FSDan wrote:onwFan wrote:Funny how people keep talking about SEA and BOS as some ‘claimed gateways’. At most these were just budding loss-making hubs for DL, and they don’t even fly to many important markets from either place. With DL not even being the largest carrier in either of the markets, bound to shrink 30%, AA/AS/B6 chipping away more traffic, and the effect of covid which no one knows fully; it is simple to see that these going to be just even bigger loss-making focus cities. We just saw what AA’s strategy is, going forward. What is DL’s? Expand more?? We are yet to see...
You can't really lump SEA and BOS together for DL. Yes, BOS was very much in the "budding" phase before COVID-19 and many of the new routes like BOS-ORD/MIA/FLL/DCA/PHL/EWR/BUF were very likely loss making. It is likely the most vulnerable hub for DL right now. On the other hand, DL has had a hub in SEA for years now, and has been bringing that hub back fairly quickly after the initial drawdown due to the virus. People like to toss around the idea that the SEA hub was losing a lot of money for DL, but I've actually never seen any credible proof of that. We've heard DL state that the hub was "meeting expectations", whatever those expectations were, and we've seen them continue to add new flights and markets and upgauge over the years. This summer DL was planning to be bigger than ever in SEA.
So on a route like SEA-PVG, I think it's very valid to question how AA will perform vs DL. DL is well-established on that route, has a partner on the China end, and has the ability to control pricing and traffic flow for domestic connections on the U.S. end. AA has the advantage of being partnered with the strongest carrier in the SEA market, which will help them with O&D. On product, DL's economy class will beat AA's hands down. In J, it should be more of an even match as far as I can tell. It will be interesting to watch for sure, but I think it's very premature to proclaim that AA's SEA long haul strategy will be a success.
So you are saying that there is no proof for whether SEA was making profits or losses for DL, okay. But by any standard, ‘meeting expectations’ sounds hardly descriptive of a successful hub, especially pre-covid. With suppressed Asia demand and uncertainty on China routes in the future, one can hardly say that DL is well poised for success at SEA post-covid. If SEA was barely successful pre-covid, then with the additional competition & AA/B6 competing for the business traffic, what is the rationale for SEA making money for them now?