December T100's (onboard loads)

Old Mar 30, 10, 8:50 pm
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December T100's (onboard loads)

Here are onboard loads for Midwest and select MKE competitors for December 2010. As always, remember that onboard loads are only half the picture when trying to estimate relative financial performance.

As last month, the Midwest flight operated by Frontier 319's were not included in reporting.

Midwest/Frontier

Routes primarily served with E190/E170
85.7% ….. MKE ….. LGA
84.9% ….. MKE ….. TPA
84.6% ….. MCI ….. RSW
83.1% ….. MKE ….. DEN (includes both airlines)
82.8% ….. MKE ….. FLL
82.0% ….. MCI ….. LAX
81.5% ….. MCI ….. SEA
77.5% ….. MKE ….. DFW
76.9% ….. MKE ….. DCA
71.5% ….. MCI ….. SFO
70.9% ….. OMA ….. DCA
70.6% ….. MKE ….. ATL
70.4% ….. MCI ….. LGA
69.0% ….. MKE ….. BOS
65.4% ….. MCI ….. DCA
62.9% ….. MKE ….. MCI
60.7% ….. MKE ….. OMA
57.1% ….. MCI ….. BOS

Routes primarily served with ERJ/ER3
81.2% ….. MKE ….. GRR
76.9% ….. MKE ….. MSP
74.1% ….. MKE ….. EWR
73.5% ….. MKE ….. PHL
71.8% ….. MKE ….. DSM
71.2% ….. MKE ….. IND
70.6% ….. MKE ….. MSN
69.9% ….. MKE ….. FNT
69.7% ….. MKE ….. BNA
66.2% ….. MKE ….. ATW
64.2% ….. MKE ….. PIT
63.3% ….. MKE ….. GRB
56.0% ….. MKE ….. CMH
50.9% ….. MKE ….. DAY
49.7% ….. MKE ….. CLE
39.3% ….. MKE ….. SDF

AirTran
89.7% ….. SEA
83.2% ….. RSW
82.6% ….. SFO
81.9% ….. LAX
80.4% ….. FLL
80.2% ….. TPA
79.2% ….. MCO
78.3% ….. LAS
76.9% ….. PHX
74.3% ….. MSP
71.4% ….. ATL
68.9% ….. LGA
68.2% ….. DEN
67.5% ….. BOS
61.8% ….. BWI
53.6% ….. DCA
49.4% ….. STL (only first few days)
48.3% ….. PIT (only first few days)
33.0% ….. IND

Skywest
78.6% ….. STL (partial month)
66.5% ….. PIT (partial month)


Southwest
92.5% ….. PHX
84.0% ….. LAS
63.6% ….. MCI
61.6% ….. TPA
58.8% ….. MCO*
54.6% ….. BWI

*in a different thread I reported this as 60.1% but that was incorrect due to a problem with my Excel forumula

-------------

On the YX/F9 side, it's interesting that MKE-LGA was the fullest market. Now we don't have the traditional high-volume leisure markets which are 319, so perhaps a couple of those might have surpassed MKE-LGA. But why LGA isn't getting more capacity I'm not sure. I understand...athough I'm not a fan of...them taking the slots for the 5th MKE flight and moving them to give DEN a 3rd flight. But MKE should not have E170 trips in the peak season IMHO.

On the competitive side, largely the same story as last month. AirTran's MSP route was (if I recall correctly) the fullest it's been, but from every indication the huge majority of passengers are connecting. We can tell passengres on "thru" flights, and the one daily MSP-BOS flight which operated as "thru" averaged 28 MSP-MKE-BOS passengers per day. Similarly, the one LGA-MSP flight which operated as "thru" averaged 31 passengers per day LGA-MKE-MSP. And Seattle benefitted from thru passengers to/from Atlanta since ATL-SEA nonstops were discontinued for winter...some 30 thru passengers each way per day flying ATL-SEA or vice versa.

Skywest's first month of branded operations saw pretty full planes, although this included more than a few oversold flights during peak times. These routes were sold as 717's well into fall, and some over the holidays were booked to more than 50 when the switch came. From all accounts MKE-STL continues to do the best. Based on airport reports PIT and IND were under 50% in January. Des Moines and Omaha airport stats (first month for each city) it looks like DSM was around 34% and OMA around 46%. But we'll get real numbers in a couple of months.

On the Southwest side, the significant thru traffic to/from DAL boosted MCI, and LAS benefitted from LAX thrus. Both MCO and TPA were boosted by dedicated thru traffic to RSW and FLL respectively. In spite of that, however, Southwest's soft loads to Florida are something of a surprise for December.
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Old Mar 30, 10, 9:21 pm
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Do you have any idea how MKE - CAK is working out? Thanks for posting this information knope.
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Old Mar 31, 10, 5:03 am
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Originally Posted by flyYX View Post
Do you have any idea how MKE - CAK is working out?
Nothing more than anecdotal info since Akron doesn't publish monthly stats by airline. PIT, IND, DSM and OMA all do, and that helps us get a pretty good idea before T100 stats come out.

The decision to pull the mid-day MKE-CAK flight for a few months suggests that it's been lighter than they'd hoped, although that mid-day flight is coming back for the summer. Instead the mid-day DSM flight is being pulled.
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Old Mar 31, 10, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by knope2001 View Post
Nothing more than anecdotal info since Akron doesn't publish monthly stats by airline. PIT, IND, DSM and OMA all do, and that helps us get a pretty good idea before T100 stats come out.

The decision to pull the mid-day MKE-CAK flight for a few months suggests that it's been lighter than they'd hoped, although that mid-day flight is coming back for the summer. Instead the mid-day DSM flight is being pulled.
For what it's worth, the director of the Akron airport has been quoted in several news stories stating that CAK-MKE has gotten off to a very slow start and flights have been pretty empty. This probably helps explain why AirTran has cut the mid-day flight until peak summer travel begins.

Akron has been pushing the CAK-MKE-XXX routings pretty hard.
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Old Mar 31, 10, 7:56 am
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Anybody else notice that Mitchell has a "MAN-CATION" giveaway contest? It's a trip for two to Akron on April 23rd. A good way to draw some attention to the service, if nothing else.

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Old Mar 31, 10, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by knope2001 View Post
Here are onboard loads for Midwest and select MKE competitors for December 2010.
Thanks for posting this detail, knope.

First, some comments on the Midwest results:

1) Did MCI-RSW drop-off a cliff after December or what? Obviously the route started at a peak time, but loads were good. Why drop it down to only 1x weekly (when it was scheduled to go daily)?

2) GRR, MSP, DSM, and IND all saw decent loads in December, continuing a trend started a few months back. Some of the increase is attributable to the use of smaller aircraft (37 seat jets vs. 50 seat jets) and stimulation from lower fares caused by AirTran competition. GRR and MSP will be two markets to watch in the coming months. They are both strong Northwest legacy markets and the codeshare/frequent flier agreement helped Midwest fill more seats. I wonder how strong these markets will be once the Delta relationship ends this June.

3) CLE and SDF really seem to be struggling. I guess the only saving grace is the extortion prices Midwest charges on these routes. Several weeks ago I was pricing out a trip to CLE in August. Midwest wanted $809 nearly six months in advance. Yes, $809! I guess you don't have to fill many seats to make a profit at those fare levels.

As for AirTran, it looks like a mixed bag. The leisure routes were fairly strong but the business routes continue to be weak. Do these results have anything to do with AirTran toning down their gushing rhetoric on MKE in general? Then again, perhaps all of the commentary (MKE is a mature market, etc.) is a foreshadowing to an announcement that may be coming within the next couple of weeks
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Old Mar 31, 10, 2:34 pm
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Knope and BlueHorse, where are you guys seeing the third CAK flight? I'm pretty sure FL is keeping DSM and CAK at two daily in the summer which is probably a good idea because FL has struggled with midday flights in general at MKE.

Seeing the SEA results makes it even more surprising that YX did not respond with anything greater than a 4x weekly flight for only 3 or 4 months.

Knope, could you post or tell me where to find the loads for FL on ATL-BOS/LGA/DCA? I think it would be interesting to compare.
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Old Mar 31, 10, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
2) GRR, MSP, DSM, and IND all saw decent loads in December, continuing a trend started a few months back.
As far as DSM is concerned, I am amazed it is doing well. Personally, I will not put up with those planes or the rental car policies. I would rather fly to OMA and drive.
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Old Mar 31, 10, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by lougord99 View Post
As far as DSM is concerned, I am amazed it is doing well. Personally, I will not put up with those planes or the rental car policies. I would rather fly to OMA and drive.
OT, but what's the issue with the rental cars? I've never had the pleasure (or misfortune?) of flying into DSM.
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Old Mar 31, 10, 9:21 pm
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
1) Did MCI-RSW drop-off a cliff after December or what? Obviously the route started at a peak time, but loads were good. Why drop it down to only 1x weekly (when it was scheduled to go daily)?
I suspect bookings got a lot softer after the holidays…the high MCI-RSW loads were for nine round trips run during the holidays.

Reducing MCI-RSW to just on the weekend also helped them make MKE-MCI much better, starting in January.

Prior to the change, MKE-MCI times
7:00am
1:20pm
6:45pm
7:55pm
10:15pm

After the change, MKE-MCI
7:00am
10:40am
1:20pm
6:50pm
10:15pm

Instead of having two evening flights close together which rarely did more than half full, they plugged a large AM gap in the schedule and made themselves more competitive against Southwest. And the extra “plane time” in MKE allowed them to fly MKE-FLL and MKE-TPA at more attractive departure times than originally planned. If MCI-RSW had been booking up, they might have either lived with the old schedule or found another way to make something better. But that’s not what they decided.

Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
2) GRR, MSP, DSM, and IND all saw decent loads in December, continuing a trend started a few months back. Some of the increase is attributable to the use of smaller aircraft (37 seat jets vs. 50 seat jets) and stimulation from lower fares caused by AirTran competition. GRR and MSP will be two markets to watch in the coming months. They are both strong Northwest legacy markets and the codeshare/frequent flier agreement helped Midwest fill more seats. I wonder how strong these markets will be once the Delta relationship ends this June.
IND definitely benefits from the lower fares, although the DSM increase is well before AirTran’s fares kicked in (they started 2/11, and these are December numbers). Monthly boardings for YX in Des Moines year-over-year were up 45% in December, 77% in January, and 77% in February. Hard to know what this is due to. Fares? Expanded corporate contracts? The Skymiles tie in probably didn’t hurt, but last year they had the Worldperks tie in, and NW was larger than DL there. Even merged with Northwest, Delta is only about at part with United at DSM, and American isn’t too far behind.

I agree that GRR and MSP will be bellwether on the affect of the severed DL ties, especially MSP. MSP carries a lot of connecting traffic today, and if the FF tie in helped convince more MSP-CMH passengers to fly Midwest, that draw won’t be there. Also, there won’t be MKE-SLC traffic (for example) flowing through Minneapolis. The majority of that traffic booked on YX appears to have flown on all-Delta metal anyway, but some flew YX to MSP and DL beyond.

(Actually that does bring to mind a benefit of cutting ties with Delta. DL has been very aggressive in pricing flights west, and there are undoubtedly some Midwest passengers who fly Delta via MSP rather than Frontier via DEN. I’m still not keen on losing a major partner, but there are beneficial aspects.)

Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
3) CLE and SDF really seem to be struggling. I guess the only saving grace is the extortion prices Midwest charges on these routes. Several weeks ago I was pricing out a trip to CLE in August. Midwest wanted $809 nearly six months in advance. Yes, $809! I guess you don't have to fill many seats to make a profit at those fare levels.
Yikes! Some of those business markets are brutal without a Friday or Saturday night stay. They do sometimes have business fare sales, but other times not. I fly MKE-GRR periodically, usually with 5-30 days advance notice and no weekend stay. I’ve paid anywhere between $140 and $345 each way. The results on those RJ markets in particular really are influenced by fare and traffic composition.

Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
As for AirTran, it looks like a mixed bag. The leisure routes were fairly strong but the business routes continue to be weak. Do these results have anything to do with AirTran toning down their gushing rhetoric on MKE in general? Then again, perhaps all of the commentary (MKE is a mature market, etc.) is a foreshadowing to an announcement that may be coming within the next couple of weeks
Hard to say, but it will be interesting to see what happens!

Originally Posted by FL787 View Post
Knope and BlueHorse, where are you guys seeing the third CAK flight? I'm pretty sure FL is keeping DSM and CAK at two daily in the summer which is probably a good idea because FL has struggled with midday flights in general at MKE.
When they pulled the mid-day MKE-CAK flight several weeks ago, it was shown as returning in May. When I first noticed that the mid-day MKE-DSM was gone, the 3rd CAK flight was still there. But it is gone now, too. The Skywest utilization wasn’t especially high in this operation to begin with, and with these cuts it is down to 8 hours per day on weekdays and less on weekends. In contrast, the ERJ/ER3’s flying at YX* average 11.5 hours utilization on weekdays. If these Skywest planes would just be sitting idle anyway and Skywest is on the hook for lease payments no matter what, then it might be a better plan to get some revenue out of them. But the incremental costs (fuel, maintenance, labor, etc) need to be covered by Skywest’s share of the revenue or it would be cheaper to leave them parked. That’s essentially what they’re already doing to some extent. Of the five planes, one starts the day about 5 hours later then the others, and two more sit idle for 5+ hours mid-day in Milwaukee.

Originally Posted by FL787 View Post
Seeing the SEA results makes it even more surprising that YX did not respond with anything greater than a 4x weekly flight for only 3 or 4 months.
MKE-SEA is a red-eye on YX, but during summer it should be justified at least 6 days per week. Not sure why they are only doing it four days per week. As for AirTran’s results, the thru traffic to/from Atlanta boosted load factor by about 22 points, so if AirTran had still flown ATL-SEA nonstop (and not sent traffic through Milwaukee),, MKE-SEA would have been more in the range of 68%. And we don’t know how much of that was local or how much was connecting.

Anyway, It does puzzle me that Midwest did not push harder on MKE-SEA during summer, when demand is strong.

Originally Posted by FL787 View Post
Knope, could you post or tell me where to find the loads for FL on ATL-BOS/LGA/DCA? I think it would be interesting to compare.
I’ll pull those in tomorrow and post ‘em.

Last edited by knope2001; Apr 1, 10 at 5:11 am
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Old Mar 31, 10, 11:56 pm
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
OT, but what's the issue with the rental cars? I've never had the pleasure (or misfortune?) of flying into DSM.
They are outrageously expensive and they all have a 150 mile a day limit or milage rates kick in. When I fly somewhere, I rarely stay the entire time in that city.

Also my comment was misplaced. I thought you were referring to Skywest, not YX.
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Old Apr 1, 10, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by FL787 View Post
Knope, could you post or tell me where to find the loads for FL on ATL-BOS/LGA/DCA? I think it would be interesting to compare.
Here you go...I put the ATL load to the right of the name. These are for December 2009
MKE......................ATL
83.2% ….. RSW.....76.2%
82.6% ….. SFO.....87.0%
81.9% ….. LAX.....90.4%
80.4% ….. FLL......77.8%
80.2% ….. TPA.....78.7%
79.2% ….. MCO....81.1%
78.3% ….. LAS.....81.9%
76.9% ….. PHX.....77.2%
74.3% ….. MSP.....73.8%
68.9% ….. LGA.....81.8%
68.2% ….. DEN.....77.3%
67.5% ….. BOS.....78.4%
61.8% ….. BWI.....73.4%
53.6% ….. DCA.....68.9%
49.4% ….. STL.....74.1% (MKE only first part of month)
48.3% ….. PIT .....73.0% (MKE only first part of month)
33.0% ….. IND......67.6%
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Old Apr 1, 10, 5:54 pm
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I'm actually surprised ATL runs as full as it does but I guess capacity is going the other way there so it makes sense loads are higher. I don't think FL is getting better fare composition out of ATL so I think these comparisons are useful. Not surprised to see MKE doing better than ATL here in MSP. As you're well aware, MKE has taken a lot of ATL's connecting MSP traffic. It will be interesting to see the loads this summer as MKE begins to take a larger chunk of FL's transcon traffic from ATL.
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