There’s no way for any carrier to build a fortress hub a JFK or BOS. At JFK, DL is less than 20% larger than B6 and around twice the size of AA; at BOS, DL is a very distant third place (half AA and a third the size of B6). The markets are too fragmented and too highly developed at this point for anything approaching a fortress hub to happen.
One of my close comrades attended a meeting that included Oscar Munoz just a few days ago and the merger question was asked. According to my buddy, Oscar's answer was something like, "No, there's nothing in the works and I doubt any merger could get approved anyway."
5. Again agree 100%. I don't buy the grow long haul by purchasing A330s or A321LRs, it's an area where alliances, networks, contracts, clubs, mileage plans etc.. all count. B6 has to figure out who they want to be, the hybrid is not going to work. Either go the WN route, simplifying routes, aircraft, crews etc.. or merge.
I am not sure that the choice JetBlue faces is quite that binary. I share others' skepticism about the ultimate scalability of JetBlue's current business model - it has obviously proven far, far more scalable than Virgin America, but even with that, JetBlue's business model does indeed seem to suffer from a similar challenge in that it hasn't seemed particularly adaptable outside of large, coastal cities. Any forays into the interior, where they've worked, have essentially only been to or from one of those large, coastal cities - and in particular those where JetBlue already has critical mass.
That said, I am even more skeptical about the efficacy of JetBlue pursing some type of inorganic, transaction-based solution to this challenge with United of all other airlines. I don't think it would be hyperbole to say that a hypothetical United-JetBlue combination would be the most egregious merger mismatch in the recent history of the airline industry - possibly in the entire deregulation era. If - bit if - JetBlue does ultimately decide that the right business decision is some form of a transaction, then if anything, I agree with others that a Alaska-JetBlue combination down the road makes much more sense, for a lot of reasons, than United-JetBlue.
One early, if indirect, indicator of JetBlue management's own view of the company's long-term scalability may be the upcoming decision on the 190s. Those 190s have economics that are arguably suboptimal, at least on a segment basis, compared with a high-density A320 or A321. But they do give JetBlue access to markets that, for instance, all-737 Southwest cannot realistically enter. So we'll see.
Last edited by commavia
on Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.