|Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 166):|
Do I think people in those cities ever go to Asia? Of course. Do I think Delta added service from those cities to Seattle because to feed their Asia flights? No
|Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 171):|
If you're suggesting that DL added Saturday only service SEA-BZN and SEA-TUS because they are trying to capture Asia traffic then I don't know what to say. Even Delta isn't trying to pretend their trying to capture Asia traffic from those places.
But here is the thing. There was "Build a Gateway in Cooperation with Alaska Strategy". In order to do that, Delta needed certain assurances from AS
, including adequate and affordable feed. For example, there are only so many AS
flights from LAS
that will efficiently feed DL
service. And only one ideal connecting flight. But AS
was putting nearly 50 PDEW onto Hainan's PEK
flight. That not only supplied a Delta competitor, it also took connecting inventory away from Delta. For its strategy to work for Delta, it needed as many seats as possible from AS
on key flights, it needed them at an affordable pro-rate, and it needed AS
not to sell to the competition.
That was the "Build a Gateway in Cooperations with Alaska Strategy".
But once it became clear that Alaska wasn't going to help to the degree that Delta needed, another strategy was needed. We'll call this "Build an Organic Hub at SEA
The reason you have to go all the way to "Build an Organic Hub at SEA
" is pretty simple. Asia connecting traffic alone won't fill enough seats on the feeder flights to make the their economics viable. This is particularly true because the Delta's intentional operations at SEA
are spread out across all hours of the day.
has such a strong hold on local traffic, Delta needs to do two things:
1) Build a connecting network that allows it to carry new and existing traffic via SEA
. This means destinations in Alaska, Hawaii and Canada where Delta can connect people from across its network. This helps fill the seats that Asia and local traffic don't. While some of that is new growth capacity, some is not. For example, as Delta has added SEA
capacity, it has shrunk MSP
is another good example. Delta has wanted to add back SLC
for a while now, but it requires a domestic ETOPS 767. None are available, but SEA
now picks up that job.
2) No hub can be successful without success in the local O&D market. In order to build more of a local presence, Delta has to add capacity in pure local markets designed for local passengers. This is particularly true on the corporate level. Think about this. If Delta can meet Microsoft's international needs, but not its domestic needs, then Microsoft has less incentive to sign any sort of Corporate Sales Agreement that obligates it to fly Delta internationally. However, if it can provide a comprehensive network, it has more leverage to drive a deal that actually moves share.
Many of the actions you are seeing as part of "Build an Organic Hub at SEA
" are a result of necessity. Going halfway is not going to be successful. Delta went halfway at PDX
. The people running the show now aren't interested in "kind of" trying.
I get why it feels like AS
is under attack. It sure looks like it. And I get why AS
folks would feel threatened. The point I have been trying to make is that AS
management was faced with some choices along the way. Maybe they weren't good choices, but at least they had some. In the end, they chose not to enter into an exclusive agreement with Delta. If they are any good at their jobs at all (and they are), they had to anticipate that Delta would at least have to consider an all-out hub at SEA
. Assuming they did know that, they obviously felt up to the challenge. So game on.
By the way, there is still a ton of connecting traffic moving between the two carriers. Scuttling the partnership completely incentivizes Delta to invest in SEA
even more. That is why I think there is a chance that this relationship never fully goes away. Delta doesn't want to fly from every small market to SEA
doesn't want them to either.[Edited 2014-06-13 07:54:31]
[Edited 2014-06-13 07:56:52]