Latin America in 2007: What's next?

 
Old Oct 13, 06, 12:20 am
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Latin America in 2007: What's next?

Okay... new Europe routes get discussed ad infinitum. How about Latin America? Interesting new route possibilities there too, including more routes that don't require 767/777/787 range.

To get things rollling, how about Barranquilla (BAQ) or Cartagena (CTG) Colombia? Probably once daily 73G or 738 out of IAH.

I don't think there's any nonstop service from northern Colombia to the US except an Avianca MD-80 between BAQ and MIA. BAQ is a pretty big place - 2,000,000 estimated population. CTG has tourism, although admittedly most gringos aren't crazy about a holiday in Colombia. Also, CM connections via PTY really don't work.

And, I'll go out on a limb and say that SCL is NOT in cards. Lots of service already. CO would rather not take on LAN. No planes to do it. And if planes with the range become available, they'll go elsewhere.
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Old Oct 13, 06, 6:49 am
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I'll bite. How about more service to GRU? AA's TAM's and CO's flights to that city seem to be pretty full with the substantial downsizing of Varig. I looked last night at a seat map for a flight to GRU in mid November and the BF cabin is about 75% full.
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Old Oct 13, 06, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by perezoso
And, I'll go out on a limb and say that SCL is NOT in cards. Lots of service already. CO would rather not take on LAN. No planes to do it. And if planes with the range become available, they'll go elsewhere.
IAH-LIM-SCL would be awesome. It's probably a 3.5 hr tag-on.
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Old Oct 13, 06, 9:38 am
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I'm hoping for a non-stop, New York to Rio, just like before 9-11. I go back and forth a lot, and that extra stop in Sao Paulo has made life much more difficult for me. It's hard (for me) to believe that no airline is looking for New York to Rio non-stop.

Jer



Originally Posted by MIA-SAT
I'll bite. How about more service to GRU? AA's TAM's and CO's flights to that city seem to be pretty full with the substantial downsizing of Varig. I looked last night at a seat map for a flight to GRU in mid November and the BF cabin is about 75% full.
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Old Oct 13, 06, 10:05 am
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IAH-SCL or maybe EWR-SCL, Santiago is an up and coming business market and AA/DL both already service this route which seems to always run fairly full.

Dan
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Old Oct 13, 06, 3:35 pm
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Originally Posted by perezoso

I don't think there's any nonstop service from northern Colombia to the US except an Avianca MD-80 between BAQ and MIA. BAQ is a pretty big place - 2,000,000 estimated population. CTG has tourism, although admittedly most gringos aren't crazy about a holiday in Colombia. Also, CM connections via PTY really don't work.
Avianca flies MIA-BAQ, MIA-CTG, and JFK-BAQ. And you likely are not going to see CO at BAQ or CTG any time soon. Cali performs poorly enough.
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Old Oct 13, 06, 4:07 pm
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I am sure there is some dirt strip in Mexico that they have yet to add service....

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Old Oct 13, 06, 6:33 pm
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Originally Posted by MAH4546
Avianca flies MIA-BAQ, MIA-CTG, and JFK-BAQ. And you likely are not going to see CO at BAQ or CTG any time soon. Cali performs poorly enough.
You are right; but that makes it sound like more than it is... MIA-BAQ is 7x weekly; but MIA-CTG seems to be 4x and JFK-BAQ only 3x.

Basically you have only got two MD-80 loads per day in each direction, from both cities together.

Cali's different, it's not really a valid comparison. First, you've got more competition. On top of CO, AA is there and CM offers real connections. Plus, of course, AV. Which brings up the second point: It's logical, and people are accustomed, to going through BOG if you are flying out of CLO internationally. Take AV onto DL. Or, for that matter, even somebody like LAN out of Bogotá might be taken by somebody from CLO headed for the US. LAN was cheapest in the market for a while.

BAQ and CTG are different. First, between them, they have 50% more people than CLO. Second, they are pretty far north of BOG, and it doesn't make sense to fly in precisely the wrong direction to connect (opposite of CLO situation). And CM doesn't really work.

Yet there are far fewer seats headed to gringolandia than from CLO.
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Old Oct 13, 06, 6:40 pm
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L.A. Routes

In Mexico, I think they should add LTO and PPE, since those are the new booming hot spots in the country.

As far as GIG goes, the only direct flights are to MIA and ATL. I would like to see a IAH-GIG flight which could supply the Midwest and West coast in a direct flight (and make my life a whole lot easier as well). I still believe we should get an extra 500 miles for the GRU-GIG leg.

I also believe Sky Team needs a partner in South America, especially in Brazil (Latin America's largest airline market).
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Old Oct 13, 06, 9:16 pm
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The current air service rights agreement with Colombia dates back to 1956 and has only been amended three times (1968, 2000, 2002). It still contains capacity controls, so adding a flight is not that simple, especially compared to Latin American countries that have signed open skies agreements like Chile, Uruguay, Peru, and most of Central America, for example.

It has been said - whether wrongly or rightly - that the main reason why AA maintains a flight attendant base in Bogotá was to get on good footing with the Colombian transportation ministry ("Look how many Colombian jobs we have created") so that its large number of Colombian flights would not be seen as violating capacity controls.
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Old Oct 14, 06, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by perezoso
You are right; but that makes it sound like more than it is... MIA-BAQ is 7x weekly; but MIA-CTG seems to be 4x and JFK-BAQ only 3x.

Basically you have only got two MD-80 loads per day in each direction, from both cities together.
Which is perfectly ample for the market.

Cali's different, it's not really a valid comparison. First, you've got more competition. On top of CO, AA is there and CM offers real connections. Plus, of course, AV. Which brings up the second point: It's logical, and people are accustomed, to going through BOG if you are flying out of CLO internationally. Take AV onto DL. Or, for that matter, even somebody like LAN out of Bogotá might be taken by somebody from CLO headed for the US. LAN was cheapest in the market for a while.

BAQ and CTG are different. First, between them, they have 50% more people than CLO. Second, they are pretty far north of BOG, and it doesn't make sense to fly in precisely the wrong direction to connect (opposite of CLO situation). And CM doesn't really work.

Yet there are far fewer seats headed to gringolandia than from CLO.
Cali is Colombia's third largest city, with around 2.1M people, and traditionally the second largest interational O&D market, larger than Medellin. Barranquilla has around 1.6M and Cartagena is about 1.0M. Even more importantly, both markets have significantly less business traffic than Cali, with Cartagena especially being mainly tourist traffic, which is why the Colombian government subsidizes Avianca's MIA-CTG flights, because they don't make money otherwise. There is more compietition becaue there is a significantly larger market.

If CO were add a third city in Colombia, which is a difficult process, they would definitley go to MDE, probably has a triangle with CLO (IAH-CLO-MDE-IAH) which they have US DOT approval to do, and would really help the dismal performance of IAH-CLO.
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Old Oct 14, 06, 9:55 pm
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Okay... I think the conventional wisdom may be wrong on BAQ. Seems to have been wrong on CLO too.

I'm not sure BAQ would be greatest cash cow on the planet; but I bet it would do better than has been suggested here. I suspect there are a sufficient number of folks going in and out of BAQ (and spillover from CTG and SMR) that would use a daily US connection not to MIA.

MDE flights, including that triangle, have floundered for years, no? Same problem as CLO. Folks don't mind going through BOG (despite the Paisa stuff). Heck, half the Colombians flying out of CLO and MDE probably like the chance to stop over in BOG and see their apartment and friends in the capital.

Okay... I'll put it to rest.

How about something plain old crazy like MAO (Manaus, might hurt COPA) or MVD (Montevideo, too far for 737)?


.
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Old Oct 15, 06, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by perezoso

I'm not sure BAQ would be greatest cash cow on the planet; but I bet it would do better than has been suggested here. I suspect there are a sufficient number of folks going in and out of BAQ (and spillover from CTG and SMR) that would use a daily US connection not to MIA.
That is exactly the problem. Outside of Bogota, US-Colombia traffic is heavily concentrated to the South Florida and NYC/North Jersey areas. So, no, there really isn't a purpose for a flight that does not go to MIA/FLL or JFK/EWR.

MDE flights, including that triangle, have floundered for years, no? Same problem as CLO. Folks don't mind going through BOG (despite the Paisa stuff). Heck, half the Colombians flying out of CLO and MDE probably like the chance to stop over in BOG and see their apartment and friends in the capital
The only US airline that flies to MDE - AA - does very well. It is no triangle, simple MIA-MDE-MIA round-trip.

How about something plain old crazy like MAO (Manaus, might hurt COPA) or MVD (Montevideo, too far for 737)?
TAM flies MIA-MAO daily (launched just before Copa's route, and, not surprisingly, it has hurt the performance of PTY-MAO, which was quickly reduced to 5x a week), more than enough for the US-MAO market. AA and UA both fly to MVD already (MIA-MVD; MIA-EZE-MVD on AA; and IAD-EZE-MVD on UA). The market is excellent yielding, but small, and there really isn't room for a third carrier.

Brazil presents excellent oppurtunity for growth for CO, especially to secondary large cities like Belo Horizonte, but the US-Brazil air treaty is very strict, and CO can't add more flights.


.[/QUOTE]
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Old Oct 15, 06, 2:05 pm
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MVD, CNF, CTG, BAQ, MDE, and GEO are likely among destinations CO has under consideration for Latin American expansion. All but MVD and CNF are within range of 737NGs from IAH and EWR, so certainly these would be shorter-term options. CNF was offered in 2001 and dropped following 9/11, but a strong market to Belo Horizonte from the United States does still exist. CO has the assets (idle 767s) in GRU to make a tag-on flight operationally feasible, but I imagine CO would rather run a nonstop from IAH, perhaps with a 757?
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Old Oct 15, 06, 2:43 pm
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Originally Posted by CODC10
MVD, CNF, CTG, BAQ, MDE, and GEO are likely among destinations CO has under consideration for Latin American expansion. All but MVD and CNF are within range of 737NGs from IAH and EWR, so certainly these would be shorter-term options. CNF was offered in 2001 and dropped following 9/11, but a strong market to Belo Horizonte from the United States does still exist. CO has the assets (idle 767s) in GRU to make a tag-on flight operationally feasible, but I imagine CO would rather run a nonstop from IAH, perhaps with a 757?
All of the US-Brazil route authorities are currently taken. That being said, a GRU-CNF flight would be possible. AA has also tried it more than once, both as an add-on to DFW-GRU and JFK-GRU. Neither was profitable. Part of the problem is the location of CNF itself. If the trip would involve stopping in GRU anyway, Brazilians tended to opt for a flight to GRU from PLU instead. In addition, although there may be a market to Belo Horizonte, it is very small in terms of premium cabin and full-fare traffic. CNF still has a host of miscellaneous AA equipment and signs.

US carriers have also tried flying GRU-POA, which does have a strong premium cabin/full-fare market because it is a hub of Brazilian industry, but fog frequently closes the airport, which then affects the segment from GRU to the US.
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