MKE February traffic record + market share stats

Old Apr 1, 10, 8:02 pm
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Red face MKE February traffic record + market share stats

Milwaukee's February traffic was up 33.7% over last year. Traffic grew from 500,025 last year to 668,504 this year.

February's total was actually 29,000 fewer than January, but January has three more days. The average day in February still saw 1,375 more passengers than January...and about 6,017 more per day than last year.

February 2010 traffic and market share

….224.599 …. 33.8% …… Midwest + Frontier
….198,934 …. 29.8% …… AirTran + Skywest
........178,120 AirTran (26.6%).....20,814 Skywest branded (3.11%)
….101,210 …. 15.1% …… Delta
…...49,705 …… 7.4% …… Southwest
…...26,159 …… 3.9% …… USAirways
…...23,158 …… 3.5% …… American
…...21,974 …… 3.3% …… Continental
…...19,095 …… 2.9% …… United
……..1,440 …… 0.2% …… Air Canada
…….…..607 …… 0.1% …… other
………...596 …… 0.1% …… Great Lakes



Here are the changes in passenger counts for this year compared to last.

…… 79,131 ….. AirTran
…… 49,705 ….. Southwest (new)
…… 37,406 ….. Midwest + Frontier
…… 20,814 ….. Skywest (new)
…….. 4,307 ….. American
…….. 1,658 ….. Continental
………... 491 ….. USAirways
……….... 95 ….. Great Lakes
…….. (365) ….. Air Canada
…….. (719) ….. Other
…… (4,510) ….. United
…… (8,072) ….. Delta
…. (11,449) ….. USA3000

I do think that AirTran will continue to narrow the gap with YX/F9 when including Skywest this summer. Skywest was only about 50% full in February, so there's some room to potentially increase passenger counts there. And there's a net increase in mainline flights of 3 between February actual and summer scheduled, so that will increase FL's counts, too. Some added capacity on the YX/F9 side will likely keep them ahead, but Republic's measured summer increases at MKE won't exactly increase their lead over FL+OO.
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Old Apr 1, 10, 8:05 pm
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I'm not one to use smiley faces, and the one in the header of this thread was accidental. But I guess I could have picked less appropriate ones.
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Old Apr 1, 10, 9:05 pm
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From Milwaukee County press release:

With 48 markets, Mitchell International has moved up to 28th among U.S. airports in number of markets served nonstop, according to data recently published by the Brookings Institute. Mitchell's rank in a similar 2004 study was 34th. The new ranking means that more nonstop markets are served out of Milwaukee than out of other Midwestern cities, such as Nashville; Pittsburgh; Indianapolis and Columbus, and out of medium-sized cities elsewhere in the U.S., including Portland, OR; Austin; New Orleans; San Diego; Raleigh/Durham; Albuquerque; San Antonio and Hartford, CT.

The average airfare out of Milwaukee was lower than the average at 89 other U.S. airports, according to the latest U.S. Department of Transportation statistics (3rd Quarter 2009). Mitchell's average fare was about $81 less than O'Hare's and $60 less than the nation's average fare.
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Old Apr 1, 10, 9:43 pm
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Indeed, very nice results for February. I remember some naysayers on this board questioned whether the MKE airline market could sustain this type of growth.

This proves that fare stimulation works, and I'm sure folks from northern Illinois continue to help bolster MKE's numbers. I noticed that the SuperSaver lot was full last week. The $5/day promotion certainly helps, and the surrounding private lots are also at $5. Exciting to see all of this activity at MKE these days.
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Old Apr 2, 10, 3:47 am
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Another continuing example of how Air Tran was nearly 100% correct about the MKE marketplace.
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Old Apr 2, 10, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by newsmanhoss View Post
I remember some naysayers on this board questioned whether the MKE airline market could sustain this type of growth.
I was one of those naysayers and it's still a big question market if all this growth is sustainable long terrm. It doesn't matter if all of the seats are being filled if no one is making money doing so. AirTran's CFO recently implied that MKE is not currently profitable.

As I've said before, something will have to give at MKE in order for the revenue environment to improve. If some of the current trends we're seeing hold, it appears as if Southwest will be the odd man out.

Of course, things could change dramatically in the next couple of weeks if Republic/AirTran announce an expanded partnership/alliance.
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Old Apr 2, 10, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
I was one of those naysayers and it's still a big question market if all this growth is sustainable long terrm. It doesn't matter if all of the seats are being filled if no one is making money doing so. AirTran's CFO recently implied that MKE is not currently profitable.

As I've said before, something will have to give at MKE in order for the revenue environment to improve. If some of the current trends we're seeing hold, it appears as if Southwest will be the odd man out.

Of course, things could change dramatically in the next couple of weeks if Republic/AirTran announce an expanded partnership/alliance.
I actually don't recall you being much of a naysayer. I do recall a poster on this board from IND saying that there's no way MKE would be able to handle all of this additional capacity. So far, MKE has delivered results, at least as far as loads are concerned.

I don't recall the comments that AirTran is not profitable at MKE, but maybe I just didn't come across them.

You're right...no one knows about the long-term sustainability, but so far the facts prove that the market does have room to grow substantially.

This all shows that the MKE market is at least able to grow substantially, even during the winter and during a down travel market. The impact from Chicago and other markets within reasonable driving distance of MKE is huge.

It makes one wonder which other metro areas can/cannot sustain growth if they were in a similar competitive environment. I'm sure some would do better than others.
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Old Apr 2, 10, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by newsmanhoss View Post
This all shows that the MKE market is at least able to grow substantially, even during the winter and during a down travel market. The impact from Chicago and other markets within reasonable driving distance of MKE is huge.
I agree. We've talked about this before, but it's nice to see MKE move from a quiet backwater to one of the fastest growing airports in the nation.

Besides the service increases, I'm glad to see the airport is making some much needed changes to the existing infastructure and amenities. There are now cheaper parking options, significantly improved food and retail vendors, and a much better awareness of the airport in general among people in Northern Illinois and other portions of Wisconsin. Also, the stigma some people had with making a connection in MKE seems to be disappearing as well.

These are all very good things.
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Old Apr 2, 10, 10:18 am
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It is nice to see that MKE is prospering in a time like this.

But not to play the devils advocate here, but do you think it would have the same type of numbers if AirTran and WX were NOT pushing this market to grow? I highly doubt that YX would have been able to so the same thing alone.

Last edited by MKE 1K; Apr 2, 10 at 10:21 am Reason: spelling
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Old Apr 2, 10, 10:19 am
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Dupe post
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Old Apr 2, 10, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by hazelrah View Post
Another continuing example of how Air Tran was nearly 100% correct about the MKE marketplace.
Maybe like 70% right. I saved AirTran's presentation to the Midwest BOD and their proposed route map that they said MKE could support is not there yet. Here is a partial list of cities they said MKE could support:

Montreal
Toronto
Vancouver
Cancun
San Jose
Salt Lake City
Albuquerque
San Antonio
Houston
New Orleans
San Juan
Miami
West Palm Beach
Charlotte
Raleigh/Durham
Richmond
Rochester

There might be more but the route map is all crunched together with lots of lines. I always wanted AirTran to do organic growth at MKE and I am happy it turned out that way. I know the recession and deferred B737 orders have crimped AirTran's ability to expand, but I am watching to see if any of these routes listed above come to fruitation for AirTran. Their growth at MKE was no small feat and I am not trying to take away from what they accomplished so far.
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Old Apr 2, 10, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by MKE 1K View Post
But not to play the devils advocate here, but do you think it would have the same type of numbers if AirTran and WX were NOT pushing this market to grow? I highly doubt that YX would have been able to so the same thing alone.
Absolutely true. Southwest brings a new credibility to MKE, both for a real segment of metro Chicago travelers, and to Southwest devotees in strong WN areas. The fare wars which AirTran has brought have definitely stimulated the market as well...both former high-fare markets (like MSP) and markets where fares were already very competitive before hand (like LAX). And AirTran also brings tens of thousands of new connecting passengers through MKE every month which add to the airports numbers.
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Old Apr 2, 10, 12:19 pm
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I think I posted a list like this last month, too. MKE is again outboarding airports which were until recently far larger. Historically, MKE was always a notch below places like San Antonio, Indianapolis, and Columbus...jockeying with places like Albuquerque, Hartford, and West Palm Beach for position around #50-55 in rank. I believe this would put them at #34 with MEM at #33 and OAK at #32. I don't see them climbing all much higher anytime soon...they might surpass Memphis and Oakland, but then airports like STL, PDX, MDW and DCA come next. They'd need some additional significant growth to go much further up. Still...quite a feat.

670,048 ….. Memphis
668,504 ….. Milwaukee
647,318 ….. Cleveland
630,940 ….. Kansas City
611,709 ….. Houson Hobby
599,114 ….. Orange County
595,474 ….. Sacramento
594,448 ….. Cincinnati
591,934 ….. Nashville
554,479 ….. San Jose
549,349 ….. San Antonio
539,321 ….. Dallas Love
530,487 ….. Raleigh / Durham
516,949 ….. Indianapolis
497,237 ….. Pittsburgh
418,398 ….. Columbus
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Old Apr 5, 10, 12:46 pm
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Standard Milwaukee Business Journal output:

http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/mil...05/daily7.html

AirTran nears 30 percent market share at Mitchell

AirTran Airways’ market share at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport grew to 29.8 percent in February, according to statistics recently released by the airport.

The Orlando, Fla.-based airline’s Mitchell market share — defined as total passengers boarding flights — stood at 28.5 percent in January and 27.2 percent in December 2009.

The figures include passenger counts from AirTran’s regional service provided through a marketing partnership with SkyWest Airlines Inc. that began in November 2009.

Orlando, Fla.-based AirTran (NYSE: AAI) has been undergoing an aggressive expansion at Mitchell since 2007, following its failed hostile takeover of Midwest Air Group Inc. of Oak Creek, the then-corporate parent of Midwest Airlines.

Midwest Airlines, long the dominant carrier at Mitchell, had a market share of 31.0 percent at Mitchell for February, down from 31.9 in January.

Midwest is owned by Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: RJET), which also owns Frontier Airlines of Denver. The February market share for Frontier, which has an extensive codeshare agreement with Midwest, stood at 2.7 percent.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), which launched service at Mitchell in November 2009, saw its market share dip again in February to 7.4 percent, compared with about 8 percent for January. Southwest reported a market share of 8.7 percent for November 2009 and December 2009.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) held the No. 3 spot at Mitchell with a market share of about 14.3 percent for February, compared with 14.1 percent for January.
The basic information is correct, but it's how they use it which matters.

Midwest and Frontier are two brands owned by the same company.
Midwest and Frontier are becoming a single airline brand in short order.
Midwest and Frontier have been cross-flying for each other for months...not just code share, but flights sold and operated as Midwest are in some instances actually flown by Frontier planes, and vice versa.

AirTran and Skywest are separate companies.
AirTran does not put its branding on Skywest flights -- there is no AirTran Express here, no AirTran paint scheme, etc.
AirTran is quick to point out that this is not the standard regional airline relationship.
AirTran denies the Skywest flying as part of them with their continued "business class and wi-fi on every flight" campaign.

Yet the Business Journal chooses to portray "AirTran" as AirTran+Skywest. And they compare it not to Midwest+Frontier but to Midwest alone. They mention Frontier in a subsequent paragraph. Because of the cross-flying, it's not even clear in the MKE airport stats what flying is reported as what carrier. That's especially true with cross-flying going both directions (some Frontier flights at MKE are operated by E170 and E190) so it is not even clear what the 31% they attribute specifically to Midwest is.

The raw numbers are what they are, but they should have been handled in the same way...separate, together, together with an asterisk, or whatever. But perhaps I'm expecting too much of them.

Watch for this report to be the source of a news snippet on Channel 6, and then later in other media outlets.
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