usflyguy
Topic Author
Posts: 1727
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WN in CA recap

Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:00 pm

With the recent announcement of LGB-SMF service, WN has added quite a bit of service in CA recently.

LGB-SMF
SFO-PDX (3x daily)
SJC-PDX (up to 5x daily)
SAN-BOI
SAN-SLC
SAN-IND
SAN-EWR
SAN-GEG
OAK-EWR

What additional flights do we see coming to the CA market in the next year or two?

LAX-FLL, SAN-FLL, OAK-FLL?
SFO-HOU?
SFO-BWI?

SMF/SAN - PVR/SJD/CUN?
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
phluser
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Re: WN in CA recap

Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:26 pm

SAN-EWR is summer seasonal only. It did add SJC-BWI and OAK-BWI and both are year round and 1x daily a piece, with OAK-BWI up to 2x daily in the summer season. Their Bay Area - BWI bracket reminds me of their MHT/PVD - BWI/PHL/MDW/Florida (pre BOS) bracket from several years ago. It will be interesting if it adds SFO-BWI 1x daily as well. Basically a totally different strategy than AA that just runs all their PHL - Bay Area flights into SFO, and similarly DL from DTW.
Last edited by phluser on Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
ericm2031
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Re: WN in CA recap

Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:30 pm

SAN-SJD has been announced already

And hasn't SJC-PDX been around for a long time now?

Also have SJC-RNO coming back in June.
 
ucdtim17
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Re: WN in CA recap

Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:39 pm

ericm2031 wrote:
And hasn't SJC-PDX been around for a long time now?


I think they went 4x to 5x recently (or will soon). Lots of $63/$66 fares on that route for AS through summer.
 
INFINITI329
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Re: WN in CA recap

Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:52 pm

I'm surprised why WN doesn't serve LAX- SEA
 
32andBelow
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Re: WN in CA recap

Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:07 pm

INFINITI329 wrote:
I'm surprised why WN doesn't serve LAX- SEA

The route is extremely saturated.
 
SurfandSnow
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Re: WN in CA recap

Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:32 pm

It seems like good news throughout California these days, from the big boys like SAN and SFO to the little guys like SBD and SBP. As a casual guy who loves to travel living in West Hollywood (about halfway between BUR and LAX) WN is the airline I fly most frequently. LAX seems to be nothing but problems these days, so I am particularly excited that the airline has been expanding from the alternate airports. I can't ever seem to figure out what WN will do next, but I've listed some ideas below. I'm not as familiar with the Northern California market, so I'll stick with suggestions concerning my neck of the woods. I even think opening entirely new stations like FAT, PSP and SBA could be possible now that WN's business model is more amenable to smaller markets.
BUR-MDW
BUR-RNO
FAT-DAL
FAT-LAS
FAT-PHX
LAX-FLL
LAX-MCO
LAX-PHL
LAX-TPA
LGB-MDW
ONT-HOU
ONT-SFO
ONT-SJD
PSP-DAL
PSP-LAS
PSP-OAK
PSP-SJC
SAN-FLL
SAN-PHL
SAN-RDU
SAN-TPA
SBA-LAS
SBA-OAK
SBA-SJC
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
 
flyfresno
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:25 am

SurfandSnow wrote:
FAT-DAL


FAT-DAL? Ha! MDW would be first, but both are very very doubtful. LAS and PHX *are* much, much more likely. SAN, SNA, DEN, SEA the next possible choices after those...
 
nine4nine
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:02 am

Since B6 has proven a transcon from BUR can work, any chance of seeing BUR-EWR, BUR-MDW, or BUR-BWI?
717 727 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 742 748 752 753 762 763 772 773 DC9 MD80/88/90 DC10 319 320 321 332 333 CS100 CRJ200 Q400 E175 E190 ERJ145 EMB120
 
gregn21
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:02 am

How about LAX/SNA-EWR?
 
phluser
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:06 am

nine4nine wrote:
Since B6 has proven a transcon from BUR can work



Not to discredit B6's flight, but part of B6's alternate west coast airport-JFK service (but only run them 1x daily, as red-eyes) is strategy for B6 to hold slots at JFK and maximize fleet utilization. If WN can start red-eyes, then it might open the opportunity for flights it likely wouldn't otherwise offer. I'd guess MDW and BWI would come way before EWR as atleast MDW and BWI can offer some connections.
Last edited by phluser on Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
jplatts
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:06 am

Southwest has opportunities to expand both domestically and internationally from Houston Hobby, including destinations in California that Southwest does not currently serve nonstop from Houston Hobby. Southwest does not currently operate nonstops from Houston Hobby to Sacramento, San Francisco Int'l, San Jose, Burbank, or Ontario. Southwest has opportunities to add nonstops from Houston Hobby to these 5 California destinations.
 
jplatts
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:30 am

Southwest has opportunities to add nonstops from San Francisco Int'l to Albuquerque, Austin, Baltimore, Houston-Hobby, Ontario, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. Southwest operates nonstops from Oakland International Airport to all 7 of these destinations, but adding nonstops to SFO would provide travelers going to the San Francisco Bay Area with additional choices.
 
airliner371
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:11 am

gregn21 wrote:
How about LAX/SNA-EWR?

You can certainly debate whether its worth entering the blood bath but I really think WN should enter the market with 2 or 3 daily LAX-EWR flights. If they want to be California's airline of choice, they need to operate this route.
 
ucdtim17
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:16 am

jplatts wrote:
Southwest has opportunities to add nonstops from San Francisco Int'l to Albuquerque, Austin, Baltimore, Houston-Hobby, Ontario, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. Southwest operates nonstops from Oakland International Airport to all 7 of these destinations, but adding nonstops to SFO would provide travelers going to the San Francisco Bay Area with additional choices.


Do they have gate space to expand much more at SFO?

I hope the OAK-EWR flight can be made permanent soon. When they add redeyes, that (and OAK-BWI) would be a good candidate for a second frequency.
 
mtnwest1979
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:24 am

The only places I would even think have a chance from Fresno (which as a WN city I would place very low) would be PHX and/or DEN.
SEA would be a waste.LAS too close and assume lower yielding than PHX, with connections to basically same cities. Also, don't think SAN could support enough trips to make it desirable to customers.
As for Fresno itself, I don't think the area has enough viable population to make it very worthwhile for Southwest to try. I believe there are better and lucrative places to explore first.
Have lived in San Joaquin Valley before and know what the area was like then, and know that it has grown, but overall, IMO it is not a wonderfully prosperous area.
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
jplatts
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:46 am

Southwest has considered expanding from the contiguous U.S. to both Alaska and Hawaii. If Southwest ends up expanding service to Alaska or Hawaii, would Southwest operate nonstops from California to Hawaii? If so, which California airports would Southwest operate nonstops to Alaska and Hawaii?
 
airliner371
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:56 am

jplatts wrote:
Southwest has considered expanding from the contiguous U.S. to both Alaska and Hawaii. If Southwest ends up expanding service to Alaska or Hawaii, would Southwest operate nonstops from California to Hawaii? If so, which California airports would Southwest operate nonstops to Alaska and Hawaii?

LAX, SAN, OAK and/or SJC.
 
wnflyguy
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:12 am

I wouldn't be surprised in the future to actually see STS get LUV jet service to LAS and LAX.

Nobody thought LGB would ever happen.

Flyguy
my post are my opinion only and not those of southwest airlines and or airtran airlines.
 
flyfresno
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:32 am

mtnwest1979 wrote:
The only places I would even think have a chance from Fresno (which as a WN city I would place very low) would be PHX and/or DEN.
SEA would be a waste.LAS too close and assume lower yielding than PHX, with connections to basically same cities. Also, don't think SAN could support enough trips to make it desirable to customers.
As for Fresno itself, I don't think the area has enough viable population to make it very worthwhile for Southwest to try. I believe there are better and lucrative places to explore first.
Have lived in San Joaquin Valley before and know what the area was like then, and know that it has grown, but overall, IMO it is not a wonderfully prosperous area.


Being as:

1) LAS was, for years, the top destination out of FAT, with more than double the current passenger numbers, including express service on UA and mainline flights on US Airways.
2) LAS is still one of the top O&D destinations out of FAT and one of the top overall vacation cities for people from the Fresno area to visit.
3) LAS is not "close" to FAT by any other means of transportation than airplane (6+ hours driving, 10+ hours train/bus).
4) Many people have completely sworn off Allegiant based on their terrible on-time and completion record, and even with that, they can still support 8X a week in the winter and 9-10X per week in the summer.

I would have to completely disagree with your assessment. LAS would be the #1 choice for SWA out of Fresno...lots of O&D traffic and lots of connection options. PHX has a good number of O&D and lots of connections, and I think it would be a close second, but LAS would be #1 for sure.
 
ericm2031
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:28 am

Is there an "official" list of WN focus cities that WN publishes? Last I heard it was around 15. I was looking on Wikipedia, and know it's not always accurate, but I counted 20. PHX, LAX, OAK, SNA, SMF, SAN, SJC, DEN, FLL, MCO, TPA, ATL, MDW, BWI, STL, LAS, BNA, AUS, DAL, HOU. I did not realize SMF was considered a focus (if it actually is), despite knowing it had about 70 daily flights, but mostly intra-CA. The fact they used their very few LGB slots to go to SMF (as well as all the other recent adds) is a good sign...it also provides some quick direct connections to SEA/PDX.

I think redeyes will definitely open up some opportunity for WN to hold their ground in CA. There are definitely some hardcore WN fliers in CA that deviate away from them when having to go transcon, just to nab a non-stop or to be able to take a redeye. Redeyes will allow them to cater to these people, using their already highly utilized planes during their downtime. Once the classics are retired, they have an aggressive delivery schedule from Boeing. And with 73G's not in high demand from other carriers and a mostly owned fleet, they have lots of opportunity to grow. I just hope they don't let their shareholders slow down their opportunities.
 
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LoftleidirDC8
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:19 am

SFO is going to stay status quo until the rebuild of T1 is complete. The "new" gates they are currently using feel even smaller than the ones they just vacated. The hold rooms etc are shiny new but still cramped.
 
dfwjim1
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:33 pm

flyfresno wrote:
SurfandSnow wrote:
FAT-DAL


FAT-DAL? Ha! MDW would be first, but both are very very doubtful. LAS and PHX *are* much, much more likely. SAN, SNA, DEN, SEA the next possible choices after those...


Kind of surprised that WN has not yet started FAT as it seems like Fresno and the surrounding metro area would be a good choice for them.
 
jplatts
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:40 pm

Southwest has opportunities to add nonstops from Oakland to San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. There are currently no nonstop flights from Memphis to the San Francisco Bay Area, but the other 8 destinations are served nonstop from SFO. Will Southwest add nonstops from OAK to these markets?
 
MIflyer12
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:24 pm

jplatts wrote:
Southwest has opportunities to add nonstops from Oakland to San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. There are currently no nonstop flights from Memphis to the San Francisco Bay Area, but the other 8 destinations are served nonstop from SFO. Will Southwest add nonstops from OAK to these markets?


UA (with its SFO hub) doesn't fly MEM-SFO. DL doesn't fly MEM-SFO -- It was off/on from 2010 in the multiple stages of cuts in the draw-down the the former ~200-flight hub. That should tell you something about the viability of a MEM-Bay Area flight. IND-OAK? I hope you're kidding.
 
phluser
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:25 pm

mtnwest1979 wrote:
Also, don't think SAN could support enough trips to make it desirable to customers.


Would there not be enough O&D to make atleast 2x daily work? Keep in mind, WN's power to stimulate the market and it's intra-CA which is the bedrock of their business over there.

Basically, if WN started FAT, I'd guess LAS of course, but SAN, maybe, as it's is far enough by drive and large enough and important enough of a WN station for more intra CA business against AS. For a FAT customer, they might even support connections, e.g. like FAT-SAN-BWI even though it's quite indirect, because of Southwest's generous change fee and bag fee policies, and likely limited choices or high fares on other carriers anyways out of FAT.

jplatts wrote:
Southwest has opportunities to add nonstops from Oakland to San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. There are currently no nonstop flights from Memphis to the San Francisco Bay Area, but the other 8 destinations are served nonstop from SFO. Will Southwest add nonstops from OAK to these markets?


WN flies MKE-SFO (inherited from AirTran). If it does add MKE-OAK, it's a switch-over, to optimize SFO gates for more strategic markets. e.g. ATL-SFO was cut in favor of DAL-SFO, while ATL was given a token OAK flight instead. :smile:
 
jplatts
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:59 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
jplatts wrote:
Southwest has opportunities to add nonstops from Oakland to San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. There are currently no nonstop flights from Memphis to the San Francisco Bay Area, but the other 8 destinations are served nonstop from SFO. Will Southwest add nonstops from OAK to these markets?


UA (with its SFO hub) doesn't fly MEM-SFO. DL doesn't fly MEM-SFO -- It was off/on from 2010 in the multiple stages of cuts in the draw-down the the former ~200-flight hub. That should tell you something about the viability of a MEM-Bay Area flight. IND-OAK? I hope you're kidding.


Memphis is the second-largest city in the U.S. that does not have any nonstop flights to any of the San Francisco Bay Area airports, after Jacksonville, FL. The Memphis metropolitan area is also the 4th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. that does not have any nonstop service to any of the San Francisco Bay Area airports, after the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, Providence metropolitan area, and Jacksonville, FL metropolitan area.
 
ucdtim17
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:27 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
IND-OAK? I hope you're kidding.


They fly OAK-CMH. Similar sized metros and one state farther. Why is IND so implausible?
 
ericm2031
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:45 pm

ucdtim17 wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
IND-OAK? I hope you're kidding.


They fly OAK-CMH. Similar sized metros and one state farther. Why is IND so implausible?


I agree. UA flies it from SFO so OAK is definitely a possibility. Plus WN can connect on both ends while UA would likely only connect on the SFO end.
 
phxsanslcpdx
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:10 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
SurfandSnow wrote:
FAT-DAL


FAT-DAL? Ha! MDW would be first, but both are very very doubtful. LAS and PHX *are* much, much more likely. SAN, SNA, DEN, SEA the next possible choices after those...


Kind of surprised that WN has not yet started FAT as it seems like Fresno and the surrounding metro area would be a good choice for them.


FAT's just a hard destination to fit into WN's current strategy/route map. Strategically, they want to solidify their hold on market share in primary California markets while keeping competitors at bay. LGB does this perfectly--leverage their current strength in the neighborhood for mostly intra-California flying while denying slots to JetBlue. Fresno's much harder--there essentially zero Southwest loyalists in FAT's main catchment area, and very few people living between FAT and a current WN station who would appreciate another access option at FAT. Intra-California flying is constrained: Sacramento and the Bay Area are close enough that people are more likely to drive; the LA Basin is a bit more of a drive, but still reasonable driving distance, and LAX would mean going up against both AA and UA. So intra-California would be basically San Diego (where Alaska already has loyalty, market share, and better-sized planes to match the market) and maybe SNA (where slot constraints would mean sacrificing another destination). LAS and other big connecting points east would be feasible, but adding one more spoke to the WN network just isn't that high a strategic priority, and there are likely other spokes out there that might make more sense.

Barring a hefty, Wichita-style subsidy (which would anger and maybe drive away current carriers), I don't see WN heading to FAT in the near term.
 
flyingcat
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:30 pm

gregn21 wrote:
How about LAX/SNA-EWR?


Southwest does not operate any traditional transcon pair, other than BWI and the odd EWRSAN and EWROAK. It would be a huge shift in strategy to enter this market
 
WN732
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:45 pm

phxsanslcpdx wrote:
dfwjim1 wrote:
flyfresno wrote:

FAT-DAL? Ha! MDW would be first, but both are very very doubtful. LAS and PHX *are* much, much more likely. SAN, SNA, DEN, SEA the next possible choices after those...


Kind of surprised that WN has not yet started FAT as it seems like Fresno and the surrounding metro area would be a good choice for them.


FAT's just a hard destination to fit into WN's current strategy/route map. Strategically, they want to solidify their hold on market share in primary California markets while keeping competitors at bay. LGB does this perfectly--leverage their current strength in the neighborhood for mostly intra-California flying while denying slots to JetBlue. Fresno's much harder--there essentially zero Southwest loyalists in FAT's main catchment area, and very few people living between FAT and a current WN station who would appreciate another access option at FAT. Intra-California flying is constrained: Sacramento and the Bay Area are close enough that people are more likely to drive; the LA Basin is a bit more of a drive, but still reasonable driving distance, and LAX would mean going up against both AA and UA. So intra-California would be basically San Diego (where Alaska already has loyalty, market share, and better-sized planes to match the market) and maybe SNA (where slot constraints would mean sacrificing another destination). LAS and other big connecting points east would be feasible, but adding one more spoke to the WN network just isn't that high a strategic priority, and there are likely other spokes out there that might make more sense.

Barring a hefty, Wichita-style subsidy (which would anger and maybe drive away current carriers), I don't see WN heading to FAT in the near term.


I have done the drive and it's rough. I know other people that do it as well. I think they could make it work, but it would take a little time.
 
flyfresno
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Re: WN in CA recap

Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:25 pm

phxsanslcpdx wrote:
dfwjim1 wrote:
flyfresno wrote:

FAT-DAL? Ha! MDW would be first, but both are very very doubtful. LAS and PHX *are* much, much more likely. SAN, SNA, DEN, SEA the next possible choices after those...


Kind of surprised that WN has not yet started FAT as it seems like Fresno and the surrounding metro area would be a good choice for them.


FAT's just a hard destination to fit into WN's current strategy/route map. Strategically, they want to solidify their hold on market share in primary California markets while keeping competitors at bay. LGB does this perfectly--leverage their current strength in the neighborhood for mostly intra-California flying while denying slots to JetBlue. Fresno's much harder--there essentially zero Southwest loyalists in FAT's main catchment area, and very few people living between FAT and a current WN station who would appreciate another access option at FAT. Intra-California flying is constrained: Sacramento and the Bay Area are close enough that people are more likely to drive; the LA Basin is a bit more of a drive, but still reasonable driving distance, and LAX would mean going up against both AA and UA. So intra-California would be basically San Diego (where Alaska already has loyalty, market share, and better-sized planes to match the market) and maybe SNA (where slot constraints would mean sacrificing another destination). LAS and other big connecting points east would be feasible, but adding one more spoke to the WN network just isn't that high a strategic priority, and there are likely other spokes out there that might make more sense.

Barring a hefty, Wichita-style subsidy (which would anger and maybe drive away current carriers), I don't see WN heading to FAT in the near term.


I wouldn't say that there is zero brand loyalty to SWA in the region: many people consistently drive to OAK or SJC to fly on them. Only SWA knows exactly how many people "leak" from the region per day, but it's certainly many more than 0. On the other hand, why should they serve an airport when people are willing to drive to other, larger airports where economies of scale keep costs lower? Are there at least three flights per day worth of passengers who would fly SWA? Almost without a doubt. Would SWA increase Fresno's catchment area to places like Merced and Bakersfield if their fares were similar to SMF and OAK? Yep. Would they be canabilizing routes from current airports without adding a significant number of new passengers? That's the big question I think...
 
ScottB
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Re: WN in CA recap

Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:54 am

flyfresno wrote:
Would SWA increase Fresno's catchment area to places like Merced and Bakersfield if their fares were similar to SMF and OAK? Yep. Would they be canabilizing routes from current airports without adding a significant number of new passengers? That's the big question I think...


I doubt FAT would draw many WN passengers from Bakersfield simply because BUR and LAX aren't a whole lot further away than FAT and there would be far more schedule choices at the L.A. region airports. Similarly, better choices at SJC and SMF would limit the draw from Merced or Modesto. But in general, I think there's relatively little risk of cannibalizing their other stations based on the likely set of airports they'd serve from FAT: probably some combination of LAX, SAN, LAS, PHX, and/or DEN. I think few would drive from Fresno to SJC/OAK/SMF to fly WN to LAX or LAS. Maybe a few would do that to travel to SAN but even though San Diego is a long drive, the combination of an hour-plus drive to SMF or the Bay Area and the flight to SAN doesn't end up saving much time. FAT would capture O&D DEN/PHX traffic as well as connections over those and LAS.

dfwjim1 wrote:
Kind of surprised that WN has not yet started FAT as it seems like Fresno and the surrounding metro area would be a good choice for them.


Actually, Fresno isn't that great of a potential market for WN, largely because it is a relatively poor area by California standards. Fresno County ranks ninth from the bottom in California counties measured by per capita income. There's not a whole lot of room for WN to drop fares to stimulate traffic because the fares are already reasonable, even with a relative lack of competition. AS's average SAN-FAT fare of $125 is quite a bit lower than the average SAN-SFO fare of $158 -- in spite of the latter market having three competitors.

MIflyer12 wrote:
IND-OAK? I hope you're kidding.


The O&D from IND to the S.F. metro area is close to 300 PDEW, so IND-OAK really doesn't seem all that far-fetched.
 
flyfresno
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Re: WN in CA recap

Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:58 am

ScottB wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
Would SWA increase Fresno's catchment area to places like Merced and Bakersfield if their fares were similar to SMF and OAK? Yep. Would they be canabilizing routes from current airports without adding a significant number of new passengers? That's the big question I think...


I doubt FAT would draw many WN passengers from Bakersfield simply because BUR and LAX aren't a whole lot further away than FAT and there would be far more schedule choices at the L.A. region airports. Similarly, better choices at SJC and SMF would limit the draw from Merced or Modesto. But in general, I think there's relatively little risk of cannibalizing their other stations based on the likely set of airports they'd serve from FAT: probably some combination of LAX, SAN, LAS, PHX, and/or DEN. I think few would drive from Fresno to SJC/OAK/SMF to fly WN to LAX or LAS. Maybe a few would do that to travel to SAN but even though San Diego is a long drive, the combination of an hour-plus drive to SMF or the Bay Area and the flight to SAN doesn't end up saving much time. FAT would capture O&D DEN/PHX traffic as well as connections over those and LAS.


SWA serves over 100 destinations, and while you are correct that very few people drive to other SWA airports to fly within CA or even to LAS, there are still at least 75 other markets that people from Fresno would be willing to drive to OAK to SJC for. Yes, there would be far fewer choices out of FAT for non-stop flights, but if fares were around the same to fly to MDW, BWI, HOU, or a list of other markets from both FAT and OAK, and the choice came down to either a non-stop flight with a 3 hour drive, or connecting in LAS/PHX with a 15 minute drive, I think 99% of passengers would pick the connecting flight. That's where the cannibalization would come: SWA has said publicly in the past that they "serve" the Fresno market through OAK and SJC. I would assume that they would lose pretty much all of that leakage if they started serving FAT directly. Again, I have no idea how big that specific leakage is, but past studies have pointed to a significant overall leakage. My point is, I wonder whether SWA would capture enough extra passengers beyond that leakage to make it worth their while when they could just serve those passengers from SJC or OAK.

As for Merced and Bakersfield, traffic would play a large role. There is hardly ever any traffic between those two cities and Fresno, but there *is* traffic to Bay and SoCal airports (especially SoCal), and even Sacramento has it's share of traffic (not as bad as the other two, but it can get pretty nasty during commute hours, especially going all the way through the city, and even with no traffic, FAT is almost an hour closer to Merced than SMF is). In the winter, snow can close the grapevine, adding even more time (and uncertainty) to to the Bakersfield to BUR/LAX drive. I agree that BUR would still draw a big market share, but I think that there would be some leakage simply because FAT is so much easier.
 
mandargb
Posts: 251
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2001 8:00 am

Re: WN in CA recap

Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:23 am

Why no Bay-Area to MCO by WN?
United does SFO-MCO already.
I would expect OAK-MCO or SJC-MCO.

WN also used to have OAK-MSY non-stop. Still running?
 
wnflyguy
Posts: 1676
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:58 pm

Re: WN in CA recap

Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:39 am

flyfresno wrote:
phxsanslcpdx wrote:
dfwjim1 wrote:

Kind of surprised that WN has not yet started FAT as it seems like Fresno and the surrounding metro area would be a good choice for them.


FAT's just a hard destination to fit into WN's current strategy/route map. Strategically, they want to solidify their hold on market share in primary California markets while keeping competitors at bay. LGB does this perfectly--leverage their current strength in the neighborhood for mostly intra-California flying while denying slots to JetBlue. Fresno's much harder--there essentially zero Southwest loyalists in FAT's main catchment area, and very few people living between FAT and a current WN station who would appreciate another access option at FAT. Intra-California flying is constrained: Sacramento and the Bay Area are close enough that people are more likely to drive; the LA Basin is a bit more of a drive, but still reasonable driving distance, and LAX would mean going up against both AA and UA. So intra-California would be basically San Diego (where Alaska already has loyalty, market share, and better-sized planes to match the market) and maybe SNA (where slot constraints would mean sacrificing another destination). LAS and other big connecting points east would be feasible, but adding one more spoke to the WN network just isn't that high a strategic priority, and there are likely other spokes out there that might make more sense.

Barring a hefty, Wichita-style subsidy (which would anger and maybe drive away current carriers), I don't see WN heading to FAT in the near term.


I wouldn't say that there is zero brand loyalty to SWA in the region: many people consistently drive to OAK or SJC to fly on them. Only SWA knows exactly how many people "leak" from the region per day, but it's certainly many more than 0. On the other hand, why should they serve an airport when people are willing to drive to other, larger airports where economies of scale keep costs lower? Are there at least three flights per day worth of passengers who would fly SWA? Almost without a doubt. Would SWA increase Fresno's catchment area to places like Merced and Bakersfield if their fares were similar to SMF and OAK? Yep. Would they be canabilizing routes from current airports without adding a significant number of new passengers? That's the big question I think...


I know pre 911 FAT was on the short list of new cities but every thing came stop and everything went out the window.
I think for the battle of California against AS you will finally see FAT,PSP,SBA and possibly STS.

Flyguy
my post are my opinion only and not those of southwest airlines and or airtran airlines.
 
ucdtim17
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:38 pm

Re: WN in CA recap

Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:31 pm

mandargb wrote:
Why no Bay-Area to MCO by WN?
United does SFO-MCO already.
I would expect OAK-MCO or SJC-MCO.

WN also used to have OAK-MSY non-stop. Still running?


OAK-MSY was added back a year or two ago
 
ericm2031
Posts: 1083
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:46 am

Re: WN in CA recap

Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:56 pm

Discussed on another thread that was just locked, SMF-GEG is also being added in August
 
dolphinflyer
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 9:57 pm

Re: WN in CA recap

Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:34 pm

 
ericm2031
Posts: 1083
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:46 am

Re: WN in CA recap

Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:16 pm

Very smart for WN to focus on SMF. Going to 80 daily flights, 16th largest WN station.

Provides as a very good connecting point for up and down the west coast. Isn't a complete bloodbath (yet) with AS/VX/DL. Has no ULCC competition, which somehow has avoided SMF. And they have available gates, which is rare at most of their CA cities.

DAL/SLC/BOI/BWI/LGB/GEG all recent adds.
 
nine4nine
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:44 pm

Re: WN in CA recap

Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:50 pm

I don't understand why they would overlap with B6 on LGB with routes like OAK,SMF, and LAS when they could bring something new to the table like DAL, DEN, MDW and HOU as a gateway for intl connections.
717 727 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 742 748 752 753 762 763 772 773 DC9 MD80/88/90 DC10 319 320 321 332 333 CS100 CRJ200 Q400 E175 E190 ERJ145 EMB120
 
dc10lover
Posts: 1535
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Re: WN in CA recap

Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:54 pm

It's so nice to see more service to Spokane, Wa. San Diego & now Sacramento on Southwest Airlines.
Why endure the nightmare and congestion of LAX when BUR, LGB, ONT & SNA is so much easier to fly in and out of. Same with OAK & SJC when it comes to SFO.
 
User avatar
LAXintl
Posts: 23826
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Re: WN in CA recap

Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:13 pm

nine4nine wrote:
I don't understand why they would overlap with B6 on LGB with routes like OAK,SMF, and LAS when they could bring something new to the table like DAL, DEN, MDW and HOU as a gateway for intl connections.


Gary Kelly covered this in a recent interview.

They do not look at LGB in isolation, but rather as part of a bigger SoCal presence. WN seeks to serve markets based on its overall network traffic demand out of the region, not just based on competitive dynamics at a single airport.
He also stated WN knows many customers mix/match airports. So one might fly LAX-SMF, but return home SMF-LGB, and result the need to offer compelling strong schedule from a single airport like LGB is reduced.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
ucdtim17
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:38 pm

Re: WN in CA recap

Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:10 pm

ericm2031 wrote:
Very smart for WN to focus on SMF. Going to 80 daily flights, 16th largest WN station.

Provides as a very good connecting point for up and down the west coast. Isn't a complete bloodbath (yet) with AS/VX/DL. Has no ULCC competition, which somehow has avoided SMF. And they have available gates, which is rare at most of their CA cities.

DAL/SLC/BOI/BWI/LGB/GEG all recent adds.


I suspect the cost of operating at SMF (paying for the new terminal) has kept ULCCs away so far. As they work to reduce fees maybe some will come.
 
ericm2031
Posts: 1083
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:46 am

Re: WN in CA recap

Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:49 pm

ucdtim17 wrote:
ericm2031 wrote:
Very smart for WN to focus on SMF. Going to 80 daily flights, 16th largest WN station.

Provides as a very good connecting point for up and down the west coast. Isn't a complete bloodbath (yet) with AS/VX/DL. Has no ULCC competition, which somehow has avoided SMF. And they have available gates, which is rare at most of their CA cities.

DAL/SLC/BOI/BWI/LGB/GEG all recent adds.


I suspect the cost of operating at SMF (paying for the new terminal) has kept ULCCs away so far. As they work to reduce fees maybe some will come.


Ah, didn't think about that. Guess ULCC's didn't really exist much before the new terminal
 
usflyguy
Topic Author
Posts: 1727
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:29 am

Re: WN in CA recap

Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:42 am

SMF-GEG starting and additional flights between SMF-SEA and SMF-SAN.

What's next?
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
grbauc
Posts: 1445
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:05 pm

Re: WN in CA recap

Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:57 am

flyfresno wrote:
mtnwest1979 wrote:
The only places I would even think have a chance from Fresno (which as a WN city I would place very low) would be PHX and/or DEN.
SEA would be a waste.LAS too close and assume lower yielding than PHX, with connections to basically same cities. Also, don't think SAN could support enough trips to make it desirable to customers.
As for Fresno itself, I don't think the area has enough viable population to make it very worthwhile for Southwest to try. I believe there are better and lucrative places to explore first.
Have lived in San Joaquin Valley before and know what the area was like then, and know that it has grown, but overall, IMO it is not a wonderfully prosperous area.


Being as:

1) LAS was, for years, the top destination out of FAT, with more than double the current passenger numbers, including express service on UA and mainline flights on US Airways.
2) LAS is still one of the top O&D destinations out of FAT and one of the top overall vacation cities for people from the Fresno area to visit.
3) LAS is not "close" to FAT by any other means of transportation than airplane (6+ hours driving, 10+ hours train/bus).
4) Many people have completely sworn off Allegiant based on their terrible on-time and completion record, and even with that, they can still support 8X a week in the winter and 9-10X per week in the summer.

I would have to completely disagree with your assessment. LAS would be the #1 choice for SWA out of Fresno...lots of O&D traffic and lots of connection options. PHX has a good number of O&D and lots of connections, and I think it would be a close second, but LAS would be #1 for sure.

100% agree. Having taken this flight several times in the past.
 
flyfresno
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 6:18 am

Re: WN in CA recap

Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:33 pm

usflyguy wrote:
SMF-GEG starting and additional flights between SMF-SEA and SMF-SAN.

What's next?


Plus LGB. They are calling it the biggest single expansion by SWA in SMF since they decided to start serving it. And to think, it took city leaders lobbing hard to get them there years ago, now it's 16th biggest SWA city. I believe they will have almost 60% of the market share there when these new flights start too...one of the highest percentages SWA has for larger airports.
 
whatusaid
Posts: 550
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:11 pm

Re: WN in CA recap

Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:13 pm

wnflyguy wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
phxsanslcpdx wrote:

FAT's just a hard destination to fit into WN's current strategy/route map. Strategically, they want to solidify their hold on market share in primary California markets while keeping competitors at bay. LGB does this perfectly--leverage their current strength in the neighborhood for mostly intra-California flying while denying slots to JetBlue. Fresno's much harder--there essentially zero Southwest loyalists in FAT's main catchment area, and very few people living between FAT and a current WN station who would appreciate another access option at FAT. Intra-California flying is constrained: Sacramento and the Bay Area are close enough that people are more likely to drive; the LA Basin is a bit more of a drive, but still reasonable driving distance, and LAX would mean going up against both AA and UA. So intra-California would be basically San Diego (where Alaska already has loyalty, market share, and better-sized planes to match the market) and maybe SNA (where slot constraints would mean sacrificing another destination). LAS and other big connecting points east would be feasible, but adding one more spoke to the WN network just isn't that high a strategic priority, and there are likely other spokes out there that might make more sense.

Barring a hefty, Wichita-style subsidy (which would anger and maybe drive away current carriers), I don't see WN heading to FAT in the near term.


I wouldn't say that there is zero brand loyalty to SWA in the region: many people consistently drive to OAK or SJC to fly on them. Only SWA knows exactly how many people "leak" from the region per day, but it's certainly many more than 0. On the other hand, why should they serve an airport when people are willing to drive to other, larger airports where economies of scale keep costs lower? Are there at least three flights per day worth of passengers who would fly SWA? Almost without a doubt. Would SWA increase Fresno's catchment area to places like Merced and Bakersfield if their fares were similar to SMF and OAK? Yep. Would they be canabilizing routes from current airports without adding a significant number of new passengers? That's the big question I think...


I know pre 911 FAT was on the short list of new cities but every thing came stop and everything went out the window.
I think for the battle of California against AS you will finally see FAT,PSP,SBA and possibly STS.

Flyguy



For a few years, I worked with FAT on airline recruitment. It was true that we were on the short-list. The City has now extended incentives to WN for several targeted markets, all which would provide connecting opportunities. Incentives won't solidify any deal, but may move Fresno up the add-list. FAT draws traffic from six counties, which together, represent about 2 million people. This does not include Kern County. Existing traffic patterns don't really tell the story at FAT. In some of the prior entries, there's been very significant stimulation as the airport captures what was previously lost to SMF, SJC or elsewhere. One might even consider the development of the FAT-GDL market as what might occur should WN enter Chicago, Houston, or Dallas as proposed by FAT. Pundits suggested one carrier "might" survive to GDL, but certainly not two carriers who run 360 seats a night to GDL w/90%+ load factors. That's a route that was stimulated by an entry who understood leakage to other airports by their key demographic target.

The intra-state market is more or less dead due to the fare structure to either SFO or LAX. AS does well to SAN, given the drive is simple too much. Q's, not E175s with a F cabin, are the ideal aircraft for intra-state flying. FAT does not generate first cabin traffic on intra-state routes unless it's upgrading the higher FF tiers. FAT has incentives available for LGB and SNA. It may simply be a matter of time that AS moves to fill a gap in one of those markets.

I'm a little skeptical these days as to WN's ability to succeed here. They're just not a low-fare carrier as they were. If they did come to FAT and their fare structure was not that of what's available from the Bay Area, I see the leakage continuing. FAT needs a carrier that can stop the leakage. Hard to say who that might be these days. WN's low cost status exists more in our memory than in reality.

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