Ok, my .02 on this subject...
I am a fan of ATA, always have been. They took the low fare model to the next level, but I don't know if they will succeed in the end. Lets look at the facts. ATA is in serious financial trouble, strike 1. ATA is now --changing--their whole buisness model, adding a buisness class, etc. In my experience, that can only spell disaster. Why change the product if it is selling and you are making money? Strike 2. If ATA is in as deep financially as it seems, then selling and/or returing or trying to re-market their leases, then that becomes strike 3 in my eyes, and ATA as we know it is short lived. Not to try to be the jerk of the bunch, just looking at what seems to be the "facts."
Now, to the second half of my point...
Southwest is a company that has always looked ahead. Whil the rest of the majors are trying to figure out how to remain operational tommorow, WN
is looking at how to make money 2, 4, 10 years down the road. Our future profitability doesnt lie with RJ
's, it lies with LARGER aircraft. By 2008, WN
will have over 600 aircraft in service, and there is a domestic market to fill every one of those, so why not -800's? They would be a good fit on long haul and dense markets (BWI
-LAX, etc.) and they are still 737's, which means commonality.
Lest put this together. The last of the -200's are gone from the published schedule Jan 16th, 2005. IF
, and I emphasise IF
were to take ATA's -800's (some or all), now would be a good time to announce it. Have them in service in Early 05 right as the -200's are gone. Excercise some 73G options as -800's, which we CAN
do per our agreement with Boeing, and you have a fairly large fleet of -800's.
Will it happen? For the sake of all the ATA employees out there, I hope not. Is it far fetched? No, not at all. I really think that SOMETHING will move in to replace the -200's, and -800's seem to be the best fit...
..please excuse the spelling...spell ckeck doesnt seem to be working...
Aircraft Flown: SF3 DH8 DH4 328 ERJ CRJ CR7 CR9 E70 E75 D9S M80 712 72S 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 739ER 752 318 319 32