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Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:29 pm
by SumChristianus
With its network density: 700+ planes serving ~100 cities, what do you predict for Southwest's future?

The following are possible discussion points, but with WN's scale and continual growth, there is a lot out there.

WN has been moving upmarket since their inception, and is no longer a short-haul point to point carrier, running hub-like operation in MDW, LAS, STL, PHX, DEN, BWI, etc., and even running connections through IND, CMH, MCI, etc.
Will they move to more of a hub to spoke model or return to a more point to point route network?
Which stations are in danger of shutting down due to the Boeing 737 being too large for demand?
Will WN enter the NYC-LAX transcontinental market?
Would a turboprop/regional subsidiary (ala WestJet Encore) ever happen?
International expansion: South, East, or North?
And, Hawaii, route predictions, will they fly inter-island, etc.?
What do you see as long term changes in WN's route structure?
Will red-eye flights begin soon, and on which routes will we see them?
How large will WN's hubs* (*focus cities) grow?


Also, changes to B738 vs B73G deployment, frequency changes, and other network news would be great to know?

Thanks for your ideas!

Iacobus Viridis

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:02 pm
by Jshank83
I didn't even realize they didn't run LAX-NYC. Surprises me.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:07 pm
by EWRandMDW
I'm guessing that if WN acquires at least 2 more gates at EWR they could start EWR-LAX and maybe EWR-SJC and add frequencies to existing EWR-SAN and EWR-OAK routes.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:21 pm
by SeaDoo
I'm waiting to see what they do with the five flights from Everett. I am also curious how the Hawaii expansion goes. Somewhat interesting to me that they haven't tried Anchorage.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:44 pm
by BWIAirport
Jshank83 wrote:
I didn't even realize they didn't run LAX-NYC. Surprises me.

On the surface, certainly it is surprising. However, with near overcoverage on LAX-EWR, no presence at JFK, a perimeter restraint around LGA, and a short runway and minimal traffic at ISP, it makes sense why they aren't in any rush to enter that market.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:09 pm
by flydulles
I would like to see them do Dulles to mdw Dulles to Phoenix (there's only 1 United non stop a day) Dulles to dallas and maybe some .CA cities to prep for hawaii.... They need to compete with United better to survive I think now that frontier there too.... just connect the swa system dots to Dulles to better.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:11 pm
by Midwestindy
SumChristianus wrote:
WN has been moving upmarket since their inception, and is no longer a short-haul point to point carrier, running hub-like operation in MDW, LAS, STL, PHX, DEN, BWI, etc., and even running connections through IND, CMH, MCI, etc.
Will they move to more of a hub to spoke model or return to a more point to point route network?


https://seekingalpha.com/article/414030 ... art=single

-Gary Kelly Q4 earnings call January 25th, 2018

"I think your view of Southwest is accurate. Some of the statistics that I remember well from 1980's when I joined is that, and those days and a much lower load factor, about 80% of our O&Ds flew non-stop and then the other 20% were split pretty evenly between through traffic and connections. And in the 80s and the 90s and really probably for early 2000s, we did not intentionally schedule for the convenience of connections. Since 2009, we have had some percentage of our flights that will out -- we use the term internally intentionally connect. What is interesting is -- and when I started, the annual load factor was 58%. If you go back 20 years ago, my memory serves me right it was 66% now it’s 85%, 84%, 85%. So there has been a significant boost, but the non-stop versus connecting traffic hasn’t moved much at all, maybe 3 or 4 percentage points.

So the net result of that is we are carrying more connecting traffic. We’re carrying some of it more on purpose, if you will, as opposed by accident in the old days, but there is still a very -- a real serious focus on point-to-point non-stop that’s the way our network planners -- that's the philosophy and that is the strategy. I did want to use it is an opportunity though to complement them, because the load factors have gone up 20 points to 30 points over 20 year to 30 year time period. And it’s not because they have converted us to a hub and spoke operation where we’re more dominated by connecting traffic. It was a really accomplished by optimizing the flight schedule better and in some cases, spinning out some of the frequencies in our higher frequency markets, but not at the expense of the non-stop traffic."

The percentage of pax that they intentionally connect in terms of capacity is above 20%

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:14 pm
by SumChristianus
Midwestindy wrote:
SumChristianus wrote:
WN has been moving upmarket since their inception, and is no longer a short-haul point to point carrier, running hub-like operation in MDW, LAS, STL, PHX, DEN, BWI, etc., and even running connections through IND, CMH, MCI, etc.
Will they move to more of a hub to spoke model or return to a more point to point route network?


https://seekingalpha.com/article/414030 ... art=single

-Gary Kelly Q4 earnings call January 25th, 2018

"I think your view of Southwest is accurate. Some of the statistics that I remember well from 1980's when I joined is that, and those days and a much lower load factor, about 80% of our O&Ds flew non-stop and then the other 20% were split pretty evenly between through traffic and connections. And in the 80s and the 90s and really probably for early 2000s, we did not intentionally schedule for the convenience of connections. Since 2009, we have had some percentage of our flights that will out -- we use the term internally intentionally connect. What is interesting is -- and when I started, the annual load factor was 58%. If you go back 20 years ago, my memory serves me right it was 66% now it’s 85%, 84%, 85%. So there has been a significant boost, but the non-stop versus connecting traffic hasn’t moved much at all, maybe 3 or 4 percentage points.

So the net result of that is we are carrying more connecting traffic. We’re carrying some of it more on purpose, if you will, as opposed by accident in the old days, but there is still a very -- a real serious focus on point-to-point non-stop that’s the way our network planners -- that's the philosophy and that is the strategy. I did want to use it is an opportunity though to complement them, because the load factors have gone up 20 points to 30 points over 20 year to 30 year time period. And it’s not because they have converted us to a hub and spoke operation where we’re more dominated by connecting traffic. It was a really accomplished by optimizing the flight schedule better and in some cases, spinning out some of the frequencies in our higher frequency markets, but not at the expense of the non-stop traffic."

The percentage of pax that they intentionally connect in terms of capacity is above 20%




IND-MDW probably wouldn't exist without connecting traffic, though, but on avarage, I see your point. They don't bank schedules for connections but will sell them. Does that sound right?

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:18 pm
by TWA772LR
I'd love to see WN start a regional service, I will forever say that there is money for them in small cities but they need small planes to make it work. Hell, if they go with RJs or props, they can call it Heartland dba Southwest Express/Connection/Feeder/Airlink or whathaveya.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:36 pm
by SANFan
This seems like a good place to start discussing the next schedule extension being released Feb 15, opening sales thru Oct 1.

I did read over on the Hawaii-thread that someone has said WN would NOT be flying to Hawaii until at least December of this year. So it sounds like HI flights are off the sked for this extension at least. (If all is true.)

This extension normally signals the wind down from the peak summer schedule, although to me, August 7 is really a bit early to cut all the peak travel flights, so perhaps they will not really reduce summer flying until somewhere mid-sked (like Labor Day?)

I can't envision huge numbers of new routes being introduced with this release. What do you think?

bb

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:12 pm
by 9lflyguy
I know it's unlikely but when the new B terminal is complete, I'd hope WN would reconsider XNA as a destination. Would also love to see them in Canada.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:31 pm
by DaufuskieGuy
EWRandMDW wrote:
I'm guessing that if WN acquires at least 2 more gates at EWR they could start EWR-LAX and maybe EWR-SJC and add frequencies to existing EWR-SAN and EWR-OAK routes.


wouldn't EWR SNA/BUR be preferable? No competition and they have strong presence at those stations

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:33 pm
by Midwestindy
SumChristianus wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
SumChristianus wrote:
WN has been moving upmarket since their inception, and is no longer a short-haul point to point carrier, running hub-like operation in MDW, LAS, STL, PHX, DEN, BWI, etc., and even running connections through IND, CMH, MCI, etc.
Will they move to more of a hub to spoke model or return to a more point to point route network?


https://seekingalpha.com/article/414030 ... art=single

-Gary Kelly Q4 earnings call January 25th, 2018

"I think your view of Southwest is accurate. Some of the statistics that I remember well from 1980's when I joined is that, and those days and a much lower load factor, about 80% of our O&Ds flew non-stop and then the other 20% were split pretty evenly between through traffic and connections. And in the 80s and the 90s and really probably for early 2000s, we did not intentionally schedule for the convenience of connections. Since 2009, we have had some percentage of our flights that will out -- we use the term internally intentionally connect. What is interesting is -- and when I started, the annual load factor was 58%. If you go back 20 years ago, my memory serves me right it was 66% now it’s 85%, 84%, 85%. So there has been a significant boost, but the non-stop versus connecting traffic hasn’t moved much at all, maybe 3 or 4 percentage points.

So the net result of that is we are carrying more connecting traffic. We’re carrying some of it more on purpose, if you will, as opposed by accident in the old days, but there is still a very -- a real serious focus on point-to-point non-stop that’s the way our network planners -- that's the philosophy and that is the strategy. I did want to use it is an opportunity though to complement them, because the load factors have gone up 20 points to 30 points over 20 year to 30 year time period. And it’s not because they have converted us to a hub and spoke operation where we’re more dominated by connecting traffic. It was a really accomplished by optimizing the flight schedule better and in some cases, spinning out some of the frequencies in our higher frequency markets, but not at the expense of the non-stop traffic."

The percentage of pax that they intentionally connect in terms of capacity is above 20%



IND-MDW probably wouldn't exist without connecting traffic, though, but on avarage, I see your point. They don't bank schedules for connections but will sell them. Does that sound right?


I believe the term is "intentional connection opportunities," It's a pretty smart strategy because it allows for WN to focus on p2p, but at the same time it also allows more routes/frequencies to work because as you know some of the city pairs they serve simply don't have the O&D to support 1-2x daily 737s but they still need to serve those city pairs in order to satisfy their FF base.

For example at DEN, the WN schedule works really efficiently to allow for faster turnaround times and connections, because of the fact that WN has built lots of “intentional connecting opportunities” into its Denver schedule. Basically they have 6+ flights arrive at exactly the same time, and all leave 35 minutes later. Just as an example a couple years ago Southwest had an east-to-west ICO, with planes scheduled to arrive at DEN from Omaha; Indianapolis; Detroit; Minneapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; and Washington Dulles, all at 8 a.m., and then depart for Spokane, Wash.; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Oakland, Calif.; and Ontario, Calif.; at 8:35 a.m.

Another example, is at my home airport IND, the EWR-IND and IND-EWR flights tend to be around 15-35% people connecting through IND depending on the season/day of week/time, because they are usually a part of a larger east-west ICO going through IND.

You will see this same strategy employed across WN's network from their smaller outstations like IND to their larger focus cities at MDW, PHX, LAS, BWI, e.t.c. I'd expect to see more of these ICOs built up at OAK/SMF/SAN once they start flying to HI (partially explains the influx of new routes to those stations).

I'd say this model is somewhat different than a traditional hub, which focuses on maximizing connections, while WNs ICOSs are meant to allow for connections and fast turnaround times.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:47 am
by jb1087xna
9lflyguy wrote:
I know it's unlikely but when the new B terminal is complete, I'd hope WN would reconsider XNA as a destination.


The B terminal in XNA? Eh, I think if WN wanted in XNA immediately, they'd be accommodated somehow in the current situation, given there are multiple empty gates on the A side.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:16 am
by ShinyAndChrome
If WN does decide to go into the inter-island business, I could see the announcement come in some time after they start Hawaii flights from the mainland. Lower 48-Hawaii is a different-enough market in itself and they might see it prudent to get a solid foundation in that before moving into the very different inter-island space. As for which routes they’d start with, I’d echo many posters on past posts: Some combination of LAX/OAK/SJC/SAN to HNL or OGG with 1-2 daily flights on each route.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:01 am
by jph7291
Hoping we see CVG-HOU/DAL/MCO/FLL/DEN (and PHX go permanent). Less likely, BOS, MSY, OAK.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:13 am
by ctrabs0114
Jshank83 wrote:
I didn't even realize they didn't run LAX-NYC. Surprises me.


As noted in another thread, WN is slot restricted at KLGA, gate restricted at KEWR and effectively "locked out" (I wouldn't have used that term, personally) at KJFK. So, the lack of a WN flight from the NYC area to KLAX isn't completely shocking.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:17 am
by ctrabs0114
SeaDoo wrote:
I'm waiting to see what they do with the five flights from Everett. I am also curious how the Hawaii expansion goes. Somewhat interesting to me that they haven't tried Anchorage.


At the risk of being cynical, WN going into Alaska would almost be as risky as, say, restarting KPIT-KPHL (which didn't exactly end well for WN). What destinations could WN operate to Anchorage that AS doesn't already serve?

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:19 am
by ctrabs0114
TWA772LR wrote:
I'd love to see WN start a regional service, I will forever say that there is money for them in small cities but they need small planes to make it work. Hell, if they go with RJs or props, they can call it Heartland dba Southwest Express/Connection/Feeder/Airlink or whathaveya.


Either that or they could, for example, pair up with some smaller existing carriers (9X at KPIT comes to mind) with a codeshare or through-ticketing agreement. Yeah, I know, it's a long-shot considering WN isn't exactly into codeshares, etc., but that might be a more viable option rather than WN starting a regional service at this stage.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:37 am
by ctrabs0114
Midwestindy wrote:
I believe the term is "intentional connection opportunities," It's a pretty smart strategy because it allows for WN to focus on p2p, but at the same time it also allows more routes/frequencies to work because as you know some of the city pairs they serve simply don't have the O&D to support 1-2x daily 737s but they still need to serve those city pairs in order to satisfy their FF base.

For example at DEN, the WN schedule works really efficiently to allow for faster turnaround times and connections, because of the fact that WN has built lots of “intentional connecting opportunities” into its Denver schedule. Basically they have 6+ flights arrive at exactly the same time, and all leave 35 minutes later. Just as an example a couple years ago Southwest had an east-to-west ICO, with planes scheduled to arrive at DEN from Omaha; Indianapolis; Detroit; Minneapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; and Washington Dulles, all at 8 a.m., and then depart for Spokane, Wash.; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Oakland, Calif.; and Ontario, Calif.; at 8:35 a.m.


The term I've seen for this is called a 'scissors' hub, where you're running 12 routes using six planes, for all intents and purposes.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:41 am
by Jshank83
ctrabs0114 wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
I didn't even realize they didn't run LAX-NYC. Surprises me.


As noted in another thread, WN is slot restricted at KLGA, gate restricted at KEWR and effectively "locked out" (I wouldn't have used that term, personally) at KJFK. So, the lack of a WN flight from the NYC area to KLAX isn't completely shocking.


I knew they couldn't fly to LGA and don't fly to JFK. I didn't realize they had gate issues at EWR. Looking at their schedule they also don't have many flights out west at all from EWR. I thought they had more.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:43 am
by Jshank83
ctrabs0114 wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
I'd love to see WN start a regional service, I will forever say that there is money for them in small cities but they need small planes to make it work. Hell, if they go with RJs or props, they can call it Heartland dba Southwest Express/Connection/Feeder/Airlink or whathaveya.


Either that or they could, for example, pair up with some smaller existing carriers (9X at KPIT comes to mind) with a codeshare or through-ticketing agreement. Yeah, I know, it's a long-shot considering WN isn't exactly into codeshares, etc., but that might be a more viable option rather than WN starting a regional service at this stage.


Cape Air and Air Choice One at STL also. Long shot is right but if they at least did codeshares it would be helpful to those people flying them. Cape codeshares with all the other majors.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:55 am
by Midwestindy
ctrabs0114 wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
I believe the term is "intentional connection opportunities," It's a pretty smart strategy because it allows for WN to focus on p2p, but at the same time it also allows more routes/frequencies to work because as you know some of the city pairs they serve simply don't have the O&D to support 1-2x daily 737s but they still need to serve those city pairs in order to satisfy their FF base.

For example at DEN, the WN schedule works really efficiently to allow for faster turnaround times and connections, because of the fact that WN has built lots of “intentional connecting opportunities” into its Denver schedule. Basically they have 6+ flights arrive at exactly the same time, and all leave 35 minutes later. Just as an example a couple years ago Southwest had an east-to-west ICO, with planes scheduled to arrive at DEN from Omaha; Indianapolis; Detroit; Minneapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; and Washington Dulles, all at 8 a.m., and then depart for Spokane, Wash.; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Oakland, Calif.; and Ontario, Calif.; at 8:35 a.m.


The term I've seen for this is called a 'scissors' hub, where you're running 12 routes using six planes, for all intents and purposes.


I'm just using WN's terminology.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:05 pm
by BravoOne
One non stop a day from LAS to SEA. Why bother.? Five or six multi stops all with plane changes. I like SWA but simply don't use them very often for my needs. Both DL and AS have a superior product IMO, but with all sorts of strings attached.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:06 pm
by 737tanker
ctrabs0114 wrote:
At the risk of being cynical, WN going into Alaska would almost be as risky as, say, restarting KPIT-KPHL (which didn't exactly end well for WN). What destinations could WN operate to Anchorage that AS doesn't already serve?

I had many former Morris pilots tell me that when they flew SEA to ANC they could have flown with zero passengers and still make money due to all of the freight in the belly. Additionally I remember Herb Kelleher telling my upgrade class in January 2000 that one of the biggest mistakes that he made at Southwest was pulling out of ANC. So If WN decides to serve ANC it won’t be as risky as you believe. PIT - PHL was different as most of the passengers were USAir pilots and F/As commuting to/from work.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:36 pm
by jplatts
There are over 3000 passengers per day who travel between ONT and destinations not currently served nonstop from ONT according to the DOT Domestic Airline Consumer Report, and the top destinations traveled to from ONT that are not currently served nonstop from ONT include MCI, STL, HOU, BNA, and BWI. WN does have opportunities to further expand at ONT, and WN could add nonstop service from ONT to BWI, HNL, HOU, MCI, BNA, and STL.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:36 pm
by Rdh3e
Midwestindy wrote:
I'm just using WN's terminology.

The contortions they go through to avoid saying they have hubs, and that those hubs have banks are pretty hilarious when laid out like this.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:41 pm
by Cubsrule
Rdh3e wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
I'm just using WN's terminology.

The contortions they go through to avoid saying they have hubs, and that those hubs have banks are pretty hilarious when laid out like this.


I'm not sure it's a contortion as much as it's the fact that a lot of WN stations look very different from legacy hubs.

What cities does UA have that work like BNA does for WN, for instance?

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:41 pm
by jplatts
737tanker wrote:
I had many former Morris pilots tell me that when they flew SEA to ANC they could have flown with zero passengers and still make money due to all of the freight in the belly. Additionally I remember Herb Kelleher telling my upgrade class in January 2000 that one of the biggest mistakes that he made at Southwest was pulling out of ANC. So If WN decides to serve ANC it won’t be as risky as you believe. PIT - PHL was different as most of the passengers were USAir pilots and F/As commuting to/from work.


I saw a slide from a SWA investor presentation back in December 2016, right before Southwest announced plans to start service out of CVG, that listed ANC, CVG, HNL, and OGG as the top destinations in the U.S. that were not served by SWA in 2016. Southwest had also previously stated that it is actually considering adding service to ANC in the future.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:43 pm
by flyingclrs727
TWA772LR wrote:
I'd love to see WN start a regional service, I will forever say that there is money for them in small cities but they need small planes to make it work. Hell, if they go with RJs or props, they can call it Heartland dba Southwest Express/Connection/Feeder/Airlink or whathaveya.


I whole heartedly agree! I can't get most of the destinations available from HOU from my home airport which only has flights to HOU that mostly continue to DAL. A smaller plane would enable more frequent service which would allow better connections. Starting with the 737-7Max, Southwest's smallest plane on order will have 150 seats. That's a lot more seats to fill on routes that previously had the 122 seat 737-200 and 737-500.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:53 pm
by DeltaRules
I didn't realize WN was selling CMH connections, but it makes sense given what they're doing there.

As for one possible route to watch for, WN told local media last year they'd add CMH-LGA if they had slots. I'd rather have MCI and SAN, but any adds can be good ones.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:58 pm
by LovePrunesAnet
9lflyguy wrote:
I know it's unlikely but when the new B terminal is complete, I'd hope WN would reconsider XNA as a destination.


i know you should never say never, but WN will *NEVER* fly to XNA. Seriously. Gate expansion is not the reason they're not there.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:00 pm
by LovePrunesAnet
ctrabs0114 wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
I didn't even realize they didn't run LAX-NYC. Surprises me.


As noted in another thread, WN is slot restricted at KLGA, gate restricted at KEWR and effectively "locked out" (I wouldn't have used that term, personally) at KJFK. So, the lack of a WN flight from the NYC area to KLAX isn't completely shocking.


OMG more freaking "K's"

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:36 pm
by WN732
LovePrunesAnet wrote:
ctrabs0114 wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
I didn't even realize they didn't run LAX-NYC. Surprises me.


As noted in another thread, WN is slot restricted at KLGA, gate restricted at KEWR and effectively "locked out" (I wouldn't have used that term, personally) at KJFK. So, the lack of a WN flight from the NYC area to KLAX isn't completely shocking.


OMG more freaking "K's"


Say no to Kilo.

I'd like to see WN enter ELP-OAK and go back to daily at SAN.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:52 pm
by SumChristianus
DeltaRules wrote:
I didn't realize WN was selling CMH connections, but it makes sense given what they're doing there.

As for one possible route to watch for, WN told local media last year they'd add CMH-LGA if they had slots. I'd rather have MCI and SAN, but any adds can be good ones.


Pretty much every mid-size WN station sees some connections. CMH shows about 185 per day in Q3 2017, but I'm not sure if that includes passengers on through flights who stayed on the plane. If it includes all connections CMH is 5% connecting traffic for WN. Southwest has a linear model for its network, almost like that of a bus or train system and runs connections through almost everywhere it serves.

CMH-EWR, given WN's approach at IND, would seem more likely. There's no slot restrictions there, but gates may be tight.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:56 pm
by SumChristianus
jplatts wrote:
There are over 3000 passengers per day who travel between ONT and destinations not currently served nonstop from ONT according to the DOT Domestic Airline Consumer Report, and the top destinations traveled to from ONT that are not currently served nonstop from ONT include MCI, STL, HOU, BNA, and BWI. WN does have opportunities to further expand at ONT, and WN could add nonstop service from ONT to BWI, HNL, HOU, MCI, BNA, and STL.


PHX, LAS, DEN, and other nearer cities would have too see a reduction in flights from WN as these 3000 passengers you speak of are currently sustaining loads and requencies on other routes (like LAS, PHX, etc.) from ONT. Although traffic can be stimulated, not every route can, or should, be served nonstop and traffic has to come from somewhere.
ONT-BWI seems the most likely from your list though. Maybe ONT-HOU as well as UA dropped ONT-IAH, but WN seems to have focused more at LAX than ONT recently, while starting LGB.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:20 pm
by Rdh3e
Cubsrule wrote:

I'm not sure it's a contortion as much as it's the fact that a lot of WN stations look very different from legacy hubs.

What cities does UA have that work like BNA does for WN, for instance?

BNA has a very defined bank structure in the morning and in the evening.

WN has very defined banks departing at 8am, at 10am, 7pm, and 9pm. The middle of the day is a hodge podge but the bank structure is very obvious.

Additionally, if you look at their primary hubs - like BWI, DEN, MDW - it is extremely obvious that they are scheduling in almost the same manner as a legacy. Both DEN and MDW bank structures are very similar to UA in DEN and very similar to both AA and UA in Chicago.

While their network on average may be producing similar Local/Connecting breakdowns as before (I doubt it's as close as it's meant to sound), the largest stations are much more heavily connection-based than they used to be. MDW is over 40% connecting traffic according to DOT reporting.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:45 pm
by Cubsrule
Rdh3e wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

I'm not sure it's a contortion as much as it's the fact that a lot of WN stations look very different from legacy hubs.

What cities does UA have that work like BNA does for WN, for instance?

BNA has a very defined bank structure in the morning and in the evening.

WN has very defined banks departing at 8am, at 10am, 7pm, and 9pm. The middle of the day is a hodge podge but the bank structure is very obvious.

Additionally, if you look at their primary hubs - like BWI, DEN, MDW - it is extremely obvious that they are scheduling in almost the same manner as a legacy. Both DEN and MDW bank structures are very similar to UA in DEN and very similar to both AA and UA in Chicago.

While their network on average may be producing similar Local/Connecting breakdowns as before (I doubt it's as close as it's meant to sound), the largest stations are much more heavily connection-based than they used to be. MDW is over 40% connecting traffic according to DOT reporting.


BNA has banks but it's also a ~90 flight/day operation. UA has nothing like that, and applying some label that applies to UA stations to WN cities like BNA, MCI, and SAN makes no sense.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:46 pm
by WaywardMemphian
9lflyguy wrote:
I know it's unlikely but when the new B terminal is complete, I'd hope WN would reconsider XNA as a destination. Would also love to see them in Canada.


DEN, MDW, DAL, and BWI with Saturday only to MCO would be a good start. Adding MSY, STL, BNA, and LAS would be nice additions at later on.

NWA is fast approaching 600,000 without adding in the FSM MSA. XNA is getting close to enplanements seen at the lower end of WN's statuon. In fact if they added XNA, they'd likely spring above that. XNA thinks they lose 20% of possible passengers to bleed(mostly to Tulsa). I see it as very similar to the MEM/LIT. I know first hand MEM used to bleed O&D to Southwest at LIT and even to BNA.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:00 pm
by jplatts
DeltaRules wrote:
I didn't realize WN was selling CMH connections, but it makes sense given what they're doing there.


WN could extend CMH-HOU nonstop service to year-round, and in addition to that, WN could also add CMH-LAX and CMH-SAN nonstop service. WN would be able to connect passengers to BOS and DCA through CMH from LAX and SAN (and vice versa) if Southwest adds CMH-LAX and CMH-SAN nonstop service.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:16 pm
by Rdh3e
Cubsrule wrote:
BNA has banks but it's also a ~90 flight/day operation. UA has nothing like that, and applying some label that applies to UA stations to WN cities like BNA, MCI, and SAN makes no sense.

BNA is also not their only station. WN is to BNA as DL is becoming to BOS / RDU / IND. That does not mean they do not have hubs that serve the same purpose that legacy hubs serve.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:24 pm
by SANFan
WN732 wrote:
I'd like to see WN enter ELP-OAK and go back to daily at SAN.

I would also like to see SAN-ELP back as a permanent and daily route. Ever since WN pulled the route in Nov 2013, traffic has remained in the market.

I believe the route was ended as part of a trimming of shorter routes from the WN network. That philosophy has been somewhat reversed in the last year or two and I hope the recent Sunday-only test in the market will prove to the carrier that the route is viable.

Also, G4 has been serving the market since May 2016, providing concrete evidence that there is a market between the 2 cities.

bb

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:29 pm
by WaywardMemphian
LovePrunesAnet wrote:
9lflyguy wrote:
I know it's unlikely but when the new B terminal is complete, I'd hope WN would reconsider XNA as a destination.


i know you should never say never, but WN will *NEVER* fly to XNA. Seriously. Gate expansion is not the reason they're not there.



If NWA continues to grow it will be harder and harder for WN to ignore it and simply be OK with capturing some XNA's passengers from Tulsa. Hell, in 15 year's time, projections show NWA being the size of Tulsa and Ltitle Rock NWA is still consistently making top 10 lists and some of those are places to visit lists.

XNA had 696,000 thousand enplanements last year.
Like I said, they think they lose 20% or more possible enplanements to other airports (again, mainly Tulsa) Siloam Springs is increasingly becoming a bottleneck for the quick drive to TUL along with more and more local congestion. The new US 412 bypass is getting closer to completion and that will allow XNA to build their road to bypass the old statr roads that one has to use to get to XNA.

Folks travel to Tulsa because of the Southwest Effect, the easiest example is fares to DEN but it also applies to several more popular locations. Truth is, if WN set up shop, it would likely stimulate the hell out of XNA traffic.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:04 pm
by Cubsrule
Rdh3e wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
BNA has banks but it's also a ~90 flight/day operation. UA has nothing like that, and applying some label that applies to UA stations to WN cities like BNA, MCI, and SAN makes no sense.

BNA is also not their only station. WN is to BNA as DL is becoming to BOS / RDU / IND. That does not mean they do not have hubs that serve the same purpose that legacy hubs serve.


Okay, but no one calls BOS / RDU / IND hubs (yet). So why would we call a city like BNA a WN hub?

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:08 pm
by Rdh3e
Cubsrule wrote:
Okay, but no one calls BOS / RDU / IND hubs (yet). So why would we call a city like BNA a WN hub?

I'm not calling BNA a hub, although it arguably is the way it's scheduled. I am saying WN has Hubs (BWI, MDW, STL, DAL, HOU, DEN, LAS, OAK etc) and the lengths they go to avoid saying they are "hubs" is absurd and purely a PR move to continue to feel "different".

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:15 pm
by Cubsrule
Rdh3e wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Okay, but no one calls BOS / RDU / IND hubs (yet). So why would we call a city like BNA a WN hub?

I'm not calling BNA a hub, although it arguably is the way it's scheduled. I am saying WN has Hubs (BWI, MDW, STL, DAL, HOU, DEN, LAS, OAK etc) and the lengths they go to avoid saying they are "hubs" is absurd and purely a PR move to continue to feel "different".


This whole discussion began because you attacked the ICO language that WN uses. WN uses that language because it has both hubs and non-hubs that have ICOs. "ICO" describes what goes on at BWI, DEN, BNA, and MCI. "Hub" does not; of those four cities it only really describes BWI and DEN. That's the point.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:20 pm
by WNflyer1523
BWIAirport wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
I didn't even realize they didn't run LAX-NYC. Surprises me.

On the surface, certainly it is surprising. However, with near overcoverage on LAX-EWR, no presence at JFK, a perimeter restraint around LGA, and a short runway and minimal traffic at ISP, it makes sense why they aren't in any rush to enter that market.

Partly because they now have Saturday LGA-PHX and daily LGA-DEN, which makes it easier to connect to destinations on the west coast.

Southwest seems happy at all 3 NYC area airports (LGA, EWR, ISP). Depending on the day, they have about 12-14 daily flights out of ISP, with a few more coming up this spring and summer.
They seem to be adding flights left and right whenever they can at LGA. I wouldn't be surprised to see them introduce Saturday Caribbean service, maybe to SJU, CUN, etc.
I don't really know how they're doing at EWR, but just by looking at the destinations/frequencies they seem pretty happy there as well.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:28 pm
by Jshank83
Cubsrule wrote:
Rdh3e wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Okay, but no one calls BOS / RDU / IND hubs (yet). So why would we call a city like BNA a WN hub?

I'm not calling BNA a hub, although it arguably is the way it's scheduled. I am saying WN has Hubs (BWI, MDW, STL, DAL, HOU, DEN, LAS, OAK etc) and the lengths they go to avoid saying they are "hubs" is absurd and purely a PR move to continue to feel "different".


This whole discussion began because you attacked the ICO language that WN uses. WN uses that language because it has both hubs and non-hubs that have ICOs. "ICO" describes what goes on at BWI, DEN, BNA, and MCI. "Hub" does not; of those four cities it only really describes BWI and DEN. That's the point.


Does it really matter what they call what? Who cares. You aren't going to agree so move onto something else.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:06 pm
by AAvgeek744
BWIAirport wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
I didn't even realize they didn't run LAX-NYC. Surprises me.

On the surface, certainly it is surprising. However, with near overcoverage on LAX-EWR, no presence at JFK, a perimeter restraint around LGA, and a short runway and minimal traffic at ISP, it makes sense why they aren't in any rush to enter that market.


Agreed. That's a crowded market. They can make better usage of equipment. If (unlikely) the perimeter rule gets abandoned or they give X amount of slots outside the perimeter like DCA, then maybe LGA-LAX. I wouldn't hold my breath though.

Re: Southwest Airlines Network Thread 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:09 pm
by LovePrunesAnet
WaywardMemphian wrote:
LovePrunesAnet wrote:
9lflyguy wrote:
I know it's unlikely but when the new B terminal is complete, I'd hope WN would reconsider XNA as a destination.


i know you should never say never, but WN will *NEVER* fly to XNA. Seriously. Gate expansion is not the reason they're not there.



If NWA continues to grow it will be harder and harder for WN to ignore it and simply be OK with capturing some XNA's passengers from Tulsa. Hell, in 15 year's time, projections show NWA being the size of Tulsa and Ltitle Rock NWA is still consistently making top 10 lists and some of those are places to visit lists.

XNA had 696,000 thousand enplanements last year.
Like I said, they think they lose 20% or more possible enplanements to other airports (again, mainly Tulsa) Siloam Springs is increasingly becoming a bottleneck for the quick drive to TUL along with more and more local congestion. The new US 412 bypass is getting closer to completion and that will allow XNA to build their road to bypass the old statr roads that one has to use to get to XNA.

Folks travel to Tulsa because of the Southwest Effect, the easiest example is fares to DEN but it also applies to several more popular locations. Truth is, if WN set up shop, it would likely stimulate the hell out of XNA traffic.


rah rah arkansas. You (or they) are simply too close to existing, established WN airports that cater to more leisure travelers with more disposable income than XNA originating passengers, and they're at Tulsa and Kansas City. I've looked for data on business vs, leisure travelers to cite, but I'll simply have to cite conversations I've had with airport management that say the majority, perhaps VAST majority of flights to XNA are there due to business travelers inbound for walmart's home offiice on other people's money. The flights to LAX and LGA aren't really even because of Tyson's Chicken or the trucker company. it's also not from high numbers of retirees in Buena Vista jetting off to Aspen, and Boston and Seattle and Honolulu or migrant field workers jetting off to the Southern Border. It's a business market primarily.

Yes I now it's growing and has gotten more higher end than it used to be, but XNA is cockblocked by other stronger Southwest cities.

If WN even is cheaper anymore than the US3 no longer as likely to begin with, then the price sensitive travelers in that area will drive whatever condition of road to where the cheaper tickets are. Meanwhile the business travelers coming to walmart on other people's money, again the vast majority of XNA traffic, business road warriors who fly in and leave. will keep flying the big 3, getting their upgrades, etc. There are too many other cities thar WN doesn't serve anywhere nearby, that it would get much more bang for the buck by adding, than by adding XNA.

As an airline they love getting people to drive 2-3 hours.for a Southwest flight, saves them from having to serve as many stations. It's not their job t make passengers have a shorter drive, and wouldn't make Southwest enough money compared to what they're already making, to add XNA. Especially after Southwest couldn't even make it work in Branson...an actual vacation/leisure destination. Southwest pulled out in 2014, as did Frontier.

XNA/you might get Frontier someday for 3 day a week service somewhere, but since there are already Denver flights on United, I wouldn't hold your breath. Be happy you have Allegiant. Southwest, sorry, not going to happen.

Nothing to take personally as a slight against a growing population. SW isn't there "to stimulate the hell out" of anything, they are looking for the easiest and fastest way to make $ like any business. XNA won't ever see Southwest, buy neither will Savannah, Shreveport, Montgomery, or Jackson