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LAXintl
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Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:59 pm

While the DOT has previously protected new entrants to a degree (ORD for example), I can see how Virgin America's belief that is should somehow be exempt or even allowed to continue expanding JFK ops can cause such rile amongst the industry.

Quote:
ATA, IATA Slam Virgin's Call For Special JFK Treatment
11/26/2007

Virgin America is attracting criticism from airline industry groups after the airline urged FAA to give special treatment to new-entrant carriers during proposed capacity regulation at New York Kennedy Airport.

The Air Transport Association rejected Virgin's "self-serving" plea to be exempted from flight reductions at JFK, while the International Air Transport Association said Virgin is incorrect when it argues that the group's world scheduling coordination system is unfair to new entrants.

Virgin said it is "essential in the context of JFK schedule reductions that the FAA...continue to set aside an adequate number of [slots] for new entrants and limited incumbents." The airline also argues that "airlines that contributed the most to JFK congestion" should give the most...by reducing their schedules.

ATA responded that Virgin essentially wants to "implement its business plan of skimming the cream of domestic passenger traffic between capacity-constrained JFK and other high-density domestic destinations without meaningful restriction of any sort." Further, Virgin "asserts an entitlement to pursue its planned expansion of service at JFK notwithstanding the sacrifice that would be required of other carriers who have invested substantial resources to develop service at JFK."

Full story (subscription required)
JFK+Treatment" target=_blank>http://www.aviationweek.com/publicat...27s+Call+For+Special+JFK+Treatment
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ANother
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Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:54 pm

Wasn't just ATA - AA has a filing in the docket objecting to Virgin America's request.

Also I don't think IATA's comments 'Slam' Virgin's, they point out that Virgin has mis-characterised the World Schedules Guidelines.

If you want to see all the submissions in the docket go here: http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main, Click on 'Search for Dockets" at the top of page, Select Federal Aviation Administration in the first box of next page and enter "29320" in the docket ID box. Click on submit.
(Sorry for the complication - but I didn't create this terrible website.)
 
InTheSky74
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:14 pm

I think by ATA the artilcle is referring to the Air Transport Association.
 
PanAm747
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:30 pm

On a related note, I can imagine things at JetBlue must be rather interesting - Cinderella is no longer the youngest or the prettiest at the party - she's now one of the big bad ugly stepsisters that is no longer the belle of the ball.

And the new Cinderella is now telling people that "her ugly step-sisters are crowding here out". To even the playing field, she argues, the "older sisters" like DL, AA, and now even B6 need to cut back, so she, everyone's darling, can have room to compete at the overcrowded airport.

 scratchchin 

Sorry, Charlie - you knew what you were getting yourself into starting up at JFK! No special treatment should be given to ANY airline!!
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jetbluefan1
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:46 pm

What I don't understand is why VA can't just play like everyone else is playing - adjusting schedules and cutting flights in order to deal with the congestion. JetBlue is cutting capacity on transcons and is shifting some Florida capacity to HPN/SWF, as well as cutting CMH and BNA. DL is getting all turboprop planes out and making a second international bank.

VA knew what it was getting itself into. Time to face the consequences, IMO.

JetBluefan1
 
Tbird
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:53 pm



Quoting JetBluefan1 (Reply 4):
What I don't understand is why VA can't just play like everyone else is playing - adjusting schedules and cutting flights in order to deal with the congestion. JetBlue is cutting capacity on transcons and is shifting some Florida capacity to HPN/SWF, as well as cutting CMH and BNA. DL is getting all turboprop planes out and making a second international bank.

VA knew what it was getting itself into. Time to face the consequences, IMO.

JetBluefan1



The tuboprops have been gone for awhile and had nothing to do with the delays at JFK. Delta replaced the props with jets so it basically was a wash. At least the Dash's used runway 31R a good deal of the time to depart rather then add to the congestion to the left side.
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:40 pm

I, for one, agree that new entrants should be allowed to enter the JFK market.

The legacy carriers and JetBlue have saturated the JFK market. They shouldn't be allowed to keep out the competition on the basis of no slots. That's what has happened at Heathrow and it's one of the highest fare markets in the world.

my 2 cents.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
Mir
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:56 am



Quoting Tbird (Reply 6):
The tuboprops have been gone for awhile and had nothing to do with the delays at JFK. Delta replaced the props with jets so it basically was a wash. At least the Dash's used runway 31R a good deal of the time to depart rather then add to the congestion to the left side.

 checkmark  Getting rid of the props might have actually made the congestion worse. Instead of the props using their own flight paths, the RJs have to fit in with all the other jet traffic.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
ANother
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:03 am



Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 7):
I, for one, agree that new entrants should be allowed to enter the JFK market.

From what is being proposed 'New entrants' would be given priority to slots at JFK.

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 7):
The legacy carriers and JetBlue have saturated the JFK market. They shouldn't be allowed to keep out the competition on the basis of no slots. That's what has happened at Heathrow and it's one of the highest fare markets in the world.

You can only put 30kg of rice into a 30kg bag. If there are no slots available is it fair to confiscate slots from the airlines who have invested considerable sums for their own operations? In addition to priority to the slot pool, new entrants and others can obtain slots through secondary trading (buy/sell).

BTW - Virgin America wants 30 slot pairs to be confiscated from existing operators and given to them free. Doesn't sound like a free market to me.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:42 am

Wonder how VA would like it if say WN came in and demanded equal access to slots, counterspace, etc on the basis of "fairness".

I think the strongest argument for the existing carriers will be "when do you stop taking from those that have served the airport for years and give to whoever shows up crying on your door step"
 
BrianDromey
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:47 am



Quoting JetBluefan1 (Reply 4):
What I don't understand is why VA can't just play like everyone else is playing - adjusting schedules and cutting flights in order to deal with the congestion.

They dont really have too much to cut. Like, six daily flights? How many of those could they cut?

You know, its funny to see all the majors running scared of VA, and the venom that VX suffer on this board. Heaven forbid that a carrier would provide a decent product across the country. F is going out full of REVENUE passengers, why? Becasue VA provide something the majors dont, a decent product.

If you talk the talk (free competition, etc) walk the walk. I thought America was supposed to be a free market economy? Or is that only when it is convenient for major business interests?

Brian.
 
747fan
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:43 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 8):
Getting rid of the props might have actually made the congestion worse. Instead of the props using their own flight paths, the RJs have to fit in with all the other jet traffic.

 checkmark  As Tbird mentioned, the Dash 8's often used 13L/31R when they were able to; the "replacement jets" (I believe mostly Freedom ERJ's, with some Comair CRJ's mixed in) still use 13R/31L with all the other Comair and Eagle RJ's that clog the place and all the mainline jets/heavies. The good thing about the RJ's is that the plane waiting in the que immediately behind one can pretty much expedite departure right after the plane is airborne; if there is a heavy or 757 departing, you have to wait due to the wake turbulence. So they do speed up the line a little bit.
 
Analog
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:13 pm



Quoting JetBluefan1 (Reply 4):
What I don't understand is why VA can't just play like everyone else is playing - adjusting schedules and cutting flights in order to deal with the congestion.

What if JetBlue had been asked to cut flights when it had 14 flights per day (or whatever VX has now)? Where would JetBlue be today with that kind of restriction?

What about a carrier that plans on starting service in 6 months? Should they be asked to cut flights?

Quoting ANother (Reply 8):

You can only put 30kg of rice into a 30kg bag. If there are no slots available is it fair to confiscate slots from the airlines who have invested considerable sums for their own operations?

Just put them up for bids (yearly rent perhaps). Anything else is unfair, either to new entrants or the incumbents. Assigning slots to the highest bidder gives them to whoever places the highest value on the slot. That's the idea behind capitalism. You can make the effect revenue neutral for the airport and cost neutral for passengers by cutting passenger fees, etc. to cover the increased revenue.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:04 pm

While VX might get away with not having its current flight schedule cut, it certainly should be frozen from adding any new service at JFK in the coming years.

What the FAA is talking about could end up being a massive 30-40 flight per hour reduction in flight which would significant alter airline operations at the airport.

A bigger question in my mind is if the FAA has the balls to indeed include foreign operators whom are such a big part of the evening rush hour into any slot allocation program or if they will manage to get exempted as they had when ORDs restrictions were put in place. To date the FAA has provided less consistent answers in this area.

Ultimately if big cuts are enacted at JFK, its operation could shift towards even more an O&D airport utilizing ever larger aircraft instead of connecting hub facility which DL and AA/B6 use it to a lesser degree.
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ANother
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:50 pm



Quoting Analog (Reply 12):
Just put them up for bids (yearly rent perhaps).

Well, that would be another way - but one that would have many consequences - unforeseen, and otherwise.

This would mean doing away with the use-it or lose-it rule (currently, according to the WSG, you lose a slot if you don't use it 80% of the time). They paid for them, they own them.

Market domination could increase with the highest bidder getting the slots, and with no requirement that a paid for slot be used. An airline might believe it worthwhile to accumulate slot holdings to reduce access to the airport by its competitors. That would not be a good thing.

Expect retaliation by foreign governments. If their airlines have to buy slots at JFK, expect US airlines to have to buy slots at their airports. What you are suggesting isn't a one-off purchase of a slot, but an on-going 'rental' that doesn't exist anywhere else

Unless new entrants have deep pockets they will find it even more difficult to access JFK. This could add significantly to their costs and, for LCCs, make it much harder for them to operate profitably.

How could any airline plan ... Since slots are allocated on a six-month basis and without knowing that if it can retain a slot pairing over a reasonable duration how could an airline invest in aircraft, facilities and other infrastructure.

etc.
 
jetbluefan1
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:42 pm



Quoting Analog (Reply 12):
What if JetBlue had been asked to cut flights when it had 14 flights per day (or whatever VX has now)? Where would JetBlue be today with that kind of restriction?

The point is that this is purely hypothetical. When JetBlue had just 14 flights a day, it was the year 2000 - and JFK was still an extremely underutilized airport with absolutely no congestion problems. It is now 2007, and the reality is that the airport is operating above capacity. VA has already been given the ability to add 8 flights to the airport - sort of how JetBlue has only 8 flights to LGA, and only 7 flights to ORD - both of which are restricted airports. But you don't see JetBlue complaining to the FAA and demanding the ability to schedule more flights, do you?

Furthermore, JetBlue has invested millions of dollars at JFK, and is opening up a $875m facility there next year. We are comparing apples to oranges here; one company has made a significant investment in JFK and NYC as a whole - the other has not.

That being said, I stand behind my belief that VA has no right to special treatment at JFK more than the next guy.

JetBluefan1
 
Analog
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatm

Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:09 pm



Quoting ANother (Reply 14):
This would mean doing away with the use-it or lose-it rule (currently, according to the WSG, you lose a slot if you don't use it 80% of the time). They paid for them, they own them.

Market domination could increase with the highest bidder getting the slots, and with no requirement that a paid for slot be used.

Why does bidding for/renting slots imply no "use it or lose it" rule? Of course there can be a minimum use requirement as part of the bidding/renting process, just like many apartment leases have a "primary residence" requirement, allowing the landlord to evict you if you don't actually live in the apartment.

In addition, a single carrier could be limited to X% of slots.

Quoting JetBluefan1 (Reply 15):
The point is that this is purely hypothetical.

Yes it is. But the point is still valid.

Quoting JetBluefan1 (Reply 15):
Furthermore, JetBlue has invested millions of dollars at JFK, and is opening up a $875m facility there next year.

VX hasn't had the time to invest at the same level as B6. VX may very well open up an even fancier and more expensive facility at JFK in 2015. If you force them to reduce the number of slots from the present level that will never happen.

Quoting JetBluefan1 (Reply 15):
JetBlue has only 8 flights to LGA, and only 7 flights to ORD - both of which are restricted airports. But you don't see JetBlue complaining to the FAA and demanding the ability to schedule more flights, do you?

Well, if B6 wants to operate more flights to ORD or LGA, they probably should complain to the FAA. Limiting an airline's presence at an airport to its past levels is very anti-competitive. B6 should be given an equal chance at competing at ORD and LGA as AA, UA, US, etc.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:20 pm



Quoting LAxintl (Reply 13):
A bigger question in my mind is if the FAA has the balls to indeed include foreign operators whom are such a big part of the evening rush hour into any slot allocation program or if they will manage to get exempted as they had when ORDs restrictions were put in place. To date the FAA has provided less consistent answers in this area.

At ORD, exempting foreign carriers was just a means to an end. The FAA realized that no foreign carrier contributed too much to the congestion, nor did foreign operations as a whole, so all international flights were essentially exempted (you won't see corresponding cuts by AA or UA for new international service like EZE or DME). At JFK, while no single foreign carrier has a much larger share of movements than at ORD (though BA and LH do have larger shares than any foreign carrier at ORD), international operations make up a much larger share of movements than at ORD, and I think B6 in particular would rightly cry foul if carriers could expand as they pleased internationally but could not do so domestically.

Another factor is the very real possibility that BA or AF could expand significantly at JFK because of open skies. FWIW, I think if BA or AF started 15 daily flights at ORD, foreign carriers would lose their special status there too. The FAA needs to find an equitable solution. Unfortunately, I don't have one.
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ANother
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:35 pm



Quoting Analog (Reply 16):
Why does bidding for/renting slots imply no "use it or lose it" rule? Of course there can be a minimum use requirement as part of the bidding/renting process, just like many apartment leases have a "primary residence" requirement, allowing the landlord to evict you if you don't actually live in the apartment.

In addition, a single carrier could be limited to X% of slots.

Thank you.

My point being that there is no simple solution to the complex problems here. Peak pricing doesn't work, as airlines schedule their flights when their customers want to fly - regardless of the price. 'Renting' slots doesn't work either for the reasons I mentioned above.

What will work? Well a number of things need to be done. Get rid of the LGA perimeter rule. You'll shift some West Coast flights from JFK to LGA (which in turn replaces some t/prop and RJ short haul flights) freeing up some slots - cap the number of slots at 90% of the available capacity and allow buy/sell/lease of those. Free market should ensure most efficient use of slots and is a big disincentive to any carrier to hold unneeded slots. All you need to sort out is how to do a 'primary' allocation. To be fair these should be allocated to the airlines who have longevity and/or operate to sked.

LCCs still want a piece of the action? Fine, let them pay fair market value for their slots. If they don't like the price there is plenty of capacity at other nearby airports. New York Stewart - even FR would be proud.
 
Analog
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatm

Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:18 am



Quoting ANother (Reply 18):
New York Stewart - even FR would be proud.

Hey! SWF is in NY.

Quoting ANother (Reply 18):
Peak pricing doesn't work, as airlines schedule their flights when their customers want to fly - regardless of the price.

???? Then raise the peak price until frequencies are reduced to a realistic level. At some point airlines will reduce flights. Demand for slots is elastic; all customers have some price limit;
 
Mir
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:29 am



Quoting 747fan (Reply 11):
The good thing about the RJ's is that the plane waiting in the que immediately behind one can pretty much expedite departure right after the plane is airborne; if there is a heavy or 757 departing, you have to wait due to the wake turbulence. So they do speed up the line a little bit.

But the same thing can be said for the props. You wouldn't be replacing a heavy or 757 with a Dash 8 (or an RJ for that matter), so there's not really an advantage to be gained in terms of wake turbulence separation, and having RJs over props wouldn't speed up the line. On the contrary, it would slow it down.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
Flighty
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:38 am

What is VA supposed to do, buy slots off other airlines? Those slots were given out free, on an at-will basis. JFK slots are not the property of AA, DL and B6. They belong to the American people.

If Virgin America can use JFK slots better than Delta Connection, then VA should get the slots right away. Again, these slots belong the American people, nobody else. For Delta or AA to think they can play poker with this, is ridiculous. ATA members should submit to be governed, or find another country to fly in.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:44 am



Quoting Flighty (Reply 21):
For Delta or AA to think they can play poker with this, is ridiculous. ATA members should submit to be governed, or find another country to fly in.

I think your approach is wrong-headed. Carriers like AA and DL have a history of serving JFK, and they built their operations with the implicit assumption that the government would not re-regulate (because, remember, Congress doesn't like slots). To say that VX can somehow use the slots 'better,' and to strip them from DL or AA for that reason, completely eviscerates the free market.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
SkyyMaster
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:52 am



Quoting JetBluefan1 (Reply 4):
What I don't understand is why VA can't just play like everyone else is playing - adjusting schedules and cutting flights in order to deal with the congestion. JetBlue is cutting capacity on transcons and is shifting some Florida capacity to HPN/SWF, as well as cutting CMH and BNA. DL is getting all turboprop planes out and making a second international bank.

VA knew what it was getting itself into. Time to face the consequences, IMO.

Take a gander at next summer's planned schedules and explain exactly how Virgin America is getting unfair treatment. So far, aside from the 2 destinations B6 has dropped, it sounds as if everybody but Virgin still talking major expansion at JFK next year, but we all know the FAA is going to slot control it. Virgin should get it's proportion of slots AND cuts just like AA, DL, B6, and all the others. To make one airline cut and not the other is unfair, but you cannot flame them just for being a new entrant. JetBlue was once a startup, and they would not be around if their ability to grow JFK hadn't been basically unchecked. They along with AA and DL are much more to blame than Virgin for the mess JFK is in.
 
sstsomeday
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:05 am

I can understand how restrictions at JFK may effect some airlines more than others.

Airlines with a fledgling presence may be more adversely effected at a critical time during their development while they are spending their start-up capital to establish themselves and are not yet in positive cash flow.

The analogy I can think of is how in the Kyoto protocols regarding reducing worldwide carbon emissions, developing countries are not held to the same standard (as first-world countries) because their economies are still developing, they have a much higher percentage of poor people, etc.

I would also doubt that the government's intent is to stifle competition at JFK or give any airline an unfair advantage during the effort to reduce congestion.

But on the other hand, if an airline has fought long and hard in the marketplace to secure a healthy share of the market at JFK, I don't think they should summarily be ADDITIONALLY penalized simply for having a larger JFK operation than others.

It must be a very tricky situation; trying to establish protocols to reduce congestion and yet be fair, so I don't think it can be addressed by any simplistic formula.

Parenthetically, this is another argument against glorifying the Hub and Spoke system, which requires that a lot of A/C land and take off close to the same time, so that people don't have to sit around all day waiting for their connecton. This is why flights between points and/or secondary centers are on the rise. Airlines seem to understand this, moving into the future, which is why so much more long-range capacity is being purchased in the form of 787s and 350s than 380s, in my view.
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SkyyMaster
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:14 am



Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 24):
But on the other hand, if an airline has fought long and hard in the marketplace to secure a healthy share of the market at JFK, I don't think they should summarily be ADDITIONALLY penalized simply for having a larger JFK operation than others.

 checkmark 

In theory this makes sense, but in order to be totally fair to all airlines, the % of cuts has to be uniform across the board. I don't see the various airlines making too many voluntary cuts, which is why there will be some type of government mandated controls at JFK soon. I can't see another way to do it that is fair to all.
 
deltal1011man
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:50 am

Delta spent what 1 bill(?) to buy the JFK hub from PA and VA wants 30 slots for free? yea ok thats fair (bad part is most on this site think thats right)
 
Mir
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:20 am



Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 24):
Parenthetically, this is another argument against glorifying the Hub and Spoke system, which requires that a lot of A/C land and take off close to the same time, so that people don't have to sit around all day waiting for their connecton. This is why flights between points and/or secondary centers are on the rise.

At JFK the increase in direct flights that bypass hubs (and using smaller planes) has only contributed to the congestion.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
beeweel15
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:24 am



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 3):
No special treatment should be given to ANY airline!!

Stop by and Take a look at EL AL they get all the special treatment at JFK.
 
JBLUA320
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:18 am



Quoting Beeweel15 (Reply 28):
Stop by and Take a look at EL AL they get all the special treatment at JFK.

Not exactly a fair comparison-- VA getting 30 slots for free doesn't make their planes any safer. El Al needs special treatment for safety.

VA needs to wait their turn-- they'll got more slots when slots become available. Forcing other airlines to give up slots that they waited for, earned and invested in seems terribly unfair. It's not like they didn't know this coming in-- were they banking on special treatment from the getgo? It sure could seem that way...

And for the people who have said "well what if jetBlue was struggling for slots in JFK years ago-- where would they be today?" -- the slots were available then, and that's all there is to it! Right place, right time-- none of the current restrictions should come as a surprise to anyone at Virgin, and if it's that much of a problem, then JFK wasn't the right choice-- end of story!

JBLU
 
sstsomeday
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:38 am



Quoting Mir (Reply 27):
At JFK the increase in direct flights that bypass hubs (and using smaller planes) has only contributed to the congestion.

The traffic and future traffic I refer to would largely bypass the likes of JFK.

It seems to me that with direct flights to Europe now happening from dozens of American airports, that the percentage of transfer traffic at JFK compared to O + D is probably less than it was several decades ago.
I come in peace
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:39 am



Quoting JBLUA320 (Reply 29):
And for the people who have said "well what if jetBlue was struggling for slots in JFK years ago-- where would they be today?" -- the slots were available then, and that's all there is to it! Right place, right time-- none of the current restrictions should come as a surprise to anyone at Virgin, and if it's that much of a problem, then JFK wasn't the right choice-- end of story!

Therein lies the crux of this disagreement: should VX have anticipated capacity restrictions? If so, then it seems like they ought to play by the same rules as everyone else. If not, then it's unfair to prevent them from expanding further at JFK.

Just for the record, if the FAA does what it did at ORD, it won't help VX much, as every carrier with more than 8 daily domestic flights is treated the same at ORD.
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jetbluefan1
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RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:45 am



Quoting Analog (Reply 16):
Yes it is. But the point is still valid.

No it isn't. JFK circa 2000 looks nothing like JFK 2007. We cannot live in the past - especially in the airline industry.

Quoting Analog (Reply 16):
B6 should be given an equal chance at competing at ORD and LGA as AA, UA, US, etc.

I agree. But VA asking other airlines to cut their flights is not an "equal chance at competing." So tell that to VA.

Quoting JBLUA320 (Reply 29):
Forcing other airlines to give up slots that they waited for, earned and invested in seems terribly unfair.

I agree.

Quoting JBLUA320 (Reply 29):
And for the people who have said "well what if jetBlue was struggling for slots in JFK years ago-- where would they be today?" -- the slots were available then, and that's all there is to it! Right place, right time-- none of the current restrictions should come as a surprise to anyone at Virgin, and if it's that much of a problem, then JFK wasn't the right choice-- end of story!

Well said. The slots were once available, but they no longer are. JetBlue was at the right place at the right time. VA is seven years too late.

JetBluefan1
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:10 am



Quoting Analog (Reply 16):
VX hasn't had the time to invest at the same level as B6.

Timing counts for a lot. B6 started up at JFK because back then there was lots of room to expand. If JFK were this crowded back then it wouldn't have happened, and they'd have their base at some other airport. VX is trying to enter the JFK market at a time when the airport is bursting at the seams and has little room for new flights. To expect to just be given slots is ridiculous - they arrived late to the party, and most of the beer is gone. That's life. I don't think they should be forced to cut their small presence, but they certainly shouldn't be allowed to expand while others are forced to contract.

If VX really wants to be at JFK that badly, then how about they come up with the money for the new runway it would take to increase capacity?

Quoting Flighty (Reply 21):
If Virgin America can use JFK slots better than Delta Connection, then VA should get the slots right away.

You have to define what "using slots better" is, which is going to be hard. And as much as I like what VX is doing, I'm not convinced that yet another JFK-SFO flight (a market which has upwards of 15 flights per day from four airlines, and that doesn't even include B6 to OAK) is really putting slots to better use than a Comair flight to a place that otherwise wouldn't see nonstop service.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
ANother
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:47 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:45 pm



Quoting Analog (Reply 19):
Then raise the peak price until frequencies are reduced to a realistic level. At some point airlines will reduce flights. Demand for slots is elastic; all customers have some price limit;

Have a think about whether that actually makes a lot of sense. An airline schedules a flight at a time its customers want to fly. Increase the cost for that airline to the point where it moves the flight to a time its customers don't want to fly. But if it moves its slot one of its competitors might take it to operate the same service.

One of the benefits to buying flexible tickets is the ability to shift flights on day of travel. If some flights are at a 'premium' because of peak pricing for slots you are going to be adding significant handling costs to both the customer and the airline to process not only change in flight, but change in fare. These are the airlines 'best' customers who don't want another 'hassle' factor in their travels. For more discretionary travellers the airlines already use revenue management tools to shift them to less desirable times.

Unless you come up with something really new, I recommend that the FAA stick to what's tried and true in the rest of the world:

1. Cap number of hourly operations.
2. Penalise anyone operating intentionally off-slot
3. Appoint independent co-ordinator (independent of government, airport, airline)
4. Allow secondary trading including financial incentives
5. Prohibit restrictive covenants on slot sale/leases.

But more importantly;

6. Improve infrastructure!
 
LawnDart
Posts: 866
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 11:33 pm

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:45 pm



Quoting JBLUA320 (Reply 29):
And for the people who have said "well what if jetBlue was struggling for slots in JFK years ago-- where would they be today?" -- the slots were available then, and that's all there is to it!



Quoting JetBluefan1 (Reply 32):
Well said. The slots were once available, but they no longer are. JetBlue was at the right place at the right time. VA is seven years too late.



Quoting Mir (Reply 33):
Timing counts for a lot. B6 started up at JFK because back then there was lots of room to expand. If JFK were this crowded back then it wouldn't have happened, and they'd have their base at some other airport.

Gosh, I hate to revive history for all the JetBlue fans, but there is nothing to the "there was plenty of room at JFK back then, the slots were just laying around" theories being thrown about.

JFK was slot controlled during its busiest periods...late afternoon and early evening. Lines of wide bodied aircraft waiting to take off were as prevalent back then as they are now. JFK has been congested for a very long time...thus the need for slots.

"Newair", the name for JetBlue during it's planning phase, approached N.Y. Senator Charles Schumer and complained that they couldn't get access to JFK airport during the high-demand period...ie: the big bad legacy carriers were hogging all the prime real estate.


Enough whining on the part of JetBlue and voila:

Press Release

News from
Charles E. Schumer United States Senator - New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 16, 1999

SCHUMER, SLATER, JETBLUE ANNOUNCE JFK LANDING SLOTS FOR NEW AIRLINE

US Senator Charles E. Schumer, US Department of Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, JetBlue Airways CEO David Neeleman, JetBlue President David Barger and Members of Congress today announced that JetBlue will receive 75 precious takeoff and landing slots at John F. Kennedy Airport.

"I stand here like a proud uncle to announce the triumph of an airline," said Schumer. "Today, Secretary Slater will formally approve JetBlue's request for take-off and landing slots at JFK Airport. The era of sky-high airfares is about to end."

JetBlue, a new airline previously known as New Air Corp, plans to commence operations in early 2000 and will fly to cities throughout New York State as well as to other destinations primarily along the East Coast. The airline has announced that it will serve Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester within its first 18 months of operation and that one of the three would receive inaugural service. Rochester is currently the 4th most expensive US city from which to fly and Buffalo and Syracuse rank 20th and 13th respectively.


These slots were not just laying around, they were not taken from established carriers...they were created out of thin air

Shouldn't the same be done for Virgin America?

What airline would be the most impacted by Virgin America's expansion at JFK? Hint: it won't be AA or DL...
 
ANother
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:47 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:48 pm



Quoting LawnDart (Reply 35):
These slots were not just laying around, they were not taken from established carriers...they were created out of thin air

Shouldn't the same be done for Virgin America?

I think you are trying to put 50kg of rice in a 30kg bag. Isn't that where the problem began?
 
Analog
Posts: 1193
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:24 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatm

Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:39 pm



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 22):
Carriers like AA and DL have a history of serving JFK, and they built their operations with the implicit assumption that the government would not re-regulate (because, remember, Congress doesn't like slots). To say that VX can somehow use the slots 'better,' and to strip them from DL or AA for that reason, completely eviscerates the free market.

So legacy airlines should get to keep something for free because they were given it and guaranteed a profit to use it (during regulation)? I'd say giving them public property (the slots) because they used it at a guaranteed profit is eviscerating the free market.

Quoting JBLUA320 (Reply 29):
VA needs to wait their turn-- they'll got more slots when slots become available. Forcing other airlines to give up slots that they waited for, earned and invested in seems terribly unfair

Invested in? How did other airlines invest in JFK slots? They used something they were given for free. The airlines may have invested in the JFK facilities, which they (I assume) can sell or least to other carriers.
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:46 pm



Quoting LawnDart (Reply 35):
These slots were not just laying around, they were not taken from established carriers...they were created out of thin air

If VX wants to get some slots out of thin air, I have no problem with that (though it's not going to happen). What I do have a problem with is them being given slots at a time when others are being forced to give them up. As you pointed out, B6 didn't take their slots from anyone else.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
LawnDart
Posts: 866
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 11:33 pm

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:12 pm



Quoting ANother (Reply 36):
I think you are trying to put 50kg of rice in a 30kg bag.

No, I'm pointing out that B6 got slots that were basically given to them.

Quoting Analog (Reply 37):
So legacy airlines should get to keep something for free because they were given it and guaranteed a profit to use it (during regulation)?

Guaranteed a profit?!?  laughing 

Quoting Analog (Reply 37):
Invested in? How did other airlines invest in JFK slots? They used something they were given for free.

They invested in facilities needed to operate the flights which use the slots.

The only airline that was "given" slots at JFK was JetBlue - a newcomer to the scene. The other airlines were either grandfathered in (they were serving the airports at the time the government imposed slot controls...and imposed it one slot per existing flight), or they purchased them for beaucoup de bucks...

Hey, here's a thought...make Virgin America buy slots from other carriers...and make JetBlue retroactively pay for the ones they got, and use that money to fix up infrastructure...

Quoting Mir (Reply 38):
What I do have a problem with is them being given slots at a time when others are being forced to give them up.

Agreed, however...

Quoting Mir (Reply 38):
As you pointed out, B6 didn't take their slots from anyone else.

No, they got them for free (unless you count the fact that they had to provide service to upstate NY as a cost...). If B6 got them for free, why not Virgin America?
 
JBLUA320
Posts: 3084
Joined: Mon May 27, 2002 8:51 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:26 pm



Quoting LawnDart (Reply 39):

No, I'm pointing out that B6 got slots that were basically given to them.

Not quite. First, jetBlue's slots came at no expense to other operators. Second, jetBlue's spots were given on a conditional pact to provide service to upstate New York.

If VX gets slots out of thin air like jetBlue did, great! But trying to compare the two is comparing apples and oranges; the desired outcome is much the same, but the way about getting that outcome is very, very different. I'd like to see what VX has on the table in return for their slots?

Quoting Analog (Reply 37):

Invested in? How did other airlines invest in JFK slots?

Getting a slot at an airport, whether you buy it, lease it or if it is given to you, is an investment. When you take that slot, you suddenly have a need for employees, space, a terminal, maybe even maintenance. Every flight that is added is an investment and it starts with the slot.

JBLU
 
LawnDart
Posts: 866
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 11:33 pm

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:29 pm



Quoting JBLUA320 (Reply 40):
First, jetBlue's slots came at no expense to other operators. Second, jetBlue's spots were given on a conditional pact to provide service to upstate New York.

I pointed out that the slots were given to them on the condition they start service to upstate NY...

The slots were given to them at no expense to JetBlue...whether their entry into the JFK market was at no expense to other carriers could be debated... smile 
 
Analog
Posts: 1193
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:24 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatm

Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:40 pm



Quoting JBLUA320 (Reply 40):
Getting a slot at an airport, whether you buy it, lease it or if it is given to you, is an investment. When you take that slot, you suddenly have a need for employees, space, a terminal, maybe even maintenance. Every flight that is added is an investment and it starts with the slot.

That may be true, but that's still not a reason to give airlines free use of slots. The only truly fair way to divide up a limited publicly owned resource is to put it up for bids. Otherwise you've got a situation where either companies get the resource at below market value (basically a subsidy), or you have the government deciding how the airlines should operate (by allocating slots on a "merit" basis).

Quoting LawnDart (Reply 39):
Guaranteed a profit?!? laughing

During regulation... it took real effort to bankrupt an airline. The CAB set fares to guarantee the airlines a profit (like a regulated utility).


Quoting JBLUA320 (Reply 40):
I'd like to see what VX has on the table in return for their slots?

I'd like to see what B6 has on the table in return for keeping their slots.

Quoting Mir (Reply 38):
As you pointed out, B6 didn't take their slots from anyone else.

By keeping them they take them from the public and prevent other airlines from using them. The public, via the FAA and/or PANYNJ deserves to get the best use out of its property.
 
SkyyMaster
Posts: 1082
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:34 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:19 pm



Quoting ANother (Reply 36):
I think you are trying to put 50kg of rice in a 30kg bag. Isn't that where the problem began?

Believe me, I am no fan of JetBlue but in this case, you seem to be placing the blame for JFK's congestion on B6 alone. Has anyone counted the number of flights added by AA and DL since JetBlue's first flight? Has anyone noticed all those regional jets used mainly by AA and DL? Think that might just be part of the problem? Even seasoned airline pilots will admit that the RJ's are what is killing performance times at JFK.

It's really quite simple. There is a finite amount of gate, ramp, and airspace. The three largest carriers at JFK often schedule unrealistically like all airlines do at hubs. More flights per hour than the system will allow. Virgin should not be punished because JFK's hometown airline, or the big two international legacies at JFK use unrealistic scheduling practices.

As I've said in numerous threads, I doubt those three airlines are going to budge voluntarily at JFK. That means the FAA gets to step in, then of course no one is happy. There's plenty of "blame" to go around, but a new entrant should not be punished because some airlines find it necessary to fly 4-5 RJ's on a route to connect to one or two banks of international flights.
 
LawnDart
Posts: 866
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 11:33 pm

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:41 pm



Quoting Analog (Reply 42):
That may be true, but that's still not a reason to give airlines free use of slots. The only truly fair way to divide up a limited publicly owned resource is to put it up for bids.

Airlines were not given free use of slots...the majority of slots were imposed on airlines that already had service there. Any slots used by one carrier that were then transfered to another carrier were transfered (mostly) through merger or through purchase.

The use-it-or-lose-it rule is a real, market-based, "fair" method of making sure the public assets are used economically and efficiently or transfered to an entity that will use them more efficiently.

The majority of service into slot-controlled airports by airlines that started service after deregulation was due to exemptions granted the new airline by the government (JetBlue @ JFK)...at the expense (and added congestion) of carriers that were already there. Is that fair to the legacy carriers?

Quoting Analog (Reply 42):
During regulation... it took real effort to bankrupt an airline.

It was actually quite easy. The same gov't authority that tried to regulate the marketplace also allowed (even encouraged) larger, healthier airlines to buy smaller airlines that were in financial trouble so as to maintain air service to benefit the public.

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 43):
More flights per hour than the system will allow.

Well, maybe it's the "system" that needs work  wink 
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:49 pm



Quoting LawnDart (Reply 44):

The use-it-or-lose-it rule is a real, market-based, "fair" method of making sure the public assets are used economically and efficiently or transfered to an entity that will use them more efficiently.

That's silly. US Air has 200 flights at LGA, mostly turboprops. At LGA!! Causing traffic delays around the East Coast.

They are slot-sitting, because it's easy for them to do. The JFK players want to do the same thing. Sorry, but your plan does not equip us to deal with today's reality of clogged airports. "Use it or lose it" does not cut it. "Pay for it and use it" is going to work better.

JFK, LGA, EWR have plenty of capacity to run a huge amount of seats in/out with perfect punctuality. All it takes is a bid/slot rental system. Fewer flights. Slot rental fees. No traffic problems. It can be done. Those three airports can handle 2,500 movements or so daily. That is enough, if we incentivize good deployment!
 
Analog
Posts: 1193
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:24 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 9:25 pm



Quoting LawnDart (Reply 44):

Airlines were not given free use of slots...the majority of slots were imposed on airlines that already had service there.

Imposed on them? If we're talking post-deregulation, who forced airlines to use slots?

Quoting LawnDart (Reply 44):
The use-it-or-lose-it rule is a real, market-based, "fair" method of making sure the public assets are used economically and efficiently or transfered to an entity that will use them more efficiently.

No it's not. It provides a perverse incentive to hold on to a slot. The slots should be given to those who are willing to pay the most for them; giving slots away with use-it-or-lose it rules (whether you can sell them or not) changes the dynamic by effectively giving subsidies to incumbent carriers.
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:46 pm



Quoting Analog (Reply 42):
By keeping them they take them from the public and prevent other airlines from using them.

Well, somebody's going to prevent other airlines from using them. If VX takes them then they'll be the ones keeping them from the public and other airlines.

Quoting Analog (Reply 42):
The public, via the FAA and/or PANYNJ deserves to get the best use out of its property.

Explain how VX will make better use of slots at JFK than B6, DL or AA.

Quoting Analog (Reply 46):
giving slots away with use-it-or-lose it rules (whether you can sell them or not) changes the dynamic by effectively giving subsidies to incumbent carriers.

Incumbent carriers should get some form of subsidies. There is no incentive for AA or B6 to build a new terminal at JFK if they don't have a fair degree of certainty that they will be able to use that terminal to its designed capacity a few years down the road.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:39 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 47):
Explain how VX will make better use of slots at JFK than B6, DL or AA.

It goes without saying that VX's top 10 flights are more important than the incumbants' worst 10 flights. More pax, more revenue, more economic activity. This is another way of saying, VX would pay a higher rent than DL or B6 would be willing to pay, since each carrier has diminishing returns to scale. The first flights are the most important, and it diminishes from there.

Or, say, the public values the slots more in VX's hands than in DL's hands, according to this theory. Airline profits and bidding strength are a reflection of how much revenue the public wants to throw into a particular flight. With VX's unique product, New Yorkers will likely give VX the attention they deserve, and in turn VX would generate more economic activity and revenue than the previous slot holder.

This is all unfair if AA or DL "owns" the slot, but that is not the case here. Nobody owns it; it's just a parking space belonging to the public. It should not be hogged by anyone.
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: Virgin American Slammed For Special JFK Treatment

Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:40 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 47):
There is no incentive for AA or B6 to build a new terminal at JFK if they don't have a fair degree of certainty that they will be able to use that terminal to its designed capacity a few years down the road.

Well they won't be, because JFK is full now. The question is what to do about that.

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