BigPlaneGuy13
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Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:03 am

As a Phoenix native, I am wondering if AS could possibly add more service to PHX. Currently, the airline only operates to SEA, PDX, and PAE. Given the amount of traffic between PHX and LAX/SFO, can AS expand there and compete?

There's been talk in this foru by others that perhaps AS should restructure its PDX hub in an effort to free up slots in SEA. (i.e. connecting Alaska traffic through) Is this feasible?

AS begins to get its MAX9 aircraft this year as well. How will this help?

Lastly, as seen in the B6/AS rumor thread, many people believe that AS doesn't bolster enough brand recognition outside of the pacific northwest. Do you think that means AS should stick to the west coast or be more adventurous?

Also, I'll likely get a lot of flame for this and this stirs the pot, but I think that Alaska would be an interesting airline to buy SY. This allows them to compete with DL in a new market, grow their presence in a new part of the country, and add more 737s to their fleet.

I'd love to discuss all of these types of scenarios and then some. AS's smaller ops and award contention make them a rather intriguing airline to follow.
 
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usxguy
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:28 pm

Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:05 am

I think we will see SFO-PHX become a regular route.

However, I think Alaska execs said their growth will be nearly flat (well 2%) for the next year.
xx
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:30 am

usxguy wrote:
I think we will see SFO-PHX become a regular route.

However, I think Alaska execs said their growth will be nearly flat (well 2%) for the next year.


I agree on PHXSFO, and that would offer connecting options as well which would help in high demand times. Also, AS is adding a 2nd frequency to PHXPAE which is nice.
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
wedgetail737
Posts: 4975
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2003 8:44 am

Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:16 am

I don't think there will be too many more AS PHX outside of what you see. There's too much AA and WN there, IMHO. If anything, you will see additional frequencies...like PAE-PHX. PAE is a special case because you have to sacrifice one flight for another since they are maxed out at PAE.

I think AS needs to concentrate on what they have now and build their market share. I imagine the 2% increase will be within their existing network like adding mainline flights on the SEA-DAL. Or add additional frequencies on existing routes...like SEA-MSY.
Last edited by wedgetail737 on Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
AWACSooner
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:35 am

Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:18 am

PDX-OKC and SAN-OKC. One flight a day from SEA is pathetic
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:32 am

AWACSooner wrote:
PDX-OKC and SAN-OKC. One flight a day from SEA is pathetic


For AS, that may be the only flight that makes business sense for them. Is there really a market for AS beyond the single E-175 nonstop? AS is truly an outsider in the lower Midwest.
 
NWADTWE16
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Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:36 am

no more mergers please (even though I sadly agree AS & B6 will likely end up together), and SY has a loyal following in MSP, as well as an impressive growth strategy going on. Alaska is hanging thin, and will be for a few more years
I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list!
 
flyfresno
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Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:43 am

FAT-HNL
 
wedgetail737
Posts: 4975
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2003 8:44 am

Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:47 am

NWADTWE16 wrote:
no more mergers please (even though I sadly agree AS & B6 will likely end up together), and SY has a loyal following in MSP, as well as an impressive growth strategy going on. Alaska is hanging thin, and will be for a few more years


You'd just better hope some like F9 or NK doesn't go after B6. I doubt AS will pick up B6 anytime soon...AS can't afford it.
 
jplatts
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Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:57 am

AS could add service to CLT, CVG, CLE, BDL, JAX, and ORF since these are the top domestic destinations traveled to from SEA that aren't currently served by AS.
 
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Geminijets101
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Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:58 am

PDX-MIA/FLL
Cíao
 
YYZORD
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Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:26 pm

Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:30 am

SEA-YYZ, SEA-CLE, SEA-CVG, SEA-CLT, SEA-BDL, SEA-MIA
 
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SANFan
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 10:10 am

Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:30 am

Who knows what AS has in mind as far as route expansion at this point - time frame or possible routes? The whole range of questions about PDX vs. California remains unknown and is constantly being debated on A.net. (Hopefully not on this thread but I wouldn't be surprised if this one ends up there too.)

A year ago, I was pretty certain that AS would connect their CA hubs/focus cities with PHX; that would add SFO, SJC, LAX and SAN flights at Sky Harbor plus possibly SNA, SMF, and/or FAT. To be honest, I wouldn't have expected much more than those possibilities.

Today I don't count on that happening any time soon, or ever, or anything else in particular either. AS's new head of Network Planning is in position (I assume) but we can only wait to see what he/she is thinking.

bb
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:17 am

The general thinking has been, and continues to be, that for AS to be relevant, they have to offer nonstop service to the top ten destinations from each hub or focus city. I'd imagine that within the next 5 years you'll see multiple frequencies in the SFOPHX, LAXPHX, and SANPHX markets. That's the thinking regarding PHX at this point, and keep in mind that AS will be relocating to T3N once that project is complete.

Long-term, the goal is to get back to 4-6% annual growth, lower than the 6-8% growth AS has seen over the past 5-10 years, but far higher than the 2% growth taken while digesting and integrating VX into the system. There's also the fleet question, which will be answered before the end of the year. Another is the transcon market, and I think what may occur is that AS was and is content to not offer a premium transcon product on just premium routes like LAXJFK and SFOJFK, but as competitors test the waters in other, non-traditional markets like SEAJFK, SFOIAD, and so on, AS may decide that at that point the economies of scale for keeping a dedicated sub-fleet make more sense and dive into the market fully. But that remains to be seen, and the conservative planners at AS continue to believe that reliance on premium-heavy cabins on LAXJFK and so on expose those carriers to far greater risk when the inevitable economic downturn occurs.

AS is a conservative company, for the most part, and that's where the thought of building a recession-proof model comes from. We'll see in the next 18-36 months if or how things change should the economy change or should competitors begin expanding premium cabins outside JFK and LAX/SFO.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
Tailwinds
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Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:42 am

Structurally, what do they have going on?

In SFO, American moves from T2 to T1 in March 2020, which frees up several more gates which I think AS would get. Cities served by at least 3 AS hubs but not SFO include: ABQ, ANC, BOI, BUR, EUG, FAT, GEG, LIH, MSP, OMA, PHX, RNO, TUS.

SJC opens six new gates this month. I've no idea who gets those gates. Using the same criteria as before: ABQ, ANC, BOS, BWI, DCA, FAT, GEG, LAS, MCI, MCO, MSP, OMA, ORD, PHL, PHX, PSP, PVR, SLC.

SEA has no new gates until mid 2020, as the north satellite renovation closes old gates as it opens new.

In LAX, expansion is supposedly coming, but I have no ideas on any details. Perhaps it's related to or dependent on the new WN and UA terminals, which would make it years out.

PDX has the most available room, and can probably grow as much as the local economy can support.

ATL, DEN, and DFW are notable cities that AS only serves from SEA/PDX or only SEA. CLT I think is the most notable US city without AS presence.

Fleet wise, I think they have three 9Max scheduled for delivery through the end of the year. At the end of 1Q19 they had 237 mainline aircraft, which I think is ahead of a forecast they made in 2018. I'd guess they've postponed whatever those Maxes were going to do, so if/when that plane gets recertified they may have another 30 hours/day block initially.

In wild speculation... the cost to add a new, larger, fleet is extremely high for a company that has neither the gates or hangars readily available, to say nothing of sims, parts inventory, engine shops, and so on. But they do have the 321NEO now, and the 321LR is a plane that exists, and the 321XLR is a plane that might soon exist. 4700nm on an XLR could get NRT, ICN, LIM, DUB, LHR, CDG, FRA. From HNL it gets the entirety of North America, and the pacific rim to SYD and AKL. Even 4000nm for a 321LR would hit the entirety of North America from ANC, and everything west of Chicago to HNL.

In other wild speculation.... the youngest -700 is 18 years old. Something smallish with exceptional runway performance is going to be needed to replace it within the state of Alaska in about 5 years or so.
 
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SANFan
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Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:22 am

Tailwinds wrote:
Structurally, what do they have going on?
In SFO...
SJC...
SEA...
In LAX...
PDX....
ATL, DEN, and DFW are notable cities...

Appreciate your mentioning cities such as ATL and DEN in your discussion, but not bothering wasting time and space to mention SAN, one of two AAG focus cities where the airline just relocated to a new terminal (T2E) providing larger facilities with additional gates... Yep, with only 53 AS departures to 31 different destinations, I can see why SAN was not worth including.

bb
 
Tailwinds
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Re: Where can/should Alaska Airlines expand routes next?

Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:59 pm

SANFan wrote:
, but not bothering wasting time and space to mention SAN,


No need to be rude because my comment spoke to the subjects I wanted to talk about and not the ones you wanted. It's a forum... offer your opinion on subjects you have an opinion on. Let's try it again:

"Hey I see you didn't say anything about SAN and that's a place near and dear to me, so let me add on....."

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