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1337Delta764
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More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:58 pm

WN has been cutting lots of destinations from ABQ recently. ABQ-SLC ended last month, surrendering the route to DL. ABQ-LBB, ABQ-MAF, and ABQ-MCO are ending in August. Now, WN has announced that ABQ-ELP will be ending in January, and ABQ-STL will be reduced to seasonal service.

ABQ-ELP seems to be quite a surprise, since I am pretty sure there are lots of commuters who fly between the two cities. Many years ago, both WN and F9 flew the route.

I'm starting to think that ABQ-ATL on WN may never happen now, which is good for DL. There isn't much O&D between ABQ and ATL; most people who fly DL's ABQ-ATL route are connecting in ATL.

When I lived in the Albuquerque area, I met many people who refused to fly any airline other than WN. For a market that is loyal to WN, all of these cuts are surprising.
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miaami
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:12 pm

I think WN is starting to drop the shorter haul markets in favor of more lengthy markets so ABQ-ATL might be more likely than you think. The recent announcement of smaller route cuts ie. MCO-FLL and TPA-PBI are in line with that theory, yet they are also adding more flights on FLL-BWI.
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:16 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
Now, WN has announced that ABQ-ELP will be ending in January,
WN owns ELP (yeah -- I know -- AA *thinks* it owns ELP).

ABQ is a fast trip up I-25 from ELP -- (remember New Mexico's generous speed limits make it like the Autobahn).

The flight isn't needed   

[Edited 2012-07-13 08:30:15]
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:17 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
When I lived in the Albuquerque area, I met many people who refused to fly any airline other than WN. For a market that is loyal to WN, all of these cuts are surprising.

ABQ had far more flights than it could justify with its O&D as it was a major E-W stop for WN. Now that Denver exists, guess where they can shift some of these flights to better balance the seat counts vs people wanting to sit in said seats.
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:18 pm

Quoting miaami (Reply 1):
I think WN is starting to drop the shorter haul markets in favor of more lengthy markets so ABQ-ATL might be more likely than you think. The recent announcement of smaller route cuts ie. MCO-FLL and TPA-PBI are in line with that theory, yet they are also adding more flights on FLL-BWI.

Remember though that WN has stated that they intend on "unwinding" ATL to focus more on O&D traffic, rather than connecting traffic. O&D between ABQ and ATL is marginal at best, so such a route would be going against WN's ATL "unwinding" strategy.
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EricR
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:00 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 3):
ABQ had far more flights than it could justify with its O&D as it was a major E-W stop for WN

Disagree because ABQ supported these routes for years (the O&D didn't leave overnight). However, I think your other point hits the nail on the head......

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 3):
Now that Denver exists, guess where they can shift some of these flights to better balance the seat counts vs people wanting to sit in said seats.

  

I think we are starting to see WN funnel more traffic through DEN in an attempt to optimize its routes there.
 
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:09 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
When I lived in the Albuquerque area, I met many people who refused to fly any airline other than WN. For a market that is loyal to WN, all of these cuts are surprising.

I've heard there is some displeasure with the airport by WN about something. I think it had to do with some sort of program that UA felt benefited airlines flying RJs. Anybody know anything about that?
 
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:27 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
ABQ-SLC ended last month, surrendering the route to DL. ABQ-LBB, ABQ-MAF, and ABQ-MCO are ending in August. Now, WN has announced that ABQ-ELP will be ending in January, and ABQ-STL will be reduced to seasonal service.
Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):

When I lived in the Albuquerque area, I met many people who refused to fly any airline other than WN. For a market that is loyal to WN, all of these cuts are surprising.

Load factors are quite poor out of ABQ. The only flights that even meet/slightly exceed average system-wide load factor are ABQ-MCO and almost STL:

City pair Carrier Median Fare Load factor (last 12 months, non-stop flights only)

ABQ-SLC WN $149 60%
DL $166 76%

ABQ-ELP WN $111 60%

ABQ-MAF WN $107 54%

ABQ-LBB WN $112 61%

ABQ-MCO WN $199 87%

ABQ-STL WN $158 80%

All cut/being cut:

MCO-FLL WN $109 62%

TPA-PBI WN $112 60%

GEG-PDX WN $97 61%
QX $104 79%
(QX is still flying GEG-PDX as far as I know, but you can see they are getting better loads and fares for comparison purposes)


As you can see, a lot of the city pairs being cut have low 60's for a load factor. This just doesn't cut it anymore when the resources can be deployed elsewhere.

[Edited 2012-07-13 09:33:46]
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:39 pm

Quoting EricR (Reply 5):
Disagree because ABQ supported these routes for years (the O&D didn't leave overnight). However, I think your other point hits the nail on the head......

It supported them, but if you are only picking up 20-30 people a flight in ABQ and the rest are just taking thier stop on the one stop flight.... Time to shuffle some flights to pick up more people in DEN instead. Its not about ABQ being bad for WN, its about WN having limited resources and needing to shift them to fill in a much larger route web than they had ten years ago. ABQ is simply hurt the most by DEN, and now feeling the continued effects of WN working on filling in the east coast better. This means equipment just isn't there anymore for the marginal ABQ routes.
 
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:44 pm

Quoting miaami (Reply 1):
I think WN is starting to drop the shorter haul markets in favor of more lengthy markets so ABQ-ATL might be more likely than you think. The recent announcement of smaller route cuts ie. MCO-FLL and TPA-PBI are in line with that theory, yet they are also adding more flights on FLL-BWI.

It's not about that, it's about revenue O/D. The O/D on the MCO-FLL AND TPA-PBI is all nonrev, plus the load factors are low. Southwest makes more money off of nonstop travelers than connecting travelers. This said, I read a few years back somewhere that WN would be looking to cut any flight that has O/D less than 40 passengers per flight. Looking at the total passengers per day on ELP-ABQ at 65 total, this route definitely doesn't meet this qualification at the current 2x daily it's flown. This would only be 16 O/D passengers per flight! This is why it's being cut.
 
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:44 pm

Also for comparison purposes if WN was to start ATL-ABQ (I give it a decent chance):

Routing Carrier Popularity Minimum Median Maximum
non-stop Delta 43% $51.01 $298.47 $994.01
via DEN Frontier 19% $55.57 $208.05 $595.98
via DFW American Airlines 12% $74.03 $247.97 $1,123.02
via PHX US Airways 4% $69.51 $225.59 $875.92
via DEN United 3% $70.90 $256.04 $743.04
via IAH Continental 2% $127.97 $180.56 $458.27
via MSP Delta 1% $254.37 $382.12 $758.01

ABQ-ATL on DL is showing an 85% Load factor. Fares look to be decent as well - a $298 median fare is higher than ATL-LAX on DL at a $262 for a median fare.
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:59 pm

Quoting iowaman (Reply 10):
Also for comparison purposes if WN was to start ATL-ABQ (I give it a decent chance):

Routing Carrier Popularity Minimum Median Maximum
non-stop Delta 43% $51.01 $298.47 $994.01
via DEN Frontier 19% $55.57 $208.05 $595.98
via DFW American Airlines 12% $74.03 $247.97 $1,123.02
via PHX US Airways 4% $69.51 $225.59 $875.92
via DEN United 3% $70.90 $256.04 $743.04
via IAH Continental 2% $127.97 $180.56 $458.27
via MSP Delta 1% $254.37 $382.12 $758.01

ABQ-ATL on DL is showing an 85% Load factor. Fares look to be decent as well - a $298 median fare is higher than ATL-LAX on DL at a $262 for a median fare.

But remember that most of the traffic between ABQ and ATL is connecting traffic, not O&D. Southwest has continuously stated that it wants to focus on O&D out of ATL. You need to look at O&D load factors, not the raw load factor.

[Edited 2012-07-13 10:02:01]
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miaami
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:17 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 11):
But remember that most of the traffic between ABQ and ATL is connecting traffic, not O&D. Southwest has continuously stated that it wants to focus on O&D out of ATL. You need to look at O&D load factors, not the raw load factor.

That may be so, but look at how WN has evolved over the past few years. They have slowly moved the point to point flying to more of a hub and spoke type flying. If ATL is to be a hub for them ala DEN/MDW/BWI I think you will see them pull more of the short haul markets in favor of the longer stage length flights. JMHO.
 
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:21 pm

Quoting miaami (Reply 12):
If ATL is to be a hub for them ala DEN/MDW/BWI I think you will see them pull more of the short haul markets in favor of the longer stage length flights.

How does that follow? Isn't the whole point of a hub that short flights feed long flights? BDL-BWI and LIT-STL aren't putting O&D butts in very many seats.
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:22 pm

I wonder once Wright is completely repealed how it will affect ABQ. During my short stint working for WN in 1999 (wow it's been that long!) ABQ was a key connection point to DAL.
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:10 pm

Quoting iowaman (Reply 7):
As you can see, a lot of the city pairs being cut have low 60's for a load factor. This just doesn't cut it anymore when the resources can be deployed elsewhere.

Makes perfect sense to me. If ti aint making a profit, the route has to go.
 
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:29 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 13):
How does that follow? Isn't the whole point of a hub that short flights feed long flights? BDL-BWI and LIT-STL aren't putting O&D butts in very many seats.

I should have specified that the short haul flights (ABQ-ELP) would be the point to point flights not short haul to hub flights. Where in the past WN may have flown ABQ-ELP-HOU-MCO, now they may overfly ELP to HOU
 
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:44 pm

Quoting miaami (Reply 16):
Where in the past WN may have flown ABQ-ELP-HOU-MCO, now they may overfly ELP to HOU

WN @ ELP offers P2P (nonstops) to AUS, DAL, HOU, LAS, LAX, PHX, SAN, and SAT.

When an El Pasan actually wants Albuquerque, the speed limit is 65 day and 75 night -- and trust me -- *no one* does the speed limit.
 
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:57 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 11):
But remember that most of the traffic between ABQ and ATL is connecting traffic, not O&D. Southwest has continuously stated that it wants to focus on O&D out of ATL. You need to look at O&D load factors, not the raw load factor.

Very good point to consider. Thanks for pointing it out.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 13):
BDL-BWI and LIT-STL aren't putting O&D butts in very many seats.

LIT-STL is about a 5-6 hour drive and is only one flight a day. I'm showing a 64% load factor so I'm sure that flight is in danger as well. For what it's worth fare measure claims there is about 123 O&D passengers a day. BDL appears about the same distance, although traffic can be an issue (I'm not too familiar with Amtrak but maybe that's an option as well between Hartford and Baltimore?). BDL-BWI appears much healthier load wise at 78% and 642 O&D passengers each day.

Quoting mikesairways (Reply 14):
I wonder once Wright is completely repealed how it will affect ABQ.

I'm sure WN will fly DAL-LAS/PHX/LAX at a minimum non-stop, effectively cutting back on passengers on a one-stop through ABQ. This will certainly hurt loads.
 
LAXintl
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:26 pm

No offense to Albuquerque folks, but the place is rather small fries in a big network. ABQ clearly had a place for WN at one time, however with the carrier now having many more large western connection points (PHX, LAS, DEN), the little ABQ bridge has less value.
Give it a few more years and you will likely even had less service when the Wright Amendment is over. ABQ likely will only have some key O&D markets left for WN.

Anyhow, whats the economic climate like – seems to be at one time ABQ held a more important place in America than these days, and city and metro area has been eclipsed by growing cadre of cities that offer more positive micro economic climates.

Anyhow for fun I pulled up the top-20 ABQ O&D markets.
Might be useful reference for the future. None are really that big, with the numbers dropping off fast.

City – PDEW
Phoenix – 773
Dallas – 641
Denver – 635
Los Angeles - 625
Las Vegas – 592
Washington/Baltimore – 557
New York – 415
Chicago – 412
San Francisco – 386
Houston – 381
San Diego - 370
Seattle - 325
Portland – 277
Salt Lake – 209
Boston – 197
Austin - 184
Orlando – 179
San Antonio – 178
Philadelphia - 165
Kansas City – 158
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kgaiflyer
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:39 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 19):
Anyhow, whats the economic climate like – seems to be at one time ABQ held a more important place in America than these days, and city and metro area has been eclipsed by growing cadre of cities that offer more positive micro economic climates.

Good point.

GE Money Bank could have had either ABQ or ELP as a new home -- being only 266 sm apart -- and they took ELP.

Over the years Albuquerque's population had fallen to 546,000. El Paso's population has increased to 650,000.

Albuquerque is an US Air Force town. El Paso is an US Army town.

The Army seems to be winning  
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:40 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 19):
No offense to Albuquerque folks, but the place is rather small fries in a big network. ABQ clearly had a place for WN at one time, however with the carrier now having many more large western connection points (PHX, LAS, DEN), the little ABQ bridge has less value.
Give it a few more years and you will likely even had less service when the Wright Amendment is over. ABQ likely will only have some key O&D markets left for WN.

Anyhow, whats the economic climate like – seems to be at one time ABQ held a more important place in America than these days, and city and metro area has been eclipsed by growing cadre of cities that offer more positive micro economic climates.

Anyhow for fun I pulled up the top-20 ABQ O&D markets.
Might be useful reference for the future. None are really that big, with the numbers dropping off fast.

City – PDEW
Phoenix – 773
Dallas – 641
Denver – 635
Los Angeles - 625
Las Vegas – 592
Washington/Baltimore – 557
New York – 415
Chicago – 412
San Francisco – 386
Houston – 381
San Diego - 370
Seattle - 325
Portland – 277
Salt Lake – 209
Boston – 197
Austin - 184
Orlando – 179
San Antonio – 178
Philadelphia - 165
Kansas City – 158

Atlanta isn't even on this list. I don't see why some seem to think ABQ-ATL would be a viable route for WN, since WN is all about O&D.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 20):
Good point.

GE Money Bank could have had either ABQ or ELP as a new home -- being only 266 sm apart -- and they took ELP.

Over the years Albuquerque's population had fallen to 546,000. El Paso's population has increased to 650,000.

Albuquerque is an US Air Force town. El Paso is an US Army town.

The Army seems to be winning

Albuquerque's population hasn't fallen, it grew by 21.7% from 2000 to 2010, which is greater than the 16.6% growth rate from 1990 to 2000. Albuquerque continues to grow today; just not at the rate that other major southwestern cities are growing.

[Edited 2012-07-13 14:46:05]
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kgaiflyer
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:52 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 21):
Albuquerque's population hasn't fallen, it grew by 21.7% from 2000 to 2010

Sorry about that -- El Pasans are also notoriously rude and obnoxious.

Nevertheless, you still might want to coordinate your data with the "US Statistical Abstract."
 
LAXintl
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:05 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 21):
Atlanta isn't even on this list. I don't see why some seem to think ABQ-ATL would be a viable route for WN, since WN is all about O&D.

Atlanta just fell off the list -- 156 was the count.
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slcdeltarumd11
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:09 pm

For MCO there is some solid o&d but i think WN knows it will keep most of the traffic by making them connect. There is no other carrier they will loose the traffic to offering a non stop and im sure WN has the most FFs in the area already.

I think more than anything this just has to do with wanting to route all traffic thru DEN. Nothing against ABQ it has been performing worse because its no longer needed as a transfer spot that it use to. WN use to transfer alot of people thru ABQ now that traffic is going thru DEN. What ABQ use to be for WN is no longer needed sadly because of DEN. I dont think ABQ did anything or could have prevented this its just the build up of denver.

Its sad and will be bad for the ABQ economy to loose some of the those non stops but i guess its fate. Even a route like SLC which has a carrier will most likely see some fare increases as last minute fares will go up without southwest in the market. I just hope delta brings some mainline equipment back to ABQ-SLC.
 
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:10 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
For a market that is loyal to WN, all of these cuts are surprising.

I suspect ABQ is just the beginning of WN cuts elsewhere in the system. WN has increasingly uncompetitive costs (not just with other airlines but with car traffic) and they have to raise fares which will kill off routes that survive based on heavy stimulation.


WN has a cost problem.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:19 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 25):
WN has increasingly uncompetitive costs (not just with other airlines but with car traffic) and they have to raise fares which will kill off routes that survive based on heavy stimulation.

It's tough to know how many routes this will kill. At least in my part of the country, WN has quite a bit of room to raise prices before they get to what I'll call "legacy pricing territory." Maybe a 20 percent fare increase only cuts traffic by 5 or 10 percent and that's still sustainable. Again, it's hard to know.
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:14 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 19):
Anyhow for fun I pulled up the top-20 ABQ O&D markets.
Might be useful reference for the future. None are really that big, with the numbers dropping off fast.

City – PDEW
Phoenix – 773
Dallas – 641
Denver – 635
Los Angeles - 625
Las Vegas – 592
Washington/Baltimore – 557
New York – 415
Chicago – 412
San Francisco – 386
Houston – 381
San Diego - 370
Seattle - 325
Portland – 277
Salt Lake – 209
Boston – 197
Austin - 184
Orlando – 179
San Antonio – 178
Philadelphia - 165
Kansas City – 158

Thanks forulling those numbers, and just for clarity those are actually both directions combined, not one way. There were not 165 people flying from ABQ to PHL on the average day, but more like 82 or 83.
 
mach2is2slowaz
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:06 pm

Just adding my two cents worth: Driving distance is only 265 miles mostly interstate point to point with a posted speed limit in NM of 75 mph and only about 20 miles limited by Texas speed limit of 70, which as stated almost no one obeys, it takes about +/- 3.5 hours to drive. With est. 25 mpg fuel econ about 10.6 gal of gas is consumed at $2.20 per gallon the cost of driving from ABQ to ELP is about $24 bucks or avg round trip is 7 hrs of driving and $50 bucks of fuel costs. It’s a very easy drive based on the 100 or so times that I have made the trip and one can usually push 80+ mph with no issues from law enforcement which makes it a 3.5 hr easy drive. Economically for a family of 2 or more it is much cheaper to drive point to point. So unless someone has a business need or is making a connection in ABQ from ELP then driving is much cheaper and only takes about an hour and a half more in time to drive vs. flying.
 
iowaman
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:09 pm

Quoting Mach2is2slowAZ (Reply 28):
$2.20 per gallon

If gas is that cheap where you are, I will be visiting with large empty fuel tanks to take back full to Iowa.  
 
HPRamper
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:34 pm

Quoting Mach2is2slowAZ (Reply 28):
With est. 25 mpg fuel econ about 10.6 gal of gas is consumed at $2.20 per gallon the cost of driving from ABQ to ELP is about $24 bucks or avg round trip is 7 hrs of driving and $50 bucks of fuel costs.
Quoting iowaman (Reply 29):
If gas is that cheap where you are, I will be visiting with large empty fuel tanks to take back full to Iowa.

LOL....I think it's off by a dollar. Jet fuel now, maybe...

Gas in Albuquerque is around $3.15-3.20 right now.
 
mach2is2slowaz
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:57 pm

You are right. I missed it by about a buck. Gas Prices in ABQ right now are about $3.10 per gallon (pulled from the web) of reg non premium but it is still cheaper to drive than to fly. ~$32 one way or $66 round trip. Back in the day when one could get $39 dollar flights between ABQ and ELP it was a now brainer to fly. Looking at SWA site booking 21 days out a round trip ticket is $99.60. With that said taking time and transportation to and from the airport I would call it a wash for 1 passenger but for a family of two or more driving is still much cheaper.
 
SANFan
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:16 pm

A bit of good news for a change: ABQ-MCO is returning on the newly-releases Feb 13, 2013 schedule extension. There's a thread on the new schedule
WN 7/16 Schedule Release (by usflyguy Jul 16 2012 in Civil Aviation)

bb
 
hiflyeras
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RE: More WN ABQ Cuts - ELP Axed, STL Going Seasonal

Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:02 pm

Quoting iowaman (Reply 7):
QX is still flying GEG-PDX as far as I know, but you can see they are getting better loads and fares for comparison purposes

Yep, QX flies GEG-PDX up to 6x daily. Would love to see AS start SEA-ABQ...has always been 'on the list'.

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