jplatts
Topic Author
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Future of Southwest at CVG?

Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:15 pm

Southwest has already announced that it will begin nonstops service from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport on June 4th with nonstop service to Chicago Midway and Baltimore from Cincinnati Airport. It seems to me that Southwest will need to add nonstops to some of its destinations west of the Mississippi and cut 1 or 2 of its 5 CVG-MDW nonstops to be successful at CVG.

Here are some of the destinations that Southwest should go to nonstop from CVG: St. Louis, Kansas City, Dallas-Love (if Southwest can manage to squeeze in a DAL-CVG nonstop), Houston-Hobby, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boston.

There are some major cities not served nonstop from CVG that Southwest could go to nonstop from CVG, including Omaha, Wichita, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, San Antonio, Albuquerque, and Portland.

Even though Cincinnati-area customers have long feared that low-cost competitors would be undercut by Delta Air Lines until Frontier and Allegiant entered the Cincinnati market, I have always thought that Southwest could operate Cincinnati to Houston Hobby nonstop service successfully without fearing being undercut by Delta Air Lines since Houston Hobby is 29 miles from Houston Intercontinental Airport, since Houston Hobby is closer to downtown Houston, the Texas Medical Center complex, and Houston's tourist attractions, and since the Delta nonstops between Cincinnati and Houston are to Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Southwest can do well on non-stop service between Cincinnati and Dallas Love Field if it can manage to squeeze in a CVG-DAL nonstop for the following reasons:
1) Cincinnati-area travelers and Dallas-area travellers are willing to travel between Cincinnati and Dallas on airlines other than Delta and American that offer nonstop service between Dallas and Cincinnati. I have been on Frontier flights between DFW-CVG, and some of the Frontier flights that I have been on between DFW-CVG have been full.
2) There is significantly greater demand for Cincinnati-Dallas nonstops today than there was prior to the repeal of the Wright Amendment.
3) If Southwest operates a CVG-DAL nonstop flight, this flight would operate during all 7 days of the week whereas the Frontier CVG-DFW nonstop flight only operates seasonally during only 4 days of the week.
4) CVG-DAL nonstop service would provide Cincinnati-area travelers with access to destinations that Delta Air Lines does not serve, including Amarillo, Lubbock, and Midland/Odessa.
5) It is often cheaper to take nonstop flights between DFW and CVG than it is to travel between DAL and CVG with a connection at Chicago Midway. In addition, the travel time between DAL and CVG is more than double that of nonstop service between Dallas and Cincinnati.
6) Fares on CVG-DAL flights will likely be cheaper if Southwest operates nonstop service between DAL and CVG, especially if Frontier continues to operate DFW-CVG nonstops subsequent to Southwest serving CVG nonstop from DAL.
7) Southwest currently has competitive advantages over American, Delta, and Frontier that would cause some travelers to choose Southwest over its competitors if Southwest chooses to operate DAL-CVG nonstops, including no fees for the 1st and 2nd checked bags on Southwest, no change fees on Southwest, and DAL being closer to downtown Dallas than DFW Airport.
8) If Southwest operates DAL-CVG nonstop flights, Southwest DAL-CVG nonstops would carry passengers that the Delta and Frontier nonstops would not carry, including customers connecting through DAL to HOU, AUS, SAT, AMA, LBB, MAF, PHX, LAS, LAX, and SAN and including some of the DFW-area customers who are loyal to the Southwest brand.
 
phxsanslcpdx
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:36 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:26 pm

A lot will depend, I suspect, on how well the starting routes at CVG do. I think your list of possible cities ranges from likely adds (Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis) to wishful thinking (Wichita, Albuquerque). Keep in mind that Shouthwest is only flying 737s... they need to sell a good amount of seats on each flight in order to operate it.

Love Field is an odd case, where Southwest has a lot of loyalists but other airlines seem to struggle. Southwest doesn't have wiggle-room to squeeze anything else into the DAL schedules, so CVG would need to replace another flight. If Southwest hears from a lot of customers at DAL that they want CVG, then I'd expect to see it added--but otherwise, CVG's really going to have to prove itself as a viable market before Southwest even looks at reallocating DAL gate space.
 
phluser
Posts: 609
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:49 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:44 pm

jplatts wrote:
Southwest has already announced that it will begin nonstops service from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport on June 4th with nonstop service to Chicago Midway and Baltimore from Cincinnati Airport. It seems to me that Southwest will need to add nonstops to some of its destinations west of the Mississippi and cut 1 or 2 of its 5 CVG-MDW nonstops to be successful at CVG.

Here are some of the destinations that Southwest should go to nonstop from CVG: St. Louis, Kansas City, Dallas-Love (if Southwest can manage to squeeze in a DAL-CVG nonstop), Houston-Hobby, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boston.


It's interesting that you included Boston in that list. It's not like the other cities where WN is larger and/or can provide connections. It'd be if a poke in the eye to prevent JetBlue, but other than that, it'd seem largely O&D and have no connection help.

As DAL is constrained, perhaps HOU is the best for linking their Texas base to CVG and vice versa. It'd provide CVG with some connections to So. Cal and LAS, PHX as well.

Currently F9 is on CVG-MCO and DEN which isn't a problem per se, but there would be low fare competition. CVG-FLL is interesting as it would dovetail with WN's needs to build FLL more up, and fortunately B6 and NK aren't on this route. F9 and G4 are but neither have connection hubs at FLL and would seem easier to compete against as they might be unwilling to last long term anyways.
Last edited by phluser on Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
SteveXC500
Posts: 513
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:38 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:46 pm

I think it depends on where WN sees CVG in its entire plan of possible routes. Say they have a list of 1,000 routes to someday add. There is a value (profit?) assigned to each route. When a CVG route moves to the top of the list, it gets added. The real question is, where on the list are those routes.

MSP is my home airport. WN has served MSP for the past 8 years now and is currently up to 9 non-stop, year-round cities once BNA comes on early June. Otherwise, 4 in Florida each winter/mostly Saturdays are also served seasonally. Beyond that, I have a good wish list of cities too.
 
737max8
Posts: 525
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:13 am

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:12 pm

If WN wanted to fly DAL-CVG, I'm pretty confident they could add a flight. There are some season DAL flights that come and go. I feel like they could add 1 flight any time.
The thoughts and opinions expressed in my comments do not represent that of any airline or affiliate.
Flown on: 717 733 734 735 736 737 738 739 7M8 744 744ER 752 753 762 763 772 773ER 788 789 A319/20/21 A332 A333 A343 A359 A388
 
jplatts
Topic Author
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:16 pm

phluser wrote:
jplatts wrote:
Southwest has already announced that it will begin nonstops service from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport on June 4th with nonstop service to Chicago Midway and Baltimore from Cincinnati Airport. It seems to me that Southwest will need to add nonstops to some of its destinations west of the Mississippi and cut 1 or 2 of its 5 CVG-MDW nonstops to be successful at CVG.

Here are some of the destinations that Southwest should go to nonstop from CVG: St. Louis, Kansas City, Dallas-Love (if Southwest can manage to squeeze in a DAL-CVG nonstop), Houston-Hobby, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boston.


It's interesting that you included Boston in that list. It's not like the other cities where WN is larger and/or can provide connections. It'd be if a poke in the eye to prevent JetBlue, but other than that, it'd seem largely O&D and have no connection help.

As DAL is constrained, perhaps HOU is the best for linking their Texas base to CVG and vice versa. It'd provide CVG with some connections to So. Cal and LAS, PHX as well.

Currently F9 is on CVG-MCO and DEN which isn't a problem per se, but there would be low fare competition. CVG-FLL is interesting as it would dovetail with WN's needs to build FLL more up, and fortunately B6 and NK aren't on this route. F9 and G4 are but neither have connection hubs at FLL and would seem easier to compete against as they might be unwilling to last long term anyways.


I was thinking that Southwest might end up adding nonstop service from BOS-CVG if jetBlue does not start service at CVG because Southwest has nonstops from both IND and CMH to Boston and also because some of the Cincinnati-area travelers might already be flying Southwest Airlines to Boston out of IND or CMH.
Last edited by jplatts on Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
jplatts
Topic Author
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:18 pm

phxsanslcpdx wrote:
A lot will depend, I suspect, on how well the starting routes at CVG do. I think your list of possible cities ranges from likely adds (Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis) to wishful thinking (Wichita, Albuquerque). Keep in mind that Shouthwest is only flying 737s... they need to sell a good amount of seats on each flight in order to operate it.

Love Field is an odd case, where Southwest has a lot of loyalists but other airlines seem to struggle. Southwest doesn't have wiggle-room to squeeze anything else into the DAL schedules, so CVG would need to replace another flight. If Southwest hears from a lot of customers at DAL that they want CVG, then I'd expect to see it added--but otherwise, CVG's really going to have to prove itself as a viable market before Southwest even looks at reallocating DAL gate space.


I think that there will be a real need to squeeze in a Southwest nonstop to CVG from DAL if Frontier decides to discontinue DFW-CVG nonstop service or if Delta decides to operate DAL-CVG nonstop service in addition to DFW-CVG nonstop service. There is more demand for Dallas to Cincinnati flights today than was the case three years ago prior to the repeal of the Wright Amendment or the launch of Frontier nonstop service between DFW and CVG.
 
jplatts
Topic Author
Posts: 2766
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:00 pm

phxsanslcpdx wrote:
A lot will depend, I suspect, on how well the starting routes at CVG do. I think your list of possible cities ranges from likely adds (Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis) to wishful thinking (Wichita, Albuquerque). Keep in mind that Shouthwest is only flying 737s... they need to sell a good amount of seats on each flight in order to operate it.

Love Field is an odd case, where Southwest has a lot of loyalists but other airlines seem to struggle. Southwest doesn't have wiggle-room to squeeze anything else into the DAL schedules, so CVG would need to replace another flight. If Southwest hears from a lot of customers at DAL that they want CVG, then I'd expect to see it added--but otherwise, CVG's really going to have to prove itself as a viable market before Southwest even looks at reallocating DAL gate space.


Will Southwest operate nonstop flights from CVG to MCI, STL, TUL, LIT, MEM, and/or BNA that continue on to DAL, and will any of the Southwest nonstops from DAL to MCI, STL, TUL, LIT, MEM, and/or BNA continue on to CVG?
 
phluser
Posts: 609
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:49 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:15 pm

jplatts wrote:
because some of the Cincinnati-area travelers might already be flying Southwest Airlines to Boston out of IND or CMH.


WN might want some of the CVG customers to continue to support CMH-BOS and IND-BOS, while others support CVG-BWI-BOS. I guess it depends on how success of those nonstop flights ex CMH and IND are to BOS. One can check the LFs of those flights and check in Q1, a non peak period. If WN isn't over 70% LF, I wouldn't expect it take the risk on BOS-CVG as it would dilute from CMH and IND. It's likely less riskier to add service another WN hub than start on BOS. CMH-BOS and IND-BOS started as WN has matured in both CMH and IND. CVG has a long way to go.
 
DDR
Posts: 1632
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:09 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:22 pm

I don't think WN will ever fly from CVG to places like TUL, OKC, or ICT. The only service TUL ever had to CVG was 50 seat rj flights on Comair. Most people on the plane were making connections in CVG. I think after Comair went bust no one replaced the flights.
 
User avatar
OzarkD9S
Posts: 5389
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 2:31 am

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:33 pm

WN @ CVG depends on what they want to make of it. Many thought that when WN went into PIT it might turn into one of their connecting centers, same with PHL (and it was for a bit...PVD/MHT-PHL-onward). They could have done the same at CLE after UA's de-hubbing but no. CVG may get up to a 20-30 flight airport for WN, but I don't foresee much more than that (if that).
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
cvgComair
Posts: 2040
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:48 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:35 pm

It can not be reiterated enough that DL will decide the future of WN's services at CVG. WN cannot (and I would venture never will) replace the capacity that DL offers CVG, most importantly the daily CDG flight on a 767. There was a reason WN launched without any Florida routes from CVG, the competition between DL/G4/F9 has already drove prices rock bottom and CVG does not need more capacity on routes like the 5x/day on CVG-MCO, 6x/day on CVG-DEN, 4x/day CVG-LAS, etc.

I think WN's key at CVG will be to lure the smaller business passengers (Not Fortune 500 Companies like GE, P&G, Kroger, 5/3, etc) and add flights that both leisure and business passengers can take advantage of. Based on my knowledge of the Cincinnati market, I think PHX/HOU/BOS/DAL are the most likely adds, with maybe a Florida route and a shorter STL/BNA/MCI flight(s). I don't see WN ever becoming a big player at CVG, currently DL holds a 50% market share, while F9 has ~12%, and G4 has ~10%. CVG is G4's #4 city and F9's #6 city, both of which offer high weekly frequencies to both leisure and recently business routes F9:CVG-MSP/LGA/LAX/SFO, G4:CVG-BWI/EWR/DEN. While WN will pull some of these travelers, G4 and F9 offer 16 and 17 nonstop destinations respectively from CVG, I don't see WN approaching that anytime soon. (DL has 35).

Here is the current G4/F9/DL destination lineup from CVG:

G4: AUS, BWI, DEN, FLL, VPS, JAX, LAS, EWR, MSY, SFB, AZA, PGD, SAV, PIE, MYR, SJU, Charter: CUN, PUJ, MBJ
F9: DEN, FLL, RSW, LAS, LAX, MSP, LGA, MCO, PHX, SAN, SFO, TPA, ATL, CUN, DFW, IAH, PHL
DL: ATL, BOS, DEN, DTW, FLL, LAS, LAX, MCO, CDG, SLC, SFO, TPA, CUN, RSW, MSP, JFK, LGA, SEA, DCA, BWI, CLT, ORD, DFW, XNA, BDL, IAH, MCI, MEM, MKE, BNA, EWR, PHL, RDU, STL, YYZ

Obviously WN moved to CVG from DAY to setup a bigger operation, but I am not sure it will rise above 10-20 flights. CVG is a unique airport in the midwest, being the only "medium-sized" city to still have a US3 carrier with a dominant market share. That is why WN has taken so long to come (CVG has been actively recruiting WN for over a decade!)
Last edited by cvgComair on Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
cvgComair
Posts: 2040
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:48 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:44 pm

jplatts wrote:
Here are some of the destinations that Southwest should go to nonstop from CVG: St. Louis, Kansas City, Dallas-Love (if Southwest can manage to squeeze in a DAL-CVG nonstop), Houston-Hobby, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boston.

There are some major cities not served nonstop from CVG that Southwest could go to nonstop from CVG, including Omaha, Wichita, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, San Antonio, Albuquerque, and Portland.


Here is my evaluation of the cites listed above:

Absolutely: STL, MCI, DAL, HOU, PHX, BOS
Maybe: SAN, MCO, TPA, FLL, DEN, LAS
No Way: LAX (Too much capacity already and a DL hub)

Personally, I think WN at CVG will look very similar to their operation at DTW. Though Detroit is a much bigger city than Cincinnati, its a DL dominated city with a smaller local population (its no LAX/JFK/SEA/etc) and has a lack of Florida/West Coast routes, pretty much exactly what I predict WN will look like in 2-3 years at CVG.

I think G4 will announce a CVG-ABQ route in the near future (similar opportunity to DEN). (This was discussed on another forum)
I think F9 is the best carrier for CVG-PDX/SAT.
DL operated CVG-OMA pretty recently, but its probably not going to happen again. ICT, OKC, and TUL are too much of a stretch for any carrier at this point.
 
izbtmnhd
Posts: 875
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:33 pm

A lot of this is in pie-in-the-sky. When it was announced that WN was going to start CVG people on here were taking about 10-15 destinations. Places like DAL, HOU, OAK. The more measured folks knew Southwest is very slow to expand and always starts small. Sure enough CVG opened only with links to BWI and MDW. Not saying these other destinations aren't possible well into the future but WN has a lot of stations and limited amount of aircraft. The odds that the CVG operation will quickly leapfrog other stations, especially with the presence of the DL mini-hub, is probably not likely.
 
aviationjunky
Posts: 389
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:27 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:19 pm

I honestly don't think SW will hop on the CVG-LAS bandwagon. While they do have dominate stance on the LAS market, I think DL, G4, and F9 have that route covered. STL, MCI, DAL, and BOS are a definite possibility for sure. It will be interesting to see their CVG growth.
LAS is Life
 
User avatar
diverdave
Posts: 690
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:00 am

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:43 pm

izbtmnhd wrote:
A lot of this is in pie-in-the-sky. When it was announced that WN was going to start CVG people on here were taking about 10-15 destinations. Places like DAL, HOU, OAK. The more measured folks knew Southwest is very slow to expand and always starts small. Sure enough CVG opened only with links to BWI and MDW. Not saying these other destinations aren't possible well into the future but WN has a lot of stations and limited amount of aircraft. The odds that the CVG operation will quickly leapfrog other stations, especially with the presence of the DL mini-hub, is probably not likely.


Good analysis. Southwest doesn't make money by launching a slew of loss-making routes.
 
georgiabill
Posts: 1193
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2003 11:53 pm

Re: Future of Southwest at CVG?

Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:53 pm

If and a very big if on CVG to west coast would be CVG-OAK. Not saying WN will not look at CVG-PHX, CVG-SAN, but shear size of their OAK operation would offer many 1 stop options from CVG.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos