iadadd
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:13 am

I wish AS would've at least kept A321 fleet in VX style, and maybe introduce a more premium flat bed First Class. This could have been a great competitive product on Transcon between SFO/LAX-JFK/DCA/BOS.

I recently flew a "More to Love" A321 from DCA-LAX and it was bittersweet knowing that that beautiful new A321 with a great seats and IFE was about to get "Alaskifyed" into a horrible dull grey seat with an annoying tablet holder.
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:26 pm

iadadd wrote:
I recently flew a "More to Love" A321 from DCA-LAX and it was bittersweet knowing that that beautiful new A321 with a great seats and IFE was about to get "Alaskifyed" into a horrible dull grey seat with an annoying tablet holder.

In the process becoming a part of a sustainable business model that provides more opportunities for coustomers in a less competitive section of the market.
 
Chugach
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:51 pm

PacificWest wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
PacificWest wrote:
I just flew a brand new (it's second flight ever with pax) Alaska 737-9 on Friday -- Transcon.

To my shock, this brand new plane with the new interior and seats DID NOT have tablet holders.

Ironically, in their magazine they tout the tablet holders in their retrofitted Airbus fleet (which I've flown).

It blows my mind that that they're taking deliveries of brand new aircraft without tablet holders....


:redflag:

That was the last 737-900ER that AS had on order, and it does NOT come from Boeing with the new upgraded interior mods; those are done at GSO and none of the 737-800, -900, or -900ER fleet have them yet.



Ahhh ok. Good to know... so AS does have plans to upgrade their 737 fleet though, right?

I flew an A320 with the new interior about a month ago to SNA, and the tablet/phone holders were great. Even though I'm a huge fan of seatback PTV's -- I was surprised how nice it was having my wireless headphones paired with my iPad mini. If AS can get a decent in-flight map (instead of that gogo crap), I'll officially quit my whining ;)


They’ve already updated the 73G’s to the new interior. It’s nice, although I wish they would have improved the F legroom to be in line with the rest of the 737’s. It gets a little crowded with the footrest.
 
LAXBUR
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:17 pm

iadadd wrote:
I wish AS would've at least kept A321 fleet in VX style, and maybe introduce a more premium flat bed First Class. This could have been a great competitive product on Transcon between SFO/LAX-JFK/DCA/BOS.

I recently flew a "More to Love" A321 from DCA-LAX and it was bittersweet knowing that that beautiful new A321 with a great seats and IFE was about to get "Alaskifyed" into a horrible dull grey seat with an annoying tablet holder.


What was so much greater about VX coach seats outside of seatback IFE? How is a tablet holder "annoying"? Does it taunt you? How is a dark grey seat so inferior to a black one? Do you regularly fly in lie flat seats? Is everyone on airliners.net an executive or wealthy person that can pay for transcon Business? Doubt it. I think Delta only gives an opportunity for comp upgrades to elites on Transcon. Alaska has doubled VX First from 8 to 16 on the A321 which will give more upgrade opportunities to Mileage Plan members. But let's complain about something we can't even afford. lol

Everyone has their own opinions about stuff but a lot of the VX/AS stuff is still laughable to me because it isn't logical. Many haven't flown AS or VX or have very little experience with either. Yet, they demand a hard product that they'd likely never have access to anyways.

Plus, VX First product wasn't even competitive. Yet you're complaining about Alaska not upgrading the VX First even though it was so amazing? Also, only American offers a lie flat First seat on transcon. The rest offer a lie flat business product lie flat.
 
hiflyeras
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:15 pm

I think it's ridiculous that people expect a lie-flat seat on a carrier with an average flight time of probably 2:30. Yes, it might be nice on a transcon or Hawaii-West Coast redeye but they're not going to spend the $100mil or whatever it would take to install lie-flat on 200+ airframes for probably less than 5% of their schedule.
 
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seabosdca
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:19 am

Let's get real about lie-flats.

There are only two domestic markets in the US that can comfortably support them: NYC-LAX and NYC-SFO. Other transcon markets (including anywhere from WAS, BOS, SEA, or SAN) are marginal with lie-flats and much better suited to a traditional domestic F product.

And AS is not going to be one of the loyalty players on either NYC-LAX or NYC-SFO in the foreseeable future. The California-based HVCs are traveling on AA out of LAX or UA out of SFO. The NYC-based ones are flying on AA, DL, or maybe now occasionally on B6. One of the biggest conceptual mistakes people make is thinking that VX had gotten a significant piece of that market. It had not.

So the idea that AS should equip a subfleet of 10 planes with lie-flats that would in all likelihood pull in no more revenue than their existing F product, while using vastly more space, is mind-boggling.
 
PacificWest
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:11 am

seabosdca wrote:
Let's get real about lie-flats.

There are only two domestic markets in the US that can comfortably support them: NYC-LAX and NYC-SFO. Other transcon markets (including anywhere from WAS, BOS, SEA, or SAN) are marginal with lie-flats and much better suited to a traditional domestic F product.

And AS is not going to be one of the loyalty players on either NYC-LAX or NYC-SFO in the foreseeable future. The California-based HVCs are traveling on AA out of LAX or UA out of SFO. The NYC-based ones are flying on AA, DL, or maybe now occasionally on B6. One of the biggest conceptual mistakes people make is thinking that VX had gotten a significant piece of that market. It had not.

So the idea that AS should equip a subfleet of 10 planes with lie-flats that would in all likelihood pull in no more revenue than their existing F product, while using vastly more space, is mind-boggling.


I'm gonna have to disagree: JetBlue Mint started with just the (2) routes you mentioned -- JFK-LAX & JFK-SFO -- and now offers it on (22) routes, with plans to add more.

I'm a PNW native and I love Alaska's employees, customer service, and loyalty program; but that stuff doesn't win over NEW travelers, it's just good for retaining their existing customer base.

To me, when you combine Alaska's limited network with it's mediocre hard product, it just creates a situation where they have a lower/limited ceiling for growth.

For example...
Alaska'a market share in Seattle (which is a pretty lucrative market) has basically flat-lined / nudged slightly down over the past few years. Delta's has been increasing steadily -- but Delta's not stealing away Alaska's existing customer base, they're just winning a huge chunk of the net-new pax in that market.

~ SEA pax grew from 39MM in 2016 -to- 43MM in 2018 (an increase of 4M)
~ Of that 4M increase, Delta and Alaska basically split it 50/50.

Delta is getting 50% of net-new travelers in Alaska's backyard. That's not good.
 
LAXBUR
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:37 am

PacificWest wrote:
seabosdca wrote:
Let's get real about lie-flats.

There are only two domestic markets in the US that can comfortably support them: NYC-LAX and NYC-SFO. Other transcon markets (including anywhere from WAS, BOS, SEA, or SAN) are marginal with lie-flats and much better suited to a traditional domestic F product.

And AS is not going to be one of the loyalty players on either NYC-LAX or NYC-SFO in the foreseeable future. The California-based HVCs are traveling on AA out of LAX or UA out of SFO. The NYC-based ones are flying on AA, DL, or maybe now occasionally on B6. One of the biggest conceptual mistakes people make is thinking that VX had gotten a significant piece of that market. It had not.

So the idea that AS should equip a subfleet of 10 planes with lie-flats that would in all likelihood pull in no more revenue than their existing F product, while using vastly more space, is mind-boggling.


I'm gonna have to disagree: JetBlue Mint started with just the (2) routes you mentioned -- JFK-LAX & JFK-SFO -- and now offers it on (22) routes, with plans to add more.

I'm a PNW native and I love Alaska's employees, customer service, and loyalty program; but that stuff doesn't win over NEW travelers, it's just good for retaining their existing customer base.

To me, when you combine Alaska's limited network with it's mediocre hard product, it just creates a situation where they have a lower/limited ceiling for growth.

For example...
Alaska'a market share in Seattle (which is a pretty lucrative market) has basically flat-lined / nudged slightly down over the past few years. Delta's has been increasing steadily -- but Delta's not stealing away Alaska's existing customer base, they're just winning a huge chunk of the net-new pax in that market.

~ SEA pax grew from 39MM in 2016 -to- 43MM in 2018 (an increase of 4M)
~ Of that 4M increase, Delta and Alaska basically split it 50/50.

Delta is getting 50% of net-new travelers in Alaska's backyard. That's not good.


Delta flies overseas flights from SEA that Alaska does not. So if Alaska’s growth is comparable to Delta’s while only adding domestically, that’s actually good.

And BTW...for perspective purposes it appears on a Friday in July Delta offers one lie flat flight from SEA to the East Coast. ONE. lol
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:04 am

PacificWest wrote:
Alaska'a market share in Seattle (which is a pretty lucrative market) has basically flat-lined / nudged slightly down over the past few years.


Wrong, AS has increased a bit, and all of DL's growth in SEA has come solely at the expense of two airlines; WN and UA. Check the T-100 data and see for yourself.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:11 am

seabosdca wrote:
One of the biggest conceptual mistakes people make is thinking that VX had gotten a significant piece of that market. It had not.


True. VX was a dead airline flying; it just didn't know it. They'd burned through $550M of investors' money while only getting $307M in an IPO, and barely managed to eke out an operating profit during extremely low fuel costs and before the arms race of lie-flats hit in full force.

AS is smart to fly under the radar with their flexible, consistent fleet, offering 41" pitch in F that is better than any U.S. domestic carrier's standard F product. The only reason transcons are a bloodbath right now is that B6 is desperate to buy market share by throwing Mint at everything, where they can't compete with the HVC and corporate contracts that AA, UA, and DL command. That's going to shake itself out in the coming 18-24 months and yields will return to normal since B6 just can't hang in that firefight with the Big 3.

There's a solid argument to be made that with their current strategy, B6 is the next dead airline flying that just doesn't know it yet.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
N757ST
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:53 am

EA CO AS wrote:
seabosdca wrote:
One of the biggest conceptual mistakes people make is thinking that VX had gotten a significant piece of that market. It had not.


True. VX was a dead airline flying; it just didn't know it. They'd burned through $550M of investors' money while only getting $307M in an IPO, and barely managed to eke out an operating profit during extremely low fuel costs and before the arms race of lie-flats hit in full force.

AS is smart to fly under the radar with their flexible, consistent fleet, offering 41" pitch in F that is better than any U.S. domestic carrier's standard F product. The only reason transcons are a bloodbath right now is that B6 is desperate to buy market share by throwing Mint at everything, where they can't compete with the HVC and corporate contracts that AA, UA, and DL command. That's going to shake itself out in the coming 18-24 months and yields will return to normal since B6 just can't hang in that firefight with the Big 3.

There's a solid argument to be made that with their current strategy, B6 is the next dead airline flying that just doesn't know it yet.


B6 achieves a RASM premium to the big 3 in almost every Mint market it competes in vs the big 3, and has a slew of corporate contracts especially out of Boston. They’ve also had one unprofitable quarter in about 9 years, and that was due to the E90 write off. I hardly see them as a dead airline flying.
 
Passedv1
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:03 pm

Chugach wrote:
doug_or wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
VX has flown to ANC seasonally before. ANC is a totally normal airport



Exactly. Anyone can fly into Anchorage. It is an international airport on the coast with long runways aligned for different wind conditions and multiple ILS approaches. The RNP capability that Alaska has on its 737s allow them to fly more complicated curved approaches around mountainous terrain into the smaller airports in SE Alaska that may not have conventional approaches for all runways. Even in good weather I don't think the bus pilots would be allowed to go [to the smaller airports] since AS only qualifies some of its pilots for the SE and Arctic regions.


DL also developed its own RNP for JNU, and last fall sent a 738 to SIT and KTN, presumably to certify their own approaches for those towns as well (even though they will remain E175 for the time being).

I’m not positive, but from what I’ve heard DL currently only certified the 738 for the RNP approaches into JNU. If that eventually extends to the A220 or even E175, I could see them extending their JNU season again. Time will tell.


It's for use as an alternate. If you don't have an RNP approach available into a SE Alaska airport you could go weeks where you have to have enough fuel to go all the way to SEA or ANC for an alternate.

VX has had Airbusses (Airbi - ?) flying SEA-ANC before. Which is fine in the summer when the weather is usually pretty good. But in the winter, if you have no RNP capabilities, you don't have any good options once you are passed Ketchikan in case you need to divert.
 
N757ST
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:23 pm

Passedv1 wrote:
Chugach wrote:
doug_or wrote:


Exactly. Anyone can fly into Anchorage. It is an international airport on the coast with long runways aligned for different wind conditions and multiple ILS approaches. The RNP capability that Alaska has on its 737s allow them to fly more complicated curved approaches around mountainous terrain into the smaller airports in SE Alaska that may not have conventional approaches for all runways. Even in good weather I don't think the bus pilots would be allowed to go [to the smaller airports] since AS only qualifies some of its pilots for the SE and Arctic regions.


DL also developed its own RNP for JNU, and last fall sent a 738 to SIT and KTN, presumably to certify their own approaches for those towns as well (even though they will remain E175 for the time being).

I’m not positive, but from what I’ve heard DL currently only certified the 738 for the RNP approaches into JNU. If that eventually extends to the A220 or even E175, I could see them extending their JNU season again. Time will tell.


It's for use as an alternate. If you don't have an RNP approach available into a SE Alaska airport you could go weeks where you have to have enough fuel to go all the way to SEA or ANC for an alternate.

VX has had Airbusses (Airbi - ?) flying SEA-ANC before. Which is fine in the summer when the weather is usually pretty good. But in the winter, if you have no RNP capabilities, you don't have any good options once you are passed Ketchikan in case you need to divert.


Anyone know why don’t they have RNP capability? The A320 series is RNP capable.
 
tphuang
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:16 pm

N757ST wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
seabosdca wrote:
One of the biggest conceptual mistakes people make is thinking that VX had gotten a significant piece of that market. It had not.


True. VX was a dead airline flying; it just didn't know it. They'd burned through $550M of investors' money while only getting $307M in an IPO, and barely managed to eke out an operating profit during extremely low fuel costs and before the arms race of lie-flats hit in full force.

AS is smart to fly under the radar with their flexible, consistent fleet, offering 41" pitch in F that is better than any U.S. domestic carrier's standard F product. The only reason transcons are a bloodbath right now is that B6 is desperate to buy market share by throwing Mint at everything, where they can't compete with the HVC and corporate contracts that AA, UA, and DL command. That's going to shake itself out in the coming 18-24 months and yields will return to normal since B6 just can't hang in that firefight with the Big 3.

There's a solid argument to be made that with their current strategy, B6 is the next dead airline flying that just doesn't know it yet.


B6 achieves a RASM premium to the big 3 in almost every Mint market it competes in vs the big 3, and has a slew of corporate contracts especially out of Boston. They’ve also had one unprofitable quarter in about 9 years, and that was due to the E90 write off. I hardly see them as a dead airline flying.


yep, EA CO AS continue to refuse to acknowledge the public available data that mint is printing money for B6. There will more mint routes going forward, not less. B6's yield from Q1 to Q2 of 2018 went up 41% as a result of mint. So yes, it's a huge revenue generator.
 
milemaster
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:37 pm

Image

seabosdca wrote:
Let's get real about lie-flats.
 
PacificWest
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:48 pm

EA CO AS wrote:
PacificWest wrote:
Alaska'a market share in Seattle (which is a pretty lucrative market) has basically flat-lined / nudged slightly down over the past few years.


Wrong, AS has increased a bit, and all of DL's growth in SEA has come solely at the expense of two airlines; WN and UA. Check the T-100 data and see for yourself.


I literally pulled the numbers from the BTS.

In the rest of my previous post I said that Delta wasn't stealing the AS customer base -- but it appears to have "owned" 50% of the net-new pax growth (4MM) in SEA over the past couple years.

All I'm saying is that, while AS has (imo) the best FA's and best customer service in the industry, I think their management is squandering the advantages they do have.

If you move to the West Coast and aren't familiar with Alaska -- what compels you to book with them over Delta, United, or Southwest? AS Customer Service and Loyalty Program is only appreciated after you fly with them a few times. But if you just moved to SFO or SEA from the East Coast, what compels you to book AS for the first time? This is why Alaska is making money in SEA and PDX where they have theeir massive existing customer base, but appears to be taking it up the rear in in California.
 
LAXBUR
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:26 pm

PacificWest wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
PacificWest wrote:
Alaska'a market share in Seattle (which is a pretty lucrative market) has basically flat-lined / nudged slightly down over the past few years.


Wrong, AS has increased a bit, and all of DL's growth in SEA has come solely at the expense of two airlines; WN and UA. Check the T-100 data and see for yourself.


I literally pulled the numbers from the BTS.

In the rest of my previous post I said that Delta wasn't stealing the AS customer base -- but it appears to have "owned" 50% of the net-new pax growth (4MM) in SEA over the past couple years.

All I'm saying is that, while AS has (imo) the best FA's and best customer service in the industry, I think their management is squandering the advantages they do have.

If you move to the West Coast and aren't familiar with Alaska -- what compels you to book with them over Delta, United, or Southwest? AS Customer Service and Loyalty Program is only appreciated after you fly with them a few times. But if you just moved to SFO or SEA from the East Coast, what compels you to book AS for the first time? This is why Alaska is making money in SEA and PDX where they have theeir massive existing customer base, but appears to be taking it up the rear in in California.


I’m not sure what you’re driving at here. Adding seatback IFE for hour flights in California isn’t going to “win” California. Adding a bunch of flights may increase awareness but may put them out of business. Adding lie flats won’t build intra-West Coast or California passengers. And while B6 and AS have somewhat mirror image route maps, B6 still has many more longer flights than Alaska. I’m very doubtful many people from Seattle, Portland, or California would cough up money to fly a Mint style product to Mexico or Central America on Alaska. That’s pretty evident in Seattle with Delta having very little domestic Delta One.
 
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seabosdca
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:50 pm

PacificWest wrote:
All I'm saying is that, while AS has (imo) the best FA's and best customer service in the industry, I think their management is squandering the advantages they do have.

If you move to the West Coast and aren't familiar with Alaska -- what compels you to book with them over Delta, United, or Southwest? AS Customer Service and Loyalty Program is only appreciated after you fly with them a few times. But if you just moved to SFO or SEA from the East Coast, what compels you to book AS for the first time? This is why Alaska is making money in SEA and PDX where they have theeir massive existing customer base, but appears to be taking it up the rear in in California.


Your question is reasonable, but lie-flats are not an answer to it. They are aimed at a tiny portion of the customer base, especially when priced in comparison to the space they use (which B6 is not doing, obscured for now by the upgauge from A320 to A321 in many Mint markets). Second, they aren't even useful on most of the network.

The answer to your question is easy in SEA or PDX. If you move to those places from the East Coast, you'll quickly be sucked in by the comprehensiveness of the network. It's trickier in California, but the answer is going to lie in continued network development more than an exotic F product. AS and DL have largely kicked WN out of the Pacific Northwest airports except as spokes for loyalists. Trying to crack WN markets in California will be a lot harder but it's really the only way forward.
 
N757ST
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:23 pm

seabosdca wrote:
PacificWest wrote:
All I'm saying is that, while AS has (imo) the best FA's and best customer service in the industry, I think their management is squandering the advantages they do have.

If you move to the West Coast and aren't familiar with Alaska -- what compels you to book with them over Delta, United, or Southwest? AS Customer Service and Loyalty Program is only appreciated after you fly with them a few times. But if you just moved to SFO or SEA from the East Coast, what compels you to book AS for the first time? This is why Alaska is making money in SEA and PDX where they have theeir massive existing customer base, but appears to be taking it up the rear in in California.


Your question is reasonable, but lie-flats are not an answer to it. They are aimed at a tiny portion of the customer base, especially when priced in comparison to the space they use (which B6 is not doing, obscured for now by the upgauge from A320 to A321 in many Mint markets). Second, they aren't even useful on most of the network.

The answer to your question is easy in SEA or PDX. If you move to those places from the East Coast, you'll quickly be sucked in by the comprehensiveness of the network. It's trickier in California, but the answer is going to lie in continued network development more than an exotic F product. AS and DL have largely kicked WN out of the Pacific Northwest airports except as spokes for loyalists. Trying to crack WN markets in California will be a lot harder but it's really the only way forward.


Alaska folks on here keep parroting the line “lie flats are a fad” and a “niche market” to select passengers. You very well might be right, but 15 years ago trans atlantic flight were being sold with seats very similar to AS’s first product, and how many of those are still doing so? Maybe the market will revert back to an AS style product, or maybe the market is evolving and AS is failing to adapt. In the earnings thread it was mentioned that most AS trans con flying is losing money. Conversely, most if not all of Jetblue’s mint network is profitable, and some markets are the most profitable in the entire jetblue network. So far the market is telling everyone that consumers are willing to pay for a premium product, and are less willing to pay for the inferior product even at a lower price point.
 
KlimaBXsst
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:22 pm

The moment WN puts in “flat seat sleeper pods” on all of their flights is the day I am sure Alaska Airlines will too.

Some people sure seem to have a wet spot for sleeper type seats on here. At most transcon, I can only ever get a 3 hour nap in if that.

This affection for flat seats is laughable and almost on par with OCC’s understanding of economics.
Aesthetically the A 340 got it right!
 
hiflyeras
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:35 pm

Have a drink then dinner...first 1hr 30 min
Watch a movie or get some work done...2 hrs
Recline to lie-flat and try to sleep... maybe 1hr 30 min
Prepare for landing 30 min out
Total 5:30

Unless it’s a red eye (which does not earn a premium rasm) I just don’t see the great need.
 
LAXBUR
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:37 pm

I find it interesting that VX - the best airline ever - did not have lie flat seats. But the expectation is that AS should have lie flat. VX seats were better than AS F, but with only 8 seats and if I recall no real upgrade opportunities for elites they were a rather strange middle of the pack offering.

Mint was announced in 2013. Between then and the merger VX had time to at least craft a lie flat plan. I’m by no means an expert in economics, but everyone keeps trying to compare Mint with a fantasy Alaska product. I would assume there’s a lot more Premium paying passengers in NYC than Seattle. Again, Delta doesn’t seem to have much faith in a Premium Domestic at Seattle with their VERY limited Delta One offerings. Sure, Alaska can do a sub fleet that does Transcon and Hawaii but it’ll likely be just a marketing ploy and still result in poor performance, likely worse performance. So does Alaska please a few airliners.net kids and some experimental West Coast Premium passengers? Or stay the course and keep the transcons as vanity routes to encourage FF retention and keep a California presence?
 
Passedv1
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:58 am

N757ST wrote:
Passedv1 wrote:
Chugach wrote:

DL also developed its own RNP for JNU, and last fall sent a 738 to SIT and KTN, presumably to certify their own approaches for those towns as well (even though they will remain E175 for the time being).

I’m not positive, but from what I’ve heard DL currently only certified the 738 for the RNP approaches into JNU. If that eventually extends to the A220 or even E175, I could see them extending their JNU season again. Time will tell.


It's for use as an alternate. If you don't have an RNP approach available into a SE Alaska airport you could go weeks where you have to have enough fuel to go all the way to SEA or ANC for an alternate.

VX has had Airbusses (Airbi - ?) flying SEA-ANC before. Which is fine in the summer when the weather is usually pretty good. But in the winter, if you have no RNP capabilities, you don't have any good options once you are passed Ketchikan in case you need to divert.


Anyone know why don’t they have RNP capability? The A320 series is RNP capable.


There are different levels of RNP capability. Your standard .3 RNP (99.9% certainty of position within about 2000') is what almost everybody has. That allows you pretty standard non precision minimums in SE Alska. Alaska 737's conduct approaches down to .1 RNP (99.9% certainty of position within 600 ft) in SE Alaska which basically gets them at or close to Cat I ILS minimums at any airport in SE Alaska.

When I said VX didn't have RNP capability, I was speaking of these lower minimums.
 
32andBelow
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:13 am

Passedv1 wrote:
N757ST wrote:
Passedv1 wrote:

It's for use as an alternate. If you don't have an RNP approach available into a SE Alaska airport you could go weeks where you have to have enough fuel to go all the way to SEA or ANC for an alternate.

VX has had Airbusses (Airbi - ?) flying SEA-ANC before. Which is fine in the summer when the weather is usually pretty good. But in the winter, if you have no RNP capabilities, you don't have any good options once you are passed Ketchikan in case you need to divert.


Anyone know why don’t they have RNP capability? The A320 series is RNP capable.


There are different levels of RNP capability. Your standard .3 RNP (99.9% certainty of position within about 2000') is what almost everybody has. That allows you pretty standard non precision minimums in SE Alska. Alaska 737's conduct approaches down to .1 RNP (99.9% certainty of position within 600 ft) in SE Alaska which basically gets them at or close to Cat I ILS minimums at any airport in SE Alaska.

When I said VX didn't have RNP capability, I was speaking of these lower minimums.

Which aren’t necessary for PANC since there is a cat III ILS
 
Aliqiout
Posts: 283
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:46 am

32andBelow wrote:
Passedv1 wrote:
N757ST wrote:

Anyone know why don’t they have RNP capability? The A320 series is RNP capable.


There are different levels of RNP capability. Your standard .3 RNP (99.9% certainty of position within about 2000') is what almost everybody has. That allows you pretty standard non precision minimums in SE Alska. Alaska 737's conduct approaches down to .1 RNP (99.9% certainty of position within 600 ft) in SE Alaska which basically gets them at or close to Cat I ILS minimums at any airport in SE Alaska.

When I said VX didn't have RNP capability, I was speaking of these lower minimums.

Which aren’t necessary for PANC since there is a cat III ILS

The issue isn't whether the VX planes can fly to ANC. They obviously can. The issue is that ANC is an intra Alaska hub, and it would be very inconvenient to send a plane there that can only reliably return to SEA.
 
AirbusA322
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:25 am

If VX was still a sole carrier then I’d have no doubt they would go into the next decade with lie flat. They didn’t react against B6 probably because like B6, they were testing the market and it took a good 2 years to get an idea if the investment is worth signing of on going forward. By 2016 Virgin was bogged down with trying to be sold off rather than any product innovation.

Bit hard to compare the VX First to others as it was designed as a pay to use product not a upgrade to use model like the rest. Essentially the model used in Australia with QF/VA but they have a monopolised business market where it’s cut throat here in the states.
 
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RWA380
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:35 am

LAXBUR wrote:
iadadd wrote:
I wish AS would've at least kept A321 fleet in VX style, and maybe introduce a more premium flat bed First Class. This could have been a great competitive product on Transcon between SFO/LAX-JFK/DCA/BOS.

I recently flew a "More to Love" A321 from DCA-LAX and it was bittersweet knowing that that beautiful new A321 with a great seats and IFE was about to get "Alaskifyed" into a horrible dull grey seat with an annoying tablet holder.


What was so much greater about VX coach seats outside of seatback IFE? How is a tablet holder "annoying"? Does it taunt you? How is a dark grey seat so inferior to a black one? Do you regularly fly in lie flat seats? Is everyone on airliners.net an executive or wealthy person that can pay for transcon Business? Doubt it. I think Delta only gives an opportunity for comp upgrades to elites on Transcon. Alaska has doubled VX First from 8 to 16 on the A321 which will give more upgrade opportunities to Mileage Plan members. But let's complain about something we can't even afford. lol

Everyone has their own opinions about stuff but a lot of the VX/AS stuff is still laughable to me because it isn't logical. Many haven't flown AS or VX or have very little experience with either. Yet, they demand a hard product that they'd likely never have access to anyways.

Plus, VX First product wasn't even competitive. Yet you're complaining about Alaska not upgrading the VX First even though it was so amazing? Also, only American offers a lie flat First seat on transcon. The rest offer a lie flat business product lie flat.


AAG has smartly found a very solid, middle of the road path in domestic aviation. AS realizes the glitzy & edge cutting tech is fun, but not functional. SRB tries to creates brands that bring people together with seat to seat chat, or the popular order when you wish system. It's easy to replicate on a small scale like VX started as & became.

But at some point the direction VX was going started to pull away from the little & big things that endured VX's clients & most loyal flyers & it was grand in their day, sexy looking & in pastel colors. But when the red started fading & the engine cowlings got dirty, IFE started acting up, people are flying on planes expecting order on demand, only to find it's not working for weeks on end.

VX flew aircraft with known problems, but because they were not mandatory issues to ground the flight, in their last year, VX deferred all unneeded maintenance until they knew if they'd be putting it out on the front lawn with a for sale sign on it O.B.O.

hiflyeras wrote:
I think it's ridiculous that people expect a lie-flat seat on a carrier with an average flight time of probably 2:30. Yes, it might be nice on a transcon or Hawaii-West Coast redeye but they're not going to spend the $100mil or whatever it would take to install lie-flat on 200+ airframes for probably less than 5% of their schedule.


AS is not going to do lie flats, I agree it's beyond absurd that AAG would use up the real estate lie-flats take up, on either their 737-900ER's or 737-800's. AS had found an excellent middle of the road product, I think AS often sets the standard for middle of the road travel.

Don't get me wrong, I am a huge AS fan & have no plans to change my loyalty to any other carrier, nor change my credit card, nor sell long held stock. AS will win marketshare with their product both in coach, coach + & first. People flying domestically do not expect a lie flat seat in F (except the premium t-con market) AS offers 12 F seats with great lrgroom, good service & there is not one flight in the AS system that is long enough to warrant it.

I have flown HA lie flat to Hawaii on HA & I love HA. I got an excellent deal that made the HA the cost of what AS charges for their inferior 737 F experience. It's interesting that HA often times charges the same for the lie flat on the A-332 vs the F on HA A-321neo or AS 739ER.

AS is very wise with how they are proceeding & why I remain invested with them, they told us 1-2 % growth this year & not mainline but E-175's. PAE likely counts quite a bit towards that figure. Next year AS is bantering about 6% network increase. I know they are done recieving their ordered 737-990ERs, so I wonder if they have any more ceo 737's coming, before the MAX's arrive?
707, 717, 720, 727-1/2, 737-1/2/3/4/5/7/8/9, 747-1/2/3, 757, 767-2/3/4, 777-2/3, DC8, DC9, MD80/2/7/8, D10-1/3/4, M11, L10-2/5, A300/310/319/320
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MIflyer12
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:17 pm

PacificWest wrote:

I'm gonna have to disagree: JetBlue Mint started with just the (2) routes you mentioned -- JFK-LAX & JFK-SFO -- and now offers it on (22) routes, with plans to add more.


The Mint routes count is a poor metric. Some of them may be seasonal, less-than-daily, or low frequency. Look at the flights per week count and it's still heavily skewed to JFK-LAX/SFO.

It's too early to argue that Mint is successfully deployed. B6 had declining year-over-year RASM 1Q19. That's not an argument that Mint even kept avg fares up, let alone covered additional costs per passenger or sq inch of floor space, or is earning B6's threshhold Return on Invested Capital from Mint. Maybe they'll turn it around and find a combo of routes and frequencies that makes them a mint (pun intended).

It's not clear that Alaska or B6 is big enough to find aircraft subfleets optimal. Delta has eight aircraft types (and some different seating configs within those eight) with lie-flat seats and yet doesn't fly them in any number domestically from SEA. If people want to argue that every route SEA/PDX/SFO/LAX/SAN to BOS/JFK/EWR/PHL/BWI/IAD/CHS/MCO/TPA/FLL deserves (as in being profit-optimizing) an Alaska aircraft with lie-flat seats I wish them luck. Flight distance doesn't do it - willingness to pay by decent numbers of people gets it done.
 
N757ST
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:30 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
PacificWest wrote:

I'm gonna have to disagree: JetBlue Mint started with just the (2) routes you mentioned -- JFK-LAX & JFK-SFO -- and now offers it on (22) routes, with plans to add more.


The Mint routes count is a poor metric. Some of them may be seasonal, less-than-daily, or low frequency. Look at the flights per week count and it's still heavily skewed to JFK-LAX/SFO.

It's too early to argue that Mint is successfully deployed. B6 had declining year-over-year RASM 1Q19. That's not an argument that Mint even kept avg fares up, let alone covered additional costs per passenger or sq inch of floor space, or is earning B6's threshhold Return on Invested Capital from Mint. Maybe they'll turn it around and find a combo of routes and frequencies that makes them a mint (pun intended).

It's not clear that Alaska or B6 is big enough to find aircraft subfleets optimal. Delta has eight aircraft types (and some different seating configs within those eight) with lie-flat seats and yet doesn't fly them in any number domestically from SEA. If people want to argue that every route SEA/PDX/SFO/LAX/SAN to BOS/JFK/EWR/PHL/BWI/IAD/CHS/MCO/TPA/FLL deserves (as in being profit-optimizing) an Alaska aircraft with lie-flat seats I wish them luck. Flight distance doesn't do it - willingness to pay by decent numbers of people gets it done.



If you look at the data posted on a route basis in the jetblue thread, you’d see that almost every mint market is profitable, some of them are likely the most profitable in the jetblue network. The island flying is due to the less transcons on the weekends and the added needed lift during the weekends. I have no idea the level of profitability on those mint seats flying to then islands, but I do know it’s fairly rare that one isn’t sold. I’m not trying to say that Alaska should even adopt a lie flat product, I’m only saying that users in this thread have said that lie flats are a fad etc.... so far the market is saying otherwise.

As for the subfleet angle, I don’t really see the difference vs flying multiple models of 737 and airbus. If it was completely sub optimal then you’d see Alaska consolidate around a single model of 737. They haven’t done that, so I imagine running subfleets isn’t a huge problem. Jetblue uses mint a321s as operational spares for both the A320 and mint fleet to help with utilization l.
 
Rdh3e
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:20 pm

N757ST wrote:

B6 achieves a RASM premium to the big 3 in almost every Mint market it competes in vs the big 3

B6 is #4 in PRASM on NYC-SFO, also #4 on NYC-LAX. They are also behind UA in BOS-SFO, which leads me to say you should really preface your claim with "in markets where the big three aren't flying a lie-flat". And then of course they are getting a premium - they are flying a much less dense aircraft so they better be getting a premium, the question is whether the revenue premium is bigger than the cost premium...
 
tphuang
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:24 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
PacificWest wrote:

I'm gonna have to disagree: JetBlue Mint started with just the (2) routes you mentioned -- JFK-LAX & JFK-SFO -- and now offers it on (22) routes, with plans to add more.


The Mint routes count is a poor metric. Some of them may be seasonal, less-than-daily, or low frequency. Look at the flights per week count and it's still heavily skewed to JFK-LAX/SFO.

It's too early to argue that Mint is successfully deployed. B6 had declining year-over-year RASM 1Q19. That's not an argument that Mint even kept avg fares up, let alone covered additional costs per passenger or sq inch of floor space, or is earning B6's threshhold Return on Invested Capital from Mint. Maybe they'll turn it around and find a combo of routes and frequencies that makes them a mint (pun intended).

It's not clear that Alaska or B6 is big enough to find aircraft subfleets optimal. Delta has eight aircraft types (and some different seating configs within those eight) with lie-flat seats and yet doesn't fly them in any number domestically from SEA. If people want to argue that every route SEA/PDX/SFO/LAX/SAN to BOS/JFK/EWR/PHL/BWI/IAD/CHS/MCO/TPA/FLL deserves (as in being profit-optimizing) an Alaska aircraft with lie-flat seats I wish them luck. Flight distance doesn't do it - willingness to pay by decent numbers of people gets it done.


By summer of this year, they will have 16 daily R/T on JFK-LAX/SFO and 28 daily R/T on other mint routes(2 on JFK-SAN/SEA/LAS, 4 FLL-LAX, 2 FLL-SFO, 5 BOS-SFO, 4 BOS-LAX, 3 BOS-SAN, 2 BOS-SEA/LAS). So at this point, the vast majority of mint flights are operating on routes that are the traditional premium routes. Data would show JFK-LAX doesn't have the best margin (FLL-LAX does) and JFK-SFO is behind sseveral other mint route in performance. So, I think by every metric mint has been a tremendous success.

Their RASM declined year to year has more to do with the conditions of the markets they are in rather than their performance in those markets. Legacies can afford to suffer on JFK/BOS transcon when only 5% of their ASM in those markets. B6 has 30% of their ASM in these markets, so their fortune is linked to the yield environment in those markets.

If you look at their performance on FLL-LAX, that's a great case where they went from loosing money to pushing AS down to 1 flight a day and now having revenue premium over AA on MIA-LAX. And in the beginning, AA had actually more lie flat seats on this route than B6 with the daily 77W against 2 mint flights. So what mint has allowed them to do is become more competitive on the routes they've been deployed. And that's all they can ask for.

Now, I get the sense that certain people in AS camp are angry at mint's success. And I can understand why. BOS-LAX/SFO was very profitable market with VX and they are now heavily unprofitable. Same with FLL-LAX. BOS-SAN has seen yield drop significantly for them and same with BOS-SEA. So I would say AS has seen more of their ASM affected by mint success than any other domestic carriers.

One other idea to consider is how well mint helps rest of their network. Evidences would show that they are picking a lot of ff from other airlines that would not fly B6 if mint had not existed. And it shows with the elevated number of mosaic members recently. All of this may not show immediate dividend, but are things they need to have if they want continued success when their cost climbs here. Again, that's another thing B6 is way behind AS on. Same with credit card holders, popularity of mint program and future europe flying would probably entice more people in north east to get B6 credit card. Another area they are way behind AS.
Last edited by tphuang on Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
tphuang
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:28 pm

Rdh3e wrote:
N757ST wrote:

B6 achieves a RASM premium to the big 3 in almost every Mint market it competes in vs the big 3

B6 is #4 in PRASM on NYC-SFO, also #4 on NYC-LAX. They are also behind UA in BOS-SFO, which leads me to say you should really preface your claim with "in markets where the big three aren't flying a lie-flat". And then of course they are getting a premium - they are flying a much less dense aircraft so they better be getting a premium, the question is whether the revenue premium is bigger than the cost premium...


Aside from more premium seating for AA on A321T and DL on B764, these are also routes where B6 is facing competitors with huge hubs on the other end so they can fill seats with lower yielding connection. Especially on BOS-SFO where UA is getting about a 10% yield premium, I wouldn't be surprised if the actual yields to be about the same once connection data is factored in. And also, B6 has very little point of sale on the other end, so mint would have to win over a lot of free agents.

mint is something which allows them to overcome their network and ff disadvantage by having huge cost advantage. Remember, A321 mint only has 6% higher CASM than 150 seat A320.
 
Rdh3e
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:56 pm

tphuang wrote:
. Remember, A321 mint only has 6% higher CASM than 150 seat A320.

Which even if you believe it means it's probably ~30% higher than a non-mint 321...
 
LAXBUR
Posts: 260
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:30 am

I think what isn't being discussed is the difference between West Coast FFs and NE FFs. This is anecdotal so I may be wrong. But dealing with rich folks in LA has shown me they're cheap AF. They use Uber Pool while living in a 5mil Hollywood Hills home! I'm guessing most of the premium demand in LA and SF is already taken up by the US3. B6 may be capturing some folks out of BOS and NYC that like the product and/or can tolerate B6s limited routes. I simply don't think Alaska would be able to do the same thing out West. SEA and PDX simply don't have a big enough base and once again as noted before; I think it is really telling how limited Delta One is out of SEA. The West Coast is all about freebies. Alaska may get a few folks out of California to pay premium since Alaska does have a slightly better network overall with their partners compared to JetBlue. But I just don't see the Mint success replicated with Alaska especially when you add in PDX and SEA. I really think Alaska is playing their cards right at the moment. Should B6 and AS merge at some point - then that may change the narrative. But just because an East Coast based airline has success with a premium product doesn't mean a West Coast airline would. I mean look who rules California in general: Southwest.
 
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usxguy
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Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:13 am

Aliqiout wrote:
The issue isn't whether the VX planes can fly to ANC. They obviously can. The issue is that ANC is an intra Alaska hub, and it would be very inconvenient to send a plane there that can only reliably return to SEA.


Well, not really. SEA/ANC is one of the busiest cooridors in the country. Alaska can have up to 18 flights a day in this market. They are mostly all -800 & -900 planes and are packed to the gills. Alaska doesn't necessarily fly a plane to ANC then on to Kotz, Nome, or Barrow. The 737-700s primarily do those. And its not for Southeast, I think Juneau is the only airport that can take a -900...

The reason Alaska hasn't flown an Airbus to ANC is because of capacity, and only that.

737-800: 12 F 147 Y
737-900: 16 F 162 Y
A320: 8 F 141 Y
A321: 8 F 167 Y

The newly reconfigured A321neos MIGHT make it to ANC, butI doubt it.
xx
 
yeelep
Posts: 763
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:53 pm

Re: AS’s Airbus network post VX

Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:05 am

One other potential reason not to fly the Airbus to ANC. AS has no company employed Airbus mechanics in the state of Alaska.

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