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Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 7:38 am
by John
Just across the way from PHL and none of the air traffic headaches and delays. It would probably be worth the investment to upgrade the terminal facilities there. ILG could certainly be marketed as a convenient hassle free alternative to Philadelphia, as are Manchester, NH and Providence, RI to BOS. Just a thought.

[Edited 2003-11-15 23:40:50]

RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 7:40 am
by STT757
Atlantic City or Allentown would have been better alternatives because of their close proximity to not just Philadelphia but also NYC and New Jersey.

Wilmington is too close to BWI, and it's facilites are vitually non-existant.

RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 7:42 am
by luv2fly
Would there be the traffic to support a minimum of 10 flights a day, as WN does not come in with less than that number. Also what kind of operating cost would ILG charge over the costs that PHL is charging them. I would imagine PHL was very aggressive to get them into PHL, in the unlikely even anything happens to US.

RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 7:47 am
by John
There is a large population of people that live in Delaware and commute to PHL everyday. It's only about 30 minutes driving time, maybe less without any traffic.

RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 8:10 am
by SWAFA30
Just across the way from PHL and none of the air traffic headaches and delays. It would probably be worth the investment to upgrade the terminal facilities there. ILG could certainly be marketed as a convenient hassle free alternative to Philadelphia, as are Manchester, NH and Providence, RI to BOS. Just a thought.

You may want to take a look at this by Mike Boyd article that appeared on aviationplanning.com. It's a lengthy article but I think it answers your question. Just scroll down the page a bit to find the article.

The article makes two main points. The first, that SWA had to get to PHL before jetBlue did. Not the Philly market, PHL. Second, the article theorizes that in order to remain competive SWA can no longer rely on secondary airports and smaller markets. Check out the article and draw your own conclusions. There is a thread that references this article somewhere in the a.net database. It sparked a pretty lively debate.


http://www.aviationplanning.com/asrc1.htm

RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 8:48 am
by John
SWAFA30, I'm assuming you work for Southwest? Give us YOUR opinion of the PHL decision.

RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 8:52 am
by usairways85
Wilmington couldn't handle southwest. The parking lot is extremely small and so is the terminal. Anyway it's even closer to BWI, probably only 45 min away. If they went to ILG then it would be drawing paxs from BWI, at PHL they won't be drawing away as many paxs. I just can't see ILG ever becoming a SWA city. especially since SWA comes with at least of a dozen flights not just one or two a day.

Where i thought SWA would end up is ABE. To me that would make the most sense, but apparently SWA wants to try something new. ACY already has Spirit and i don't think there is that much of a market for a dozen SWA flights

RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 9:09 am
by ORD2PHL
No way is Wilmington closer to BWI than PHL or the surrounding Philadelphia area. I travel this corridor frequently from Phila. to Balt. Wilmington is 25 minutes from center city Philly.

RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 10:04 am
by yyz717
WN is renowned for considering all airports in a region/market before making a decision. As mentioned, they probably saw a larger market by serving PHL directly AND to get into the market before JetBlue.

Also, I think they saw the high yield/fare situation caused by a dominant US along with US weakened financials, and hence it became an irresistable oppy. WN has already been successful at reducing US presence at their BWI hub.


RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 10:39 am
by SWAFA30
SWAFA30, I'm assuming you work for Southwest? Give us YOUR opinion of the PHL decision.

That's a tough question to answer. I have worked for Southwest for close to 8 years and watched the company literally double in size. Since I started working here we have added service to PVD, MHT, BDL, BUF, ISP, ALB, PBI, JAN, ORF, JAX, and RDU. I have watched BWI grow from simply an alternative to DCA and IAD into the engine that has driven our phenomonal success in the northeast. When I started the airplanes were orange, the -300 was our flagship and a 3 hour flight was a long haul. The SWA of today is in many ways, not the company I came to work for.

Management's track record speaks for itself. Their decison making and guidance have produced quarter after quarter after quarter of profitability.
This is especially impressive in light of the economic beating the airline industry has taken over the past few years. It is patently obvious that this teams know how to run an airline.

What is different now, from when I signed on back in 1996 is that we are no longer the only low cost game in town. In years past, the well of LCC demand was deep but the supply was very limited. We had the luxury to take our time and select our markets carefully, knowing that the cities we passed on would be patiently waiting when got around to them. Those days are over. We are not simply competing with the other majors, we are competing with other LCCs who are trying their best to out-Southwest, Southwest.

The industry has changed, drastically. The challenge now is to figure out how to tweak our business model to keep pace with the marketplace and preserve our core strengths. Management has a tough job. There has to be a temptation to morph SWA into jetBlue version 2.0 in the way jetBlue is essentially Southwest version 2.0. The only problem is that while jetBlue's success is undeniable, their long term viability is still a question mark. If we remake ourselves in jetBlue's image and jetBlue falters, then what? On the other hand if we sit out of the game too long and jetBlue continues to flourish...we then find ourselves struggling to play catch up. In some ways our size robs us of the agility that at one times was a major asset. It takes longer to slow and turn a cruise ship than a speedboat.

Stay the course or keep up with the jetBlueses? It would seem that management has decided to do a little of both. They are eschewing pricey frills and making do with less expensive "tweaks" to our product. For example, there are no definitive plans for IFE or assigned seating. We have made livery and interior changes but the overall product remains decidely no-frills. On the other hand with PHL, you see us straying a bit from the model by making an almost unprecented foray into another carrier's fortress hub. The almost universal opinion is that PHL is a delay proned headache that we could have easily avoided by going to ABE. But, management has gone on record as saying that we simply could not let jetBlue get there first. PHL will be a pivotal station for us. The lessons learned there could help SWA rewrite it's playbook. If PHL is really as bad as everyone says and we can make it work, really work. Then what major airports that were previously off-limits are now on our radar screen? ATL?, MSP?, DFW? Likewise, we are using the flexibility of the 737 model to branch out into longhaul transcon routes to make sure that we stay in that game too. Jim Paker and Gary Kelly have both been quoted in the press as saying that we are looking at smaller jets. Though it would be tough to let go of our nearly 40 year love affair with a single model...I think if we needed to do so to compete, we would do it when it became an absolute necessity and not a moment sooner.


Overall, I think management is doing an amazing job of trying to stay ahead of the trends in an industry that can turn on a dime. I'm not inclined to fall in lockstep behind a team because they sign my paycheck. However, until they do something to lose it, they have my trust. In my opinion they have earned it. As I said earlier, their track record speaks for itself.



[Edited 2003-11-16 02:42:37]

RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 11:14 am
by prosa
You may want to take a look at this by Mike Boyd article that appeared on aviationplanning.com ... The article makes two main points. The first, that SWA had to get to PHL before jetBlue did. Not the Philly market, PHL. Second, the article theorizes that in order to remain competive SWA can no longer rely on secondary airports and smaller markets.

Very interesting article. At first it's hard to believe that B6 could be serious competition for WN, given the latter's far greater size, but I suppose stranger things have happened?
The big question: will WN ever go over to reserved seating? Before I read this article, I would have said no way whatsoever. But now, maybe.

RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 11:25 am
by usairways85
ORD2PHL:
i meant ILG is closer to BWI than PHL is to BWI.

RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (

Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2003 1:02 pm
by atrude777
SWAFA30-IN Other words..YES? lol


But ot reach I am glad they chose PHL, good to compete with B6 however I think they were better off hitting PIT where US Airways is weaker there.

Alex.

RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (ILG)

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 7:56 am
by PSU.DTW.SCE
Atrude777,

You missed the point, WN isn't going after US. They are looking to build and expand and protect their market. PHL is a much bigger and more lucrative market that PHL. Its also the last major market on the Eastern Seaboard that hasn't been touched by the LCC's.

SWAFA30,

You make an excellent point that many people overlook in this industry.......
Size and age is both an asset and a liability....your analogy with the cruiseship and the speedboat is very true. Its very easy to go all out in your youth, but the increasing size adds many complexities that newer and smaller carriers do not face.


RE: Why Didn't Southwest Consider Wilmington, DE (

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 9:34 am
by redngold
ILG is not located in the center of Wilmington; it is south of Wilmington, off I-95. The runways are not in good condition and only have military markings. There is a very small terminal. ILG is located 40 minutes from BWI and 30 minutes from PHL.

If WN wanted to serve an underserved population with an airport in Delaware, DOV would be a better option. It is an active Air Force base with flights coming in and out all the time as troops and material are moved overseas (unfortunately also the military's morgue and identification center.) There is no easy access from the central Delmarva peninsula to any major airport (you have to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and deal with traffic to BWI; the highway up to PHL is indirect, toll, and often congested; and SBY is a tiny airport)


redngold