|Quoting rtalk25 (Reply 212):|
The crew base positioning might be helping favorability of F9 being on some routes over others. In the case of CLE, since F9 isn't keeping one there right?, I do wonder if CLE-SEA and other routes that were once attempted at CLE have a slim shot of returning back online.
Whatever anyone hoped, it was always unlikely that CLE
would become a full crew base because of the winter weather. Snowstorms at DEN
can bring the airline to its knees and the same would be true of CLE
, whereas MCO
is close to weatherproof.
Since this is a thread about CLE
- not Frontier - I'll try and limit my observations to CLE
, and say that it was a considerable gamble by Frontier. All of the airline's previous attempts at a focus city outside DEN
had not worked (with the possible and unlikely exception of the disregarded TTN
was unexpected, both to observers and to Frontier - the airline had to scramble and rearrange other schedules to find aircraft for it - and at the time, I don't think anyone had any idea of just how extensive the changes at this new Frontier would be. As we have now found out, it wasn't going to be just DEN
, although anyone could be forgiven for thinking - originally - that it would be that.
It was also a gamble because no one could guess how passengers would react to the concept of ULCC. To a real extent, CLE
was a test of that reaction.
The sometimes forgotten link in all this may be Bill Franke, who is bringing all his formidable airline experience to the equation, including his experience at Spirit. I don't think Frontier will be just a duplication of Spirit, but that he will take on board stuff he learned there, the good and the bad.
I can't predict the future, so I don't even try. I find it especially difficult this winter because of the fleet situation, and the fairly dramatic shift to larger aircraft. Originally the plan was that 12 x A319's would be leaving the fleet in 1Q/2016 - Franke's pursuit of lower CASM - which would mean considerable reductions in service across the board because new aircraft aren't coming in at the same pace. I believe that number has reduced slightly, because of the deal with GECAS, but even so, I don't take the present winter schedule as representative, of now or of future winters, at CLE
becomes one of the first cities to get the new A321 - to MCO
- in spite of the competition from Spirit and others.