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Old Mar 24, 09, 1:48 am   #1
 
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AirTran adds 2x daily MKE-DCA service

AirTran will reinstate non-stop service between Milwaukee and Washington's Reagan National Airport (DCA) starting June 11, 2009.

Two flights per day will be offered in each direction. I haven't seen the schedule yet, but if the flights are timed well this route may turn out better for AirTran than the once per day flights offered last summer.

As of now, the flights are planned to be year-round. However, once the leisure traffic dries-up I suspect AirTran will be flying a lot of empty seats (if the results of MKE-LGA are any indication).

With these new flights, AirTran will operate 33 flights per day from Milwaukee this summer.

http://www.jsonline.com/business/41718467.html
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Old Mar 24, 09, 5:06 am   #2
 
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They didn't have any trouble filling the 717 last summer on MKE-DCA, yet things were still apparently so poor that they chose to give up the free DCA slots the DoT had awarded them rather than continue to fly MKE-DCA over summer.

It certainly will be interesting to see how all this new service does. What most casual observers don't seem to understand is that the Midwest pulldown in Milwaukee was targeted, not broad. Midwest's reductions handed a ton of traffic to AirTran in leisure markets, and AirTran has filled planes well in those markets by backfilling with far less seats so overall capacity is still smaller than it had been the prior year. But Midwest has more seats to Boston than last summer, more seats to LaGuardia than last summer, nearly as many seats to DCA as last summer, and (between YX and NW) more seats to Minneapolis than last summer. There is not a corresponding YX pullback in any of these markets handing them traffic as they received to MCO, TPA, RSW, LAS, etc.
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Old Mar 24, 09, 5:08 am   #3
 
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I wonder where or how they got the slots???
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Old Mar 24, 09, 5:30 am   #4
 
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Connections

Of course now DCA pax can now connect through MKE to MSP! Take that D/NW!
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Old Mar 24, 09, 5:47 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by hazelrah View Post
Of course now DCA pax can now connect through MKE to MSP! Take that D/NW!
Considering that AirTran hasn't really timed any of the MKE-MSP flights for good connections, this might be very hard for passengers to do.
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Old Mar 24, 09, 5:51 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by knope2001 View Post
They didn't have any trouble filling the 717 last summer on MKE-DCA, yet things were still apparently so poor that they chose to give up the free DCA slots the DoT had awarded them rather than continue to fly MKE-DCA over summer.
Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought AirTran only had loads in the high 60s/low 70s during the few months they operated MKE-DCA. Certainly not awful, but not spectacular, either.

Given how aggressively AirTran advertised fire sale fares on this route, it's no wonder they pulled the plug earlier then scheduled and returned the slot. Results had to be horrid.
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Old Mar 24, 09, 7:12 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought AirTran only had loads in the high 60s/low 70s during the few months they operated MKE-DCA. Certainly not awful, but not spectacular, either.
It was 77.9% for the whole time it operated, from the low 60's in May to around 90% in August. They certainly did discount fares to fill those seats. Local MKE-DCA average fare received by them was $104 compared to $161 for Midwest.
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Old Mar 24, 09, 9:11 am   #8
 
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
Looks like Daykin still doesn't know the difference between "nonstop" and "direct" flights.
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Old Mar 24, 09, 9:19 am   #9
 
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Looks like Daykin still doesn't know the difference between "nonstop" and "direct" flights.
LOL, are you really that surprised?
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Old Mar 24, 09, 1:08 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
Considering that AirTran hasn't really timed any of the MKE-MSP flights for good connections, this might be very hard for passengers to do.

It's already done. I checked the Air Tran schedules for July and there are a couple flights a day DCA-->MSP with a 1/stop in Milwaukee.

I'll agree with you that the convenience factor is not high (flight times and long layover in MKE) still it's an option. It must stick in D/NW's craw!
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Old Mar 24, 09, 2:07 pm   #11
 
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This should illustrate what I was speaking of earlier regarding MKE markets:

Winter Peak 2009 versus 2009

MKE-Florida
-26.4% total seats year over year
-78.7% Midwest cutback in seats

MKE-Las Vegas
-33.4% total seats year over year
-65.4% Midwest cutback in seats

MKE-Phoenix
-30.6% total seats year over year
-48.8% Midwest cutback in seats


Midwest cut way back in those markets, AirTran only replaced a portion of that flying, and so in spite of the dismal economy they are carrying good loads.


Now look at Summer 2009 peak

MKE-Boston
+4.5% total seats year over year
+7.2% Midwest increased seats over last summer

MKE-LaGuardia
+3.8% total seats year over year
+7.2% Midwest increased seats over last summer

MKE-Washington
+18.0% total seats year over year
-8.0% Midwest decreased seats over last summer

MKE-Minneapolis
+62.8% total seats year over year
+22.9% Midwest increased seats over last summer (increase prior to AirTran's MKE-MSP plans)
+34.9% Northwest increased seats over last summer (increase in retaliation to AirTran's MKE-MSP plans)


Unlike Florida, Vegas, Phoenix or the west coast, these are not markets where Midwest cut back

This winter the overall pie at MKE shrunk, but because of Midwest's cutbacks AirTran found enough passengers for the expansion here by not coming close to replacing all of Midwest's trimmed capacity.

This summer, however, several of the key markets added or expanded by AirTran are about as larger or larger than last year. It may be a very different game than this current winter/spring has been.
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Old Apr 8, 09, 7:55 am   #12
 
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Further expansion by AirTran

With little to no fanfare, AirTran has added some additional frequency on several Milwaukee routes.

This summer, MKE-LGA increases from 3 to 4 daily round-trips while MKE-SFO gets a second frequency (evening departure, red-eye return). Both of these appear to be seasonal only and are gone by early September.

In September, AirTran bumps MKE-LAS from two to three daily round-trip flights. I'm sure the MKE-LAS route could use the additional capacity, but I'm surprised AirTran is adding this in September (one of the weakest travel months) instead of holding off a month or two.

I do wonder what, if anything, Midwest will do to counter any of these moves. They may not be all that interested in chasing after price sensitive LAS traffic, but they could squeeze in another flight by swapping E170s with 717s come this fall. The real question for me is if Midwest would consider adding a sixth daily MKE-LGA flight. Again, they could probably squeeze this flight in, but is there really a need. Slots could be an issue, but they may have some left over from the MCI pull-down that they could utilize.
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Old Apr 8, 09, 2:51 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
With little to no fanfare, AirTran has added some additional frequency on several Milwaukee routes.

This summer, MKE-LGA increases from 3 to 4 daily round-trips while MKE-SFO gets a second frequency (evening departure, red-eye return). Both of these appear to be seasonal only and are gone by early September.

In September, AirTran bumps MKE-LAS from two to three daily round-trip flights. I'm sure the MKE-LAS route could use the additional capacity, but I'm surprised AirTran is adding this in September (one of the weakest travel months) instead of holding off a month or two.

I do wonder what, if anything, Midwest will do to counter any of these moves. They may not be all that interested in chasing after price sensitive LAS traffic, but they could squeeze in another flight by swapping E170s with 717s come this fall. The real question for me is if Midwest would consider adding a sixth daily MKE-LGA flight. Again, they could probably squeeze this flight in, but is there really a need. Slots could be an issue, but they may have some left over from the MCI pull-down that they could utilize.
Thanks for piecing this info together for us FlyerTalkers, Blue. I know this forum is the unofficial MKE forum, but you might want to also post this info over on the FL board. I booked MKE-SFO this morning and noticed the extra flight. Red-eyes are always good for burning some FF credits.

Yeah, Midwest has been very quiet, and we have heard very little on any expanded service for this summer. I would have liked to book YX for SFO, but the fare was almost twice as high, and I'd have to connect.
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Old Apr 8, 09, 4:33 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by newsmanhoss View Post
Yeah, Midwest has been very quiet, and we have heard very little on any expanded service for this summer.
Why expand? People have lost their love affair with Midwest since the fiasco last year. Midwest can't get people where they need to go.

I, for one, have zeroed out my Midwest Miles account. Closed my Midwest Credit Card account. Replaced with AirTran and Delta credit cards.

Last edited by RSVP; Apr 8, 09 at 5:37 pm.
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Old Apr 8, 09, 5:56 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
With little to no fanfare, AirTran has added some additional frequency on several Milwaukee routes.

This summer, MKE-LGA increases from 3 to 4 daily round-trips while MKE-SFO gets a second frequency (evening departure, red-eye return). Both of these appear to be seasonal only and are gone by early September.

In September, AirTran bumps MKE-LAS from two to three daily round-trip flights. I'm sure the MKE-LAS route could use the additional capacity, but I'm surprised AirTran is adding this in September (one of the weakest travel months) instead of holding off a month or two.

I do wonder what, if anything, Midwest will do to counter any of these moves. They may not be all that interested in chasing after price sensitive LAS traffic, but they could squeeze in another flight by swapping E170s with 717s come this fall. The real question for me is if Midwest would consider adding a sixth daily MKE-LGA flight. Again, they could probably squeeze this flight in, but is there really a need. Slots could be an issue, but they may have some left over from the MCI pull-down that they could utilize.
San Francisco could definitely use the extra capacity. So could Seattle. The bay area is a very important tourist and business destination. I spend a lot there.
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