Actually, the purchase seems smarter than they could have known at the time. I think most people here realize that the purchase was necessary to prevent B6 from gaining a strong foothold along the west coast. Had they been successful in their purchase of VX they likely would have a more robust west coast network than they do currently and AS would have had one more competitor up and down the coast to contend with. Temporarily ceasing a route that is probably over served, given the situation, doesn't seem a bad idea. VX was going away any way you look at it.
That's complete nonsense. B6's focus has always been on the east coast. Even a purchase of VX would not have changed that. Winning BOS is far more important than being a 5th place airline at LAX or 3rd place airline at SFO. Frankly with the current COVID crisis, B6 will get all the gates it would want in the near to medium term at LAX and SFO. It's focus is on NYC and BOS. This crisis has given them the opening to own much larger market share in both markets and that's what they care about. It will worry about west coast once it is on its way to completing east coast buildout, not before that.
AS overpaid for VX. It bought VX at the height of airlines stock prices. All the assets AS got for VX purchase can now basically be gotten for a fraction of the prices. That's what happens when you acquire assets at height of their value rather than at their basement.
actually - your
post is mostly nonsense. Except for the part about Alaska overpaying for VX - but that's been discussed ad nauseam here, and nowhere did I suggest otherwise. We all know that. The rest of your post is nonsense. B6 was trying to buy VX to gain a foothold on the west coast. Pure and simple. They certainly weren't trying to get hold of a bunch of second hand Airbus 320's and 319's - or the order for 320 NEO's. As for AS, they are in a much better position on the west coast than they would have been had B6 won the bidding war for VX... and it shows in the difference between B6's stock price and that of AS'.
B6 was willing to buy VX at a price to expand, but west coast will never be its priority. To say that B6 will suddenly become this great west coast competitor to WN and AS is very unrealistic. Remember, VX's A320 product and customer base + company culture would've probably fit much better with B6 than AS, so merger considerations were not just about 4 gates at LAX and 7 to 10 gates at SFO. They would not have spent all that money getting mint aircraft if they could've just used VX A320s for those routes. The VX A320 fleet would've continued to perform well on transcon market with a little cabin refresh and no mint presence. And any new A321 delivery for them would've been used to add capacity on the Northeast to Florida/Caribbean markets.
There were also some slots/gates on the east coast that have more value to B6 than WN. 11 slots at JFK, EWR time "slots", 6 slots at LGA and 5 slots at DCA alone would've been worth close to $300 million to JetBlue at the time.
The reality is if B6 actually got VX's assets on west coast, it would've been in trouble the moment DL starts to build up at BOS. JetBlue simply does not have enough of a solid foundation to sustain 2 coast operation under attack. AS was always in a strong position to make acquisition than B6. So, losing out on that VX acquisition really didn't matter that much.
There is an opportunity in the next 2 or 3 years for JetBlue to consolidate its position in Boston (with DL retreating) and NYC (with a lot of slots becoming available) and begin the important task of flying to Europe. 12 out of 17 A321 deliveries of A321s in next 2 years are LR variant. That should show you where their priorities lie. There are so many things opening up from COVID on the east coast even outside of NYC/BOS:
- IAD is likely to get a lot of cuts from UA and have mass number of gates becoming available
- RDU is likely to see huge cuts by DL and have gates available
- MIA/FLL will see large cuts from AA and WN and probably B6
- MCO has new terminal and capacity will be way down
Until they get their house in order on the east coast, expecting to be a rival on the west coast is just not realistic.