
albird87
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:43 am

Quoting A388 (Reply 4):
Also, isn't Spirit Airlines this airline

Yes you may be right about spirit being 'low cost' but its defiately not like your ryanair/easyjet low cost with fares starting at 20p!!
 
albird87
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:18 am

right and soo sorry i just realised im on the wrong coast... dislexia strikes me again!! ok ignore everything i have just said!!!

Soo west coast.
Well that is a long way to travel to reach the caribbean from this side of the US but we do get people coming across to see us in GCM. Mostly (from people i have talked to from the W.C.) they come for our diving and beaches and some of them, say that hawaii is a lot easier for them to travel to and from (and also being part of the USA, no passports) also with a lot more choice for them to Hawaii, the fares are a lot cheaper.
Mostly we find also that tourists only like to come fro 4-5 nights and dont like the too long a hols down here (as its quite expensive) so to come from west coast for short times is quite a long journey and means that people are not willing to go that far just for a short break.
To be viable you would have to find americans more willing to spend longer down on the islands in the carib and also then more money on hotels, food, vacationy stuff!!
So your low cost airline......
Americans like service (unlike the easyjet/ryanair) so a low cost airline may not be the best option for these routes. However an airline like VA or B6 could possibly make it worth while!
hope that is more along the lines you may be looking at
 
albird87
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:19 am

Quoting Albird87 (Reply 6):
However an airline like VA or B6 could possibly make it worth while!

I should also point out that i dont mean these actual airlines but an airline like these 2!
 
ikramerica
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:30 am

TWA started LAX-SJU before they were bought out, IIRC.

And when I arrived last Saturday night into LAX, there was an AA departure to San Juan from LAX. It wasn't listed as a through flight (via DFW or MIA), but as a non-stop. But I can't find it in their system anywhere. I was confused by it, but it did get me thinking about the possibility of that flight coming back.

But ultimately, the Carribean market is already served by AA (via MIA) and DL (via ATL) from LAX and SFO. One stop is one stop, and it doesn't matter if it's in MIA, DFW, SJU, DEN.
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ikramerica
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:39 am

So AA runs flights 238/239 LAX-SJU on a 763 after checking it out. I wonder how it's doing. And AA claims they were the first to offer it, so maybe the LAX-SJU on TW never materialized (but I know it was announced).
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:56 am

Quoting A388 (Thread starter):
So my question is if we can see a new untapped market for low cost airlines to the Caribbean. As low cost airlines are known to operate to destinations which are not served by mainline airlines (secondary airports), can we see F9 or any other low cost airline start flights to CUR from the West Coast or even from Central U.S.?

I can see potential in connections from the Western Coast to the Caribbean as it is an untapped market and it is possible to certain Caribbean islands when looking at the distance, albeit not all Caribbean island maybe. Can a 737NG or A319/320 fly DEN-POS nonstop for example?

The region of the U.S. you mention has been so oriented towards the Hawaiian Islands as for a tropical leisure destination, yet many fail to realize that much of the Caribbean is an hour or so of flight time closer. Take SLC for example, a DL gateway to Hawaii, yet it is over an hour closer to fly to the Bahamas, Turks & Cacao's, and even the Dominican Republic. Quite the geographical oddity that SLC would be closer to POP, PUJ, NAS etc.. than to HNL, OGG or KOA.
I think if F9 were to try Caribbean service from DEN seasonally, it would likely be to the southern tier of islands such as AUA, CUR or BON. SXM I think will continue to be served only from east coast airports; JFK, ATL, MIA, FLL.
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A388
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:20 am

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 10):
The region of the U.S. you mention has been so oriented towards the Hawaiian Islands as for a tropical leisure destination, yet many fail to realize that much of the Caribbean is an hour or so of flight time closer. Take SLC for example, a DL gateway to Hawaii, yet it is over an hour closer to fly to the Bahamas, Turks & Cacao's, and even the Dominican Republic. Quite the geographical oddity that SLC would be closer to POP, PUJ, NAS etc.. than to HNL, OGG or KOA.

This is exactly what I mean. Currently there is no air link between the West Coast and the Caribbean. If F9 indeed wants to expand to the Caribbean, they are tapping a new market with a lot of potential as the Caribbean can be seen as a "new" alternative to Hawaii which is further away from the U.S. West Coast. When taking CUR for example, it becomes even more attractive as competition from other U.S. (main) airlines is practically non-existant. F9 can build up its own marketshare on this route if they are to offer a good package (maybe jointly with a tour operator to attract vacationers).

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 10):
I think if F9 were to try Caribbean service from DEN seasonally, it would likely be to the southern tier of islands such as AUA, CUR or BON. SXM I think will continue to be served only from east coast airports; JFK, ATL, MIA, FLL.

Your way of thinking is exactly as mine my friend. I keep saying CUR is a wonderful and very beautiful island with a rich culture and history background. It is really sad not many Americans know about CUR. I hope this will change in the coming years as we get Renaissance Hotel and Hyatt here in the coming year. A lot of local people have higher hopes now that we are getting these two giant hotel companies here. Low cost airlines are slowly expanding beyond their borders over the past year or two which can be a good sign for islands like CUR who need the extra air links for the tourism sector. Time will tell....

A388
 
AeroWesty
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:28 am

Quoting Albird87 (Reply 2):
I beleive that there is a good chance for an airline to start a low cost service to the Carib

I really have to wonder about this, being a life-long west coaster. The first time I went to St. Maarten only two people out here had even heard of it before, and that was from a cruise ship stop they had once. I'm open to correction, but I firmly believe most west coasters visit the Caribbean via cruises they board in Florida, a much different market than the timeshare owners in the east and heavy VFR traffic from east coast cities down to the islands.
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LAXintl
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:31 am

Quoting A388 (Reply 11):
Currently there is no air link between the West Coast and the Caribbean

What do you call Air Jamaica LAX-MBJ and AA LAX-SJU?

But anyhow, the market demand for West Coast to Caribbean is quite small. Why fly 6+ hours when one can be in Mexico as little as 90mins or Hawaii in 5hours. Even Tahiti is only 7 hours away.

West Coast also has virtually no ethnic or business connections with the Caribbean which would further impair the prospects for new operators.
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LAXdude1023
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:32 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 9):
So AA runs flights 238/239 LAX-SJU on a 763 after checking it out. I wonder how it's doing.

Not very well. Its being downgraded to a 757 this coming spring.
It is what it is...
 
SANFan
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:29 am

I think the preferred West Coast-Caribbean method of travel is still the cruises out of Florida or San Juan (one of the reasons there is n/s LA-SJ service) -- cheaper and shorter flight then board the ship for a week or 2 and you're done.

A lot of the East Coasters who go to Hawaii do the same thing although, of course, the flight is longer.

There certainly are those on the Left Coast with homes, timeshares, or a desire to go to one island and sit there for a week or 2 in the Caribbean but I really doubt there's enough of that business to support a n/s into any one Caribbean destination, aside from Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

And certainly, as has been said many times already, the majority of West Coasters find enough variety in Mexico, Hawaii and Central America to avoid the 6-8 hours of flying to get to the Caribbean.

bb
 
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:42 am

Cost, travel time and convenience are major factors when planning a vacation......especially in the US where most vacations are for a week or less in duration; thus, for people living on the west coast, a quick flight to Cabo, the Mexican Riviera resorts or even Hawaii makes much more sense than a trip to the Caribbean. And, as pointed out, West Coast residents travelling to the Caribbean have several options (such as the LAX-SJU flight) or can get to any Caribbean destination by transiting ATL, CLT and especially MIA.

For the same reason that New Yorkers dont generally head to Tahiti in big numbers, and for the same reason that Brits dont head to Hawaii in big numbers, West Coast residents dont travel in huge numbers to the Caribbean.....there are beautiful beaches and hotels in good weather destinations much closer (and much cheaper) to home.
 
A388
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:51 am

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 13):
What do you call Air Jamaica LAX-MBJ and AA LAX-SJU?

Hey Laxintl how are you doing? It's been a long time since I have spoken to you. I hope everything is well. To get back on topic, you are right, but what I meant is that no U.S. airline offers direct West Coast flights to Caribbean islands. LAX-SJU is still a domestic flight, even though it is in the Caribbean, to me it is not a true Caribbean destination such as BGI, CUR, AUA, POS, SDQ, HAV or PTP. JM does fly to LAX but than again it is not a U.S. airline and they offer very expensive ticket prices (one week return trip MBJ-LAX in September for U.S.500-700 dollars!). A low cost airline might be able to make the Caribbean attractive in that regard.

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 13):
West Coast also has virtually no ethnic or business connections with the Caribbean which would further impair the prospects for new operators.

Correct but at the same time low cost airlines are looking to the Caribbean for expansion. Most air connections started out being small and have grown over the years so why not the West Coast-Caribbean connection? As I said, it can be a very nice untapped market from the West Coast as something "new" instead of the usual Mexico or Hawaii connections which is already well known. If a low cost airline can offer you cheap nonstop flights to the Caribbean from the West Coast (incl. DEN) why not go for it. It can be cheaper and less time-consuming compared to travelling through ATL or MIA. I assume the JM and AA flights are also expensive flights (?)

A388
 
LAXintl
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:12 am

Quoting A388 (Reply 17):
Hey Laxintl how are you doing?

Fine thanks. Hope all is well with you on the island.

Quoting A388 (Reply 17):
very expensive ticket prices (one week return trip MBJ-LAX in September for U.S.500-700 dollars!). A low cost airline might be able to make the Caribbean attractive in that regard.

I dont think $500-700 perse is that expensive.

Think about it, LAX-SJU is 3386miles, which is close to the distance JFK-CDG. Paying $500-700 bucks to fly to France from NY is a good deal especially in the summer.

Lets say an average of $600rt to the Caribbean from the West Coast that is only about $0.8mile each way. Not very high revenue at all. Due to the distance involved, I'd doubt a LCC would really be able to lower this much longer. Remember LCCs excel on short hops, where yields per mile are quite a bit higher.

Quoting A388 (Reply 17):
something "new"

Well over the years various tour operators have tried services from LA and SF to Caribbean locations including the Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Aruba without much success.

As West Coasters are not naturally inclined to even think about the Caribbean, one would really need a major add campaigns to get the name out. Considering LA and SF are some of the nations largest media markets this is not something that would come cheap, particularly when one regularly sees adds to placed like Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Brazil, Turkey etc...
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A388
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:45 am

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 18):
Fine thanks. Hope all is well with you on the island

Okay thanks. All is well over here too  Smile

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 18):
Remember LCCs excel on short hops, where yields per mile are quite a bit higher.

You have a point there. However, the trend is showing low cost airlines taking the next step of going longhaul. It is something new now but more low cost airlines are looking in this direction as their next potential domain.

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 18):
As West Coasters are not naturally inclined to even think about the Caribbean, one would really need a major add campaigns to get the name out.

That is what I mean  Smile

All in all, I know this is something new (attracting West Coast tourism to the Caribbean) but it is something that is not impossible. I was wondering what the potential is once one low cost airlines takes this road succesfully. If F9 in this case starts Caribbean flights from DEN and it becomes a success, will others follow just like how the low cost airlines on the East Coast have discovered the potential of the Caribbean?

A388
 
Caymanair
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:25 am

Quoting A388 (Reply 17):
and they offer very expensive ticket prices (one week return trip MBJ-LAX in September for U.S.500-700 dollars!).


thats basically the same amount or a little less than to fly GCM-JFK or KIN-JFK.
 
A388
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:54 am

Quoting Caymanair (Reply 20):
thats basically the same amount or a little less than to fly GCM-JFK or KIN-JFK.

That is expensive. This is in a way related to this topic but are the low cost airlines currently flying to the Caribbean offering much lower fares compared to mainline airlines? Can low cost airlines offer low fares from the West Coast, such as F9?

A388
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:04 pm

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 1):
Range at MTOW, (all from Airlife)
B737-600 3,717NM
B737-700 3,425NM
B737-800 2,930 NM
Range with 124 passengers + domestic reserves + 200NM diversion*
Range with 150 passengers + domestic reserves + 200 NM diversion+
Range with 185 passengers + domestic reserves + 200 NM diversion@

...these figures are wayyy off.

Particularly for the 736-- Boeing calculates far less range using only 110 pax.
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bennett123
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:18 pm

What figures do you have.

Please note that lines 4-6 relate to A319/320/321.

David
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:32 am

Quoting A388 (Reply 11):
Currently there is no air link between the West Coast and the Caribbean. If F9 indeed wants to expand to the Caribbean, they are tapping a new market with a lot of potential as the Caribbean can be seen as a "new" alternative to Hawaii which is further away from the U.S. West Coast.

The big issue here is mindset. Most Americans (& Canadians for that matter) who reside in the Mountain and Pacific Time Zones look at Hawaii as the tropical getaway of choice since in their mind-set Hawaii is closer. Canadians from even the westernmost provinces in significant numbers stopped going to Hawaii and discovered the Dominican Republic late last decade and the first half of this decade as the USD$/CAD$ exchange rate became disproportionately prohibitive (hitting a low of .62 against the U.S. $ in 2002). This helped jump-start Caribbean tropical holidays north of the border, but it hasn't carried over to the south of the 49th crowd anywhere close to such a degree. F9 could start scheduled service to CUR, AUA or BON, but they would be better off to do it as a charter package seasonally for a few years first. Perhaps their old CEO Jeff Potter can put together such a package since he now operates a DEN based company that specializes in such tours.

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 16):
Cost, travel time and convenience are major factors when planning a vacation......especially in the US where most vacations are for a week or less in duration; thus, for people living on the west coast, a quick flight to Cabo, the Mexican Riviera resorts or even Hawaii makes much more sense than a trip to the Caribbean.

One thing to keep in mind is that one week is considered long for an American to go on a tropical holiday, but the Canadian mind set is for 2-2.5 weeks. For those from the U.K. it is more like 3 weeks+. Hence the popularity of Hawaii along with SJD, MZT & PVR from Pacific and Mountain Time Zone markets. But as a former girlfriend from Canada pointed out to me a couple of years ago, the D.R. resorts of POP and PUJ are closer to places such as YYC, YQR, YEG, SLC and DEN than to HNL, OGG, or KOA. Of further note Canadians can typically get 2.5 weeks in a D.R. all-inclusive resort as one week would cost them anywhere in Mexico.
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regupilot
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:40 pm

Another interesting note is, that as I was working in Old San Juan a couple of weeks ago, I met a guy from DEN, which was vacationing in the Caribbean. I kind of told him it was odd that he was on this side since he has Hawaii, and that most of the Americans from the west would go to Hawaii or Mexico for their tropical vacations. He gladly replied: "If you like to sail, then you'll come to the Caribbean"... for everything else, yes.. Hawaii is fine. But for sailing, he said that the Caribbean was the spot.
 
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potentia

Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:59 pm

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 14):
Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 9):
So AA runs flights 238/239 LAX-SJU on a 763 after checking it out. I wonder how it's doing.

Not very well. Its being downgraded to a 757 this coming spring.

It does just fine. It switches between a 757 and a 763 during the year, with the 763 used during peak periods. I wouldn't be surprised if the 763 doesn't come back, but that is because they need it for other markets. LAX-SJU is a great performer for AA.

That being said, the market for West Coast-Caribbean is small, and AA's SJU service, combined with JM's MBJ service, form LAX, are more than enough. It is highly unlikely you will see growth in this market at all anytime soon, low cost or not.
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2travel2know
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:09 am

Quoting A388 (Reply 11):
Currently there is no air link between the West Coast and the Caribbean.

But isn't JM going to stop the LAX flight too? Isn't its A320 a bit restricted for the LAX route?

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 26):
That being said, the market for West Coast-Caribbean is small, and AA's SJU service, combined with JM's MBJ service, form LAX, are more than enough. It is highly unlikely you will see growth in this market at all anytime soon, low cost or not.

Would love to see JM MBJ-YVR one day, other than that, it might be 1-2 x week highseason service from SLC (DL), PHX (US) or DEN (F9/UA) to selected destinations w/most seats already sold to Wholesalers/Touroperators.
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Caymanair
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:24 am

Quoting A388 (Reply 21):
That is expensive.

Sorry, but I still have to disagree. GCM/KIN/MBJ-MIA r/t will run you more than $400 CI (taxes included)...MBJ-LAX r/t is about $600 US (taxes included). Spirit offers it with a stop in FLL for only $340 US. I dont know how much cheaper you think another airline could do it for.

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 24):
One thing to keep in mind is that one week is considered long for an American to go on a tropical holiday, but the Canadian mind set is for 2-2.5 weeks. For those from the U.K. it is more like 3 weeks+.

This is a valid point. Americans don't vacation as often and spend significantly less time. They won't be as interested in the Caribbean from the West Coast because they would only spend 2 days or so if we're talking western caribbean. Eastern Caribbean seems out of the question.
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:03 am

Quoting Caymanair (Reply 28):
This is a valid point. Americans don't vacation as often and spend significantly less time. They won't be as interested in the Caribbean from the West Coast because they would only spend 2 days or so if we're talking western Caribbean. Eastern Caribbean seems out of the question.

CUN and CZM are the most popular greater Caribbean destinations from the western states. Also keep in mind that the short times Americans typically take being usually 1 week to perhaps 10 days limits the deals that any tour operator can make with any resorts. This is also why charters from the USA haven't popped up over the last couple of decades to the region that they have from Canada. Another thing to understand is word of mouth within a countries culture determines how well a destination will do. In Canada the Dominican Republic caught on in the western provinces due to it's popularity in Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes. As the cost of Hawaii became increasingly prohibitive as I eluded to in my post above, the D.R. became more of an option to western Canadians, and the charters started to fly to PUJ and POP from even as far away as YYC, YEG, YQR, YWG and even YVR. All territory that much like the western states pointed to Hawaii and Mexico just a decade ago.
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A388
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:19 am

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 29):
CUN and CZM are the most popular greater Caribbean destinations from the western states. Also keep in mind that the short times Americans typically take being usually 1 week to perhaps 10 days limits the deals that any tour operator can make with any resorts. This is also why charters from the USA haven't popped up over the last couple of decades to the region that they have from Canada. Another thing to understand is word of mouth within a countries culture determines how well a destination will do. In Canada the Dominican Republic caught on in the western provinces due to it's popularity in Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes. As the cost of Hawaii became increasingly prohibitive as I eluded to in my post above, the D.R. became more of an option to western Canadians, and the charters started to fly to PUJ and POP from even as far away as YYC, YEG, YQR, YWG and even YVR. All territory that much like the western states pointed to Hawaii and Mexico just a decade ago.

Let's hope the Caribbean (in my CUR) will become more popular in the Western U.S. Coast in the coming years. It would be very nice to see a F9 A319 arrive here in CUR nonstop from DEN Big grin

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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:39 am

Quoting A388 (Reply 30):
It would be very nice to see a F9 A319 arrive here in CUR nonstop from DEN

Nothing wrong with a man dreaming. However I would not take that bet to a casino.

DEN-CUR is a looong trip.. 2892miles. about 400 miles further than a US transcon flight.
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:01 am

Quoting A388 (Reply 30):
s hope the Caribbean (in my CUR) will become more popular in the Western U.S. Coast in the coming years. It would be very nice to see a F9 A319 arrive here in CUR nonstop from DEN

CUR wins hands down over many other Caribbean islands when it comes to History. That could be something which CUR should take better advantage. I'm sure there are tenths of thousands in the Western U.S. that would be interested to learn more about CUR and spend a tropical exotic vacation overthere.
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:20 pm

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 31):
Nothing wrong with a man dreaming.

 checkmark   Smile

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 32):
CUR wins hands down over many other Caribbean islands when it comes to History. That could be something which CUR should take better advantage. I'm sure there are tenths of thousands in the Western U.S. that would be interested to learn more about CUR and spend a tropical exotic vacation overthere.

 checkmark  I think for people who are looking for exotic holiday destinations, CUR indeed is very exotic as it is the only island in the Caribbean that has its own language (Papiamento) which is a mix of Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese. That alone shows the culture of CUR and the Netherlands Antilles in general for that matter. However, CUR is better known for its culture. I keep saying hopefully with the Renaissance Hotel and Hyatt Hotel opening in the coming two years, will give CUR more popularity among North Americans to bring more air connections, whether its low cost airlines or mainline airlines.

A388
 
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:00 pm

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 31):
DEN-CUR is a looong trip.. 2892miles. about 400 miles further than a US transcon flight.

Keep in mind also that the Dominican Republic eastward to Puerto Rico and all of the Leeward Islands (SXM on down to POS) are in the Atlantic Time Zone. This additional time zone change can add to just getting there. Going to Hawaii isn't such a problem, it is the trip home for those of us virtually anywhere on the mainland.
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:06 pm

Quoting A388 (Reply 33):
CUR indeed is very exotic as it is the only island in the Caribbean that has its own language (Papiamento) which is a mix of Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese.

Don't you start a CUR vs AUA discussion. Papiamento is also AUA and BON islands language.
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:45 am

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 35):
Don't you start a CUR vs AUA discussion. Papiamento is also AUA and BON islands language.

Our language originates from CUR (Portuguese-African origin). Of course AUA and BON also speak the same langauge with slightly different accents but it originates from CUR.

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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:05 am

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 27):
Would love to see JM MBJ-YVR one day, other than that, it might be 1-2 x week highseason service from SLC (DL), PHX (US) or DEN (F9/UA) to selected destinations w/most seats already sold to Wholesalers/Touroperators.

Us doesn't have enough aircraft with the range to serve The caribbean destinations. considering they only have the 762s and 330s and possibly the 752s (but US's 752s are in rough shape) that can handle those routes direct. I can only seethem at least attempting to serve The Caribbean within the next few years when they get more aircraft and when they start some serious expansion out of PHX. I can only see the MBJ-YVR once weekly duing winter months.

I would love to see a LAX-NAS service. (I Can dream can't I) Smile
 
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:47 pm

Hello all.  Smile
As it was posted out in the Central American thread, the situation of the Caribbean looks different in many ways.
F9 is introducing services to Central America where it can certainly find plenty operations to LAX, DFW, IAH, SFO and even OAK in a near future.
By the way, F9 is also catching a part of the size-able market from Mexico to the U.S. western bound through DEN.
Regarding the behavior in both Mexico and Central America, my question is related if F9 would target to an untapped market.
Regards.
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:37 pm

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 18):
I dont think $500-700 perse is that expensive.

For the summer is not, but for the "off-season" $500 is somewhat expensive. The non-stop AA flight from LAX to SJU is still hovering around $450-$530 for November (must be the damn cruise ships!). Many in here have mentioned that the market is already well served if you don't mind making a stop somewhere. I'm flying LAX-SJU in November to visit my folks with CO (connecting through IAH) and got rt tickets for $296 with all taxes/fees included. A direct flight is always preferable, of course, but I don't mind one stop if I'm saving $150 or more.

The West Coast-Caribbean market is too small for more direct flights, but for those that must get there options are available.

Charles
 
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:44 am

Quoting Charles79 (Reply 39):
The non-stop AA flight from LAX to SJU is still hovering around $450-$530 for November (must be the damn cruise ships!). Many in here have mentioned that the market is already well served if you don't mind making a stop somewhere.

Flights to MIA and FLL even making stops (@DFW, SLC, IAH, ATL depending upon carrier) typically go up in price at this time of year mentioned for that VERY reason. One thing to keep i mind U.S. tourism to the Caribbean seams to have tanked over the last year or two. Possibly related to the Passport requirement.

Quoting Charles79 (Reply 39):
The West Coast-Caribbean market is too small for more direct flights, but for those that must get there options are available.

I think DEN and perhaps SLC might offer some future potential given their proximity halfway between Hawaii and the Caribbean, but again it is a cultural thing as I posted above, and that takes time and perhaps other more drastic economic measures. Keep in mind the only places in the Caribbean that still don't require a passport are Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Even going to CUN and CZM now require one.
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:30 am

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 40):
Keep in mind the only places in the Caribbean that still don't require a passport are Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Even going to CUN and CZM now require one.

I think that will be a key point for any development in new routes. I've heard numbers like 70% of the US population doesn't have a passport (which I find very tragic that not many of us want to explore the world). Nevermind having a market that wants to fly there, there's not even a market that CAN fly there!

Regards

Charles
 
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:42 am

Quoting Charles79 (Reply 41):
I've heard numbers like 70% of the US population doesn't have a passport

Don't you need a passport to identify yourself within the U.S.? How do you identity yourself when travelling within the U.S.? ID-card?

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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:44 am

Quoting Charles79 (Reply 41):
I've heard numbers like 70% of the US population doesn't have a passport (which I find very tragic that not many of us want to explore the world). Nevermind having a market that wants to fly there, there's not even a market that CAN fly there!

At the onset of the North American Travel Initiative signed into law 2.5 years ago by the president, roughly 20% of Americans held passports. It has since gone up and could perhaps be as high as 30%, but compare that with Canada where over half the population has a valid passport. I've long felt the U.S. should require a passport to go south of the border (Mexico, Caribbean), but like my wife think it is ridiculous to require one to go to Canada.
It has amazed me the last year or so to see resorts in the Bahama's advertise a credit for those needing to get a first time U.S. Passport by showing a pink flamingo holding one in its beak!
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:46 am

Quoting A388 (Reply 42):
How do you identity yourself when travelling within the U.S.? ID-card?

A state government issued drivers license or I.D. Much of the bio-metrical data that is featured in a passport could be placed into the Drivers License if DHS agrees to help State DMV's and Public Safety Departments fund this "secure" initiative.
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:55 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 12):
I really have to wonder about this, being a life-long west coaster. The first time I went to St. Maarten only two people out here had even heard of it before, and that was from a cruise ship stop they had once. I'm open to correction, but I firmly believe most west coasters visit the Caribbean via cruises they board in Florida, a much different market than the timeshare owners in the east and heavy VFR traffic from east coast cities down to the islands.

MIA, FLL & SJU are all major cruise ship ports f call. When Americans, especially from out west go to the Caribbean it usually is on a cruise ship for 7-10 days. Some from the east will own time share property in the various islands, as do some in Hawaii from out west (my neighbor owns one in KOA). The Canadians usually fly there on charters for 2-2.5 weeks and stay in all-inclusives negotiated by a tour operator at bargain basement prices in large numbers.
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:12 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 9):
So AA runs flights 238/239 LAX-SJU on a 763 after checking it out. I wonder how it's doing. And AA claims they were the first to offer it, so maybe the LAX-SJU on TW never materialized (but I know it was announced).

TW did fly that route on a 757-232 and it stretched it. AA has been flying that route for a while. I spoke with a man the other night who regularly flies SJU-LAX in J class, but prefers to connect in MIA to jump on the 777.

Quoting ReguPilot (Reply 25):
Another interesting note is, that as I was working in Old San Juan a couple of weeks ago, I met a guy from DEN, which was vacationing in the Caribbean. I kind of told him it was odd that he was on this side since he has Hawaii, and that most of the Americans from the west would go to Hawaii or Mexico for their tropical vacations. He gladly replied: "If you like to sail, then you'll come to the Caribbean"... for everything else, yes.. Hawaii is fine. But for sailing, he said that the Caribbean was the spot.

I love Old San Juan.
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:38 am

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 29):
CUN and CZM are the most popular greater Caribbean destinations from the western states.

Thats debatable....I wouldn't consider any part of Mexico Caribbean - Mexico is part of North America (same way Florida isnt considered Caribean)
 
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:30 am

Quoting Caymanair (Reply 47):
Thats debatable....I wouldn't consider any part of Mexico Caribbean - Mexico is part of North America (same way Florida isnt considered Caribean)

The east coast of the Yucatan peninsula is bordered by the Caribbean sea. Granted like Belize it is the far western Caribbean, but the entire "Atlantic side" of Central America also is bordered by the Caribbean Sea in geographical terms. You'll find this to be the case from any reputable map publisher from National Geographic to Hammond. As for Florida: Are you saying the Bahamas aren't part of the Caribbean as well? Most geography experts classify "The Caribbean" as a greater region that goes beyond the Greater and Lesser Antilles.  biggrin 
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RE: West Coast Low Cost To The Caribbean, Potential?

Sat Sep 15, 2007 2:14 pm

Quoting Albird87 (Reply 2):
Also then with baggage allowances needing to be discussed you would then have to think of allowances or price per bag??

Baggage allowance won't matter on such a flight, it would mainly be tourists and their luggage.

Quoting A388 (Reply 4):
Also, isn't Spirit Airlines this airline??? Wink

No, I've seen their FLL-GCM flights go for $500.

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 27):
But isn't JM going to stop the LAX flight too? Isn't its A320 a bit restricted for the LAX route?

Who said they will stop it? If anything, it'll become a A319 or 757 route in the future.

Quoting Bloodyrascal (Reply 37):
he caribbean destinations. considering they only have the 762s and 330s and possibly the 752s (but US's 752s are in rough shape) that can handle those routes direct.

US can use A319s or A320s on PHX-Caribbean, most likely A319s due to the nature of Phoenix.
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