YX applies for additional DCA slots

Old Dec 19, 07, 11:10 am
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YX applies for additional DCA slots

Midwest Airlines filed an application with the DOT this morning for two additional pairs of slots to add an extra daily round-trip flight on the MKE-DCA and MCI-DCA routes. These slots became available after ATA discontinued MDW-DCA service.

Also today, AirTran has filed an application with the DOT to operate 2 daily round-trip flights from between DCA and JAX or MKE.
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Old Dec 19, 07, 11:32 am
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Do you have the link of where we can write for support
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Old Dec 19, 07, 1:45 pm
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I highly doubt Midwest will get the slots. That does not add competition.
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Old Dec 19, 07, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Tim34 View Post
I highly doubt Midwest will get the slots. That does not add competition.
I disagree completely. The DOT favors giving access to new entrants or smaller airlines with limited service. This helps increase competition at DCA.

So far, five airlines have applied for the extra slots. U.S. Airways and Delta already have very large operations at DCA (U.S. Airways alone holds over 350 slots). They could easily cut back frequency on some routes to start service to new cities if they so desired. Spirit wants to add another round-trip to FLL (which is also served by U.S. Airways). AirTran wants to add flights to either JAX or MKE.

Earlier this year, a pair of slots was awarded to AirTran to increase service to their ATL hub. Since the planes to both MKE and MCI carry good loads most months, I'd say Midwest has a very good chance of securing at least one pair of slots (I'd be very surprised if they got both pairs).
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Old Dec 19, 07, 7:35 pm
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
I disagree completely. The DOT favors giving access to new entrants or smaller airlines with limited service. This helps increase competition at DCA..
Given that Midwest already has 4 non-stop flights/day DCA ->MKE, I'd say they don't have a snowball's chance of getting an additonal slot for this route. It would hardly be equitable, and the addition of Air Tran service ensures competition.
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Old Dec 19, 07, 8:17 pm
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Originally Posted by hazelrah View Post
Given that Midwest already has 4 non-stop flights/day DCA ->MKE, I'd say they don't have a snowball's chance of getting an additonal slot for this route. It would hardly be equitable, and the addition of Air Tran service ensures competition.
I wouldn't say Midwest doesn't "have a snowball's chance" of getting awarded an additional pair of slots for added frequency. Midwest can make a pretty strong case for an additional flight from MKE and/or MCI and DCA.

The problem with AirTran's application is that they want both pairs of slots to start either JAX or MKE service. I'd say they have almost no chance of getting both slots, so why even bother starting 1x daily service. MKE is not a leisure market and frequency is king on business routes. Given this and the fact that both Delta and U.S. Airways are already large players at DCA, I think a strong case can be made for giving one pair of slots to Midwest and another pair to Spirit. Also, AirTran got a pair of slots during the last lottery earlier this year so that may play a factor in the DOT's decision as well.

We'll see how things turn out.
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Old Dec 19, 07, 10:22 pm
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I think Midwest should have a better chance at getting two slots than AirTran. At least Midwest knows where they want to use them. AirTran can't decide.
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Old Dec 20, 07, 6:49 am
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
I wouldn't say Midwest doesn't "have a snowball's chance" of getting awarded an additional pair of slots for added frequency. Midwest can make a pretty strong case for an additional flight from MKE and/or MCI and DCA.
With respect to MKE->DCA, I respectfully disagree;no strong case can be made for an additional YX slot. Particularly since Midwest is abandoning signature seating, won't they be adding capacity on all of their 717s? The only reason they would need another slot for this route would be anti-competitive.
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Old Dec 20, 07, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by hazelrah View Post
With respect to MKE->DCA, I respectfully disagree;no strong case can be made for an additional YX slot. Particularly since Midwest is abandoning signature seating, won't they be adding capacity on all of their 717s? The only reason they would need another slot for this route would be anti-competitive.
Midwest is not completely abandoning Signature Service. The 717s will still have 40 of the 2x2 seats. When the planes are re-configured next year, an additional 11 seats will be added to each aircraft.

The application for additional MKE and/or MCI service isn't necessarily an anti-competitive response. Midwest has been trying to secure additional slots for DCA service for several years now. The problem is slots are hard to come by and very expensive (assuming they could find another carrier willing to sell or lease slots). As you know, Midwest earlier this year applied for a pair of slots in order to add a 5th MKE-DCA trip. Why? Because DCA is a critical market for Midwest and the loads/yields are there to justify another flight.

You could have made the same argument about MKE-LGA service as well. Yet, Midwest was able to obtain slots for additional flights to MKE and MCI and they haven't struggled to fill the planes, despite the added capacity.

All of this was happening before AirTran acquired its extra gate space in Milwaukee and hinted at additional expansion. Whether Midwest or AirTran get the award, there is room for more capacaity between MKE-DCA.
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