AirTran Attacks the Cookie, Will Northwest Come to the Rescue?

AirTran, Midwest Airlines, MKE - Milwaukee, Northwest

AirTran’s long-awaited assault on Milwaukee is now in full force. Just this week, they announced twice daily flights to LAX and Boston as well as once daily flights to Seattle, San Diego, and San Francisco. Lastly, they’ll add a second daily nonstop to Vegas. How nice of them to announce this just as the Northwest/TPG acquisition of Midwest gets approved. These new flights all start in May. For more details, read the press release.

08_01_30 yxnwflarmymen

Now the fun begins. After AirTran was spurned by Midwest in favor of a Northwest/TPG combo, everyone was waiting for them to enter the market on their own. They’ve slowly built up service there, but this will be the biggest increase yet.

Will Midwest fight back? Will newfound-uncle Northwest step in to fight for them? Does AirTran have any chance of making this work? I’d say it’s definitely unclear, but you know there’s some response in the making.

What we do know is that this will mean looooow fares for Milwaukee until it all gets sorted out. If you live in Northern Illinois (or Eastern Iowa, as I often like to call my friend’s place in McHenry), you might want to look north for some good deals. Enjoy it while you can.

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5 comments on “AirTran Attacks the Cookie, Will Northwest Come to the Rescue?

  1. Is it just me or does everything Northwest do leave a bad taste? The classy cookie and the grown up critter would’ve made a good combo. Sure there was that whole issue if the cookies would be baked onboard or not, and hometown airline vs. outsiders, but seriously those two were pretty close..

  2. I wouldn’t worry too much about Midwest. NWA tried pretty much the same thing a few years ago and crashed and burned. Midwest will match AirTran’s lower fares with some seats, but YX’s better product will attract the business traveller to enough higer-priced seats to allow them to continue to soldier on. However, I do worry about Midwest’s decision to add 2-3 seating to the 717s this summer. That will mean higher prices for the 2-2 seats and a dilution of their premium brand image. They should not become just like AirTran or price will be the only battleground. If AirTran wants to stir things up, start service on the MKE-MSP and MKE-DTW routes with low fares to challenge NWA’s monopoly.

  3. just as the fine china and gourmet meals went away most of the leather and cookies will too, YX has to get their cost/seat mile competitive with FL to survive.If not the YX blue will turn red and gray and FL will slug it out with NW. FL seems determined to make MKE its long sought upper midwest hub and for good reason. MKE has huge potential O&D due to its proximity to N. Illnois. Also if the mergers start to happen SW might go after FL,finish the MKE hub FL started and MKE is the big winner,NW the big loser.

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