Fair points. While DL is offering one-stops, based on some itineraries I've been considering, they're hideously long layovers. IND-SJC was $400 more one-way than UA or AA and involved either four hours in LAX or two stops, in MSP and LAX on the outbound and a five-hour layover on the return to catch the LAX-IND redeye. Obviously this is all anecdotal, and I 100% agree on the operational front, I just wish there was more uptick in DL's network restoration at least in summer when loads have been high, mostly, all around.
I'd also make the point that while AA may be chasing some lower yield traffic, say CUN or MCO, they're also making adds that are appealing for biz travelers, including BOS and LGA.
I'd also like to point out that offering one-stops to major destinations isn't a selling point, any of the network carriers can do that. As I've mentioned before, DL only serves 1 of the top 5 markets from IND, and only 2 of the top 9, and in both of those markets they are in they are no longer even true market leaders....
The key is non-stops and frequency, unless you are a tiny station.
Right now DL's placeholder
for October only has 32 departures compared to AA's 49 departures...and yes I know it's a placeholder but it is a clear indication of where each carrier is headed in IND.
The one stop connection certainly sells tickets to destinations that are not in the top ten are non-traditional legacy routes anyway, and really only make sense for the LCC or ULCC crowd. The next 20 cities on the list produce demand too..
Delta may lag AA in capacity, but I think they exceed AA in aircraft size and therefore a closer comparison when adjusting for seats.
Delta has only left a small number of markets in Indianapolis since the pandemic, so I don’t really see them as a retreating or giving AA market share.
With more flights to JFK, LGA, and BOS than any other Indianapolis carrier- along with obvious access to many vacation/business destinations through ATL, complemented by the V-formation between DTW and MSP, I really think Delta has the best ‘overall’ network position from Indy. That includes good connectivity through BOS and JFK for Europe.
Again I don’t use Southwest and their many destinations because I do not have interests where they fly save DEN and do not enjoy the WN experience.
I can certainly see Delta successful upping their game in Indy (x2 LAX, SEA, seasonal x2 SLC, add some mainline on BOS, LGA) if they’d prioritize it. But that’s just it, it’s not a priority and for the most part the coverage is well and competitive.
I don't really understand the points on one-stop connections, Why would you purposefully take a connection over a nonstop option? AA offers the same, if not more, one stop options from IND in addition to their superior number of nonstop options.
They've only "completely" retreated from CDG, RSW, MCO, & CUN. But they've kicked the tentative restart of RDU until November, SLC until Christmas, and SEA until March. So for the forseeable future they only are serving LA, ATL, NYC, MSP, DTW, & BOS. vs. AA's LA, DFW, AUS, NYC, CLT, ORD, MIA, PHX, PHL, BOS, DCA, and MCO.
Once AA's service boosts to LGA come, DL will only fly to BOS/LGA 1x per day more than AA, and they don't even fly to the far and away 2nd largest business market from IND, DCA. Not to mention CLT & ATL are pretty equal in terms of Southeast connectivity (IND-CLT/ATL are both 7x daily). Hardly an advantage to DL if you ask me.
I don't really see any indication that DL would Institute service boosts to those locations you listed, given their strategy recently. Through May of this year, DL was hardly larger than UA in IND in terms of market share.....not really competitive at all.