TWA85
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Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:25 pm

Hello,

Would or even could AA re-open any of their former Focus Cities (aka BOS and SJC) after emerging from bankruptcy and has their operating cost under control? Yes, AA his established their cornerstone strategy, however there will come a point when AA will only be able to grow so much and will need to look to other markets for future revenue growth. Re-opening the BOS Focus City would provide opportunities for revenue growth as AA has historically been strong in the BOS market and it would help AA regain market share in New England that AA has lost over the past decade. Also re-opening the BOS Focus City provides additional growth opportunities now that the economy in the Silicon Valley has stabilized. Also if AA was to re-open any of their former Focus Cities what would be some ideal routes for them to fly from those Focus Cities?
 
n737aa
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:30 pm

Doubtful....not part of the strategy.

N737AA
 
tommy767
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:44 pm

if US/AA merge some focus cities will be back for sure: BOS and LGA for starters. Large spokes would include PIT, MCO, ALB, BWI etc.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:18 am

Quoting N737AA (Reply 1):
Doubtful....not part of the strategy.

Well their track record hasn't been that great. Whether or not it's been the strategy's fault or not idk, but I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of AA deviating from the cornerstone strategy.

What cities would they re-vamp? If they got a bunch of corporate contracts for BOS, maybe, but I think B6 has invaded already (better for AA just to partner with them like at JFK.) SJC? I think that boat has sailed. SJU? I hope for their sake they don't... can't imagine yields being that great.
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flyby519
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:05 am

AA will domestic codeshare with B6 for any BOS service beyond the token cornerstone city flights.
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flyingcat
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:56 am

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 2):

if US/AA merge some focus cities will be back for sure: BOS and LGA for starters. Large spokes would include PIT, MCO, ALB, BWI etc.

the First two will staty the same doubt they would take on any more destinations.

PIT, MCO, ALB and BW!!?

I'd love to hear your reasoning.
 
jmc1975
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:54 am

Without USAirways, American will wither away into an oblivion.
.......
 
usairways787
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:43 am

Quoting jmc1975 (Reply 6):

I'd love to hear your reasoning into such theory. Please do explain.
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jmc1975
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:26 am

Quoting usairways787 (Reply 7):

I'd love to hear your reasoning into such theory. Please do explain.

Structural weaknesses in the network, a distant 3rd place among piers, no service to TLV, etc. The list goes on & on.
.......
 
AA94
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:34 am

Quoting jmc1975 (Reply 6):
Without USAirways, American will wither away into an oblivion.

Oh, please.

Quoting jmc1975 (Reply 9):
Structural weaknesses in the network, a distant 3rd place among piers, no service to TLV, etc. The list goes on & on.

My response:

- So because they don't serve TLV, that automatically disqualifies them as an airline?
- By what measure are you ranking them third?

 
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Jonathanxxxx
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:02 am

Quoting jmc1975 (Reply 9):

Structural weakness in the network? IMHO if AA'd cost would be lower I bet they're network would be if not the, one of the most profitable around. They'd have 2 fortress hubs, and 3 hubs all in the largest metro areas. Not to mention the fact that all the hubs are placed strategically to handle connections to anywhere (assuming AA has service there). As for as international weakness, in South America they are the largest American carrie, but they are really behind in Africa, a distant third in Asia (but this seems to be improving) and have a nice presence in Europe considering the economy. Just like every other airline, AA has its issues in the network in certain areas.
 
aaway
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:02 am

If you stretch that post-bk planning horizon, it wouldn't surprise me to see AA do something with AUS again. That city, with its growth and, particularly, demographic, have to remain attractive to AA. Despite the shrinkage of its AUS schedule, AA remains a solid #2 in that market.

Obviously should a merger with B6 occur, AUS will be thrust back into 'focus city' status sooner.
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STT757
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:55 am

Two points:

First I think it's very likely AA will be merged into US Airways during their bankruptcy, they will emerge as a new carrier either already combined or in the process of being combined with US Airways.

Second most of their efforts post merger will likely involve "right sizing" hubs, and getting the right aircraft in place for the right routes. As is currently being done at UA this process is going to take a couple years. So probably no major activity or development outside the hubs for a period of a few years.

Developing focus cities is something airlines do when their hubs have matured and they need to find new places to grow.
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SeeTheWorld
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:28 pm

They will be opening up PHL, CLT, DCA, and PHX ... has that?
 
kkephart13
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:58 pm

Quoting SeeTheWorld (Reply 14):
They will be opening up PHL, CLT, DCA, and PHX ... has that?

Do you think they will keep PHL and DCA being AA has JFK?. Not all hubs will survive.
EVERYTHING i type on here, is the opinion of ME and not of any airline/company.
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:19 pm

Quoting kkephart13 (Reply 15):


Do you think they will keep PHL and DCA being AA has JFK?. Not all hubs will survive.

Yes.

JFK is primarily O&D with select connectivity to larger domestic markets. No way will JFK go anywhere.

PHL is the northeast combo hub, lots of O&D plus great domestic connectivity and a good selection of international flights.

DCA is like gold, the preferred biz/gvt airport serving the nation's capitol.

3 different markets and no need to jettison any of them.
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flymia
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:38 pm

Quoting jmc1975 (Reply 9):
Structural weaknesses in the network, a distant 3rd place among piers, no service to TLV, etc. The list goes on & on.

So AA being in 3rd place means the airline in 4th place will save it? And no service to TLV, yes that makes up an airline.

Quoting kkephart13 (Reply 15):

Do you think they will keep PHL and DCA being AA has JFK?. Not all hubs will survive.

As stated already DCA is GOLD, its a money maker airport. People pay a premium to fly into DCA. JFK is slot controlled they can't expand all they want and JFK is heavy O/D. PHL has its own strong O/D market and will be a great reliever for JFK. I know we said in 2000 that STL would be a good reliever for ORD but JFK is not an ORD type hub. With PHL AA/US could focus JFK on O/D and high value markets while PHL will be the connecting hub.

MCO will be a nice spoke:
ORD, JFK, LAX, MIA, DFW, CLT, PHL, DCA, PHX.
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Cubsrule
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:44 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 17):
MCO will be a nice spoke:

. . . but no different than STL or a dozen other airports. It's a testament to the strength of the combined network as much as anything else.
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flyby519
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:19 pm

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 16):
Yes.

JFK is primarily O&D with select connectivity to larger domestic markets. No way will JFK go anywhere.

PHL is the northeast combo hub, lots of O&D plus great domestic connectivity and a good selection of international flights.

DCA is like gold, the preferred biz/gvt airport serving the nation's capitol.

3 different markets and no need to jettison any of them.

No need to jettison any of them, but AA will find a way! (BOS, SJU, STL, RDU, BNA, etc etc))
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jfk777
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:48 pm

Boston has always been big to AA. They have 3 nonstops daily to LAX and nonstops to LHR , it not only flights to ORD and DFW.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:50 pm

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 19):
No need to jettison any of them, but AA will find a way! (BOS, SJU, STL, RDU, BNA, etc etc))

In your opinion, which of those hubs should still be open today and why?
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ASA
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:04 pm

Quoting jmc1975 (Reply 9):
Structural weaknesses in the network, a distant 3rd place among piers, no service to TLV, etc. The list goes on & on.

Holy smokes ... gotta hear this. Would love to hear the TLV qualification part ...  
 
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:09 pm

Quoting jmc1975 (Reply 9):
no service to TLV, etc

Wow, are you serious? I don't like AA that much but I had no idea that not serving one relatively unimportant airport qualifies as a major factor in assessing the quality of a major airline.
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HPRamper
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:53 pm

If ANY focus city is reopened it would be BOS. AA and US are the #2 and #3 carriers there respectively and both have longtime FF bases from their many years of dominance there. It would not take much to get it up and running again. However, this in my opinion would only happen if AA and US merge. If AA goes on alone, BOS stays a spoke.

MCO is a junk yields mecca and I doubt AA wants to butt heads (and waste money) with B6 and WN, et al. so sure, it will be a nice spoke along with about 30 other airports in the country. Not a focus.

SJU will be interesting to see. AA seems to have ceded a lot of ground to B6 at SJU but with both AA and US having decent Caribbean operations and history serving SJU they might make a go of it again.

I state again, if AA stands alone after bk they will not be looking to start a focus city anywhere. They will be streamlined (read: smaller and more efficient) and more concerned with fortifying at the cornerstones.
 
flyby519
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:15 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 21):
In your opinion, which of those hubs should still be open today and why?

Im not saying any of them should still be open, but I was trying to make a point that even though there are logical arguements to keep places like PHL, DCA, PHX, etc it doesnt mean they will survive. AA has made it clear they want to focus on cornerstone cities, and as long as the AMR mgmt team is in charge (as opposed to Parker's people) then it will be that way.

I see PHL following the same fate as BOS in regards to the future at AA/US. Big business markets, good O&D, but neither will be in AA's network long term (10+yrs). PHX and RDU/BNA are similar as well.
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:11 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 24):
If ANY focus city is reopened it would be BOS. AA and US are the #2 and #3 carriers there respectively and both have longtime FF bases from their many years of dominance there

I agree that BOS is the only potential focus city, but I was wondering where they would actually fly to that they don't already?

They would want to stay clear of FL (ex MIA), leave that to B6. It would just be asking to loose money. If people desperately want to fly AA to TPA they can go via CLT or MIA.

DCA, LGA, ORD and LAX would already be served.

At mainline the only two destinations I could think which aren't already served are SFO and SEA. Given that they would be up against UA and AS which are better established on the West Coast I'm not sure how successful those routes would realistically be.

Other than that we would be talking about an RJ operation to the likes of BUF, RIC and RDU. That didn't work out too well for US at LGA (although DL are apparently happy with LGA's performance) and I doubt that they would be too interested in giving it another go given that BOS is generally lower yielding than NYC.
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IrishAyes
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:10 pm

The answer to this thread is most likely no. AA is about as likely to beef up BOS, SJU, RDU, STL whatever as DL is to DFW, CVG, MEM, etc moving forward.

Retrenchment has never been a smart move in the airline industry, especially in markets that have been infiltrated by LCC presence (even with lower cost structure post BK, AA will still have to contend with disadvantages that the other carriers do not have) and where yields are depressed.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 20):
Boston has always been big to AA. They have 3 nonstops daily to LAX and nonstops to LHR , it not only flights to ORD and DFW.

No, it is not. Boston is anything but important to AA anymore. American only serves DFW, MIA, ORD, LAX, JFK and LHR. The Heathrow flight goes down to a SINGLE 757 in the winter, and even more convincing, AA doesn't even serve BOSLGA anymore, and AE has pulled out altogether!

If you checked the number of weekly seats AA flies into BOS in the off-season, you will see that it actually is outranked by DCA, and only slightly ahead of SFO and MCO.

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 24):
If ANY focus city is reopened it would be BOS. AA and US are the #2 and #3 carriers there respectively and both have longtime FF bases from their many years of dominance there. It would not take much to get it up and running again. However, this in my opinion would only happen if AA and US merge. If AA goes on alone, BOS stays a spoke.

American is the #5 carrier in Boston, NOT number 2. It goes B6, US, DL, UA and then AA.

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 24):
SJU will be interesting to see. AA seems to have ceded a lot of ground to B6 at SJU but with both AA and US having decent Caribbean operations and history serving SJU they might make a go of it again.

AA will not even touch SJU. In fact, a US merger renders it even LESS likely to resurface on the focus city radar again.

It is important to remember that the SJU buildup predated the opening of the MIA hub. Post Eastern/MIA hub acquisition in 1989, AA was able re-create the same functions out of MIA, with even better yields/success, far beyond anything SJU was capable of achieving. That is how the story stands today and it is not going to change. With US, CLT will also be another heavy hitter to add to the Latin American/Caribbean focus.

Plus, what value proposition does the weakened Puerto Rican economy add?
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:11 am

Quoting jmc1975 (Reply 9):
Structural weaknesses in the network

Actually I'd argue they have a very strong network just horrible costs, among some other things. If worst came to worst they could retreat to MIA and DFW and be a very powerful airline IMO

Quoting jmc1975 (Reply 9):
a distant 3rd place among piers

Well, "peer" not "pier" and so that means #4, US Airways, is doomed too? They're making money. To quote a woman (that I don't know) "size doesn't always matter"  

Quoting jmc1975 (Reply 9):
no service to TLV

LOL
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STT757
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:41 pm

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 25):
I see PHL following the same fate as BOS in regards to the future at AA/US. Big business markets, good O&D, but neither will be in AA's network long term

US's PHL hub is several times larger than AA and US ever were in their hey days at BOS, PHL is much better positioned geographically between NYC and Washington DC to continue on as a hub. PHL is the sixth largest MSA in the US, BOS is tenth with nearly two million less people than the PHL MSA. For a combined US/AA the relationship between PHL and JFK/LGA will be very similar to UA's EWR and IAD hubs.

PHL would be the main hub in the Northeast for US/AA, similar to EWR. While JFK/LGA would serve a major O&D market, similar to IAD.
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ASA
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:14 pm

AA practically handed over their reign in markets like JFK, BOS, SJU, etc to B6 on a golder platter over the last decade. In fact, jetBlue's amazing growth came at the expense of AA, if you think about it. So, even if AA wants it back, why should B6 allow them? AA's best bet at this point is probably an increased code-share partnership with B6 ...

[Edited 2012-09-15 08:18:50]
 
TSS
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:24 pm

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 22):
Quoting jmc1975 (Reply 9):
no service to TLV, etc

Wow, are you serious? I don't like AA that much but I had no idea that not serving one relatively unimportant airport qualifies as a major factor in assessing the quality of a major airline.

I suppose it's a major factor if TLV is one's home or primary destination airport.
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AA767400
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:43 pm

Quoting TSS (Reply 30):
I suppose it's a major factor if TLV is one's home or primary destination airport.

Correct - But TLV is't the center of the universe. Well, maybe for others it is...   
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n737aa
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:24 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 23):
SJU will be interesting to see. AA seems to have ceded a lot of ground to B6 at SJU but with both AA and US having decent Caribbean operations and history serving SJU they might make a go of it again.

Never going to happen, the investment has been made in MIA

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 26):
AA will not even touch SJU. In fact, a US merger renders it even LESS likely to resurface on the focus city radar again.

It is important to remember that the SJU buildup predated the opening of the MIA hub. Post Eastern/MIA hub acquisition in 1989, AA was able re-create the same functions out of MIA, with even better yields/success, far beyond anything SJU was capable of achieving. That is how the story stands today and it is not going to change. With US, CLT will also be another heavy hitter to add to the Latin American/Caribbean focus.

Plus, what value proposition does the weakened Puerto Rican economy add?

Exactly.

N737AA
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:49 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 28):
PHL is the sixth largest MSA in the US, BOS is tenth with nearly two million less people than the PHL MSA.
Quoting ASA (Reply 29):
AA practically handed over their reign in markets like JFK, BOS, SJU, etc to B6 on a golder platter over the last decade. In fact, jetBlue's amazing growth came at the expense of AA, if you think about it. So, even if AA wants it back, why should B6 allow them? AA's best bet at this point is probably an increased code-share partnership with B6 ...

AA's hub/focus city days at BOS are done. Period. It is a market they will likely never be able to recover unless something extremely drastic happens, and such a scenario is highly unlikely/unimaginable.
confidence is silent. insecurities are loud.
 
AADC10
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RE: Will AA Re-open Any Focus Cities After Exiting BK?

Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:16 pm

Quoting jmc1975 (Reply 8):
Structural weaknesses in the network, a distant 3rd place among piers, no service to TLV, etc. The list goes on & on.
Quoting AA767400 (Reply 31):
Correct - But TLV is't the center of the universe. Well, maybe for others it is...

It is for the poster, who is in Israel. It is just that TLV's revenue potential has been frequently overstated on this board so we tend to look askance at such statements.

AA may or may not re-establish their former focus cities depending on economic conditions. If the economy continues to stagnate or slump, particularly as fuel prices rise, new focus cities are unlikely. When the economic cycle peaks, then all airlines will once again rush in to grab market share. Of course it is also likely that the economy will slump at that point but that is exactly what the airlines have done historically.

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