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Old May 17, 10, 7:59 pm   #1
 
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AirTran increases pressure on Frontier by adding new MKE routes/frequency increases

AirTran continues it's MKE expansion by adding two new routes and increasing frequency on three others. Service is now bookable.

Beginning October 7th, AirTran will begin daily MKE-MSY with a 717 (this competes with Frontier's service via MCI and DEN). On the same day, frequency will be increased to BOS (going to 3x daily) and DCA (going to 4x daily).

On November 18th, daily non-stop service to Sarasota will begin with 717s.

Additionally, MKE-LGA will be flown 4x daily this winter (vs. 3x daily last year).

This certainly won't make life any easier for Frontier. The war for the hearts and minds of MKE travelers continues.
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Old May 17, 10, 8:28 pm   #2
 
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Interesting that neither of the two new routes is a competitive one out of Milwaukee, on Frontier nor anybody else. Nice for MKE to have two new markets.

New Orleans has never had nonstop service from Milwaukee. Sarasota has had limited nonstop ATA service back in the 90's, but typically not. SRQ has traditionally been far far down on the list of Florida destinations even in the spring peak, but nonstop service might change this. Here's total daily O+D traffic (both ways together) in the 2nd quarter of last year for Florida markets:

934 Orlando
531 Tampa
327 Fort Myers
276 Fort Lauderdale
91 Jacksonville
70 Miami
66 West Palm Beach
63 Pensacola
28 Sarasota
26 Fort Walton Beach
18 Panama City
13 Tallahassee
13 Daytona Beach

The stimulation of nonstop service will make a difference, and connections will help here. But they'll need to convince people to change their currnent TPA and RSW habits.

Adding more destinations to MKE helps increase the viability of the airport as an ORD alternative. In this way this growth is better for everyone rather than adding a 3rd airline to MKE-MCI, for example.
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Old May 17, 10, 8:41 pm   #3
 
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While no non-stop service has ever existed in the market, I wonder if MKE-MSY might be a preemptive strike by AirTran. Word on the street is that Frontier's MCI-MSY is booking very well. Given this, it's entirely possible Frontier was giving some consideration to adding seasonal MKE-MSY service. With AirTran announcing the market, does the route now look much less appealing for Frontier?

Sarasota is interesting, but it does have the benefit of being on the Gulf Coast (favored over the Atlantic side by people living in the Midwest) so that might help.

Both routes appear to be timed for connections and utilize gate space in MKE during non-peak times.

These two routes are certainly interesting additions. I thought AirTran would have gone after lower hanging fruit.

What, if anything, will Frontier do?
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Old May 17, 10, 8:53 pm   #4
 
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How long has it been since MKE has had nonstop MSY service? I can't remember the last time I've seen this bookable.
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Old May 17, 10, 8:56 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by FreequentFlier View Post
How long has it been since MKE has had nonstop MSY service? I can't remember the last time I've seen this bookable.
MKE has never had scheduled non-stop service to MSY.
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Old May 17, 10, 9:02 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
These two routes are certainly interesting additions. I thought AirTran would have gone after lower hanging fruit.
What lower hanging fruit? MIA, CLT, and HOU are the only three I can think of that would start in the Fall/Winter that could be considered low hanging fruit. And two of those still have competition.
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Old May 17, 10, 9:18 pm   #7
 
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What lower hanging fruit? MIA, CLT, and HOU are the only three I can think of that would start in the Fall/Winter that could be considered low hanging fruit. And two of those still have competition.
Given some comments from AirTran executives in recent months about wanting to grow/build the more traditional business routes from MKE, I thoughts we'd see PHL, CLT, DTW(FNT), HOU, or SAT.

For the leisure side, MIA, RDU, and/or SJU (less than daily) are all bigger than MSY and SRQ, especially during peak periods.

There is still plenty of time in the next few years for AirTran, Frontier or both to add any of the above routes (except PHL and RDU for Frontier).
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Old May 17, 10, 9:19 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by FL787 View Post
What lower hanging fruit? MIA, CLT, and HOU are the only three I can think of that would start in the Fall/Winter that could be considered low hanging fruit. And two of those still have competition.
Maybe AA will start MKE - MIA this fall? Maybe IAH would be a better choice than HOU?
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Old May 17, 10, 9:26 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by flyYX View Post
Maybe AA will start MKE - MIA this fall? Maybe IAH would be a better choice than HOU?
AA would be the most likely as they have a hub in MIA. MKE passengers could go through MIA instead of ATL for trips to South America. They would most likely do this route with an RJ. I am not sure if people would like to be on an RJ that long. That being said I have been on an RJ from MKE-SLC before and it was not bad at all.

My top routes for MKE are:

1. Delta to re-start MKE-JFK
2. AA to start MKE-MIA
3. Airtran and/or Frontier to keep MKE-SAN year round
4. MKE-PDX (WN)
5. MKE-OAK (WN)
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Old May 17, 10, 9:29 pm   #10
 
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AA would be the most likely as they have a hub in MIA. MKE passengers could go through MIA instead of ATL for trips to South America. They would most likely do this route with an RJ. I am not sure if people would like to be on an RJ that long. That being said I have been on an RJ from MKE-SLC before and it was not bad at all.

My top routes for MKE are:

1. Delta to re-start MKE-JFK
2. AA to start MKE-MIA
3. Airtran and/or Frontier to keep MKE-SAN year round
4. MKE-PDX (WN)
5. MKE-OAK (WN)
Perhaps MKE will get MIA service if YX/F9 enters OneWorld or establishes a FF partnership with AA. Then, it would make some sense to route some MKE traffic through there...much bigger connection possibilities.

I don't see DL bringing back MKE-JFK now that their FF partnership is about to expire. I think the new DL has written Milwaukee off and will only keep service to their hubs only. What a way to abandon one of the strongest FF bases they inherited from NW.
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Old May 18, 10, 2:28 am   #11
 
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Anyone know what the pax numbers between MKE-DFW are? I heard a rumor that AA mainline is coming back on that route come July.
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Old May 18, 10, 8:35 am   #12
 
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Service to Sarasota is interesting and a nice bet. There are lots of people who own Florida condos and homes in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. This route will surely benefit those people. Question is, are there enough of them? It would have to canabalize TPA and RSQ to some extent. I guess we will see how it all plays out and how Frontier will respond--if at all.
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Old May 19, 10, 1:19 pm   #13
 
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I, for one would like to see mke-geg and mke-rdd
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Old May 31, 10, 2:56 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
MKE has never had scheduled non-stop service to MSY.
Yeah, never heard it before. Is that first-ever nonstop service MKE-MSY? Hopefully the routes will have enough more profitable. I believe it will done extremely performance very well.
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