MAH4546
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Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:32 pm

Spirit Airlines applied today with DOT to begin daily non-stop service between Fort Lauderdale and Cartagena using an A319, starting at a to be determined date. Schedule:

NK 155 FLL 0700-0940 CTG 319 Daily
NK 156 CTG 1030-1315 FLL 319 Daily

Service will launch as 2x weekly - Monday and Thursday - going daily on 9 March 2008. Spirit's application claims there is no non-stop service between the United States and Cartagena, but Avianca provides daily service on the Miami-Cartagena route.

Cartagena-USA flights are now "Open Skies" so there are no limits or slots to apply for.

Here's the fun part: Barranquilla is also Open Skies, and Spirit originally applied for Barranquilla back when it wasn't Open Skies. It's a bigger market, fourth biggest between the US and Colombia. Their application states that at this time they don't plan to apply for Barranquilla, but might in the future. When they applied, no U.S. airline was flying there. After they applied, AA announced service to Barranquilla within a month. Does Spirit really think now that AA is not going to apply for Cartagena service and let Spirit have the market to themselves? I doubt it that will be the case. Will be interesting to see if AA announces MIA-CTG soon.
a.
 
Southamerica
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:49 pm

Wow, all of a sudden so much interest for a route that just a couple of years ago was the ugly duckling in the Colombia-South Florida market. Is there really space for so many players?

Avianca has managed to make this route successful, but let's not forget that Avianca's CTG-MIA flights originate/terminate in Pereira.

Avianca (and previously ACES) has always run this route combined with another city, and yet it only proved to be successful after Avianca drastically lowered its cost structure in the 2005 reorganization.

This will be interesting.


SA.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:55 pm

Avianca might be transferring the route to their SAM subsidiary come next year. SAM applied for MIA-CTG, and it might be because in face of on coming competition, Avianca wants to right-size aircraft in the market. This could possibly allow them to make MIA-PEI non-stop at reduced frequency (3-4x a week). An MD83, I believe because of geography, can't do MIA-PEI, but once the A319s start coming in February, it won't be a problem.

No doubt though, in my mind, that American Airlines will start CTG if Spirit Airlines does.
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Summa767
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:21 pm



Quoting MAH4546 (Thread starter):
Their application states that at this time they don't plan to apply for Barranquilla, but might in the future

Wow, so they have given up for now. Surprising. I expect they will still take part in the competition for the 21 freqs, to be used, in their case, on the FLL-BOG..

Still, good that NK has made a formal application for CTG, and one that should have no major hurdles. As soon as DOT approves it (and that should be a given), they can start operating in Colombia very soon after that.

I am still puzzled by the Aires connection and their already approved BOG-FLL, and application for another 31 freqs from Colombia to FLL, plus 7 to NYC. Whether these are to increase the appeal of Aires by Spirit, or part of a cunning plan between the 2 remains to be seen.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:27 pm



Quoting Summa767 (Reply 3):
Wow, so they have given up for now. Surprising. I expect they will still take part in the competition for the 21 freqs, to be used, in their case, on the FLL-BOG..

They already applied for FLL-BOG, daily starting 1 April 2008.

Quoting Summa767 (Reply 3):

Still, good that NK has made a formal application for CTG, and one that should have no major hurdles

It has no hurdles for approval. It certainly will have hurdles in the form of AA. Will Spirit enter the market if AA does (even though the only reason AA would enter the market in the near term is to hurt or stop NK)?
a.
 
aa1818
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:48 pm

Wow NK is expanding massively form FLL.

Trying to turn FLL into the LowCost MIA/ AA fortress!!!

Good luck!
AA1818
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
 
klwright69
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:18 am

How much of a market is there from the USA to CTG??

I went to CTG a number of years ago. Very interesting place. I remember it being historical rustic and slow paced. It definitely was not a bustling hub of commerce

I dont remember the airport being anything much to write home about.

Is there any market?

But maybe I have it all wrong though...
 
commavia
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:34 am



Quoting MAH4546 (Thread starter):
Will be interesting to see if AA announces MIA-CTG soon.



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 2):
No doubt though, in my mind, that American Airlines will start CTG if Spirit Airlines does.

It's about damn time.

MIA-CTG can be filed away with a long list of other routes AA should have been flying years ago. I realize what CTG wasn't always Open Skies/unrestricted for U.S. carriers, but it is once again disappointing that AA is having to be dragged kicking and screaming into markets that they should already be flying to. This is true in the case of CTG, as it is one of the few popular tourism highlights in Columbia.

I have long thought that a daily 738 MIA-CTG made perfect sense, and if the timing is right vis a vis BAQ - like a daylight turn MIA-CTG-MIA complimenting an overnight RON turn MIA-BAQ-MIA - could really solidify the AA presence in the region.
 
Southamerica
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:52 am



Quoting Commavia (Reply 7):
I realize what CTG wasn't always Open Skies/unrestricted for U.S. carriers

Cartagena has been "open skies" for foreign airlines for at least 5 years now, together with San Andres Island and Santa Marta. It was a result of the government's interest in stimulating tourism to these places several years ago.

If SA)">AA wanted to, they could already be flying to CTG as much as they wished, just like Copa Airlines does.

Barranquilla is the new one in the group of "open skies" cities.


SA.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:42 am



Quoting SOUTHAMERICA (Reply 8):
Cartagena has been "open skies" for foreign airlines for at least 5 years now, together with San Andres Island and Santa Marta. It was a result of the government's interest in stimulating tourism to these places several years ago.

It hasn't been Open Skies to the U.S., at least not officially (meaning that if AA had asked for it, they might have gotten an exemption). Avianca's MIA-CTG frequencies came straight from their pool, IIRC.

Quoting Klwright69 (Reply 6):
How much of a market is there from the USA to CTG??

The market isn't huge, but it is fairly popular vacation destination for South Floridians. Beautiful beaches and cheap.
a.
 
bogota
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:26 pm

Actually CTG is not only a cheap holiday destination that it used to be, it has become a congress destination as it virtually has some type of regional event almost every week of the year. Just as we speak the 17th annual congress of the World Tourism Organization is being held in Cartagena and as such, events fill up the calendar and hotels in the city throughout the year. Cheap can be found but in the old city a decent hotel for under 200 USD is something not very easy to come about these days.

So AA does need to look into it, and maybe that is why AV(MM) has now applied for daily to MIA.
 
a300aa
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:42 pm

Its a matter of time that AA applies for CTG.

They have always said , that they were not interested in flying to CTG, but now, with the competition breathing on their shoulders, its a different story.

On BAQ side, they havent been able to solve the labor problems, 35 ex employees are still waiting for their compensation or to be rehired.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:14 pm



Quoting Bogota (Reply 10):
Actually CTG is not only a cheap holiday destination that it used to be, it has become a congress destination as it virtually has some type of regional event almost every week of the year. Just as we speak the 17th annual congress of the World Tourism Organization is being held in Cartagena and as such, events fill up the calendar and hotels in the city throughout the year. Cheap can be found but in the old city a decent hotel for under 200 USD is something not very easy to come about these days.

While it might not be as cheap as it used to be, it's still way cheaper than almost anything in the Caribbean, which is why I think it has been gaining some popularity lately with South Floridians and hopefully word will spread to others. I think Spirit will do a great job stimulating demand and offering great vacation packages to CTG.
a.
 
incitatus
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:47 pm

More service to Colombia is overdue. Travel from beyond Miami to beyond Bogota' is a royal pain!
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Summa767
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:54 pm

Whereas the formalities of the application may have yet to be completed, Spirit has set a date for teh start of service from FLL to CTG: 7th February 2008.
A representative of Spirit Airlines said to a Colombian newspaper that the company was also hoping to fly to Bogota and Medellin, for which it will apply next week. It is also waiting for DOT to make a decision over 7 frequencies in posession of AA that were released as a result of BAQ becoming "open skies", and that it reassigned itself to other colombian routes, to the prostest of NK, who argue that the freed frequencies should be made available for general competition.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:07 pm



Quoting Summa767 (Reply 14):
A representative of Spirit Airlines said to a Colombian newspaper that the company was also hoping to fly to Bogota and Medellin, for which it will apply next week.

They already applied for FLL-BOG.

Quoting Summa767 (Reply 14):
It is also waiting for DOT to make a decision over 7 frequencies in posession of AA that were released as a result of BAQ becoming "open skies",

Haha. Not happening. If DOT was really going to reassign them, they would have already. AA's flights are starting in less than four weeks. AA's seven BAQ frequencies are being used to BOG and MDE.
a.
 
SJOtoLIR
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:12 am



Quoting MAH4546 (Thread starter):
Spirit Airlines applied today with DOT to begin daily non-stop service between Fort Lauderdale and Cartagena using an A319, starting at a to be determined date. Schedule:

NK 155 FLL 0700-0940 CTG 319 Daily
NK 156 CTG 1030-1315 FLL 319 Daily

NK has not set red-eye schedule there, which may support they are focusing into CTG as a tourism destination instead the VFR traffic.



.

Quoting SOUTHAMERICA (Reply 1):
Is there really space for so many players?

Avianca has managed to make this route successful, but let's not forget that Avianca's CTG-MIA flights originate/terminate in Pereira.

Recent applications for CTG:

SAM CTG-MIA 7x weekly.
Spirit CTG-FLL 7x weekly.
AIRES CTG-FLL 7x weekly.
Plus the possibility for AA CTG-MIA.

If all the applications listed above would have no troubles to approve them, the service from CTG to South Florida should increase up to five times, depending whether if AV keeps the CTG-MIA 7x weekly or they would transfer the service to MM instead as posted out before.
I am not clear if all these applications are granted, there will not be any possibility to negotiate the slots with other air carriers regarding the Open-Skies agreement in Cartagena.
AIRES has recently applied for other routes in Colombia to FLL that makes sense the possible business relationship with NK. Based on the press release from quote 14, NK has also applied for their own rights for FLL-MDE as AIRES did.

Regards.
"Goin' up to the spirit in the sky"
 
WesternA318
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:15 am



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 2):
No doubt though, in my mind, that American Airlines will start CTG if Spirit Airlines does.

What would AA use? 757 or A300?
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elmothehobo
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:32 am



Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 17):
What would AA use? 757 or A300?

Neither, they'd go with the 737-800. A300 would be overkill and a 757 would make sense as an eventual upgrade.
 
WesternA318
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:28 pm



Quoting ElmoTheHobo (Reply 18):
Neither, they'd go with the 737-800. A300 would be overkill and a 757 would make sense as an eventual upgrade.

Where else down south or in the Caribbean does AA send the 737-800s?
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MAH4546
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:11 pm



Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 19):
Where else down south or in the Caribbean does AA send the 737-800s?

Tons of places. Barranquilla, Cali, Cancun, Kingston, Managua, Medellin, St. Kitts & Nevia, St. Lucia...the list goes on and on.
a.
 
WesternA318
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:23 am



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 20):
Tons of places. Barranquilla, Cali, Cancun, Kingston, Managua, Medellin, St. Kitts & Nevia, St. Lucia...the list goes on and on.

I stand corrected, and not to go too far off topic again, but does anyone have a complete list of A300 cities AA serves?
Check out my blog at fl310travel.blogspot.com!
 
MAH4546
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:37 am



Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 21):
I stand corrected, and not to go too far off topic again, but does anyone have a complete list of A300 cities AA serves?

This winter...

Domestic:
Fort Lauderdale (SJU)
Miami (JFKx4, MCOx2, SJUx5)
New York City/JFK (MIAx4, SJUx3)
Orlando (MIAx2, SJUx2)
San Juan (FLL, JFKx3, MCOx2, MIAx5)

International:
Bogotá (MIAx2)
Guatemala City (MIA)
Guayaquil (MIA)
Lima (MIAx2)
Managua (MIA)
Montego Bay (JFK, MIAx2)
Panama City (MIA)
Port Au Prince (FLL, JFK, MIAx3)
San Jose (MIAx2)
Santiago (DR) (JFKx2)
Santo Domingo (JFKx3, MIAx2)
a.
 
RCS763AV
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:06 am



Quoting A300AA (Reply 11):
On BAQ side, they havent been able to solve the labor problems, 35 ex employees are still waiting for their compensation or to be rehired.

I must remind you that Colombia is not a federal country, the same law applies to AA in northern Guajira or in Medellín. AA´s labour issues weren´t the thing stopping them from flying to BAQ.

Quoting Incitatus (Reply 13):
Travel from beyond Miami to beyond Bogota' is a royal pain!

Huh?
 
a300aa
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:51 am



Quoting RCS763AV (Reply 23):
I must remind you that Colombia is not a federal country, the same law applies to AA in northern Guajira or in Medellín. AA´s labour issues weren´t the thing stopping them from flying to BAQ

I know, Im Colombian. I fly there every single week.
And one of the biggest challenges is to resolve that problem before they begin flying next Dec.

They have hired a company to handle all the ground operation , the same that operates in MDE, but a judge said that they must rehire or compensate the ex -aa employees.

Obviously AA dont want to hire any one with a direct contract.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:26 am



Quoting A300AA (Reply 24):
I know, Im Colombian. I fly there every single week.
And one of the biggest challenges is to resolve that problem before they begin flying next Dec.

They have hired a company to handle all the ground operation , the same that operates in MDE, but a judge said that they must rehire or compensate the ex -aa employees.

Obviously AA dont want to hire any one with a direct contract.

In the end, though, AA will get what they want. I don't think AA is at all worried.
a.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:27 pm

Spirit's application has been approved. They are now allowed to sell tickets on the route.
a.
 
a300aa
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:07 am

Youre right . On every single country in Lat Am , they do what they want. Remember the problem in ASU, EZE, and PTY.Just to mention some.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:11 am



Quoting A300AA (Reply 27):
Youre right . On every single country in Lat Am , they do what they want. Remember the problem in ASU, EZE, and PTY.Just to mention some.

Although in this case, as it turns out, the old BAQ employees have absolutely no legal basis for their complaints.
a.
 
Summa767
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:38 pm



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 15):
Haha. Not happening. If DOT was really going to reassign them, they would have already. AA's flights are starting in less than four weeks. AA's seven BAQ frequencies are being used to BOG and MDE.

DOT took their time to issue a reply to Spirit on its contention that the freed-up frequencies by BAQ becoming open skies should be made available for competition rather than be taken up automatically by AA. It has now effectively agreed with Spirit, and given notice that AA may only count on those extra weekly frequencies until 1st April 2008. Their future beyond that date will depend on the imput from all airlines competing for frequencies to Colombia.

I look forward to reading the arguments that each airline will list in this competition.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:44 pm



Quoting Summa767 (Reply 29):

DOT took their time to issue a reply to Spirit on its contention that the freed-up frequencies by BAQ becoming open skies should be made available for competition rather than be taken up automatically by AA. It has now effectively agreed with Spirit, and given notice that AA may only count on those extra weekly frequencies until 1st April 2008. Their future beyond that date will depend on the imput from all airlines competing for frequencies to Colombia.

Correct, and I personally was very surprised by the decision.

The frequencies are AA's to lose. They are not in the pool of 21 open frequencies that other airlines will bid on. Rather, other airlines can attempt to make a strong case for why they should have them instead of AA. AA need not apply for them, because they by default go to AA.

In part, what DOT might be doing here is submitting to Spirit's requests, but in the end will let AA keep the frequencies anyway. Or they might not. For Spirit's own good, I hope they let AA keep the frequencies. AA can clobber Spirit if they so desire, and AA is going to get very mad if Spirit succeeds in stealing those frequencies, and will launch an attack much greater than what they are launching in December.
a.
 
Summa767
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RE: Spirit Applies For FLL-CTG

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:08 pm



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 30):
other airlines can attempt to make a strong case for why they should have them instead of AA.

Definitely one to watch!