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Old Apr 26, 16, 1:11 pm
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Alexandria, Longboat Key
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Originally Posted by mnbp View Post
DOT cares about the travelling public, not individual carriers. It seems clear that the travelling public would be better served by three viable carriers / joint venture partnerships serving HND vs two. For this reason the DL case for three slot pairs seems the only way DOT could balance the US48-HND market. If DOT doesn't award DL three slots, wouldn't that leave only two carriers / partnerships serving the vast majority of the US48-HND market? What would that do to prices? That would be DOTs main concern I believe.
Awarding a carrier three slots that has previously given up HND slots not once but twice? While HAL/UA should be commended for operating HND flights consistently since their respective start dates, HAL's HND flight fills the niche of Hawai'i-Japan traffic. The sole HNL-HND flight is sufficient for the market. UA will likely keep SFO-HND daytime but with NH receiving four slots, including three daytime, Star Alliance will have four daytime. JAL will want to keep SFO-HND and then either ORD-HND or JFK-HND.

And that leaves AA/DL to fight over the remainder. I don't see a valid reason why DL should be awarded all three daytime slots they applied for while they previously have abused their HND slots in the past and were responsible for holding up this entire deal in the first place. In fact, they were the only airline to call for all of the slots to be put up for allocation again, over the objections of UA/AA/HAL. Is DL at a competitive disadvantage? Yes, absolutely. Should they be properly compensated with THREE day time slots after this tomfoolery of the impossible goal of shifting their entire NRT operation to HND and threatening to further gut their NRT operation because they did not get what they want? No, not at all. MSP is unfortunate in that DL is using the Twin Cities as a pawn to prove to DOT that daytime slot restricted HND flying is bad for business as I mentioned earlier, MSP-NRT is toast if DL doesn't get want they want.

UA/AA/HAL have been the most serious and professional players since HND opened international operations to the US five years ago. DL has done nothing but whine and complain to DOT, demanding to both DOT and Japan's MLIT to allow the total transfer of DL's NRT operation to HND. DL could have made this slot allocation round far less political if instead of using MSP as a pawn, apply for JFK-HND. Had they applied for JFK-HND, in addition to LAX-HND and ATL-HND, I'd say there would be a decent chance DOT would give them the authority to operate all three routes.

In the end, I think UA receives SFO-HND daytime, HAL's HNL-HND remains as is, DL receives daytime LAX-HND and ATL-HND, and AA will receive LAX-HND and DFW-HND. While AA tried to make JFK-HND work several years ago, the night slots for the East coast, combined with using a high CASM 777 with an outmoded configuration and product, it never had a real chance of becoming profitable. AA's application for daytime LAX-HND and DFW-HND is very strong. AA's recent addition of LAX-HND has posted excellent load factors, especially considering they are competing with DL with very similar timings. Last month alone, AA recorded a near 95% load factor on the flight. While yes, the flight is utilising their smallest aircraft, the 787-8, they lobbied hard twice for this flight and just in the first two months of operation, its load factors beat EVERY SINGLE HND flights' load factors.
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