Not sure if anyone has mentioned this fully, as well as GJT and BZN being cut, most other routes have had capacity reductions:
BUR-AZA - 7x weekly -> 4x weekly (bookings currently unavailable)
BUR-EUG - 4x weekly (no change)
BUR-MFR - 4x weekly -> 2x weekly
BUR-OGD - 6x weekly -> 4x weekly
BUR-PSC - 3x weekly (no change)
BUR-RDD - 3x weekly -> 2x weekly
BUR-RDM - 3x weekly -> 2x weekly
BUR-STS - 14x weekly -> 6x weekly
The schedule changes now leave XP with absolutely no flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and only one flight on Tuesdays, so lots of room to add additional routes.
I think everyone can agree that the initially planned frequencies on almost all of XP's routes were far too ambitious and probably wouldn't even work pre-COVID. There's a reason why G4 tends to only operate routes twice a week; if scheduled correctly it provides enough capacity to cater for people travelling for both short and long trips, but it also doesn't oversaturate the market. It's important to remember that XP's model is one that creates demand rather than captures demand; it can operate in small markets with little PDEW/current demand since the low fares will convince some people to travel just for the sake of it, and it will convert some people who'd normally drive to fly, which creates enough demand to fill a low-frequency service. It would be almost impossible to stimulate a market enough to provide enough support for an almost-daily service, hence why I think XP was a bit too ambitious with most of its initial route frequencies.
I think it's funny that some would see this as doom and gloom for cutting some routes. Frontier and a few others will start a route, run it for a few months, and leave. If the route isn't performing as planned, why would anyone stay in it? The industry is a different animal now.
Agreed, I fail to see why XP cutting flights is really that shocking since I'm pretty sure we can all agree it was somewhat inevitable. However, I think the fact that there's now no flights on certain days is a big issue. One of G4's core principles is that it owns all of its aircraft, so it can afford to fly them fewer hours per day compared to other LCCs. XP doesn't have this advantage since all of its aircraft (as of now) are leased, so they're going to be paying for the aircraft when they're sat on the ground losing money. Yes, B737 leasing costs are much lower than they were pre-COVID, however that's still an additional cost that will hurt any startup carrier. Having no flights on Saturday also seems like a very foolish decision, seeing as the weekend is usually the best time for leisure travel, especially for short trips to LA.
XP has also stated they plan to add at least three additional 737-800s before the end of the year. Seeing as no additional bases have been announced, and considering the fact that the HVN base was announced before they'd even purchased the 737-700s, I think it's safe to say XP will only operate out of BUR and HVN this year, so the new 738s must be intended for growing the BUR base. I've no idea if this plan will be revised seeing as they now don't operate enough flights to properly utilise two aircraft, or perhaps they planned to announce another 738 base but something's happened that means it can't happen, but if XP seriously thought it could profitably utilise another three aircraft out of BUR, I'd say that raises serious questions about XP's decision-making and route-planning. Again, clearly XP's initial schedule was far too ambitious, however the fact that they planned on adding additional aircraft within less than a year after the BUR base opened suggests they actually thought their launch schedule would be successful. I don't consider myself to be an industry expert by any means, however I really don't think it takes an industry expert to recognise that you're not going to find enough people in a town like Ogden, with a population of just over 80,000 and is in the same catchment area as airports like SLC and PVU, the latter of which already has G4 service to LAX, to fill 1,134 seats a week to a little regional airport just outside of Hollywood.
If the rumours on here are true about XP targeting places like LAS from BUR, I think that's also a big red flag. I think AZA was perhaps one of the best chances they had at serving larger cities; Phoenix isn't that oversaturated from the LA area, and going from AZA is not only cheaper but also gives the opportunity to target people living closer to AZA than PHX. However, seeing as AZA has right now been cut completely, that should really send a massive to XP's network team that right now they cannot effectively compete in bigger cities. It also completely strays away from XP's original idea of connecting smaller cities to larger leisure destinations, AZA they could somewhat get away with since it's technically the airport for Mesa and not Phoenix, however there's no small city that you can say you're serving by flying to LAS. Plus, G4 is known to defend its territory, so it would snap up any LAS route that XP somehow makes a profit on.
Do I think XP is doomed? No, its model has massive potential, and it is certainly riding against some massive headwinds like COVID right now. However, I think it could find itself in a tough spot if it continues going down its current path.