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Iloveboeing
Topic Author
Posts: 469
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:02 am

Will WN Ever Consider SGF?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:35 am

Good evening everyone! I'm on a WN flight from TPA to MCI and on one of their newer 738s (a beautiful and comfortable aircraft). We just passed over the Springfield area and I can't help but wonder if WN will ever consider flying to SGF?

I know BKG was a disaster, even with subsidies, but surely they could make SGF work. SGF has the facilities, G4 seems to do well there and DL has been regularly using some mainline aircraft into SGF also.

Driving to MCI, STL and TUL is inconvenient. I think WN could make SGF work; it's MUCH larger than BKG. What do you think?
 
OKCDCA
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:50 am

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:35 am

There are larger markets WN still can serve before serving SGF. Yes, driving to MCI, STL and TUL to catch a WN flight might be inconvenient, but its not like SGF is an under served market. They have:
AA to DFW, ORD and CLT
UA to DEN, IAH and ORD
DL to ATL
G4 to LAS and SFB

For a city with under 165K people I'd say that's pretty good service.
 
Jshank83
Posts: 3598
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:23 pm

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:39 am

BKG was mainly to get around the wright amendment also. If that didn’t exist I am not sure it would have had service.
 
joeblow10
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:58 pm

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:54 pm

Everybody always seems to ask “will Southwest ever serve XYZ” in the US - in reality, seems to me their expansion to new cities in the Lower 48 is pretty much done for the foreseeable future. Maybe, and a huge maybe, a couple cities like COS or TYS in the next 5-10 years... but otherwise, not many other opportunities that jive with their frequency model.

Places like GSP and RIC, while now slowly getting 1-2 additionals daily to stations outside of ATL, are the exception and not the rule to the way Southwest does things frequency/route rise. I can’t see many other new cities being able to support that level of service. Post AirTran merger - we’ve seen how it’s all played out for the vast majority of mid sized cities that WN picked up and let go.
 
jb1087xna
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:11 am

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:11 pm

Iloveboeing wrote:
Good evening everyone! I'm on a WN flight from TPA to MCI and on one of their newer 738s (a beautiful and comfortable aircraft). We just passed over the Springfield area and I can't help but wonder if WN will ever consider flying to SGF?

I know BKG was a disaster, even with subsidies, but surely they could make SGF work. SGF has the facilities, G4 seems to do well there and DL has been regularly using some mainline aircraft into SGF also.

Driving to MCI, STL and TUL is inconvenient. I think WN could make SGF work; it's MUCH larger than BKG. What do you think?


Call me a pessimist but no. The market would literally be flooded with available seats if it were to happen. Unless there was a dramatic uptick in passengers using the airport overall, I don't see how it would be sustainable.
Even XNA, my home airport, is roughly 50% busier than SGF in terms of passengers and I don't see it getting WN anytime soon for the same reasoning.
 
pmanni1
Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:18 pm

OKCDCA wrote:
There are larger markets WN still can serve before serving SGF. Yes, driving to MCI, STL and TUL to catch a WN flight might be inconvenient, but its not like SGF is an under served market. They have:
AA to DFW, ORD and CLT
UA to DEN, IAH and ORD
DL to ATL
G4 to LAS and SFB

For a city with under 165K people I'd say that's pretty good service.

It's incorrect to measure it by the city population alone. Metro area has 460K people. Probably still too small to support WN.
 
JAMBOJET
Posts: 290
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:23 pm

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:34 pm

Iloveboeing wrote:
Good evening everyone! I'm on a WN flight from TPA to MCI and on one of their newer 738s (a beautiful and comfortable aircraft). We just passed over the Springfield area and I can't help but wonder if WN will ever consider flying to SGF?

I know BKG was a disaster, even with subsidies, but surely they could make SGF work. SGF has the facilities, G4 seems to do well there and DL has been regularly using some mainline aircraft into SGF also.

Driving to MCI, STL and TUL is inconvenient. I think WN could make SGF work; it's MUCH larger than BKG. What do you think?

Pure curiosity, but why would you want WN? NK and F9 are the market low-cost stimulators these days...
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 8525
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:39 pm

Iloveboeing wrote:
I know BKG was a disaster, even with subsidies, but surely they could make SGF work.


Let's put the challenge to justify it on you. To what cities - given existing competition listed by OKCDCA - could WN fly to get a total of 5 or more flights a day six days a week when their smallest plane is a 737-700 and they're not the lowest cost operator?

I don't see it.
 
evank516
Posts: 2173
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:55 pm

Jshank83 wrote:
BKG was mainly to get around the wright amendment also. If that didn’t exist I am not sure it would have had service.


BKG was inherited by AirTran. Maybe the Wright Amendment was the reason they didn't toss it out so quick, but they didn't really use BKG to take advantage either. Were they even flying to DAL at the end of their time there?
 
Jshank83
Posts: 3598
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:23 pm

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:11 pm

evank516 wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
BKG was mainly to get around the wright amendment also. If that didn’t exist I am not sure it would have had service.


BKG was inherited by AirTran. Maybe the Wright Amendment was the reason they didn't toss it out so quick, but they didn't really use BKG to take advantage either. Were they even flying to DAL at the end of their time there?


I thought they were flying a lot of DAL-BKG-MDW. But I really don’t know for sure.
 
evank516
Posts: 2173
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:12 pm

Jshank83 wrote:
evank516 wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
BKG was mainly to get around the wright amendment also. If that didn’t exist I am not sure it would have had service.


BKG was inherited by AirTran. Maybe the Wright Amendment was the reason they didn't toss it out so quick, but they didn't really use BKG to take advantage either. Were they even flying to DAL at the end of their time there?


I thought they were flying a lot of DAL-BKG-MDW. But I really don’t know for sure.


They might have been. I definitely remember HOU, but could have been both.
 
Iloveboeing
Topic Author
Posts: 469
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:02 am

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:24 am

Jshank83 wrote:
evank516 wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
BKG was mainly to get around the wright amendment also. If that didn’t exist I am not sure it would have had service.


BKG was inherited by AirTran. Maybe the Wright Amendment was the reason they didn't toss it out so quick, but they didn't really use BKG to take advantage either. Were they even flying to DAL at the end of their time there?


I thought they were flying a lot of DAL-BKG-MDW. But I really don’t know for sure.


WN was flying BKG to MDW, DAL and HOU with one flight per day each. There wasn't enough frequency. Also, the fares on WN out of BKG were significantly higher than MCI and STL. This, timed with limited and poor connections to elsewhere, made flying WN out of BKG unattractive, most of the time.

I will say that the fares have gotten more competitive out of SGF on AA, DL and UA within the past 5 years, though. It'd still be nice to have WN.
 
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stl07
Posts: 2549
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Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:30 am

You have F9 at Branson, don't you? That's what's keeping WN away.

Plus, why would they want to cannibalize STL, TUL, and MCI? They know it's inconvenient to drive but as long as people keep doing it, they don't care
Instead of typing in "mods", consider using the report function.
Love how every "travel blogger" says they will never fly AA/Ethihad again and then says it again and again on subsequent flights.
 
midway7
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 10:24 pm

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:18 pm

I lived in SGF for years and tried a couple times to garner some support to bring SWA to Springfield. The local airport authority is basically in bed with the big three carriers and Allegiant. In addition, they do not seem to be too eager for any change. They seem to like latching on to the status quo, which is fairly common in the Ozarks.

For all these reasons, even if SW would give SGF a look, I do not see the airport having the ability to put together a serious proposal. The bandwidth in a lot of ways is just not there.

On top of all this, there are a lot of us RR members that would make the trip to STL, MCI, or TUL to fly SW. The airport authority pushes "Fly Springfield" but the reality is there is a lot of leakage to the SW stations nearby. SW knows this and is not going to open a new station to cannibalize what they already have.

At the end of the day, unless you are flying to a hub (nonstop from SGF) or an Allegiant destination (and have the stomach for Allegiant), driving the 3 hours makes sense. You have better frequencies, non stop options, no bag and change fees, and great customer service and schedule reliability.
 
ericm2031
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:46 am

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:01 pm

I would say MSN would be a potential target for WN if MKE wasn’t so close.

But FAT is still probably the most likely target with a metro population of almost 1mil and a 3+ hour drive to the next WN city.
 
ibthebigd
Posts: 377
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:12 pm

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGf?

Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:21 pm

I agree FAT would be next with Southwest's large presence in California and you can get to most the network by flying to PHX and LAS.

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Chemist
Posts: 772
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:46 am

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGF?

Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:22 pm

All interesting, but of course we're not going to see new WN cities until the MAX is back online, which is probably going to take at least a year with Boeing catching up with fixes. So I would assume spring 2021 at earliest for addition of any new cities. They are still wanting to expand their HI flying which is of course limited by the MAX saga.
 
FATFlyer
Posts: 5030
Joined: Fri May 18, 2001 4:12 am

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGF?

Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:54 pm

It seems more likely that WN will add a larger population area before SGF.

The largest WN unserved metro areas by population are (airport to airport driving miles to closest current WN stations in parentheses):

Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, NC CSA - 1,642,506 (81 miles to RDU; 104 miles to CLT)
Dayton–Springfield–Sidney, OH CSA - 1,115,246 (76 miles to CMH; 78 miles to CVG)
Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA CSA - 1,095,829 (159 miles to SJC; 174 miles to OAK)

The above are just Consolidated Statistical Area populations. An airport's market service area may be larger and may include other MSAs.

Of course I am slightly biased, but FAT is the furthest drive of the above from a current WN station. Additionally, California's traffic does make the driving time longer than should be necessary for those miles.

Southwest of course will look at which metro area adds the most to its network. But the ones above are more likely adds than SGF.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
pmanni1
Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:17 am

Re: Will WN Ever Consider SGF?

Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:57 pm

FATFlyer wrote:
It seems more likely that WN will add a larger population area before SGF.

The largest WN unserved metro areas by population are (airport to airport driving miles to closest current WN stations in parentheses):

Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, NC CSA - 1,642,506 (81 miles to RDU; 104 miles to CLT)
Dayton–Springfield–Sidney, OH CSA - 1,115,246 (76 miles to CMH; 78 miles to CVG)
Fresno-Madera-Hanford, CA CSA - 1,095,829 (159 miles to SJC; 174 miles to OAK)

The above are just Consolidated Statistical Area populations. An airport's market service area may be larger and may include other MSAs.

Of course I am slightly biased, but FAT is the furthest drive of the above from a current WN station. Additionally, California's traffic does make the driving time longer than should be necessary for those miles.

Southwest of course will look at which metro area adds the most to its network. But the ones above are more likely adds than SGF.

WN inherited Dayton from Airtran and moved to CVG. Probably won't ever go back.

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