Jul 4, 12, 9:58 am
MSP is the largest closest market from BWI without nonstop service with the exception of DAL (where Wright Amendment restrictions prevent it). After FL integration, the BWI hub will be bigger.
Would WN at that point be comfortable attempting this route? DL operates exclusively on this route, and maybe WN is intimidated but it seems WN at BWI is large enough now to be competitive.
Jul 4, 12, 11:43 am
Quick DoT stats on the size of the local market between BWI and MSP shows that it's by far the largest destination without nonstop Southwest flights from BWI:
Q4 daily local traffic to+from BWI
Cities not served nonstop by Southwest or AirTran within 1800 miles
When you consider that MDW, FLL and HOU serve Chicago, Miami and Houston, and they can't fly nonstop to DAL yet, MSP is by far the largest left.
To put BWI-MSP in comparison to other city pairs of approximate size from BWI, here are some others around it which are served nonstop by WN/FL
Of course MSP is already served by Delta, so it's not like all that traffic is just sitting idle. But on the flip side it's a relatively high fare market (Delta averaged 258.75 each way) so fare stimulation could help. Southwest already carried close to 12% of the market with connecting flights, so putting in a couple of nonstops would hardly be a surprise. No certainty they will do this, of course, but if BWI would get a new nonstop city, MSP has to be high on the list.