cloudboy
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:29 am

Growth, absolutely. Slow? Not so sure about that one. Midwest is a business airline. And yet, they miss most business routes, and their route structure make little sense for those traveling for business. I think that one of the first things that will happen, and this is assuming that TPG actually decides to exercise some control over the company, is to really rework the route structure, and add new planes.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
N911YX
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 8:16 am

Quoting Cloudboy (Reply 50):

It makes a great deal of sense when you have limited resources to research carefully before jumping into new markets from your established hubs (MKE-MCI) Large egos have a way of getting their airlines into trouble by unbridled expansion. The MKE-HOU experience with YX proved disappointing and sometimes what looks to be a good route for development turns into cream of wheat. The growth in capacity will come with the new config of Saver/Signature seating. Additional aircraft may not be needed until that Saver/Signature capacity has been met. So a cautious attitudeis what is needed. It has worked for YX all these years and we have avoided bankruptcy inspite of the horrendous headwinds buffeting us enroute to profitability
The airline biz needs a Quantum Physic
 
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A340313X
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 8:20 am

I think A320s would look top in YX colours. Whatever they decide for a new fleet good luck to them!
 
SkyyMaster
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 8:30 am

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 46):
RC was not larger than NW by any by any meaningful measurement.

Good point. I think RC did claim they served more cities in the US than any other carrier at the time, but as you say, they were not bigger by any meaningful measurement than NW. And let's not forget Republic also consisted of the old Hughes Airwest, albeit it was added a couple years after the initial NC/SO merger.
 
cloudboy
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:22 am

Quoting N911YX (Reply 51):
The growth in capacity will come with the new config of Saver/Signature seating. Additional aircraft may not be needed until that Saver/Signature capacity has been met.

I am not so sure that increased capacity is going to have a very direct correlation to increased revenue. If you start putting saver service on all your flights, now your average business traveler is going to get stuck in saver service, because the company is not going to splurge for an upgrade, and people aren't going to shell out the upgrade costs themselves all the time. So now you are essentially competing with JetBlue and everyone else. Not a good business strategy.

But growth isn't needed in the current markets - Midwest desperately needs to expand their markets to new city pairs and new cities. Their route structure simply doesn't match where most of the business travelers want to fly. Sure they have teh Midwest tied up, but they need to get more business travelers who spend a little more and are willing to pay a higher economy fare to fly a better economy product.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
N911YX
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:39 am

You are correct. The Midwest Miles Executives will use their points to upgrade to a wider seat. If YX didn't allow such a deal they would be remiss. Everyone else already does.
The airline biz needs a Quantum Physic
 
N822ME
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:45 am

Quoting Cloudboy (Reply 54):
I am not so sure that increased capacity is going to have a very direct correlation to increased revenue. If you start putting saver service on all your flights, now your average business traveler is going to get stuck in saver service, because the company is not going to splurge for an upgrade, and people aren't going to shell out the upgrade costs themselves all the time. So now you are essentially competing with JetBlue and everyone else. Not a good business strategy.

My understanding of it is that it won't be like a two-cabin. In fact, the top coach fares will book directly into it. Materially, nothing will be different for most business travelers. Unless they are buying that rock bottom fare months out, they're likely paying a mid to high tier coach fare and will get a wider seat anyway as of booking. So odds are if I'm paying that $450 ticket to the east coast because I booked 10 days out, I'm going to get a wider seat when I buy my ticket. No upgrade fee required.

Where the additional revenue will be.... those people who book 6 months out and pay $150-200 for that flight, can pay another $30-60 to upgrade to the wider seat. And they will even be able to do it at time of booking. Or at the airport if they decide at that point.

Plus, I hear that Midwest Miles Executives will get a number of freebie upgrades. The exact details aren't known right now.
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:46 am

Quoting JBo (Reply 48):
However, should the FRJs become an operational issue ... I could see YX replacing the type with either the Saab or the Dash-8-200.

How about when the company doesn't want to keep paying for their operational issues as there are many. I'd like to see the 328Jets replaced by on Skyway flown ERJ-135 or 140s. Heck I'd like to see all YX regional aircraft flown by Skyway.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
sfoqqaa
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:04 am

I would hope the first order of business would be to bring Midwest back to a consist product. As a long time YX fan and frequent flyer from 1986 I wish they would have aircraft flying with the same product... ie: 717 and MD-80s with the same two by two (or two by three) seating if the economic environment dictates that. Scrap the Saver/Signature and give consumers a product they can expect consistently. As for other items on my wish list...

1. Enhance the frequent flyer program with more international and even domestic airline partners (If that means joining Skyteam then do it!)

2. Expand the Best Care Club to other cities. MCI comes to mind... how about LGA. Maybe partner up with some other airline lounges to allow Best Care Club members better access.

3. Grow the network some more. Take it at a reasonable pace, but maybe add some point to point flying. With the current signature product, you could find some strong business travel in routes that do not touch MKE or MCI.

4. Continue to invest in your employees. YX employees are some of the best and brightest in the industry. They get it and they always will as long as you avoid treating them like the big carriers treat their employees.

Just my two cents!
 
cloudboy
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:04 am

People aren't going to be loyal to "odds are". They want assurances that they are going to get what they expect. That is what killed TWA's more legroom - it was a crap shoot as to what you would get. Inconsistency is bad news. And no, not all business travelers are going to be paying full coach at the last minute. And not all business travelers earn enough miles to always earn upgrades. There are a lot of people who only fly a couple of times a year.

I say, focus on your premium product. Forget the saver stuff - leave that for the cheapo airlines who can make money off of it instead of eating into your bottom line. Better yet, codeshare cheap flights out to NW. Bring the Midwest product to some of the east coast cities with decent connections and a reliable service you know what you are going to get. You are not going to just get the big name business travelers - you can also get those casual fliers who have, and are willing to spend, a little more for a wider seat and better service. Keep the premium economy service, and forget about trying to match business. If your clientèle are going to end up having to spend business class prices, then they are going to go fly business class. You have to position Midwest somewhere between those two. THAT'S what makes Midwest a unique product. Otherwise you are only recreating another Airtran with more seats.

And advertise WHY your product is better!
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
longhaulheavy
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:11 am

Quoting Mke717spotter (Reply 15):
If NW were to start MKE-AMS with a 757 that'd be awesome!!!

Milwaukee can handle a low level of international flights, and it would be really cool to see an AMS flight out of there. There's definitely a demand to fly international. I have done MKE-MSP-AMS a few times, and in every instance, there were large numbers of people on my MKE-MSP flight that were also on the MSP-AMS flight.

The possibilities with this NW-TPG-YX deal are just so much greater in my mind than what Airtran was offering. As a heavy NW and occasional YX flyer, I definitely like all of the options that start to open up with the two airlines' coming closer together.
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:17 am

While watching CH. 58 here in MKE I saw something horrifying on tv....the first time ever seeing an AirTran commercial that jabbed at affordable airfares for business flyers. It was also on during the Packer's game so you know tons of people saw that commercial.

Let the true bitterness come out of AirTran.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
atpcliff
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:15 pm

Hi!

Other posters said that NWA is putting up 40% of the cash for this deal.

cliff
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JBo
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:35 pm

Quoting Atpcliff (Reply 62):
Other posters said that NWA is putting up 40% of the cash for this deal.

Doesn't make it confirmed. Not certain if we'll ever know what percentage NW actually put up.
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
 
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mariner
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:12 pm

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 61):
Let the true bitterness come out of AirTran.

Why is that bitterness? I would have thought it good business sense.

Things have changed in MKE. Airtran is not competing with the "old" Midwest anymore.

It is competing with a Midwest that is no longer a small Wisconsin company, it is owned, or will be, by outsiders - with deep pockets.

mariner

[Edited 2007-08-19 10:15:37]
aeternum nauta
 
justplanenutz
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:35 pm

Quoting JBo (Reply 63):
Not certain if we'll ever know what percentage NW actually put up.

As a publicly traded company, it will show up at the SEC in NWA'a balance sheet.
 
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knope2001
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:23 pm

Quoting Atpcliff (Reply 62):
Other posters said that NWA is putting up 40% of the cash for this deal.

That number comes from a live interview with Carol Skornika on WTMJ in Milwaukee early last Monday morning. I heard her words live. It was not a direct statement nor an answer to a direct question about the size of NW's investment. It was more of a offhanded phrase within a larger sentence about Department of Justice anti-trust review, along the lines of "We've passed the TPG proposal to five different legal counsels with the direct concern of Department of Justice, and a 40 percent minority stake by Northwest should not raise anti competitive concerns.". That is not a direct quote -- only paraphrase. But it struck me at the time as being unclear, and that it could be either of these:

"Five legal advisers have indicated they see no DoJ objection to Northwest's minority stake, which is 40%"

"Five legal advisers have indicated they see no DoJ objection to a Northwest minority stake, even up to about 40%"

If the meaning was the first one, NW''s stake in that deal (the first one) was about 40%. If the meaning was #2, that tells us relatively little. It doesn't even imply that they asked if 40% was theoretically okay. It may be that the legal consensus (probably based on some precedent) saw possible problems once the minority stake got into the 40s. If this is the case, NW's stake could be far less than 40%.

I've looked on the web to find the interview electronically to get an exact quote, but have not found it.

Anyway, when later asked about Northwest's 40% stake, Carol said she misspoke and that the exact amount of the NW stake was not yet known. So was it 40% and Carol let it slip? Or did she give an incorrect impression that a hypothetical was a specific amount, and 40% was not Northwest's stake? Time will eventually tell, I guess.
 
N822ME
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:01 pm

Quoting Cloudboy (Reply 59):
People aren't going to be loyal to "odds are". They want assurances that they are going to get what they expect. That is what killed TWA's more legroom - it was a crap shoot as to what you would get. Inconsistency is bad news. And no, not all business travelers are going to be paying full coach at the last minute. And not all business travelers earn enough miles to always earn upgrades. There are a lot of people who only fly a couple of times a year.

Given what little information is out there now, it's hard to make concrete statements. What is known is that not just the top fare coach will book into those seats. Apparently it will be known at booking what fare gets those seats and what does not. A lot of research went into the reconfiguration decision over several years, and based on data from that time frame, most business travelers won't see a difference, other than more legroom with the wider seat.

Quoting Cloudboy (Reply 59):
Forget the saver stuff - leave that for the cheapo airlines who can make money off of it instead of eating into your bottom line.

Actually Saver makes quite a bit of money for the company. On the routes where it flies, there is more downward pressure on price, namely from competition, and the majority of people have shown they won't pay more for a wider seat. They'd rather save $30 a ticket on each member of their family. What did come out is there are a few people on each flight who are willing to pay more. And with the addition of Signature seating to the MD-80s next month, they now have that option.
 
daus
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:06 am

Quoting N908AW (Reply 43):
Did I miss an announcement? As far as I know, YX isn't flying to either RST or BZN.

They are not.  Smile I was just pointing out that kind of expansion wouldn't be the type of stuff TPG would be interested in. They need something a little bolder.
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:06 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 64):
Why is that bitterness? I would have thought it good business sense.

Because they have never ran a TV commercial in MKE before, but this just happens to come after AirTran has the door shut in their face.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
daus
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:11 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 69):
Because they have never ran a TV commercial in MKE

They have been running that commericial for a couple weeks now. Don't much like AirTran, but it is a good commercial.  Smile
 
cloudboy
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:29 am

Quoting N822ME (Reply 67):
Given what little information is out there now, it's hard to make concrete statements. What is known is that not just the top fare coach will book into those seats. Apparently it will be known at booking what fare gets those seats and what does not. A lot of research went into the reconfiguration decision over several years, and based on data from that time frame, most business travelers won't see a difference, other than more legroom with the wider seat.

Who will it be known to at booking? Your typical business traveler does not jump on Expedia to book an airline ticket for his next trip. What usually happens is that he tells the department Admin Assistant he needs a ticket, and if he prefers a particular airline, he will tell her. You average personal traveler, though, will be the one looking. And they are going to be the one who will decide to travel Midwest over JetBlue, Northwest, United, or anyone else.

Besides, you can only get those seats if they are available.

Quoting N822ME (Reply 67):
Actually Saver makes quite a bit of money for the company. On the routes where it flies, there is more downward pressure on price, namely from competition, and the majority of people have shown they won't pay more for a wider seat. They'd rather save $30 a ticket on each member of their family. What did come out is there are a few people on each flight who are willing to pay more. And with the addition of Signature seating to the MD-80s next month, they now have that option.

Sure there are more people who are willing to fly cheaper. If that's the case, why didn't you merge with Airtran? That's what you are now going to be doing. People who are not willing to spend that price for the better seat are simply going to be shopping for the cheapest alternative. And you can't afford to compete with that. To be the cheapest alternative, you have to have the lowest costs. And that means cutbacks and penny pinching. Your product - your whole airline - is based on better service. Chasing the low costs are simply going to drive away your real bread and butter - the people who are willing to spend a little more.

I think Midwest has a huge number of options available to it. Which one it takes, and how it succeeds, will depend greatly on how much they are willing to try something new. Ideally, I see Midwest as offering something no other airline offers. A seat somewhere between economy and business class, that is priced somewhere between cheap economy and business class. Let's face it. People's measure of their airline experience is based on: whether their flight gets messed up, if they have any ticketing problems or how complicated or confusing the ticketing process is, and how comfortable their flight was. Sure cookies are nice - but you can pick up cookies from Mrs. Fields a lot more cheaply at the airport. The real difference between Midwest and anyone else right now is a more comfortable flight. you no longer get meals, so no difference there. Sure you can buy on board as you can some other airlines, but when was the last time you saw anyone actually spend that much money on a meal when they have to worry about their expense account for the trip? And there is not much other interaction.

I think Midwest's best options are to keep the Signature service throughout their fleet. And instead of trying to be a regional airline serving every last city in the midwest, start being a national business airline. You can't be a premium airline and then also be a volume carrier. You have to choose. Keep Midwest as a premium product. Focus on that and focus on the right markets and the right advertising, and you will find great increases in passengers. Sure the low fare options sound nice. But you have no advantage in that market, and a lot of liabilities. And there is a lot of competition out there, too!. Play in that field and you will never be able to win - you have nothing to compete with.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
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mariner
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:36 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 69):
Because they have never ran a TV commercial in MKE before, but this just happens to come after AirTran has the door shut in their face.

I understood that, and I still think it is good business sense.

Airtran is not going to up and leave MKE - they're going to compete, and compete very vigorously, I'd guess.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
MKENut
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:14 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 72):
I understood that, and I still think it is good business sense.

Airtran is not going to up and leave MKE - they're going to compete, and compete very vigorously, I'd guess.

I was surprised to see the commercial too. Although AirTran has indicated they have no plans to expand MKE atm. I would not put it past them to go ahead and do it. They have a history of saying one thing and doing another. MKE has space for them, so have at it AirTran.  Smile
 
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mariner
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:42 am

Quoting MKENut (Reply 73):
I was surprised to see the commercial too.

It follows a fairly classic pattern, and not just for Airtran.

From what has been said here, I would guess most of Milwaukee has been aware of the recent events, and the outcome.

It was essential for Airtran to come bouncing back, reminding MKE that (a) they may have lost Midwest, but they haven't left MKE and (b) they are competitive.

Quoting MKENut (Reply 73):
I would not put it past them to go ahead and do

I'd expand MKE, if I were Airtran CEO. Not much maybe, but some.

As I said, things have changed. Midwest is no longer a hometown company, no matter what spin they put on it.

Midwest is now owned by two huge corporations, who are both aggressive and ruthless. Airtran must do everything it can to improve their fortunes at MKE, to build up their customer base.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
MUWarriors
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:34 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 74):
As I said, things have changed. Midwest is no longer a hometown company, no matter what spin they put on it.

How do you figure? They will still be a hometown company because their headquarters will still be in Milwaukee (well Oak Creek if you want to be technical), and they will continue to spin it as such. YX hasn't been locally owned in 12 years at this point (1995 was the IPO I believe). If you use your definition there is no publicly owned "hometown" company in the nation, as all have owners scattered hither and yon, but for most people hometown is where their headquarters are.

As for their future, I'd look for an MD-80 replacement order relatively soon, hopefully the E-145 program gets back up and running, and an outside chance at something like an E-170 (fill the gap between 50 and 99) I would be hugely surprised if it happened, though.

Of the two hubs MCI is a bigger challenge because of WN, but if YX can run a strong second there I think they'll be happy. It wouldn't surprise me if they expanded YX* flying at MCI such as OKC, LIT, MEM (this would depend on how big NW's role is), BHM, I know many would have competition with WN, but who knows. Maybe a few YX* cities gain service to MCI (GRR, DSM, BNA) and then maybe some surprises like BOI (quickly growing city), ABQ (same), etc... Then maybe new mainline services to PHX, PHL, ATL, PDX, SLC (which could be YX* as well) or MSY. I would think an addition of a Best Care Club in MCI as well.

MKE I would look for things like PDX, SFO going year round, maybe a nonstop to SAN but otherwise relatively little other than upgrades to B1900 cities.

This is probably all way off base, but eh, whatever, it's fun to blindly guess at something from time to time.
 
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mariner
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:18 am

Quoting MUWarriors (Reply 75):
and they will continue to spin it as such.

I agree they will attempt to spin it as such - I think that is what I said - but provably, it is no longer true.

It may not have been true before, but there was sufficient local share-holding for that to be glossed over, and control rested with the BOD.

That is no longer true. And while Midwest's HQ may remain in Wisconsin, ultimately the control of the airline is elsewhere.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
MKENut
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:26 am

Quoting MUWarriors (Reply 75):

I'd like to see MKE-SJC, MKE-MSY and MKE-SAN myself. As for MCI, I can see more mainline and regional routes added than they would at MKE. But how will WN respond to added competition at MCI?
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:50 pm

Quoting Daus (Reply 70):
They have been running that commericial for a couple weeks now. Don't much like AirTran, but it is a good commercial.

Guess I don't watch enough CH. 58 then...  Silly
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
airbusaddict
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:57 pm

well hopefully they will start two daily Dorniers to FSD!!!! lol
Finally F9! FSD-DEN 7-4-2011
 
m404
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:33 pm

In an opposite direction to what might happen to Midwest I'd like to see NW adopt many of the cabin amenities to their own domestic product. Instead of controlling Midwest just adopt this ideas and gradually blend them in. Give the illusion of a premium LCC. Now that the NW labor forces are closer to the LCC model (not that much of course) this would give both the product and the provider a way to rise a niche higher. Yes, I admit NW domestic badly needs a reason to show that the service is worth the differance in price of a pure LCC and this would seem a possible avenue.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:01 am

737s are the confirmed MD-80 replacements. Look for public news toward years end. The 737s are the last standalone midwest business decision. All other things will have to go through TGP.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
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mke717spotter
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:43 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 81):

If that's true that's certianly good news. Are they going to order brand new 737s or get some used ones?
Will you watch the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions on Sunday? Only if coach Eric Mangini resigned after a loss.
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:27 pm

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 69):
Because they have never ran a TV commercial in MKE before, but this just happens to come after AirTran has the door shut in their face.

AirTran wasn't going to spend good money advertising in MKE if they were gonna drop $400M or whatever on YX. Seeing that be a non-starter, it was time to move on.

YX won. AirTran lost. Let's move on with business as usual and finally put the YX vs FL bickering to bed.

-Dave
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
MKENut
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:46 pm

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 83):
YX won. AirTran lost. Let's move on with business as usual and finally put the YX vs FL bickering to bed.

I agree with you. I hope for the best for both airlines. Doom and gloom predictions are getting old.  sigh 
 
mikesairways
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:57 pm

Quoting MKENut (Reply 77):
I'd like to see MKE-sjc

As would I - since I'm prob moving to MKE land in a couple months it would be nice to have the non-stop home.
The red zone is for the immediate loading and unloading of passengers only, there is no stopping in the white zone...(Ai
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:45 am

Quoting Mke717spotter (Reply 82):
If that's true that's certianly good news. Are they going to order brand new 737s or get some used ones?

The internal memo wasn't specific about new or used, just that 737s are coming and to expect further details toward the end of this year.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
goingboeing
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RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:14 am

Quoting Sxf24 (Reply 9):

MSP is NW's cash cow and they will do anything to protect market share and pricing power.

But....and this is important - YX is not a low cost carrier. If they try to play to the MSP market that they are some sort of "low fare" alternative to NW, then they are only going to hurt themselves.

Quoting Daus (Reply 12):
Not sure the lobster will ever make it back, but a decent steak and little red wine?

YX's costs are already among the highest in the industry. They can't afford to do anything to increase those costs and still compete.

Quoting Cloudboy (Reply 54):
If you start putting saver service on all your flights, now your average business traveler is going to get stuck in saver service, because the company is not going to splurge for an upgrade, and people aren't going to shell out the upgrade costs themselves all the time. So now you are essentially competing with JetBlue and everyone else. Not a good business strategy.

Yep...IMHO, flying Midwest in the future will be a lot like stepping on board an Airtran flight - bigger seats and more perks up front...regular coach seating in the back.

Quoting N822ME (Reply 67):
On the routes where it flies, there is more downward pressure on price, namely from competition, and the majority of people have shown they won't pay more for a wider seat. They'd rather save $30 a ticket on each member of their family. What did come out is there are a few people on each flight who are willing to pay more.

However, out of MCI, where their biggest competitor is the 900 pound LCC leader, they offer almost exclusively Signature service. And those are some dirt cheap flights. Won't their loyal customer base at MCI be in for a surprise when they see more and more "saver" service be introduced.

Quoting Cloudboy (Reply 71):
Who will it be known to at booking? Your typical business traveler does not jump on Expedia to book an airline ticket for his next trip. What usually happens is that he tells the department Admin Assistant he needs a ticket, and if he prefers a particular airline, he will tell her. You average personal traveler, though, will be the one looking. And they are going to be the one who will decide to travel Midwest over JetBlue, Northwest, United, or anyone else.

You're typical business traveler tells the Admin Assistant he needs a ticket. His company also has some rules about price, schedule and time that need to be taken into account. And the Admin Assistant usually hops on Expedia or some other site to book the flight - and bottom line - price rules.

Quoting Mariner (Reply 72):

Airtran is not going to up and leave MKE - they're going to compete, and compete very vigorously, I'd guess.

Yes, they will.

Quoting MKENut (Reply 77):
But how will WN respond to added competition at MCI?

Considering that WN has a CASM of about 8 cents and YX is over 11 cents, I would imagine that they will smile as they watch a competitors flight that is losing money be pushed back from the gate.

Don't mean to sound down on YX, but the fact is that their costs are among the highest in the industry. If TPG wants to make them marketable for sale at a decent profit, they will have to cut costs. This WILL impact the service and amenities that made YX unique. IMHO, YX is heading down the path to becoming "just another airline". And one that isn't sure if it's a LCC or a full service airline.
 
cloudboy
Posts: 1123
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:38 pm

RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:56 am

Quoting Goingboeing (Reply 87):
You're typical business traveler tells the Admin Assistant he needs a ticket. His company also has some rules about price, schedule and time that need to be taken into account. And the Admin Assistant usually hops on Expedia or some other site to book the flight - and bottom line - price rules.

Ah, but NOT if your typical traveler expresses a strong preference for a particular airline. Actually, not a ton of corporate travelers use Expedia and such, they often times book through corporate travel agents, for the simple ease of payment. Although that is a declining trend. But still, that is exactly why Midwest really needs to not do the typical 2 class layout. They need to have a true premium product that no one gets surprised to find they are flying in regular coach class.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
Noise
Posts: 2458
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 1999 7:38 am

RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:00 am

Will Midwest push more into Canada? The reason I ask is because I remember a while back seeing a document listing YUL as one possible Midwest/AirTran destination, and being from Montreal, I just wanted to know if Midwest has any interest on serving that market.
 
MKENut
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:34 am

RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:29 am

Quoting Noise (Reply 89):
Will Midwest push more into Canada? The reason I ask is because I remember a while back seeing a document listing YUL as one possible Midwest/AirTran destination, and being from Montreal, I just wanted to know if Midwest has any interest on serving that market.

I think YUL and YVR would work for YX. If anything make them seasonal first to see how well they do. I'm not sure if YX is even considering more Canadian cities.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:41 am

Quoting Cloudboy (Reply 88):
Ah, but NOT if your typical traveler expresses a strong preference for a particular airline.

Oh...I used to travel pretty much every week. At the time, my "preferred" airline was Delta...but if AA had a better fare or routing, then my preferences be damned...I was on the AA flight. It still kinda works that way.

Quoting Cloudboy (Reply 88):
They need to have a true premium product that no one gets surprised to find they are flying in regular coach class.

Here's the kicker...there's a lot of business passengers on pretty much every airline out there. That includes Southwest and Airtran. A premium product is nice - but more and more businesses are NOT willing to opt for the premium product when it comes to the company's wallet. That's why corporate travel departments love Frequent Flyer programs...they let the AIRLINE provide the perks that the company won't. If your company is based in Dallas...your corporate travel department will most likely put their employees on an AA flight. If it's Denver...odds are they'll be on a UAL flight. If it's MSP...you know who they'll be flying.

In order to provide a "premium product", YX should most likely kill off the MCI hub...you can't offer a "premium product" at reduced fares...and MCI has among the lowest fares in the nation. They are served by Airtran, Southwest, and Frontier...pretty decent LCC presence there. Now...Midwest flights are pretty full out of MCI...so are Southwest's, Frontier's and Airtran's. Because they ALL are charging similar fares - low. If YX is to offer a "premium product", I can pretty much guarantee you that the companies of most business travellers into or out of MCI will NOT be willing to pay a premium fare when there are several lower fare alternatives. And because YX's costs are among the highest in the industry - they can't afford the operation at MCI. That's why I say that if TPG wants to make YX saleable in a few years, they HAVE to get costs down. There has been little success with "premium class" airlines. Look at TWA's experiment with "Comfort Class", or AA's MRTC....both were great - but people weren't willing to pay extra for it. UAL's Economy Plus seems to be doing okay...but it's not the entire coach cabin...so some folks on the plane find themselves in "regular coach".

Don't get me wrong...I think YX is great - but I don't think that they can maintain the legroom and two abreast seating and remain an attractive property when it comes time to sell them. They are a business in business to make money. Even moreso is TPG. There's changes coming, but I don't think it's to make it a "premium niche" airline.
 
User avatar
JBo
Posts: 1717
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 7:23 am

RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:24 am

I think TPG is more focused on increasing revenues through means other than cutting costs ... but time will only tell what will happen.
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
 
cloudboy
Posts: 1123
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:38 pm

RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:47 am

Quoting Goingboeing (Reply 91):
Here's the kicker...there's a lot of business passengers on pretty much every airline out there. That includes Southwest and Airtran. A premium product is nice - but more and more businesses are NOT willing to opt for the premium product when it comes to the company's wallet. That's why corporate travel departments love Frequent Flyer programs...they let the AIRLINE provide the perks that the company won't. If your company is based in Dallas...your corporate travel department will most likely put their employees on an AA flight. If it's Denver...odds are they'll be on a UAL flight. If it's MSP...you know who they'll be flying.

In order to provide a "premium product", YX should most likely kill off the MCI hub...you can't offer a "premium product" at reduced fares...and MCI has among the lowest fares in the nation. They are served by Airtran, Southwest, and Frontier...pretty decent LCC presence there. Now...Midwest flights are pretty full out of MCI...so are Southwest's, Frontier's and Airtran's. Because they ALL are charging similar fares - low. If YX is to offer a "premium product", I can pretty much guarantee you that the companies of most business travellers into or out of MCI will NOT be willing to pay a premium fare when there are several lower fare alternatives. And because YX's costs are among the highest in the industry - they can't afford the operation at MCI. That's why I say that if TPG wants to make YX saleable in a few years, they HAVE to get costs down. There has been little success with "premium class" airlines. Look at TWA's experiment with "Comfort Class", or AA's MRTC....both were great - but people weren't willing to pay extra for it. UAL's Economy Plus seems to be doing okay...but it's not the entire coach cabin...so some folks on the plane find themselves in "regular coach".

Don't get me wrong...I think YX is great - but I don't think that they can maintain the legroom and two abreast seating and remain an attractive property when it comes time to sell them. They are a business in business to make money. Even moreso is TPG. There's changes coming, but I don't think it's to make it a "premium niche" airline.

There's two aspects of your reasoning that show conventional thought, and are great examples of why Midwest's product makes so much sense.

First, you are absolutely right that companies will not pay a lot to fly their staff at business class fares. They will pay for coach. They will not pay double in price just to gain an extra few inches of legroom. But Midwest has the increased seat width and a little more legroom at what is essentially higher coach fare prices. This they are often willing to do, and when they book late in the process, they are actually fairly competitive. Companies are not located at hubs, they are not all based in one building, nor is every company a fortune 500. The real business - those with the need to fly quickly and yet don't have the volume to generate special deals, are the smaller companies where the managers are the ones flying. Not every business traveler is going to fly enough to make frequent flier miles their main concern - it just doesn't add up.

The other mistake that you and many people are making is that you look at passengers as cargo. Passengers are not generated in one city and then distributed across the country, They are not impervious to their traveling conditions. An airline's fares have to work as much from one end point to another. Yes, with business travelers point to point is more important, and one reason why Midwest has to diversify it's flight routes. It's easy to get trapped up in complicated numbers, but passengers to buy on complicated numbers - they buy on their immediate needs and emotions. The key to keeping customers is to give them a reason to choose you over your competitors even if they have better pricing or routing. Maybe that is why you were so quick to change airlines - you had nothing that really made Delta significantly better than AA.

And that is ultimately it - conventional arguments always run around the low cost carries are charging this so we have to charge this, and so all that you can do is bring your service level and costs down to the low cost carrier. In turn then no one has a reason to fly you in the first place . you are simply bringing your service level down to a level where your low cost competition can compete with you. The value of Midwest is that it doesn't drop it's service level or amenities to that lower level. In turn they don't bring their fares down, but they don't need to. There is a justification of spending that extra little bit of money.

One of Midwest's first challenges is going to be getting out of thinking of itself as an airline flying people from MCI to other cities. You can't build a successful airline based on one city. MCI may make a great hub, but with a business product you have to fly between the cities that business travelers want to fly. That means connecting east cost business centers and Chicago, ans LA and San Francisco. That connects flights straight from New York to Houston and Dallas. Again, you don't have to match everyone else's fares if you offer a different product, so you CAN go into those markets without having to match the main airlines price and costs. It's a differentiated product, in a market that appreciates that product, that means something.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
airbusaddict
Posts: 226
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:31 am

RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:01 pm

Are they any routes that Midwest/Skyway have on the D328 that could be upgraded to the CR2 and leave two D328's open for a possible MKE-FSD, FAR, etc route?
Finally F9! FSD-DEN 7-4-2011
 
SkyexRamper
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:17 am

RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:28 pm

Quoting Airbusaddict (Reply 94):
Are they any routes that Midwest/Skyway have on the D328 that could be upgraded to the CR2 and leave two D328's open for a possible MKE-FSD, FAR, etc route?

Yes.

BNA, CLE and probably IND could be all CRJ
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
airbusaddict
Posts: 226
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:31 am

RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:34 pm

okay, thanks. now what about the schedules, is there a flight leaving indy between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00a and is their a flight leaving indy at 5:00 to 7:00p? That goes for CLE and BNA also.
Finally F9! FSD-DEN 7-4-2011
 
LEARJETMIAMI
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:48 am

RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:30 pm

Look like will be part of Airtran?
 
SkyexRamper
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:17 am

RE: The Future Of The New "Midwest"

Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:07 pm

I would love to Gordon Bethune as the new Midwest CEO, then we could have someone with real airline experience at the helm. Especially someone who knows how to turn around an airline.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!

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