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LAXintl
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Alaska ending Cuba service

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:22 pm

Ending daily LAX-Havana effective January 22nd.

Alaska Airlines will discontinue flying to Havana, Cuba. Aircraft and crew will be re-deployed to markets with higher demand
https://newsroom.alaskaair.com/2017-11- ... avana-Cuba

=

No shock. Surprised it lasted a full year.

Regardless of the politics it was an odd route for AS. And to think they wanted to operate it double daily !
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
ridgid727
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:29 pm

Agreed, No Shock, and I think you are going to see more discontinuance by other carriers as well on other routes.
 
grbauc
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:29 pm

yea not sure why AS thought that this was a good one to fly. I know the warm and fuzzy between AS/AA is gone and they are now more of competitors now, was a good choice. I watched fares and They were not getting much of if any premium on FC seats vs AA connections Service CLT/MIA.
 
HeeseokKoo
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:36 pm

Hmm... makes me wonder if there were any update on the last HAV slot distribution, now that there will be additional slot release by AS.

viewtopic.php?t=1372451
 
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TransWorldOne
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:39 pm

I still can't fathom why Alaska thought there was money to be made on a long route like LAX-HAV. As others have indicated, I'm surprised that it lasted this long.
 
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:51 pm

TransWorldOne wrote:
I still can't fathom why Alaska thought there was money to be made on a long route like LAX-HAV. As others have indicated, I'm surprised that it lasted this long.


My understanding is that it ultimately was a strategic decision made on the hopes that the opening of the Cuba market under the Obama administration would stimulate additional growth in tourism down the line. It seemed logical at the time, as it appeared there was a high probability the policies of the previous administration would continue under what was assumed to be an incoming Clinton administration.

Obviously, that changed, and so did the projections for future growth and maturity of the market.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
AWACSooner
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:52 pm

Cuba will take probably a decade before it becomes anywhere NEAR the destination from the US that other Caribbean destinations have become. A half-century of embargo and mistrust will do that to ya...and a glaring lack of support infrastructure.
 
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enilria
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:58 pm

LAXintl wrote:
Ending daily LAX-Havana effective January 22nd.

Alaska Airlines will discontinue flying to Havana, Cuba. Aircraft and crew will be re-deployed to markets with higher demand
https://newsroom.alaskaair.com/2017-11- ... avana-Cuba

=

No shock. Surprised it lasted a full year.

Regardless of the politics it was an odd route for AS. And to think they wanted to operate it double daily !

They wasted a lot of money on denial.
 
tphuang
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:58 pm

Yet all these other carriers are still chasing after the newly available slots. Maybe there will be more demand to Havana this year due to what happened in summer time. Seems like a lot of craziness.

Maybe aa will end up with their 3rd daily from Miami after all.
 
SurfandSnow
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:01 am

LA is certainly a market where novelty has its appeal (those lines for the first local Shake Shack were insane) and many Angelenos wanted to be that savvy trendsetter posting to Facebook and Instagram from Cuba before everyone else... but at the same time, LAX-Caribbean has *never* worked. Why would this be any different - especially once the novelty factor wore off?

If the new Costa Rican routes are doing well, maybe these resources can be used to start something like LAX-MGA/PTY?
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jumbojet
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:03 am

AWACSooner wrote:
Cuba will take probably a decade before it becomes anywhere NEAR the destination from the US that other Caribbean destinations have become. .


Probably longer. Trump is dead set against the deal Obama made with Cuba.

It doesn't help when the U.S. bans Americans from staying at over 80 Cuban hotels.

Americans can still fly to Cuba under new rules put out by the Trump administration's new rules. But once they land on the island, they'll need to avoid more than 80 hotels and dozens of other companies that the U.S. says are tied to Cuba's military, intelligence or security services.

The State Department issued a Cuba Restricted List on Wednesday, placing dozens of hotels off-limits to American visitors


Full article here:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way ... ban-hotels
 
hiflyeras
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:19 am

New Trump administration restrictions on travelers to Cuba were the death-knell of AS's service to HAV. I wouldn't be surprised to see others reduce or cancel service as well. Costa Rica has done really well for them...maybe there are opportunities to other Central America markets.

Not mentioned is AS is also dropping VX flights to CUN from SFO and LAX. I read yesterday that CUN hotels are hurting with low occupancy rates. US travelers are starting to avoid Mexico and it's a shame but until they can assure traveler's safety people will opt for the Caribbean and Hawaii instead. I'm guessing AS will redeploy these aircraft to Hawaii.
 
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:30 am

hiflyeras wrote:
AS is also dropping VX flights to CUN from SFO and LAX. I read yesterday that CUN hotels are hurting with low occupancy rates. US travelers are starting to avoid Mexico and it's a shame but until they can assure traveler's safety people will opt for the Caribbean and Hawaii instead. I'm guessing AS will redeploy these aircraft to Hawaii.


For 2018, the focus is really on keeping costs low while investing in the most profitable routes. As a result, AS is exiting some low-performing routes, while reducing frequencies in other markets to bring up load factors and profit margins. The end goal is to better manage the route network and deploy resources in the markets that are the most popular and in highest demand while integrating VX and aligning the aircraft to the right markets and times.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
jumbojet
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:31 am

This is slightly off topic a little bit but when Saint Maarten rebounds to its full potential, I think AS would do great on a non-stop from LAX-SXM. It would be the only non-stop from the west coast to SXM. Not sure if the range is there on any of the planes in AS's fleet but it could work, at least on a seasonal basis.
 
AWACSooner
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:34 am

jumbojet wrote:
This is slightly off topic a little bit but when Saint Maarten rebounds to its full potential, I think AS would do great on a non-stop from LAX-SXM. It would be the only non-stop from the west coast to SXM. Not sure if the range is there on any of the planes in AS's fleet but it could work, at least on a seasonal basis.

Why? Hawaii is just as far a flight and PVR, SJD, and MZT are all beach destinations that are less than a 2-hour flight fro LAX
 
jumbojet
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:39 am

AWACSooner wrote:
jumbojet wrote:
This is slightly off topic a little bit but when Saint Maarten rebounds to its full potential, I think AS would do great on a non-stop from LAX-SXM. It would be the only non-stop from the west coast to SXM. Not sure if the range is there on any of the planes in AS's fleet but it could work, at least on a seasonal basis.

Why? Hawaii is just as far a flight and PVR, SJD, and MZT are all beach destinations that are less than a 2-hour flight fro LAX


Why? Because if they could make money on it, then why not? SXM is no small potatoes. While it might not be as grand a destination as Hawaii, SXM is also used as a spring board to other nearby, desirable Islands.
 
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Continental767
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:44 am

Can’t say I didn’t see that one coming. Can’t even imagine how much money they lost in that short run
Indianapolis.
 
commavia
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:45 am

EA CO AS wrote:
My understanding is that it ultimately was a strategic decision made on the hopes that the opening of the Cuba market under the Obama administration would stimulate additional growth in tourism down the line. It seemed logical at the time, as it appeared there was a high probability the policies of the previous administration would continue under what was assumed to be an incoming Clinton administration.

Obviously, that changed, and so did the projections for future growth and maturity of the market.


With respect, that's a convenient excuse - and one hardly being used solely by Alaska - but it's ultimately unconvincing. The reality is that tourism remained officially illegal for U.S. citizens, and that was never going to change because the next president was a Democrat or Republican. That requires action by the legislative branch, and cannot be changed by executive order. In any event, LAX-HAV never made logical sense - "at the time," or subsequently.
 
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:51 am

commavia wrote:
With respect, that's a convenient excuse - and one hardly being used solely by Alaska - but it's ultimately unconvincing.


It's an explanation, not an excuse. I'd call it an excuse for carriers pulling out of an over-served HAV from the east coast, but being the sole offering from the west coast meant the odds of success were substantially higher.

At the end of the day, like any other new route, it's a calculated risk; the demand will be there, or it won't. In this case, projections for increased demand did not materialize to the degree AS wanted. Add that to a new, more competitive environment than AS faced systemwide than before this service was announced, coupled with higher fuel costs, and it makes sense for AS to cut the experiment short and use the assets elsewhere.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
berari
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:53 am

How strong is the Alaska brand outside of the NW? I know they are growing in LAX, but even then, would they have better a image with a different brand? They had an opportunity to be branded Virgin with the merger which has better recognition, but for some reason I always feel like their brand pigeonholes them to the NW corner of the country.
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:53 am

hiflyeras wrote:
Not mentioned is AS is also dropping VX flights to CUN from SFO and LAX. I read yesterday that CUN hotels are hurting with low occupancy rates. US travelers are starting to avoid Mexico and it's a shame but until they can assure traveler's safety people will opt for the Caribbean and Hawaii instead. I'm guessing AS will redeploy these aircraft to Hawaii.


Huh?
Where are you seeing low occupancy in Cancun or that US travelers are avoiding Mexico, in general?

I've been to Cancun twice in the last year and the place is wall-to-wall with gringo touristas, as far as I'm concerned. I'll be in Mexico, Pacific side in less than a week..... I expect to see no different.

California has never been a big source for Gulf side tourism, so I'm not sure that AS's lack of profitability means much.

But, back on topic - Cuba was way too long a flight for this to be profitable. Another example of why AS really needs a presence further east, IMO.
Last edited by FlyHappy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
chepos
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:01 am

jumbojet wrote:
This is slightly off topic a little bit but when Saint Maarten rebounds to its full potential, I think AS would do great on a non-stop from LAX-SXM. It would be the only non-stop from the west coast to SXM. Not sure if the range is there on any of the planes in AS's fleet but it could work, at least on a seasonal basis.



That would be a great way to burn a whole lot of dinero. Cuba for the moment will solely work out of MIA for obvious reasons, every other route makes little to no sense.
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:01 am

berari wrote:
How strong is the Alaska brand outside of the NW? I know they are growing in LAX, but even then, would they have better a image with a different brand? They had an opportunity to be branded Virgin with the merger which has better recognition, but for some reason I always feel like their brand pigeonholes them to the NW corner of the country.


Strong, and getting stronger. In fact, recent surveys have shown awareness of AS among Bay Area travelers has jumped 16% since January 2016 to 47%, one point higher than VX. AS continues to launch campaigns to build preference among travelers outside the PNW.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
AWACSooner
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:08 am

jumbojet wrote:

Why? Because if they could make money on it, then why not? SXM is no small potatoes. While it might not be as grand a destination as Hawaii, SXM is also used as a spring board to other nearby, desirable Islands.

Then I'll do ya one further...why doesn't AA start MIA to HNL? There's no one else on that route and could be a gold mine ;)
 
jumbojet
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:21 am

AWACSooner wrote:
jumbojet wrote:

There's no one else on that route and could be a gold mine ;)


It very well could be. AA should try it. They have a few planes that could make it.

AS on LAX-SXM would only work with the A319. Nothing else really has the range. Maybe the 737-700 but the range on the AS 737, according to the AS website, is 2,985 NM. LAX to SEA is 3090 NM.
 
N757ST
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:34 am

SXM to LAX would not just be range limited, but runway limited as well.
 
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RWA380
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:44 am

commavia wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
My understanding is that it ultimately was a strategic decision made on the hopes that the opening of the Cuba market under the Obama administration would stimulate additional growth in tourism down the line. It seemed logical at the time, as it appeared there was a high probability the policies of the previous administration would continue under what was assumed to be an incoming Clinton administration.

Obviously, that changed, and so did the projections for future growth and maturity of the market.


With respect, that's a convenient excuse - and one hardly being used solely by Alaska - but it's ultimately unconvincing. The reality is that tourism remained officially illegal for U.S. citizens, and that was never going to change because the next president was a Democrat or Republican. That requires action by the legislative branch, and cannot be changed by executive order. In any event, LAX-HAV never made logical sense - "at the time," or subsequently.


With respect, what EA CO AS stated, was similar to something an emerald tower AS employee had indicated to me a week ago, the political climate is a factor in the decision to adjust certain International routes.

We were not speaking of this route in particular, but he was adamant that it has been a factor & it's not a partisan issue. Any president has the ability to influence travel trends from creating new laws, to going to war, events certainly change where we travel.

I don't think his comments were improper, as any company whose profits depend on the flying public, AS must consider many things, for example if it's getting, or going to get, harder to get into & or back into the USA for their passengers, than when they took on the route, that could easily be the difference between a marginable flight & a money loser. Or the logistics of overnighting crew members, AS is the only US carrier I know that does this. I had heard that junior crews were flying the route, because the senior FA's do not like flying the route, that is from a PDX based flight attendant that I've been friends with since high school, take that for what it's worth.

As we all know, AS did take a chance on this flight, as did every other carrier that took on Cuba slots (except maybe from MIA) & AS never expected to get both slots from LAX that they requested as some had indicated, but it was a calculated risk, the mindset was to convince the powers that be that AS was serious about Cuba. If it was a total failure, wouldn't they be exiting the route sooner than late January?

I am glad to see AS took the time to experience the market, it shows they are ready to take some limited risks & it also shows that they are willing to stick with it long enough to see if the market will grow & they are willing to let go of a hard to obtain asset, if it's not working.

The route obviously hasn't grown enough to make flying that 737 daily the best idea for their bottom line, when they can fly that same plane at 95% lf's & make decent money to Hawaii instead.

I think AS won't be back into the Caribbean for a very long time. I expect AS to continue putting their focus on building their West Coast presence & focusing on the competition from WN & DL.
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ahj2000
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:48 am

KInd of sad but mit makes a bunch of sense. Does AS offer any way to Cuba now? (Codeshare etc?)
-Andrés Juánez
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:55 am

N757ST wrote:
SXM to LAX would not just be range limited, but runway limited as well.


SXM to LAX is a non-starter since one can easily connect on AA to SXM either through MIA or CLT. Has AA ever done DFW - SXM?
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:59 am

jumbojet wrote:
AWACSooner wrote:
jumbojet wrote:

There's no one else on that route and could be a gold mine ;)


It very well could be. AA should try it. They have a few planes that could make it.

AS on LAX-SXM would only work with the A319. Nothing else really has the range. Maybe the 737-700 but the range on the AS 737, according to the AS website, is 2,985 NM. LAX to SEA is 3090 NM.


AS to SXM would never be profitable. Air Jamaica tried flying to Kingston and Montego Bay from LAX and that didn't last long, even with an A320. AS would make more money on sending a 737-700 from SEA to SBP, then SMX. CUN would be about as Caribbean as it gets for the time-being.
 
commavia
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:13 am

RWA380 wrote:
With respect, what EA CO AS stated, was similar to something an emerald tower AS employee had indicated to me a week ago, the political climate is a factor in the decision to adjust certain International routes.

We were not speaking of this route in particular, but he was adamant that it has been a factor & it's not a partisan issue. Any president has the ability to influence travel trends from creating new laws, to going to war, events certainly change where we travel.

I don't think his comments were improper, as any company whose profits depend on the flying public, AS must consider many things, for example if it's getting, or going to get, harder to get into & or back into the USA for their passengers, than when they took on the route, that could easily be the difference between a marginable flight & a money loser. Or the logistics of overnighting crew members, AS is the only US carrier I know that does this. I had heard that junior crews were flying the route, because the senior FA's do not like flying the route, that is from a PDX based flight attendant that I've been friends with since high school, take that for what it's worth.


Please allow me to clarify. I'm not questioning that the aforementioned "excuse" is, in fact, being stated. (And frankly, apologies, as I didn't even mean to use the word "excuse" with quite the pejorative connotation with which it is often meant.) I'm also not questioning that operating in Cuba is challenging with lots logistical and economic issues with which to contend. And I'm not suggesting that Alaska or anyone else made any statements that were "improper," nor that politics were involved. And for that matter, I don't even question that the re-imposition by the current administration of some of the more formalized travel restrictions that had been relaxed under the prior administration likely has, in fact, further curbed U.S. leisure travel demand to Cuba.

Have said all that, I'll restate that the point I was trying to make was that, in the end, none of that stuff would have made a difference to the ultimate outcome in this case. None of it. Alaska flying a daily 737 LAX-HAV would not have made sense regardless of who was elected a year ago, regardless of whether formalized travel restrictions were or were not reimposed, regardless of crew scheduling challenges, and on and on. The route simply did not make economic sense - didn't then, still doesn't now. That's not a hit on Alaska as an airline or a criticism of the company for trying. I was respectfully disagreeing with the prior comment that LAX-HAV "seemed logical at the time" when, frankly, it didn't - to many, many people, myself included.
 
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787fan8
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:18 am

They were never going to last on that route anyway. From the moment that Alaska Airlines applied for it, I knew that route was destined to lose money.
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SANFan
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:40 am

I've got a list of routes from SAN that those axed long-hauls to the Caribbean (Cuba) and eastern Mexico can be used for! Just let me know, AAG, if you need any help deciding what to do with those soon-to-be-available a/c!

bb
 
chepos
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:51 am

jumbojet wrote:
AWACSooner wrote:
jumbojet wrote:

There's no one else on that route and could be a gold mine ;)


It very well could be. AA should try it. They have a few planes that could make it.

AS on LAX-SXM would only work with the A319. Nothing else really has the range. Maybe the 737-700 but the range on the AS 737, according to the AS website, is 2,985 NM. LAX to SEA is 3090 NM.


Glad you are not in network planning! Why not AS just start LAX SJU this very moment if they want to throw money away. Would make as much sense as LAX SXM.
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yellowtail
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:12 am

LAX-GUA/MGA/BZE/SAP/PTY might be an interesting try.
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EA CO AS
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:21 am

787fan8 wrote:
From the moment that Alaska Airlines applied for it, I knew that route was destined to lose money.


Come on, now. I know you're speaking in hyperbole, but you didn't "know" they'd lose money, especially considering that many well-trained professionals employed by AS were feeling the route would ultimately be a winner, long-term.

Unless of course you have some mystical crystal ball that can accurately predict the future, in which case, I'd like the winning Powerball numbers for the upcoming drawing.... ;)
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
tphuang
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:02 am

And at the same time, many trained professionals at AA thought they could only make money as a weekly service out of LAX.

It turned out that all the airlines were overly optimistic and a good number continue to hunt for this Cuba fool's gold. Who knows, maybe one day it will turn out to be the next DR. I doubt that's happening anytime soon though. At least AS is smart enough to get out now. The geniuses at B6 is applying for 21 more weekly slots at HAV.
 
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:20 am

tphuang wrote:
And at the same time, many trained professionals at AA thought they could only make money as a weekly service out of LAX.


...with a west coast network a fraction of the size that AS has.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
CobaltScar
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:34 am

Well trained professionals at the other airlines that bum rushed the HAV slots made the same mistake with the same result as Alaska. Out of all the routes, we all expected Alaska to be the first to fold it up. LAX to HAV with a crew over-night? Yeah one of those well trained professionals at Alaska has a lot of egg on their face for holding up this cancellation 10 months over due.
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:42 am

CobaltScar wrote:
Well trained professionals at the other airlines that bum rushed the HAV slots made the same mistake with the same result as Alaska. Out of all the routes, we all expected Alaska to be the first to fold it up. LAX to HAV with a crew over-night? Yeah one of those well trained professionals at Alaska has a lot of egg on their face for holding up this cancellation 10 months over due.


I doubt it.
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:43 am

SANFan wrote:
I've got a list of routes from SAN that those axed long-hauls to the Caribbean (Cuba) and eastern Mexico can be used for! Just let me know, AAG, if you need any help deciding what to do with those soon-to-be-available a/c!

bb


Through SAN? Not a chance! They'll use that airplane to fly to Mexico or Costa Rica.

LOL! I'm just pulling your leg.
 
usflyguy
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:51 am

hiflyeras wrote:
New Trump administration restrictions on travelers to Cuba were the death-knell of AS's service to HAV. I wouldn't be surprised to see others reduce or cancel service as well. Costa Rica has done really well for them...maybe there are opportunities to other Central America markets.

Not mentioned is AS is also dropping VX flights to CUN from SFO and LAX. I read yesterday that CUN hotels are hurting with low occupancy rates. US travelers are starting to avoid Mexico and it's a shame but until they can assure traveler's safety people will opt for the Caribbean and Hawaii instead. I'm guessing AS will redeploy these aircraft to Hawaii.


WN is filling almost every flight to CUN to capacity, and those fares are not cheap. WN will be up to 26 daily flights on Saturdays in one of the upcoming schedules.
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
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ACCS300
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:54 am

hiflyeras wrote:
Not mentioned is AS is also dropping VX flights to CUN from SFO and LAX. I read yesterday that CUN hotels are hurting with low occupancy rates. US travelers are starting to avoid Mexico and it's a shame but until they can assure traveler's safety people will opt for the Caribbean and Hawaii instead. I'm guessing AS will redeploy these aircraft to Hawaii.


Funny to hear that, many of us Canadians are feeling safer in Mexico than in the US these days, strange Americans would feel that way especially given the recent events in Vegas.
 
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RWA380
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:04 am

commavia wrote:
Please allow me to clarify. I'm not questioning that the aforementioned "excuse" is, in fact, being stated. (And frankly, apologies, as I didn't even mean to use the word "excuse" with quite the pejorative connotation with which it is often meant.) I'm also not questioning that operating in Cuba is challenging with lots logistical and economic issues with which to contend. And I'm not suggesting that Alaska or anyone else made any statements that were "improper," nor that politics were involved. And for that matter, I don't even question that the re-imposition by the current administration of some of the more formalized travel restrictions that had been relaxed under the prior administration likely has, in fact, further curbed U.S. leisure travel demand to Cuba.

Have said all that, I'll restate that the point I was trying to make was that, in the end, none of that stuff would have made a difference to the ultimate outcome in this case. None of it. Alaska flying a daily 737 LAX-HAV would not have made sense regardless of who was elected a year ago, regardless of whether formalized travel restrictions were or were not reimposed, regardless of crew scheduling challenges, and on and on. The route simply did not make economic sense - didn't then, still doesn't now. That's not a hit on Alaska as an airline or a criticism of the company for trying. I was respectfully disagreeing with the prior comment that LAX-HAV "seemed logical at the time" when, frankly, it didn't - to many, many people, myself included.


I get your point, thanks for clarifying & I am grateful we can have this civil discussion. In trying pretty hard to leave my personal politics out of my response, I may have over explained a bit, but I do get some good AS tidbits, that I have to pose as my views only here on A.net.

I know 6 people in total, that work at 5 different positions inside AAG, so I am confident in what I share about AS is pretty solid & not restricted from being public information.

Indeed this particular political climate is really about the newer restrictions imposed on travel in general, as to if this one factor tipped the scales for AS is arguable, but I'm not interested to argue the point.

Indeed you & I differ on only one thing, it was a calculated & limited risk for AS to enter the HAV market, at the time there was no real reason to think that travel restrictions would get tighter, when the current administration was working towards even more normalized relations & that was indeed one reason carriers like AS thought they could suffer through the lean times to get to a normalized market flying the routes they sought.

One US Embassy with lots of employees suffering with hearing loss from sonic attacks & a hurricane or two, a new level of travel restrictions & AS indeed made the right decision to pull the plug on the route.

But I think it was worth the chance & I'm glad that AS explored the market & cut it in a year, as it underperformed, I look at it as disciplined experimentation. Overall a low risk for potential high revenue.

If Cuba had turned up profitable though, AS would have been well positioned to reap the benefits of being the only West Coast non-stop.
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LAXintl
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:21 am

For fun one can go back and read the 4 threads about Cuba route case from early to late 2016 and how several people openly questioned the logic in AS quest for the LAX authority particularly asking for double daily using their largest 739ER equipment. Several also openly predicted AS would drop out rather fast and was misreading West Coast potential.

Frankly, even under best political circumstances, the route was a long shot, and to me was always a head-scratcher particularly when one considers historic demand which barely supported single seasonal weekly charters to Cuba from LAX.

Its good AS finally realized their miscalculation and can earn back entire days worth of aircraft utilization and do something more productive.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
n7371f
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:22 am

Terrific comedy for AS to even bring up the POTUS. Red meat for the ultra-liberal Western Washington but such a pathetic attempted excuse. The amount of money lost is into the millions. There's a reason no other airline proposed LAX-Cuba.
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:28 am

n7371f wrote:
Terrific comedy for AS to even bring up the POTUS. Red meat for the ultra-liberal Western Washington but such a pathetic attempted excuse. The amount of money lost is into the millions. There's a reason no other airline proposed LAX-Cuba.


Lost Millions? Data Source? Lots of qualitative talk here (not just your's), but no data to support. Typical armchair CEO's.
 
klwright69
Posts: 2630
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 4:22 am

Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:58 am

Armchair CEO happens a lot here.
The article said the route was performing poorly once the excitement and novelty wore off, and the politics was just the last nail in the coffin.
There isn't much to talk about.
Cuba only has a small number of viable markets now.
 
tphuang
Posts: 557
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:15 am

EA CO AS wrote:
tphuang wrote:
And at the same time, many trained professionals at AA thought they could only make money as a weekly service out of LAX.


...with a west coast network a fraction of the size that AS has.


Also happen to be the largest carrier at lax and had loyal flyers up and down west coast and have another large hub in Phoenix that could feed it.

I am shocked you downplay aa size Out of lax just to justify as decision that many people questioned all along.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Alaska ending Cuba service

Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:57 am

commavia wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
My understanding is that it ultimately was a strategic decision made on the hopes that the opening of the Cuba market under the Obama administration would stimulate additional growth in tourism down the line. It seemed logical at the time, as it appeared there was a high probability the policies of the previous administration would continue under what was assumed to be an incoming Clinton administration.

Obviously, that changed, and so did the projections for future growth and maturity of the market.


With respect, that's a convenient excuse - and one hardly being used solely by Alaska - but it's ultimately unconvincing. The reality is that tourism remained officially illegal for U.S. citizens, and that was never going to change because the next president was a Democrat or Republican. That requires action by the legislative branch, and cannot be changed by executive order. In any event, LAX-HAV never made logical sense - "at the time," or subsequently.



Thank you! Took the words out of my mouth.

I’ll throw in : I called this. And I am surprised they lasted this long.

HAV will have Florida, NY and nearby SE hubs. That is it.

Flights are empty.

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