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chrisnh
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WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:12 am

We all know that over the past decade+ WN has seen a need to march into big-city airports like PHL, DEN, ATL, MSP, LGA, BOS etc. Some have been hits (DEN?) and others have been misses. In the latter category, would you put PHL and BOS there? In the case of BOS, they came to Logan with B6 already on an upward trajectory and currying political favor with Massport. No one will unseat them at Logan...no one. So was WN's move to BOS a 'mistake' in hindsight? You look at air fares and they undercut no one, so the 'low cost' badge doesn't apply. And every 'big' route they fly out of Boston is met with competitive pressure. Those that aren't competitive situations are few in number. As people know, I was a vociferous MHT booster. These days, hardly at all. But that long-ago strategy of WN focusing on the 'smaller' airports gave way to a push into the bigger ones. And I'm wondering whether, in hindsight, that was the smart play. Do the numbers support it as having been a big success or a mediocre one? No one would ever call it a 'failure' for them to do this, and that includes me.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:21 am

They don't report margins by airport. There are some BTS fare data available but stage length adjustments are imprecise. Their BOS passenger count is about 50% higher than its MHT peak of the last decade.
 
RL757PVD
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:55 am

WN has to be at BOS to support their loyal fliers in other key business markets. That’s why their strategy and portfolio is so different. They also had an opportunity to block B6 growth opportunities for places like STL IND and CMH.

The byproduct though is that in order to prop up these routes, they have limited westbound options from PVD and MHT (including letting F9 take the PVD DEN market without a fight) and making them through tag ons (I.e BOS CMH OAK).

Given the winter haircut, my take is that BOS is not great for WN but they are doing what they have to do network wise, and some of the fallout (i.e. westbound flying) affects PVD and MHT in an effort to reduce bloodshed
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wnflyguy
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:58 am

WN had no choice but to enter BOS.
JetBlue,AirTran(prekillingoff) and Spirit to a lesser extent growth in Boston with the Big Dig ending. WN started seeing a dramatic shift of traffic no longer trekking to the WN BOS alternative airports of PVD and MHT. The Only way for them to remain competitive and keep it's market share was to enter BOS.
Like AirTran I can definitely see a day in the not to distant future of WN making a play for JetBlue. Sometimes it's much easier buy them then fare fight them.

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ricport
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:06 pm

RL757PVD wrote:
WN has to be at BOS to support their loyal fliers in other key business markets. That’s why their strategy and portfolio is so different. They also had an opportunity to block B6 growth opportunities for places like STL IND and CMH.


Can't speak about STL & IND, but in CMH's case, B6 used to have service, and the only thing that killed it was B6. They only had a couple of flights to BOS that were incredibly ill-timed. Had they had a better destination offering/times of service, they'd most likely still be around. I'm pretty confident they'll return at some point, and hopefully, they'll have learned their lessons by then. Would love to see the airline that makes WN look like the glorified city bus with wings it is return to CMH.
 
ncflyer
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:31 pm

What I'd like to know is what does operating in these congested airports do to WN's overall operation, this is a cost that is hard to measure. Famously in its early days WN avoided these airports, because the fast turnarounds were so critical to aircraft utilization. Gone are the days when WN's operations were something really special, flying to BOS/PHL/LGA/EWR/SFO just can't help. But like I said, hard to measure.
 
iyerhari
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:39 pm

chrisnh wrote:
In the case of BOS, they came to Logan with B6 already on an upward trajectory and currying political favor with Massport. No one will unseat them at Logan...no one.

As per Massport, DL has already overtaken AA at BOS and the lead continues to grow. They don't share details so I have to rely on what is being told to me. B6 has the highest market share in BOS but they are not a clear leader in the cluttered market. It is not like AS at SEA where they have over 50% of the market. The difference between DL and B6 may not be even in double digits going by how things are shaping. I am not taking away anything away from B6 and they have done a fantastic job in the BOS market and we will see continued growth; but DL is equally being sharp and making good moves in the market especially in business heavy markets.

IMO, for WN, with limited gates, inability to expand and competition from B6, DL and other carriers is not the best situation for WN. The only route where WN flies without any competition today is STL (i am not including MDW, DAL as there are carriers who go to other primary airport). But BOS is still an important market for them in terms of connecting the dots - so they may just continue to be present. Boston market continues to grow and becoming more and more global. I do not see a situation where WN retrenches and shifts to MHT, PVD but will accept the reality of being a #5 behind B6, DL, AA, UA just to be present there.
 
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:44 pm

I think WN's mistake was not going to BOS in the beginning, they should have avoided MHT. Their secondary airports strategy did not hurt them in Chicago or Texas, but it sure as heck hurt them in the Northeast. Their biggest blunder is turning down Senator Schumer's offer to help them get slots and expand at JFK, they instead went for Islip on Long Island. Senator Schumer to that same offer to "Newair" and their team which led to the founding of JetBlue.

To this day WN is still struggling to establish themselves in the NYC market, from the outside it appears that they're concentrating more on bringing people to NY instead of catering to the customers of the huge NY/NJ market. I feel they have the same situation in BOS, their the airline bringing people to Boston rather than servicing the local market.

WN was all over the place with their strategy, secondary airports in Chicago, Dallas and Houston. But in Florida they went for MCO and TPA instead of SFB and PIE. In California they went into SFO and LAX, as well as ONT and OAK, while in the Northeast they went for ISP and MHT instead of EWR/JFK/LGA and BOS.
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lat41
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:49 pm

wnflyguy wrote:
WN had no choice but to enter BOS.
JetBlue,AirTran(prekillingoff) and Spirit to a lesser extent growth in Boston with the Big Dig ending. WN started seeing a dramatic shift of traffic no longer trekking to the WN BOS alternative airports of PVD and MHT. The Only way for them to remain competitive and keep it's market share was to enter BOS.
Like AirTran I can definitely see a day in the not to distant future of WN making a play for JetBlue. Sometimes it's much easier buy them then fare fight them.

Flyguy

The "Big Dig" was essential completed in 2004. It is lauded as a cure all but the city is often still a snarled up mess in these later years. Heading South to PVD where it is minutes from parking to check in and the Winter climate is a bit tamer is hardly "trekking". Southwest began Boston service in 2009 when business at PVD and up North at MHT were still quite robust. The thinning of Westbound offerings and the manipulation of tafiffs to make it more expensive to head West from PVD and MHT was a deliberate attempt to prop up the BOS station in the face of hammering competition and downward fare pressure. Full flights that passengers were paying a premium for were relocated only to drop the fares to get a foothold in the BOS market. WN thought they could cut PVD and MHT and just walk in to Boston but that did not go as planned.
 
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Revelation
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:02 pm

iyerhari wrote:
chrisnh wrote:
In the case of BOS, they came to Logan with B6 already on an upward trajectory and currying political favor with Massport. No one will unseat them at Logan...no one.

As per Massport, DL has already overtaken AA at BOS and the lead continues to grow. They don't share details so I have to rely on what is being told to me. B6 has the highest market share in BOS but they are not a clear leader in the cluttered market. It is not like AS at SEA where they have over 50% of the market. The difference between DL and B6 may not be even in double digits going by how things are shaping. I am not taking away anything away from B6 and they have done a fantastic job in the BOS market and we will see continued growth; but DL is equally being sharp and making good moves in the market especially in business heavy markets.

Yes I think DL's success is driven a lot by business travelers. I'm sure they're the default airline on many corporate portals. Where I used to work you would need to go through an approval cycle to use anything but the default airline so if you wanted to use B6 or WN because they had a better itinerary at a better price you had to wait out the approval. That's a big advantage for the US3.

These days booking airline travel is like playing liar's poker due to hidden fees. One thing I like about WN is fewer hidden fees. One thing I dislike is they no longer compete on price much, and yes, some of that is due to non-hidden fees being bundled into their price, but more of it is that they're now a very mature airline with heavy labor costs and heavy fleet renewal costs.

Yet still I book WN a bunch, if I get a good itinerary and their price is not too far out of line. If either of those things are not true I end up using their competition, usually out of BOS.
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MIflyer12
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:09 pm

lat41 wrote:
The "Big Dig" was essential completed in 2004. It is lauded as a cure all but the city is often still a snarled up mess in these later years. Heading South to PVD where it is minutes from parking to check in and the Winter climate is a bit tamer is hardly "trekking".


I'll take the new bridge (or tunnel) to BOS vs. I-93 + I-95 to PVD every time. Non-stop destination count and frequency out of BOS vs. PVD are just more gravy.
 
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:25 pm

OK a few questions....just so I can get a feel of the topic

1.What airports does WN fly out of BOS?

2.What airports does WN fly out of PVD?

3.What airports does WN fly out of MHT?

4. What airports did WN fly out of PVD before they entered BOS?

5. What airports did WN fly out of MHT before they entered BOS?
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
tphuang
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:30 pm

I don't think WN at this point can really move all of its BOS flights back to MHT. It's not low cost anymore compared to B6 or AS, so it has to use network advantage to gain market share rather than trying to undercut opponent. and in order to do that, it needs to keep flying to major airports like BOS.

Based on BTS fare/LF data, it appears to me WN gets very little point of sale at BOS. It's not a coincidence that the DL's best performing new routes are all ones with WN as the primary competitor.

But even with that, the level of their cuts surprise me. They are the lowest yielding airline on BOS-CHI market aside from NK. And they are going in the wrong direction. Now B6 will be at 5 a day and they are at 2 a day for winter. I can't see how their performance will improve given that they will now be the weakest amongst the non-ULCC carriers. I don't think they are loosing that much money to warrant this level of cuts. BOS-ATL is gone in a year imo. IND/CMH are all disasters. They will be gone really quickly after B6 enters those markets. Not sure why BWI is down to 7x daily and DEN cut to 1x daily, since they are actually doing well in those markets.

Btw, WN's cuts should be a cautionary tale to those who think DL can walk in and match B6 at BOS. All the legacies are quite entrenched in their major hubs and have their strength out of Boston. It's a huge money loosing proposition for one legacy getting into another legacy's hub. And B6 already has all the leisure market dominated out of BOS. Legacies simply don't have the cost structure to really do well in those markets.

As long as B6 is the market leader, fares will be really low at BOS compared to the rest of the country. Can anyone think of another market in the country that consistently has $400 lie flat transcon fares? You don't see ULCC gaining traction at BOS, because it's hard to severely undercut B6. WN no longer has the cost structure to undercut that and stick around. And legacy carriers have to price match B6 out of BOS, which really only works out well to their hub locations where they have advantages in schedule and ff base.

Revelation wrote:
Yes I think DL's success is driven a lot by business travelers. I'm sure they're the default airline on many corporate portals. Where I used to work you would need to go through an approval cycle to use anything but the default airline so if you wanted to use B6 or WN because they had a better itinerary at a better price you had to wait out the approval. That's a big advantage for the US3.

B6 has corporate contract with all except one major company out of BOS. And if you look at their yields to major business markets out of BOS, it shows that they are doing pretty well in that front.
 
RL757PVD
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:06 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
lat41 wrote:
The "Big Dig" was essential completed in 2004. It is lauded as a cure all but the city is often still a snarled up mess in these later years. Heading South to PVD where it is minutes from parking to check in and the Winter climate is a bit tamer is hardly "trekking".


I'll take the new bridge (or tunnel) to BOS vs. I-93 + I-95 to PVD every time. Non-stop destination count and frequency out of BOS vs. PVD are just more gravy.


Thats all a function of where you live. South of 495 you are more likely to miss your flight at BOS due to a traffic (or MBTA) problem than connecting with PVD (and thats coming from someone who connects in PHL regularly!). Not to mention that parking for less than $35/day requires a bus ride.
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:10 pm

tphuang wrote:
I don't think WN at this point can really move all of its BOS flights back to MHT. It's not low cost anymore compared to B6 or AS, so it has to use network advantage to gain market share rather than trying to undercut opponent. and in order to do that, it needs to keep flying to major airports like BOS.

Yes, in other threads we've described MHT's rise as a "perfect storm" of events and it's hard to see MHT make a comeback with the current market conditions. Basically it'd take a very well funded new entrant attracted by the sheer emptiness of the place willing to overcome its shortfalls, and airport management willing to embrace them.

tphuang wrote:
B6 has corporate contract with all except one major company out of BOS. And if you look at their yields to major business markets out of BOS, it shows that they are doing pretty well in that front.

Interesting. Does having a corporate contract mean getting primary or at least equal placement on the corporate travel portals?
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bagoldex
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:14 pm

727LOVER wrote:
OK a few questions....just so I can get a feel of the topic

1.What airports does WN fly out of BOS?

2.What airports does WN fly out of PVD?

3.What airports does WN fly out of MHT?

4. What airports did WN fly out of PVD before they entered BOS?

5. What airports did WN fly out of MHT before they entered BOS?


Wikipedia can easily answer 1-3 and maybe 4 and 5 if the page edit history goes back far enough.
 
evank516
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:16 pm

STT757 wrote:
To this day WN is still struggling to establish themselves in the NYC market, from the outside it appears that they're concentrating more on bringing people to NY instead of catering to the customers of the huge NY/NJ market. I feel they have the same situation in BOS, their the airline bringing people to Boston rather than servicing the local market.

WN was all over the place with their strategy, secondary airports in Chicago, Dallas and Houston. But in Florida they went for MCO and TPA instead of SFB and PIE. In California they went into SFO and LAX, as well as ONT and OAK, while in the Northeast they went for ISP and MHT instead of EWR/JFK/LGA and BOS.


This. This right here. I've noticed this when I was flying WN out of LGA. It was focused on the people coming TO New York, but as a New Yorker, the schedules were very inconvenient. They've started to make good on it though. The main route I used WN for was LGA-MCI. Finally getting a second flight, and the timings improve into next year on both of them, but I'll be a DL Medallion by then so too little too late.

As for down south in Florida, it was a real head scratcher to me why they went for MCO over SFB. TPA over PIE makes a little more sense, considering the lack of jetways there at the time. SFB would have been a great market and would have kept Allegiant from opening up shop there too.
 
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:42 pm

I agree with those that say WN needs to be in BOS for network completeness and I also agree that they can't put the genie back in the bottle at MHT and PVD. Someone said that WN's mistake was not going to BOS in the first place, but BOS was pretty full gate and tarmac wise and the majors were not going to let WN stroll right in without making it difficult. What worked for WN at MHT and PVD was making themselves the go to airline and developed a very loyal following, at least until LCCs got a foothold at BOS. If WN entered BOS with humble aspirations at least to start, MHT and PVD would be in better shape today. But WN wanted to really grow at BOS and needed those loyal flyers from MHT and PVD to go to BOS to fill those planes, so they offered cheap competitive fares only at BOS and cut availability at MHT and PVD. This worked in driving leakage to BOS, but they took passengers out of their own seats at MHT and PVD and put them right into B6 seats at BOS. In cases where they kept leakage within the airline, passengers often paid promotional sale fares at BOS as opposed to what they would have gotten if they kept the loyal passengers flying on them at MHT and PVD. So in my opinion, the blunder WN made was not going to BOS, it was cutting MHT and PVD so drastically that they fed the growth of B6 at BOS with their own former passengers. Now, MHT flyers are so used to going to BOS, that many don't even look at MHT anymore. At PVD, the open door invited F9 into the living room. And now WN's Boston regional strategy is a mess.
 
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LotsaRunway
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:52 pm

727LOVER wrote:
OK a few questions....just so I can get a feel of the topic

1.What airports does WN fly out of BOS?

2.What airports does WN fly out of PVD?

3.What airports does WN fly out of MHT?

4. What airports did WN fly out of PVD before they entered BOS?

5. What airports did WN fly out of MHT before they entered BOS?


1. What airports does WN fly out of BOS? BWI, CMH, HOU, DAL, MDW, STL, IND, DEN, BNA, MCI, MKE, ATL,

2. What airports does WN fly out of PVD? BWI, MDW, MCO, TPA, RSW, PBI, FLL, DCA

3. What airports does WN fly out of MHT? BWI, MDW, MCO, TPA

4. What airports did WN fly out of PVD before they entered BOS? BWI, MDW, MCO, TPA, BNA, MCI, LAS, PHX, FLL, DEN, PHL, ISP

5. What airports did WN fly out of MHT before they entered BOS? BWI, MDW, TPA, FLL, BNA, MCI, DEN, PHX, LAS, PHL

Please jump in an correct what I might have missed.
 
tphuang
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:11 pm

Revelation wrote:
tphuang wrote:
I don't think WN at this point can really move all of its BOS flights back to MHT. It's not low cost anymore compared to B6 or AS, so it has to use network advantage to gain market share rather than trying to undercut opponent. and in order to do that, it needs to keep flying to major airports like BOS.

Yes, in other threads we've described MHT's rise as a "perfect storm" of events and it's hard to see MHT make a comeback with the current market conditions. Basically it'd take a very well funded new entrant attracted by the sheer emptiness of the place willing to overcome its shortfalls, and airport management willing to embrace them.

tphuang wrote:
B6 has corporate contract with all except one major company out of BOS. And if you look at their yields to major business markets out of BOS, it shows that they are doing pretty well in that front.

Interesting. Does having a corporate contract mean getting primary or at least equal placement on the corporate travel portals?


I really don’t know the answer to that. For my company, we don’t have a preferred airline, so I have to pick an airline that’s within a certain threshold of the lowest price. So I don’t know how much JetBlue is missing out by not being preferred carrier. They do well enough on major business routes that I think they do pick up a good share of business traffic. It seems like now that they have mostly filled the map out of Boston and likely going into Europe, that will help them.

The other part I think helps them is that all 3 legacy carriers are viable options at Boston, so business travelers that don’t want to fly JetBlue gets split 3 ways. At least if I were in Boston, I would fly pick aa.

And given all these options, wn is clearly a number 5 carrier in Boston. Which is not a good place to be.
 
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:30 pm

LotsaRunway wrote:
But WN wanted to really grow at BOS and needed those loyal flyers from MHT and PVD to go to BOS to fill those planes, so they offered cheap competitive fares only at BOS and cut availability at MHT and PVD. This worked in driving leakage to BOS, but they took passengers out of their own seats at MHT and PVD and put them right into B6 seats at BOS. In cases where they kept leakage within the airline, passengers often paid promotional sale fares at BOS as opposed to what they would have gotten if they kept the loyal passengers flying on them at MHT and PVD. So in my opinion, the blunder WN made was not going to BOS, it was cutting MHT and PVD so drastically that they fed the growth of B6 at BOS with their own former passengers. Now, MHT flyers are so used to going to BOS, that many don't even look at MHT anymore. At PVD, the open door invited F9 into the living room. And now WN's Boston regional strategy is a mess.

I agree, but have to wonder if WN could have afforded a strong presence at BOS+MHT+PVD at the same time. That being said, load factors at MHT+PVD are pretty strong and yet they do nothing to nuture those markets and prefer to be in the blood bath at BOS.

I also agree that in the post-2008 era BOS now offers both great choices and competitive prices across the spectrum from LCC to legacy and makes it very hard for the outlying airports to compete. They just don't have the options available that BOS does.

tphuang wrote:
I really don’t know the answer to that. For my company, we don’t have a preferred airline, so I have to pick an airline that’s within a certain threshold of the lowest price. So I don’t know how much JetBlue is missing out by not being preferred carrier. They do well enough on major business routes that I think they do pick up a good share of business traffic. It seems like now that they have mostly filled the map out of Boston and likely going into Europe, that will help them.

The other part I think helps them is that all 3 legacy carriers are viable options at Boston, so business travelers that don’t want to fly JetBlue gets split 3 ways. At least if I were in Boston, I would fly pick aa.

And given all these options, wn is clearly a number 5 carrier in Boston. Which is not a good place to be.

I agree with all of the above. Thanks for the post.

I agree B6 gets strong amounts of business travel. I still feel the US3 may have a stronger hold on corporate travel, but it's a very fluid market.
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rbavfan
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:38 pm

wnflyguy wrote:
WN had no choice but to enter BOS.
JetBlue,AirTran(prekillingoff) and Spirit to a lesser extent growth in Boston with the Big Dig ending. WN started seeing a dramatic shift of traffic no longer trekking to the WN BOS alternative airports of PVD and MHT. The Only way for them to remain competitive and keep it's market share was to enter BOS.
Like AirTran I can definitely see a day in the not to distant future of WN making a play for JetBlue. Sometimes it's much easier buy them then fare fight them.

Flyguy


Unlike AirTran there is Zero commonality of fleet. It would be very expensive to replace all those A320/A321 & E190's. Keeping them would not mix with the common pilot pool they want.
 
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:45 pm

rbavfan wrote:
Unlike AirTran there is Zero commonality of fleet. It would be very expensive to replace all those A320/A321 & E190's. Keeping them would not mix with the common pilot pool they want.

And if you believe the rumours, CS will be joining the B6 fleet relatively soon.
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iyerhari
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:48 pm

tphuang wrote:
It's not a coincidence that the DL's best performing new routes are all ones with WN as the primary competitor.


Btw, WN's cuts should be a cautionary tale to those who think DL can walk in and match B6 at BOS. All the legacies are quite entrenched in their major hubs and have their strength out of Boston. It's a huge money loosing proposition for one legacy getting into another legacy's hub. And B6 already has all the leisure market dominated out of BOS. Legacies simply don't have the cost structure to really do well in those markets.

As long as B6 is the market leader, fares will be really low at BOS compared to the rest of the country. Can anyone think of another market in the country that consistently has $400 lie flat transcon fares? You don't see ULCC gaining traction at BOS, because it's hard to severely undercut B6. WN no longer has the cost structure to undercut that and stick around. And legacy carriers have to price match B6 out of BOS, which really only works out well to their hub locations where they have advantages in schedule and ff base.


B6 has corporate contract with all except one major company out of BOS. And if you look at their yields to major business markets out of BOS, it shows that they are doing pretty well in that front.

DL's entry into BOS-SFO is a good point to make. They may be not having super LFs but they are doing quite well in the market. They do well especially on Mon, Thu and Fri which are also peak business travel times. B6's Mint also had legacies change their strategy at BOS and made them get their premium product into BOS. WN has a handicap in the sense at BOS, they neither have a premium product and with B6 cost structures, makes it even more challenging to go anymore low.

I agree with your comment on corporate contract but the question is how many are really using them. The biggest challenge I have found with B6 and echoed by many of my colleagues is if you have a flight issue with B6 you are stuck. The advantage with legacy is you can get routed on a connection flight than getting stuck at one place.
 
B752OS
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:23 pm

Yes it was the right call for WN to enter Boston. Boston is a major city, one of the 5 largest Financial Centers in North America, one of the largest centers for high tech, bio tech, medical and education anywhere. Not serving it directly presumably was a turnoff for their business customers. MHT is roughly 50 miles away. PVD is roughly 58 miles away. Depending on where you're going, that's not convenient at all.
 
airbazar
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:44 pm

Revelation wrote:
tphuang wrote:
B6 has corporate contract with all except one major company out of BOS. And if you look at their yields to major business markets out of BOS, it shows that they are doing pretty well in that front.

Interesting. Does having a corporate contract mean getting primary or at least equal placement on the corporate travel portals?

I work for a major "Wall Street" firm based in Boston ;) All of our travel is B6, B6, B6, and more B6.
There are some B6 routes out of BOS that are nicknamed the "ABC Express" (ABC being the name of my firm. The reason for this is because it seems like every time I walk onto the plane half the people there are from my firm :) We can tell this by the laptops they're carrying which are all branded with out firm's asset tag.
 
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chrisnh
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:35 pm

727LOVER wrote:
OK a few questions....just so I can get a feel of the topic
5. What airports did WN fly out of MHT before they entered BOS?


Kansas City, Denver, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Phoenix...may be others but that's what I recollect.
 
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chrisnh
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:37 pm

Revelation wrote:
rbavfan wrote:
Unlike AirTran there is Zero commonality of fleet. It would be very expensive to replace all those A320/A321 & E190's. Keeping them would not mix with the common pilot pool they want.

And if you believe the rumours, CS will be joining the B6 fleet relatively soon.


I don't get the scuttlebutt about WN 'buying' B6, given the utter 'oil-and-water' makeup of their respective fleets.
 
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LotsaRunway
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:50 pm

WN has reduced MHT and PVD to being heavily north-south oriented because they don't offer much North-South out of BOS and they let the East-West stuff go from BOS. Both MHT and PVD are beyond being able to restore to peak levels if WN backs off of BOS, but adding even two flights to both from LAS and/or DEN would really lift both airports and restore some FF's back onto WN aircraft from competitors at BOS. I'm not sure why PVD-BWI and MHT-BWI got stripped down so much outside of summer months. When you reduce flights so much, you run the risk of average loads suffering from poorly timed flights. One case example is that MHT WN traffic for May 2018 was down almost 10% from 2017 thanks to MHT-BWI being down to 5 per day with 3 of those flights being offered during very low demand hours. Do you blame MHT for not supporting poorly times flights or do you blame WN for putting them out there? Most likely WN will see the drop and reduce flights further next year. :roll:
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:01 pm

airbazar wrote:
Revelation wrote:
tphuang wrote:
B6 has corporate contract with all except one major company out of BOS. And if you look at their yields to major business markets out of BOS, it shows that they are doing pretty well in that front.

Interesting. Does having a corporate contract mean getting primary or at least equal placement on the corporate travel portals?

I work for a major "Wall Street" firm based in Boston ;) All of our travel is B6, B6, B6, and more B6.
There are some B6 routes out of BOS that are nicknamed the "ABC Express" (ABC being the name of my firm. The reason for this is because it seems like every time I walk onto the plane half the people there are from my firm :) We can tell this by the laptops they're carrying which are all branded with out firm's asset tag.


jee wiz, I wonder which company you could be referring to :spin:

tphuang wrote:
At least if I were in Boston, I would fly pick aa.


Why is that? I'd prefer DL or B6, but it depends on where you need to go.... AA has DL beat to PHL, ORD, DCA, and CLT though

B752OS wrote:
Yes it was the right call for WN to enter Boston. Boston is a major city, one of the 5 largest Financial Centers in North America, one of the largest centers for high tech, bio tech, medical and education anywhere. Not serving it directly presumably was a turnoff for their business customers. MHT is roughly 50 miles away. PVD is roughly 58 miles away. Depending on where you're going, that's not convenient at all.


Agreed, PVD and MHT can not replace the BOS market. PVD and MHT are basically their own markets with some overlap with BOS when it comes to domestic flying, I have tried flying into BOS and driving to Providence or Newport and that can end up being a 1.5-2.5 hour trip depending on traffic. Very very few business travelers are going to be wiling to take that journey over a nonstop into BOS. Serving BOS directly is extremely important for the most high paying customers.
Status for 2019/2020: AAdvantage Platinum, Delta Gold, Southwest A-List
 
tphuang
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:07 pm

Midwestindy wrote:
tphuang wrote:
At least if I were in Boston, I would fly pick aa.


Why is that? I'd prefer DL or B6, but it depends on where you need to go.... AA has DL beat to PHL, ORD, DCA, and CLT though


I was more thinking about between legacy carriers, which airline has the best network. I think it would be hard to make the argument that DL has the kind of business network out of BOS that AA has. And if your main travel is to chicago, new york, dc, bay area and la, UA might even be a better option than DL.

Personally out of nyc, I fly most with AA (shocking, I know), but I like their international partners (especially to Asia), flagship lounge, better upgrade opportunities does it for me.

On the topic of IND, this seems like prime time for B6 to enter BOS-IND.
 
ScottB
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:41 pm

rbavfan wrote:
wnflyguy wrote:
Like AirTran I can definitely see a day in the not to distant future of WN making a play for JetBlue. Sometimes it's much easier buy them then fare fight them.

Flyguy


Unlike AirTran there is Zero commonality of fleet. It would be very expensive to replace all those A320/A321 & E190's. Keeping them would not mix with the common pilot pool they want.


I've said this before, but it really wouldn't be that hard for an airline the size of WN, with an order book the size of WN's, to replace the B6 fleet over the span of about five years. B6 had a fleet of 245 aircraft as of the end of Q1. WN has 241 new aircraft coming from Boeing from 2020 through 2024 (not to mention 76 in 2025!) Moreover, B6's owned Airbus fleet really wouldn't be all that hard to remarket given the large number of A320 & A321 operators. It wouldn't shock me, for example, to see WN strike a deal with either UA or DL where they would swap A320s/A321s for 738s.

The pilot pool/training issue isn't as big of an issue as some make it out to be, either, especially in an airline which would ultimately have north of 1000 aircraft.

STT757 wrote:
WN was all over the place with their strategy, secondary airports in Chicago, Dallas and Houston. But in Florida they went for MCO and TPA instead of SFB and PIE. In California they went into SFO and LAX, as well as ONT and OAK, while in the Northeast they went for ISP and MHT instead of EWR/JFK/LGA and BOS.


So you have to keep in mind that the secondary airport strategy happened for different reasons in different markets. In Dallas & Houston, the "secondary" airports are the more convenient, in-town airports historically favored by business travelers. WN's DAL-HOU is the Texas equivalent of the Shuttle. In Chicago, the unavailability of slots at ORD made MDW the only airport where they could build any sort of meaningful presence. Slots were also a problem at DCA, LGA, JFK, and EWR, while congestion and a lack of gates were a problem at BOS. LAX & SFO weren't slot-limited, and WN was able to pick up enough gates at each to have a solid business (until they left SFO in 2001). Similarly, TPA & MCO had no issues with congestion or a lack of gates.

WN went into PVD & MHT because at the time (late 1990s) BOS was a congested mess with few or no gates available to new entrants. Consider for a moment that BOS was historically a regional hub with FAR more flying to and from smaller airports in the Northeast. In early 2000, for example, US Airways between mainline, Shuttle, and regional carriers offered roughly 180 peak daily departures. Business Express had ~ 150 daily departures from BOS before being acquired by AMR and folded into Eagle. Delays have come down quite a bit at BOS due to a pretty significant decline in total daily air carrier departures as well as operational improvements. And virtually all the regional flights to smaller markets, apart from a handful of EAS routes, are gone.

B6 benefited from excellent timing, strategic miscues by the legacy carriers, and (IMO) the fact that both Mitt Romney and David Neeleman are both LDS. I don't think there was any sort of favoritism, but I also suspect Romney was able to connect B6 to the right people at Massport. By building Terminal A, Delta opened the door for B6 to pick up close to a dozen gates in Terminal C and the ongoing financial problems at all the legacy carriers (and particularly US, AA, & DL) led them all to abandon most of their longstanding point-to-point networks out of BOS. That opened up lucrative opportunities for B6 in Boston and the fact that the Boston-area economy came roaring back after 2010 meant a license to print money at BOS was handed to B6 on a silver platter.

WN will never be able to grow large enough at BOS to effectively compete for the BOS point-of-sale with B6 or the legacies (unless they buy B6, which I think will happen, although I'm not rooting for it). There just aren't enough gates available for that. Like LGA & DCA, though, BOS is a market they need to offer in order to be a preferred carrier in the cities they currently connect to BOS.
 
PVD757
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:51 am

WN also briefly served HOU from PVD as well.

My opinion is pretty simple. They had to go into BOS for many reasons already mentioned. The misstep was the steady reduction in attractive and supported service from PVD in what many feel was a means to forcefully subsidize service in BOS. PVD-BNA, DEN, PHX, and LAS are examples. They could have also considered providing new service to big WN strongholds from both PVD and BOS. DAL and HOU as examples. This would have kept many of the very loyal WN passengers at PVD versus being forced to seek service in BOS where there are often 2 or more non-WN options. Lotsofrunway explains this very well above and I completely agree. WN turned its back on a market that cherished the airline.
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:39 am

tphuang wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
tphuang wrote:
At least if I were in Boston, I would fly pick aa.


Why is that? I'd prefer DL or B6, but it depends on where you need to go.... AA has DL beat to PHL, ORD, DCA, and CLT though


I was more thinking about between legacy carriers, which airline has the best network. I think it would be hard to make the argument that DL has the kind of business network out of BOS that AA has. And if your main travel is to chicago, new york, dc, bay area and la, UA might even be a better option than DL.

Personally out of nyc, I fly most with AA (shocking, I know), but I like their international partners (especially to Asia), flagship lounge, better upgrade opportunities does it for me.

On the topic of IND, this seems like prime time for B6 to enter BOS-IND.


BOS for the legacies is interesting:
I think in a couple of years DL will be the clear leader in terms of legacies from BOS. While AA and UA currently have ORD, DC, PHL, CLT, DEN, IAH, and DFW to themselves, that will change. DL is growing BOS like crazy, in terms of y/y seats for Q3 BOS is up 16% (compared to 9% at SEA). With DL is starting BOS-PHL/LAS soon, it's only a matter of time before we see DL take on more competitive routes that AA and UA dominate.

No offense but IMO flying AA in and out of NYC is a joke for me at this point, and that is coming from an elite status AAdvantage member. To be fair most of my travel through NYC is domestic O&D, but for the most part the only time I fly AA through NYC is on a mileage ticket. I don't want to get too into it on this thread since this is about BOS, but AA's handling of the NYC market could you some work and until they get their act together I'm sticking with DL.

I think B6 will enter BOS-IND in the next year, it has been rumored for a while, but I think they may be waiting for WN to drop out of the market first. WN is having a very difficult time getting any premium traffic on this route because of DL, and during the off-peak season they can't get the LFs they need to offset their lower fares. I don't have the data in front of me right now, but the difference in terms of fares and yield between WN and DL on IND-BOS is not even close. B6 is better equipped to face DL on BOS-IND, and IND has to be high on the list of largest domestic destinations not served from BOS on B6.
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jplatts
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Re: WN to Boston...the right move in hindsight?

Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:40 am

PVD757 wrote:
They could have also considered providing new service to big WN strongholds from both PVD and BOS. DAL and HOU as examples. This would have kept many of the very loyal WN passengers at PVD versus being forced to seek service in BOS where there are often 2 or more non-WN options.


One of the reasons why WN hasn't served PVD nonstop from DAL is that DAL was subject to Wright Amendment restrictions back when WN was serving PVD and MHT but not BOS. WN had also started service out of BOS prior to the repeal of the Wright Amendment on October 13, 2014, and WN was already serving BOS by the time that WN could add nonstop service to PVD or MHT from DAL. Another reason is that there is significantly more demand for flights to BOS out of DAL than to any other destination in the New England region. There is also more than enough demand for WN DAL-BOS nonstop service, even with WN DAL-BOS nonstop service being in competition with AA and B6 DFW-BOS nonstop service.

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