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wnflyguy
Topic Author
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Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:51 pm

With LGB lacking any potential growth SMF maybe just to the answer to B6 needs for a west coast hub.
If JetBlue is still seriously looking into adding more Mexico markets SMF has one of California highest catchment area for VFR in Mexico.

Also aside from ONT SMF has the most available gates to which the SMF airport would be all to happy to shuffle around to fill B6 needs for a focus city.

Flyguy
My Wings are clipped just another Retired Airline person. The Ultimate Armchair out of the loop airline industry geek. Aloha Mr Hand!
 
FLYKTPA
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:58 pm

I read recently that B6 has no plans for a 7th focus city.
Huge fan of Tampa International Airport
 
keitherson
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:09 pm

It's kind of already a WN focus city. I could see this working. I mean, it's certainly more plausible than other places like Reno.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:28 pm

Well, they don't really have a strong presence there relative to themselves at LGB or WN at SMF so that's working against them. The costs in SMF are I believe a bit on the high side as well. However, I like the idea in principal.
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
Wingtips56
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:47 pm

Yes, the costs at SMF are high, but have come down a bit from the peak of more than $18 per head to the current $15.45. But there is/was an agreement pending that would reduce it to under $14. (source: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transp ... 07238.html) Still high, yes, but better.
It could be interesting. WN is the 800lb gorilla at SMF and probably wouldn't let B6 without a good fight. B6 would really have to develop new or restored markets; some (STL, MCI, HOU) are in the Midwest, which hasn't been a big player for B6 so far.

But, as AA found out at SJC, a West Coast hub didn't work as most West-to-West markets have non-stop service. Why make a connection? Eagle connected a lot of small/commuter markets over SJC but even that was not sustainable. B6 doesn't have a feeder fleet.
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines (Retired). Flight Memory: 181 airports, 92 airlines, 78 a/c types, 403 routes, 58 countries (by air), 6 continents. 1,119,414 passenger miles.

Home airport : CEC
 
flyby519
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:25 pm

There really aren't any good options left for B6 out west. ONT? SMF? LAS? All are mediocre at best and SWA could easily dump capacity on top of their routes. LGB could have been lucrative if they got the FIS, had a more friendly local community, and retained control of most all slots at the airport. It was a good strategy, but is now crumbling.

B6 would be better off building a working relationship with AS, let them handle north-south routes on the west coast while B6 does the same on the east and both can do transcons. Then, of course, they merge several years down the road :stirthepot: :duck:
 
jetbluefan1
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:47 pm

In theory I like SMF, but WN (and maybe even AS) wouldn't allow it.

The unfortunate truth for B6 is that it growth is effectively locked out of the major West Coast markets, at least for the foreseeable future.

flyby519 wrote:
There really aren't any good options left for B6 out west. ONT? SMF? LAS? All are mediocre at best and SWA could easily dump capacity on top of their routes. LGB could have been lucrative if they got the FIS, had a more friendly local community, and retained control of most all slots at the airport. It was a good strategy, but is now crumbling.

B6 would be better off building a working relationship with AS, let them handle north-south routes on the west coast while B6 does the same on the east and both can do transcons. Then, of course, they merge several years down the road :stirthepot: :duck:


Ultimately I see B6 and AS merging, and the combined carrier would be a very strong competitor against the Big 4 with hubs in FLL, NYC, BOS, LAX, SFO, SEA. Give it 10 years, maybe sooner.
 
ASFlyer
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:37 am

jetbluefan1 wrote:
Ultimately I see B6 and AS merging, and the combined carrier would be a very strong competitor against the Big 4 with hubs in FLL, NYC, BOS, LAX, SFO, SEA. Give it 10 years, maybe sooner.


I wish. I can't see the government approving such a merger, but it would create a powerhouse that could actually compete with the likes of AA, UA, DL and WN.
 
flyby519
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:46 am

ASFlyer wrote:
jetbluefan1 wrote:
Ultimately I see B6 and AS merging, and the combined carrier would be a very strong competitor against the Big 4 with hubs in FLL, NYC, BOS, LAX, SFO, SEA. Give it 10 years, maybe sooner.


I wish. I can't see the government approving such a merger, but it would create a powerhouse that could actually compete with the likes of AA, UA, DL and WN.


I can't see how the government could deny it after all of the approvals they gave to create the Big 4. AS/B6 could easily make the case that they can't compete effectively against the big bad carriers because they are too small.
 
wnflyguy
Topic Author
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:01 am

Wingtips56 wrote:
Yes, the costs at SMF are high, but have come down a bit from the peak of more than $18 per head to the current $15.45. But there is/was an agreement pending that would reduce it to under $14. (source: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transp ... 07238.html) Still high, yes, but better.
It could be interesting. WN is the 800lb gorilla at SMF and probably wouldn't let B6 without a good fight. B6 would really have to develop new or restored markets; some (STL, MCI, HOU) are in the Midwest, which hasn't been a big player for B6 so far.

But, as AA found out at SJC, a West Coast hub didn't work as most West-to-West markets have non-stop service. Why make a connection? Eagle connected a lot of small/commuter markets over SJC but even that was not sustainable. B6 doesn't have a feeder fleet.


My thoughts were WN is going to have it's hands full fighting the New AS/VX out west in it's strongest markets.
This might give B6 the opportunity to dump LGB and move to a better location with only one Gorilla to fight off vs 4 in the LA market.
B6 could use E190 to add smaller markets like GEG,BOI EUG,BLI,TUS to feed connections thru SMF.

I personally see WN getting to the point as like they did with FL. If you can't beat them Buy them.
This would help with the future pilot shortage 2020 and beyond.
Flyguy
My Wings are clipped just another Retired Airline person. The Ultimate Armchair out of the loop airline industry geek. Aloha Mr Hand!
 
rlwynn
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:09 am

Who would connect in California to fly to somewhere else in California? Nobody. Connect out east.
I can drive faster than you
 
bfitzflyer
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:11 am

Location wise Sacramento is good for north/south on the west coast. Population of the metro is more or less 2.5 million which isn't bad. i think the biggest obstacle is it just is not outside of the state of California, a huge business market, which means potentially more leisure fares. That said there are not many options on the West Coast at the moment for B6
 
Adipocere
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:26 am

They could make a run for PHX as AA slowly abandons their hub there.
 
Wingtips56
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:41 am

I agree that B6 (or somebody else) could have an opportunity while WN is busy with AS/VX, and may also be tight on expansion while the 733 is retired and the Max's come on to fill the gap.
However (per a couple of other threads running in a.net currently) the E190 is not making B6 very happy at present, with too high a CASM. It could possibly work out West with higher fares than seem to exist in the saturated, cut-throat Florida-East Coast markets. The concept of the SMF hub might work better for OO E170 series operating as AS, AA or UA, with the lower express pay scales and possibly more right-sized aircraft. If B6 is looking for such a hub, they'd be better if they did either open up JetBlue Express with OO or QX under the hood, or codeshare with the existing carriers.

The E190 could be just too big for the smaller markets. I could be wrong though. SMF-BOI already is covered by two carriers, AS/QX and WN (so I don't see room for a third carrier there).
But the others you mention could work if there aren't competing non-stops in the markets such as GEG/EUG/BLI etc. to/from LGB/SNA/ONT/LAS, etc. If B6 would have to greatly undercut other fares in order to push the connections through a hub, then the E190 could really be uneconomical. As could be a thru A320 doing one-stops for that matter.

However, I think there would need to be a stronger SMF O/D load in these markets, to fill the birds, and that may not exist. When ExpressJet tried their own branded flying ,they did operate a bunch of flights connecting SMF to GEG, TUS, OKC and I think others (rusted brain) :) ) AS/QX responded at that point, launching SMF-GEG in blatant competition, but pulled it almost immediately after ExpressJet shut down the branded operation, and were not operating in those same markets as xx-Express. So probably not much O/D market there.

The consideration that may ultimately make SMF a viable hub is as an alternate to hubbing over the Bay Area --SFO in particular -- because of the potential ATC delay factor, but only *IF* there is a need for another hub. As much as a SMF fanboy that I am (Native, and worked there for 25 years), I don't see it. OK, Fan-Old Fart, not boy.
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines (Retired). Flight Memory: 181 airports, 92 airlines, 78 a/c types, 403 routes, 58 countries (by air), 6 continents. 1,119,414 passenger miles.

Home airport : CEC
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:16 am

Unfortunately a lot of people can fly nonstop on the west coast so would eschew a hub routing unless they were extremely loyal, had a lower fare, or were connecting regardless. For people in the PNW, AS and DL are very strong, UA has a lot of the bay area crowd, and WN is no slouch.

Personally, I think B6 would be fine if they abandoned LGB altogether as a hub/focus city and instead just let their west coast markets be fed from the east.
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
CIDFlyer
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:56 pm

Adipocere wrote:
They could make a run for PHX as AA slowly abandons their hub there.


except that AA has shown no signs of abandoning PHX, and has even added routes there.
 
doug_or
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:19 pm

bfitzflyer wrote:
Location wise Sacramento is good for north/south on the west coast.


The problem with this idea (as alluded to by others), is that there is no need for a N/S hub because the cities up north are already so well served. PDX and SEA already have non-stops to every major market, while GEG and BOI have a decent amount of p2p service on WN and OO/QX plus access to hubs in SEA, SFO, and SLC. The smaller communities in the PNW might provide some N/S feed, but I don't think you're going to fill 100 seats on RDM-SMF.
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
afcjets
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:27 pm

keitherson wrote:
It's kind of already a WN focus city. I could see this working. I mean, it's certainly more plausible than other places like Reno.


Almost every city WN flies to is either a hub or a focus city.
 
Noise
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:01 pm

I don't see why B6 "needs" a west coast hub. SAN, LAX, SJC, SFO, PDX, SEA...the entire coast seems to be saturated with the strong presence of all 4 of the Big 4 and now AS as well. B6 might be better off focusing their attention on medium-to-large cities in the Midwest/Mountain region like SLC, LAS and AUS.
 
jetbluefan1
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:00 am

Noise wrote:
I don't see why B6 "needs" a west coast hub. SAN, LAX, SJC, SFO, PDX, SEA...the entire coast seems to be saturated with the strong presence of all 4 of the Big 4 and now AS as well. B6 might be better off focusing their attention on medium-to-large cities in the Midwest/Mountain region like SLC, LAS and AUS.


You are probably right that B6 doesn't "need" a west coast hub. Maybe competitive Mint frequencies back east to JFK/BOS/FLL is all that makes sense for B6, unless and until competitive factors change and capacity restrictions ease on the west coast.

B6 tried a brief focus city at each AUS and SLC and didn't quite succeed. But it's worth noting that B6 connects AUS, SLC, and LAS to most - if not all - of its focus cities.

I think LAS could make sense for B6, but the market is very cyclical. Traffic to LAS dropped off a cliff in 2009, and I would expect the same to happen again if (and when) another recession occurs. LAS does not provide the broad diversity of business, VFR, leisure, and academic traffic that is so prevalent in JFK/BOS/FLL.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:29 pm

How about rounding off service to all cities from their hubs?

If they adequately served Sea Pdx Sjc Oak San Den Slc Phx to JFK BOS LGB and FLL...those few routes with minimal investment would make them look a lot better out west!

Take OAK: 2 to JFK 2 to BOS 5 to LGB 1 to FLL...it starts to look a lot better than it does today.

You cant do that to the smaller cities like SMF, but you can to the larger cities.
 
ucdtim17
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Re: Could SMF become JetBlue new west coast gateway?

Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:57 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
How about rounding off service to all cities from their hubs?

If they adequately served Sea Pdx Sjc Oak San Den Slc Phx to JFK BOS LGB and FLL...those few routes with minimal investment would make them look a lot better out west!

Take OAK: 2 to JFK 2 to BOS 5 to LGB 1 to FLL...it starts to look a lot better than it does today.

You cant do that to the smaller cities like SMF, but you can to the larger cities.


Hopefully they try that. Their service to secondary airports like OAK and SJC was dialed back in favor of focusing on SFO. I don't know how much room they have to grow at SFO now - can't be that much - but their options on the west coast are pretty limited so if they want to grow out here this seems as good an idea as any. With all the consolidation at SFO and LAX in the past ten years, there's got to be potential in providing superior transcon service from airports like OAK and SJC again. The populations and economies of the east and south bay have never been stronger and are only going to grow in future years (*hopefully*)

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