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FA9295
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Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:22 am

Happy 2019 everyone!

Alaska has been quite an interesting airline to follow. In their most recent investor report, they stated that 2019 will be a much slower growth year in terms of new routes, so we'll see what that looks like in this coming year. In my opinion, we'll see increased growth in stronger hubs and decreased/reduced growth in under-performing hubs. Now that the VX-integration process has been underway for quite some time, yields on particular routes are now more important than ever, since they now have the VX route network to deal with. It's been interesting to see equipment swaps on AS/VX routes, such as adding the 737 on longer ex-VX routes from LAX and SFO and the A320 on shorter select routes from SEA and PDX.

Some notable changes taking place in 2019:
- ELP and CMH starting
- PAE flights commencing
- Significant increase in DAL flights

What could we see in 2019 from each of Alaska's hubs/focus cities?
ANC: Connecting ANC to all of Alaska's hubs (unserved ANC markets from Alaska hubs are SFO, SJC and SAN)
SEA: Continued strong growth in SEA to fight off Delta
PDX: Continued reduction of lower-yielding markets/routes
SFO: More market/route shifts in order to better compete against United
SJC: More transcon routes (SJC-BOS, SJC-BWI, SJC-MCO as examples)
LAX: Aligning their route network in order to better compete against the legacy airlines at LAX
SAN: More transcon routes (SAN-JFK, SAN-PHL, SAN-RDU as examples)

Continued from the previous 2018 thread here: viewtopic.php?t=1396893
 
lhpdx
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:18 am

Wow if your predictions are correct, once the dust settles PDX will be nothing more than a glorified focus city within AS network........
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:24 am

People have been predicting the demise of PDX as a hub for 20 years, yet here we are still trying to put a fork in it. Maybe, just maybe, they ain’t ready to call it done?
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
c933103
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:50 am

Then again, would they do get involved into ANC TPAC plan?
Say NO to Hong Kong police's cooperation with criminal organizations like triad.
 
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SANFan
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:37 pm

Thanks for starting this important and popular thread for the new year FA9'.

I tend to agree with your remarks concerning the 7 major AAG stations (and I certainly agree with the 3 routes you listed for SAN!) We'll see what the 'new' route planning dept does over the next year or two.

Regarding AAG's network growth for 2019, the top folks have indeed said growth will be slower and lower but it must be remembered that they usually refer to "net" growth, meaning the number of dropped routes affects how many new routes there will be. If indeed AS continues dropping under-performing routes from the network, that opens up possibilities for more added ones, while still holding true with a "2-3%" overall growth rate. Added and reduced frequencies in markets will prolly work out similarly. Aircraft upgrades -- from EMJs & Qs to mainline Boeing and AirBus equipment -- can also result in a type of expansion without necessarily adding new routes.

Perhaps someone in the know can update us with the number of new a/c coming in 2019, along with the number of retirees. That might be revealing to the topic.

I have a feeling there will be plenty of interesting and exciting moves from AAG this year. I'm very anxious to see what the AS route map looks like in 12 months.

bb
 
AirFiero
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:53 pm

SJC: More transcon routes (SJC-BOS, SJC-BWI, SJC-MCO as examples)


I can definitely see BOS being a good potential add. Perhaps instead of BWI, which is now done by WN, they might fly to IAD which is unserved. MCO is already served by WN, so I would think two flights is too much.

Next summer SJC is opening 6 new gates at Terminal B, with one being ground boarding which is tailor made for a prop aircraft. It will be interesting to see if AS has plans to utilize that new capacity.
 
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FA9295
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:43 pm

lhpdx wrote:
Wow if your predictions are correct, once the dust settles PDX will be nothing more than a glorified focus city within AS network........


PlanesNTrains wrote:
People have been predicting the demise of PDX as a hub for 20 years, yet here we are still trying to put a fork in it. Maybe, just maybe, they ain’t ready to call it done?


All I'm stating is that Alaska may continue to cut lower-yielding routes from PDX, as they have done in 2018. PDX will very likely still be a strong hub for Alaska in the days to come.
 
jplatts
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:48 pm

FA9295 wrote:
What could we see in 2019 from each of Alaska's hubs/focus cities?
SEA: Continued strong growth in SEA to fight off Delta


In order to fight off DL at SEA, AS needs to add SEA-CVG nonstop service. DL is able to capture travelers that AS isn't in the SEA market due to AS not serving CVG and DL having nonstop service to CVG from SEA. All of the eastbound SEA-CVG nonstop flights on DL are also currently red-eye flights that depart from SEA around 11:00 PM Pacific Time and arrive at CVG around 6:20 AM Eastern Time the next day.

AS also usually operates at least 1 non-redeye nonstop in the eastbound direction from SEA to its domestic destinations east of the Mississippi River. AS adding a daytime nonstop to CVG from SEA would also allow AS to capture travelers that do not want to take a redeye flight to CVG from SEA.

CVG also used to have 3 daily nonstops from SEA 11 years ago, but DL cut back on SEA-CVG nonstop service when it downsized its CVG operation during and after the DL-NW merger. CVG can likely support more nonstop service from SEA since CVG used to have more nonstop service from SEA in the past. In addition, IND, which is near CVG and which is also located in a Midwestern metro area that is similar in size to Greater Cincinnati, now has nonstop service from SEA on both AS and DL, and IND wasn't even served nonstop from SEA until almost 2 years ago.
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:08 pm

jplatts wrote:
FA9295 wrote:
What could we see in 2019 from each of Alaska's hubs/focus cities?
SEA: Continued strong growth in SEA to fight off Delta


In order to fight off DL at SEA, AS needs to add SEA-CVG nonstop service. DL is able to capture travelers that AS isn't in the SEA market due to AS not serving CVG and DL having nonstop service to CVG from SEA. All of the eastbound SEA-CVG nonstop flights on DL are also currently red-eye flights that depart from SEA around 11:00 PM Pacific Time and arrive at CVG around 6:20 AM Eastern Time the next day.

AS also usually operates at least 1 non-redeye nonstop in the eastbound direction from SEA to its domestic destinations east of the Mississippi River. AS adding a daytime nonstop to CVG from SEA would also allow AS to capture travelers that do not want to take a redeye flight to CVG from SEA.

CVG also used to have 3 daily nonstops from SEA 11 years ago, but DL cut back on SEA-CVG nonstop service when it downsized its CVG operation during and after the DL-NW merger. CVG can likely support more nonstop service from SEA since CVG used to have more nonstop service from SEA in the past. In addition, IND, which is near CVG and which is also located in a Midwestern metro area that is similar in size to Greater Cincinnati, now has nonstop service from SEA on both AS and DL, and IND wasn't even served nonstop from SEA until almost 2 years ago.


What is in CVG besides competing with DL? I don't think CVG is a very significant connecting complex anymore.
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:09 pm

When does AS start taking deliveries of their 737 MAX jets?
 
717atOGG
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:14 pm

wedgetail737 wrote:
When does AS start taking deliveries of their 737 MAX jets?

They take delivery of them in June 2019 IIRC.
Long live the Boeing 757!
 
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flybynight
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:32 pm

Just for fun, here are my wishes for AS moving forward (as a long-time Gold and MVP)

1- Improve the food especially in Y. More choices and better. That breakfast sandwich is mostly just bread. This seems to be an ongoing issue for AS to get really decent food
2 - Get those first class cabins upgraded. You mentioned it over a year ago, and I believe except for a few 700's, the fleet has not been upgraded

Now for some pie-in-the-sky wishes:

1 - East coast focus city ( I know it is unlikely, but how neat it if AS made maybe Cleveland a focus city and you could fly Cleveland to Buffalo or maybe Cleveland to Jacksonville). Maybe that future and potential merger with Jet Blue will solve this
2- International! Well more of it. How cool it would be to step on an AS 787 and land in London, Tokyo or Copenhagen???
Heia Norge!
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:46 pm

jplatts wrote:

In order to fight off DL at SEA, AS needs to add SEA-CVG nonstop service.



You make it sound as if operating SEA-CVG will win the "Battle for Seattle". Really? That one route is whats preventing total victory for AS in SEA? :rotfl:
Finally headed to DORKFEST! Sept 7, STL-LAX-PHX-STL. :cloudnine:
 
yonikasz
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:22 pm

jplatts wrote:
FA9295 wrote:
What could we see in 2019 from each of Alaska's hubs/focus cities?
SEA: Continued strong growth in SEA to fight off Delta


In order to fight off DL at SEA, AS needs to add SEA-CVG nonstop service. DL is able to capture travelers that AS isn't in the SEA market due to AS not serving CVG and DL having nonstop service to CVG from SEA. All of the eastbound SEA-CVG nonstop flights on DL are also currently red-eye flights that depart from SEA around 11:00 PM Pacific Time and arrive at CVG around 6:20 AM Eastern Time the next day.


I don't think this would be wise for AS, DL also might be connecting Asia traffic through this route.

The load factor for August for DL's CVG-SEA flight was 86% and it was on a 738. If Alaska brings in what they typically do, a 739 I don't think it will work well. Maybe the could connect some folks to Canada?
 
JayWings
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:07 pm

What a great thread! I agree with a lot of the OP’s route predictions. Increasing transcon options out of SJC and SAN seems to be logical as AS is a solid, growing presence in those markets. I also wonder if the new 3x a day from PAE to PDX will bring some growth to some mid/transcon routes out of the Oregon hub?

I’m also curious to know what new routes will be explored once the MAX arrives at AS! I think between the engine issues the NEO is/was (?) having and AS’s lack of familiarity with the Airbus kept the few airframes relegated to a minor capacity bump. I believe the MAX will be their first real go at utilizing the additional range capabilities of the most recent series of narrow body aircraft. Could we see places like the Caribbean and Central America making sense for AS in 2019?

Looking further down the line, the 797 is anticipated to be launched this summer at the 53rd annual Paris Airshow. I see this aircraft as a logical next step for AS in terms of range and capacity. With the new Amazon split HQ in NY/DC the need for more capacity is clear. We’ve seen that Alaska isn’t afraid to be a Boeing launch customer (739) so I wonder if they will place a launch order for this new aircraft as soon as this summer? If so, Alaska could reach far and wide for the first time in their history! Talk about exciting options on the horizon!
 
Chugach
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:19 pm

FA9295 wrote:
Happy 2019 everyone!

Alaska has been quite an interesting airline to follow. In their most recent investor report, they stated that 2019 will be a much slower growth year in terms of new routes, so we'll see what that looks like in this coming year. In my opinion, we'll see increased growth in stronger hubs and decreased/reduced growth in under-performing hubs. Now that the VX-integration process has been underway for quite some time, yields on particular routes are now more important than ever, since they now have the VX route network to deal with. It's been interesting to see equipment swaps on AS/VX routes, such as adding the 737 on longer ex-VX routes from LAX and SFO and the A320 on shorter select routes from SEA and PDX.

Some notable changes taking place in 2019:
- ELP and CMH starting
- PAE flights commencing
- Significant increase in DAL flights

What could we see in 2019 from each of Alaska's hubs/focus cities?
ANC: Connecting ANC to all of Alaska's hubs (unserved ANC markets from Alaska hubs are SFO, SJC and SAN)
SEA: Continued strong growth in SEA to fight off Delta
PDX: Continued reduction of lower-yielding markets/routes
SFO: More market/route shifts in order to better compete against United
SJC: More transcon routes (SJC-BOS, SJC-BWI, SJC-MCO as examples)
LAX: Aligning their route network in order to better compete against the legacy airlines at LAX
SAN: More transcon routes (SAN-JFK, SAN-PHL, SAN-RDU as examples)

Continued from the previous 2018 thread here: viewtopic.php?t=1396893


It’s probably a matter of time before ANC-SFO shows up, but there’s no way they’re doing ANC-SFO/SJC at the same time.

ANC-SAN just isn’t that big of a market, and it overflies three connecting hubs (SEA, PDX, LAX) that have nonstop connections to ANC. Just as an example, AS dumped ANC-LAS this winter and Vegas is a much bigger local market from ANC than San Diego is.

Regarding PDX: As a resident, and 75K on AS, I want as many nonstops as I can get from here. I detest connecting when I don’t have to. That said, PDX showing up as one of the top mileage redemption cities in the AS mileage plan isn’t a great sign, and probably points to why PDX has a hard time keeping AS service to some markets. AS only has so many planes to go around, and I’m sure they would rather fly them where they can make the most money. Selfishly I’d love to see PDX-FAI come back and PDX-JNU start, but I’m also a realist.
 
jplatts
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:48 pm

OzarkD9S wrote:
You make it sound as if operating SEA-CVG will win the "Battle for Seattle". Really? That one route is whats preventing total victory for AS in SEA?


While I agree that AS adding SEA-CVG isn't the only thing that is needed for AS to win the "Battle for Seattle", DL serving CVG nonstop from SEA has allowed DL to capture business traffic in the SEA market that AS isn't able to capture. CVG is also one of the largest markets in the U.S. that isn't already served by AS.

yonikasz wrote:
I don't think this would be wise for AS, DL also might be connecting Asia traffic through this route.

The load factor for August for DL's CVG-SEA flight was 86% and it was on a 738. If Alaska brings in what they typically do, a 739 I don't think it will work well. Maybe the could connect some folks to Canada?


What are the load factors like on the AS SEA-IND and DL SEA-IND nonstops? If both AS and DL can make SEA-IND nonstop service work, I think that AS can probably make SEA-CVG nonstop service work since (a) IND is near CVG, (b) IND is located in a metro area that is similar in size to Greater Cincinnati, and (c) demand for SEA-IND flights has significantly increased after both AS and DL added SEA-IND nonstop service.

I agree that there might be some passengers connecting to Asia from CVG through SEA on DL, but AS would be able to connect passengers onto CX, HU, and JL flights from CVG through SEA if AS adds SEA-CVG nonstop service.
 
vadodara
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:12 pm

Seems like with Tech companies choosing to migrate east from likes of Seattle and Si Valley, AS’s best bet for expansion would be to follow them. In addition, AS developing a string of W Coast cities as hubs/focus cities, one would expect simultaneous flights from them to these E Coast points.

I would predict expansion of flights to likes of AUS, RDU, PIT, IAD and so forth.

Basically a repeat of Hawaii model to the east.
 
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FA9295
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:15 pm

Chugach wrote:
PDX showing up as one of the top mileage redemption cities in the AS mileage plan isn’t a great sign, and probably points to why PDX has a hard time keeping AS service to some markets.

Sorry for sounding somewhat ignorant, but why would this hurt AS service at PDX? If more miles are being used at PDX, wouldn't that mean a much higher pax count on their PDX flights?
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:42 pm

jplatts wrote:

yonikasz wrote:
I don't think this would be wise for AS, DL also might be connecting Asia traffic through this route.

The load factor for August for DL's CVG-SEA flight was 86% and it was on a 738. If Alaska brings in what they typically do, a 739 I don't think it will work well. Maybe the could connect some folks to Canada?


What are the load factors like on the AS SEA-IND and DL SEA-IND nonstops? If both AS and DL can make SEA-IND nonstop service work, I think that AS can probably make SEA-CVG nonstop service work since (a) IND is near CVG, (b) IND is located in a metro area that is similar in size to Greater Cincinnati, and (c) demand for SEA-IND flights has significantly increased after both AS and DL added SEA-IND nonstop service.

I agree that there might be some passengers connecting to Asia from CVG through SEA on DL, but AS would be able to connect passengers onto CX, HU, and JL flights from CVG through SEA if AS adds SEA-CVG nonstop service.


It isn't an apples to apples comparison, during Q3 of 2016 IND-SEA had 30-40 more PDEW than CVG-SEA without service from AS/DL, while DL had been stimulating the CVG-SEA market with n/s flights.

The gap grew to 90-100 PDEW once IND/CVG had equal service to SEA, so naturally IND is a sizably larger market to SEA than CVG is.

Nevertheless:
A319 June DL IND-SEA-90.7%; SEA-IND-94.1%
B739 June AS IND-SEA-95.4%; SEA-IND-94.8%

July DL IND-SEA-85.5%; SEA-IND-95.6%
July AS IND-SEA-91.3%; SEA-IND-91.8%

August DL IND-SEA-77.8%; SEA-IND-88.1%
August AS IND-SEA-85.7%; SEA-IND-91.7%

September DL IND-SEA-65.0%; SEA-IND-77.0%
September AS IND-SEA-75.9%; SEA-IND-89.2%

Both flights are run at the same time
Status for 2019/2020: AAdvantage Platinum, Delta Gold, Southwest A-List
 
Runway28L
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:50 pm

717atOGG wrote:
wedgetail737 wrote:
When does AS start taking deliveries of their 737 MAX jets?

They take delivery of them in June 2019 IIRC.

I'll add.... does anyone know if the MAX will have dedicated routes?

Given that AA and UA have placed theirs on such, I would tend to think so too with AS.
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:23 pm

[quote="jplatts"]

While I agree that AS adding SEA-CVG isn't the only thing that is needed for AS to win the "Battle for Seattle", DL serving CVG nonstop from SEA has allowed DL to capture business traffic in the SEA market that AS isn't able to capture. CVG is also one of the largest markets in the U.S. that isn't already served by AS.

[quote]

Hear me out. AS joining oneworld either as a full member or a connect partner would change the game. AS partners with a bunch of OW members as is, to tighten the relationship would put the squeeze on DL in SEA more than this or that particular route. AS is still a comfortable #1 in SEA and providing int'l connections with FF rewards and such would challenge DL mightily.
Finally headed to DORKFEST! Sept 7, STL-LAX-PHX-STL. :cloudnine:
 
Chugach
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:03 am

FA9295 wrote:
Chugach wrote:
PDX showing up as one of the top mileage redemption cities in the AS mileage plan isn’t a great sign, and probably points to why PDX has a hard time keeping AS service to some markets.

Sorry for sounding somewhat ignorant, but why would this hurt AS service at PDX? If more miles are being used at PDX, wouldn't that mean a much higher pax count on their PDX flights?


Full flights don’t always equal profitable flights. While frequent flier miles do show up as a liability on the books, would you rather have someone using miles as a reward or paying full freight in cash?
 
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SANFan
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:03 am

Chugach wrote:
It’s probably a matter of time before ANC-SFO shows up, but there’s no way they’re doing ANC-SFO/SJC at the same time.

ANC-SAN just isn’t that big of a market, and it overflies three connecting hubs (SEA, PDX, LAX) that have nonstop connections to ANC. Just as an example, AS dumped ANC-LAS this winter and Vegas is a much bigger local market from ANC than San Diego is.

Regarding PDX: As a resident, and 75K on AS, I want as many nonstops as I can get from here. I detest connecting when I don’t have to. That said, PDX showing up as one of the top mileage redemption cities in the AS mileage plan isn’t a great sign, and probably points to why PDX has a hard time keeping AS service to some markets. AS only has so many planes to go around, and I’m sure they would rather fly them where they can make the most money. Selfishly I’d love to see PDX-FAI come back and PDX-JNU start, but I’m also a realist.

A couple of comments on your great post Chugash. I would love to see the numbers for ANC-LAS and ANC-SAN and see how the 2 markets compare. As you say, AS did offer nonstops between ANC and Vegas (& PHX) starting in 2013, winters only, and only 3x weekly. The LAS service ended a year ago -- that's last winter. I would bet a buck that at least a seasonal (summer) flight between SAN and ANC would equal if not exceed the ANC-LAS pax levels. SAN is a major AS station (and focus city) and should therefore see some level of AS company travel, both cities are important summer cruise terminuses, I'm sure there's some military traffic between the 2 ports (certainly Coast Guard) and there is certainly tourist traffic in both directions. But I admit that I see much bigger fish to fry first from SAN than ANC. (And BTW, LAX-ANC nonstops overfly 2 AS hubs yet they still have the nonstops.)

Personally, I'm very happy to learn that SAN is the #3 AS awards travel destinations (behind only PHX & LAS); we see about 50 daily departures now and have had almost no cancelled routes. I feel that the attraction of SAN to AS high flyers is a very high compliment to our region as a destination; along with all the AS Mileage Plan members here, it's no wonder we remain a growing focus city for the carrier.

Incidentally, AS will be relocating their ops at SDIA to Terminal 2E in 3 1/2 weeks (on January 29) and will hopefully have access to more gates than they currently have. That will hopefully allow growth to continue here!

bb
 
LAXBUR
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:25 am

SANFan wrote:
(And BTW, LAX-ANC nonstops overfly 2 AS hubs yet they still have the nonstops.)



bb


To be fair LA/LAX is a considerably larger market than SAN and has been an Alaska hub/focus city for years. So this was always a hub to hub flight.
 
tphuang
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:11 am

Here is a part to consider for next year. AS and WN are the only 2 carriers to do significant fuel hedging. Given that oil prices have cratered the last 2 months, this is going to be a huge weight for them in at least this Q4 + first half of next year. It's going to wipe out all the gains they will get on revenue front.

Remember, 2017Q4, 2018Q1/2 were terrible quarters for them in terms of RASM growth. With all the route cuts they've had in the past year, their RASM number is expected to be up, but the fuel hedging is going to wipe out those gains. There will be more pressure on them next year to cut under performing routes when they get to earning calls and margin is below industry average. Anything outside of SEA is fair game. We will see next year where the route planners put their money. Expected targeted growth rather than growth everywhere.
 
Chugach
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:44 am

SANFan wrote:
Chugach wrote:
It’s probably a matter of time before ANC-SFO shows up, but there’s no way they’re doing ANC-SFO/SJC at the same time.

ANC-SAN just isn’t that big of a market, and it overflies three connecting hubs (SEA, PDX, LAX) that have nonstop connections to ANC. Just as an example, AS dumped ANC-LAS this winter and Vegas is a much bigger local market from ANC than San Diego is.

Regarding PDX: As a resident, and 75K on AS, I want as many nonstops as I can get from here. I detest connecting when I don’t have to. That said, PDX showing up as one of the top mileage redemption cities in the AS mileage plan isn’t a great sign, and probably points to why PDX has a hard time keeping AS service to some markets. AS only has so many planes to go around, and I’m sure they would rather fly them where they can make the most money. Selfishly I’d love to see PDX-FAI come back and PDX-JNU start, but I’m also a realist.

A couple of comments on your great post Chugash. I would love to see the numbers for ANC-LAS and ANC-SAN and see how the 2 markets compare. As you say, AS did offer nonstops between ANC and Vegas (& PHX) starting in 2013, winters only, and only 3x weekly. The LAS service ended a year ago -- that's last winter. I would bet a buck that at least a seasonal (summer) flight between SAN and ANC would equal if not exceed the ANC-LAS pax levels. SAN is a major AS station (and focus city) and should therefore see some level of AS company travel, both cities are important summer cruise terminuses, I'm sure there's some military traffic between the 2 ports (certainly Coast Guard) and there is certainly tourist traffic in both directions. But I admit that I see much bigger fish to fry first from SAN than ANC. (And BTW, LAX-ANC nonstops overfly 2 AS hubs yet they still have the nonstops.)

Personally, I'm very happy to learn that SAN is the #3 AS awards travel destinations (behind only PHX & LAS); we see about 50 daily departures now and have had almost no cancelled routes. I feel that the attraction of SAN to AS high flyers is a very high compliment to our region as a destination; along with all the AS Mileage Plan members here, it's no wonder we remain a growing focus city for the carrier.

Incidentally, AS will be relocating their ops at SDIA to Terminal 2E in 3 1/2 weeks (on January 29) and will hopefully have access to more gates than they currently have. That will hopefully allow growth to continue here!

bb


Part of the reason LAX-ANC exists is that LA is, I believe, the third largest lower 48 O&D market from Anchorage (behind Seattle and Portland).

I’d love to see SAN-ANC, but Bay Area-ANC would likely be higher on the list.
 
x1234
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:48 am

Alaska needs to expand to ANC-SFO and also higher yielding Latin American routes out of LAX. They should restart LAX-MEX and LAX-PTY in addition to LAX-CUN.
 
jplatts
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:56 am

x1234 wrote:
Alaska needs to expand to ANC-SFO and also higher yielding Latin American routes out of LAX.


VX used to operate ANC-SFO seasonal nonstop service back in Summer 2013, but it got dropped after the Summer 2013 travel season. AS would probably do better on ANC-SFO than VX did since AS has much stronger brand recognition in Alaska than VX ever did. AS would also be able to offer connections to smaller Alaskan markets from SFO through ANC (and vice versa) if it adds ANC-SFO nonstop service, whereas VX wasn't able to connect passengers to smaller Alaskan markets from SFO back when it operated ANC-SFO nonstop service.
 
Jet-lagged
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:06 am

vadodara wrote:
Seems like with Tech companies choosing to migrate east from likes of Seattle and Si Valley, AS’s best bet for expansion would be to follow them.


The tech companies aren’t migrating east, it is the other way around. Some are getting so big that they need to open campuses in more cities, but by and large the East continues to drained of tech headquarters and top talent as the West Coast’s dominanace endures and some secondary cities like Austin and Raleigh do OK.

Here is one recent example illustrating that, and it is pretty much the same story as the last several years.

https://www.unitedvanlines.com/contact- ... study-2018
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:09 am

x1234 wrote:
Alaska needs to expand to ANC-SFO and also higher yielding Latin American routes out of LAX. They should restart LAX-MEX and LAX-PTY in addition to LAX-CUN.

There's no room for LAX-PTY. I think Copa operates up to 4 daily flights on the route already. Alaska would get eaten alive. MEX is typically a low-yielding destination; there's a reason why Alaska pulled out of the market in the first place.

I would think that LAX-CUN could certainly work. Even though they would have lots of competition to deal with, I don't think they would have much of an issue there on such a popular route, at least during the busy winter season.
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:14 am

tphuang wrote:
Here is a part to consider for next year. AS and WN are the only 2 carriers to do significant fuel hedging. Given that oil prices have cratered the last 2 months, this is going to be a huge weight for them in at least this Q4 + first half of next year. It's going to wipe out all the gains they will get on revenue front.

Remember, 2017Q4, 2018Q1/2 were terrible quarters for them in terms of RASM growth. With all the route cuts they've had in the past year, their RASM number is expected to be up, but the fuel hedging is going to wipe out those gains. There will be more pressure on them next year to cut under performing routes when they get to earning calls and margin is below industry average. Anything outside of SEA is fair game. We will see next year where the route planners put their money. Expected targeted growth rather than growth everywhere.

This seems to be on point. :checkmark:

Growth in stronger hubs like SEA, and continued cuts on poor-yielding routes elsewhere. Granted, I'm sure there are at least some under-performing routes within their SEA route network (SEA-CHS, SEA-ICT and SEA-OKC come to mind), but when it comes to fighting off Delta at SEA, it's pretty much "all hands on deck" for Alaska at this point, in trying to retain their crown as the hometown airline of Seattle.
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:19 am

The new hanger in ANC can service the new longer-range aircraft coming into the fleet. Is there anywhere on the East coast that has the O&D for a direct flight?
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:24 am

NameOmitted wrote:
The new hanger in ANC can service the new longer-range aircraft coming into the fleet. Is there anywhere on the East coast that has the O&D for a direct flight?

I would place my bets on JFK-ANC or EWR-ANC if that ever does happen. Maybe BOS-ANC, but that would be a long-shot.

Of course, we'd have to wait for the 797, or could the 737 MAX fly that route?
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:24 pm

jplatts wrote:
x1234 wrote:
Alaska needs to expand to ANC-SFO and also higher yielding Latin American routes out of LAX.


VX used to operate ANC-SFO seasonal nonstop service back in Summer 2013, but it got dropped after the Summer 2013 travel season. AS would probably do better on ANC-SFO than VX did since AS has much stronger brand recognition in Alaska than VX ever did. AS would also be able to offer connections to smaller Alaskan markets from SFO through ANC (and vice versa) if it adds ANC-SFO nonstop service, whereas VX wasn't able to connect passengers to smaller Alaskan markets from SFO back when it operated ANC-SFO nonstop service.


AS flew SFO-ANC also awhile back. They also previously did LAX-CUN (and SFO-CUN) as another poster suggested they start this route.

I am surprised that AS doesn’t fly to more destinations from ANC. They’ve tried and discontinued SFO, GEG, DEN, YVR, and LAS from ANC.
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:18 pm

Midwestindy wrote:
jplatts wrote:

yonikasz wrote:
I don't think this would be wise for AS, DL also might be connecting Asia traffic through this route.

The load factor for August for DL's CVG-SEA flight was 86% and it was on a 738. If Alaska brings in what they typically do, a 739 I don't think it will work well. Maybe the could connect some folks to Canada?


What are the load factors like on the AS SEA-IND and DL SEA-IND nonstops? If both AS and DL can make SEA-IND nonstop service work, I think that AS can probably make SEA-CVG nonstop service work since (a) IND is near CVG, (b) IND is located in a metro area that is similar in size to Greater Cincinnati, and (c) demand for SEA-IND flights has significantly increased after both AS and DL added SEA-IND nonstop service.

I agree that there might be some passengers connecting to Asia from CVG through SEA on DL, but AS would be able to connect passengers onto CX, HU, and JL flights from CVG through SEA if AS adds SEA-CVG nonstop service.


It isn't an apples to apples comparison, during Q3 of 2016 IND-SEA had 30-40 more PDEW than CVG-SEA without service from AS/DL, while DL had been stimulating the CVG-SEA market with n/s flights.

The gap grew to 90-100 PDEW once IND/CVG had equal service to SEA, so naturally IND is a sizably larger market to SEA than CVG is.

Nevertheless:
A319 June DL IND-SEA-90.7%; SEA-IND-94.1%
B739 June AS IND-SEA-95.4%; SEA-IND-94.8%

July DL IND-SEA-85.5%; SEA-IND-95.6%
July AS IND-SEA-91.3%; SEA-IND-91.8%

August DL IND-SEA-77.8%; SEA-IND-88.1%
August AS IND-SEA-85.7%; SEA-IND-91.7%

September DL IND-SEA-65.0%; SEA-IND-77.0%
September AS IND-SEA-75.9%; SEA-IND-89.2%

Both flights are run at the same time

True, but DL charges nearly $70 more on CVG-SEA than AS charges on IND-SEA (Q2 2018). Fares have come down a bit on the route since F9's announcement, but it remains a very expensive route to fly on. The PDEW would grow a lot on the route with competition from another carrier (like it has from practically every destination from CVG).
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:16 pm

cvgComair wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
jplatts wrote:



What are the load factors like on the AS SEA-IND and DL SEA-IND nonstops? If both AS and DL can make SEA-IND nonstop service work, I think that AS can probably make SEA-CVG nonstop service work since (a) IND is near CVG, (b) IND is located in a metro area that is similar in size to Greater Cincinnati, and (c) demand for SEA-IND flights has significantly increased after both AS and DL added SEA-IND nonstop service.

I agree that there might be some passengers connecting to Asia from CVG through SEA on DL, but AS would be able to connect passengers onto CX, HU, and JL flights from CVG through SEA if AS adds SEA-CVG nonstop service.


It isn't an apples to apples comparison, during Q3 of 2016 IND-SEA had 30-40 more PDEW than CVG-SEA without service from AS/DL, while DL had been stimulating the CVG-SEA market with n/s flights.

The gap grew to 90-100 PDEW once IND/CVG had equal service to SEA, so naturally IND is a sizably larger market to SEA than CVG is.

Nevertheless:
A319 June DL IND-SEA-90.7%; SEA-IND-94.1%
B739 June AS IND-SEA-95.4%; SEA-IND-94.8%

July DL IND-SEA-85.5%; SEA-IND-95.6%
July AS IND-SEA-91.3%; SEA-IND-91.8%

August DL IND-SEA-77.8%; SEA-IND-88.1%
August AS IND-SEA-85.7%; SEA-IND-91.7%

September DL IND-SEA-65.0%; SEA-IND-77.0%
September AS IND-SEA-75.9%; SEA-IND-89.2%

Both flights are run at the same time

True, but DL charges nearly $70 more on CVG-SEA than AS charges on IND-SEA (Q2 2018). Fares have come down a bit on the route since F9's announcement, but it remains a very expensive route to fly on. The PDEW would grow a lot on the route with competition from another carrier (like it has from practically every destination from CVG).


Regardless, as I pointed out before, IND-SEA is a naturally larger market than CVG-SEA, even if fares were to drop on CVG-SEA.
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jbs2886
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:16 pm

FA9295 wrote:
tphuang wrote:
Here is a part to consider for next year. AS and WN are the only 2 carriers to do significant fuel hedging. Given that oil prices have cratered the last 2 months, this is going to be a huge weight for them in at least this Q4 + first half of next year. It's going to wipe out all the gains they will get on revenue front.

Remember, 2017Q4, 2018Q1/2 were terrible quarters for them in terms of RASM growth. With all the route cuts they've had in the past year, their RASM number is expected to be up, but the fuel hedging is going to wipe out those gains. There will be more pressure on them next year to cut under performing routes when they get to earning calls and margin is below industry average. Anything outside of SEA is fair game. We will see next year where the route planners put their money. Expected targeted growth rather than growth everywhere.

This seems to be on point. :checkmark:

Growth in stronger hubs like SEA, and continued cuts on poor-yielding routes elsewhere. Granted, I'm sure there are at least some under-performing routes within their SEA route network (SEA-CHS, SEA-ICT and SEA-OKC come to mind), but when it comes to fighting off Delta at SEA, it's pretty much "all hands on deck" for Alaska at this point, in trying to retain their crown as the hometown airline of Seattle.


Any basis for claiming SEA-CHS is underperforming?
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:50 pm

FA9295 wrote:
I would place my bets on JFK-ANC or EWR-ANC if that ever does happen. Maybe BOS-ANC, but that would be a long-shot.

Of course, we'd have to wait for the 797, or could the 737 MAX fly that route?


Per the Great Circle Mapper yes, and the A321 could do it easily. I don't have access to more precise charts that take actual conditions aloft into consideration.
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:59 pm

Could the Max 8 make JFK,EWR or BOS non stop to ANC without a significant payload hit? I could see all three airports being able to support seasonal weekend flights if AS was willing to operate such a schedule
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:21 pm

jbs2886 wrote:
FA9295 wrote:
tphuang wrote:
Here is a part to consider for next year. AS and WN are the only 2 carriers to do significant fuel hedging. Given that oil prices have cratered the last 2 months, this is going to be a huge weight for them in at least this Q4 + first half of next year. It's going to wipe out all the gains they will get on revenue front.

Remember, 2017Q4, 2018Q1/2 were terrible quarters for them in terms of RASM growth. With all the route cuts they've had in the past year, their RASM number is expected to be up, but the fuel hedging is going to wipe out those gains. There will be more pressure on them next year to cut under performing routes when they get to earning calls and margin is below industry average. Anything outside of SEA is fair game. We will see next year where the route planners put their money. Expected targeted growth rather than growth everywhere.

This seems to be on point. :checkmark:

Growth in stronger hubs like SEA, and continued cuts on poor-yielding routes elsewhere. Granted, I'm sure there are at least some under-performing routes within their SEA route network (SEA-CHS, SEA-ICT and SEA-OKC come to mind), but when it comes to fighting off Delta at SEA, it's pretty much "all hands on deck" for Alaska at this point, in trying to retain their crown as the hometown airline of Seattle.


Any basis for claiming SEA-CHS is underperforming?


No they don’t. CHS has done very well to the point an additional weekly flight has been added, bringing it up to five a week.
A319 A320 A321 A332 B1900 B717 B727 B737 B757 B767 B777 B787 CR2 CR7 CRJ9 E120 ERJ135 ERJ145 L1011 MD80 SF340 AvGeek Superstore
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:36 pm

rajincajun01 wrote:
jbs2886 wrote:
FA9295 wrote:
This seems to be on point. :checkmark:

Growth in stronger hubs like SEA, and continued cuts on poor-yielding routes elsewhere. Granted, I'm sure there are at least some under-performing routes within their SEA route network (SEA-CHS, SEA-ICT and SEA-OKC come to mind), but when it comes to fighting off Delta at SEA, it's pretty much "all hands on deck" for Alaska at this point, in trying to retain their crown as the hometown airline of Seattle.


Any basis for claiming SEA-CHS is underperforming?


No they don’t. CHS has done very well to the point an additional weekly flight has been added, bringing it up to five a week.

Just based on the fact that it's a long and thin route that only exists because of Boeing.
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:37 pm

georgiabill wrote:
Could the Max 8 make JFK,EWR or BOS non stop to ANC without a significant payload hit? I could see all three airports being able to support seasonal weekend flights if AS was willing to operate such a schedule

I would think so. As a side note, they're receiving the MAX-9, not the -8.
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:54 pm

BoeingGuy wrote:
jplatts wrote:
I am surprised that AS doesn’t fly to more destinations from ANC. They’ve tried and discontinued SFO, GEG, DEN, YVR, and LAS from ANC.


My musing about a direct flight to the East coast aside, this does not surprise me. We are used to being at the end of a supply chain. We are used to things not happening overnight, and we are used to travel taking time, and probably involving connections. Living in ANC, I have the possibility of direct flights to MSP (Delta, inherited from Northwest), but as often as not I end up flying through MSP where the better rates are.

It does not hurt that the Atrium (when they get it back up and running) is a fairly pleasant place to wait out a connection, all things being equal.
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:29 pm

Jet-lagged wrote:
vadodara wrote:
Seems like with Tech companies choosing to migrate east from likes of Seattle and Si Valley, AS’s best bet for expansion would be to follow them.


The tech companies aren’t migrating east, it is the other way around. Some are getting so big that they need to open campuses in more cities, but by and large the East continues to drained of tech headquarters and top talent as the West Coast’s dominanace endures and some secondary cities like Austin and Raleigh do OK.

Here is one recent example illustrating that, and it is pretty much the same story as the last several years.

https://www.unitedvanlines.com/contact- ... study-2018


Not getting into this debate but AMZN opening its 2nd HQ in NY/DC must be fake news.

BTW I worked for HP in its heydays so seen this song played several times.

Either way, makes sens for AS to perhaps add capacityJFK/IAD and perhaps even DCA flights as well as multiple W Coast destinations.
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:40 pm

FA9295 wrote:
rajincajun01 wrote:
jbs2886 wrote:

Any basis for claiming SEA-CHS is underperforming?


No they don’t. CHS has done very well to the point an additional weekly flight has been added, bringing it up to five a week.

Just based on the fact that it's a long and thin route that only exists because of Boeing.


It’s not a fact it exists only because of Boeing anymore. Moreover, even if it were, that 787 factory isn’t going away in CHS so I suspect there’s significant traffic. You’re taking an assumption and stating it as fact - it’s not correct, show me statistics and numbers before claiming it is “underperforming.”

As another poster pointed out, AS increased frequency and regularly flies the 900ER. For reference, it started as the 700, moved to the 800 and now often (if not entirely) is the 900ER...that’s not the sign of underperforming.

CHS is growing in popularity, why else would BA launch a LHR flight?
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:01 pm

jbs2886 wrote:
FA9295 wrote:
rajincajun01 wrote:

No they don’t. CHS has done very well to the point an additional weekly flight has been added, bringing it up to five a week.

Just based on the fact that it's a long and thin route that only exists because of Boeing.


It’s not a fact it exists only because of Boeing anymore. Moreover, even if it were, that 787 factory isn’t going away in CHS so I suspect there’s significant traffic. You’re taking an assumption and stating it as fact - it’s not correct, show me statistics and numbers before claiming it is “underperforming.”

As another poster pointed out, AS increased frequency and regularly flies the 900ER. For reference, it started as the 700, moved to the 800 and now often (if not entirely) is the 900ER...that’s not the sign of underperforming.

CHS is growing in popularity, why else would BA launch a LHR flight?

How is that an assumption? It's pretty clear that the route started because of Boeing. If the 787 facility was never started in CHS, I doubt that the flight would have ever been launched. Maybe "underperforming" was the wrong terminology for me to use, but it's definitely one of their more thinner transcon routes.

Obviously the flight has gained popularity overtime, which has helped organic growth on that route overtime, and has subsequently driven other traffic on to the route besides people from Boeing. Since that's the case, then yes, it's probably doing just fine. All I'm saying is that in comparison to Alaska's other transcon routes from SEA, like New York, D.C., or Boston, CHS is a much smaller market.
 
jbs2886
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:00 pm

FA9295 wrote:
jbs2886 wrote:
FA9295 wrote:
Just based on the fact that it's a long and thin route that only exists because of Boeing.


It’s not a fact it exists only because of Boeing anymore. Moreover, even if it were, that 787 factory isn’t going away in CHS so I suspect there’s significant traffic. You’re taking an assumption and stating it as fact - it’s not correct, show me statistics and numbers before claiming it is “underperforming.”

As another poster pointed out, AS increased frequency and regularly flies the 900ER. For reference, it started as the 700, moved to the 800 and now often (if not entirely) is the 900ER...that’s not the sign of underperforming.

CHS is growing in popularity, why else would BA launch a LHR flight?

How is that an assumption? It's pretty clear that the route started because of Boeing. If the 787 facility was never started in CHS, I doubt that the flight would have ever been launched. Maybe "underperforming" was the wrong terminology for me to use, but it's definitely one of their more thinner transcon routes.

Obviously the flight has gained popularity overtime, which has helped organic growth on that route overtime, and has subsequently driven other traffic on to the route besides people from Boeing. Since that's the case, then yes, it's probably doing just fine. All I'm saying is that in comparison to Alaska's other transcon routes from SEA, like New York, D.C., or Boston, CHS is a much smaller market.


Your initial premise was it was poor-yielding. Then it was it “only” exists for Boeing. Now you seem to backtrack on both statements. No one disputes CHS is a smaller market, that the route has less capacity, etc. than NYC or BOS, but you asserted it could be cut because it was underperforming without evidence.
 
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:39 pm

Midwestindy wrote:

Nevertheless:
A319 June DL IND-SEA-90.7%; SEA-IND-94.1%
B739 June AS IND-SEA-95.4%; SEA-IND-94.8%

July DL IND-SEA-85.5%; SEA-IND-95.6%
July AS IND-SEA-91.3%; SEA-IND-91.8%

August DL IND-SEA-77.8%; SEA-IND-88.1%
August AS IND-SEA-85.7%; SEA-IND-91.7%

September DL IND-SEA-65.0%; SEA-IND-77.0%
September AS IND-SEA-75.9%; SEA-IND-89.2%

Both flights are run at the same time


As an AS fan I love reading this! Seven out of eight, AS has the higher LF!
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: Alaska Airlines Network Thread - 2019

Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:42 pm

hiflyeras wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:

Nevertheless:
A319 June DL IND-SEA-90.7%; SEA-IND-94.1%
B739 June AS IND-SEA-95.4%; SEA-IND-94.8%

July DL IND-SEA-85.5%; SEA-IND-95.6%
July AS IND-SEA-91.3%; SEA-IND-91.8%

August DL IND-SEA-77.8%; SEA-IND-88.1%
August AS IND-SEA-85.7%; SEA-IND-91.7%

September DL IND-SEA-65.0%; SEA-IND-77.0%
September AS IND-SEA-75.9%; SEA-IND-89.2%

Both flights are run at the same time


As an AS fan I love reading this! Seven out of eight, AS has the higher LF!


Even more impressive that AS is using the much larger 739 and still getting higher LFs, goes to show that AS is still king in SEA
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