New competitive expansion by AirTran at MKE

Old Feb 11, 09, 10:30 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by knope2001 View Post
More details and modifications

MSP is 3x, not 1x
DEN (1) /STL (2) /Branson (1) are as described earlier

Year-round
ATL
LGA
BWI
MCO
TPA
LAS
BOS (new)
LAX (new)
MSP
STL
BKG (Branson, new)

Seasonal
PHX
RSW (saturday only in offseason)
DEN
SAN
SFO
SEA
FLL
So I'm curious is AirTran still flying to PHX or does that only return for 2 weeks around Christmas and New Years? Any ideas? Too many seats on the route already with US and YX?
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Old Feb 12, 09, 6:10 am
  #17  
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Originally Posted by AviationFan24 View Post
So I'm curious is AirTran still flying to PHX or does that only return for 2 weeks around Christmas and New Years? Any ideas? Too many seats on the route already with US and YX?
It's back starting today for about 8 weeks.

MKE-PHX was in last summer's winter expansion original press release but then was pulled, then it was added later just for Christmas/New Years, then it was expanded for all of winter, then it was pulled again from January 5 until February 12. It ends 4/12 if I recall correctly.
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Old Feb 12, 09, 7:28 am
  #18  
 
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Opinion piece in today's Journal Sentinel from Jay Sorensen, a former YX marketing manager.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/39459737.html
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Old Feb 15, 09, 8:49 pm
  #19  
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Thought I’d comment on AirTran’s service expansion announcement this past week in terms of what it says about the Midwest / AirTran fight in Milwaukee.

First, the year-round plans for Tampa, Los Angeles, and Boston. I guess I’ll believe it when I see it. Tampa has been announced as year-round but then cut back four times now by my count, including just this very winter. As for Boston, AirTran can’t even justify flying to Midway in winter in spite of zero competition. As for Los Angeles, if Delta/NW keeps their nonstop a red-eye eastbound, this has a decent chance for AirTran. I’m not saying there’s zero chance any of these year-round pronouncements can’t happen, nor that they are not sincere in their plans. But they have broken these sorts of promises again and again, and with the recession killing a lot of traffic let’s just say I have my doubts. As for Midwest, having AirTran year round probably won’t hurt Tampa too much. If AirTran does slough through the winter flying mostly empty planes to Boston, that will put pressure on Midwest’s yields during a slow period.

Now to the new cities.

Denver
Although this is a Midwest market, AirTran’s once-per-day flight just during the summer peak is almost a non-event. Even with the added AirTran flight, MKE-DEN will see about 20% fewer seats than last summer as things currently stand.

Branson
Quite a wild card, considering it is a market with no air service today. From Milwaukee, Branson is a solid but very reasonable one-day drive (about 9.5 hours) and this is the realm of retiree bus trips. No effect on Midwest at all.

Minneapolis
An interesting choice, although Delta (Northwest) carries the large majority of local traffic rather than Midwest. AirTran’s 3x/day schedule is workable for business, and they will get some traffic. With code-sharing partners NW and YX almost certain to match fares and offering 12 ½ round trips per day, the real impact on Midwest will be lower business fares. At this point AirTran has scheduled their flights to and from MSP to have surprisingly little connectivity at Milwaukee.

St Louis
I find this one most interesting precisely because it does *not* go after Midwest in the least. I’d heard Kansas City rather than St Louis, and while my info might not have been reliable, entering MCI-MKE would have been squarely aimed at hurting Midwest, profit or not. Instead they picked a market (St Louis) which doesn’t affect Midwest at all. A market where they face off against American’s 3 daily regional jets. They could have just as easily picked one of Midwest’s high-fare RJ markets like Columbus, Dayton, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, or of course Kansas City.

The fact that AirTran seemed to decidedly avoid aggressive direct competition with Midwest in this round of expansion is very interesting. Looking at how poorly AirTran has done this winter in attracting passengers for their MKE-LGA flights (I suspect January will make November’s 48.3% look bounteous) coupled with the lack of any real “gotcha” expansion against Midwest in Milwaukee, I wonder if they are finding it harder than they expected to steal much of Midwest’s traffic base. Certainly AirTran has picked up a great deal of traffic in Milwaukee. But nearly every expansion market that has been successful for them here has been one where Midwest cutbacks handed them a lot of traffic. Not only that, but AirTran’s backfilling has largely not come close to replacing the lost Midwest capacity. Of course they carry a lot of passengers and fly rather full planes. But that’s not a sign that they are successfully eating away at Midwest’s traffic base in competitive markets. This latest AirTran expansion aimed away from Midwest suggests further that they might not be eating Midwest’s lunch in the way everybody assumes.

I’m not saying they can’t inflict damage, nor that they have no effect on Midwest. Of course not. But I think a lot of people assumed that AirTran can just walk in at will and do as they will with Midwest. Certain signs, including this latest expansion, are not exactly pointing that way.
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Old Feb 15, 09, 9:28 pm
  #20  
 
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I think that Airtran will most likely fail on some of those routes. Branson will fail. It will get pulled in September. They are also trying to keep 2 flights to LAX year round. That is not smart. The MKE-LAX market is not that big of a market. Airtran does have a focus city in Boston so they will have some name recognition in the market.

My problem with Midwest is the fact that they have outsourced so many of their flights. Its not the same airline anymore. It is Midwest air operated by.....

MKE needs WN and Jet Blue (although neither carrier is likely to enter the market ever)
Tim34 is offline  
Old Feb 16, 09, 6:16 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by knope2001 View Post
Thought I’d comment on AirTran’s service expansion announcement this past week in terms of what it says about the Midwest / AirTran fight in Milwaukee.

The fact that AirTran seemed to decidedly avoid aggressive direct competition with Midwest in this round of expansion is very interesting. Looking at how poorly AirTran has done this winter in attracting passengers for their MKE-LGA flights (I suspect January will make November’s 48.3% look bounteous) coupled with the lack of any real “gotcha” expansion against Midwest in Milwaukee, I wonder if they are finding it harder than they expected to steal much of Midwest’s traffic base. Certainly AirTran has picked up a great deal of traffic in Milwaukee. But nearly every expansion market that has been successful for them here has been one where Midwest cutbacks handed them a lot of traffic. Not only that, but AirTran’s backfilling has largely not come close to replacing the lost Midwest capacity. Of course they carry a lot of passengers and fly rather full planes. But that’s not a sign that they are successfully eating away at Midwest’s traffic base in competitive markets. This latest AirTran expansion aimed away from Midwest suggests further that they might not be eating Midwest’s lunch in the way everybody assumes.

I’m not saying they can’t inflict damage, nor that they have no effect on Midwest. Of course not. But I think a lot of people assumed that AirTran can just walk in at will and do as they will with Midwest. Certain signs, including this latest expansion, are not exactly pointing that way.
At the press conference, FL said they weren't trying to steal passengers from other carriers. Rather, they said they are trying to grow the pie and expand MKE's passenger base. Of course, we all know that AirTran would benefit by hurting YX, but I think some of their decisions (i.e. Branson and St. Louis) show that they are not all about hurting YX.
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Old Feb 16, 09, 6:18 am
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by Tim34 View Post
I think that Airtran will most likely fail on some of those routes. Branson will fail. It will get pulled in September. They are also trying to keep 2 flights to LAX year round. That is not smart. The MKE-LAX market is not that big of a market. Airtran does have a focus city in Boston so they will have some name recognition in the market.

My problem with Midwest is the fact that they have outsourced so many of their flights. Its not the same airline anymore. It is Midwest air operated by.....

MKE needs WN and Jet Blue (although neither carrier is likely to enter the market ever)
What makes you see that WN and JetBle will not come here? Most major cities have WN now...if they want to do any further expansion in the future, there aren't many left. I will admit it might be a while. But I predict Southwest and JetBlue will enter the Milwaukee market within the next 5-10 years.
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Old Feb 17, 09, 7:28 pm
  #23  
 
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Branson may work out rather well

When you realize that Branson'w new airport is 45 minutes drive from SGF which is on the North side of Springfield (160.000 people) and Branson (6.000)to the south, Airtran will bring passengers down from Springfield as the fares are about half of those from SGF.

About 20 miles to the south you have Harrison (15.000) with FedEX and other large employers.

Also, Branson will be paying about $ 8.24 for each arriving passenger for a few years.

Airtran will only have 1 daily flight to Branson from ATL and MKE so I think it will survive.
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Old Feb 17, 09, 7:36 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by julleflyer View Post
When you realize that Branson'w new airport is 45 minutes drive from SGF which is on the North side of Springfield (160.000 people) and Branson (6.000)to the south, Airtran will bring passengers down from Springfield as the fares are about half of those from SGF.

About 20 miles to the south you have Harrison (15.000) with FedEX and other large employers.

Also, Branson will be paying about $ 8.24 for each arriving passenger for a few years.

Airtran will only have 1 daily flight to Branson from ATL and MKE so I think it will survive.
I just noticed that Branson is advertising on TV here in the Milwaukee market.
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