RayChuang, CO-F9 does make sense, as you stated. It still won't bring CO anywhere near UA, though. Consider this:
In October 2000, these were the passenger totals for each airline in DEN (total traffic is 3,242,461):
Frontier ... 260,751
Continental ... 77,134
F9+CO ... 337,885
United ... 1,992,886 (Mainline only)
AWAC ... 200,603 (United Express)
Great Lks ... 68,601 (United Express)
Skywest ... 5,234 (United Express)
United Total ... 2,267,324
It gets even worse if you look at Star carriers in general -- that comes to 2,294,900. Star controlled 70.8% of pax.
A combined F9/CO would still only have 10.4% market share.
That's the bad news.
The good news is this:
- F9 flies to 17 of the top 25 markets from DEN including US/UA strongholds Chicago, San Francisco and New York-LGA, and AA/TW strongholds Chicago, Dallas, New York-LGA, and Washington-DCA
- There is no overlap with CO (no F9 flights to IAH/CLE/EWR)
- There are plenty of OnePass holders in DEN from when CO was there before, in the 80s/early 90s, that would love to use their miles
- F9 is popular with locals, and if they could be convinced that CO would offer comparable customer service, it would be a good fit
- Combined market share has increase since last year, with Oct99 combined market share standing at 8.14%.
- No Airbii have been delivered yet (they will be by summer - but on a lease from GECAS), so CO would be able to get out of that order possibly.
They could get F9 for not a lot of money. F9's total market cap is $567 million. Even a 50% premium, which would be high IMHO, would put it at $1B.
CO should look at this... this would be a good thing. They need to move west.