3 Links I Love: Southwest Goes High Cost, Long Beach Slots Settle, Spirit Hangs in the OC

Links I Love

This week’s featured link

Southwest Airlines Intends To Serve Miami And Palm Springs, Calif.Southwest News Release
I most definitely did not see that coming. Southwest in Palm Springs makes sense. It fits a similar profile to the Steamboat Springs flying it will begin this winter. But the always expensive Miami airport? It’s not like in Boston and New York where Southwest effectively moved into the primary airport and cut back secondary airports. I can’t imagine that happening at Fort Lauderdale.

Video of the week: Kudos to Yeshiva University for this clever run through of new safety procedures as if it were an airplane safety video. (via One Mile at a Time)

Two for the road

Southwest Airlines Requests All Available Flight Slots at Long Beach Airport – LGB Press Release
JetBlue’s 17 slots at LGB were up for grabs, and… nobody wanted them except for Southwest. This isn’t a surprise. Now we just wait to see how those get scheduled. When we know what the schedule looks like, then I’ll have more to post.

Spirit Airlines grabs coronavirus opportunity, adds Orange County flightsTPG
Great plan. Spirit is going to feel real pressure around its network, so if it can get into tightly-controlled airports, that will provide some protection.

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14 comments on “3 Links I Love: Southwest Goes High Cost, Long Beach Slots Settle, Spirit Hangs in the OC

  1. I’ll say one thing for WN – they must see blood in the water with both AA & B6 respectively., otherwise they wouldn’t have made those moves. This is especially true with MIA & it’s cost structure.

  2. WN’s decision to add MIA has enormous implications for the industry far beyond MIA’s costs. What will they do/how will they view FLL and what does it mean for NK and B6 there? How does DL and WN’s sudden common interest in MIA impact the routes both add and the implications for AA?
    As AA’s network becomes increasingly competitive, there are enormous implications for AA’s ability to attract premium revenues, esp. in light of its white flag in other parts of its network including LAX, Asia and growing parts of continental Europe.
    As for LGB, while WN is asking for all available slots, they undoubtedly are doing so knowing there is little interest by anyone else to expand much beyond the slots they hold; WN can easily slowly roll out whatever it wants at LGB but in the process puts a circle around another airport in CA where it can control the market. And it just might be better off for LGB to have the airport dominated by an increasingly higher cost but high volume WN than a low cost regional carrier like B6 that has focused on niche longhaul routes while trying to fill in regional (western US) routes where it didn’t do well. WN can probably do better across a much larger set of markets from LGB than B6 ever could have.

  3. What is the policy for slot utilization at Long Beach? How long does Southwest have to utilize all the new slots?

  4. You have always had an irrational disdain for Miami dating back over a decade that has created biased articles ridiculed with inaccuracies.

    Miami is no longer the expensive airport it once was. Yes, it’s expensive, but over the oats decade there has been such tremendous growth at the airport, ahead of expectations, that it has kept costs very much in line while capital improvements projects at other, much smaller airports, where traffic hasn’t grown has much, have seen per passenger enplanement costs balloon to irrational levels. Miami is no longer the most expensive airport to fly to on a per passenger basis and it’s costs are roughly in line with other large city airports. And while MIA has kept costs in checks for airlines, they have absolutely exploded in FLL, more than quadrupled since the mid-2000s. MIA per passenger costs have actually declined since the late 2010s. Also, as a common use facility with no gate leases, there are also some cost advantages of airlines too.

    1. What’s MIA’s cost per enplanement these days, and what’s FLL’s?

      You have to imagine that Frontier wouldn’t have dived in if it wasn’t worth their while (or looked to be at the time). If F9 is getting a good deal, Southwest may be similarly eligible.

      Will be interesting to see which routes WN starts with, and what part of the airport they fly out of (Satellite? Regional ground boarding area? Cats-and-dogs concourse? Some corner of a concourse AA can no longer fill?). I doubt Southwest would run the AUS-MIA route AA has had 3x daily on (mix of 319/E75) but I wouldn’t mind if they tried in time for the February conference that hope will still happen next year.

      1. Ian – FLL has been under $10, but I think with all the work going on they’re supposed to peak around $15 in a couple years. MIA has done a good job of keeping costs below the disastrous levels that were predicted, but I think it’s supposed to be peak around $27 in a few years. Of course, these numbers will change dramatically.

  5. PSP is an airport I’m surprised it has taken this long for WN to join. Even in a pandemic fares are $500 RT for economy while ONT just over an hour away is $200 RT.

      1. It depends not only on time of day but on the day itself. There are typical heavy traffic days in/out with leisure weekend visitors. Also, Palm Springs is the westernmost city in the Coachella Valley. If you’re destined for the east end of the valley along or south of Hwy 111, you can add 30min to that, easily. It’s about time WN made its way into PSP. ONT is not truly the PSP Area, as it has reflected on its Route Map for years. All it took was a global pandemic to bring it about! LOL

  6. WN route predictions for PSP: OAK, PHX, DAL, maybe DEN. For MIA, my wild guess would be ATL, LGA, and either DCA or BWI. DAL or LAX might be on the list as well, in that order of likelihood.

    1. “For MIA, my wild guess would be ATL, LGA, and either DCA or BWI. DAL or LAX might be on the list as well, in that order of likelihood.”

      BWI for sure as it’s a primary airport for them, but you could also add DAL, HOU, MSY, MDW & almost any airport in the northeast.

    2. I think at PSP WN will do OAK,LAS,DEN and PHX. MIA I can see BWI,HOU,DEN and MDW.
      LGB I think could become it’s LA/OC Hawaiian gateway city. So far they’re not really chasing connecting traffic to Hawaii from anything really east of DEN until the MAX8 ETOPS is certified and IF they ever start Red-eyes. LGB has 5 freeways feeding it 405,710,605,91 and the 22.

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