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jplatts
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Any possibility of WN service out of GRK, LRD, MFE, or TPL?

Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:08 pm

While there are some smaller Texas markets such as AMA, CRP, HRL, LBB, and MAF that have long had WN service, there are some others such as LRD, GRK, and MFE that have never been served by WN.

While WN doesn't currently serve MFE (which is located in the McAllen-Edinburg CSA), WN does serve HRL in the adjacent Brownsville-Harlingen-Raymondville CSA. The population of Hidalgo County, the county in which the city of McAllen and MFE airport is located, has a population of over 775,000 people, whereas the population of Cameron County, the county in which the city of Harlingen and HRL airport are located, has a population of approximately 425,000 people. HRL is also located approximately 42 miles east of Downtown McAllen, whereas the MFE airport terminal is located approximately 1.8 miles from Downtown McAllen.

While WN has never served LRD, LRD is located in one of the largest Texas metropolitan areas by population that isn't served by WN. Laredo is also the largest city proper in Texas by population that isn't served by WN, and there is also a significant amount of population in the Nuevo Laredo area on the Mexican side of the border.

The Killeen-Temple MSA is the largest primary statistical area by population in Texas that doesn't have WN service.

DFW, MFE, GRK, BRO, and LRD are also the top 5 commercial airports in Texas without WN service, but WN already serves DAL in the Dallas/Fort Worth market and HRL in the Brownsville/Harlingen market.

I probably would expect a minimal WN presence at GRK, LRD, and MFE if these destinations are added by WN, but I would also probably expect these three destinations to have multiple daily nonstops to HOU if WN adds service to these destinations.

WN has also recently added service to some smaller U.S. markets outside of Texas, including VPS, HDN, ITO, KOA, LIH, and MTJ, and WN has also already announced plans to add service to BLI and EUG, which are two smaller markets in the Pacific Northwest.

Will WN ever add service out of GRK, LRD, MFE, or TPL?
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Any possibility of WN service out of GRK, LRD, MFE, or TPL?

Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:31 am

Temple doeant even have AA or UA service and it along with GRK are too close to AUS and DAL. If any city on I-35 will gain WN service it'll be ACT and even then they're in the se boat as the previous two.

MFE and BRO are simply not high enough yielding. HRL is plenty service for the Valley if they want a 737.

LRD kind of stands a chance since it is pretty far from may other major airport and is still a decent sized town that can even pull from Nuevo Laredo. Definitely HOU and DAL, maybe PHX, AUS, or DEN.
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dfwjim1
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Re: Any possibility of WN service out of GRK, LRD, MFE, or TPL?

Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:31 am

Not Texas but I wonder if Shreveport, LA would ever be in the running for WN service?
 
jplatts
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Re: Any possibility of WN service out of GRK, LRD, MFE, or TPL?

Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:34 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
Temple doeant even have AA or UA service and it along with GRK are too close to AUS and DAL. If any city on I-35 will gain WN service it'll be ACT and even then they're in the se boat as the previous two.


If WN were to add service to the Killeen/Temple market, WN would probably add service to GRK due to GRK already having a passenger terminal and TSA security checkpoint. I understand that TPL isn't served by AA or UA, but TPL could accommodate commercial passenger air service if a terminal and TSA security checkpoint are built. TPL also already has a 7000' runway that could accommodate Boeing 737 planes.

One of the main reasons why I asked about the possibility of WN adding service to GRK or TPL is due to the leakage that is there to AUS from the Killeen/Temple area. WN would also be able to offer connections to destinations such as ATL, BWI, ELP, MCI, SDF, BNA, LGA, SAN, SAV, and DCA that are near other U.S. military bases if WN adds service to GRK.

I would also probably expect WN to serve HOU but not DAL nonstop from GRK if WN adds service to GRK with DAL being only 135 miles from GRK whereas HOU is 181 miles from GRK. WN had also dropped DAL-OKC nonstop service in January 2020 due to decreasing O&D traffic on DAL-OKC nonstop flights and the proximity of OKC to DAL. There is also less need for WN to serve DAL nonstop from GRK with the connections that WN can offer through HOU and with the recent domestic adds that WN has made at HOU such as HOU-CVG/DTW/MIA/MSP/LGB/ONT/SRQ/SAV/PBI.

GRK also carried more than double the amount of domestic passengers that ACT did in 2019, with GRK carrying 299,868 passengers in 2019 whereas ACT only carried 126,212 passengers.

I probably would expect WN to serve HOU but not DAL nonstop from ACT if WN adds service to ACT with DAL being only 88 miles from ACT. WN does operate COS-DEN and OGG-KOA nonstop routes that are shorter than ACT-DAL, but (a) OGG-KOA is an interisland Hawaii route between Maui and the Big Island, (b) WN is operating COS-DEN nonstop service to provide connections to destinations in the Pacific Northwest, Mountain West, and Midwest that would require significant backtracking through other WN hubs, and (c) DEN is the only WN hub that is within a 500-mile radius of COS.

TWA772LR wrote:
MFE and BRO are simply not high enough yielding. HRL is plenty service for the Valley if they want a 737.


I agree that WN does not need to serve MFE or BRO with WN already serving HRL in the Rio Grande Valley.

TWA772LR wrote:
LRD kind of stands a chance since it is pretty far from may other major airport and is still a decent sized town that can even pull from Nuevo Laredo. Definitely HOU and DAL, maybe PHX, AUS, or DEN.


While LRD carried fewer domestic passengers in 2019 than any market served by WN (including the smaller markets in Texas, Colorado, Hawaii, and the Florida Panhandle that are already served by WN), the LRD metropolitan area is bigger by population than that of ECP, BZN, OGG, KOA, ITO, or LIH. I also agree that LRD is far enough from SAT, CRP, and HRL to support possible WN service out of LRD.
 
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CarlosSi
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Re: Any possibility of WN service out of GRK, LRD, MFE, or TPL?

Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:38 am

Temple doesn't really have any commercial airline service to begin with and there's probably significant leakage to AUS (which has plenty of WN service, obviously) and ACT and GRK, which don't even have WN service to begin with.

LRD definitely has a case for it to Hobby or Love Field, maybe both, or alternating weekly schedules. AUS has lots of service and SAT might be barely too close and doesn't have nearly enough service as compared to AUS.

HRL is good enough for the Valley so far.

MAF to AUS was cut some time ago. Weird as MAF is an oil boom town.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Any possibility of WN service out of GRK, LRD, MFE, or TPL?

Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:21 pm

jplatts wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
LRD kind of stands a chance since it is pretty far from may other major airport and is still a decent sized town that can even pull from Nuevo Laredo. Definitely HOU and DAL, maybe PHX, AUS, or DEN.


While LRD carried fewer domestic passengers in 2019 than any market served by WN (including the smaller markets in Texas, Colorado, Hawaii, and the Florida Panhandle that are already served by WN), the LRD metropolitan area is bigger by population than that of ECP, BZN, OGG, KOA, ITO, or LIH. I also agree that LRD is far enough from SAT, CRP, and HRL to support possible WN service out of LRD.


LRD is interesting. It's not a terrible drive to San Antonio, though SAT is on the wrong side of San Antonio for Laredo traffic. There's not a lot of tourist demand, which makes it different from BZN or Hawaii. And I'm not sure how much Nuevo Laredo would contribute to LRD traffic because it's fairly easy to get from Nuevo Laredo to MTY, which has a fair amount of service to the US and does not require navigating the land border.
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