Another positive sign of pandemic recovery… Cranky Concierge has started hiring again! We are looking for one or two more weekend and/or overnight concierges to help travelers who are stuck outside of our office hours. For more, read the job description here. There is a link to apply at the bottom of the description.
This Week’s Featured Link
Philippine Airlines explains side on LAX issue – Manila Bulletin
It seems that nobody is happy about having to move to the new midfield concourse, but for Philippine it’s all about old people. It is really unhappy about being pushed out of its previous location.
Tweet of the Week
There is so much that I love about this map (click to make sure you’re seeing the full map). I love that there used to be a flight from Anchorage to Valdez and on to Cordova. The first is 126 miles by air and 300 by road (and is now flown by a smaller airline in Alaska). The second is a mere 51 miles by air but unreachable by road. I also love the Alaska-Braniff Pipeline Express partnership sending people from Texas to Seattle and connecting them on to Alaska with an oil theme. And lastly, I love that the partnership has been temporarily discontinued by order of the CAB. So great.
Two for the Road
Looking Ahead: Alaska Airlines Network Chief On New Routes And The Future – Simple Flying
Some interesting comments from Brett Catlin, who runs Alaska’s network, in this interview. The future is less about new routes and more about beefing up existing ones.
Alaska Airlines grows with Boise, launching new flights and adding more routes – Alaska Airlines Newsroom
Of course, just as he says that… Alaska announces new routes. I hadn’t quite grasped how much Boise had been built up since it’s happened in ones and twos. That’s a nice little operation they’re running there.
Happy 50th Birthday, Southwest Airlines! Your innovation changed the industry and made flying affordable. Your business model has been emulated around the world.
The Braniff-Alaska service was an example of an interchange, which was a unique regulation-era where it was the same aircraft crewed by different airlines. So, Braniff crews would take the aircraft between Texas and Seattle and Alaska crews would take the aircraft from Seattle to Alaska. There was also a later American Airlines/Alaska interchange doing much the same thing.
Air New Zealand and British Airways once had a similar arrangement between LA and London – British Airways crews would fly Air NZ DC-10s from LA to London and back. All kinds of interesting arrangements back when regulations were tighter.
We have an issue in the west coast where demand is way down in SEA and SFO because of the lock downs and non-existent corporate spending my tech companies.
With all these problems, AS thinks they can operate 3 flights a day on SEA-RDU and 5 flights a day on SEA-ATL next year. SEA-ATL had PDEW of 675 in Q3 of 2019 and SEA-RDU had PDEW of 289. We are not getting back to that level anytime soon. Which means, they are going to try to fill half of those seats with connections LAX/SFO/PDX/ANC. Which means those Cali transcons are finished.
Their solution for rebuilding network is to fly daily on SFO-CUN? Very strange example.
SFO is basically an RJ operation at this point. It’s truly amazing how much they cut there. SJC/OAK not doing great either. It’s like the VX merger never happened. I thought they were trying to grow LAX. But now, looks like LAX is just a west coast operation.
Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I’m thinking VX and B6 would have been a much better combination. That combined carrier would have been a force on both coasts. If AS backs off in SFO, what did they gain that they couldn’t have done via organic growth?
That’s a question the previous AS management will have to answer. They are getting rid of the airbus fleet and pilot base in SFO. SFO is no longer gate constrained. They leased those LGA/DCA slots to WN. It doesn’t look like they need those JFK slots, since they are flying under once a day to LAX and SFO. They never really attracted the VX customers.
They are 20% smaller this summer vs 2019 whereas WN/B6/ULCCs are all close to 2019 size or larger than 2019 size. So, whatever national market share they gained in the VX deal has been lost. Aside from a couple of more gates at LAX, I’m really not sure what they got out of the VX merger.
They prevented B6 from using VX to gain a meaningful west coast presence.
Does the “Temporarily Discontinued” note on the Alaska Air map refer to the Alaska-Braniff Pipeline Express or to the routes marked with dots (ANC-Unalakleet-Nome-Kotzebue-ANC)? Given the five dots before the “Temporarily Discontinued” note, I think it’s the latter – but I could easily be wrong.
HPN-HRL – Oh that’s a good point. I just never figured that would be discontinued for any reason, but you’re probably right now that I look at it again.
I’m really happy to see you’re hiring.
The wheelchair issue with Manila flights is the real deal. I remember waiting several years ago for a flight back to the US from Nagoya, back when the Delta Nagoya flight connected to/from Manila. Everyone in the main waiting area was asked to move to make room for the fleet of 30-40 wheelchairs for the Manila passengers.
I think PAL has a good point about their pax needs and the MSC.
Southeast still has the same service patterns it did a half century ago. There’s the milk runs making every stop, with one via SIT and the other PSG/WRG, and directs to SIT and KTN. GST still has a summer seasonal from JNU. Have they kept the same flight numbers this whole time? Wouldn’t surprise me if AS63/64 were among the longest serving flight numbers in aviation.