Didn't we try this once before and the route failed? Why are we trying this again especially on off the short runway at SNA?
It was tried in a really different environment. Now united has way more airplanes then they need. Business routes are gonna be a long time to come back, so united has to try different routes. United's cash burn rate is too high to sit around and do nothing. They have to try expanding into more leisure routes like this. With United having so many 737-700s they are the perfect airline to fly this route. Expect to see more leisure routes from united, and all airlines. We have seen alot already. Until those business routes come back they have to try to minimize cash burn.
To slcdeltarumd11‘s point above... my cursory understanding regarding the viability of SNA-Hawaii over time is as follows:
-Nearly the entire time AQ operated SNA-Hawaii, SNA was almost always considered amongst their most profitable markets, despite performance challenges with a then, relatively new aircraft type. (I.e no winglets, early PiPs, etc).
Given the known issues AQ faced on the route they had numerous contingency plans, including moving bags, and pax when necessary via LAX or SFO on close partner UA when weight restricted that minimized negative customer satisfaction.
-Despite the profitability of AQ’s West Coast-Hawaii routes at large, they weren’t enough to offset losses in the inter-island market.
-After AQ went Ch7 CO, the only other airline with ETOPS rated 73Gs jumped in to fill the void. Just in time for the 08/09 financial crisis that hit SoCal, OC in particular, extremely hard. Despite this.. CO managed to operate SNA-Hawaii through to the merger with UA, where it was ultimately cut by UA in order to redeploy the AC on more profitable ventures.
-Since 07-11, the 73G has received numerous performance upgrades which UA has seemingly opted for, while also introducing lower-weight slimline seats. Also, I maybe be mistaken, but hasn’t SNA relaxed their noise abatement restrictions a bit, such that departure procedures aren’t as fuel intensive as they once were?
For those quick to rail against this add, quick cite past performance. Can anyone definitively say SNA-Hawaii for CO/UA was cut due to unprofitability, rather than cut in favor of more profitable opportunities? If it was indeed unprofitable, can anyone specifically show it was unprofitable due to internal factors, such as CO/UA’s cost structure, etc. or could external factors, a number of which are not applicable today, largely to blame?
If the route was as profitable for AQ as claimed, by numerous sources. Seems odd that UA couldn’t make it work, for no other reason than it being UA.