Upcoming AS Route Cuts

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Old Mar 9, 18, 6:41 am
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STS is also affected (like the rest of the network) on the AA partnership falling apart. Easy connections at LAX to AA's network are gone. Connections via any of the destinations to AA for Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, etc. are now all gone.
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Old Mar 9, 18, 9:44 am
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"Alaska Airlines already cutting back in California" https://www.sfgate.com/chris-mcginni...a-12736805.php

"There has been low-demand for these flights and we need to utilize aircraft elsewhere on the route map," said Oriana Branon, Alaska Airlines's Director of Community and Public Relations for the Bay Area. "This change is indicative of how we are looking across the network and making decisions to ensure we are running as efficient of an operation as possible."
#mostwestcoast
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Old Mar 9, 18, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by tusphotog View Post
"Alaska Airlines already cutting back in California" https://www.sfgate.com/chris-mcginni...a-12736805.php



#mostwestcoast


But

The flights to Chicago, Denver and Fort Lauderdale were among Virgin America's core routes from San Francisco before its takeover by Alaska, but business travelers were known to complain about the sparse frequency of the flights.
In other words, VX wasn't really competitive on these routes before the merger. AS either isn't willing to burn more money or actually has productive things to do with those planes. Not clear what that is, though....
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Old Mar 9, 18, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by ashill View Post


In other words, VX wasn't really competitive on these routes before the merger. AS either isn't willing to burn more money or actually has productive things to do with those planes. Not clear what that is, though....
Not really. For FLL the relatively recent introduction of Mint just killed the AS/VX flight--especially as AS cut the frequency. For DEN, AS reduced the frequency which made the timings unworkable for many people which then was a slippery slope to irrelevance. You can't cut the schedule on route which demands several flights a day to work. They did and the results were that they were just picking up the scraps. ORD is also the same. You can't compete with one flight a day from SFO to ORD. ORD and DEN are not stations from SFO with a lack of service so you either need to go all in to compete or just leave. AS just did not have the resources to compete nor the product with enough differentiation to make it worthwhile for people to be inconvenienced by the poor schedule. So, the result was pretty predictable.
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Old Mar 9, 18, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco View Post
Not really. For FLL the relatively recent introduction of Mint just killed the AS/VX flight--especially as AS cut the frequency. For DEN, AS reduced the frequency which made the timings unworkable for many people which then was a slippery slope to irrelevance. You can't cut the schedule on route which demands several flights a day to work. They did and the results were that they were just picking up the scraps. ORD is also the same. You can't compete with one flight a day from SFO to ORD. ORD and DEN are not stations from SFO with a lack of service so you either need to go all in to compete or just leave. AS just did not have the resources to compete nor the product with enough differentiation to make it worthwhile for people to be inconvenienced by the poor schedule. So, the result was pretty predictable.
Makes you wonder if they’ll cut ORD entirely. It’s only the number 6 destination out of the SF Bay Area...why serve it?
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Old Mar 9, 18, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by milypan View Post


Makes you wonder if they’ll cut ORD entirely. It’s only the number 6 destination out of the SF Bay Area...why serve it?
It is really difficult to figure out what the true story is. If they are just speaking about cutting unprofitable flights then several SFO-LAX-SFO flights a day should be axed as with the very low fares offered up until departure time, there is no way they are making any money on those. Maybe ORD is not worth it and they can just serve a few random Midwest cities with less competition with a single flight a day instead.
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Old Mar 9, 18, 9:34 pm
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so sad about the SFO-DEN route
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Old Mar 10, 18, 10:29 pm
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco View Post
Not really. For FLL the relatively recent introduction of Mint just killed the AS/VX flightd.
How can a Mint cabin of 16 seats kill service when an aircraft seats on the order of 150 passengers.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
How can a Mint cabin of 16 seats kill service when an aircraft seats on the order of 150 passengers.
Exactly, except if the cost model is so out of whack that the super premium fares of 16 people are so high and the rest of the seats are so low in pricing that it does not pencil out.

Who really knows what is happening at Alaska with it's Virgin addition right now.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco View Post
It is really difficult to figure out what the true story is. If they are just speaking about cutting unprofitable flights then several SFO-LAX-SFO flights a day should be axed as with the very low fares offered up until departure time, there is no way they are making any money on those. Maybe ORD is not worth it and they can just serve a few random Midwest cities with less competition with a single flight a day instead.
I was considering booking an extra ticket for SFO-LAX on Wednesday to protect myself in case of WX delays, and I was pretty shocked to see a bunch of flights still priced at only $50, and the rest at only $100. This is only three days out...it seems like if they want to cut low-PRASM flights, SFO-LAX would be a great place to start.

Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
How can a Mint cabin of 16 seats kill service when an aircraft seats on the order of 150 passengers.
Keep in mind that the F cabin on VX is equivalent to ~20 Y seats, and the F cabin on AS (738) is equivalent to ~24 Y seats. Overall margins are not high to begin with, so if they suddenly cannot sell F at any reasonable premium because they’re directly competing with Mint, it’s actually a pretty significant problem. But yes, nobody but AS management knows exactly what the numbers look like on all of these routes.

Last edited by milypan; Mar 11, 18 at 1:24 pm
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Old Mar 11, 18, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by milypan View Post


I was considering booking an extra ticket for SFO-LAX on Wednesday to protect myself in case of WX delays, and I was pretty shocked to see a bunch of flights still priced at only $50, and the rest at only $100. This is only three days out...it seems like if they want to cut low-PRASM flights, SFO-LAX would be a great place to start.
If your primary maintenance base is in SFO and you don’t have an RJ subfleet you can fly, it may make more sense to rotate planes through your system SFO-LAX-XXX (and v.v.) than having an LAX and a SFO based fleet.

I would not be shocked to see AS redo things as the acquisition progresses. If they could do Airbus checks in SEA, for instance...
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Old Mar 11, 18, 5:03 pm
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Originally Posted by milypan View Post


I was considering booking an extra ticket for SFO-LAX on Wednesday to protect myself in case of WX delays, and I was pretty shocked to see a bunch of flights still priced at only $50, and the rest at only $100. This is only three days out...it seems like if they want to cut low-PRASM flights, SFO-LAX would be a great place to start.
Walk up fares have not been this low in decades. I booked a ticket for a co-worker last week back from LAX to SFO a couple hours before departure and there were still tickets left on a peak time evening flight for $49.30. There is no way they are making any money basically giving tickets away.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 5:09 pm
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
How can a Mint cabin of 16 seats kill service when an aircraft seats on the order of 150 passengers.
Quite easily. You think AS is making money on all the transon coach seats going for $109? B6 themselves said for years their trans cons before MINT were losing money most of the time. Only after upping the frequency and selling all the seats in Mint turned those into profit making machines. AS cut their frequency and lost most of he premium bookings due to the inferiority of the product and the high fares they were attempting to charge. You can’t make money on a long transcon with few connections on either end and no premium traffic. Selling a bunch of ultra cheap bulk coach tickets to cruise companies or price sensitive leisure passengers is a recipe for large losses. AS/VX don’t have the product, frequency, network, or pricing power to compete.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 7:09 am
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Yep, yields on FLL-LAX/SFO crashed last year after mint entered. About 10 to 25% depending on the quarter you want to compare it again. Hard to give away all the FC seats and expect to be doing well when Y prices are going below $150.

In markets where AS/VX doesn't really dominate on either end, the people that were paying full for FC can easily be persuaded to switch when a better product comes along, which is what happened here, especially since B6 wins point of sale at FLL. BOS-SEA seems to be the market that's doing the best out of AS network since mint entry.
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Old Mar 12, 18, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by WebTraveler View Post
Has anyone figured out where all these airplanes are going? I see that while some of these routes are dropping at SFO, the cut ones at PDX (i.e. Kansas City, St. Louis, Omaha) are re-emerging. But those are Horizon routes. Where are the Virgin America aircraft going? Will we see that on the new Seattle-Pittsburgh flights, for example? In theory, the Airbus planes on the traditional SFO routes should end up somewhere in the Alaska system. I know that Alaska is running a peak PDX-ORD on some heavily traveled days with Virgin America Airbus equipment.
Good question. I've been wondering this too...
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