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Jshank83
Topic Author
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Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:55 pm

From their twitter.

We’ve just announced our intent to serve Steamboat Springs, Colorado!
More details to come, but keep your eyes on Winter 2020.

https://www.swamedia.com/releases/relea ... at-springs

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today announced an intention to serve Steamboat Springs, Colo. through Yampa Valley Regional Airport (HDN). The carrier anticipates beginning seasonal service by the end of 2020 with daily flights, initially served nonstop from Denver.

"Whether you're a skier, snowboarder, or just enjoy a winter wonderland, Steamboat Springs has something for everyone, and now you'll be able to reach the region on Southwest with a short, easy flight from Denver," said Adam Decaire, Southwest's Vice President of Network Planning. "We're looking forward to bringing our world famous Hospitality paired with Customer-friendly policies like skis and snowboards fly free* closer to the slopes of the Rocky Mountains later this year."

"We are thrilled about Southwest Airlines' intent to serve Steamboat into HDN starting winter 2020/2021," said Rob Perlman, President and Chief Operating Officer of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. "What an ideal partner to bring more skiers and riders to experience Steamboat's famous Champagne Powder® snow. Southwest's world renowned hospitality is perfectly aligned with Steamboat's genuine western hospitality, and we're excited to welcome their loyal Customers to our magical mountain destination."

Southwest intends to release additional information about its initial schedule and fares in the coming months.
 
tys777
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:58 pm

Interesting to see them jump into such a seasonal destination and from the announcement only to one destination (Denver).

Wonder what other similar adds we might see.
 
ScottB
Posts: 6922
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:03 pm

I can't say I saw this one coming, but it's pretty obvious they're running this service in partnership with the resort. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see some weekly flights on Sa/Su from LAX, OAK, MDW, DAL, or HOU.
 
ibthebigd
Posts: 348
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:28 pm

I thought this was an early April fool's joke at 1st.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 
airlinewatcher1
Posts: 127
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:32 pm

Unusual route announcement. Will give United Express/Skywest a run for it's money. I wonder if WN would be willing to try other Colorado ski destinations such as Vail/Eagle or Montrose/Telluride?
 
sprxUSA
Posts: 397
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:39 pm

I would rather see Jackson, WY or Montrose. If money paid for it, anywhere could be an option lol.
Gem State Airlines..."we have a gem of an airline"
 
WN732
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:56 pm

Well that was extremely unexpected. Perhaps this could pave the way for some other extremely seasonal routes such as PSP.
 
FSDan
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:07 am

Interesting! I suppose that's a relatively low risk way to try out a ski destination. If it goes well, maybe they'll look at some more remote (at least in their network) destinations like JAC or BZN.
This is my signature until I think of a better one.
 
HNLSLCPDX
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:11 am

Makes me think that places such as JAC, SGU, and BZN could potentially happen.
 
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enilria
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:22 am

Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.
 
NUPlaneFan
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:28 am

I wonder if they are getting any incentives from the city for this route. I could see EGE and JAC being next
 
ASMVPGOLD
Posts: 56
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:39 am

airlinewatcher1 wrote:
Unusual route announcement. Will give United Express/Skywest a run for it's money. I wonder if WN would be willing to try other Colorado ski destinations such as Vail/Eagle or Montrose/Telluride?


How fun would it be to see a WN 737 on approach to TEX :-O. Maybe service to MTJ but it makes getting to Telluride a long journey.
721/2,732/3/4/5/7/8/9,741/2/3/4,752/3,762/3/4,772/3/LR,787,DC9/30/50/80/90,DC10,MD11,L1011,F100,319,320,321,332,333,380,CRJ,ERJ,DH8/2/4
 
ScottB
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:53 am

enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


It's probably two and change hours of aircraft time per round-trip (to DEN at least) so I don't see the resource commitment as being terribly onerous. But by ski season next winter, the MAX will be back in service again barring any further unexpected delays.

I think the lack of a banked hub at DEN is immaterial. The markets with appreciable demand to HDN/Steamboat are likely to be served frequently enough on WN to DEN to offer connections under two hours in each direction. Plus it's a leisure market so passengers will be more strongly driven by price (and free bags) than the shortest possible connection at DEN.

NUPlaneFan wrote:
I wonder if they are getting any incentives from the city for this route. I could see EGE and JAC being next


The presser has a quote from the CEO of Steamboat so presumably they're getting an incentive from the resort.
 
quickmover
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:56 am

enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


I’m thinking the local traffic might be strong depending on fares. The drive from Denver is over 3 hours on winding roads, but probably not much more than a half hour flight. Should do well
 
tphuang
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:57 am

There has to be subsidies here. B6 also added service there out of nowhere. Daily 737 out of DEN seems to be quite aggressive.
 
damonsmuz
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:00 am

Wow. Did not see this one coming. Having worked in the ski industry before, I think I have a good feeling about how this route came to existence.

Ski clubs, which are still popular, have started utilizing WN a lot these past few years. Mainly because skis and bags fly free. Steamboat, which sees a number of ski groups, has been seeing a decrease in big groups due to their location in the state compared to other resorts like Breck and Vail which are right off of I-70. While Vail has an airport west of town, big groups will fly into DEN and then hire a bus company to bus them.

So, this route will be a test for sure to see if Steamboat can utilize the hub at DEN to bring in big groups. Myself included, I will gladly fly into HDN to avoid I-70 skier traffic.
 
Jshank83
Topic Author
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:02 am

enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


I was with you in my original thinking but then decided it probably isn’t bad.

They need it from a “hub” because I doubt any airport has much O&D on its own to Steamboat. Denver means to least overflying for everyone. Also with how big Denver is set to be for WN, there will be plenty of one connection feed. The other real other options to me are PHX and maybe LAS. But I doubt their O&D is all that much more.
 
WN732
Posts: 757
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:49 am

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:05 am

Jshank83 wrote:
enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


I was with you in my original thinking but then decided it probably isn’t bad.

They need it from a “hub” because I doubt any airport has much O&D on its own to Steamboat. Denver means to least overflying for everyone. Also with how big Denver is set to be for WN, there will be plenty of one connection feed. The other real other options to me are PHX and maybe LAS. But I doubt their O&D is all that much more.


Lots and lots of people from Texas will feed into these flights. Obviously there will be plenty of others but the feed from the Lone Star State will be tremendous.
 
jplatts
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:09 am

enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


Here is a list of the shortest nonstop routes within the contiguous U.S. that were operated by WN in Q3 2019, along with the approximate percentage of connecting traffic on each route on WN in Q3 2019:
MDW-GRR - 137 mi (93.1% connecting traffic)
AUS-HOU - 148 mi (88.5% connecting traffic)
ATL-GSP - 153 mi (98.8% connecting traffic)
BWI-ORF - 159 mi (91.2% connecting traffic)
MDW-IND - 162 mi (91.7% connecting traffic)
FLL-MCO - 177 mi (78.7% connecting traffic)
DAL-OKC - 181 mi (89.7% connecting traffic, dropped by WN in January 2020)
CRP-HOU - 187 mi (87.5% connecting traffic)
AUS-DAL - 189 mi (69.9% connecting traffic)
HOU-SAT - 192 mi (85.4% connecting traffic)
FLL-TPA - 197 mi (65.9% connecting traffic)
LAS-ONT - 197 mi (58.4% connecting traffic)

HDN is 141 mi west of DEN, and the only WN nonstop routes that are shorter than DEN-HDN are MDW-GRR, HNL-OGG, HNL-LIH, and OGG-KOA.

WN also had a high percentage of connecting traffic on some its shortest nonstop routes within the contiguous U.S. such as MDW-GRR, ATL-GSP, BWI-ORF, and MDW-IND in Q3 2019.

WN might be able to make a route such as DEN-HDN work with a high percentage of connecting traffic since WN already operates a few similar routes within the contiguous U.S. such as MDW-GRR and ATL-GSP.
 
joeblow10
Posts: 382
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:58 pm

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:19 am

quickmover wrote:
enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


I’m thinking the local traffic might be strong depending on fares. The drive from Denver is over 3 hours on winding roads, but probably not much more than a half hour flight. Should do well


Will heavily depend on where you live in the Denver metro, and even then, guessing O+D will be nearly nonexistent. This is clearly connection targeted imo. By the time you drive all the way east to the airport, you could’ve already been 1/3rd of the way to Steamboat. Not to mention once you land in Hayden, you’re still 45 minutes from Steamboat on a good day.

With that said - no doubt subsidies are in play here, but should do quite well. Getting into HDN is usually outrageously expensive from just about anywhere. There are virtually zero routes out of EGE, HDN, MTJ, or even JAC that aren’t heavily subsidized with things like MRGs.
 
smokeybandit
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:24 pm

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:25 am

I-70 can be brutal in the winter (obviously) and throw in weekend traffic (especially on Sunday nights), flying there seems like it'd be an attractive alternative for locals with the lack of bag fees.
 
AWACSooner
Posts: 2536
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:35 am

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:27 am

Seasonal service from only one location? STUPID MOVE WN!
Might as well start Durango, Jackson Hole, and Vail while you're at it.
 
wnflyguy
Posts: 1894
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:58 pm

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:34 am

enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


Sounds like they're dropping a mid day DEN-LAS round trip.
Rumours have the flight time of something like this.
DEN-HDN
12:30-13:40
HDN-DEN
14:30-15:40
737-800NG

Flyguy
my post are my opinion only and not those of southwest airlines and or airtran airlines.
 
wnflyguy
Posts: 1894
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:35 am

Xxxxxx
my post are my opinion only and not those of southwest airlines and or airtran airlines.
 
KFTG
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:04 am

Thought they didn't like flying into non-towered airports? As I recall this was one of their excuses for removing service from Branson.
 
maps4ltd
Posts: 542
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:14 am

First SEA-BLR on AA and now this? 2020's been a helluva year!
Delta Gold Medallion
 
Iggy500
Posts: 68
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:14 am

Maybe WN could go the extra mile and add these routes as well.

HDN Routes:

MDW-HDN
HOU-HDN
BWI-HDN

SRQ Routes:

MDW-SRQ
HOU-SRQ
BWI-SRQ
ATL-SRQ
BNA-SRQ

JAC Routes:

DEN-JAC
HOU-JAC
BWI-JAC

These routes are good possibilities because:

- You guys said that WN could add more routes to HDN.

- If WN continues to enter markets like HDN, SRQ would be a good choice for WN.

- My guess is that WN would probably expand in markets that are in the Northwest.
 
maps4ltd
Posts: 542
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:28 am

WN732 wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


I was with you in my original thinking but then decided it probably isn’t bad.

They need it from a “hub” because I doubt any airport has much O&D on its own to Steamboat. Denver means to least overflying for everyone. Also with how big Denver is set to be for WN, there will be plenty of one connection feed. The other real other options to me are PHX and maybe LAS. But I doubt their O&D is all that much more.


Lots and lots of people from Texas will feed into these flights. Obviously there will be plenty of others but the feed from the Lone Star State will be tremendous.


Doesn't AA have DFW-HDN flights that do pretty well?
Delta Gold Medallion
 
Chuska
Posts: 311
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:29 am

Glad to see WN finally get into a ski market, way over due. However, I agree with Enilria, why DEN? DAL, AUS, or HOU would make much more sense.
 
joeblow10
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:38 am

Chuska wrote:
Glad to see WN finally get into a ski market, way over due. However, I agree with Enilria, why DEN? DAL, AUS, or HOU would make much more sense.


Total speculation - but my guess would be that the resorts likely wouldn’t help subsidize DAL or HOU given UA/AA already fly it.

My guess also is that DEN-HDN is not subsidized by Steamboat at all, plus the fares are beyond outrageous, so WN jumped in, likely with some subsidy in the background. AUS probably wouldn’t have the traffic to support daily service, DEN certainly does with the connection possibilities, plus a little bit of local O/D thrown in
 
alggag
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:47 am

About time they try seasonal service. I would like to see JAC one day.
 
Jshank83
Topic Author
Posts: 3446
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:49 am

joeblow10 wrote:
Chuska wrote:
Glad to see WN finally get into a ski market, way over due. However, I agree with Enilria, why DEN? DAL, AUS, or HOU would make much more sense.


Total speculation - but my guess would be that the resorts likely wouldn’t help subsidize DAL or HOU given UA/AA already fly it.

My guess also is that DEN-HDN is not subsidized by Steamboat at all, plus the fares are beyond outrageous, so WN jumped in, likely with some subsidy in the background. AUS probably wouldn’t have the traffic to support daily service, DEN certainly does with the connection possibilities, plus a little bit of local O/D thrown in


And you basically alienate the west coast, which is who they are going after right now. People won’t want to fly there thru Texas from California. Now if they start multiple destinations To HDN then it is different.

That all said I’m not sure they are allowed to subsidize DEN-HDN on WN and not offer it to UA also. Unless they can only because WN is a new airline.
 
Judge1310
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:53 am

quickmover wrote:
enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


I’m thinking the local traffic might be strong depending on fares. The drive from Denver is over 3 hours on winding roads, but probably not much more than a half hour flight. Should do well


Have you recently lived in the Denver area? 3+ hours to the mountain resorts from Denver or the Springs are nothing and folks are used to it (they just leave before daybreak or after work on Friday). Driving all the way out to DIA, checking luggage, pass security, and wait for a plane, just to reverse the process in Steamboat and then to *not* have your own vehicle to get around? Yeah, methinks you don't get the local market. With that being said, the drive suuuuucks, but Coloradans like their trucks/SUVs/crossovers/hybrids/etc. Most likely this is a ploy to use for Southwest Vacations and to bring folks into and through the DEN hub.
 
737max8
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:23 am

enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


Season reductions in the winter means you can add some flights to popular winter destinations. Just look at MDW right now, way less flights than in the summer. And if it's just a RT from DEN, that's very little A/C time.
The thoughts and opinions expressed in my comments do not represent that of any airline or affiliate.
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LotsaRunway
Posts: 365
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:26 am

wnflyguy wrote:
enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


Sounds like they're dropping a mid day DEN-LAS round trip.
Rumours have the flight time of something like this.
DEN-HDN
12:30-13:40
HDN-DEN
14:30-15:40
737-800NG

Flyguy

I realize you say that this is a rumor, but a 737-800 on this run??? Someone thinks this will fill a lot of seats.
 
User avatar
BMWdrvr75
Posts: 87
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Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:41 am

WN has always told the good folks in Palm Springs that they don’t do seasonal service it’s not conducive to their business plan.....Wonder what they will use for an excuse now?
We Make Flying Easy......Come fly the Silver Bird........Something Special in the Air......
 
joeljack
Posts: 646
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:38 pm

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:01 am

http://steamboatsprings.net/DocumentCen ... lts?bidId=

Based off this HDN-DAL would be a second best choice. I think a Saturday only HDN-DAL, HDN-MDW AND HDN-HOU could all work in the winter. Maybe even HDN-SLC! Short flight and lots of people coming from Utah!

I'm really surprised to see HDN before BZN though! If southwest is going to grow DEN that much, they will need to think outside the box like this flight. Look, it only will take 3 hours total to complete a round trip and will help to support other flights from DEN, just like GSP does for ATL and just like United uses hubs. Plenty of others that could work too based off this strategy! EGE, MTJ come to mind! This will really eat into United's profitability. Those ski towns currently get high fares!!

I also like what you state below on SRQ! This destination would work fine for WN, but at how much expense of TPA?

Iggy500 wrote:
Maybe WN could go the extra mile and add these routes as well.

HDN Routes:

MDW-HDN
HOU-HDN
BWI-HDN

SRQ Routes:

MDW-SRQ
HOU-SRQ
BWI-SRQ
ATL-SRQ
BNA-SRQ

JAC Routes:

DEN-JAC
HOU-JAC
BWI-JAC

These routes are good possibilities because:

- You guys said that WN could add more routes to HDN.

- If WN continues to enter markets like HDN, SRQ would be a good choice for WN.

- My guess is that WN would probably expand in markets that are in the Northwest.
 
DLASFlyer
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:06 pm

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:30 am

Surprised not to see JAC first. Two strong peak seasons rather than just winter. F9 already flies to JAC in the summer but it’s only the big three in the winter.
 
slcdeltarumd11
Posts: 4700
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:30 am

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:02 am

I actually see that route working out for them very nicely. I-70 has become an absolute nightmare. More people than ever are interested in flying into ski airports and not sitting in traffic. Southwest has such feed in Denver now, its the perfect place to fly this route from.

Go back five years ago and this route made zero sense for Southwest. Now and with I-70 so horrible it does make sense i think can work.
 
AAflyguy
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:59 pm

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:14 am

BMWdrvr75 wrote:
WN has always told the good folks in Palm Springs that they don’t do seasonal service it’s not conducive to their business plan.....Wonder what they will use for an excuse now?


The good folks at PSP saw a record 2.6M passengers travel through their terminal last year. And the market continues to grow with both visitors, snowbirds, and a surging year-round population. Pretty good recipe for a bright future with lots of demand but seems WN continues to not be interested. PSP could support WN year-round with a peak winter and light summer schedule. Increased lift and improved air accessibility in summer will lead to significantly more group bookings for the major resorts and convention hotels, especially in the June & September shoulder months. Bay Area to PSP is served exclusively via SFO, and there are around a dozen daily roundtrips in winter, several of them being mainline. Nothing from OAK or SJC. As if most of the people going to PSP live in the City of SF or on the Peninsula. Boggles my mind. Maybe one day WN will figure out a way to serve PSP. If so, a Bay Area Route is a no brainer, and it won’t be SFO.

AAflyguy
 
sprxUSA
Posts: 397
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:17 am

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:30 am

Love how they say 'intend' to serve. Guess they 'intended' Everett as well LOL
Gem State Airlines..."we have a gem of an airline"
 
Airstud
Posts: 4885
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:57 am

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:16 am

What matters to me most of all here is the discovery (by me) of a place called "Yampa."

Of course everyone knows about Tampa, Fla. and Boise, Idaho has a suburb called Nampa, and then last year I found out there is an NRHP-listed post office in a Texas town called "Pampa."

So basically the cup is just running over with -ampae.

And that, I deem to be a fine, fine thing.
Pancakes are delicious.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 7763
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:32 am

BMWdrvr75 wrote:
WN has always told the good folks in Palm Springs that they don’t do seasonal service it’s not conducive to their business plan.....Wonder what they will use for an excuse now?


Maybe this shows evolution of the business plan. Maybe they think they can get a much better fare premium to HDN over PSP. That was supported by the city premiums shown by the 1Q19 far report, which didn't show PSP with a premium at all.

https://www.transportation.gov/sites/do ... 019-q1.pdf
 
SWADawg
Posts: 565
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:43 pm

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:51 pm

I think the implications of a route like this are very encouraging if you have a smaller city in the Western US that’s hoping to land WN service sometime in the future. This is an experiment IMO. If it works, (which I think it will), look for them to add BZN, JAC, BIL, CHE, COS, and maybe EGE out of Denver. If they really want to compete with UA out of there, they are going to need to add these types of routes to shore up their Mountain West route network.
My posts are my opinion only and do not reflect the views of Southwest Airlines
 
cledaybuck
Posts: 1690
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:07 pm

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:13 pm

enilria wrote:
This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.

Do industry typical measures of profitability include subsidies that this route almost certainly will receive?
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
User avatar
enilria
Posts: 10182
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:15 pm

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:38 pm

jplatts wrote:
enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


Here is a list of the shortest nonstop routes within the contiguous U.S. that were operated by WN in Q3 2019, along with the approximate percentage of connecting traffic on each route on WN in Q3 2019:
MDW-GRR - 137 mi (93.1% connecting traffic)
AUS-HOU - 148 mi (88.5% connecting traffic)
ATL-GSP - 153 mi (98.8% connecting traffic)
BWI-ORF - 159 mi (91.2% connecting traffic)
MDW-IND - 162 mi (91.7% connecting traffic)
FLL-MCO - 177 mi (78.7% connecting traffic)
DAL-OKC - 181 mi (89.7% connecting traffic, dropped by WN in January 2020)
CRP-HOU - 187 mi (87.5% connecting traffic)
AUS-DAL - 189 mi (69.9% connecting traffic)
HOU-SAT - 192 mi (85.4% connecting traffic)
FLL-TPA - 197 mi (65.9% connecting traffic)
LAS-ONT - 197 mi (58.4% connecting traffic)

HDN is 141 mi west of DEN, and the only WN nonstop routes that are shorter than DEN-HDN are MDW-GRR, HNL-OGG, HNL-LIH, and OGG-KOA.

WN also had a high percentage of connecting traffic on some its shortest nonstop routes within the contiguous U.S. such as MDW-GRR, ATL-GSP, BWI-ORF, and MDW-IND in Q3 2019.

WN might be able to make a route such as DEN-HDN work with a high percentage of connecting traffic since WN already operates a few similar routes within the contiguous U.S. such as MDW-GRR and ATL-GSP.

Yes, WN does do these types of routes, but as I said there is no currently accepted metric that can make them profitable outside of WN. The entire rest of the industry has moved away from these, at least for mainline. You need a high yield local market to have enough revenue to make a route profitable. With no local market and only prorate revenue allocation it is not mathematically possible to make a profit on these flights. The trick they are employing to justify these is a methodology called "beyond profitability" that was discredited in the early 2000s. The problem with "Beyond Profitability" is that it counts the revenue twice. It gives credit to the passenger's full fare on both the short leg and the connecting leg. Obviously counting revenue twice is a discredited metric.

You might ask, why is it different for short regional flights? It's not terribly different, but 1) a lot of these have also gone away for the same reasons and 2) the economics are a little different. Through revenue management and with a constrained number of seats in a smaller aircraft it is more likely to be able to filter out low yield demand and in that way make up for the loss of a high yield local market. This sometimes works and sometimes doesn't, but there are certainly occasions where it does and a number of super-short routes still exist that survive because of it. BUT with a full size mainline aircraft probably flown multiple times per day it does not work because there isn't the opportunity to do much revenue management cherry picking of the traffic. That's why this makes no economic sense. I can only assume that Steamboat Springs resorts (who are likely writing a big check for this) also know what they are getting into.
Jshank83 wrote:
enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


I was with you in my original thinking but then decided it probably isn’t bad.

They need it from a “hub” because I doubt any airport has much O&D on its own to Steamboat. Denver means to least overflying for everyone. Also with how big Denver is set to be for WN, there will be plenty of one connection feed. The other real other options to me are PHX and maybe LAS. But I doubt their O&D is all that much more.

Services from the ski resorts non-stop to LAX/ORD/DFW/etc has proliferated in the last 20 years.
ScottB wrote:
I think the lack of a banked hub at DEN is immaterial. The markets with appreciable demand to HDN/Steamboat are likely to be served frequently enough on WN to DEN to offer connections under two hours in each direction. Plus it's a leisure market so passengers will be more strongly driven by price (and free bags) than the shortest possible connection at DEN.

The lack of banks means the connects will be uncompetitively long compared to UA.
Yes, it is leisure, see above comments on why this works so poorly for revenue management.
Agreed on the incentive.
cledaybuck wrote:
enilria wrote:
This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.

Do industry typical measures of profitability include subsidies that this route almost certainly will receive?

They won't pay millions of dollars for long. It will max out the cap on the check and then likely won't return. Or more likely they end up flying Steamboat-LAX/MDW/DAL/MDW instead.
quickmover wrote:
enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


I’m thinking the local traffic might be strong depending on fares. The drive from Denver is over 3 hours on winding roads, but probably not much more than a half hour flight. Should do well

Half hour flight, plus arriving 2 hours before the flight, paying for parking, having no car in Steamboat, and driving 30-45 minutes the wrong way to DEN from town. So, nope. Doesn't work.
 
Iggy500
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:40 pm

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:05 pm

joeljack wrote:
http://steamboatsprings.net/DocumentCenter/View/9120/2016-Summer-Visitor-Research-Results?bidId=

Based off this HDN-DAL would be a second best choice. I think a Saturday only HDN-DAL, HDN-MDW AND HDN-HOU could all work in the winter. Maybe even HDN-SLC! Short flight and lots of people coming from Utah!

I'm really surprised to see HDN before BZN though! If southwest is going to grow DEN that much, they will need to think outside the box like this flight. Look, it only will take 3 hours total to complete a round trip and will help to support other flights from DEN, just like GSP does for ATL and just like United uses hubs. Plenty of others that could work too based off this strategy! EGE, MTJ come to mind! This will really eat into United's profitability. Those ski towns currently get high fares!!

I also like what you state below on SRQ! This destination would work fine for WN, but at how much expense of TPA?

Iggy500 wrote:
Maybe WN could go the extra mile and add these routes as well.

HDN Routes:

MDW-HDN
HOU-HDN
BWI-HDN

SRQ Routes:

MDW-SRQ
HOU-SRQ
BWI-SRQ
ATL-SRQ
BNA-SRQ

JAC Routes:

DEN-JAC
HOU-JAC
BWI-JAC

These routes are good possibilities because:

- You guys said that WN could add more routes to HDN.

- If WN continues to enter markets like HDN, SRQ would be a good choice for WN.

- My guess is that WN would probably expand in markets that are in the Northwest.


Remember that SRQ is its own market. There’s a reason carriers like F9 and G4 entered the market. In fact, AirTran served SRQ prior to the WN merger. WN Adding SRQ could add competition to routes from ATL, BWI, and BNA.

I also agree with everything you said about HDN and other markets in the area. WN could do well in these markets.
 
WN732
Posts: 757
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:49 am

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:09 pm

I cannot help but laugh at all of the negativity on here. The route doesn't even have a start date yet and all of the armchair CEO's are calling for a single daily flight on being an economic failure. Southwest has been printing money for almost 50 years, and they obviously are experimenting with something new. Jesus people relax, it's a single turn that doesn't cost much at all to operate. I'm sure WN knows more about their own financials than anyone else on here.
 
iceberg210
Posts: 347
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 12:11 pm

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:15 pm

SWADawg wrote:
I think the implications of a route like this are very encouraging if you have a smaller city in the Western US that’s hoping to land WN service sometime in the future. This is an experiment IMO. If it works, (which I think it will), look for them to add BZN, JAC, BIL, CHE, COS, and maybe EGE out of Denver. If they really want to compete with UA out of there, they are going to need to add these types of routes to shore up their Mountain West route network.

I'm still surprised WN hasn't opened up Bozeman, it seems the exact type of place that the Southwest effect could still bring a big increase in traffic. Good to know they're looking at some of these more seasonal destinations.
Erik Berg
“Little by little, we advance with each turn. That's how a drill works!”
 
krod031
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:49 am

Re: Southwest adding Steamboat Springs

Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:32 pm

wnflyguy wrote:
enilria wrote:
Adding Steamboat seems like a decent idea (although with the MAX how will they source it?), but to Denver??? That part makes no sense. There will be no local market at all and Southwest doesn’t even have a truly banked hub. This will lose tons of money based on any industry typical modern measure of profitability.


Sounds like they're dropping a mid day DEN-LAS round trip.
Rumours have the flight time of something like this.
DEN-HDN
12:30-13:40
HDN-DEN
14:30-15:40
737-800NG

Flyguy



So how is this possible, when the announced route is a Winter route, and Southwest's schedule is only available for booking through August 10th? Is this one of your rumors?

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