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jplatts
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Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:46 pm

Even though Southwest had started service out of Cincinnati back on June 4th and even though Southwest has already announced plans to serve Hawaii, Southwest hasn't yet announced plans to serve any destinations within the states of Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming.

Even though Southwest does not currently serve any airports in the states of Montana, South Dakota, or Wyoming, Southwest does serve the extreme western portion of Montana through Spokane, Southwest does serves the southeast corner of South Dakota through Omaha, Southwest does serve the southwest corner of Wyoming through Salt Lake City, and Southwest does serve the southeast corner of Wyoming through Denver.

Southwest does not currently have any service to Alaska or North Dakota, but Southwest has considered adding service to Anchorage, AK.

Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?
 
jplatts
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:54 pm

sw733 wrote:
Southwest doesn't operate in any of the seven least populated states...of which yours are five of them (in addition to Vermont and Delaware). I don't think that's a coincidence - aside from Alaska, a lot of the flights in to these states are done with regional jets, which Southwest of course does not have. I assume Southwest has looked at all five of those states, and determined that the market just isn't there for them in their current form.


While Southwest does not serve any airports in the states of Delaware and Vermont, Southwest already does serve southern Vermont through Albany and Southwest already does serve northern Delaware through Philadelphia.
 
sw733
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:54 pm

Southwest doesn't operate in any of the seven least populated states...of which yours are five of them (in addition to Vermont and Delaware). I don't think that's a coincidence - aside from Alaska, a lot of the flights in to these states are done with regional jets, which Southwest of course does not have. I assume Southwest has looked at all five of those states, and determined that the market just isn't there for them in their current form.

The most obvious Alaska route would be SEA-ANC which is very crowded. Perhaps a seasonal route to somewhere in Montana or Wyoming could be feasible, but again, I'm sure they've looked in to it.
 
ILNFlyer
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:55 pm

They will when demand and yields justify it.
 
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SteveXC500
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:55 pm

Montana is well served by Alaska and Delta. Probably no room for additional carriers.
Alaska, I could see, IF Southwest wants to go at AS via SEA, but AS is clearly pretty well entrenched.
The Dakotas? Wyoming? Not happening with DEN, SLC, MSP connections.
 
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:56 pm

I could see WN adding ANC from SEA, where there's a bottomless pit of demand in the summer, and OAK, LAS, DEN, and SAN also, but I don't know how high it is on their list of priorities. It's certainly plausible that they could add ANC, but I think that Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming don't have enough demand, and remember that WN hasn't done too well in similarly sized cities, like JAN, EYW, and BKG, so I don't think that WN is pursuing those markets right now.
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evank516
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:58 pm

I can see Alaska at some point. Anchorage in particular. The 737MAX should allow this to happen. As far as Montana goes, I'm a little surprised to not see them in Billings, but my guess is that WN would already be there if it was anywhere in their plan. OAK/LAX/LAS-ANC is probably not too far fetched at this point.
 
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:00 pm

Why would they have any reason to? Southwest has a very smart management team, and clearly they have determined there isn’t enough if a market...
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jplatts
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:01 pm

MDW is actually within the range of Boeing 737-700, Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737 MAX 7, and Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, and Alaska actually even flies a Boeing 737-800 nonstop between ANC and ORD. Southwest can actually serve MDW nonstop from ANC if it decides to enter Alaska, and Southwest can connect passengers through MDW to most of its destinations east of Chicago if it adds ANC-MDW nonstop service.
 
evank516
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:04 pm

jplatts wrote:
MDW is actually within the range of Boeing 737-700, Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737 MAX 7, and Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, and Alaska actually even flies a Boeing 737-800 nonstop between ANC and ORD. Southwest can actually serve MDW nonstop from ANC if it decides to enter Alaska, and Southwest can connect passengers through MDW to most of its destinations east of Chicago if it adds ANC-MDW nonstop service.


Because everyone wants to fly ANC-MDW-LAX.
 
jbmitt
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:05 pm

If they can serve DSM with 3 flights a day, they can certainly serve ANC, but would have their hands full with AS, DL, UA depending which gateway city they would serve it from.

BIL is the largest city in Montana, and at 150k ish people, would be limited in where they would fly. DEN is the obvious connection, MDW is less likely as AA only serves ORD seasonally.
 
QANTAS747-438
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:12 pm

Years ago, WN brought up the topic. They said that SD, ND, WY, MT all represented at or below 1% of all air traffic in the US, and that they were ok to give up that 1% to focus on bigger things. That was around 2005.
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
 
sw733
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:16 pm

jplatts wrote:
sw733 wrote:
Southwest doesn't operate in any of the seven least populated states...of which yours are five of them (in addition to Vermont and Delaware). I don't think that's a coincidence - aside from Alaska, a lot of the flights in to these states are done with regional jets, which Southwest of course does not have. I assume Southwest has looked at all five of those states, and determined that the market just isn't there for them in their current form.


While Southwest does not serve any airports in the states of Delaware and Vermont, Southwest already does serve southern Vermont through Albany and Southwest already does serve northern Delaware through Philadelphia.


I simply don't understand your point of saying "State A is served by a 'close enough' city in State B". In that regard, by your own statement, many of the states you bring up are already served 'close enough'...Borders are borders - if they don't serve an airport in Vermont, they don't really serve Vermont.
 
evank516
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:17 pm

sw733 wrote:
jplatts wrote:
sw733 wrote:
Southwest doesn't operate in any of the seven least populated states...of which yours are five of them (in addition to Vermont and Delaware). I don't think that's a coincidence - aside from Alaska, a lot of the flights in to these states are done with regional jets, which Southwest of course does not have. I assume Southwest has looked at all five of those states, and determined that the market just isn't there for them in their current form.


While Southwest does not serve any airports in the states of Delaware and Vermont, Southwest already does serve southern Vermont through Albany and Southwest already does serve northern Delaware through Philadelphia.


I simply don't understand your point of saying "State A is served by a 'close enough' city in State B". In that regard, by your own statement, many of the states you bring up are already served 'close enough'...Borders are borders - if they don't serve an airport in Vermont, they don't really serve Vermont.


To add, didn't WN serve BTV briefly? Or did FL axe that before the merger?
 
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:21 pm

QANTAS747-438 wrote:
Years ago, WN brought up the topic. They said that SD, ND, WY, MT all represented at or below 1% of all air traffic in the US, and that they were ok to give up that 1% to focus on bigger things. That was around 2005.

Things have changed since then. If anything, the oil boom in ND could make it so that it can support at least one flight. Fargo would be the likely candidate. Not a daily flight, but maybe 2x (3x) a week? There are plenty of bases from which a Fargo flight could work. STL, MDW, DEN, MKE...
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TWA902fly
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:21 pm

jbmitt wrote:
If they can serve DSM with 3 flights a day, they can certainly serve ANC, but would have their hands full with AS, DL, UA depending which gateway city they would serve it from.

BIL is the largest city in Montana, and at 150k ish people, would be limited in where they would fly. DEN is the obvious connection, MDW is less likely as AA only serves ORD seasonally.


A lot of these cities could really use cheaper fares, but most don't have the volume of traffic that Southwest likes to have. I think I read somewhere that they tend to not open stations that cannot support at least 7 daily flights. Can you see BIL, FSD, FAR, CPR, CYS, etc supporting 7+ daily 737s? Other than the state of Alaska, most of these cities have DL and/or UA to their hubs, providing access to basically anywhere in the world, and G4 with less-than-daily service to the most popular leisure destinations (LAS, SFB, etc). Of all of the possibilities, I think ANC is the only one that could possibly support Southwest service. As others have mentioned, it's a crowded market, but it's nowhere near as crowded as it used to be. Currently AS and DL provide year-round service, with B6 joining in the summer. It used to be that basically any domestic airline that flew to ANC flew ANC-SEA. The state of Alaska is a unique market in that you basically have to fly to get anywhere, so there might be room for Southwest on SEA-ANC and PDX-ANC.

Here in Fairbanks, we could really use some competition, especially in the winter. But the market is nowhere near big enough to have an entry by Southwest.

'902
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airzona11
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:26 pm

Alaska has Alaska to rest of PacNW on lockdown. I doubt ANC is on their radar. The other states you mention, those cities would be hard pressed to fill 143 seats each day and WN doesnt really operate any stations 1 daily. Within 10 years I would say just about no chance.
 
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:32 pm

airzona11 wrote:
Alaska has Alaska to rest of PacNW on lockdown. I doubt ANC is on their radar. The other states you mention, those cities would be hard pressed to fill 143 seats each day and WN doesnt really operate any stations 1 daily. Within 10 years I would say just about no chance.


There are a few Southwest Airlines stations outside of the U.S. where Southwest only operates 1 flight a day, but Southwest operates at least 3 flights a day out of each of its U.S. stations.
 
Western727
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:34 pm

sw733 wrote:
jplatts wrote:
sw733 wrote:
Southwest doesn't operate in any of the seven least populated states...of which yours are five of them (in addition to Vermont and Delaware). I don't think that's a coincidence - aside from Alaska, a lot of the flights in to these states are done with regional jets, which Southwest of course does not have. I assume Southwest has looked at all five of those states, and determined that the market just isn't there for them in their current form.


While Southwest does not serve any airports in the states of Delaware and Vermont, Southwest already does serve southern Vermont through Albany and Southwest already does serve northern Delaware through Philadelphia.


I simply don't understand your point of saying "State A is served by a 'close enough' city in State B". In that regard, by your own statement, many of the states you bring up are already served 'close enough'...Borders are borders - if they don't serve an airport in Vermont, they don't really serve Vermont.


I disagree. Downtown Wilmington is a 21.3-mile drive to PHL according to Google Maps, so if they serve PHL, they serve a significant part of DE. And surely you know the term "catchment area".
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:51 pm

Southwest Airlines has a network that still slightly resembles Morris Air from when they did their takeover in the 1990s

Image

Morris Air didn't serve those states. I think Billings probably could work, but Southwest hasn't been adding many new cities in the west. Connectivity has increased, but not many new cities have opened up.
 
jplatts
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:59 pm

TWA902fly wrote:
A lot of these cities could really use cheaper fares, but most don't have the volume of traffic that Southwest likes to have. I think I read somewhere that they tend to not open stations that cannot support at least 7 daily flights. Can you see BIL, FSD, FAR, CPR, CYS, etc supporting 7+ daily 737s?


Southwest Airlines did enter some markets in Texas in the 1970's with fewer than 7 daily flights, including AMA, LBB, MAF, ELP, CRP, and HRL. Southwest Airlines also actually entered into a few markets with fewer than 7 daily flights in the 1980's, including ABQ, LAS, LIT, and ONT, and Southwest Airlines actually also entered into JAX and FLL with fewer than 7 daily flights in the 1990's. Southwest has a significantly larger presence at LAS and FLL today than it did when it first started service out of these two airports, and LAS is currently the 3rd largest Southwest Airlines station after MDW and BWI. ABQ, ELP, and ONT are also larger Southwest Airlines stations today than was the case when Southwest started service out of these two airports, with Southwest currently doing 35 daily flights out of ABQ, with Southwest currently doing 21 daily flights out of ELP, and with Southwest currently doing 33 daily flights out of ONT.
 
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:59 pm

As a question stated with an 'ever' , the only answer is maybe, maybe not. End of story. I am sure that with the overly worded analysis that repeats itself incessantly with your posts of the past, you damn well know the answer that there isn't much there to serve. Although, I wish WN would get into the ski market game and add BZN and JAC (which has been served loooong ago by WN with Sa only DAL public charter flights IIRC).
Now, back to your "will WN add PWM-CLE/CVG/LAX/BOI/CRP/ONT/DEN/GRR/GEG/ORF/PDX/SJC/PDX*? because there is a Motel 6 in each location nonstop type questions. :)
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:59 pm

[OT](Reading through the thread)

Seriously, I have to deal with stupid politics crap in a total irrelevant thread?[/OT]

As far as service into MT/SD/ND/WY from WN: I just don't see it. There are many bigger market (in terms of enplanement) that WN doesn't even fly to. JAN (Used to serve but no more) or GSO, or even BTV just from the top of my head.

The smallest market (in terms of enplanement) that WN flys to right now is CRP, with 339193 pax/year. From MT/SD/ND/WY, only BZN, BIL, FAR, and FSD has more enplanement than CRP. MSO and JAC are close (with ~290k and ~270k passengers each per year). That's about it, though.

Hack, if you want to look further, the next smallest market for WN would be HRL (Harlingen, TX), followed by ECP (Panama City Beach, FL) and AMA (Amarillo, TX), then MAF (Midland/Odessa, TX). Even then, the most used airport in the 4 states (BZN at 442788) is smaller market than MAF (445043). And outside of ECP (Which is a beach market, seasonal, with nearby airports like VPS or even PNS taking traffic), all the "small" WN markets are in Texas and are only served for historical reason.

Ultimately, though, I do see WN possibly opening seasonal ski market routes (so BZN or JAC), since those can fill up 737s. But year-round? Highly unlikely.

ANC is a different world altogether. AS pretty much has most of the market, and I just don't see ANC-SEA as a high priority compare to, let say, Caribbean expansion for WN.
 
sw733
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:01 pm

Western727 wrote:
sw733 wrote:
jplatts wrote:

While Southwest does not serve any airports in the states of Delaware and Vermont, Southwest already does serve southern Vermont through Albany and Southwest already does serve northern Delaware through Philadelphia.


I simply don't understand your point of saying "State A is served by a 'close enough' city in State B". In that regard, by your own statement, many of the states you bring up are already served 'close enough'...Borders are borders - if they don't serve an airport in Vermont, they don't really serve Vermont.


I disagree. Downtown Wilmington is a 21.3-mile drive to PHL according to Google Maps, so if they serve PHL, they serve a significant part of DE. And surely you know the term "catchment area".


Yeah, I know what a catchment area is, thanks for the snark. If you say Delaware is served by PHL (which I don't disagree with), and OP's own admission says several of the states he brings up are served by airports pretty close...then this whole thread is a bit moot.
 
SPREE34
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:03 pm

sw733 wrote:
jplatts wrote:
sw733 wrote:
Southwest doesn't operate in any of the seven least populated states...of which yours are five of them (in addition to Vermont and Delaware). I don't think that's a coincidence - aside from Alaska, a lot of the flights in to these states are done with regional jets, which Southwest of course does not have. I assume Southwest has looked at all five of those states, and determined that the market just isn't there for them in their current form.


While Southwest does not serve any airports in the states of Delaware and Vermont, Southwest already does serve southern Vermont through Albany and Southwest already does serve northern Delaware through Philadelphia.


I simply don't understand your point of saying "State A is served by a 'close enough' city in State B". In that regard, by your own statement, many of the states you bring up are already served 'close enough'...Borders are borders - if they don't serve an airport in Vermont, they don't really serve Vermont.


State lines don't define catchment areas. A given airport has a catchment area. That area is define by population density.

State lines are irrelevant. If they were, by your thinking, Cincinnati (CVG) doesn't have an airport. But CoVinGton Kentucky sure does.
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:16 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
Things have changed since then. If anything, the oil boom in ND could make it so that it can support at least one flight. Fargo would be the likely candidate

The oil boom in ND is a shell of what it was in 2013-2014. Back then would have been the time to add service, when the legacies were adding flights to places like MOT and DIK. That being said, while Fargo is by far the largest metro in North Dakota, Billings is actually a much closer market to the oil activity and as such sees more oil-related commerce.

I know it's been largely forgotten but Sioux Falls is easily the largest metro in the MT/WY/ND/SD group. Over 250k which is around a hundred thousand more than Fargo or Billings (which are very similar in size). Also a market dominated by high-priced legacies flying mostly regional jets. Probably the most likely to attract WN (from MDW) but also has an entire catchment area of less than a million people which isn't very attractive. Still, city population isn't always the rule with WN service - they serve some fairly small markets.
 
sw733
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:19 pm

SPREE34 wrote:
sw733 wrote:
jplatts wrote:

While Southwest does not serve any airports in the states of Delaware and Vermont, Southwest already does serve southern Vermont through Albany and Southwest already does serve northern Delaware through Philadelphia.


I simply don't understand your point of saying "State A is served by a 'close enough' city in State B". In that regard, by your own statement, many of the states you bring up are already served 'close enough'...Borders are borders - if they don't serve an airport in Vermont, they don't really serve Vermont.


State lines don't define catchment areas. A given airport has a catchment area. That area is define by population density.

State lines are irrelevant. If they were, by your thinking, Cincinnati (CVG) doesn't have an airport. But CoVinGton Kentucky sure does.


This whole entire thread is about Southwest expanding in to new states. They serve an airport close to Wyoming. They serve an airport close to South Dakota. Both of these were admitted by OP, but he still asked if WY or SD would ever be served by Southwest, meaning he's curious if the state itself will ever be served by Southwest. That's literally what this entire thread is about...so in this case, borders really are borders...if Southwest serves an airport in Minnesota that is one mile from the North Dakota border, they're not technically serving North Dakota, catchment area or not.
 
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787fan8
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:20 pm

I'm sure they'll add service to Alaska eventually, but I don't see WN service to the other 4 states happening anytime soon due to lack of demand.
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EarlyLateORD
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:26 pm

The only reasonably sized city that may work is Sioux Falls from either Den or MDW. Delta fills up some very large planes at FSD/FAR. The area you describe was largely a DL/NW monopoly, i think DL would fight hard if Southwest were to start flying to gold mines like FSD/FAR/FCA etc.

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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:37 pm

The less populated states in the upper plains are too small a market for Southwest using 737 aircraft but the real question is why isn't Canada on their destination list by now? Mexico, Costa Rica (even Cuba!) have been served by WN before Canada. Is it a political bilateral agreement issue or is there something else at play?
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:44 pm

GK said the MAX8 will make Hawaii and Alaska possible in the near future.
We now no Hawaii coming.
WN done retiring aircraft now it's on a growth mode for the next 7 yrs.
AS picked a fight going after WN California market.
ANC on the radar and the short list now!

BZN been trying hard to land WN.
I see that in the future also.

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jplatts
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:49 pm

fraspotter wrote:
The less populated states in the upper plains are too small a market for Southwest using 737 aircraft but the real question is why isn't Canada on their destination list by now? Mexico, Costa Rica (even Cuba!) have been served by WN before Canada. Is it a political bilateral agreement issue or is there something else at play?


Even though Southwest has not yet announced any service to any Canadian airports, Southwest has already said that it wants expand into Canada.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:53 pm

fraspotter wrote:
The less populated states in the upper plains are too small a market for Southwest using 737 aircraft but the real question is why isn't Canada on their destination list by now? Mexico, Costa Rica (even Cuba!) have been served by WN before Canada. Is it a political bilateral agreement issue or is there something else at play?


I believe it has to do with high operation fee into Canadian airports. I may be totally wrong, though.

But quite frankly, B6 has huuuggggge hubs (Sorry, I can't help it) close to Canada in JFK and BOS, but they don't fly into Canada. NK fly all the way to CTG in Colombia or even LIM but no Canada for them either.

The only reasonably sized city that may work is Sioux Falls from either Den or MDW. Delta fills up some very large planes at FSD/FAR. The area you describe was largely a DL/NW monopoly, i think DL would fight hard if Southwest were to start flying to gold mines like FSD/FAR/FCA etc.


In addition to the enplanement number, there's also the fact that both FAR and FSD metro area are maybe 250k people. There are a ton of market that has way more people, such as GSO (~1.6M), MDT (~1.2M), FAT (~1.12M), and TYS (~1.1M) that WN doesn't even fly to. And some of the smaller metro area that they fly to, such as DSM, ICT, ROC, or GRR, are some of the smallest stations that WN fly to (Coincidentally, all 4 of those are ex-FL cities).
Last edited by zakuivcustom on Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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FA9295
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:53 pm

There wouldn't be anywhere for them to operate in Wyoming. (maybe Gillette...?)
Alaska has Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Montana has Missoula, Butte, Bozeman and Billings.
North Dakota has Dickinson, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Fargo.
South Dakota has Rapid City and Sioux Falls.
 
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:01 pm

Just a reminder that politics do not belong in this forum. Political statements and discussion belong in the Non Aviation Forum. Please stick to aviation here, because political statements tend to turn into flame bait.

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isaacchambers
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:20 pm

As a Canadian living in the Bay Area that flies WN all the time, its been painful to see the lack of competition USA<>Canada. Its all pretty much UA/AC. Having said that....

The fees for operating out of Canadian airports are very high....YYZ especially. I feel WN's chances to tiptoe in the market sailed when WS and WN didnt further team up....DL and AA benefited. They do have brand recognition in Canada and certainly would disrupt the transborder market with no change fees or bag fees (all carriers there charge!). I am surprised that some airports haven't courted them since a few airports are losing pax to northern border towns in the USA....especially YUL/YOW. But i can see first destinations to be YVR, YYC and YUL,,,maybe YHM for Toronto....but i don't see them at YYZ anytime soon....
 
jplatts
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:28 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
In addition to the enplanement number, there's also the fact that both FAR and FSD metro area are maybe 250k people. There are a ton of market that has way more people, such as GSO (~1.6M), MDT (~1.2M), FAT (~1.12M), and TYS (~1.1M) that WN doesn't even fly to. And some of the smaller metro area that they fly to, such as DSM, ICT, ROC, or GRR, are some of the smallest stations that WN fly to (Coincidentally, all 4 of those are ex-FL cities).


Greensboro, NC is actually only 1 hour away from RDU, which is served by Southwest Airlines, and Lexington, NC (which is in the southern portion of the Piedmont Triad between Winston-Salem and Charlotte) is within a hour and 15 minute drive from CLT, which is served by Southwest Airlines.

While Southwest does not serve MDT, the Harrisburg, PA area is within a 2-hour drive of BWI, DCA, and PHL, all of which are served by Southwest Airlines.

Fresno, CA is the largest city proper in the U.S. that does not have Southwest Airlines service, and the Fresno metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area in the contiguous U.S. that is not served by Southwest Airlines. There have already some discussions about Southwest starting service out of FAT in the Airliners.net forums.

TYS used to be served by AirTran prior to the Southwest-AirTran merger with nonstop service to MCO out of TYS, but AirTran discontinued service out of TYS on June 2, 2012.
 
ridgid727
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:44 pm

FA9295 wrote:
There wouldn't be anywhere for them to operate in Wyoming. (maybe Gillette...?)
Alaska has Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Montana has Missoula, Butte, Bozeman and Billings.
North Dakota has Dickinson, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Fargo.
South Dakota has Rapid City and Sioux Falls.


I would imagine they could pull some pretty could loads at JAC in Wyoming.
 
ScottB
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:22 pm

fraspotter wrote:
The less populated states in the upper plains are too small a market for Southwest using 737 aircraft but the real question is why isn't Canada on their destination list by now? Mexico, Costa Rica (even Cuba!) have been served by WN before Canada. Is it a political bilateral agreement issue or is there something else at play?


There are a few reasons why Canada would be more problematic for WN than Latin America & the Caribbean. For most markets to the south, the point-of-sale is overwhelmingly in the U.S., so they can leverage their brand and frequent flyer base to draw passengers to the service. For Canada, nearly twice as many Canadians visit the U.S. versus Americans who visit Canada, so Canadian carriers have an advantage in the point-of-sale. Moreover, the high level of taxes on transborder travel makes it somewhat harder to stimulate traffic by lowering fares. Despite the conventional wisdom on this website, WN has also historically had a focus on short-haul business travel, and WN's largest cities are typically in the South & West with limited business ties to Canada (MDW and BWI being obvious exceptions). And if one wants to argue that WN is focused on leisure -- well, a lot more Americans go on vacation to Mexico or the Caribbean than to Canada.

jplatts wrote:
Southwest Airlines did enter some markets in Texas in the 1970's with fewer than 7 daily flights, including AMA, LBB, MAF, ELP, CRP, and HRL.


True, but (1) WN was a much, much smaller carrier in the 1970s, so 3 or 4 daily round-trips would have been a large expansion of capacity for a small airline and (2) WN was an intrastate-only carrier until 1979, so they were adding cities in Texas or not growing at all.

TWA902fly wrote:
Can you see BIL, FSD, FAR, CPR, CYS, etc supporting 7+ daily 737s?


No, but they're also in markets like DSM, GRR, & ICT with fewer than 7 daily departures. I think that these days they could probably make the largest markets in the northern Plains/Rockies (i.e. FSD, BIL, BZN, RAP, JAC) work with daily flights to DEN & MDW (and possibly weekly to MCO) but they don't really move the needle much for WN. They have the patience and cost structure to make ANC work up against AS.
 
AAvgeek744
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:57 pm

ridgid727 wrote:
FA9295 wrote:
There wouldn't be anywhere for them to operate in Wyoming. (maybe Gillette...?)
Alaska has Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Montana has Missoula, Butte, Bozeman and Billings.
North Dakota has Dickinson, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Fargo.
South Dakota has Rapid City and Sioux Falls.


I would imagine they could pull some pretty could loads at JAC in Wyoming.


Depends on where from. JAC is covered from most of the larger hubs in the summer, somewhat less so in winter. It and BZN are both gateway airports to Yellowstone NP, just from opposite sides. JAC is a much more fun town. I would expect BIL to DEN would be the only realistic route from those smaller populated states.
 
HPRamper
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:59 pm

FA9295 wrote:
There wouldn't be anywhere for them to operate in Wyoming. (maybe Gillette...?)
Alaska has Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Montana has Missoula, Butte, Bozeman and Billings.
North Dakota has Dickinson, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Fargo.
South Dakota has Rapid City and Sioux Falls.

CPR and CYS would be the only real options, and they are by far the least likely of the cities on this list. WN is not very big on seasonal markets so I think JAC is also a complete nonstarter.

In order of suitability in those northern states I think it's something like:
FSD
BIL
FAR
BZN
RAP?
And uh, that's about it and even that's a huge stretch.
 
OSL777FLYER
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:47 am

As covered by others already. Cities in these states simply do not have big enough catchment areas.

Only place I would see Southwest operate to is a seasonal service to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
 
fmi1
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:30 am

FA9295 wrote:
There wouldn't be anywhere for them to operate in Wyoming. (maybe Gillette...?)
Alaska has Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Montana has Missoula, Butte, Bozeman and Billings.
North Dakota has Dickinson, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Fargo.
South Dakota has Rapid City and Sioux Falls.


There's this magical place called Jackson in Wyoming that is home to arguably the top ski resort in the country. It is also an hour from Yellowstone, the #1 national park.
 
KCaviator
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:00 am

I can see WN serving BZN, JAC, and/or possibly ANC, but that’s it.
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:03 am

zakuivcustom wrote:
fraspotter wrote:
The less populated states in the upper plains are too small a market for Southwest using 737 aircraft but the real question is why isn't Canada on their destination list by now? Mexico, Costa Rica (even Cuba!) have been served by WN before Canada. Is it a political bilateral agreement issue or is there something else at play?


I believe it has to do with high operation fee into Canadian airports. I may be totally wrong, though.

But quite frankly, B6 has huuuggggge hubs (Sorry, I can't help it) close to Canada in JFK and BOS, but they don't fly into Canada. NK fly all the way to CTG in Colombia or even LIM but no Canada for them either.

The only reasonably sized city that may work is Sioux Falls from either Den or MDW. Delta fills up some very large planes at FSD/FAR. The area you describe was largely a DL/NW monopoly, i think DL would fight hard if Southwest were to start flying to gold mines like FSD/FAR/FCA etc.


In addition to the enplanement number, there's also the fact that both FAR and FSD metro area are maybe 250k people. There are a ton of market that has way more people, such as GSO (~1.6M), MDT (~1.2M), FAT (~1.12M), and TYS (~1.1M) that WN doesn't even fly to. And some of the smaller metro area that they fly to, such as DSM, ICT, ROC, or GRR, are some of the smallest stations that WN fly to (Coincidentally, all 4 of those are ex-FL cities).

You can’t look at metros with the upper Midwest as insane as it sounds. There is a huge chunk of people that drive an hour to go to the grocery store, never mind go on vacation. I’d be fascinated to know how many pax FAR and even GFK lose to MSP, even with nonstop flights connecting them. A flight to FAR would draw from BIS, GFK, DVL, TVF and points even further.

Do I think even with that they could support 7 flights a day? Not a chance. But a 4 hour drive to people in these parts isn’t something that is uncommon. Whereas a 4 hour drive on the east or west coasts is considered quite the haul.
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
wnflyguy
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:18 pm

KCaviator wrote:
I can see WN serving BZN, JAC, and/or possibly ANC, but that’s it.


JAC is to close to SLC so I wouldn't expect anything.

BZN centrally located in the middle of the state and has a bigger drawl vs the other 2 major cities in Montana.
I would predict 3 flights total 2 DEN and 1 LAS.
Possible seasonal nonstops to LAX and OAK.

ANC I see year round HNL, LAS,DEN and OAK. Possibly seasonal LAX and MDW.

Flyguy
My Wings are clipped just another Retired Airline person. The Ultimate Armchair out of the loop airline industry geek. Aloha Mr Hand!
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:24 pm

You can’t look at metros with the upper Midwest as insane as it sounds. There is a huge chunk of people that drive an hour to go to the grocery store, never mind go on vacation. I’d be fascinated to know how many pax FAR and even GFK lose to MSP, even with nonstop flights connecting them. A flight to FAR would draw from BIS, GFK, DVL, TVF and points even further.


Except, well, the total population of the entire state (ND or SD) are like 800k. I just don't see it being in WN's business model as to start opening routes into small communities. It's how G4 was able to actually gain market to start with anyway (Serving Small Communities with few flights per week to leisure "sun" destinations).
 
alggag
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:12 pm

I think ANC is just a matter of when, especially now that they have made Hawaii official.

JAC if they are ever willing to serve destinations on a seasonal basis.
 
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FA9295
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:17 pm

fmi1 wrote:
FA9295 wrote:
There wouldn't be anywhere for them to operate in Wyoming. (maybe Gillette...?)
Alaska has Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Montana has Missoula, Butte, Bozeman and Billings.
North Dakota has Dickinson, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Fargo.
South Dakota has Rapid City and Sioux Falls.


There's this magical place called Jackson in Wyoming that is home to arguably the top ski resort in the country. It is also an hour from Yellowstone, the #1 national park.


Yeah, I totally forgot about JAC, my bad...
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:52 pm

sw733 wrote:
Borders are borders - if they don't serve an airport in Vermont, they don't really serve Vermont.

Which is of course a ridiculous conclusion that no airline actually follows in route planning.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil

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