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Consolidated WN Hawai'i rumors thread (post-ATA)

Consolidated WN Hawai'i rumors thread (post-ATA)

Old Jul 6, 08, 8:48 pm
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Consolidated WN Hawai'i rumors thread (post-ATA)

After speaking to a few flight attendants regarding the ATA bankruptcy, one of them stated that Southwest was researching the feasibility of flying out of a few of it's west coast hubs, where ATA used to fly from, to get to Hawaii. Has anyone else heard this rumor? I believe it only because WN does have the range on some of it's planes and it's the only major US carrier without service to the Hawaiian islands.

Thoughts?
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Old Jul 6, 08, 11:11 pm
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No...very much no. Reasons:

1. Stage length - the BWI-SAN flight is the one true transcon that WN operates. West Coast to HNL is about 300 miles longer. Such a long stage goes against the WN philosophy of short-haul, multi-leg days for its pilots and planes. Each aircraft now per Wiki averages out to 7 cycles per day and a little less than 13 hours in the air. Hawaii flights would mean at most 2 cycles per day for those 12-13 hours.

2. SFO and LAX to Hawaii are already very well covered by the legacies. It's not a typical WN market.

3. They don't have the aircraft...even if they put a 737-700 on the route, none of their aircraft are ETOPS-certified, and I'm not even sure that the 737 family can be ETOPS-certified. When similar rumors of B6 wantng to do LGB-Hawaii came around, the lack of ETOPS on their A320's and the resulting weight penalty of getting them certified sunk anyone who was thinking that the rumor had traction.
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Old Jul 7, 08, 1:09 am
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completely just making this up, but, what if southwest were to fly only intra-hawaii?? they could send some planes over there, and gets frequent intra-island short hops...
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Old Jul 7, 08, 1:37 am
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Originally Posted by ConciergeMike View Post
No...very much no. Reasons:

1. Stage length - the BWI-SAN flight is the one true transcon that WN operates. West Coast to HNL is about 300 miles longer. Such a long stage goes against the WN philosophy of short-haul, multi-leg days for its pilots and planes. Each aircraft now per Wiki averages out to 7 cycles per day and a little less than 13 hours in the air. Hawaii flights would mean at most 2 cycles per day for those 12-13 hours.

2. SFO and LAX to Hawaii are already very well covered by the legacies. It's not a typical WN market.

3. They don't have the aircraft...even if they put a 737-700 on the route, none of their aircraft are ETOPS-certified, and I'm not even sure that the 737 family can be ETOPS-certified. When similar rumors of B6 wantng to do LGB-Hawaii came around, the lack of ETOPS on their A320's and the resulting weight penalty of getting them certified sunk anyone who was thinking that the rumor had traction.
The 737s can absolutely be ETOPS rated; the PrivatAir BBJs are basically just 73Gs with fewer seats. And 737s have made the USA-UK runs every now and then, too. AS flies 738s to HNL from SEA.

I do agree that the stage length and a/c utilization impact will likely prevent it from happening for WN.
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Old Jul 7, 08, 9:50 am
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ATA also flew 738's from OAK-HNL and AQ flew 73G's on West Coast-HNL routes. WN would need ETOPS certification to run these routes. In addition, WN would have to operate red-eye departures, which is against their current philosophy. I'm sure that WN is crunching the numbers to see what it would take to make Hawaii work.

A perfect route for WN would be OAK-HNL. If WN were to start service, I would expect 3 or 4 late afternoon/early evening departures (e.g 4pm, 5:30pm, and 7pm) from OAK-HNL with red-eye returns (e.g. 9pm, 10:30pm, and 11:45PM). That would be the only way to optimize fleet usage and maximize connections.
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Old Jul 7, 08, 11:12 am
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They could do OAK-HNL-OGG-KOA-OAK, something like that. That would get them some intra-island business as well as getting additional routes.

That being said, the idea of spending that amount of time on a 737 makes my legs hurt just sitting here....
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Old Jul 7, 08, 10:56 pm
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Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
A perfect route for WN would be OAK-HNL. If WN were to start service, I would expect 3 or 4 late afternoon/early evening departures (e.g 4pm, 5:30pm, and 7pm) from OAK-HNL with red-eye returns (e.g. 9pm, 10:30pm, and 11:45PM). That would be the only way to optimize fleet usage and maximize connections.
I agree this would be the best route choice for WN to take. With aloha and ata gone, this left the door for Hawaiian to walk right in with no competition. Now WN could also stike a code sharing deal with Hawaiian as many of its mainland destinations like SAN, LAX, LAS, OAK are WN heavy. This would also give them the added benefit of codesharing interisland service as well(something ATA could not offer).
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Old Jul 8, 08, 1:03 am
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Originally Posted by Halo117 View Post
I agree this would be the best route choice for WN to take. With aloha and ata gone, this left the door for Hawaiian to walk right in with no competition. Now WN could also stike a code sharing deal with Hawaiian as many of its mainland destinations like SAN, LAX, LAS, OAK are WN heavy. This would also give them the added benefit of codesharing interisland service as well(something ATA could not offer).
Hawaiian Airline happen to be codesharing with SWA on their cargo already.

I wonder what would happens next.
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Old Jul 8, 08, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by sammy0623 View Post
completely just making this up, but, what if southwest were to fly only intra-hawaii?? they could send some planes over there, and gets frequent intra-island short hops...
I doubt it would be a good use of planes -- lots of takeoffs/landings that are hard on the aircraft and crew, people's expectation of dirt cheap fares, and already a very well supplied market (that you want to add a 737 to?). There are other places that can offer more profit than this I think.
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Old Jul 8, 08, 10:11 am
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
I doubt it would be a good use of planes -- lots of takeoffs/landings that are hard on the aircraft and crew, people's expectation of dirt cheap fares
You must not be very familiar with WN. "Lots of takeoffs/landings" is how they started and where they remain strongest today. As for an expectation of dirt-cheap fares, have you checked the price of oil lately?
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Old Jul 8, 08, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by curbcrusher View Post
You must not be very familiar with WN.
that's true. I'm just going by what I understand about the Hawaiian market, which tells me that Southwest's planes are too valuable for what people will pay there (or use).
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Old Jul 8, 08, 4:02 pm
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HI Market Crazy Right Now

It is too bad that SWA couldn't have started service to HI approximately 2 months after Aloha/ATA died. The sudden drop in demand sent fares through the roof (double and triple earlier fares). However, there is still a great opportunity for the right carrier. Most fares are still double to triple the cost of fares a few months ago. There have been a few additions to the supply from the legacies and from Alaska. But, the fares tell you that supply and demand are still way out of whack.

OAK to HNL might work great. But, HA already has nonstops from OAK, SJC, SFO and SAC. And, you have the legacies from SFO as well. LA also has the most capacity with HA as well as many legacy carriers.

If I were SWA and I wanted to get into the market (not sure it is a great fit with their current fleet and business model), I'd start with the airports with very little legacy competition, but with big SWA presence. SAN is a great example and you could also do SAC or Portland. I think Aloha found that a 737 couldn't make it to LAS reliably and PHX has huge competition from HA and USAir. I would also look for routes without competition such as heading to Maui/Kauai/Big Island where HA only fliest to HNL, etc.

I think the right carrier has a real opportunity to HI right now to fill the niche vacated by Aloha and ATA. But, I doubt SWA has the fleet/business plan to match the opportunity.
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Old Jul 8, 08, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by sdflyer04 View Post
Most fares are still double to triple the cost of fares a few months ago. There have been a few additions to the supply from the legacies and from Alaska. But, the fares tell you that supply and demand are still way out of whack.
This huge price increase is almost certainly the problem that Bill Owen artfully described when he asserted that it was impossible for Southwest to replace ATA tickets through the summer months. He didn't specify what the constraints were, within which replacement was impossible, but apparently the sky was not the limit on what Southwest was willing to pay. IMHO Southwest should have stated that very reasonable position more explicitly.
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Old Jul 8, 08, 5:02 pm
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This was kicked around A LOT here upon ATA's collapse, even including the idea of Southwest buying ATA's planes. But Bill and Brian said no, primarily based on the ETOPS (entire program) issue, both here and on Southwest's own blog. The more we pushed, the more they emphatic they became.
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Old Jun 5, 10, 6:03 pm
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Hawaii on Southwest!?

Does Southwest fly to Hawaii? I couldn't find hawaii as a destination on their route map, and i couldn't find this info any where else via google.

The reason i ask is that a relative of mine is a pilot for SW. He (emailed me) asked if i wanted to use the buddy pass (that pilots get, and that he occasionally gives to me) to go to Hawaii this fall. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised as i have never been to Hawaii.

Seems if they don't fly there already they are going to very soon.

Last edited by frankiwa; Jun 5, 10 at 6:11 pm
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