Early Air
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Southwest In 15 Years

Sun Feb 18, 2001 3:21 pm

I was wondering where all of you think Southwest Airlines will be in 15 years from now. I think that they will be pretty much the same as now for ever. I think Southwest may take on a few more cities. One of then needed in New York JFK or La Guardia. However, I think Southwest is done with and major expansions.


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chepos
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Sun Feb 18, 2001 6:08 pm

I doubt you wil ever see Southwest serving La Guardia and JFK . Hopefully one day I might seem them flying to Puerto Rico , as there low fares are badly needed here.
But that us highly improbable.
Chepos
Puerto Rico
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
Guest

RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 5:53 am

look for WN to continue growing by 2 to 3 new cities a year, probably in the northeast and southeast. JFK and LaGuardia are highly unlikely. Deliveries of about 25 aircraft per year will add routes and frequency, mostly to existing cities. Southwest is pretty immune from merger or takeover. The other airline's merger's will make SWA even more sought after in some monopolized markets.
Regards,
squaremile
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 6:26 am

Squaremile is right on target, I think. Supposedly, SWA has 125-150 cities desiring and/or lobbying for service, so even if only half of these were economically viable traffic-wise, that's still alot of domestic growth at 2-3 cities per year. If they ever decide to go "International Lite" and hit Canada, Mexico, or the Carribean, that's even more potential.

In 15 years, their oldest -300s and -500s will also start turning the 30-year old mark, and will probably start getting replaced. Wonder if Boeing till be on the NNG (Next-Next-Generation) 737 by then...

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
We're Nuts
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 6:30 am

Southwest won't go international for a long, long time. Customs would shoot those 20 minute turn-arounds to hell.
Dear moderators: No.
 
VirginA340
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 10:19 am

Puerto Rico is a great for SWA since PAN AM 3 is having no problems or very little and Puerto Ricans have American passports and PR is an American Commonwealth. I hope SWA and JB will follow PA 3's lead into PR and beat AA and it's piracy and high fares. The fares will be even higher after TWA is gone and the only competitor left is CO which flies to SJU out of EWR while AA flys out of JFK-SJU and sometimes EWR as well. I would like SWA to fly into Trenton as well. The last carrier TTN had was Eastwind (all 737 airline) Atlantic City would be another good one as well.
"FUIMUS"
 
redngold
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 10:29 am

I'd also like to see WN serve some of the Northern Plains and Mountain States. Northwest has a lock on most of these places. But I'm just not sure how much service those places can support.

redngold
Up, up and away!
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 10:35 am

SWA might not be too adversely affected by some routes outside of the contigious 48 states. SJU has already been mentioned, and there's also STX in the USVI.

Last time I came out of both Calgary and Toronto, we "pre-cleared" U.S. Customs before we even boarded. On arrival back in the USA, we deplaned into the domestic terminal. Presuming this set-up was available at other Canadian and Mexican airports, it doesn't appear that it would delay SWA ops much, especially since it'd all be on the front-end of the flight, and SWA is now using :20 minute (or longer) turns.

Be interesting to see what happens...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Guest

RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 11:10 am

They go chapter 11 and jetBlue takes over there opperations!!! lol j/j
 
Early Air
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 11:57 am

I could see Southwest growing a lot in the amount of aircraft they own and routes. I can see in a LONG TIME mabye southwest accuring a few 767's or so and conquor Hawaii
 
AmtrakGuy
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 12:06 pm

I see SWA getting RJs to feed the semi hubs all around the country.
Dave
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 1:09 pm

One thing's for sure.....they won't be flying to Wichita, despite the fact that ICT's people have been after SWA for years and years.  Smile

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
redngold
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 1:16 pm

Why not a city in every state? (ex. perhaps Hawaii and Alaska...)
To go with the populist ideology.

redngold
Up, up and away!
 
DSMav8r
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 1:54 pm

I too would love to see WN serve smaller midwestern cities like ICT and DSM. Those cities could at least support MDW, STL, and LAS service. WN has a VERY weak presence in the Great Plains states, only serving the larger cities like MCI and OMA.

Oh well, one can always dream......  Smile
To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
 
Samurai 777
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 1:59 pm

Might it be possible that WN would expand to serve airports in Alaska and even Hawaii? WN wouldn't even need 767s to fly to Hawai'i! Look at Aloha's 737-800 service from Oakland to Hawai'i.

One other question: Tom in NO, why isn't WN going to serve Wichita, KS? There's about a couple hundred thousand people in that city, so that's a market worthy of Southwest.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 2:06 pm

Samurai777: good question, and one that I've been asking for years. I've know airport management people at ICT for years, and they've been asking Herb to serve ICT for many years.

To me it's a no-brainer...extraordinarily high fares exist, a large market area, and it meets the Wright Amendment restrictions for DAL. Of course, SWA doesn't comment on why it won't fly somewhere, but their reasons might include a relative proximity to either OKC, TUL, or MCI (proximity I guess meaning a 3 or 4 hour drive!).

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
DSMav8r
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 2:34 pm

I agree with you Tom... There is no reason why WN shouldn't serve ICT. It is a rather isolated city with a metro area of around 600,000, which is larger than a lot of WN cities, plus extremely high fares. The closest city to ICT with WN service is TUL I believe.

I just don't think WN is interesting in expanding in the midwest, where it may be needed the most.
To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 3:37 pm

Southwest will proably be a bigger and denser version of its present form in 15 years. They'll probably add Canada, Mexico and Caribbean destinations if they can be added without a substantially higher per-pax operating costs than US airports.

Don't look for WN to enter LGA or JFK. They'll probably keep up the 'bracketing' strategy, say Newburgh for New York, Trenton for Philly, and if they go to CA Hamilton for Toronto. Also possibly Rochester MN for Twin Cities as to avoid a direct brawl with NW. (Driving dist 76 miles, a bit far but feasible).

In 15 years, most Americans will probably live within a 120-150 minute drive of a Southwest city. EG Columbia for South Carolina, Richmond for Virginia, Des Moines for Iowa, Milwaukee for east Wisconsin. They will blanket medium-size and less-congested large destinations. And maybe get to Rochester NY and stop making us drive to Buffalo (sorry, I have to mention that).

Which brings up another question I haven't seen discussed at airliners.net: will there be low-fare regional service in the US? ATA now operates "Chicago Express" regional service to SBN and other regional airports with SF3's, and Shuttle America is a free-flying regional with Dash 8s in the Northeast. But no one has created large scale regional low-fare flying yet. I don't know why, perhaps no one has figured out an economic formula for it yet.

If anyone can do it, Southwest can. Say pick one a/c type: CRJS or ERJs, probably ERJ's cause they have a 37 seat model and offer low-end flexibility. Then Southwest could bring its low fares to places like Billings MT, Fargo ND, Charleston WV and Rapid City SD that are far more than a 2-hour drive from any medium-size market WN could serve with 737's. And they could feed WN hubs at IAH, STL, BWI, MDW.

And again all this depends upon whether WN and other large low-fare carriers survive superconsolidation of the mainline carriers. If the supermergers are allowed, Big Air would have the critical mass in individual companies, to try to destroy the icky margin-eating presence of large low-fare carriers.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
philtll
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Mon Feb 19, 2001 3:56 pm

I heard some years ago that fares at ICT are higher in part due to high landing fees (per passenger AND per plane) to pay for the relatively new airport facilities.

For what it's worth, Wichita is roughly equidistant from OKC (160 mi), Tulsa (170 mi), and Kansas City (190 mi).

In addition, I can't see Southwest acquiring anything other than 737s for quite awhile. Doing otherwise would destroy the one-fleet-type ethos. And to address another point raised, the longer-range 737s can reliably serve Hawaii, if they ever choose to go there.
 
Guest

RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 2:10 am

Southwest will enter new markets in the Northeast and Southeast at a rate of 2-3 per year, consistent with the present business model. It needs to do these regions simply because that is where the competition is. (e.g., JetBlue, MetroJet)

After that, in 5-7 years, WN will begin to backfill its route system with cities that were missed in the original expansion into the Midwest and Northwest. I think this includes ICT, MKE and others.

Bismark here we come!
 
Early Air
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 3:24 am

Thank you all very much for participateing in this forum. I would like to get as many opinions as possible. I would still appreciate more people adding their comments.
 
roberson
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 3:50 am

Does anyone predict that WN will be flying to either DEN or COS at some point in the future?
 
flashmeister
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 4:22 am

Southwest's populist strategy? Quite the contrary...

Southwest is not a political movement to serve the masses... they are a business. They don't choose cities based on mercy or popularity, they choose them on a wholly dollar basis.

Case in point: SFO. Those in SFO love Southwest, but SFO doesn't work for them. They lose money there.

Southwest will expand, in their present form, 2-3 cities a year max. I'd be very surprised if they ever did the RJ thing...

Herb doesn't want your heart -- don't make any mistake about it. He wants your wallet, and if it means going through your heart, he'll do it...
 
JetService
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 5:34 am

How about Southwest doing the Midway thing when Dornier-Fairchild puts out those sassy 738JETS. 737s to their current markets, with the 738JETs to new smaller markets that make them $$$. Wouldn't that make for a nice looking fleet?
"Shaddap you!"
 
Guest

RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 6:36 am

SWA has been conspicuous (and quite successful) in avoiding head-to-head combat with Big Air at fortress hubs. As such, I doubt SWA will try to fill any of the DEN capacity in the next ten years.

COS, on the other hand, is a possibility. I believe SWA has avoided COS in the past to keep peace with UAL. But, given UAL's latest cost increases and posturing for a super-merger, I would not be at all surprised to see SWA jump on the opportunity and open COS service this year.

I hope they do...
 
DSMav8r
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 6:47 am

I think one interesting possibility would be Rochester, MN (RST). I read in the Star-Tribune a couple months back that there may be some sort of high-speed rail built between Minneapolis and Rochester. Therefore, RST wants to expand BIG-TIME. RST is really the only airport in the vicinity of MSP that could be used a possible reliever or alternate. STP has always been mentioned before, but STP is anything but a commercial airport. It is your typical small GA airport, with not much room for expansion.

MKE would be a good possibility as well, BUT it is awfully close to MDW... So why not MSN instead?
To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
 
CoAir@IAH
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 7:01 am

I would love to see WN go to MKE...
They could set up a few "shuttle" flights to MDW, a few to Manchester and BWI and then you have to throw in MCI and STL. They could really do a number on Midwest Express, you know?

Don't get me wrong, YX's service is ABOVE and BEYOND most domestic carriers, but there are a lot of people in MKE who would rather pay far less for their ticket and fly out of the Milwaukee airport than have to drive down to Chicago (and this includes both MDW and ORD) for better fares.

just a thought...
 
Early Air
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 1:24 pm

Does anyone think it is possible that SWA will ever get aircraft other than the 737. Who knows, the 737 may be discontinued in a few years. Does anyone know if their are plans to discontinue the 737?
 
Guest

RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 1:31 pm

GRR will have SW in about a year or so... JetBlue also.. I think GRR has a bright future ahead for itself.

 
DSMav8r
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 1:51 pm

I agree, GRR is a very underserved market as of now. But with the way the Grand Rapids metro area is growing now, anything is possible. Grand Rapids is the northern version of Austin, TX.

Do you know if they plan to do any terminal expansions in the near future? I thought they were having a big problem with a lack of available gates...
To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
 
deltaflyertoo
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 2:26 pm

No,

I don't think SW will ever fly anything but the 737. I think 15 years from now they will be double their size, only in the lower 48 states and serving MSP, MKE, CLT, CVG, PIT, MAYBE ATL, SFO again, IAD for sure and maybe EWR. While EWR and ATL are long shots, CVG, PIT and MSP are hubs where their traffic levels are an end result to the banking strategy. Fill those orange birds in the middle of the banks at those low fares and WN is set! I can't tell you how many times I've arrived or departed from CVG, PIT and MSP to be the only one out there in midday! SW could easily get a 20 minute turn in that. Sure, there will be times when weather screws the banks up and then WN will have be number 40 something in line for takeoff, but isn't that threat there at LAX, MSY, IAH too?
 
seven_fifty7
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 2:50 pm

Why are people saying WN will never serve JFK? Is this because of slot-control issues? High fees? I mean, a few years ago I would've thought the same thing about WN avoiding JFK because the airport was so delay-prone back then. But now, JFK is the LEAST delay-prone of NYC's three airports, and can definitely accommodate additional carriers. And yes, I realize that WN likes to avoid the "large hub airports," but JFK is more of an O/D place than a true "hub." And when you think about it, short turn-around times can easily be achieved at JFK. Not to mention that WN would have very little competition to Chicago Midway from JFK (I think only ATA serves MDW from there). They could even throw in something like a MCI or BNA nonstop which, again, does not currently exist with any other carreir at JFK.

You gotta remember that JFK's primary operations are still and will always be O/D international and O/D domestic long haul markets. -(I wouldn't count TWA). I could see Southwest easily flying under the radar (no pun intended) of that type of flying at JFK. JetBlue seems to be doing it quite successfully.

EWR? Forget it. LGA? Never. But JFK? The possibilities seem there, unless slot-controls and landing fees is a big issue.


Of course I'm obviously not a market or operations analyst for WN. I'm only speaking as a casual observer.
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Tue Feb 20, 2001 2:59 pm

Thanks Flashmeister for the reminder that airlines have to make money. Especially since no one on the thread (did I miss someone?) has argued that WN should say "gee, we should find some unprofitable cities to fly to because the people there would like it."  Smile

Of course, if WN ever departed from its low-fare, high-density, slow-expansion model, it would wither and die promptly, as it should. Southwest's business niche in the national aviation system is to make money off of people who would not otherwise fly if they had to pay mainline skyjacking fares. And draw many who would but of course will choose a better and lower-cost product.

Herb's business model presupposes that a healthy, consistent profit can be made off of pax and communities from which high-cost Big Air can only wring a small high-fare business. And from larger communities where airports capable of maintaining a sufficiently fast turnaround, are available.

But the market has no room for another large higher-cost, higher-fare carrier. And WN would rightly wither and die if it became one.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
Early Air
Topic Author
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Wed Feb 21, 2001 2:54 pm

I agree with DCA, if WN left their low fare status they would die.
 
Early Air
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Thu Feb 22, 2001 11:30 am

Do you think boeing will make a next next generation 737, i don't. What would WN do if the 737 were to be discontinued?
 
ti717
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Thu Feb 22, 2001 11:37 am

SWA will keep the 737 line going on forever. In 15 yrs they might place orfers for the 737-1400

TI717
Sir, don't you think we should turn on the runway lights?" "No, that's just what there expecting us to do!"
 
Early Air
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Wed Feb 28, 2001 3:08 pm

I think wn will be around for a very long time.
 
Early Air
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Wed Feb 28, 2001 3:16 pm

Does anyone know if Boeing will make a 737-1000, it sounds kind of strange. Mabye they will just keep makeing the ones they are makeing now.

Rgds,
Early Air
 
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chrisnh
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Wed Feb 28, 2001 8:56 pm

What about Honolulu -- Oakland to compete with Hawaiian Air's 737-700 service? And then an inter-Island service from there?
 
N202PA
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Thu Mar 01, 2001 2:27 am

Hawaiian does not fly HNL-OAK. Aloha does, and also from OGG, both flights continuing to LAS.

WN might try Hawaii in about 50 years, once every other decent-sized market that can support frequent traffic is taken up. But there simply is not enough traffic on interisland runs for Southwest to make any money. Two carriers plying those routes with extremely frequent flights and Southwest-style service in coach is plenty.
 
chiawei
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Thu Mar 01, 2001 2:39 am

May be southwest will fly to HNL as well. It's only a 4-5 hour flight from west coast. HNL can be served via Burbank, LAX, Ontario, Sacramento, Oakland, and San Jose. Since 737 is easier to fill up. This might be a good place to expand.
 
Boeing Nut
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Thu Mar 01, 2001 3:16 am

Here's another 737 question. Can any body fiquire out why Southwest has not placed orders for the 737-800? It has a lower seat-mile cost and that's what Southwest is all about. Isn't it? Lower costs?
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
Guest

RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Thu Mar 01, 2001 3:46 am

There may be a problem with the 738 as it relates to pilot cross-utilization. I could be wrong, but I think that a 732/733 pilot is not type-rated for the 738 whereas he is for Southwest's 73G's.

As for HNL, I do not see it happening. There are just too many good opportunities in the lower 48 to attempt to cram Hawaii into the business plan of high aircraft utilization. First the East Coast and then backfilling into the Midwest (ICT, MKE, COS), why would WN ignore these guaranteed goldmines to go after HNL when such a route is famous for low yields and can destroy aircraft utilization?

BTW, could a 73G make it from BUR with the short runways there? Of course, as we now know, it could fill up at the end of the runway if necessary.  Laugh out loud
 
AV8N2
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Thu Mar 01, 2001 10:18 am

I'm not trying to be a pessimist here, but doesn't anyone else think that the Southwest phenomena might end by then? Remember, SWA's biggest asset is also it's biggest adversary - sole ownership of almost all ac and equipment. As soon a Herb is gone, there is always the chance that the next guy will dismantal it for a GIANT profit! Most of it's shareholders would rather make million/billions doing this...not that it is right! That is why we have no Eastern and countless other ex-airlines. That is why the Big 3 don't strive for that. They keep a specific debt ratio for safety reasons.
I wish them the absolute best, as I have a number of close friends with them, and nobody deserves that kind of an outcome.
Just something to think about!  Big grin
 
AV8N2
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Thu Mar 01, 2001 10:29 am

FYI WN: Ya, it's the same type  Big grin
 
goingboeing
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Thu Mar 01, 2001 11:30 am

Southwest's biggest asset is it's people.
 
redngold
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Thu Mar 01, 2001 11:46 am

As far as I know, WN was at DEN but pulled out because it was being bullied by UA. Since WN's not pulled out of any other markets, I think they'd be shy to try going back into DEN until UA changes something.

About new a/c... Since WN just started receiving its 73G's just within the last two years (?) I think they'll wait before ordering anything else. With reference to a few people suggesting 757s: the 738 is almost as big and would do well for the uniform fleet concept.

oh, Flashmeister: read Nuts!. I don't think Herb could lie for ten chapters about trying to run an airline that's by the people, for the people. Sure he makes money -- but he's invested in it, and so are his employees. They have to do a good job to pay themselves!

redngold
Up, up and away!
 
goingboeing
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Fri Mar 02, 2001 12:11 am

Southwest did serve DEN, but they pulled out not because of any "bullying" by United, but because of the impact of delays on their scheduling (Stapleton wasn't great when the weather turned bad). Will they go back into DIA? Herb has said "When cows fly", so either don't look for them anytime soon...or...look for the newest livery "Bovine One" when service is announced.
 
Greg
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Fri Mar 02, 2001 1:06 am

Southwest won't go for the -800 because the FAA requires one add'l flight attendant for these aircraft. Although, the add'l revenue from the seats would cover the cost of the f/a...it does not fall within the profit multiplier SW uses.
Anyway..they would prefer to offer another frequency instead. Better for business men...and the possibility of more connections.....
 
Boeing Nut
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RE: Southwest In 15 Years

Fri Mar 02, 2001 2:35 am

Greg,

Thanks, that does make sense about the 738.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.

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