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jetbluefan1
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When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:14 pm

B6 entered LGB in 2001 with the intent of establishing the slot-restricted airport as its West Coast focus city. Over the years, the airline has faced many challenges at its LGB operation, including the inability to build an FIS facility, the inability to utilize its quieter E190's for commuter slots (as the slots are based on weight, not noise), and - most recently - WN's entrance into the market. Before WN entered the market, B6 found some type of "equilibrium" with its slot portfolio, where it was able to increase and decrease capacity throughout the year and make day-of-week adjustments based on demand patterns and seasonality. However, once WN entered the market, B6 was essentially forced to fully utilize its slots - or lose them.

The DOT is finally out with its Q1 2017 airfare data, which shows the impact of WN's entrance into LGB and B6's reaction. The numbers are downright ugly. Below are B6's average fares and average LF for the quarter. Note the airfare data is from the Domestic Airline Consumer Report, and the LF data is an average of Jan/Feb/Mar based on the results from aviationdb.net. These numbers aren't fully precise, but they do at least give us an indication of how the LGB routes are performing:

nsmiles Market B6 fare Avg LF
236 LASLGB $100 76
372 LGBOAK $98 70
372 LGBSFO $98 68
372 LGBSJC $94 59
404 LGBSMF $113 81
415 LGBRNO $105 88
590 LGBSLC $114 79
859 LGBPDX $98 91
978 LGBSEA $112 93
1242 AUSLGB $177 91
2510 LGBJFK $232 80
2611 BOSLGB $233 80

As one can see, the average fares are downright awful for majority of markets. The average load factors are also stunningly low for some markets (especially the Bay Area airports).

Some points of reference for B6 routes with comparable distances:

209 BOSEWR $133 75
266 BTVJFK $143 80
335 JAXFLL $129 83
418 BOSDCA $144 76
625 BOSRDU $162 82
836 BOSCHS $165 85
942 BOSBNA $129 86
1240 BOSSRQ $253 91
2553 JFKSMF $234 80
2588 BOSSAN $268 89

I would imagine most of the LGB markets are bleeding money, with perhaps AUS, JFK, and BOS being marginally profitable.

When looking at just how bad some of these markets are, and considering the significant fines B6 is incurring for flights which depart or arrive after the curfew, it's hard for me to see how B6 continues to justify its LGB operation. With UA, AA, DL, WN, and AS duking it out down the road at LAX - which will only become more competitive - and WN circling B6 @ LGB like a shark (very smart move on WN's part), the fare pressures show no signs of letting up.

As a B6 shareholder, I would hope that B6 could cut its losses, move the aircraft to more profitable markets to help supercharge growth (think: BOS, FLL), and let the other 5 carriers duke it out in LA.

B6 seems to be very profitable from LAX, and is the largest airline on JFK-LAX (capturing 30% of the market at an average fare of $313 during the quarter -- this is likely B6's most profitable market). It may make sense for B6 to focus on maintaining its robust LAX-JFK offering, providing seriously competitive schedules on LAX-BOS/FLL, and selectively providing red-eye service where it sees an opportunity from East Coast bases where it has a large presence (i.e. MCO and BUF).

What do you think? Is it time for B6 to call it quits at LGB and focus on its core strengths (East Coast, LatAm, Mint)?
 
jplatts
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:19 pm

Is there room at LAX for jetBlue to add nonstop service to AUS, LAS, OAK, PDX, RNO, SMF, SLC, SFO, SJC, and SEA? jetBlue has nonstop service from these 10 destinations from LGB but not from LAX, and jetBlue might be able to pull out of LGB if jetBlue has room to add nonstop service to these 10 destinations from LAX.
 
wedgetail737
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:23 pm

JetBlue barely has enough room at LAX to provide the level of service it has today.
 
WNflyer1523
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:24 pm

I don't think they'll pull out in general, probably just end flights to the destinations from LGB that aren't profitable. That would most likely be LGB-SJC, LGB-SFO, LGB-OAK, LGB-LAS, and possibly LGB-SLC.
 
Runway28L
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:26 pm

B6 is still at LGB most likely due to LAX being tight on space and being congested. There would be no way B6 could fit their entire LGB operation into their current setup at LAX.
 
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STT757
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:33 pm

B6 made the mistake early on with LGB, they should have gone to LAX instead of LGB. There would have been opportunities over the last 15 years to grow their LAX presence. The selecting LGB over LAX seems very similar to WN's bundle with JFK, prior to B6 WN had a chance to get help launching JFK from
Local politicians, instead they stayed with ISP. That left the door open for aB6 to launch.

And as discussed many times here, losing out on the bidding for VX , and their inability to make any inroads in the mid-West, pretty much has doomed any hopes for becoming a national network carrier. They should change their name to Eastern.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
tphuang
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:38 pm

You haven't even factored in fll lgb, which is advertising sub $200 rt for many months.

There is room in Burbank for 25 daily flights.

I think transcon Austin Reno and smf should be moved there along with some Bay Area and Las Vegas routes. Jetsuitex runs up to 10 daily flights out of Burbank already and is growing. Much better than trying to stick out and loosing money at Long Beach.

As for lax, they have room to grow. If spirit did loose a gate, then there will be 5 cute gates to share along with 2 dedicated gates. They can easily expand to 25 to 30 daily flights there.

Maybe leave 5 to 10 flights at Long Beach with no more transcon. The pnw routes and several flights to Bay Area maybe.

As for when will JetBlue actually pull out? That's hard to say. They seem to live in some kind of denial mode and believe that Long Beach can miraculously turn around.

Maybe it will take the humiliation of lgb actually stripping them of slots before they will pull out.
 
cledaybuck
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:38 pm

jetbluefan1 wrote:
B6 entered LGB in 2001 with the intent of establishing the slot-restricted airport as its West Coast focus city. Over the years, the airline has faced many challenges at its LGB operation, including the inability to build an FIS facility, the inability to utilize its quieter E190's for commuter slots (as the slots are based on weight, not noise), and - most recently - WN's entrance into the market. Before WN entered the market, B6 found some type of "equilibrium" with its slot portfolio, where it was able to increase and decrease capacity throughout the year and make day-of-week adjustments based on demand patterns and seasonality. However, once WN entered the market, B6 was essentially forced to fully utilize its slots - or lose them.

The DOT is finally out with its Q1 2017 airfare data, which shows the impact of WN's entrance into LGB and B6's reaction. The numbers are downright ugly. Below are B6's average fares and average LF for the quarter. Note the airfare data is from the Domestic Airline Consumer Report, and the LF data is an average of Jan/Feb/Mar based on the results from aviationdb.net. These numbers aren't fully precise, but they do at least give us an indication of how the LGB routes are performing:

nsmiles Market B6 fare Avg LF
236 LASLGB $100 76
372 LGBOAK $98 70
372 LGBSFO $98 68
372 LGBSJC $94 59
404 LGBSMF $113 81
415 LGBRNO $105 88
590 LGBSLC $114 79
859 LGBPDX $98 91
978 LGBSEA $112 93
1242 AUSLGB $177 91
2510 LGBJFK $232 80
2611 BOSLGB $233 80

As one can see, the average fares are downright awful for majority of markets. The average load factors are also stunningly low for some markets (especially the Bay Area airports).

Some points of reference for B6 routes with comparable distances:

209 BOSEWR $133 75
266 BTVJFK $143 80
335 JAXFLL $129 83
418 BOSDCA $144 76
625 BOSRDU $162 82
836 BOSCHS $165 85
942 BOSBNA $129 86
1240 BOSSRQ $253 91
2553 JFKSMF $234 80
2588 BOSSAN $268 89

I would imagine most of the LGB markets are bleeding money, with perhaps AUS, JFK, and BOS being marginally profitable.

When looking at just how bad some of these markets are, and considering the significant fines B6 is incurring for flights which depart or arrive after the curfew, it's hard for me to see how B6 continues to justify its LGB operation. With UA, AA, DL, WN, and AS duking it out down the road at LAX - which will only become more competitive - and WN circling B6 @ LGB like a shark (very smart move on WN's part), the fare pressures show no signs of letting up.

As a B6 shareholder, I would hope that B6 could cut its losses, move the aircraft to more profitable markets to help supercharge growth (think: BOS, FLL), and let the other 5 carriers duke it out in LA.

B6 seems to be very profitable from LAX, and is the largest airline on JFK-LAX (capturing 30% of the market at an average fare of $313 during the quarter -- this is likely B6's most profitable market). It may make sense for B6 to focus on maintaining its robust LAX-JFK offering, providing seriously competitive schedules on LAX-BOS/FLL, and selectively providing red-eye service where it sees an opportunity from East Coast bases where it has a large presence (i.e. MCO and BUF).

What do you think? Is it time for B6 to call it quits at LGB and focus on its core strengths (East Coast, LatAm, Mint)?
Are those fares really that bad? They don't seem too bad considering the length of the flights. The LF to the Bay area on the other hand...not good.

I don't think B6 will pull out of LGB, but they do seem to be in a bit of a predicament. They can't fly their full slot holdings at good profitability, but if they drop flights, WN is likely to add more making their other flights from LGB less profitable. I am not really sure what the answer is.
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
commavia
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:05 pm

jetbluefan1 wrote:
As a B6 shareholder, I would hope that B6 could cut its losses, move the aircraft to more profitable markets to help supercharge growth (think: BOS, FLL), and let the other 5 carriers duke it out in LA.

B6 seems to be very profitable from LAX, and is the largest airline on JFK-LAX (capturing 30% of the market at an average fare of $313 during the quarter -- this is likely B6's most profitable market). It may make sense for B6 to focus on maintaining its robust LAX-JFK offering, providing seriously competitive schedules on LAX-BOS/FLL, and selectively providing red-eye service where it sees an opportunity from East Coast bases where it has a large presence (i.e. MCO and BUF).

What do you think? Is it time for B6 to call it quits at LGB and focus on its core strengths (East Coast, LatAm, Mint)?


I think this may well be the outcome.

I'm not sure JetBlue needs to fully "call it quits" at LGB - but I agree that the entrance of Southwest has certainly not helped the economics of that market. And at this point, of course, any cuts JetBlue makes that free up mainline slots at LGB are likely to be backfilled by Southwest - once its fleet growth resumes - only further eroding the performance of what remains. More broadly, at least until more terminals/gates are built at LAX and JetBlue can muscle in on them against the other big operators at the airport, it seems hard to imagine much else by way of growth there other than - as said - a continued focus on improving coverage of transcon markets.

wedgetail737 wrote:
JetBlue barely has enough room at LAX to provide the level of service it has today.


Indeed.

STT757 wrote:
B6 made the mistake early on with LGB, they should have gone to LAX instead of LGB.


Agreed. I fully recognize and appreciate the logic of JetBlue's primary focus staying on the east coast. But looking back in hindsight, I can't help but think that, if it had focused on LAX sooner, JetBlue had a real opportunity to stunt if not outright halt Virgin America's growth in that market. Now, with a minimal - and constrained - presence at both LAX and LGB, JetBlue is fairly limited for growth potential in the LA Basin, and frankly California in general. ONT certainly has the capacity, but it does not fit the mold of JetBlue's typical "demo," and it's obviously far away from much of the region's business traffic.

This is hardly news - this dynamic of essentially being "locked out" of most of the west coast's largest airports once Virgin America slipped away was well commented upon at the time of the bidding war with Alaska. But it will be very interesting to see what, if anything, JetBlue does on the west coast going forward.
 
2Holer4Longhaul
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:24 pm

Frankly, JetBlue doesn'lt need a West Coast hub. LGB is not exactly helping it expand there, LAX is in a state of chaos, and WN has a hefty presence elsewhere in greater LA. In North CA, it'd have to fight WN, AS/VX, and UA for every inch of ground. And in the Pacific Northwest, we all know Chester's in charge.
"You know, if you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything, wouldn't you, at any time? And you would achieve nothing!" - Margaret Thatcher
 
tphuang
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:32 pm

Also a lot of these assumptions about being locked out and no space to grow is based on some belief that economy will continue to be steady. if we have a major recession from this huge bubble that has been building for several years now, the entire airline Industry will be cutting back and there will be plenty of room to grow in west coast.

JetBlue will just need to be patient and stay profitable with steady growth.
 
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diverdave
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:40 pm

jetbluefan1 wrote:
nsmiles Market B6 fare Avg LF
236 LASLGB $100 76
372 LGBOAK $98 70
372 LGBSFO $98 68
372 LGBSJC $94 59
404 LGBSMF $113 81
415 LGBRNO $105 88
590 LGBSLC $114 79
859 LGBPDX $98 91
978 LGBSEA $112 93
1242 AUSLGB $177 91
2510 LGBJFK $232 80
2611 BOSLGB $233 80


Some of these routes are showing decent RASMs factoring in the LFs, such as LAS/LGB at $0.32 or LGB/RNO at $0.22. Even AUS/LGB is showing $0.13 yield.

I thought B6 was supposed to be able to be profitable with those kinds of yields. Admittedly the transcons to JFK and BOS are lousy, do they have Mint?

There is no room in the inn at LAX for some years to come if ever. Perhaps B6 should have kept bidding on VX.
 
RL757PVD
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:41 pm

It will go away after the B6 AS Merger :stirthepot:

.. or at least extensive partnership....
Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
 
jetbluefan1
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:54 pm

STT757 wrote:
B6 made the mistake early on with LGB, they should have gone to LAX instead of LGB. There would have been opportunities over the last 15 years to grow their LAX presence. The selecting LGB over LAX seems very similar to WN's bundle with JFK, prior to B6 WN had a chance to get help launching JFK from
Local politicians, instead they stayed with ISP. That left the door open for aB6 to launch.


Fair comparison. Also of note is that B6 had planned on entering LAX a few years earier, but pulled its plans just a month or so before launch. If I recall correctly, this was around the time oil was over $100/bbl.

tphuang wrote:
You haven't even factored in fll lgb, which is advertising sub $200 rt for many months.

Maybe it will take the humiliation of lgb actually stripping them of slots before they will pull out.


FLL-LGB should start showing up on the Q2 report. There is no way that market is making any money - and it could very well be pulling away traffic from the 2 LAX-FLL flights B6 currently operates.

You may be right that B6 may not pull out unless it's stripped of its slots - which, given the recent spike in post-curfew operations, does not seem too far-fetched.

diverdave wrote:
Some of these routes are showing decent RASMs factoring in the LFs, such as LAS/LGB at $0.32 or LGB/RNO at $0.22. Even AUS/LGB is showing $0.13 yield.


You're forgetting about the high CASM these routes have (general rule of thumb - the shorter the flight, the higher the CASM). Based on the routes of comparable distance I provided, LGB constantly under performs - usually by a large margin.

RL757PVD wrote:
It will go away after the B6 AS Merger :stirthepot:

.. or at least extensive partnership....


Pretty much what I'm thinking. B6 could focus on strengthening its East Coast ops while AS focuses on the West Coast. 5-8 years down the line, they merge and have major operations on both coasts, with significant presences in some of the largest cities in the US.
 
727LOVER
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:01 pm

jetbluefan1 wrote:
1240 BOSSRQ $253 91
2553 JFKSMF $234 80
2588 BOSSAN $268 89




I know this thread is about LGB...but since you posted it......so BOS-SRQ is $253 (i hope that is roundtrip) and 91% LF.....meanwhile JFK-SMF and BOS-SAN are almost twice as long...but cheaper or only slightly more $$$$

That must be some high yield into SRQ...so why not more flights?
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
evank516
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:44 pm

I can see them pulling down, but I don't see them pulling out.
 
dc10lover
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:14 pm

Maybe B6 should fly from Burbank.
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.
 
TerminalD
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:24 pm

You ever buy a stock and then it crashed and you don't sell it because of hope it'll go back to where it was and you'll get your money back?

Reluctance to give up and a lack of better ideas.
 
routeplanner
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:46 pm

I do know that LAS would welcome B6 with open arms. I do know there has been some speculation in LAS planning circles about someone starting a "Night Flight" operation similar to HP in the 80's and 90's. My carrier has told LAS thanks, but no thanks.
 
jetbluefan1
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:57 pm

727LOVER wrote:
jetbluefan1 wrote:
1240 BOSSRQ $253 91
2553 JFKSMF $234 80
2588 BOSSAN $268 89




I know this thread is about LGB...but since you posted it......so BOS-SRQ is $253 (i hope that is roundtrip) and 91% LF.....meanwhile JFK-SMF and BOS-SAN are almost twice as long...but cheaper or only slightly more $$$$

That must be some high yield into SRQ...so why not more flights?


It is one-way. B6 has a monopoly on BOS-SRQ, so there is no need to add more flights when there is no immediate competitive threat. B6 commands similarly high average fares on BOS-FLL/RSW/PBI, where it is also the market leader.

But that kind of gets to my point about LGB. B6 will never be able to command such fare premiums from LGB. Why not reallocate the aircraft to more profitable markets (like BOS)?

TerminalD wrote:
You ever buy a stock and then it crashed and you don't sell it because of hope it'll go back to where it was and you'll get your money back?

Reluctance to give up and a lack of better ideas.


It's an interesting comparison, although holding on to a loser stock is more of an emotional decision. B6 management, in this case, is playing with shareholders' money -- and burning through it.

I wonder if B6 sees any overlap on its LGB passenger base and HVC's which fly from LAX to the East Coast. For some reason, I think not.
 
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LAXintl
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:12 pm

Really comes down to a strategic decision.

Does JetBlue want to maintain a broader national footprint, or does it want to be an East Coast airline?

While LGB might not be the most ideal situation in hindsight for B6, it does give the carrier atleast something in the 2nd largest US travel market along with broader footprint in Western US.
According to Scott Laurance the VP of Planning - “Having a gateway in the West and specifically the L.A. Basin has a ton of appeal for us”
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:12 pm

STT757 wrote:
And as discussed many times here, losing out on the bidding for VX , and their inability to make any inroads in the mid-West, pretty much has doomed any hopes for becoming a national network carrier. They should change their name to Eastern.


Right after AS changes their name to Western.

Anyway, B6 did make a mistake with LGB. However, they are late to the game and can't get room at LAX, leaving basically LAS and BUR as their only west-coast options.
RIP McDonnell Douglas
RIP US Airways
 
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WALmsp
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:16 pm

Super80Fan wrote:
STT757 wrote:
And as discussed many times here, losing out on the bidding for VX , and their inability to make any inroads in the mid-West, pretty much has doomed any hopes for becoming a national network carrier. They should change their name to Eastern.


Right after AS changes their name to Western.

Anyway, B6 did make a mistake with LGB. However, they are late to the game and can't get room at LAX, leaving basically LAS and BUR as their only west-coast options.


Works for me!
In memory of my Dad, Robert "Bob" Fenrich, WAL 1964-1979, MSP ONT LAX
 
gregn21
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:34 pm

If B6 could get their hands on 4 more permanent gates at LAX, LGB would be an immediate thing of the past. No question.
 
fastmover
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:39 pm

LAXintl wrote:
Really comes down to a strategic decision.

Does JetBlue want to maintain a broader national footprint, or does it want to be an East Coast airline?

While LGB might not be the most ideal situation in hindsight for B6, it does give the carrier atleast something in the 2nd largest US travel market along with broader footprint in Western US.
According to Scott Laurance the VP of Planning - “Having a gateway in the West and specifically the L.A. Basin has a ton of appeal for us”



Bingo

They can maintain the status quo just fine.
I guess LGB could strip them of slots but talk about biting the hand that feeds you. And please don't tell me SWA would do everything JetBlue is doing because they won't. SWA is not the answer for ever airport. It's about keeping an operation in the West, just like these flights to ATL from Boston, does JetBlue "want" to do it I doubt it but they need to for their business passengers. It seems like JetBlue is chugging along just fine there is no reason to freak out and start closing the west coast operation.
 
CobaltScar
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:53 pm

Why don't they turn LGB into a e190 base then? I never understood why they flew A320s on those awful short routes. And with the 320 going to 162 seats and a fourth Flight Attendant too? Only going to get worse.
 
tphuang
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:39 pm

Sort of related, b6 is bringing mint to JFK psp route over holiday season. Looks like just additional utilization of mint aircraft.

As for value of lgb, we know that they can be profitable running an operation of 20 to 25 daily flights with no southwest. We also know that will not happen in the future.

I am still waiting to hear why they can't set up an operation of 25 flights at Burbank and do better than the performance at lgb. Imo, and the worst case is doing as badly as lgb.

Which if you add to their transcon and mex operation at lax, its over 50 flights a day. As does not have anything close to that on the east coast.
 
evank516
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:52 pm

tphuang wrote:
Sort of related, b6 is bringing mint to JFK psp route over holiday season. Looks like just additional utilization of mint aircraft.

As for value of lgb, we know that they can be profitable running an operation of 20 to 25 daily flights with no southwest. We also know that will not happen in the future.

I am still waiting to hear why they can't set up an operation of 25 flights at Burbank and do better than the performance at lgb. Imo, and the worst case is doing as badly as lgb.

Which if you add to their transcon and mex operation at lax, its over 50 flights a day. As does not have anything close to that on the east coast.


I saw the Mint announcement for JFK-PSP. Nice little addition for the holidays.

B6 would probably face even tougher competition at BUR with a larger operation for WN out of BUR, plus AS and UA competing on some Bay Area routes as well. BUR would be a bigger bloodbath.
 
fastmover
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:19 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
Why don't they turn LGB into a e190 base then? I never understood why they flew A320s on those awful short routes. And with the 320 going to 162 seats and a fourth Flight Attendant too? Only going to get worse.



There are only 60 190s and they are based in size order BOS JFK MCO.
Most people think one day it will be just BOS and FLL. In other words there are not enough 190s to go around. They are in the middle of a fleet review and nobody even knows if the 190 will stay. It also starts to get technical since there is no displacement language in the current pilot agreements to open and close a base. That will change with a new contract between ALPA and jetblue. They tried 190s out there before, routing them across the country via AUS or ORD, flying the West Coast and flying back. It didn’t work. With no crew base out there(think reserve pilots) or a mx base it was a mess. The only way to do it right would be a full 190 base but back to the beginning there are not enough and they don’t know if they are keeping them. I would expect the West Coast to stay like it is excepfor mint until they know what is going on with the fleet.
 
jetbluefan1
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:25 pm

LAXintl wrote:
Really comes down to a strategic decision.

Does JetBlue want to maintain a broader national footprint, or does it want to be an East Coast airline?

While LGB might not be the most ideal situation in hindsight for B6, it does give the carrier atleast something in the 2nd largest US travel market along with broader footprint in Western US.
According to Scott Laurance the VP of Planning - “Having a gateway in the West and specifically the L.A. Basin has a ton of appeal for us”


But at what cost? Does it make sense to bleed presumably millions of dollars just to have some kind of foothold in LA? AS has done exceedingly well with having its bases only on the West Coast.

On the other hand, it may not necessarily be just about LA, but also some of the other West Coast markets (specifically SJC/OAK/SMF/RNO/PDX/SEA) where B6 would otherwise be primarily a "redeye to the East Coast" option if not for the LGB link.

CobaltScar wrote:
Why don't they turn LGB into a e190 base then? I never understood why they flew A320s on those awful short routes. And with the 320 going to 162 seats and a fourth Flight Attendant too? Only going to get worse.


B6 brought the E190 out to LGB years ago, and it failed miserably. Filling up a higher CASM plane at the same low fares is not a recipe for profitability. (Although, given B6's awful LF's to the Bay Area, it may not be a bad idea to bring them back...)

tphuang wrote:
Sort of related, b6 is bringing mint to JFK psp route over holiday season. Looks like just additional utilization of mint aircraft.


Great to see this, even if just for a week or two. I know quite a few people - with a lot of disposable income - who use the JFK-PSP flight and will be happy to have this option.

tphuang wrote:
I am still waiting to hear why they can't set up an operation of 25 flights at Burbank and do better than the performance at lgb. Imo, and the worst case is doing as badly as lgb.


Because:

evank516 wrote:
B6 would probably face even tougher competition at BUR with a larger operation for WN out of BUR, plus AS and UA competing on some Bay Area routes as well. BUR would be a bigger bloodbath.


Also, I believe the A320 has some performance issues when BUR is experiencing wind storms or very high temperatures.
 
KATL2
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:28 pm

Long Beach can work as a sort of small focus city. But it if B6 wants wants a true large west coast operation they need to choose something else. Why they (or some other airline) doesn't take advantage of SJC is weird to me.
 
formeraa
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:54 pm

Super80Fan wrote:
STT757 wrote:
And as discussed many times here, losing out on the bidding for VX , and their inability to make any inroads in the mid-West, pretty much has doomed any hopes for becoming a national network carrier. They should change their name to Eastern.


Right after AS changes their name to Western.


Does this mean that AS will start serving free champagne and that B6 will have to earn their wings every day?
 
ucdtim17
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:59 pm

KATL2 wrote:
Long Beach can work as a sort of small focus city. But it if B6 wants wants a true large west coast operation they need to choose something else. Why they (or some other airline) doesn't take advantage of SJC is weird to me.


AS and WN are fighting it out now over SJC. They are taking all the advantage they can.
 
runway23
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:10 pm

B6' only options in the west are probably BUR and LAS as discussed above.

That said, what about B6 paying another carrier (say Allegiant, Spirit or Frontier) to trade their LAX gates/presence for LGB slots. The ULCC's would still largely be in the same market (at a less favorable airport nonetheless) but would walk away from LAX with cash and the type of customers that fly with those carriers would probably still fly with them to LGB over LAX. B6 would gain a larger presence at the prime airport and exit the LGB mess.
 
tphuang
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:35 pm

evank516 wrote:
tphuang wrote:
Sort of related, b6 is bringing mint to JFK psp route over holiday season. Looks like just additional utilization of mint aircraft.

As for value of lgb, we know that they can be profitable running an operation of 20 to 25 daily flights with no southwest. We also know that will not happen in the future.

I am still waiting to hear why they can't set up an operation of 25 flights at Burbank and do better than the performance at lgb. Imo, and the worst case is doing as badly as lgb.

Which if you add to their transcon and mex operation at lax, its over 50 flights a day. As does not have anything close to that on the east coast.


I saw the Mint announcement for JFK-PSP. Nice little addition for the holidays.

B6 would probably face even tougher competition at BUR with a larger operation for WN out of BUR, plus AS and UA competing on some Bay Area routes as well. BUR would be a bigger bloodbath.


It really depends on the route.

If they move the 3 daily to JFK, 1 each to bos fll, 2 to Austin and 1 to reno over to burbank, those face no competition at all. They also have 4 daily to SLC that they can move to burbank and not face any increase in competition.

That's already 12 daily flights that would not be affected by tougher competition. I would also presume it would be higher yielding given the change in surrounding population.

They can move 2 dailies to PDX and sea over also, which they already get really low fares at lgb. I don't think will get much worse at burbank, since lgb also feels the same pressure for That gets to 16 flights.

After that, things get tough. Jetsuitex already does flights to sjc, Concord and Vegas. So JetBlue will need to move 6 daily to sfo and 2 daily to smf over. Add in 1 daily to ABQ which has 7 daily from lax but only 1 daily from other la airports. Sure fares will be low and load factor will not be great, but the lgb numbers are also quite ugly. At least burbank is closer to Hollywood money and there are some benefits to flying out of same airport as jetsuitex. That gets to 25 flights. Not saying it will easy, but lgb is quite a bloodbath already. They should at least try something different since lgb is unsustainable situation.
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:39 am

formeraa wrote:
Super80Fan wrote:
STT757 wrote:
And as discussed many times here, losing out on the bidding for VX , and their inability to make any inroads in the mid-West, pretty much has doomed any hopes for becoming a national network carrier. They should change their name to Eastern.


Right after AS changes their name to Western.


Does this mean that AS will start serving free champagne and that B6 will have to earn their wings every day?


Is there any other way?
RIP McDonnell Douglas
RIP US Airways
 
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LAXintl
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:49 am

runway23 wrote:

That said, what about B6 paying another carrier (say Allegiant, Spirit or Frontier) to trade their LAX gates/presence for LGB slots. The ULCC's would still largely be in the same market (at a less favorable airport nonetheless) but would walk away from LAX with cash and the type of customers that fly with those carriers would probably still fly with them to LGB over LAX. B6 would gain a larger presence at the prime airport and exit the LGB mess.


B6 does not own any LGB slots. LGB slots are not property that can be sold or traded.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
vadodara
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:40 pm

Super80Fan wrote:
STT757 wrote:
And as discussed many times here, losing out on the bidding for VX , and their inability to make any inroads in the mid-West, pretty much has doomed any hopes for becoming a national network carrier. They should change their name to Eastern.


Right after AS changes their name to Western.

Anyway, B6 did make a mistake with LGB. However, they are late to the game and can't get room at LAX, leaving basically LAS and BUR as their only west-coast options.


Why not? It then comes down to which formation will generate more case in the long. Right now, it appears that will be Western. If you add the tiny but significant foot-print at DAL, than Western may be hyphenated as South-Western.

From B6's perspective, they may be better off picking their battles over the Atlantic.
 
CobaltScar
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:18 pm

fastmover wrote:
CobaltScar wrote:
Why don't they turn LGB into a e190 base then? I never understood why they flew A320s on those awful short routes. And with the 320 going to 162 seats and a fourth Flight Attendant too? Only going to get worse.



There are only 60 190s and they are based in size order BOS JFK MCO.
Most people think one day it will be just BOS and FLL. In other words there are not enough 190s to go around. They are in the middle of a fleet review and nobody even knows if the 190 will stay. It also starts to get technical since there is no displacement language in the current pilot agreements to open and close a base. That will change with a new contract between ALPA and jetblue. They tried 190s out there before, routing them across the country via AUS or ORD, flying the West Coast and flying back. It didn’t work. With no crew base out there(think reserve pilots) or a mx base it was a mess. The only way to do it right would be a full 190 base but back to the beginning there are not enough and they don’t know if they are keeping them. I would expect the West Coast to stay like it is excepfor mint until they know what is going on with the fleet.



I understand the fleet review going on, and hopefully they stick with the e190 and get a good deal for more. Let there be a full on e190 base out west, if the routes out west are that empty what better way to compete with southwest at LGB and BUR then with a 100 seater e190?

I dont see the utility of any 320s out west. Just make it a 100 percent e190 base and keep the 320's 321s on the east coast for trans cons.

Of course they need/better keep e190s in MCO. The 321s and the 320s (once configured) are/will going to be hell on earth to work in. And a curtain in half the back galley wont make a difference...
 
SurfandSnow
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:03 pm

jetbluefan1 wrote:
B6 entered LGB in 2001 with the intent of establishing the slot-restricted airport as its West Coast focus city.


A goal that was achieved in remarkably swift fashion. B6 was a very young carrier navigating the turbulent post-9/11 era. This was no easy feat!

jetbluefan1 wrote:
Over the years, the airline has faced many challenges at its LGB operation, including the inability to build an FIS facility, the inability to utilize its quieter E190's for commuter slots (as the slots are based on weight, not noise), and - most recently - WN's entrance into the market.


Those weren't the only challenges. Before B6 launched its aggressive marketing campaigns, most Southern California residents (let alone travelers from elsewhere) had no clue the Long Beach Airport even existed. B6 not only had to promote its own brand, but also the airport. Then, just as B6 was ramping up LGB operations, AA sued B6 for not using all of its slots. AA and AS ultimately went on to aggressively launch retaliatory services between LGB and key destinations like JFK, ORD and SEA that were ultimately unsuccessful - but no doubt made things painful for B6 while they lasted. Meanwhile, DL took a much more nuanced approach to the new B6 competition (and never went away). With LGB - an airport long criticized for low yields, onerous restrictions and its proximity to LAX/SNA - getting so much attention from legacy carriers, surely it came as no surprise to B6 and its investors that the airline most interested in/successful at secondary airports throughout Greater Los Angeles might one day choose to serve this airport...

You didn't even mention the biggest challenge of all - getting new facilities at LGB. O&D travelers had to navigate an ugly maze of tarps and chain link fences, while connecting passengers were simply lucky to find a seat or packaged snack in the trailer park beyond security. This was hardly an experience befitting of the B6 brand. In December 2012, LGB opened a brand new terminal filled with local restaurants, indoor and outdoor seating, etc. that makes for one of the best airport experiences in the world. Though many B6 fans and Southern California travelers would have liked to see this come to fruition years earlier, it was an incredible accomplishment nevertheless.

Call me crazy, but I never really understood the desire for FIS at LGB - it's not like there is a shortage of service to Canada, Central America or Mexico from Greater Los Angeles. I assumed B6 wanted to do LGB-PVR/SJD/YVR, maybe even LGB-CUN/GDL/LIR/MEX/SJO/YYC, but all of those seemed like *very* risky ventures for the airport and airline given all of the existing service between nearby LAX/ONT/SNA and these markets...

jetbluefan1 wrote:
Before WN entered the market, B6 found some type of "equilibrium" with its slot portfolio, where it was able to increase and decrease capacity throughout the year and make day-of-week adjustments based on demand patterns and seasonality. However, once WN entered the market, B6 was essentially forced to fully utilize its slots - or lose them.


A risky strategy, wouldn't you say? When you squat on scarce slots that others offer to utilize more effectively, you have to be ready to use or lose them. Hardly a situation unique to LGB, of course. Similar rules probably affect B6 ops at DCA, HPN, JFK, LGA, etc.

jetbluefan1 wrote:
When looking at just how bad some of these markets are, and considering the significant fines B6 is incurring for flights which depart or arrive after the curfew, it's hard for me to see how B6 continues to justify its LGB operation. With UA, AA, DL, WN, and AS duking it out down the road at LAX - which will only become more competitive - and WN circling B6 @ LGB like a shark (very smart move on WN's part), the fare pressures show no signs of letting up.


I can't help but wonder why B6 insists on doing highly competitive trunk routes from LGB. QLA-AUS/BOS/LAS/NYC/SEA/SF Bay Area are some of the most competitive routes in the country, if not the world. There may be quite a few higher-yielding alternatives to what they do now. If LGB-ANC was a possibility, why not LGB-Hawaii? HA is already a B6 partner, and I'm sure folks in Orange County would LOVE a nonstop service to the Aloha State from a nearby airport other than LAX. I would think routes like LGB-SLC and LGB-RNO see quite a few outdoor enthusiasts (boaters, hikers, skiers, snowboarders, etc.) - could routes like LGB-BZN/EGE/HDN/JAC/MTJ be a possibility? If nothing else, perhaps its time for B6 to consider service to new destinations that probably wouldn't work from the East but might from LGB. Places like BOI, GEG and TUS spring to mind.

jetbluefan1 wrote:
As a B6 shareholder, I would hope that B6 could cut its losses, move the aircraft to more profitable markets to help supercharge growth (think: BOS, FLL), and let the other 5 carriers duke it out in LA.


Keep in mind that the fortunes of Florida (and for that matter, SJU) are very much tied to those of the Northeast. I think many people here fail to realize that this California presence provides critical diversity to the B6 operation overall. Just ask US Airways how dangerous it can be to have all of your eggs in the Eastern Time Zone basket...

jetbluefan1 wrote:
B6 seems to be very profitable from LAX, and is the largest airline on JFK-LAX (capturing 30% of the market at an average fare of $313 during the quarter -- this is likely B6's most profitable market). It may make sense for B6 to focus on maintaining its robust LAX-JFK offering, providing seriously competitive schedules on LAX-BOS/FLL, and selectively providing red-eye service where it sees an opportunity from East Coast bases where it has a large presence (i.e. MCO and BUF).


B6 operated LGB-IAD for quite some time. They have also shown repeated interest (and ability) to operate p2p routes from EWR and DC. With all this in mind - and VX's popular product going away soon - I wonder if B6 may be looking at LAX-EWR or even LAX-IAD. Neither route would be of much threat to the existing LGB operation. Gate space at LAX might be an issue, though.

jetbluefan1 wrote:
What do you think? Is it time for B6 to call it quits at LGB and focus on its core strengths (East Coast, LatAm, Mint)?


I think it's time for people to start appreciating what B6 has been able to do at LGB. While it hasn't been a runaway success, they found a niche in the highly competitive West Coast realm that has survived shocks such as 9/11 and the Great Recession. What was once a dingy trailer park is now one of the best airports in the country - a very welcome alternative to LAX for Southern California travelers. If you haven't tried LGB in the past few years, I strongly suggest you do!

As for B6's strategy at LGB, it's probably time to start thinking about better uses for the slots. I don't think the answer was international service, and I don't think the answer is trying to serve all 3 Bay Area airports and LAS as much as they do today. Maybe consolidate all LGB-Bay Area ops on a special high frequency LGB-SFO "shuttle" service, and shift other spare slots to less competitive markets like ABQ, TUS, or even something like MRY. So long as B6 does not serve SNA, LGB could be marketed as "Long Beach/Orange County" to promote this airport's convenience to popular destinations like Disneyland and the OC beaches.
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
 
evank516
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:14 pm

tphuang wrote:
evank516 wrote:
tphuang wrote:
Sort of related, b6 is bringing mint to JFK psp route over holiday season. Looks like just additional utilization of mint aircraft.

As for value of lgb, we know that they can be profitable running an operation of 20 to 25 daily flights with no southwest. We also know that will not happen in the future.

I am still waiting to hear why they can't set up an operation of 25 flights at Burbank and do better than the performance at lgb. Imo, and the worst case is doing as badly as lgb.

Which if you add to their transcon and mex operation at lax, its over 50 flights a day. As does not have anything close to that on the east coast.


I saw the Mint announcement for JFK-PSP. Nice little addition for the holidays.

B6 would probably face even tougher competition at BUR with a larger operation for WN out of BUR, plus AS and UA competing on some Bay Area routes as well. BUR would be a bigger bloodbath.


It really depends on the route.

If they move the 3 daily to JFK, 1 each to bos fll, 2 to Austin and 1 to reno over to burbank, those face no competition at all. They also have 4 daily to SLC that they can move to burbank and not face any increase in competition.

That's already 12 daily flights that would not be affected by tougher competition. I would also presume it would be higher yielding given the change in surrounding population.

They can move 2 dailies to PDX and sea over also, which they already get really low fares at lgb. I don't think will get much worse at burbank, since lgb also feels the same pressure for That gets to 16 flights.

After that, things get tough. Jetsuitex already does flights to sjc, Concord and Vegas. So JetBlue will need to move 6 daily to sfo and 2 daily to smf over. Add in 1 daily to ABQ which has 7 daily from lax but only 1 daily from other la airports. Sure fares will be low and load factor will not be great, but the lgb numbers are also quite ugly. At least burbank is closer to Hollywood money and there are some benefits to flying out of same airport as jetsuitex. That gets to 25 flights. Not saying it will easy, but lgb is quite a bloodbath already. They should at least try something different since lgb is unsustainable situation.


They face no competition at all...yet. To assume that WN wouldn't go head to head with jetBlue on some of these routes that would be moved over from LGB. Then who would get the slots at LGB that jetBlue vacates? My bet is on WN, which I'm betting that jetBlue doesn't want to see happen. Also, it was mentioned in here that the A320 has some performance issues depending on the weather with BUR's short runway. Bear in mind that LGB's main runway is about twice the length of BUR's.
 
tphuang
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:29 pm

evank516 wrote:
tphuang wrote:
evank516 wrote:

I saw the Mint announcement for JFK-PSP. Nice little addition for the holidays.

B6 would probably face even tougher competition at BUR with a larger operation for WN out of BUR, plus AS and UA competing on some Bay Area routes as well. BUR would be a bigger bloodbath.


It really depends on the route.

If they move the 3 daily to JFK, 1 each to bos fll, 2 to Austin and 1 to reno over to burbank, those face no competition at all. They also have 4 daily to SLC that they can move to burbank and not face any increase in competition.

That's already 12 daily flights that would not be affected by tougher competition. I would also presume it would be higher yielding given the change in surrounding population.

They can move 2 dailies to PDX and sea over also, which they already get really low fares at lgb. I don't think will get much worse at burbank, since lgb also feels the same pressure for That gets to 16 flights.

After that, things get tough. Jetsuitex already does flights to sjc, Concord and Vegas. So JetBlue will need to move 6 daily to sfo and 2 daily to smf over. Add in 1 daily to ABQ which has 7 daily from lax but only 1 daily from other la airports. Sure fares will be low and load factor will not be great, but the lgb numbers are also quite ugly. At least burbank is closer to Hollywood money and there are some benefits to flying out of same airport as jetsuitex. That gets to 25 flights. Not saying it will easy, but lgb is quite a bloodbath already. They should at least try something different since lgb is unsustainable situation.


They face no competition at all...yet. To assume that WN wouldn't go head to head with jetBlue on some of these routes that would be moved over from LGB. Then who would get the slots at LGB that jetBlue vacates? My bet is on WN, which I'm betting that jetBlue doesn't want to see happen. Also, it was mentioned in here that the A320 has some performance issues depending on the weather with BUR's short runway. Bear in mind that LGB's main runway is about twice the length of BUR's.

I am kind of confused by the first part. My point was that JFK bos fll aus Rno slc would not see more competition at Burbank than at lgb, which is true unless wn somehow expands its operation at Burbank. That's unlikely given wn doesn't fly to JFK bos fll aus rno out of any secondary la airport. wn doesn't seem to be challenging delta on slc flights. So if you add a couple of other routes like to and, then remaining schedule needs to be filled up with infra California flights and flights to Vegas.

I think it's generally a bad idea for JetBlue to try flying 4 or 5 a day to sjc and oak. The former is prime battleground between wn and as. The latter is wn fortress hub. So it makes sense to just concentrate on service to sfo. Which is crowded but not dominated by one carrier.
 
jetbluefan1
Topic Author
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:51 pm

Thanks SurfandSnow for your thoughtful and detailed responses to the premise of this topic. I have some responses to your responses :D

SurfandSnow wrote:
A goal that was achieved in remarkably swift fashion. B6 was a very young carrier navigating the turbulent post-9/11 era. This was no easy feat!


Certainly! At the time B6 was just a small player at JFK operating from the old T6 at JFK. They identified an opportunity at LGB and ran with it. (In hindsight, it's too bad they didn't identify an opportunity at LAX or SFO lol...but hindsight is always 2020!)

SurfandSnow wrote:
Those weren't the only challenges. Before B6 launched its aggressive marketing campaigns, most Southern California residents (let alone travelers from elsewhere) had no clue the Long Beach Airport even existed. B6 not only had to promote its own brand, but also the airport. Then, just as B6 was ramping up LGB operations, AA sued B6 for not using all of its slots. AA and AS ultimately went on to aggressively launch retaliatory services between LGB and key destinations like JFK, ORD and SEA that were ultimately unsuccessful - but no doubt made things painful for B6 while they lasted. Meanwhile, DL took a much more nuanced approach to the new B6 competition (and never went away). With LGB - an airport long criticized for low yields, onerous restrictions and its proximity to LAX/SNA - getting so much attention from legacy carriers, surely it came as no surprise to B6 and its investors that the airline most interested in/successful at secondary airports throughout Greater Los Angeles might one day choose to serve this airport...

You didn't even mention the biggest challenge of all - getting new facilities at LGB. O&D travelers had to navigate an ugly maze of tarps and chain link fences, while connecting passengers were simply lucky to find a seat or packaged snack in the trailer park beyond security. This was hardly an experience befitting of the B6 brand. In December 2012, LGB opened a brand new terminal filled with local restaurants, indoor and outdoor seating, etc. that makes for one of the best airport experiences in the world. Though many B6 fans and Southern California travelers would have liked to see this come to fruition years earlier, it was an incredible accomplishment nevertheless.

Call me crazy, but I never really understood the desire for FIS at LGB - it's not like there is a shortage of service to Canada, Central America or Mexico from Greater Los Angeles. I assumed B6 wanted to do LGB-PVR/SJD/YVR, maybe even LGB-CUN/GDL/LIR/MEX/SJO/YYC, but all of those seemed like *very* risky ventures for the airport and airline given all of the existing service between nearby LAX/ONT/SNA and these markets...


Funny to think that AA had such an allergic reaction to this tiny airline. I believe AA threw 3x 757's on JFK-LGB and bled money - and even added JFK-SNA to "corner" the market south of LA.

The old trailer setup was really a mess, with frequent overcrowding and basically no amenities. I have seen pictures of the new terminal and it is beautiful. I hope to get to visit it one day. Truly one of a kind.

You're not crazy. I also don't understand the motive behind the FIS, although it would have allowed for some more natural connecting flow over LGB (i.e. SMF-LGB-MEX or SJC-LGB-LIR). B6 has found quite a bit of success from FLL and JFK to Latin America, so perhaps they figured they could use their knowledge of certain LatAm markets to establish themselves. But yes, *very* risky.

SurfandSnow wrote:
A risky strategy, wouldn't you say? When you squat on scarce slots that others offer to utilize more effectively, you have to be ready to use or lose them. Hardly a situation unique to LGB, of course. Similar rules probably affect B6 ops at DCA, HPN, JFK, LGA, etc.


Absolutely. It appears B6 miscalculated WN's eventual move. Although, frankly, the move seems more DL-esque if you ask me...

SurfandSnow wrote:
I can't help but wonder why B6 insists on doing highly competitive trunk routes from LGB. QLA-AUS/BOS/LAS/NYC/SEA/SF Bay Area are some of the most competitive routes in the country, if not the world. There may be quite a few higher-yielding alternatives to what they do now. If LGB-ANC was a possibility, why not LGB-Hawaii? HA is already a B6 partner, and I'm sure folks in Orange County would LOVE a nonstop service to the Aloha State from a nearby airport other than LAX. I would think routes like LGB-SLC and LGB-RNO see quite a few outdoor enthusiasts (boaters, hikers, skiers, snowboarders, etc.) - could routes like LGB-BZN/EGE/HDN/JAC/MTJ be a possibility? If nothing else, perhaps its time for B6 to consider service to new destinations that probably wouldn't work from the East but might from LGB. Places like BOI, GEG and TUS spring to mind.


I think it just goes to show that B6 is trying to appeal to large markets where LA-based travelers want to visit, and West Coast markets that would otherwise be mostly restricted to JFK/BOS if not connected to LGB. For example, SMF-based travelers are not restricted to JFK/BOS (and the plethora of connecting opportunities available), but also can fly B6 to the LA area, which open up a few important connecting markets as well (LAS, SLC, AUS).

I'm not saying it's a profitable strategy, but B6 sees some value in it.

SurfandSnow wrote:
Keep in mind that the fortunes of Florida (and for that matter, SJU) are very much tied to those of the Northeast. I think many people here fail to realize that this California presence provides critical diversity to the B6 operation overall. Just ask US Airways how dangerous it can be to have all of your eggs in the Eastern Time Zone basket...


Certainly a good point. B6 is very concentrated in East Coast and Caribbean markets which are prone to inclement weather. Obviously LA does not have the same challenges (although last year's freak rain storms are notable).

SurfandSnow wrote:
B6 operated LGB-IAD for quite some time. They have also shown repeated interest (and ability) to operate p2p routes from EWR and DC. With all this in mind - and VX's popular product going away soon - I wonder if B6 may be looking at LAX-EWR or even LAX-IAD. Neither route would be of much threat to the existing LGB operation. Gate space at LAX might be an issue, though.


I don't see LAX-IAD given that IAD is essentially a shell of it once was. Too bad B6 doesn't have beyond-perimeter slots at DCA.

LAX-EWR, on the other hand, is a route I'd expect to see sooner rather than later (dependent on gate space, of course).

SurfandSnow wrote:
I think it's time for people to start appreciating what B6 has been able to do at LGB. While it hasn't been a runaway success, they found a niche in the highly competitive West Coast realm that has survived shocks such as 9/11 and the Great Recession. What was once a dingy trailer park is now one of the best airports in the country - a very welcome alternative to LAX for Southern California travelers. If you haven't tried LGB in the past few years, I strongly suggest you do!

As for B6's strategy at LGB, it's probably time to start thinking about better uses for the slots. I don't think the answer was international service, and I don't think the answer is trying to serve all 3 Bay Area airports and LAS as much as they do today. Maybe consolidate all LGB-Bay Area ops on a special high frequency LGB-SFO "shuttle" service, and shift other spare slots to less competitive markets like ABQ, TUS, or even something like MRY. So long as B6 does not serve SNA, LGB could be marketed as "Long Beach/Orange County" to promote this airport's convenience to popular destinations like Disneyland and the OC beaches.


I think B6 could shift some frequencies from LAS/SLC/SJC/OAK to markets like PHX, DEN, and ORD. It would at least open up some more options for LA-based travelers and would allow some more connectivity in the system.
 
ScottB
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:33 pm

SurfandSnow wrote:
I can't help but wonder why B6 insists on doing highly competitive trunk routes from LGB. QLA-AUS/BOS/LAS/NYC/SEA/SF Bay Area are some of the most competitive routes in the country, if not the world. There may be quite a few higher-yielding alternatives to what they do now. If LGB-ANC was a possibility, why not LGB-Hawaii? HA is already a B6 partner, and I'm sure folks in Orange County would LOVE a nonstop service to the Aloha State from a nearby airport other than LAX. I would think routes like LGB-SLC and LGB-RNO see quite a few outdoor enthusiasts (boaters, hikers, skiers, snowboarders, etc.) - could routes like LGB-BZN/EGE/HDN/JAC/MTJ be a possibility? If nothing else, perhaps its time for B6 to consider service to new destinations that probably wouldn't work from the East but might from LGB. Places like BOI, GEG and TUS spring to mind.


B6 is in those markets at LGB because that's where the strongest demand from the L.A. region falls, and to be successful at a secondary airport, they need to offer some combination of service to popular markets, low prices, and attractive schedule. The markets you suggest like BZN/EGE/JAC/HDN/MTJ simply aren't large enough to support daily (if not even weekly) A320s and some are very, very seasonal as well. Hawaii is already super-competitive from L.A. so they'd be going up against UA, AA, DL, AS, and potentially WN in the near future. If they were to retreat into the niche of serving small markets from LGB, they'd face a problem in maintaining frequent flyer loyalty given that they simply wouldn't serve the markets to which most L.A.-area passengers want to travel.

SurfandSnow wrote:
Call me crazy, but I never really understood the desire for FIS at LGB - it's not like there is a shortage of service to Canada, Central America or Mexico from Greater Los Angeles.


The FIS at LGB wasn't just about serving places in Canada or South America from southern California; rather, B6 wanted to have some connecting flights which would help to fill the weak-performing routes up and down the West Coast. Otherwise LGB is horribly unsuitable geographically for a connecting hub unless you have flights going transpacific or to Latin America.

SurfandSnow wrote:
Just ask US Airways how dangerous it can be to have all of your eggs in the Eastern Time Zone basket...


The problem with US Airways wasn't having its operations concentrated in the east (and, in fact, the CLT & PHL hubs have proven to be very lucrative assets for AA). Rather, US was a bloated, inefficient airline that took shape from an amalgamation of several regional carriers and had never effectively addressed its uncompetitive cost structure. WN's rapid growth at BWI and entry into several medium-sized long-US-dominated markets (i.e. PVD, ALB, BUF, MHT), along with the ability of the other legacy carriers to leverage regional jets to serve Northeast markets from Midwestern hubs (as well as ATL for DL) completely destabilized the US network. The roaring success of the OH/DL hub at CVG in the late 1990s came largely at the expense of US Airways' PIT hub.

SurfandSnow wrote:
I think it's time for people to start appreciating what B6 has been able to do at LGB. While it hasn't been a runaway success, they found a niche in the highly competitive West Coast realm that has survived shocks such as 9/11 and the Great Recession.


But in the end the entire point of B6's existence (to its owners, at least) is to make money. They've been in LGB for 15 years, and if LGB is losing money (or they can't make it as profitable as other uses for the aircraft & crews) then they really do need to consider cutting their losses. WN cleverly forced the issue by requesting slots, and the expanded service at LGB probably loses money for B6.

tphuang wrote:
If they move the 3 daily to JFK, 1 each to bos fll, 2 to Austin and 1 to reno over to burbank, those face no competition at all. They also have 4 daily to SLC that they can move to burbank and not face any increase in competition.

That's already 12 daily flights that would not be affected by tougher competition. I would also presume it would be higher yielding given the change in surrounding population.

They can move 2 dailies to PDX and sea over also, which they already get really low fares at lgb. I don't think will get much worse at burbank, since lgb also feels the same pressure for That gets to 16 flights.

After that, things get tough. Jetsuitex already does flights to sjc, Concord and Vegas. So JetBlue will need to move 6 daily to sfo and 2 daily to smf over. Add in 1 daily to ABQ which has 7 daily from lax but only 1 daily from other la airports. Sure fares will be low and load factor will not be great, but the lgb numbers are also quite ugly. At least burbank is closer to Hollywood money and there are some benefits to flying out of same airport as jetsuitex. That gets to 25 flights. Not saying it will easy, but lgb is quite a bloodbath already. They should at least try something different since lgb is unsustainable situation.


Actually, moving LGB-SLC over to BUR-SLC would mean increased competition because both DL & WN already service BUR-SLC while only DL competes in LGB-SLC. PDX & SEA could easily be worse; AS serves both and WN is also in the BUR-PDX airport pair. Two daily B6 flights between BUR & SMF would perform horribly up against WN's eight.

But the real problem with your plan is that what you're suggesting isn't all that different from what B6 did at LGB in response to WN getting slots. And rather than doing it from the relative position of strength of being the largest slot holder at LGB (OK, I agree that's not very strong but they do have far more slots than WN), they'd be up against WN at an airport where WN's 55 daily departures would still be more flights & seats than everyone else combined. Sure, their niche routes (JFK, BOS, AUS) would probably do OK at BUR, too, but they're already doing fine at LGB.

If they're losing money at LGB because of all the added flying to babysit slots, maybe it makes more sense to just let WN have the slots and concentrate on what makes money for B6. Walking away from LGB in favor of BUR due to WN competition at LGB really is jumping from the frying pan into the fire. If the concern is over the curfew violations; well, just keep in mind that the BUR NIMBYs likely aren't any more helpful than the LGB NIMBYs and the City of Burbank won't be happy if B6 endangers the new terminal project by repeatedly busting the voluntary curfew.

routeplanner wrote:
I do know that LAS would welcome B6 with open arms. I do know there has been some speculation in LAS planning circles about someone starting a "Night Flight" operation similar to HP in the 80's and 90's. My carrier has told LAS thanks, but no thanks.


No doubt B6 could find plenty of traffic in LAS, but it's low-yielding and they'd have ample competition on just about any route they'd choose to serve. The HP night hub made some sense when fuel was cheap (and HP's labor was cheap, too) and it could leverage the network of outstations for the PHX hub, but I doubt it made what B6 would consider acceptable margins these days.
 
tphuang
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:40 am

I would think on JFK/BOS/AUS/RNO/FLL/ABQ would do better in BUR than LGB given the improved demographics. As for SLC, the main competitor there is DL, not WN's 2 daily. So in terms of real competition, things don't change.

As for the remaining flights, B6 would have to fly against many AS frequency to SEA/PDX whether they are at LGB or BUR. The main competition at both LGB/BUR are the 30 daily to SEA and 15 daily to PDX out of LAX.

They would have to fly against many competitors to SFO whether they are at LGB or BUR. The main competition is the 5 airlines running shuttle between LAX and SFO. Now, WN frequency from BUR to OAK/SJC are actually a bigger deal compared to LAX to OAK/SJC, so B6 should avoid those routes. 6 daily from BUR/SFO wouldn't be competitive vs other airlines, but it needs to be served. Competition at LGB isn't any lighter when you consider LAX right up the road. And even if they don't, at least they won't get fined for curfew which made those LGB flights even more unprofitable.

By reducing footprint to 25 flights a day in order to not squat on slots, they will not be flying the worst performing routes to LAS/SJC/OAK. Those routes are covered by JetSuitex 7 to 10 daily flights to LAS/SJC/CCR. If they decide to give up on SMF, then they can just go with 4 flights to LAS. Yields are going to bad, but they were horrific at LGB. At least they won't be doing 7 daily flights just to squat on slots.

If they have to loose money serving markets to complete their west coast network, they might as well do it at an airport that's closer to money, have a better chance of serving the corporate clients they have captured with mint service. Do you think the corporate clients are flying out of LGB?

And on LAS, the mint service is selling great out of JFK. BOS-LAS is getting great pricing too. That's more than half of their flights to LAS. FLL (and MCO eventually) need to be served and probably break even. It's only the LGB flights that are loosing money.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:15 am

2Holer4Longhaul wrote:
LAX is in a state of chaos

....huh?


runway23 wrote:
B6' only options in the west are probably BUR and LAS as discussed above.

Only option for what?
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
2Holer4Longhaul
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:47 am

LAX772LR wrote:
2Holer4Longhaul wrote:
LAX is in a state of chaos

....huh?

The US majors, Southwest, and Alaska+Virgin are all trying to expand, but the airport doesn't have the room to sustain that expansion. That's why it's congested as [redacted], crowded (although not as bad as some), and only getting worse.
"You know, if you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything, wouldn't you, at any time? And you would achieve nothing!" - Margaret Thatcher
 
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FA9295
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:54 am

runway23 wrote:
B6' only options in the west are probably BUR and LAS as discussed above.


Possibly ONT? Or maybe even SAN...?
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:07 am

2Holer4Longhaul wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
2Holer4Longhaul wrote:
LAX is in a state of chaos

....huh?

The US majors, Southwest, and Alaska+Virgin are all trying to expand, but the airport doesn't have the room to sustain that expansion. That's why it's congested as [redacted], crowded (although not as bad as some), and only getting worse.

Like so many on this site, you're completely exaggerating the state of that airport.

Are there holds for gates, yes. Can air traffic get backed up on the two times a year it rains, sure. Is the departure dropoff crowded, sometimes.
To equate any to a "state of chaos" is utterly ridiculous.

Considering the volume that it handles and the amount of construction, the airport functions rather well.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
2Holer4Longhaul
Posts: 374
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:03 am

Re: When Will B6 Pull Out of LGB?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:46 am

LAX772LR wrote:
2Holer4Longhaul wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
....huh?

The US majors, Southwest, and Alaska+Virgin are all trying to expand, but the airport doesn't have the room to sustain that expansion. That's why it's congested as [redacted], crowded (although not as bad as some), and only getting worse.

Like so many on this site, you're completely exaggerating the state of that airport.

Are there holds for gates, yes. Can air traffic get backed up on the two times a year it rains, sure. Is the departure dropoff crowded, sometimes.
To equate any to a "state of chaos" is utterly ridiculous.

Considering the volume that it handles and the amount of construction, the airport functions rather well.

If you measure it compared to other large US airports, it honestly does. Part of that is on the California sun, and part of it is on having a more intelligent layout than ORD or the New York airports. Perhaps chaos was an exaggeration to use for LAX.

Nevertheless, the overarching point (that JetBlue should not hub LAX) stands. LAX is boxed in, and currently everyone is trying to grow there. That combination is not friendly for B6 to expand.
"You know, if you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything, wouldn't you, at any time? And you would achieve nothing!" - Margaret Thatcher

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