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When does Delta finally decide it is time to swithc to larger plane on a route?

When does Delta finally decide it is time to swithc to larger plane on a route?

Old May 5, 13, 9:25 am
  #1  
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When does Delta finally decide it is time to swithc to larger plane on a route?

I live in Kansas City and take a direct flight to New York lga frequently. The flight continues to be sold out. Wondering what your thoughts are on when they decide enough revenue is being made and there is potential for more customers if they switch to a larger plane?
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Old May 5, 13, 9:41 am
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There are not many flights and routes that are not sold out often anymore... Also, putting a different plane on the route is a complex equation that needs to factor in the whole itinerary of the plane and crew that day. I have seen generally full flights downsized from a 757 to a 737, which would seem counter-intuitive, but in the grander scheme of things the only way airlines make money is by capacity scarcity: running full planes filled with people who did not all buy at a low fare.
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Old May 5, 13, 9:48 am
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Full planes don't always mean revenue.
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Old May 5, 13, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by misterbean View Post
Full planes don't always mean revenue.
Yes, they always mean revenue. They do not always equate to substantial profits.
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Old May 5, 13, 10:12 am
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Just a comparison / observation - but by no means an answer to your question . . .

Route: PIT/LGA

When US had this route for years and years before the US/HP merger, they only flew mainline jets (IIRC). Post merger, and after PIT was de-hubbed into a "focus city", it was changed to all RJs.

When there were all larger jets, flights were always full. Now, DL has the route, and until recently, it was all RJs. I discovered recently, that DL changed the last LGA/PIT of the day to an A319, and the first PIT/LGA in the AM. I was excited, thinking that the route was flourishing! I flew the A319 recently, and it was nearly empty.

My observations are, that:

1) Just because my single flight was empty, doesn't necessarily indicate that every one is.

2) Possibly, an RJ wasn't available, and an A319 was scheduled to fill in the time slot, but this seems unlikely.

3) US still flies this route, in addition to DL's flights, so they share pax volume.

4) I was thinking that, maybe they're testing the waters in a, (my wording) - business market, to see if a larger plane on early eastbound / late westbound may lure some biz travelers away from US RJs?

Last edited by davetravels; May 5, 13 at 10:17 am
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Old May 5, 13, 10:43 am
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Delta solution: bidding on scarce seats. Capacity is not the primary consideration of the triopoly. Squeezing more dollars out of same seats is.
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Old May 5, 13, 10:46 am
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Originally Posted by puntamita View Post
I live in Kansas City and take a direct flight to New York lga frequently. The flight continues to be sold out. Wondering what your thoughts are on when they decide enough revenue is being made and there is potential for more customers if they switch to a larger plane?
Who knows.

Last edited by adamj023; May 5, 13 at 10:58 am
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Old May 5, 13, 10:54 am
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Net Revenue. For whatever reason, many people don't understand the basics of business economics. DL isn't trying to sell seats, it's trying to return shareholder value. That's net revenue or profit (in very simplistic terms).

The fact that an aircraft is sold out doesn't mean it's sold out at high fares (full Y).

The question to OP is whether, if DL increases capacity through larger aircraft or perhaps fewer flights, the value of the route to DL's shareholders will increase.

The mistake carriers made in 2007-09 was that they just cut fares until they filled aircraft. I suspect that it's aways possible to fill an aircraft. You just have to sell the tickets for less.... and less... and less. Just ask the CFO's of TW, Eastern, Braniff, NW, CO, AA and so on.
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Old May 5, 13, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by adamj023 View Post
Delta likely wants to keep flights sold out since it maximizes revenue for them. More people fighting over less seats means higher profit and they can get higher prices on those flights.

If you have 2X the customers who want to fly, and say the flight is full with business class AND Economy passengers, adding another flight will lead to decreasing revenues and devalue the net profit.

Additional or larger plane flights will occur at times if it actually would lead to higher sales of premium fares

I am more than sure they use load calculations to figure these out.

non-stop American Airlines 1% $52.03 $156.97 $551.95

American has the cheapest fares on the route and empty space.

non-stop Midwest Airlines 29% $50.04 $180.55 $1,009.03
non-stop Delta
(operated by Comair)
20% $63.54 $171.47 $868.77
non-stop Delta
(operated by Mesaba)
11% $75.05 $179.44 $1,228.88

Delta has essentially the marketshare on this route with multiple regionals.

Midwest Airlines is now Frontier. If you need cheap on this route, use AA if it meets your schedule, and if not, Delta with a regional or Midwest and

Delta's pricing seems to be coming in at below Frontier with Comair regionals.

But kudos to Delta for effectively managing this route.
You do know that both of those DL connection carriers are defunct, right?
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Old May 5, 13, 12:52 pm
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I'm also in KC and noticed that Delta has actually upgraded their LAX run to an A319/320 type aircraft from the E175 they were flying. I'd say just give it time.
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Old May 5, 13, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by puntamita View Post
I live in Kansas City and take a direct flight to New York lga frequently. The flight continues to be sold out. Wondering what your thoughts are on when they decide enough revenue is being made and there is potential for more customers if they switch to a larger plane?
I also live in Kansas City and would love to connect in NYC. Interesting question. Other factors would be taken into consideration. There is a MCI-JFK and of course UA have MCI-EWR - but would indeed like to see a 757 on this route. UA have Barbie jets aka ERJ145s

Last edited by GRALISTAIR; May 5, 13 at 4:13 pm
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Old May 5, 13, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The question to OP is whether, if DL increases capacity through larger aircraft or perhaps fewer flights, the value of the route to DL's shareholders will increase.

The mistake carriers made in 2007-09 was that they just cut fares until they filled aircraft. I suspect that it's aways possible to fill an aircraft. You just have to sell the tickets for less.... and less... and less. Just ask the CFO's of TW, Eastern, Braniff, NW, CO, AA and so on.
It might in fact be that the demand and supply line functions do not intersect at a profitable point for certain routes.
Sure you can increase, increase, and increase fares, but at a certain point NOBODY is going to buy that fare. Then the only recourse that is left, is to cut capacity to ZERO.
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Old May 5, 13, 3:32 pm
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In the case of GSP...it was Southwest. Delta is running MD90s out of there more and more...a lot better than a CRJ.
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Old May 5, 13, 4:04 pm
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On some routes like JFK-SJU they switch the 738's you normally see to some 757's depending on the time of the year.
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