Alaska nears $2B bid for Virgin America

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Old Apr 4, 16, 1:08 am
  #121  
 
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Originally Posted by AndyPatterson View Post
It would be interesting to see if AS could sustain a two-tier first class airline, with some routes (transcons) getting the VX planes with their fancy seats, and all other routes getting stuck with regular AS first. Some other airlines have done this with their JFK-LAX/SFO routes -- can AS make it work on the DCA-SEA/PDX/LAX routes?
I have been wondering that, but the logistics of airline mergers make this something that won't happen for at least a couple of years after any merger closes. Even if they get their combined operating certificate fairly quickly, they have to get the crews in place to move planes from one route to another, as until all contracts are combined they can't have AS crew fly VX planes and vice-versa (AA is still internally distinguishing US and AA equipment, crews, etc.)
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Old Apr 4, 16, 1:44 am
  #122  
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
You mean like how DL has large operations set up at SEA and LAX?
And if DL set up a hub operation at SFO, it would cannibalize from the traffic that flows into SEA and LAX. Even a combined AS/VX at LAX would still have less market share there than AA/DL/UA each have.

Or like how WN has large operations set up at LAS, OAK, LAX, PHX, SJC, SNA and SAN? I hear they're doing just TERRIBLE these days...
Isn't WN a much larger airline than AS/VX will ever be? Particularly in California.
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Old Apr 4, 16, 1:50 am
  #123  
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Originally Posted by Fanjet View Post
Isn't WN a much larger airline than AS/VX will ever be? Particularly in California.
They had to start somewhere. The Bay Area has large amounts of O/D traffic that doesn't require a hub. WN is a good example of how far you can go if you ditch the traditional concept of a hub that you MUST connect people through. AS's success in SJC/SAN is also a case where they are largely catering to local markets (it's not like anyone other than a crazy FT mileage runner is going to go SEA-SAN-BOS/MCO).

FWIW, VX's prices were rarely competitive for me connecting to LAS or other points (UA usually beat them by a lot, AS often beat them on the nonstop). I don't think they were really trying to make their hubs into connecting hubs. So I think they are additive to the AS network, not a case of "OMG, where do we connect people now?!?!?!"
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Old Apr 4, 16, 2:02 am
  #124  
 
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Originally Posted by Edgerfly View Post
No I'm talking about AS's stock, which is currently at about $83. It has done nothing but gone up in the last decade.
And it is likely to continue to go up long-term. Previous airlines have gone up post-merger as well so based on that we can expect the same with AS.
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Old Apr 4, 16, 2:35 am
  #125  
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
They had to start somewhere. The Bay Area has large amounts of O/D traffic that doesn't require a hub. WN is a good example of how far you can go if you ditch the traditional concept of a hub that you MUST connect people through. AS's success in SJC/SAN is also a case where they are largely catering to local markets (it's not like anyone other than a crazy FT mileage runner is going to go SEA-SAN-BOS/MCO).
WN filled a void that was left by the mishandled mergers of PSA into USAir and AirCal into American. They now have over 50% of the market in a few of California's airports. AS merging with VX is not going to change that. In fact, a merger would still leave AS as being a West Coast centered airline. Which is not WN. Yes, VX will give them better access to a few more airports in the eastern U.S.; but they will all be flights heading to the western United States.

So unless they can fill those flights up with a lot of O&D traffic, they're going to be reliant upon the hub system to help fill up their planes. Even more so because that O&D traffic will be more one-sided. Their market presence in NYC will be a sliver of what DL/AA/UA/B6 each have. Switch out WN for B6, and you've got the situation in the WAS market. Then there's Boston... and Chicago. Even with the merger, there just won't be a large customer base in any of those east coast markets.

AS/VX will be the second largest carrier at SFO. And much further out from the carrier in third place. They won't have that advantage at LAX. So keeping a route like LAX-LAS (which AS never chose to serve) and competing with AA/WN/DL/UA/NK instead of just continuing to place their code on AA flights (and I think still on DL's flights), makes good sense how again?
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Old Apr 4, 16, 3:43 am
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
"Business Select" is not "business class". Yes, they both have "business" in their name, but I suspect even WN would not try to make that equivalence.
WN doesn't market BS as "business class." Some think it's a good offering, some don't.

Originally Posted by makfan View Post
I have been wondering that, but the logistics of airline mergers make this something that won't happen for at least a couple of years after any merger closes. Even if they get their combined operating certificate fairly quickly, they have to get the crews in place to move planes from one route to another, as until all contracts are combined they can't have AS crew fly VX planes and vice-versa (AA is still internally distinguishing US and AA equipment, crews, etc.)
I suspect this will be a lot like WN-FL: a gradual drawdown of PMVX equipment, and the VX crews folded into AS.

This is going to be interesting to watch unfold. The Eskimo is a lot different now than before. At least my VX points won't be totally worthless.
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