travatl
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2001 4:57 pm

AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Thu May 03, 2001 1:25 am

Thought this was interesting. At a time when practically every other airline is showing decreased profits and decreased load factors, AirTran's revenue passenger miles grew by 28%, load factor was up 7.4 points to 76.4%, and the airline was named Best Low-Fare Airline 2001 by Entrepreneur Magazine.

Apparently the airline is doing something right.

Travis
 
rominato
Posts: 258
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 1999 12:18 pm

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Thu May 03, 2001 1:31 am

Not southwest eh? A possible chink in the armor? Hmmmm...
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Thu May 03, 2001 4:30 am

In the past two years, AirTran has managed a dramatic turnaround in their fortunes. In February of 1999, the airline was on the brink of shutting down, go as far as to laying off workers. Fortunately, the company was able to survive that month because there were not any problems that would have affected operations which would have led to a shutdown. Bringing Joe Leonard on as CEO was effectively the move that helped change the company. At the time of his arrivial, the airline was in shambles. Flights delayed even when other airlines were operating normally; a fleet of aircraft that were getting up in age; a large debt service due in 2 years; new aircraft scheduled to be delivered, but no way to pay for them; and a workforce organizing a unionization effort. After surviving a perilious month of February, things began to look up. The springtime brought increased loads, new service was launched, and plans for future growth began to take shape. By the end of 1999, the airline had managed to take delivery on the first of 50 717s on order, and had expanded capacity at their Atlanta hub. The year 2000 brought a lot of changes in the industry. Mergers and buyout offers were tendered throughout the industry, and even AirTran was inquiring about purchasing TWA. With more 717s in the fleet, the costs of fuel and for maintenence were beginning to come down, giving the company more money on their bottomline. The unionization attempt failed, and the company grew some more, including international flight to Freeport. As the fuel prices rose, the company began to hedge their fuel, helping save more money in addition to the fuel efficient fleet. As the economy began to swing downwards, many business passengers have had to reconsider their flight plans. No more business class on Delta or one of the majors say their bosses, so low-fare airlines like AirTran get their business. And add to this the labor troubles at many of the major airlines meant that some passengers decided to change airlines. AirTran is one of the few airlines in the last quarter to actually post a profit (nearly 2 years of profitable quarters for AirTran). Their fuel savings and their hedging are quite possibly the key to their profits. As for Southwest having a chink in their armor; there is one once Herb steps down.
 
Guest

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Thu May 03, 2001 6:45 am

AirTran is doing many things right. I have found their 717's to be very clean. They have excellent inflight service. Cheap Fares. Great Employees. Airtran is on to something good.
 
VirginA340
Posts: 2556
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:35 pm

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Thu May 03, 2001 7:39 am

I hope Air Tran sticks it to DL and their high fares over at ATL. Air Tran is here to stay and I hope that they take the # one spot. I sure hope to see them in the Carribbean really soon like Puerto Rico, Jamaca or even the Bahamas. With their ever growing fleet of 717s. It can be done.
"FUIMUS"
 
wilcharl
Posts: 1156
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:19 am

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Thu May 03, 2001 9:40 am

Hey VirginA340

Airtran is the only airline to fly Atlanta-Freeport Grand Bahama island.
 
VirginA340
Posts: 2556
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:35 pm

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Thu May 03, 2001 2:57 pm

Wilcharl; Thanks for telling me that part. I did not know until you told me. Do they service the route with a 717? Hope to see them fly to Puerto Rico soon. I can see them doing a EWR-SJU or a LGA-SJU both via ATL of course.
"FUIMUS"
 
wilcharl
Posts: 1156
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:19 am

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Thu May 03, 2001 3:01 pm

Yeah freeport is one flight a day with the 717 its beautiful down there, they have a partnership of sorts witht the Our Lucaya resort, whcih is just great.
 
Guest

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Thu May 03, 2001 6:06 pm

Wilcharl/me/travatl/anyone who knows: Is it true that FL is getting the four new gates currently being built at the end of the D terminal in PHL?
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3894
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Thu May 03, 2001 11:37 pm

AirTran's hard-earned and laudable success has less to do with any "chink in Southwest's armor," than the fact that the airlines occupy very profitable parallel universes.

Atlanta is just the kind of airport Southwest avoids--a fortress hub for a major airline, with related congestion (though admittedly not as severe as say LGA or EWR congestion). Also, AirTran serves many medium-size cities overlooked by Southwest (TOL, CAK, DAY, Flint). Even many major airports served by AirTran aren't on WN's map--LGA, PIT, PHL, BOS.

AirTran's relationship to Southwest is much like JetBlue's relationship to Southwest. JetBlue too is a well-managed airline based at an airport Southwest is unlikely to serve (JFK), flying to cities overlooked by WN (ROC, SYR, BTV).

All three airlines' route maps will gradually overlap more and they will compete some as they grow. But the fundamental structure of all three airlines suggests that they can all prosper handsomely without ever really really posing a threat to each other. Rather, Southwest, JetBlue and AirTran will continue to compete primarilywith (and IMO completely outclass) the "Six Families" or "La Aerea Nostra" high-cost oligopoly carriers.

Note to AirTran and Southwest: Please come to Rochester and stop making us drive to Buffalo. We're a healthy mid-size market, much stronger economically than Buffalo, quite capable of supporting our own low-fare service. As JetBlue is proving in profitable spades.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
travatl
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2001 4:57 pm

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Fri May 04, 2001 2:00 am

Lowfareair -

Yes, AirTran is getting all four gates at end of D concourse in PHL, and very soon will be contracting out the ramp to a local underwing service provider. Currently using United ramp personnel...but because of growth, is hendering operation. (United obviously has to priortize their aircraft over AirTran's).

Also, FL getting two additional gates at PIT, and supposed to begin PIT-PHL service (4 flts a day) in July.

Also, with regard to DCA (AirTran has been attempting to get gates/slots there for the past 18 months), am hearing that is prob going to be a no go....so new focus cities will be BOTH PHL and PIT.

According to 1st Quarter Conference Call....only one new city for 2001 (rumored considerations are Toronto or Tulsa)....but lots of new flying between current cities, and beefing up flights in business markets to ATL(i.e. MDW-ATL going to 11 daily roundtrips 03JUN- look for similar increases in DFW, HOU, IAD, and EWR). No growth until mid/late summer due to current pilot shortage, but should be alleviated when 717 sims come on line in both MIA and ATL.

Travis
 
wilcharl
Posts: 1156
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 11:19 am

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Fri May 04, 2001 5:23 am

with minimul competion among the low fare carriers, imagine a total code share or alliance among them... if only it could happen.. Spirit's access to ORD, Midway's access to DCA, Frontier. FL, WN etc... just imagine if it could happen.. i know im dreaming. but lets look @ MCO where Airtran Soutwest, Jetblue Suncountry Spriit and Midway all are next to each other on the same conocurse.... Fortress northeast would topple down
 
exusair
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 12:15 am

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Fri May 04, 2001 5:47 am

Good for AirTran. I don't see them seriously killing DL in any of those markets. There is plenty of room for both carriers. DL will expand the accesibility of discounted fares as the economy continues to cool off. DL costs are comperable to AirTran at roughly 9 cents a mile. I wish AirTran the best, but I wish they would expand out west. Frontier seems to be quite content with its performance in the ATL-DEN market.

As far as ATL local passengers, AirTran may stand to benefit the the retiming of some DL flights. FL may offer a flight that leaves at a more disirable time compared to DL.
 
me
Posts: 220
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2000 4:57 am

RE: AirTran Airways Named Best Low-Fare Airline

Sat May 05, 2001 1:45 am

In ATL AirTran flights are scheduled around Delta pushes, for obvious reasons.