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richierich
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:30 pm

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 46):
Please correct me. The Mint consists of 16 seats? The rest of the aircraft is configured in coach? If that's the case, is it feasible that B6 may eventually offer the service on all Airbus aircraft? I don't think the Embraer could support it. Or, they could fit the mint product in say 2 rows on the Embraer.

You are correct, Mint service is 16 seats in some of the A321s only - JetBlue has not announced any plans to convert A320s or E190s to any sort of Mint layout.
As for your original question, the answer is that it has not been announced. However, considering the current frequencies, in my opinion it is likely to be just a replacement of current service with an upgauge to Mint-configured A321s.
None shall pass!!!!
 
klkla
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:35 pm

Could these extra routes just be about increasing utilization as they add a few more frames with the Mint configuration?
 
Abeam79
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:37 pm

Quoting afcjets (Reply 45):

"now if only they would add a LAS-FLL I would be happy. "
Not sure if you mean by the service for mint, but JetBlue already served Fll-las on their A320 all Y and e.m.s. seats.
 
Max752
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:50 pm

I really think some posters in this thread are over evaluating this move by B6. As an earlier poster put it, "this isn't an aggressive expansion, this allocation of resources". I think that's more a motivator than premium traffic as some of mentioned.

There are a few routes receiving Mint service motivated by premium traffic, for example, SEA-JFK/BOS and JFK-LAS. Though all three of those routes are also likely part of aircraft shuffling. The FLL routes are also probably half premium pax, half aircraft reallocation. B6 is competitive with pricing and service. For that reason, I doubt that they will have any trouble filling Mint on pretty much any of these routes.

Definitely not an aggressive expansion though, it is a much-welcomed expansion of their phenomenal premium product.

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jetbluefan1
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:56 am

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 34):
This isn't aggressive expansion, this is a STUPID allocation of resources.

AS just entered the JFK-SEA market last year and they matched B6 in frequency, with a better time (morning departure) and they have an afternoon codeshare flight with AA.

That tells you B6 has been spinning its wheels in this market for years. Just to spin the wheels.

Why do you believe this is a stupid allocation of resources? Mint has significantly improved margins on routes it has been deployed. Why not try to increase margins on more routes?

I agree that B6's frequency in some of these markets has been anemic. But B6 management has publicly stated, time and again, that it has trouble retaining customers on its transcon markets that otherwise fly it short- and medium-haul specifically because of its lack of a premium product. That is why Mint was created in the first place.

Look at B6 on JFK-LAX/SFO pre- and post-Mint:

Pre-Mint:
JFK-LAX 5x
JFK-SFO 4x

Post-Mint
JFK-LAX 10x
JFK-SFO 6x

Mint changes the economics of the plane. By selling a portion of the cabin at significantly higher fares, it all of a sudden makes it a bit easier to fill up the rest of the plane profitably. In theory, deploying Mint in a market like JFK-SEA may allow B6 to increase frequencies profitably.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 41):
No but that market can support it especially with $600 OW fares and a lot of premium feed from TATL partners in J/F. Finally, these aircraft will also be used for the LAX/SFO flights which are Mint as well so it is about fleet utilization as well.

Personally, I don't see much demand for this product from an O&D perspective, except for perhaps around the winter holidays (when people are paying through the nose to fly anyway).

Your point about TATL partners with premium feed in J/F is valid, but I wonder how much this really affects purchasing patterns. Will not having a lie-flat seat and a meal on a 3-hour flight be a deal breaker for someone just coming in on a 10-hour flight from DXB? (That's a serious question...I don't have an answer.) Will the extra revenue that a TATL partner pays B6 for a Mint seat instead of a Core seat offset the lost revenue from not selling additional Core seats?

Quoting Max752 (Reply 53):
Definitely not an aggressive expansion though, it is a much-welcomed expansion of their phenomenal premium product.

I agree it's not expansion "per se" (although frequencies have not yet been announced, so this remains to be confirmed). But it definitely changes the competitive dynamics in the market.
 
MSPNWA
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:19 am

Quoting DCAYOW (Reply 17):
SAN has a high median household income - in top 10 nationally.

I'm not finding it that high? Instead I'm finding it at a modest #27 in median income. I'm sure there's some at the low end dragged it down, but still, that limits the demand.

Quoting DCAYOW (Reply 49):
SAN pays the same taxes as those in LA or San Francisco so I don't see your point. Have you been to La Jolla? Plenty of disposable income for JetBlue to compete.

You can't just compare it to the rest of California. You have to compare it nationwide. I'm guessing that the cost of living in SAN is higher than most of the country.

If you put three things together - population, median income, and cost of living - the case for Mint service to SAN isn't strong.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 48):
Household income is a pretty good indicator of premium air travel demand. Mint is cheaper than AA/US/DL first in most cases.

Well the income at SAN isn't particularly strong, so...

Mint at a price point anywhere near domestic first is a failure economically. It means a lot of money was left on the table.

Quoting jetbluefan1 (Reply 54):
Why do you believe this is a stupid allocation of resources? Mint has significantly improved margins on routes it has been deployed. Why not try to increase margins on more routes?

I question the margins Mint provides. It's not hard to do the basic math. Mint at $599 one-way has to be a disaster on a RASM basis compared to more dense configurations. B6 has to rely on much higher fares to make it the best configuration for RASM/CASM. I don't see how in the world there's enough demand from these new cities to demand full cabins in the $800-1000 range one-way.
 
TW870
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:55 am

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 33):

I see them all as a loss-leading shot across the bow at the new AS/VX. If you can't buy them, beat them. I don't see any of these markets worthy of Mint on a profit basis.

I think this is true - but it is still good news. I welcome any move to up the stakes of the game, because the status quo is unimpressive. Once DL dropped D1 from SEA-JFK, for example, we are left with regular domestic F on the 739 or re-configured 752 domestic. It is reliable, safe, clean, and with great crew - but unimpressive in terms of hard product, food, booze, and personal spacel. Any move to push the established players to step up their game is welcome.
 
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KLM11
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:01 am

Great news, and not surprising after the recent AS/VX announcement. I too will be curious to see how DL and AA respond.

Household median income within the greater SAN area greatly surpasses most U.S. cities. It's not just La Jolla, R.S.F./F.R., or Del Mar that have very high levels of wealth, consider CLD (with a practically unused state of the art terminal), Encinitas, Poway, Coronado, Point Loma, and many parts of downtown. It's called "America's Finest City" for a reason.

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atcsundevil
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:16 am

I wonder if it'll be possible if in the future this continued expansion of their premium product might lead to a more fleet-wide expansion. Mint was originally a niche product designed to compete with UA p.s., DL, AA, and VS, but its success and expansion might prove that it could function on a much larger scale.

It would be a significant deviation from their historical business model, but it's clear their customers crave this product. Obviously it's been profitable or they wouldn't commit further resources.

The next few years at B6 will be interesting: if/how can they continue to expand a premium product (Mint or otherwise), and how that translates to a future potential with transatlantic and/or widebody service. Could a premium product eventually compete and be profitable on more than just a subfleet? I think B6 has a very exciting 5-10 years ahead of them.
 
flybyguy
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:33 am

With the purchase of VX, does this mean that AS will now attempt a lie-flat transcon service product? They will be the only major with a domestic first product but no lie flat service between JFK - LAX/SFO.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
 
n7371f
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:39 am

To heck with what Delta or AA will do - what about AS? Their first class reminds me of NWA in the mid-2000's. Actually wait, NWA had double the seat recline as AS in F. B6 is obviously figuring AS will nuke the Virgin product, which everyone else pretty much expects, and will be left with a low-grade first class product at first class prices.
 
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:08 am

Quoting jetbluefan1 (Reply 21):
Quoting jfk777 (Reply 18):
Boston to PBI and FLL would also like a premium class, so when does MINT do 3 hours ? Florida to JFK can certainly support a Business Class for Jetblue.

The issue I see is that the real estate that Mint takes up is better used by Core seats for a 3-hour flight. Does anyone really need a lie-flat seat and a 3-course meal for a 3-hour flight?

The meal service would be modified for shorter flight times. JB could come up with a short haul version of mint with seats reclining less.
 
Travelmanager
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:27 am

Quoting n7371f (Reply 60):
B6 is obviously figuring AS will nuke the Virgin product, which everyone else pretty much expects, and will be left with a low-grade first class product at first class prices.

Have you actually compared their prices to the big 3? DL, AA, UA are often at least $1,000 more for a round trip between SEA-JFK in First. Product wise, AS is very completive in F with a 739 vs the same plane from the big 3. The Alaska product has to viewed holistically. It is what it is. The SEA FF crowd loves them. Top tier flyers get upgraded very very often, they pay no change fees, and the mileage program is fantastic.

Regarding the DL attempt with flat bed to JFK. I have to assume that the reason this failed is that the launched it with a 767. Too many seats in J. I expect that they will respond with their flat bed 757s if they can, to defend the market. They didn't have those when they tried BE to Seattle a couple years ago.

It will be interesting to see what product changes DL might make in BOS-SEA.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:09 am

This is great news for B6. They'll certainly have the cash to keep expanding.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 18):
Florida to JFK can certainly support a Business Class for Jetblue.

I'm really surprised B6 didn't start that route to 'seed' the demand for Mint at FLL. That way the current Mint customer base at JFK would help 'jump start' the Mint service in FLL to be followed by LAX and SFO.

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 34):
AS just entered the JFK-SEA market last year and they matched B6 in frequency, with a better time (morning departure) and they have an afternoon codeshare flight with AA.

I would hope AS could match from their home base to the large customer demand of JFK.

Quoting Travelmanager (Reply 62):
Regarding the DL attempt with flat bed to JFK. I have to assume that the reason this failed is that the launched it with a 767. Too many seats in J.

Agreed. Too high of a cost per flight for the quantity of seats offered too.

Quoting Travelmanager (Reply 62):
I expect that they will respond with their flat bed 757s if they can, to defend the market.

Compared to the A321, the 757 is still a high cost per flight airframe. There is a reason other airlines are retiring them.

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 34):
This isn't aggressive expansion, this is a STUPID allocation of resources.

Why? I think it will be quite profitable and defend B6's JFK, BOS, and FLL hubs from AS/VX. There are multiple flights being added where I'll be very tempted to upgrade to Mint (I'm cheap enough and honest enough to admit I might not upgauge... but it will be tempting).

Quoting mia (Reply 15):
I was expecting a more aggressive announcement. I guess I will just hold out.

Wait for the A321NEO, that will change the game. I personally expect B6 to order the A321LR and take Mint TATL. With hubs in BOS and JFK, it only makes sense.


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ASA
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:32 pm

This is awesome!!! Can't wait to experiMINT on the BOS-SEA route! 
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 63):
Wait for the A321NEO, that will change the game. I personally expect B6 to order the A321LR and take Mint TATL. With hubs in BOS and JFK, it only makes sense

Definitely happening ... can't wait to see MINTy fresh A321RTs going TATL !!!

ok enough wordplay for a day  
 
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jfklganyc
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:53 pm

Quoting flybyguy (Reply 59):
They will be the only major with a domestic first product but no lie flat service between JFK - LAX/SFO.

As of last Monday, they purchased a major without a lie flat between JFK/LAX-SFO. They bought VX knowing that.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 63):

I would hope AS could match from their home base to the large customer demand of JFK.

So what does it say about B6 that for 10 years they have been flying 1 (seasonally 2) flights from their home base with large customer demand of JFK?

It says that 1) the route isn't very profitable for them and/or 2) they aren't willing to devote a lot of resources to the route and are satisfied with a token presence as an investment to their route networks from JFK and BOS

Either way, the addition of Mint prior to the ramping up to say 3 flights is a weird way to show commitment.

JFK-SEA tomorrow

DL499 JFK 07:00 SEA 10:25 6:25 Yes 75W etkt 0
AS007 JFK 07:20 SEA 10:37 6:17 Yes 739 etkt 0
DL485 JFK 10:45 SEA 13:59 6:14 Yes 75W etkt 0
B6263 JFK 13:59 SEA 17:13 6:14 Yes 320 etkt 0
DL491 JFK 16:55 SEA 20:24 6:29 Yes 739 etkt 0
AA045 JFK 18:30 SEA 21:50 6:20 Yes 738 etkt 0
DL2800 JFK 19:25 SEA 22:50 6:25 Yes 757 etkt 0


SEA-JFK tomorrow

DL1336 SEA 07:49 JFK 16:00 5:11 Yes 739 etkt 0
AA044 SEA 07:45 JFK 16:13 5:28 Yes 738 etkt 0
DL2413 SEA 11:27 JFK 19:50 5:23 Yes 75W etkt 0
DL1680 SEA 14:50 JFK 23:05 5:15 Yes 75W etkt 0
B6264 SEA 21:50 JFK 05:56+1 5:06 Yes 320 etkt 0
AS018 SEA 21:35 JFK 06:05+1 5:30 Yes 739 etkt 0
DL1253 SEA 23:40 JFK 07:56+1 5:16 Yes 757 etkt 0


How relevant is B6 in this market? How will the addition of Mint make B6 more relevant in this market?


SAN-JFK

DL1757 SAN 06:30 JFK 15:05 5:35 Yes 73H etkt 0
AA094 SAN 07:45 JFK 16:12 5:27 Yes 738 etkt 0
DL1918 SAN 11:56 JFK 20:30 5:34 Yes 73H etkt 0
B6190 SAN 13:57 JFK 22:20 5:23 Yes 320 etkt 0
B6090 SAN 20:53 JFK 05:00+1 5:07 Yes 320 etkt 0
DL2067 SAN 21:35 JFK 06:04+1 5:29 Yes 73H etkt 0


All competitors have a morning departure to JFK. B6? 2 pm. How does Mint make B6 more relevant in this market? They can't get you to JFK before 1020pm unless you take a redeye.


Furthermore, there is a real question beyond B6 relevancy in these markets. The question of premium demand for lie flat beds in markets beyond LAX/SFO from JFK will also be tested.


It will be interesting to see how this plays out. But it amounts to a kid that didn't get his way throwing a tantrum.

-AS will still have more frequency from JFK (with AA) with a better schedule on both ends
-AS matches B6 frequency from BOS
-DL passes both from JFK-SEA
-DL passes B6 on JFK-PDX
-DL passes B6 on SAN
-AA has a better schedule on SAN-JFK


The tantrum doesn't change any of the above facts.
 
MesaFlyGuy
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:36 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 65):

B6 is not adding Mint to PDX, so it's not relevant here.

I'm still confused as to what bothers you so much about this. Is it that JetBlue is expanding it's premium product to more routes, or is it that it's better than Delta's premium product?  
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sxf24
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:11 pm

Quoting MesaFlyGuy (Reply 66):
I'm still confused as to what bothers you so much about this. Is it that JetBlue is expanding it's premium product to more routes, or is it that it's better than Delta's premium product?

I think what bothers people is that this move does not appear logical.

- A super-premium product is being added to markets where, historically, there has not been sufficient demand to support such a product.
- B6 has, historically, demonstrated that it will sell the super-premium product at loss-leading prices below the competition in the two largest US markets with established super-premium demand.
- The red-eye heavy eastbound schedules in the new markets are not oriented to premium passengers.
- All of this makes it challenging to attract a premium over established carriers in the new markets.
- Expanding the Mint product will increase B6's costs, eroding one of their main competitive advantages.

While this move is great for passengers that will buy-up to a Mint seat, it has the makings of a financial disaster for B6. The announcement 18+ months is advance is also interesting and makes it look like B6 is desperate to compete against AS/VX. It will make B6 more competitive, but it will continue to kill yields for everyone in the transcon market.
 
commavia
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:19 pm

Aviation Week quotes AA CEO Doug Parker at the CAPA Americas Conference in Las Vegas yesterday as saying, in response to JetBlue's adding Mint in these new transcon markets, that AA was likely to expand its 3-class transcon offering to additional markets at this point. As he said, while "the [JFK-LAX/SFO] markets are great for [AA's A321T] ... it's unclear whether it makes sense" in some of these other markets given that it requires "a very high concentration of people who are willing to pay for that product."
 
a380787
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:23 pm

I really don't understand the negativity here. It's not like B6 stole your life savings to go fund this Mint expansion program. If they succeed and manage to win wallet share over the competitors, then good for them. If they fail, it doesn't cost them THAT much to reconfigure the planes back to all-Core.

It's only 16 seats in the Mint cabin, and doesn't take up THAT much space. It's not like the Mint 321 is some sort of CASM monster the way AA A321T are. I see a lot of potential upside gain for B6 with only limited downside risks that are managed.

We should really stop looking at the landscape today to immediately judge this Mint expansion. 5 years ago if you listen to the convention wisdom, the premium transcons *must* go to JFK. Today, UA is completely shattering this long-held notion.
 
sxf24
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:31 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 69):
I really don't understand the negativity here. It's not like B6 stole your life savings to go fund this Mint expansion program. If they succeed and manage to win wallet share over the competitors, then good for them. If they fail, it doesn't cost them THAT much to reconfigure the planes back to all-Core.

It's only 16 seats in the Mint cabin, and doesn't take up THAT much space. It's not like the Mint 321 is some sort of CASM monster the way AA A321T are. I see a lot of potential upside gain for B6 with only limited downside risks that are managed.

We should really stop looking at the landscape today to immediately judge this Mint expansion. 5 years ago if you listen to the convention wisdom, the premium transcons *must* go to JFK. Today, UA is completely shattering this long-held notion.

Actually, it does cost a lot to configure the airplanes in the first place and then reconfigure them again in the future. I don't know for sure, but my experience with reconfigurations would say probably $10M to take a delivery originally slated for all Core, put it into Mint and then go back to all Core in the future.

There are 37 more seats in the all Core configuration, which is a big hit to CASM. Granted, not nearly to the extent of AA's A321Ts. Then again, we know that AA makes a lot more money with those airplanes...

There are two different perspectives in this discussion: customer and business. This is a good move for customers, but a very risky business move, which could ultimately hurt B6's owners and employees, plus the financial health of B6's competitors.
 
a380787
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:50 pm

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 70):

There are 37 more seats in the all Core configuration, which is a big hit to CASM. Granted, not nearly to the extent of AA's A321Ts. Then again, we know that AA makes a lot more money with those airplanes...

not to be splitting hairs, but my count shows a differential of 31 instead of 37 ...

They're trading 47 econ seats ("Coach") for 16 Mint, so as long as revenue commanded is 2.94x or greater, then they'll be ahead. If they fail and only manage to command 2.0x econ fare, that's an acceptable compromise. I think their fallback "Plan B" would be keeping the Mint seats but just asking for regular domestic F fares instead of Mint-level flat bed fares.
 
peanuts
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:06 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 68):
Aviation Week quotes AA CEO Doug Parker at the CAPA Americas Conference in Las Vegas yesterday as saying, in response to JetBlue's adding Mint in these new transcon markets, that AA was likely to expand its 3-class transcon offering to additional markets at this point. As he said, while "the [JFK-LAX/SFO] markets are great for [AA's A321T] ... it's unclear whether it makes sense" in some of these other markets given that it requires "a very high concentration of people who are willing to pay for that product."

That's interesting.
AA is probably in the best position to be the "multi-city-premium-transcon-king" if it wants to be.
I can maybe see JFK-SEA. I'm just not sure if that's a market willing to pay. Purely anecdotal: Seattle area folks make money, but they're Nordic frugal as can be. They'd rather go to REI and buy $400 hiking boots than sit in an overpriced seat.
They just spent differently.

The only other area I can think of is MIA-Transcon. But they own the market. So why? They don't need to stand out. So the question becomes, who wants to spend on the upgrade? Probably just MIA-LAX. Maybe two routes from BOS.

I can see AA jump in on JFK-SAN though. Then again in current A321T config probably not. And to change configurations on that aircraft and have different configs flying around is probably too cost prohibitive.

I don't think the response by AA can be an automatic slam dunk. Mainly because what B6 is doing may not even bear out as they (B6) envision.

[Edited 2016-04-13 08:13:23]
 
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lightsaber
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:08 pm

The more I think about what B6 could do with a MINT A321LR, the more excited about their prospects.

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 65):
So what does it say about B6 that for 10 years they have been flying 1 (seasonally 2) flights from their home base with large customer demand of JFK?

That JFK needs another runway for more slots.  

B6 has expanded more to the carribean where more of there customers wanted. There profits have been good, but not AS good. I believe because of the lack of first. Some is giving pax too much free space (B6 needs to go back to 162 seats per A320 now that sharklets and engine PIPs make the range a non-issue).


After flying a few hours lie flat, I see no reason to upgrade to regular business class.

You do realize that the AS/VX acquisition only brings AS up to the scale of B6? If you are going to ask why B6 hasn't expanded more, you should answer first why the much older AS didn't either... AS and B6 have their loyal travelers. I love B6, my sister AS. Both will do well.

SEA for B6 is a sideshow. SFO will be the interesting airport to watch.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 71):
They're trading 47 econ seats ("Coach") for 16 Mint, so as long as revenue commanded is 2.94x or greater, then they'll be ahead. If they fail and only manage to command 2.0x econ fare, that's an acceptable compromise.

Due to great A321 economics, I think Mint will make money, Even if not as much as the 'high density' A321.

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jetbluefan1
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:15 pm

Quoting sxf24 (Reply 67):
While this move is great for passengers that will buy-up to a Mint seat, it has the makings of a financial disaster for B6.

I still don't see how you get to this point. Every indication thus far has shown that Mint is margin accretive...unless you think B6 management is lying. They have said this time and again on earnings calls and at aviation conferences. It is way too premature to conclude that it "has the makings of a financial disaster for B6" when the product has actually proven otherwise.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 71):
They're trading 47 econ seats ("Coach") for 16 Mint, so as long as revenue commanded is 2.94x or greater, then they'll be ahead. If they fail and only manage to command 2.0x econ fare, that's an acceptable compromise. I think their fallback "Plan B" would be keeping the Mint seats but just asking for regular domestic F fares instead of Mint-level flat bed fares.

2.94x if both cabins are at 100% load factor. In reality, the Mint load factor is higher than B6's system average. Many Mint cabins are sold out days - if not weeks - in advance, thus indicating 1) high load factors and 2) room to increase ticket prices.
 
Travelmanager
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:25 pm

The negativity is interesting. I think that he competition is fantastic and applaud B6 for bringing the product to market. I hope it works out for them. The way they price it I think it could work. However, it also depends on how other carriers react. I wonder how much they make on mint though.
 
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Polot
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:26 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 73):
That JFK needs another runway for more slots.

What JFK really needs is for LGA to sink into Flushing Bay/the East River to clear up air space around the airport. I'm not sure adding another runway at JFK would actually accomplish all that much.
 
tjh8402
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:31 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 69):
It's only 16 seats in the Mint cabin, and doesn't take up THAT much space. It's not like the Mint 321 is some sort of CASM monster the way AA A321T are. I see a lot of potential upside gain for B6 with only limited downside risks that are managed.
Quoting sxf24 (Reply 70):

There are 37 more seats in the all Core configuration, which is a big hit to CASM. Granted, not nearly to the extent of AA's A321Ts. Then again, we know that AA makes a lot more money with those airplanes...
Quoting a380787 (Reply 71):

They're trading 47 econ seats ("Coach") for 16 Mint, so as long as revenue commanded is 2.94x or greater, then they'll be ahead. If they fail and only manage to command 2.0x econ fare, that's an acceptable compromise. I think their fallback "Plan B" would be keeping the Mint seats but just asking for regular domestic F fares instead of Mint-level flat bed fares.

Compared to AA's A321s with 16 domestic F seats, the Mint configuration A321s only lose 3 rows of E+ seating (the mint seats go all the way to the 2R/2L doors whereas AA fits 3 rows of MCE behind their F cabin between the 1L/1R and 2L/2R doors, so it is rather space efficient compared to a standard domestic A321. On the standard B6 A321, that space is all E, with 53 seats, so the relative seat loss is much higher.

Interestingly, at 159 seats, the Mint A321 has basically the exact same number of seat as the standard 737-800s that the big 3 + AS all love and cherish. How much more expensive is the A321 to operate than a 738? Wonder how much of a premium B6 will have to charge for those 16 Mint seats vs what the others are charging for their 16 domestic F seats to make up that difference? Also, will B6 able to offset the A321s higher DOC by getting people to pay for Mint, whereas those 738 domestic F seats are mostly filled with elites on Y tickets being upgraded?
 
MAH4546
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:38 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 72):
That's interesting.
AA is probably in the best position to be the "multi-city-premium-transcon-king" if it wants to be.
I can maybe see JFK-SEA. I'm just not sure if that's a market willing to pay. Purely anecdotal: Seattle area folks make money, but they're Nordic frugal as can be. They'd rather go to REI and buy $400 hiking boots than sit in an overpriced seat.
They just spent differently.

The only other area I can think of is MIA-Transcon. But they own the market. So why? They don't need to stand out. So the question becomes, who wants to spend on the upgrade? Probably just MIA-LAX. Maybe two routes from BOS.

I can see AA jump in on JFK-SAN though. Then again in current A321T config probably not. And to change configurations on that aircraft and have different configs flying around is probably too cost prohibitive.

I don't think the response by AA can be an automatic slam dunk. Mainly because what B6 is doing may not even bear out as they (B6) envision.

If AA wants to compete, it should create a an A321 sub-fleet with 16F using four rows of the J seat and then the rest Y; fly those from Miami, Boston, D.C. to California, and the secondary West Coast markets from JFK.

Already most of the MIA-LAX premium capacity is lie flats, and those flights are a lot harder to get upgrades on in my experience. The daily MIA-LAX 77W is an impossible upgrade even with 50 something J seats and another 8 in F, upgrade lists are 20-35 deep with nobody clearing. I've stopped even gambling for an upgrade and just buy the J seat since the difference in fare is reasonable. Maybe others are doing the same, hence why it's so difficult.
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jetwet1
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:48 pm

Quoting Abeam79 (Reply 52):
Not sure if you mean by the service for mint, but JetBlue already served Fll-las on their A320 all Y and e.m.s. seats.

Sorry, I should have been clearer, yes I am referring to B6 adding Mint to the LAS-FLL service.

Quoting Travelmanager (Reply 75):
The negativity is interesting. I think that he competition is fantastic and applaud B6 for bringing the product to market. I hope it works out for them. The way they price it I think it could work. However, it also depends on how other carriers react. I wonder how much they make on mint though.

Isn't it, I will admit I am a B6 fanboy, not so much for their in the air product, but for their customer service.

Though I find their in air product to be ok, they very rarely are an option for my transcons due to the limited premium seating, for ME, a one stop on DL in first is better than a non stop on B6 in EMS seats. It's purely a comfort thing, though the DL first seats are not that great, they do beat sitting in coach which for me (long legs) is not a great experience.
 
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chrisnh
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:58 pm

For analysts and observers alike, B6 has a glaring way of broadcasting their success with these new routes: How many of them stay A321s. At the first sign of a switch, the chorus of 'FAIL!!!' will be deafening.
 
OB1504
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:06 pm

Quoting Osubuckeyes (Reply 28):
This is very interesting by B6 as no other airline has tried this product outside of the core transcon markets besides, DL in SEA, and AA putting widebodies on key MIA-LAX frequencies (though I don't believe there is additional service).

When a 3-class 777 is on the MIA-LAX route, the service standards are the same as on the A321T on JFK-LAX/SFO.

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 46):
Please correct me. The Mint consists of 16 seats? The rest of the aircraft is configured in coach? If that's the case, is it feasible that B6 may eventually offer the service on all Airbus aircraft? I don't think the Embraer could support it. Or, they could fit the mint product in say 2 rows on the Embraer.

They're lie-flat beds. It's overkill for shorter routes where literally everyone else is flying recliners in F.

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 78):
If AA wants to compete, it should create a an A321 sub-fleet with 16F using four rows of the J seat and then the rest Y; fly those from Miami, Boston, D.C. to California, and the secondary West Coast markets from JFK.

Isn't this more or less what is already being unintentionally accomplished by flying an international 757 on some of these routes? Granted, they're not true lie-flats.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:16 pm

Quoting jetbluefan1 (Reply 74):
Every indication thus far has shown that Mint is margin accretive...unless you think B6 management is lying.

All indications B6 should have offered a premium cabin a decade ago. B6 has a premium following, they just need the product to buy.

Quoting jetbluefan1 (Reply 74):
Many Mint cabins are sold out days - if not weeks - in advance, thus indicating 1) high load factors and 2) room to increase ticket prices.

Every time I looked there weren't enough seats

Quoting polot (Reply 76):
'm not sure adding another runway at JFK would actually accomplish all that much.

I disagree. Let us agree to disagree on that. My opinion is based on the high peak demand. People fly when they want to fly.

Lightsaber
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MAH4546
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:16 pm

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 81):
Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 78):
If AA wants to compete, it should create a an A321 sub-fleet with 16F using four rows of the J seat and then the rest Y; fly those from Miami, Boston, D.C. to California, and the secondary West Coast markets from JFK.

Isn't this more or less what is already being unintentionally accomplished by flying an international 757 on some of these routes? Granted, they're not true lie-flats.

Only MIA-LAX sees the international 75L.
a.
 
sxf24
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:45 pm

Quoting jetbluefan1 (Reply 74):
I still don't see how you get to this point. Every indication thus far has shown that Mint is margin accretive...unless you think B6 management is lying. They have said this time and again on earnings calls and at aviation conferences. It is way too premature to conclude that it "has the makings of a financial disaster for B6" when the product has actually proven otherwise.

Margin accretive is somewhat subjective, though I don't doubt that Mint brings in more revenue on JFK-LAX/SFO than the all Core product did. I really don't see how that supports or justifies the expansion of Mint to other markets.
 
tortugamon
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:30 pm

Quoting jetbluefan1 (Reply 54):
Pre-Mint:
JFK-LAX 5x
JFK-SFO 4x

Post-Mint
JFK-LAX 10x
JFK-SFO 6x

Great info. Its great to see that growth. It does seem like B6 is trying to carve out a transcontinental story here to their marketing. Makes sense, I know a lot of people who seem to spend most of their time either in California or NY.

Quoting jetbluefan1 (Reply 54):
Personally, I don't see much demand for this product from an O&D perspective, except for perhaps around the winter holidays (when people are paying through the nose to fly anyway).

Well we will see I do think there is a decent amount as there is a ton of money in both areas and chartered jets are increasingly common.

Quoting jetbluefan1 (Reply 54):
Your point about TATL partners with premium feed in J/F is valid, but I wonder how much this really affects purchasing patterns. Will not having a lie-flat seat and a meal on a 3-hour flight be a deal breaker for someone just coming in on a 10-hour flight from DXB? (That's a serious question...I don't have an answer.) Will the extra revenue that a TATL partner pays B6 for a Mint seat instead of a Core seat offset the lost revenue from not selling additional Core seats?

Yeah this announcement won't help that cause much except for European partners. The ME carriers will have non-stop flights to the Mint destinations (except FLL) anyway but down the road as it expands to other markets I could see F/J transfer passengers getting Mint service on B6 as an upcharge from Y and something I think the ME3 partners would support.

Quoting n7371f (Reply 60):
B6 is obviously figuring AS will nuke the Virgin product, which everyone else pretty much expects, and will be left with a low-grade first class product at first class prices.

I think that is what they are planning on yes.

Quoting Travelmanager (Reply 62):
Have you actually compared their prices to the big 3? DL, AA, UA are often at least $1,000 more for a round trip between SEA-JFK in First.

Solid point but I don't the the pricing on F being cheaper matters all that much to that consumer. Its about the quality of the offering both in frequency and quality along with FF status of course. 'A cheaper F experience' isn't exactly a rallying cry when especially when the B6 product is cheaper than the US3 anyway.

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 65):
-AA has a better schedule on SAN-JFK

The tantrum doesn't change any of the above facts.

The quality of the product and, in large part, the pricing should benefit B6 and I know many FFs that will pay more for B6 over the US3 and the product quality supports that as well.

Quoting a380787 (Reply 69):
I really don't understand the negativity here. It's not like B6 stole your life savings to go fund this Mint expansion program. If they succeed and manage to win wallet share over the competitors, then good for them. If they fail, it doesn't cost them THAT much to reconfigure the planes back to all-Core.

Agreed. This is a good marketing exercise and if it doesn't work out they can always tear about the seats or use the aircraft on other routes. There really isn't much to lose here.

tortugamon
 
commavia
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:32 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 85):
The quality of the product and, in large part, the pricing should benefit B6 and I know many FFs that will pay more for B6 over the US3 and the product quality supports that as well.

There's give and there is take. All else equal, a quality product should, indeed, attract a premium. On the flip side, I wouldn't be surprised if the AA, Delta and United will in some (perhaps many) cases be able to attract a premium of their own, despite an arguably inferior product, given their overall broader networks which have substantial value to corporate customers.
 
tortugamon
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:42 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 86):
There's give and there is take. All else equal, a quality product should, indeed, attract a premium. On the flip side, I wouldn't be surprised if the AA, Delta and United will in some (perhaps many) cases be able to attract a premium of their own, despite an arguably inferior product, given their overall broader networks which have substantial value to corporate customers.

Agreed and maybe that will all weigh itself out. On the Y side similar differences and dynamics are found.But the US3 product is a known entity that isn't changing all that much on the routes mentioned.

Bottom line I think the product is different enough to attract attention and with the removal of the West Coast competitor that best mirrors B6's product, jetBlue is seeing reason to invest and grow in these markets and I think they will be successful.

tortugamon
 
twinotter
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:17 am

Quoting MesaFlyGuy (Reply 66):

I'm still confused as to what bothers you so much about this

Anything Jetblue does annoys jfklganyc.
 
coolian2
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:58 am

Quoting twinotter (Reply 88):
Anything Jetblue does annoys jfklganyc.

Pilot, based in NYC. Why do I think he flies planes with a red and blue tail?
Q300/ATR72-600/737-200/-300/-400/-700/-800/A320/767-200/-300/757-200/777-300ER/
747-200/-300/-400/ER/A340-300/A380-800/MD-83/-88/CRJ-700/-900
 
JAAlbert
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:17 am

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 4):
What's the driver of premium traffic into SAN?

I'm sure it's the fact that I live in San Diego. hehehe. Okay, so maybe there's another reason.

I am very excited about a premium first class product between SAN-JFK. A lie-flat will be great on those overnight flights. The article didn't say whether every flight between SAN and JFK/BOS will have mint.
 
n7371f
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:03 am

Quoting Travelmanager (Reply 62):
Have you actually compared their prices to the big 3? DL, AA, UA are often at least $1,000 more for a round trip between SEA-JFK in First. Product wise, AS is very completive in F with a 739 vs the same plane from the big 3. The Alaska product has to viewed holistically. It is what it is. The SEA FF crowd loves them. Top tier flyers get upgraded very very often, they pay no change fees, and the mileage program is fantastic.

Absolutely. But since I'm within 3-5 day travel, AS prices out the same.

Agreed with you on the no change fees. Huge advantage.

Completely disagree with you on top-tier flyers getting upgraded very often. Based on colleagues who are 75k MVP and a brother in the same category, their percentage is far below what I am as a DL Diamond on DL. 25-35 percentage points last time we compared notes.

And, yes, it is what it is and SEA FF loves it. Agree completely. And I can tell you first-handed that the DL Leadership doesn't get the love affair between SEA and AS regarding hard product. I've countered that the frequent flier program at AS is so much better (minus upgrades), that it favors the product more.
 
DCAYOW
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:05 pm

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 55):
I'm not finding it that high? Instead I'm finding it at a modest #27 in median income. I'm sure there's some at the low end dragged it down, but still, that limits the demand.

I use the media market definition of median household income, which is a better gauge than the census because it measures effective buying power. In those rankings San Diego figures very high.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 55):
You can't just compare it to the rest of California. You have to compare it nationwide. I'm guessing that the cost of living in SAN is higher than most of the country.

If you put three things together - population, median income, and cost of living - the case for Mint service to SAN isn't strong.

I only compared it to the rest of California because the poster inferred that San Diegan's wouldn't pay for Mint because they live in an tax-happy state. But that doesn't explain why San Franciscans and Angelinos can pay, but somehow San Diegans cannot. It is a false argument.

Right now the average fares between LAX-JFK are about 18% higher than SAN-JFK, but one of the reasons for this is the premium availability on the LAX-JFK segments.

When you compare LAX-EWR and SAN-EWR where similar products exist, the SAN-EWR passenger pays about 10% more than the LAX-EWR passenger on average.

Regarding BOS, SAN-BOS and SEA-BOS have essentially the same average fare.

[Edited 2016-04-14 12:05:49]
Retorne ao céu...
 
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KLM11
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RE: B6 To Expand Mint To FLL, SAN, LAS, SEA

Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:36 am

Quoting DCAYOW (Reply 92):
I only compared it to the rest of California because the poster inferred that San Diegan's wouldn't pay for Mint because they live in an tax-happy state. But that doesn't explain why San Franciscans and Angelinos can pay, but somehow San Diegans cannot. It is a false argument.

   It's a statement made without supporting validity. Of course San Diego can warrant the upgraded service, it's a larger city than SFO. Many on this forum seem to forget that (Population in CA: LA is ~4M, SD is ~1.4M, SJC third at ~1M, and SFO 4th at ~900K). San Diego is overlooked by airlines who prefer to centralize ops 120 miles northwest at LAX, IMHO. Sure, a single runway isn't helping expansion matters but the fact is that there is plenty of wealth spread around SD to make it at least a justifiable "attempt" by B6. Anyone who thinks otherwise should visit "America's Finest City."

KLM11
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