tphuang wrote:I think UA's biggest challenge coming out of this is defending its hubs. Especially DEN, it will be in an uphill fight with WN who has all the money in the world to sustain a loss leading operation to gain market share. I would not be surprised if they buy out F9 to just get their gates at DEN. Remember, UA will also face WN pressure in the bay area, chicago and houston. UA's biggest challenge all across the country is a WN with a war chest of cash and very little debt.
When it comes to SE, I think FLL/MIA is not a great idea, but it will certainly be more open. AA I think will be a lot smaller at MIA given their weak financial position and slow return of deep south America flying. FLL will be quite open since both B6 and WN are likely to focus on bringing back other cities first. I don't think it makes sense for a legacy to build up at a primarily LCC airport. There will be plenty of space at MIA if they wanted to attempt it. I doubt they will. I don't see NK and F9 both remaining independent after this. Either they merge with each other or get taken over by WN or B6.
Does it really make sense for UA to buy an airline for narrowbody aircraft when used aircraft will be widely available at low cost from all the downsized airlines around the world?
I know it's only one O&D, but I'm booking a few trips on CLE>DEN and I'm a 1mm on UA so I rarely even look at WN, but this time I did. For both trips, WN is $198 and $240 RT each way and UA is $388 (plus an unreliable schedule in June still shows 4x daily). On some level, you need to be "close" on price and then also have a reliable schedule. Undoubtedly, UA will lose some share in the short term (Q2) primarily because they are not really flying vs. WN who is flying more. Come Q3, we'll see. I agree, UA will be in a dog fight in DEN.