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LAXintl
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United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:24 pm

The former chief financial officer of United Continental Holdings Inc. is betting that the U.S. airline industry needs another budget airline. Andrew Levy, who also helped establish Allegiant Travel Co., is raising money for a new low-cost niche carrier designed to serve secondary airports with a reliable experience that differs from current players in the market.

“We think the opportunity exists for a real high-quality, highly reliable, extremely low fare, basic transportation service,” Levy said Tuesday. The airline, which has not yet been named, will offer “a better product and experience but still offer really low prices,” he said.

The Houston-based company has not decided on an aircraft type but is leaning toward leasing Boeing Co.’s 737-800. Levy, 49, purchased XTRA Airways Inc., a Florida-based charter carrier, in August. XTRA’s parent last year sold most of its fleet to Swift Air but kept one Boeing 737-400 to retain its Part 121 commercial airline certification.

The airline is seeking to raise $100 million and expects to finish its fundraising by June. The carrier could start service with around five aircraft late this year or in early 2020, Levy said.


United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... et-airline

=

Guess all the rumors were true following his departure from UA.

Good luck to the man. He certainly has deep knowledge, though the industry is a tough one as we know.
Last edited by LAXintl on Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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KRIC777
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:30 pm

The US needs another budget airline?
 
csweet
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:32 pm

Interesting, so based in Houston serving secondary markets. I like it!
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:46 pm

KRIC777 wrote:
The US needs another budget airline?

Actually, yes...
There are plenty of airports and routes out there, and any competition for the US4 is welcomed. Competition inspires good customer services, something very lacking on US airlines these days.
The toughest part is getting around the loyalty plans.
 
SFOThinker
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:01 pm

I am very interested in the description of the niche, and how profits could be realized with really low fares and simple pricing. Those ancillary fees seem to be the key to ULCC profitability.
But Levy presumably knows what he is doing.
 
TC957
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:05 pm

The words " high-quality " " extremely low fare " " basic transportation " don't mix too well in the airline industry.
It's either high quality or low fare and basic - he needs to decide which.
 
emuwarveteran
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:05 pm

"the U.S. airline industry needs another budget airline" lol what
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TWA772LR
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:07 pm

Please tell me this happens! I'd love to have a corporate job for an airline in my home city!!!

(Yes I looked at UA but theyre mostly IT and accounting jobs in Houston)
When wasn't America great?


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KRIC777
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:28 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
KRIC777 wrote:
The US needs another budget airline?

Actually, yes...
There are plenty of airports and routes out there, and any competition for the US4 is welcomed. Competition inspires good customer services, something very lacking on US airlines these days.
The toughest part is getting around the loyalty plans.


True, competition is good, but I think in the US airline industry, competition just inspires lower fares and less service. And it seems like every US airline is already trying to be a "budget" airline anyway.
 
Someone83
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:33 pm

KRIC777 wrote:

True, competition is good, but I think in the US airline industry, competition just inspires lower fares and less service. And it seems like every US airline is already trying to be a "budget" airline anyway.


You prefere higher fares and less service instead?
 
KRIC777
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:00 pm

Someone83 wrote:
KRIC777 wrote:

True, competition is good, but I think in the US airline industry, competition just inspires lower fares and less service. And it seems like every US airline is already trying to be a "budget" airline anyway.


You prefere higher fares and less service instead?


No I don't. The response to my original reply was that more competition was a good thing because it inspires good customer service. My point was that in in this case, I believe competition will only inspire lower fares - NOT good customer service (and if anything, LESS service) because most customers don't care about service NEARLY as much as they care about the fare. Better service costs money, and for airlines there is little to be gained by improving service because most passengers won't pay more for it. I'm not saying that's good or bad, just stating my opinion.
 
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cathay747
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:09 pm

KRIC777 wrote:
Someone83 wrote:
KRIC777 wrote:

True, competition is good, but I think in the US airline industry, competition just inspires lower fares and less service. And it seems like every US airline is already trying to be a "budget" airline anyway.


You prefere higher fares and less service instead?


No I don't. The response to my original reply was that more competition was a good thing because it inspires good customer service. My point was that in in this case, I believe competition will only inspire lower fares - NOT good customer service (and if anything, LESS service) because most customers don't care about service NEARLY as much as they care about the fare. Better service costs money, and for airlines there is little to be gained by improving service because most passengers won't pay more for it. I'm not saying that's good or bad, just stating my opinion.


Spot on. The race to the bottom, as so many people say, by our U.S. airlines is being driven by the traveling public whose only interest, for the most part, is the cheapest fare. Cheapest fare = lack of/rotten service...you can't have both. While I hate ancillary fees, it's a good example...look how airline mishandled bag rates have plummeted (and thus checked-bag service dramatically improve) once they all started charging bag fees...they HAD to improve in order to justify the fees. Well I venture to speculate that if the majority of pax didn't think they should be able to fly trans-con for just $5 and we had pre-deregulation level fares still in place, we'd also still have superb service like we did back then.

As for this new airline, and this quote: The airline is seeking to raise $100 million...I'll paraphrase the old & funny saying: if you want to become a millionaire, invest $100 million in a start-up airline. While I agree with the guy's idea as it sounds like he wants to create an airline like Allegiant but with MUCH better service & reliability...I just don't think it would survive...not with Spirit out there. But that's just my 2 cents as a part-time arm-chair CEO.
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TWA302
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:21 pm

Bring it on. Excited to see how this new venture unfolds. Is it me or does it sound like they are looking to be something similar to WN?
 
USAIRWAYS321
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:22 pm

Someone83 wrote:
KRIC777 wrote:

True, competition is good, but I think in the US airline industry, competition just inspires lower fares and less service. And it seems like every US airline is already trying to be a "budget" airline anyway.


You prefere higher fares and less service instead?


Many posters here seem to think that's what the public deserves.
 
DENTK
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:43 pm

A fool and his money are soon parted.
 
F9Animal
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:48 pm

Can a ULCC provide good quality? Absolutely! However, it requires investing some of those profits to keep the product good. From what I see, most of the current ULCC's could care less about a quality product.

Spirit however seems to be doing something about it. I am hearing their on time performance and reliability is improving! Which leave me thinking they are investing into making the operation better. Can anyone confirm if my suspicion is true?
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intotheair
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:12 pm

Didn’t he leave UA on bad blood?

I applaud the effort to bring in more competition. I would imagine if this airline ever gets off the ground, it’ll be in the same class as NK, G4, and F9. I doubt a bean counter from Allegiant would put much thought in quality product development.
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UPNYGuy
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:05 am

F9Animal wrote:
Can a ULCC provide good quality? Absolutely! However, it requires investing some of those profits to keep the product good. From what I see, most of the current ULCC's could care less about a quality product.

Spirit however seems to be doing something about it. I am hearing their on time performance and reliability is improving! Which leave me thinking they are investing into making the operation better. Can anyone confirm if my suspicion is true?



I booked NK once because it was quite literally the best option. It was the earliest flight arriving at FLL to catch a cruise. I figured why not, and I booked a big seat to be comfortable. The seat was perfectly fine, as comfortable as a domestic first class seat without recline. Service was good too. Snacks were affordable. And you can purchase bundles that include priority boarding. I have NEXUS, so I have TSA Pre, but they allow purchase of priority security too.

I am flying them again this weekend because they again are the best option for where I am going. :). They didn’t scare me away. They are just fine.

And, the big seat with ALL the bundle perks (checked bag, carry on, priority boarding, priority security) has worked out to be less than plain old Y on a legacy airline.
 
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:18 am

F9Animal wrote:
Can a ULCC provide good quality? Absolutely! However, it requires investing some of those profits to keep the product good. From what I see, most of the current ULCC's could care less about a quality product.

Spirit however seems to be doing something about it. I am hearing their on time performance and reliability is improving! Which leave me thinking they are investing into making the operation better. Can anyone confirm if my suspicion is true?

Investing in employees is investing in a good product. Southwest proved it.
When wasn't America great?


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jumpseat67
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:25 am

All I have to say about this venture is....WOW.
 
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:27 am

Guesses as for routes:

Houston to
- DAL
- LGB/ONT
- CLE
- PBI
- COS
- MEM
- RIC
- GYY


This seems to be like the type of airline to operate the secondary markets, so COS, LGB, PBI, GYY, and RIC seem to make sense. The rest are dehubbed airports or local (dal).
So... when will the Northwest DC-9s be retired?
 
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DL717
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:36 am

emuwarveteran wrote:
"the U.S. airline industry needs another budget airline" lol what


Like it needs a hotel in the head. :banghead:
Welcome to Nothingburgers. May I take your order?
 
WeatherPilot
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:44 am

With Moxy or whatever Neeleman calls it starting in a couple years and now this new airline getting in the game where are these guys finding pilots? You can’t train them faster. 1,500 hours is 1,500 hours.
Last edited by WeatherPilot on Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
mtnwest1979
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:45 am

Gulfstream500 wrote:
Guesses as for routes:

Houston to
- DAL
- LGB/ONT
- CLE
- PBI
- COS
- MEM
- RIC
- GYY


This seems to be like the type of airline to operate the secondary markets, so COS, LGB, PBI, GYY, and RIC seem to make sense. The rest are dehubbed airports or local (dal).


Just because they are Houston-based doesn't mean they will be Houston-centric. The Houston area seems serve3d well enough by all other carriers and there are better areas to start in IMO.
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
1836Sam
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:49 am

mtnwest1979 wrote:
Gulfstream500 wrote:
Guesses as for routes:

Houston to
- DAL
- LGB/ONT
- CLE
- PBI
- COS
- MEM
- RIC
- GYY


This seems to be like the type of airline to operate the secondary markets, so COS, LGB, PBI, GYY, and RIC seem to make sense. The rest are dehubbed airports or local (dal).


Just because they are Houston-based doesn't mean they will be Houston-centric. The Houston area seems serve3d well enough by all other carriers and there are better areas to start in IMO.


I heard Austin is nice. :roll:
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:50 am

WeatherPilot wrote:
With Moxy or whatever Neeleman calls it starting in a couple years and now this new airline getting in the game where are these guys finding pilots? You can’t train them faster. 1,500 hours is 1,500 hours.

Go after the students at the 141 schools that can get a thousand hour waiver...that’s the new trend
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
CALMSP
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:51 am

agreed, i dont see anything where it says the routes are all out of Houston.
 
downdata
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:59 am

KRIC777 wrote:
Someone83 wrote:
KRIC777 wrote:

True, competition is good, but I think in the US airline industry, competition just inspires lower fares and less service. And it seems like every US airline is already trying to be a "budget" airline anyway.


You prefere higher fares and less service instead?


No I don't. The response to my original reply was that more competition was a good thing because it inspires good customer service. My point was that in in this case, I believe competition will only inspire lower fares - NOT good customer service (and if anything, LESS service) because most customers don't care about service NEARLY as much as they care about the fare. Better service costs money, and for airlines there is little to be gained by improving service because most passengers won't pay more for it. I'm not saying that's good or bad, just stating my opinion.


Come to Australia then where there are only two domestic full service airlines. An hour in a recliner J costs $1000+ one way between Syd - Mel despite there being 160+ frequencies in a day. But hey at least you get “good service”.
 
impilot
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:01 am

WeatherPilot wrote:
With Moxy or whatever Neeleman calls it starting in a couple years and now this new airline getting in the game where are these guys finding pilots? You can’t train them faster. 1,500 hours is 1,500 hours.


There are plenty of regional captains and FOs with thousands of hours trying to get out who will go. All they gotta do is pay a little more than regionals. I don’t see that as an issue. Scumbag regional outfits still have pilots filling RJ seats.
 
Rdh3e
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:06 am

downdata wrote:

Come to Australia then where there are only two domestic full service airlines. An hour in a recliner J costs $1000+ one way between Syd - Mel despite there being 160+ frequencies in a day. But hey at least you get “good service”.

You can routinely buy MEL-SYD for $50. That is amazing value. You can also get a first class ticket tomorrow for under $500.

In my travels I've found Australia to be one of the most affordable air markets (Domestically).
 
downdata
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:22 am

Rdh3e wrote:
downdata wrote:

Come to Australia then where there are only two domestic full service airlines. An hour in a recliner J costs $1000+ one way between Syd - Mel despite there being 160+ frequencies in a day. But hey at least you get “good service”.

You can routinely buy MEL-SYD for $50. That is amazing value. You can also get a first class ticket tomorrow for under $500.

In my travels I've found Australia to be one of the most affordable air markets (Domestically).


LAX - SFO costs substantially less. As are JFK - BOS. And they have far less frequencies than MEL - SYD.
 
GalebG4
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:42 am

TC957 wrote:
The words " high-quality " " extremely low fare " " basic transportation " don't mix too well in the airline industry.
It's either high quality or low fare and basic - he needs to decide which.

No CEO is going to tell you, “ohhh our product is really shitty that general public likes a lot” Every CEO even ULCC is going to tell you, we have “high” quality product with great affordable prices. And in reality they have, but only general public usually buys shittiest one.
 
GalebG4
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:56 am

US does need new ULCC airlines. But in reality, is there enough of space so big guys don’t squeeze you out of market immediately. I saw Allegiant presentation future potential US intercity markets and there is market for new airlines in US. In reality it depends on the team, experience and at the end pure luck. Canada is going to be interesting, we are going to see what ULCC players might do in that area. Moxy is going to be interesting, I wish this guys a successful start of new airlines.
 
MAH4546
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:38 am

TC957 wrote:
The words " high-quality " " extremely low fare " " basic transportation " don't mix too well in the airline industry.
It's either high quality or low fare and basic - he needs to decide which.


Spirit Airlines, which has turned its quality reputation around tremendously, is proving otherwise.
a.
 
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airportugal310
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:49 am

I don't get the obsession with new market entrants in the US getting constantly poo-poo'd...it's as if the fanboy army here on a.net is afraid. So bizarro...
“They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash.”
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:59 am

airportugal310 wrote:
I don't get the obsession with new market entrants in the US getting constantly poo-poo'd.

Probably because you mistake basic statements of fact with... how'd you put it?... "poo-poo."

The fact is, despite some on this site's ridiculous protests to the contrary: the market is extremely competitive, with 3 global legacy carriers + 1 regional legacy carrier, a nationwide LCC, a large east coast and transcon LCC, a large Hawaiian carrier, and two large ULCCs. There's not many niches in the market left unfilled, and most who've tried have met miserable demises in short order.

The last airline to launch and organically grow to major ($1B+ annual revenue), was launched 20yrs ago. That's not to say that no one could do it again, but the chances of that happening, are slim. Hence the reaction you see.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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compensateme
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:26 am

MAH4546 wrote:
TC957 wrote:
The words " high-quality " " extremely low fare " " basic transportation " don't mix too well in the airline industry.
It's either high quality or low fare and basic - he needs to decide which.


Spirit Airlines, which has turned its quality reputation around tremendously, is proving otherwise.


Sure, they’ve made some operational improvements, but they remain the most complained about airline in 2018 per DOT.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
KFLLCFII
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:54 am

cathay747 wrote:
KRIC777 wrote:
Someone83 wrote:

You prefere higher fares and less service instead?


No I don't. The response to my original reply was that more competition was a good thing because it inspires good customer service. My point was that in in this case, I believe competition will only inspire lower fares - NOT good customer service (and if anything, LESS service) because most customers don't care about service NEARLY as much as they care about the fare. Better service costs money, and for airlines there is little to be gained by improving service because most passengers won't pay more for it. I'm not saying that's good or bad, just stating my opinion.


Spot on. The race to the bottom, as so many people say, by our U.S. airlines is being driven by the traveling public whose only interest, for the most part, is the cheapest fare. Cheapest fare = lack of/rotten service...you can't have both. While I hate ancillary fees, it's a good example...look how airline mishandled bag rates have plummeted (and thus checked-bag service dramatically improve) once they all started charging bag fees...they HAD to improve in order to justify the fees. Well I venture to speculate that if the majority of pax didn't think they should be able to fly trans-con for just $5 and we had pre-deregulation level fares still in place, we'd also still have superb service like we did back then.


For a $5 trans-con, I'd gladly stand Greyhound-like service, as long as it gets me there reliably and safely.

For a $5 trans-con, you can keep the frills, the wifi/IFE, and all the flight attendants...I'll gladly bring my own food, drinks, entertainment, and I know how to find my way to my seat and out of the aircraft in the event of an unscheduled ground arrival.
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
Rdh3e
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:26 am

downdata wrote:
Rdh3e wrote:
downdata wrote:

Come to Australia then where there are only two domestic full service airlines. An hour in a recliner J costs $1000+ one way between Syd - Mel despite there being 160+ frequencies in a day. But hey at least you get “good service”.

You can routinely buy MEL-SYD for $50. That is amazing value. You can also get a first class ticket tomorrow for under $500.

In my travels I've found Australia to be one of the most affordable air markets (Domestically).


LAX - SFO costs substantially less. As are JFK - BOS. And they have far less frequencies than MEL - SYD.

You are incorrect. The Bay to the Basin has the most frequency of any city pair in the entire world. In April this year there are 190 daily round trips. That's about double the Melbourne to Sydney frequency.

Again, you can go buy a ticket for tomorrow in MEL-SYD for $50, doing the same for LAX-SFO is triple that, currently at $150.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:45 am

LAX772LR wrote:
airportugal310 wrote:
I don't get the obsession with new market entrants in the US getting constantly poo-poo'd.

Probably because you mistake basic statements of fact with... how'd you put it?... "poo-poo."

The fact is, despite some on this site's ridiculous protests to the contrary: the market is extremely competitive, with 3 global legacy carriers + 1 regional legacy carrier, a nationwide LCC, a large east coast and transcon LCC, a large Hawaiian carrier, and two large ULCCs. There's not many niches in the market left unfilled, and most who've tried have met miserable demises in short order.

The last airline to launch and organically grow to major ($1B+ annual revenue), was launched 20yrs ago. That's not to say that no one could do it again, but the chances of that happening, are slim. Hence the reaction you see.


Thanks for the perspective on that! I won't argue that the U.S. has 'enough' carriers (how many is enough?) but major markets are all competitive. Sure, somebody can point to high fares on a route like PWM-Billings, but that's flown by so few people every day that in a market of 800 million passengers annually it rounds down to nothing.

A new carrier is going to need to start with money - lots of money, like B6 did 20 years ago. This guy's goal of $100 million needs another digit. If you think that's too high a barrier entry, well, the U.S. is a very big market. Venture cap funds and Warren Buffet can find $1 Billion under their sofa cushions.
 
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Veigar
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:47 am

Good luck to them! Give us a killer livery too.
 
dmg626
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:50 am

I thought April Fools Day was over
 
sxf24
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:12 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
airportugal310 wrote:
I don't get the obsession with new market entrants in the US getting constantly poo-poo'd.

Probably because you mistake basic statements of fact with... how'd you put it?... "poo-poo."

The fact is, despite some on this site's ridiculous protests to the contrary: the market is extremely competitive, with 3 global legacy carriers + 1 regional legacy carrier, a nationwide LCC, a large east coast and transcon LCC, a large Hawaiian carrier, and two large ULCCs. There's not many niches in the market left unfilled, and most who've tried have met miserable demises in short order.

The last airline to launch and organically grow to major ($1B+ annual revenue), was launched 20yrs ago. That's not to say that no one could do it again, but the chances of that happening, are slim. Hence the reaction you see.


Thanks for the perspective on that! I won't argue that the U.S. has 'enough' carriers (how many is enough?) but major markets are all competitive. Sure, somebody can point to high fares on a route like PWM-Billings, but that's flown by so few people every day that in a market of 800 million passengers annually it rounds down to nothing.

A new carrier is going to need to start with money - lots of money, like B6 did 20 years ago. This guy's goal of $100 million needs another digit. If you think that's too high a barrier entry, well, the U.S. is a very big market. Venture cap funds and Warren Buffet can find $1 Billion under their sofa cushions.


$100M is adequate to start with a handful of used airplanes. That’s how much B6 had to start with new airplanes.
 
DfwRevolution
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:30 pm

GalebG4 wrote:
TC957 wrote:
The words " high-quality " " extremely low fare " " basic transportation " don't mix too well in the airline industry.
It's either high quality or low fare and basic - he needs to decide which.

No CEO is going to tell you, “ohhh our product is really shitty that general public likes a lot”.


That's pretty much exactly what the Spirit CEO said when challenged about their flying experience.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
slider
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:32 pm

intotheair wrote:
Didn’t he leave UA on bad blood?

I applaud the effort to bring in more competition. I would imagine if this airline ever gets off the ground, it’ll be in the same class as NK, G4, and F9. I doubt a bean counter from Allegiant would put much thought in quality product development.


I don't know if that was the case, per se, but I did hear on a reliable source that he was at odds with the former AA cabal when they came onboard, namely Kirby. Levy wanted to run UA like Allegiant--skinflint and frugal, including getting rid of domestic FC altogether (yes, that was actually a cockamamie idea, since most were upgrades and not purchased, he saw no added value, and couldn't be more wrong about something like that).

And then UA did the strange bifurcation of their CFO positions, which may have been the beginning of the end. Still, Levy did good work in pushing a used aircraft strategy for some fleet growth, which on the surface, I'd have thought would be exactly in line with Kirby's pronouncements about growing the network and building hubs up. Oh well.

I wish him well, but starting a new airline is a risky proposition on a good day.
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:57 pm

Rdh3e wrote:
downdata wrote:
Rdh3e wrote:
You can routinely buy MEL-SYD for $50. That is amazing value. You can also get a first class ticket tomorrow for under $500.

In my travels I've found Australia to be one of the most affordable air markets (Domestically).


LAX - SFO costs substantially less. As are JFK - BOS. And they have far less frequencies than MEL - SYD.

You are incorrect. The Bay to the Basin has the most frequency of any city pair in the entire world. In April this year there are 190 daily round trips. That's about double the Melbourne to Sydney frequency.

Again, you can go buy a ticket for tomorrow in MEL-SYD for $50, doing the same for LAX-SFO is triple that, currently at $150.


I don't know where you are getting your data from but there are 213 flights tomorrow SYD-MEL/AVV and about 340 SFO/SJC/OAK-LAX/BUR/ONT/LGB/SNA.

Average gauge is much larger on SYD-MEL though, and overall there are more seats available on SYD-MEL/AVV than Bay Area-Basin. This is despite LA+SF+SJC having a population that is more than double SYD+MEL.

None of this changes that Australia is one of the most expensive air markets in the world. You can pick one data point to prove any point, but average fairs are much higher than the USA.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
Rdh3e
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:32 pm

RyanairGuru wrote:
I don't know where you are getting your data from but there are 213 flights tomorrow SYD-MEL/AVV and about 340 SFO/SJC/OAK-LAX/BUR/ONT/LGB/SNA.

Average gauge is much larger on SYD-MEL though, and overall there are more seats available on SYD-MEL/AVV than Bay Area-Basin. This is despite LA+SF+SJC having a population that is more than double SYD+MEL.

None of this changes that Australia is one of the most expensive air markets in the world. You can pick one data point to prove any point, but average fairs are much higher than the USA.

Cite any sources for airfare? I'm giving you real comparisons, you could at least do the same and show some data. Also, your flight stats are incorrect. There are 99 flights April 4th from AVV/MEL to SYD. from MEL: 43 QF, 27 VA, 14 JQ, 9 TT plus 6 JQ from AVV.
 
ShinyAndChrome
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:51 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
The fact is, despite some on this site's ridiculous protests to the contrary: the market is extremely competitive, with 3 global legacy carriers + 1 regional legacy carrier, a nationwide LCC, a large east coast and transcon LCC, a large Hawaiian carrier, and two large ULCCs. There's not many niches in the market left unfilled, and most who've tried have met miserable demises in short order.


In addition to your list, I'd add Levy's own G4 which this new venture sounds remarkably similar to. I know this is all very early-stage but I'd be interested to see how he plans on distinguishing this new airline from G4 or even Moxy. Realistically, how much more non-incrementalinnovation is there to be made in the US airline sector short of an actual technological revolution?
 
Pi7472000
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Re: United Air’s Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:34 pm

downdata wrote:
KRIC777 wrote:
Someone83 wrote:

You prefere higher fares and less service instead?


No I don't. The response to my original reply was that more competition was a good thing because it inspires good customer service. My point was that in in this case, I believe competition will only inspire lower fares - NOT good customer service (and if anything, LESS service) because most customers don't care about service NEARLY as much as they care about the fare. Better service costs money, and for airlines there is little to be gained by improving service because most passengers won't pay more for it. I'm not saying that's good or bad, just stating my opinion.


Come to Australia then where there are only two domestic full service airlines. An hour in a recliner J costs $1000+ one way between Syd - Mel despite there being 160+ frequencies in a day. But hey at least you get “good service”.


Yes, and at least on Virgin Australia there was not good service. Horrible delays with rude staff between MEL and SYD this week. Also, there planes were dirty, no IFE and worse snack than what Delta provides all for more money. Air New Zealand was amazing though and worth extra money for the comfort level.
 
WaywardMemphian
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Re: United Former CFO to Launch a New U.S. Budget Airline

Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:42 pm

Gulfstream500 wrote:
Guesses as for routes:

Houston to
- DAL
- LGB/ONT
- CLE
- PBI
- COS
- MEM
- RIC
- GYY


This seems to be like the type of airline to operate the secondary markets, so COS, LGB, PBI, GYY, and RIC seem to make sense. The rest are dehubbed airports or local (dal).


Waiting for someone to go full bore into the one stop, no plane change model that WN utilizes. MEM could fit that stop in the middle well.

Example:

http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=Hou-mem-cvg&MS=wls&DU=mi

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