DFW Heating Up

Old Mar 12, 10, 2:51 pm
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DFW Heating Up

Hey,
Now that I've moved to DAL/DFW, and fly home frequently on YX, I've got a particular interest in the route.

Haven't seen it mentioned on the forum, but FL is starting MKE-DFW with the 717 on 4/6. Was announced back in 11/09. Have heard a few radio ads in DFW for the new service.

Also just noticed that AA is running the CR7 on most flights. The last time I looked at flights, they were all still ER4. Not sure when this change happened, does anyone know? If it is recent, is this in anticipation of FL joining the competition?

Anyone happen to have the numbers for MKE-DFW, by chance? Is it really a big enough market to support this much traffic?

YX with 4xRT w/ E170
AA with 5xRT w/ 3xCR7 and 2x ER4
FL will have 2xRT w/ 717

The FL schedule is:
#730 MKE-DFW 835A-1105A
#270 MKE-DFW 755P-1025P
#520 DFW-MKE 6A-814A
#522 DFW-MKE 410P-625P

Current lowest fare I saw is $82.79 OW = $197.9 RT, all in. For a few dates, DL beat the fare by $3, AA matched, and YX did not.

Any thoughts or comments? Could we see more from YX?
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Old Mar 13, 10, 7:59 am
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The AA service bump is recent and probably a response to FL. I would assume that AA wants FL to crack and they will drop back down to ER4s and keep the balance with YX they had.

I would love if one of these carriers would start AUS-MKE or SAT-MKE but I don't know if there is even enough traffic for that.
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Old Mar 13, 10, 4:07 pm
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According to FareMeasure, there are 408 daily passengers from DFW-MKE. YX numbers are probably strong because of the Kimberly Clark between Appleton and Irving.

I really think YX needs service to all 4 of the Large Texas cities because of all businesses HQ there, i think Houston has like 30 Fortune 500 companies HQ there and Dallas/Irving have another 20 or so. Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio are going to be next New York, Boston and Philly in terms of Business.

There are probably quite a few wisconsittes starting to move down to Houston or Dallas because the jobs are just more plentiful compared to Wisconsin
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Old Mar 13, 10, 8:17 pm
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Originally Posted by mkenwayx View Post
Also just noticed that AA is running the CR7 on most flights. The last time I looked at flights, they were all still ER4. Not sure when this change happened, does anyone know? If it is recent, is this in anticipation of FL joining the competition?
This was direct reaction to AirTran’s news, and they had flown MKE-DFW 3/day with ER4 for awhile. The two extra trips and aircraft upgrades came at the end of January

Originally Posted by mkenwayx View Post
Is it really a big enough market to support this much traffic?
There will undoubtedly be low-fare stimulation, increased connecting traffic, and also some pull from competing city pairs (like Madison-Dallas). It’s also good to remember that AA served a pretty good amount of connecting traffic via STL, and MKE-STL is ending shortly.

Originally Posted by lebowski2222 View Post
There are probably quite a few wisconsittes starting to move down to Houston or Dallas because the jobs are just more plentiful compared to Wisconsin
Seasonally-adjusted unemployment rates aren't the perfect measure of a job market, but Texas rate of 8.2% is not much different than Wisconsin's 8.7% By metro area Houston's is 8.8%, Dallas/Fort Worth is 8.0%, and Milwaukee is 8.6%.
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Old Mar 14, 10, 10:36 am
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Speaking of turning up the heat, AirTran has loaded several additional MKE schedule changes for this summer:

1) MKE-LGA is increasing to 5 non-stop flights per day.

2) MKE-SAN increasing to 2 non-stop flights per day.

I'm guessing that both of the moves are in direct response to some of the changes Midwest has made.

LGA is a key business route from MKE where frequency is king. While this has not been a strong route at all for AirTran, I'm guessing the added flight is to take advantage of the Midwest frequency reduction and hoped for demand.

While the added SAN frequency is probably a response to Midwest, AirTran did need more frequency to the West Coast to better balance the MKE hub.

This summer, AirTran will have an advantage on non-stop frequency to SEA, SFO, SAN, LAS, MCO, STL, and LGA.
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Old Mar 15, 10, 7:24 am
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Originally Posted by knope2001 View Post
This was direct reaction to AirTran’s news, and they had flown MKE-DFW 3/day with ER4 for awhile.
Indeed, although it's probably worth mentioning that the head of American Eagle has been quoted in several news articles as saying part of the reason for the increase had to do with increasing passenger volumes as MKE, especially from American customers in Northern Illinois.

Also of interest is that American Eagle is increasing MKE-ORD frequency this spring as well. I'm not sure if this is also due to increased demand or simply a way to rotate plans through the network.

With more CR7s coming on-line, I wonder if American will finally add MKE-MIA. This route has been looked at a number of times over the last few years.
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Old Mar 15, 10, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
Indeed, although it's probably worth mentioning that the head of American Eagle has been quoted in several news articles as saying part of the reason for the increase had to do with increasing passenger volumes as MKE, especially from American customers in Northern Illinois.
That’s right, I do remember hearing those comments too. Anecdotally I’ve heard two different reports on the web of people from Northern Illinois who spoke positively of MKE…fares, navigation, distance, etc…who it (as it turned out) flew AA. I think it speaks to the credibility MKE is gaining as a good alternative for northern CHI suburbs. Buzz like this is invaluable, because perception guides a lot of individual behavior.
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Old Mar 16, 10, 11:44 pm
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Kimberly Clark is a good point. Thanks for all the thoughts and info. Every MKE-DFW flight I've been on since moving here in the summer 09 has been full, but obviously that doesn't mean anything. Just wish they went with DAL instead! Would make sense that HOU/IAH might be back on the list some day...Only serving one city in TX when it's <1000 miles away is surprising.
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Old Mar 17, 10, 7:59 am
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I don't think they could serve DAL from MKE until the distance limitation is lifted in a few years.
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Old Mar 17, 10, 8:20 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromMKE View Post
I don't think they could serve DAL from MKE until the distance limitation is lifted in a few years.
DAL is definately out of the question until the Wright Amendment restrictions are lifted. Republic could fly MKE-DAL with the ERJ145 based on seat count, but the chances of success would be slim. Even American Eagle couldn't make DAL-ORD work.

DFW has always been a very strong route for Midwest, perhaps only a notch lower than LGA or DCA. Why siphon off traffic for rj flights to DAL?

As for other Texas cities, Midwest has tried them all with mixed success.

Houston Hobby was launched in 2005 and the route only lasted about 5 months. Loads and yields were terrible. Part of the reason for serving Hobby was to cater to cruise traffic, but the very active hurricane season in 2005 hurt these bookings. I still think Houston could work 2x daily with the E170, but it should be from IAH instead.

San Antonio did o.k. from Kansas City. When all of the longer stage regional jet flights were cut in the fall 2008, SAT was one of the victims. The route always seemed to carry a lot of MKE traffic, so perhaps we'll see MKE-SAT non-stops at some point.

MKE-AUS is simply too small of a market to justify non-stop service. Even MCI-AUS didn't work out (and that was tried twice).
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Old Mar 18, 10, 3:02 am
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
DAL is definately out of the question until the Wright Amendment restrictions are lifted. Republic could fly MKE-DAL with the ERJ145 based on seat count, but the chances of success would be slim. Even American Eagle couldn't make DAL-ORD work.

DFW has always been a very strong route for Midwest, perhaps only a notch lower than LGA or DCA. Why siphon off traffic for rj flights to DAL?
I never meant DAL in addition (as a siphen) to DFW...only as a better alternative for passenger convenience. As someone living in Dallas, DAL is WAY more convenient, cheaper, and will soon be connected to the light rail line. Obviously would be limited to E145, which doesn't make any sense, but maybe some day after WA is lifted it would be a good alternative Wishful thinking I know...

As for DAL-ORD on AA, I wonder how much was politics and such, as well as the fact that they were competing with themselves on DFW-ORD (hub to hub) and WN DAL-MDW (with 1 stop of course). DL seems to be doing well on DAL-MEM, and CO has been serving DAL-IAH for years.
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Old Mar 21, 10, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
Speaking of turning up the heat, AirTran has loaded several additional MKE schedule changes for this summer:

2) MKE-SAN increasing to 2 non-stop flights per day.

While the added SAN frequency is probably a response to Midwest, AirTran did need more frequency to the West Coast to better balance the MKE hub.
AirTran just pulled ATL-SAN, and also IND-LAX from their schedule. What's significant about this for MKE and Midwest is this is another signal of AirTran's intent to push connections through Milwaukee. Undoubtedly there are thousand of people already booked on ATL-SAN (both locals and connections) for summer, and some IND-LAX, who will now transit Milwaukee.

AirTran really seems to be pushing hard to run connections through Milwaukee, which is how cities and airports support more service than their local markets justify.

Two additional FL changes in competitive MKE YX markets. MKE-DSM on Skywest is dropping from 3x to 2x starting in early May. And MKE-MCO is dropping from 3x to 2x. By virtue of flight schedule, aircraft size, and weekend exceptions, Southwest will actually have the biggest piece of the Milwaukee-Orlando nonstop market this summer.

Weekly nonstop seats (to+from) and market share MKE-MCO

3,836 seats...40.7% market share...Southwest
3,422 seats...36.2% market share...AirTran
3,836 seats...23,1% market share...Midwest

Midwest's daily flight is a 7:20am departure, with a second flight added on Saturdays. Both WN and FL have nonstops at less-than-peak times...for example one of FL's two MCO-MKE flights leaves Orlando at 7:10am, and one of WN's two MKE-MCO flights leaves Milwaukee at 7:25pm. With so much capacity it remains to be seen if less-desirable flight times will garner strong traffic, but we'll see. Midwest offering 8 flights per week (as opposed to 13 on FL and 14 on WN) gives up market share, but they might not need to discount as much to fill seats. Market share versus yield.
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Old Mar 21, 10, 5:06 pm
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Originally Posted by knope2001 View Post
AirTran just pulled ATL-SAN, and also IND-LAX from their schedule. What's significant about this for MKE and Midwest is this is another signal of AirTran's intent to push connections through Milwaukee. Undoubtedly there are thousand of people already booked on ATL-SAN (both locals and connections) for summer, and some IND-LAX, who will now transit Milwaukee.
I'm somewhat surprised by this move. If your a passenger is the SouthEast part of the United States heading to SAN, a connection in MKE is not all that desirable. That's an awful lot of back-tracking and could add a lot of time to your total trip. SEA works well because it's so farnNorth and a stop in MKE is on the way from many of AirTran's key markets. SAN...not so much.

Perhaps this is why the second MKE-SAN flight suddenly appeared in the schedules last week.

Besides having to fill a lot of MKE-SAN seats with passengers that had intended to go through ATL, there will be less room for local passengers on AirTran's ATL-MKE and MKE-SAN flights. This is good news for Midwest.

Delta must really be turning up the heat on AirTran in ATL.
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Old Mar 21, 10, 5:33 pm
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It puzzles me that they (apparently) can't make San Diego work from Atlanta. Atlanta is a far, far larger market than Milwaukee, they are far more established in ATL, and they have a much larger hub there to feed it.

Yet they doubled-down on MKE-SAN, where fare pressures are greater and the hub is smaller. Last summer AirTran's average ATL-SAN fare was $156 but MKE-SAN averaged $119. That was with no nonstop compeition. I don't see the average fare on MKE-SAN going up significantly this summer.
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Old Mar 21, 10, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
I'm somewhat surprised by this move. If your a passenger is the SouthEast part of the United States heading to SAN, a connection in MKE is not all that desirable. That's an awful lot of back-tracking and could add a lot of time to your total trip. SEA works well because it's so farnNorth and a stop in MKE is on the way from many of AirTran's key markets. SAN...not so much.

Perhaps this is why the second MKE-SAN flight suddenly appeared in the schedules last week.

Besides having to fill a lot of MKE-SAN seats with passengers that had intended to go through ATL, there will be less room for local passengers on AirTran's ATL-MKE and MKE-SAN flights. This is good news for Midwest.

Delta must really be turning up the heat on AirTran in ATL.
The argument could be made that, for passengers originating in the northeast such as Boston, New York or Baltimore (which is a key AirTran station), MKE might not be any worse than ATL. In fact, considering the delays that can sometimes be associated with ATL and the crowds in general, MKE might be a more favorable place to connect than ATL.

The key to all of this working, though, is making MKE-SAN a year-round route for AirTran. So far, I have not seen any indication that FL intends to go that direction.
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