B6 needs to do one of two things:
1. It needs explosive growth (ie. AS)
2. It needs larger planes (ie. WS)
Nope because of a number of reasons.
1. We've seen what happens to airlines that expand way too fast, it doesn't generally end well
2. The all core 321 is a pretty big plane at 200 seats, the 220's coming will have more seats than the 190's they are replacing, even the Mint 321's have more seats than the 320's, although that will change once the retrofits are done. If you mean WB's, can I refer you to WW, who tried that trick and please see #1
3. Wall Street will puke all over it.
4. We know how many planes B6 is getting through 2025, they could of course order more or convert the options on the 60 220's they have from 2025, but with 13 coming in 2019, there's not going to be a huge case for expansion. BOS will grow, per an early comment i made and they will move these new 321neos into the places that can use the additional capacity quickly to improve profitability. The 220's will help the bottom line as they switch out, but there's only 5 coming in 2020, so that's not going to move the needle that much.. Over time, absolutely, short term not so much.
Looking at B6's financials, they are pretty solid on the Balance sheet side, but the P&L side right now is where the concerns are, even if you remove the impact of the 190 impairment charges, profits are still down year over year. Hence why all the posters are concerned about management direction. Cost Cutting can only get you so far and its rare that you realize all the intended cost savings on those projects, because other things crop up in return. To grow effectively, you need a number of things.
1. Great Product/Service - outwardly, people still like it, otherwise they wouldn't be travelling on B6 in the numbers that they do, when AA/UA/DL/WN/F9/NK all compete. Inwardly however there are challenges here, which are going to impact outward views if not managed appropriately.
2. Strategic Direction - I'll let the B6 insiders discuss this one, you need it, the company needs to be aware of it, and you have to action it. My company did this a couple of years ago finally and it was like a breath of fresh air, still have issues even now, but at least we are on the same bus going the same direction, to coin an appropriate phrase we use. "don't try to build the plane while you are trying to fly it"
3. Logistics - In this business Logistics is everything, from cabin crew rostering, to food service, to maintenance schedules, to Irrops, if you don't have that smoothly, that's going to cause you issues
4. space - we all know about the challenges of that in certain places.
There's more, but you get the point. You grow organically or by acquisition, Organically will be limited by the # of planes you can bring into service and the demands of Wall Street for cost control and increased revenue generation to improve profits for shareholders. The latter, well, that's been discussed to death, but here's my take on it. IF there have been conversations in the background, I could see this.
Moxy gets going in 2021, give it 4-5 years to have a track record, Neeleman folds it under B6 in 2026, by that point, B6 will have replaced their E190's will have transitioned they core 320's to 162 seats and brought in a bunch of 321's for capacity growth all the way around. I don't know if there is a planned 320 retirement schedule, but lets assume for a minute a 2:1 new to retirement ratio on those, so that means about a 40 increase up to 2025. With 253 by year end (249 at 9/30 plus 4 to deliver in 2018), that means that organically they could be around 300 aircraft by the end of 2025.
Fold in Moxy's aircraft in 2026, which will give you another 60, plus they exercise the start of the 60 options for the 220's (say 5 in 2026) and now you are at 360+
Based on AS's filings, which are constructed a little differently, by estimate is by 2023 they could be around 370 or so, based on retirement schedules, because although they have 30 cancelable 320 neos, I am sure those will get swtiched to 737's as a result, so they have plenty on order to make the difference.
Basically on a fleet to fleet basis, I could see AS and B6 using this methodology being very similar in size and why people think AS could be the 3rd part of the deal, IF and it's a big IF you put those 3 together and be roughly at 700 aircraft , they wouldn't be at the size of WN, but it would be a hell of a lot closer.
I'm not in the merger camp, far from it, although i do think a B6/Moxy merger might be workable, but I can see why people might think this would work (union and seniority issues aside)
That feeling when you sit at the end of a runway, brakes are released and the raw power takes over. Now that is a thing of beauty and it never gets old.