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Metrojet,DL Express, UA Shuttle

Wed Feb 21, 2001 10:03 am


A couple of questions for those who know:

1) Of these three, Metrojet, Delta Express, and United Shuttle, which has held Southwest in check the best? And which of these has not had the impact expected?

2)Why no AA or NW lower fare version?

3)Why did Continental Lite fail so miserably?

4)With British Airways selling GO, and Air Canada deciding not to offer a lower fare version, is this concept of the majors running a lower fare version something that we will see ending in the near future?

I'm not familiar with the lower fare versions of the majors, so I hope some of you can share some of your knowledge here.



RE: Metrojet,DL Express, UA Shuttle

Wed Feb 21, 2001 10:13 am

In ALB we had just Delta Express & MetroJet two years ago until Southwest came along. Then in Nov 2000, Delta Express pulled out sending it's operations down to JFK. Now it is just Southwest and MetroJet competing with each other for MCO with Southwest having the advantage with three daily non-stop flights versus one with MetroJet and Southwest is using new 737NGs versus 737-200s with MetroJet.
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RE: Metrojet,DL Express, UA Shuttle

Wed Feb 21, 2001 11:43 am

Not a whole lot sure to the answers to all the questions, but here is what I know.

The reason AA and NW never started a low fare unit was because they never competed head to head with a low fare carrier on a lot of its routes. USAir, Delta and United all operated mainline operations at high fares and VERY high cost structures where SW moved in. They had to spin low fare carriers off in order to compete. As for CA, SW and Shuttle now coexist happily. In the begining it was an all out war between SW and Shuttle, but then Shuttle realigned flights to feed SFO and LAX and not try to be everything, everywhere in CA like Southwest I guess, yes, that anwswers that one, SW won CA, UAL at one time was everything in CA and I guess it isn't now.

COLite failed because there was no organized strategy behind it. I.E. Continental never went out and dedicated a fleet of say, 737-200s at just EWR and made them "Lite". Instead CO launched Lite on a variety of different aircraft and deployed them on random routes all over the country, SFO/OAK to DEN, DEN-ORD, EWR-DCA, so there was no clear line between mainline CO and the Lite operation like there is between Shuttle and UAL. In the end, Lite was not efficient, was not catching on w/ the public and was cannibalizing CO's own mainline.

Hope this info helps.
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RE: Metrojet,DL Express, UA Shuttle

Wed Feb 21, 2001 11:50 am

CO's idea of a low-fare competition to WN was to take out the business seats and install more coach seats in its place. It sounds alright if they filled up the plane, but they didn't. Also, people associated dirty Lite flights with mainline CO flights and it was having a detrimental effect on its image. It's not that CO had a squeeky clean image when CO Lite was around- it was probably the worst carrier in US. But the image of CO Lite was worse than that of mainline CO- hard to believe, but is true nevertheless.

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