WN is not a LCC
WN is the original LCC. They invented it. We wouldn't even have the concept of an LCC without WN.
Back to the topic:
How much deeper are WN's pockets compared to the likes of, say, DL or UA (not even going to ask about AA, as a.net seems to think AA is a dead man walking right now)? How long can they burn cash keeping the lights on and running mostly empty flights from smaller stations versus their competitors?
They have far and away the deepest pocket in terms of cash position and burn rate. They also have the lowest debt to equity ratio. In fact, they have more cash than debt right now. They are so far ahead of the field in cash position that they have been using that to pick up market share.
WN also is willing to back out of markets. They have a presence in Seattle, but less than before. They seem to have decided to let Alaska and Delta fight it out, and remain a profitable(?) third place presence.
They don't need to be strongest everywhere
WN like every other airline is trying to keep the lights on. It's also trying to keep it's track record of not having to laying off or force pay-cuts. During every downturn in the economy WN has always expanded to find ways to increase revenue.
Using SNA as a example it saw opportunity after 9/11 to gain marketshare as others pulled back which paid off during the downturn.
Yes it had to give slots back as others turned around over time but the gamble paid off.
Instead of parking aircraft during the first mini recession WN decided it was time to finally add DEN and opened MKE.
During the down times WN has always made decisions to make moves to keep revenue coming in. Yes this pandemic is horrible but it can either scale back to nothing and furlough thousands adding to the unemployment numbers. Or it can be nimble and carefully balance it's stability and grow it's revenue to keep It's people employed.
Ya I know it's sucks for UA,AA and DL But WN treats it's employees as an Cherished asset vs a sliding number you can just cut on a whim.
I'm sure more SNA slots will go back to WN this time around.
I'm sure they will pick up more LGA slots this time around too. It would be interesting to see where WN pressures competitors this time around.
To me, DEN and PHX are obvious places. LAX is an obvious place for them to seek additional slots. Same with SFO. Aside from that, PHL could be a good place to attack if AA does a lot of cuts there.
If they really want to eliminate competition and protect themselves against ULCC at MCO/LAS/MSY, then they can merge with one of NK and F9.