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Should Alaska invade Newark after Southwest surrenders?

Should Alaska invade Newark after Southwest surrenders?

Old Jul 25, 19, 7:35 pm
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Should Alaska invade Newark after Southwest surrenders?

Southwest Airlines announced that they are leaving Newark. Should Alaska take over the gates or maybe swap the Southwest gates for adjacent gates to their current gates and start new service. They wouldn't need to pick up all the Southwest routes but beef up West Coast routes and maybe add a few cities from EWR, like MCO and STL, maybe adding Dallas Love?
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Old Jul 25, 19, 7:39 pm
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Southwest doesn't exit a market lightly. UA has a massive hub there and competed with WN. This would be a bloodbath for AS.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 7:42 pm
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Old Jul 25, 19, 8:44 pm
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Alaska already has a strong transcon presence at EWR. Should the relationship with AA be as dire as some predict, I agree there might be some merit to adding DAL-EWR, tough to justify much else.

Curious as to WN's real motivation. Indefinite 737MAX grounding is forcing WN and AA to make some difficult choices, would be interesting to know if AS has had an impact on this decision.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 8:50 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
No.


I'd say "Yes". Alaska cornered the Paine Field market by grabbing most of the slots. With Newark, they should try to get at least one gate, if not all three Southwest gates.

One route to add might be DAL-EWR. Southwest would no longer fly to EWR. United has no gates at Dallas Love. Alaska would have a monopoly as well as increase usage of DAL gates. Perhaps, AS can have three daily flights, which is half to one third use of a EWR gate.

Another route might be to add a Midwestern city where AS already has service or wants to have service, such as Milwaukee, Cleveland, or St. Louis. The flight would continue on to one of the West Coast hubs. That might make use of the other half to two thirds of a EWR gate.

When WN exits EWR, there will be no EWR-STL service. United doesn't fly it. American Eagle doesn't either. There could be a EWR-STL-SEA or EWR-STL-SAN service or new EWR-STL service added to either new STL-SFO or LAX service. When there's no service, even tone or two flights might be enough for a starved public. EWR serves NJ and parts of PA that find it very inconvenient to go to LGA. In addition, some Manhattan travelers prefer EWR.

The other 2 Southwest gates could be leased to other airlines or just not taken.

Last edited by Toshbaf; Jul 25, 19 at 8:57 pm
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Old Jul 25, 19, 9:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
I'd say "Yes". Alaska cornered the Paine Field market by grabbing most of the slots. With Newark, they should try to get at least one gate, if not all three Southwest gates.

One route to add might be DAL-EWR. Southwest would no longer fly to EWR. United has no gates at Dallas Love. Alaska would have a monopoly as well as increase usage of DAL gates. Perhaps, AS can have three daily flights, which is half to one third use of a EWR gate.

Another route might be to add a Midwestern city where AS already has service or wants to have service, such as Milwaukee, Cleveland, or St. Louis. The flight would continue on to one of the West Coast hubs. That might make use of the other half to two thirds of a EWR gate.

When WN exits EWR, there will be no EWR-STL service. United doesn't fly it. American Eagle doesn't either. There could be a EWR-STL-SEA or EWR-STL-SAN service or new EWR-STL service added to either new STL-SFO or LAX service. When there's no service, even tone or two flights might be enough for a starved public. EWR serves NJ and parts of PA that find it very inconvenient to go to LGA. In addition, some Manhattan travelers prefer EWR.

The other 2 Southwest gates could be leased to other airlines or just not taken.
There were 6 daily EWR-STL flights on UAX today. The unserved airports after WN’s withdrawal are still served by other airports.

OAK is probably the best opportunity.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 9:16 pm
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Remember that AS is starting to return the Airbus aircraft back to lessors this year and next and is not getting the MAX deliveries anytime soon. Thus any additions would have to result in cutting other flights. They are most interested in defending the PNW as they stated again on today's earnings call. They are not interested in throwing money down the drain. They also stated quite clearly that they are not interested in adding anything to DAL until the court case is resolved and they have some clarity as to what is happening there. The longer that court case stays alive, the greater the chance is of them pulling out all together than adding anything. They couldn't even figure out what to do with in perimeter slots at LGA, so adding anything that doesn't hit the West Coast from EWR would just be a ridiculous waste of time and money. B6/UA/NK would be able to make better use of the slots.

HI routes are currently their weakest and WN is moving even more assets to HI--thus they are looking at lower levels of profitability there. Defending the PNW and Hawaii routes from the West Coast is far more important than adding random flights on the East Coast that would be guaranteed to lose money.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 11:01 pm
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AS may as well light money on fire if they’re going to fly to the Midwest out of EWR. As previously mentioned, OAK might be worth a shot. Is SNA possible?

I’d be interested in knowing if AS is making more money off of transcons now. I’ve flown SAN-EWR for 3 straight months now without an upgrade to F, despite being number 2 or 3 on the upgrade list. They are definitely selling more F seats as of late, at least on this route.
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Old Jul 26, 19, 7:13 am
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
Curious as to WN's real motivation. Indefinite 737MAX grounding is forcing WN and AA to make some difficult choices, would be interesting to know if AS has had an impact on this decision.
I very much doubt it. WN may be using the Max mess as an excuse for ducking out of EWR, but it's also a matter of protecting the WN network from EWR. Everybody hates the place and it's a sinkhole of weather and ATC delays. In short it is exactly the kind of airport Southwest used to take pains to avoid. I expect they are exiting for good reasons that have nothing to do with AS, which is an asterisk at EWR.
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Old Jul 26, 19, 8:45 am
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AFAIK, WN never flew DAL-EWR. If they can't make it work, AS definitely can't.
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Old Jul 26, 19, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by Tracer_SEA View Post
AFAIK, WN never flew DAL-EWR. If they can't make it work, AS definitely can't.
Not to mention the fact that AS couldn’t make DAL-LGA work. If that doesn’t work, why would DAL-EWR?
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Old Jul 26, 19, 9:27 am
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I'm surprised there's mention of OAK-EWR.

CO failed at this one years ago.

UA pulled out COMPLETELY from OAK

AA is pulling out of OAK-DFW (one of the first routes to go with the MAX issues)

Even Norwegian has moved some flights from OAK to SFO.

I suppose anything might work, but it certainly is a troubled market. The only way I could see AS trying to make it work is with a redeye out and morning flight back (basically use a Hawaii plane and squeeze that in overnight to get better utilization).
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Old Jul 26, 19, 9:39 am
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It’s pretty funny to see someone suggest that when the top airline at DAL, OAK and STL thinks that service to EWR isn’t a moneymaker that AS should rush in. Especially since WN is putting those planes in AS markets (CA—Hawaii).

Might just as well save time and send WN checks with lots of zeros if you really want to do that.
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Old Jul 26, 19, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
I'm surprised there's mention of OAK-EWR.

The only way I could see AS trying to make it work is with a redeye out and morning flight back (basically use a Hawaii plane and squeeze that in overnight to get better utilization).
Even that would be a huge money loser. AS's problem with transcons is that they are ok for 6 months of the year but miserable money losers for the other 6 when fares from the Bay Area to NYC are in the toilet in coach. They are not going to sell many seats in F from Oakland to the East Coast. They are barely hanging onto OAK-SEA/PDX. What makes anybody think that OAK-EWR would work?
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Old Jul 26, 19, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco View Post
What makes anybody think that OAK-EWR would work?
It probably wouldn't work as a one-off but as part of a (alternate universe) strategy where AS actually tries to build up an operation at OAK, it certainly could.
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