It’s getting hot in Airlineville… a little too hot. Things are warming up so quickly for the Eagle that he’s had to take a breather, scaling back his plans this summer.
The Cirium data also shows a warm front building over… Idaho. You’d think that wouldn’t be good news for the Eskimo, but he seems smitten with the place.
The Widget had a busy week as well, rekindling an old flame in Cincinnati while doing a host of other things.
All this and more this week. Liks sands through the hourglass, so are the skeds of air lines.
Alaska Does Boise
Alaska, as announced, bulked up Boise with new flights to Phoenix and Pullman (WA). Meanwhile, Texas gets some love with Dallas/Love to LA + SF along with Austin – LA getting one flight upgauged from an Embraer 175 to an A320 around the end of the year.
Allegiant Moves Into the Harbor in the Sky
Allegiant finally filed its flights from Phoenix/Sky Harbor as previously announced. Provo and Stockton start in October. It will also fly Phoenix/Mesa – Pittsburgh and Fort Lauderdale – Northwest Arkansas.
American Pulls Down in July
American pulled down 80 to 90 flights per day in the first half of July with a focus on Dallas/Fort Worth. Why? It’s not for commercial reasons. Instead, it’s because it wants a buffer to build some slack as the operation begins to suffer from reliability problems. According to American, it’s a combination of things leading to this, including bad weather and vendor staffing issues.
American also pulled down Labor Day flying which is not surprising at all. The airline did have some good news, extending some seasonal routes into the winter including Chicago/O’Hare – Burlington and Portland (ME). Lastly, Newark – Phoenix apparently wasn’t filed past October. Now it is.
Delta Cuts Again
Like clockwork, Delta has cut again. Its August capacity is down nearly 3 percent, September 4.5 percent, and October 4 percent. These are far from final, at least, that’s the case for September and October. Beyond those months, Delta made more cuts. Some routes lost 3 to 4x weekly while others lost 1x daily, including Atlanta – Alexandria, Asheville, Baton Rouge, Boise, Bozeman, Columbus (MS), Fort Wayne, Gaineville, Gulfport/Biloxi, Houston/IAH, Jackson Hole, Jacksonville (NC), Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Moline, Oklahoma City, Ontario, Reno, Shreveport, Spokane, Tulsa, and Tucson. On the flip side, there is growth in Atlanta – Dayton, Des Moines, Green Bay, Madison, and Steamboat Springs. Routes from other hubs were impacted as well.
More interesting is that Delta has decided to go back into Austin – Cincinnati on September 8, the same day American starts. Something tells me that even though Austin is now the only one of those two that’s a focus city, Cincinnati is what’s driving this. Meanwhile, the other focus city, Raleigh/Durham, sees its non-hub flying suspension extended through Septemer.
Another random note: JFK – Baltimore, Edinburgh, and Norfolk along with Minneapolis – Helena, Montreal, Toronto, and Traverse City, Seattle – Calgary, Indianapolis and Milwaukee are gone at least through the winter, if not for good.
Lastly, Delta is cutting Cape Town before it even started. It will not fly the triangle route originally planned and will instead just operate roundtrip from Atlanta to
Cape Town Johannesburg.
Spirit Heads North
Spirit filed its newly-announced flights from Manchester (NH) to Florida — Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, and Tampa. It also extended its schedule out through March 8.
United Tends to the Outdoors
United may have already bulked up winter flying in outdoors/mountain markets, but now it has filled in the gap in September and October as well with more flying. This was offset by cuts in a lot more markets elsewhere. United’s September is down 8.8 percent while October is down 4.1 percent.
- Aer Lingus pushed back its Manchester – US service since the borders remain closed.
- Air Canada continues to trim July over the Atlantic. It won’t fly Toronto – Dublin and Zurich, Calgary – Frankfurt, and Montreal – Tel Aviv.
- Air Transat won’t fly Toronto – San Juan this winter.
- British Airways extended its pandemic schedule through July, canceling all service to Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Nashville, and Newark while reducing frequency elsewhere in light of the UK’s refusal to open borders.
- China Airlines is planning on flying 2 flights in July and another 2 in August from Ontario to Taipei.
- La Compagnie will fly from Newark to Milan starting in November. It will also increase Nice flying this summer.
- Porter has extended the cancellation of all flights through July. It will now pretend it will restart in August.
- Qatar was supposed to be cutting Doha – Atlanta and Boston frequencies, but it looks like it has now been boosted right back up.
- Silver is giving up on Fort Lauderdale – Columbia (SC).
- Swoop filed service starting in September from Edmonton to Las Vegas and Phoenix/Mesa. Toronto – Orlando/Sanford starts in October.
- WestJet is actually launching a European route. It’ll fly Calgary – Amsterdam from August.
That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode of Skeds of air Lines. And if you can’t wait, you can subscribe to Cranky Network Weekly. This week, we cover:
- American Takes a Step Back in July
- Delta Defends a Former, Shrinking Hub
- Alaska Builds Up Boise
- Delta Grows Its Range with Johannesburg Flight
- Spirit Makes a Secondary Market Play in NH
You write: it will not fly the triangle route originally planned and will instead just operate roundtrip from Atlanta to Cape Town.
No, Delta sill just operate round trip from Atlanta to Johannesburg, not Cape Town
Jason – Yes, that was a typo. It is fixed now.
Some people never believed that Delta would defend its markets regardless of whether they wear the title of hub or focus city or no title at all.
AA actually cut AUS-CVG down to 1X/day for Sept to leave the market with the same amount of capacity for both AA and DL.
As for JNB, it will actually be quite a coup if Airbus and Delta can operate the A350 on JNB to ATL with a full load of passengers given that the 777-200LR was the only other plane that could operate the route to ATL, the most operationally challenging ultra long haul route in the world. The 777LR still had modifications for the route with special tires and the max thrust of the 777-300ER on the LR and the LR only managed to sell about 50 copies. Low temps in JNB for a couple months are in the low 40s (F) so the chances are better for the next couple months but the lows go up to the upper 50s or low 60s by summer there. That route will be one to watch operationally.
Because a 1x cvg-aus is delta defending its markets in any scale?
No. It’s obviously not.
It is as much of a market response as AA’s growth of the AUS market is. DL wasn’t flying CVG-AUS before but increased it to daily even as AA cut their service from double daily to single daily.
The reason that DL cut RDU is because, as some predicted, B6 is pulling back its RDU growth. The market isn’t ready for the amount of new capacity that some airlines added but DL added what it needed to in order to make it clear that it didn’t give up on any market.
Given that the AUS competitive environment is much more between AA and WN and reflects WN’s expansion into AA’s MIA and ORD hubs, CVG-AUS is just a footnote but it is indicative that DL will decide when its ready to walk away from markets and they weren’t ready to do that in CVG-AUS like a bunch of RDU markets.
If you want to see it otherwise, that is ok.
A 1x cvg-aus flight, a route Delta flew before, is nothing like the growth from AA in AUS.
Delta flew the route starting in 2018. They cut it and are now flying it again. Sure, they’re defending some cvg share, I guess, but the idea that delta resuming a previous route is some kind of grand “delta will defend…”
I never said “grand” but let’s cut to the chase.
CF got it right last week when he said that B6 cut a bunch of its experiments while AA wound up a bunch of its own. There is no assurance that AA’s AUS growth will work – that is true for any airline anywhere.
However, there is a fundamental difference between market skirmishes like AUS or RDU and major incursions of legacy carrier hubs such as NK and WN are doing including in MIA.
Focus cities or whatever cities with less than 100 flights/day (and some even less than that) aren’t the issue. Delta never said it intended to be the largest airline at AUS or run a hub out of there.
DL did build a large Sky Club in AUS and by multiple reports gained preferential domestic access to additional gates beyond what it had before the addition at AUS opened. It will be interesting to see what DL does but they are clearly not in a hurry to launch experiments in AUS or anywhere else.
The bigger and far more strategic issue is what happens in MIA and ORD and IAH and a bunch of medium-sized cities with low cost and ultra low cost carrier growth and that scenario won’t play out in ATL, DTW, MSP or SLC or LAX or SEA or LGA or BOS because WN and other low cost carriers already fly there and have been able to expand if they wish. JFK is the only DL hub without an abundance of low cost competition and low cost carriers so far aren’t interested because they want more LGA access.
CF’s weekly updates have been fascinating during the covid era. The industry is settling into strategic changes and stability that will have far more long-term implications that a single large RJ flight by two different airlines.
Not what anyone was talking about but thanks for four paragraphs off topic.
Oh dear, he is back…….
More scrolling past idiotic Delta fanboy propaganda….
This what “flooding the zone with sh*t” looks like. Deflect to LAX, NRT, etc.
Whatever it takes, I guess.
It’s exhaustively tedious.
As for the AUS land rush, every carrier has a plan. It’s a fun exercise in Game Theory, and we all have a front row seat to watch it play out.
except it isn’t deflection when people specifically say that Delta isn’t growing or taking advantage of opportunities.
If Delta managed to become the largest carrier at LAX – which data says they did during the pandemic even while blocking seats – and they are offering more capacity going forward, then it is absolutely relevant to note that changes in the LAX market are far more important in terms of revenue than what happens in Austin. And LAX is right now one of the few markets where there is a direct change in AA and DL’s competitive situation even if AA is facing that in other markets with other carriers.
And the data clearly says that Delta became the 2nd largest carrier in AUS up until March 2021 which is the latest DOT data that is available. Not knowing or picking and choosing data to fit one’s narrative is not analysis. DL’s growth in AUS was very much a threat to AA in AUS and AA responded by adding a bunch of new markets, most of which aren’t even in DL competitive markets.
You are right that every airline has its own strategies which is why measuring it all after the fact – not in the middle of the hype of announcements – is what determines the success of it all.
Exhausting is narrowly spouting narratives to the exclusion of any wholistic view. But let’s be honest that is the way conversation happens in the U.S. now.
Tim – Sorry to burst your bubble, but the AA AUS-CVG cut was a misfile. It was meant to cancel the flight on one specific day, not the whole month and will be reversed this week.
Regardless of whether it is a misfile or if AA adds 10 A321 flights/day, the entire AUS-CVG market can fit on 2 large RJs based on 2019 data. CVG was not even in the top 25 markets from AUS.
DL’s addition of BOS-CLT and BOS-DFW is much, much bigger in terms of the size of those markets.
And the bigger point is that a whole lot of people have created their own expectations about airline expansion during the covid era, much of it not based on what the airlines themselves said about that expansion even if they commented at all.
You were right. AA’s AUS expansion is an experiment. Other readers accurately noted that there is a good chance that parts of it will be pulled back – but it still won’t make a difference if they do or not.
The trajectory of the industry will be shaped by the expansion of low cost carriers and in share shifts between the big 4 in major markets. Low cost carriers will be at over 30% of AA’s N. America capacity from MIA by the end of the year – up from about 5% 2 years ago. LUV is now in 3 more major AA and UA hubs. DL has overtaken AA as the largest carrier at LAX. Those are the issues that will matter in the next five years for the airline industry.
The tim Dunn final word:
1. We were talking about cvg-aus, but the real big deal was three weeks ago in a topic no one is discussing: inferior frequency adds vs the competition to two places from Boston by Delta
2. The really big news are two hugely bad things, per Tim, about AA and UA and Delta supposedly being bigger in LAX despite zero look at the Oneworld presence in LAX or the various metro area airports.
Thanks for the normal yawn of a takeaway. The sky is falling everywhere for AA and UA while glorious things await Delta. I’m sure no one is surprised by your feelings.
AA establishing AUS as a “we swear this isn’t a focus city” and shoving capacity into it is a more significant development than DL resuming service at the same gauge as pre-pandemic where one end used to be a hub and the other is supposedly a focus city. AA’s move is also less expected than DL connecting a hub (because DL classifies BOS as a hub now) to a competitor carrier’s hub. Why wouldn’t they? AA has DFW-ATL too.
At this point, AA is more serious about AUS than DL is. That wasn’t necessarily the case three years ago, but here we are. I like DL, but if my choice is between an E-Jet on Envoy or Republic vs. a CR9 on Endeavor, I’ll take the E-Jet.
What’s extra funny is CVG-AUS as three competitors on the route two days per week, as CVG is a G4 focus city and AUS has no lack of G4 destinations. Different market, but that’s an extra ~300 seats each way per week, so AA and DL are fighting over traffic where frequency and full service matters.
Cranky’s right though: this is more about CVG than AUS for DL (and more about AUS for AA than CVG…for now), and DL is at best matching AA there (assuming AA decides to drop its second frequency before it starts).
This is seriously not helping your case to constantly go off topic when you are feeling threatened by other carriers getting into DL’s backyard.
DL really needs to show some focus. This strategy of trying to maintaining market share in old focus cities aren’t going to get them anywhere. Where is that continued buildup at LAX? I was expecting them to push it. There has been nothing.
If AUS is the topic, then I am certainly not off topic to note that CVG-AUS is a market that isn’t even in the top 25 markets in a city that isn’t in the top 25 markets.
My credibility relies solely on accurately discussing real data that matters to the discussion. For the year ended March 2021, the latest for which the DOT has released traffic data, Delta was the 2nd largest airline in AUS behind WN. AA management clearly woke up and realized they were on the verge of seeing Delta continue that trend and decided to announce a bunch of new markets – however there is a greater competitive overlap with Southwest than there is with Delta.
AUS-CVG might be fun to talk about but it really isn’t anywhere close to the whole story. Markets like MIA, ORD, DEN, LAX and NYC matter much more to airline revenues.
And DOT data shows that Delta has also carried more passengers out of LAX than AA.
Delta hasn’t added a bunch of new capacity but it has restored more of it in key competitive markets during the pandemic even while also holding onto its share in its hubs and focus cities.
DOT data also says that Delta has carried more revenue out of Tokyo during the pandemic than its US competitors and has also had a significant yield premium from HND compared to carriers that still operate from NRT.
2020 was hardly a normal year but there are some very interesting trends developing which I truly hope CF will track and follow-up on as each of these carriers’ strategies are tested as traffic returns.
Before I even started reading the comments, I saw there were 36 of them and thought “Tim Dunn is back, likely engaged in an endless back-and-forth”. Sure enough…
You really are amusing, Tim.
Apparently, LCC and uLCC capacity in a major market matters everywhere except LAX, where delta has some big thing happening, per you.
Never mind that lax, as an airport, has the biggest LCC/ULCC presence of any major airport.
The inside of your brain must be a fascinating place.
“According to American, it’s a combination of things leading to this, including bad weather and vendor staffing issues.”
American’s mass cancellations this past weekend (and extending into this week) are focused predominantly on 737 flights due to lack of pilots.
With AA now experiencing this and DL having experienced it previously, I’m curious if UA will undergo a similar challenge or if Kirby can claim success in how they decided to trim flying and then rebound due to the pandemic. Seems like UA’s been doing some operational things right lately.
Gary – Yes, for this weekend. But that doesn’t mean those will be the main causes in July. There is a lot going on here that’s causing AA trouble.
Pilots are only part of it.
With all due respect to Mr. Leff, what I find interesting about his blog is how Southwest’s operational issues have been largely ignored, while American’s are prominently highlighted. Why the double standard? Does Mr. Leff have a vendetta against American Airlines? In reading his blog from time to time, and his comments here, it seems as if he does. But maybe I’m wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.
I don’t find the current operational issues to be particularly unusual in light of the market’s unpredictable nature, and the fact that the industry has been largely mothballed for the last 15 months. The obvious question going forward is how well the ramp-up issues are going to be managed. But I also think we should be as fair as we can about how we look at these things.
There are multiple sites that have hundreds of passengers talking about AA’s customer service handling in response to the cancellations, something that didn’t happen w/ WN’s even larger number of cancellations – or any other airline has had at least since covid began. As with everything else, data including DOT consumer complaints will ultimately show what travelers were upset about.
@Tim, I know. I’ve read most of them.
I just find it interesting how people tend to have double standards when it comes to these kinds of issues. There’s a tendency in this country to exaggerate even the most mundane events, and take extreme positions on virtually every issue. No company is as good as its fans think, nor as bad as its critics think. As I wrote below, I have no issue with justified criticism. Self-reflection is a part of how we get better as people, but it has to be based in reality, not simply be a knee-jerk reaction. I think it’s safe to say that any enterprise run by human beings is going to fall short of perfection. It’s the double standards I find troubling. But maybe that’s just me.
Another blog mentioned that La Compagnie was also starting continuing service to Tel Aviv, I think from Paris. Did they file that, as well?
grichard – Yes, flights from Paris to Tel Aviv were filed as well. I only check things that touch the US or Canada, so things like that will get missed here.
“in light of the UK’s refusal to open borders” – yeah, it might help if the US also stopped refusing to open its’ borders, too. And embassies.
Ah, there’s a little something called COVID-19 raging across the globe & many countries are having problems administering vaccines for it.
Spirit’s flights out of MHT (Manchester, NH) don’t start until a few weeks before Thanksgiving, but I suspect that they will do reasonably well out of there.
MHT is much easier to fly in/out of than BOS, especially now that BOS-area traffic is back up to pre-COVID levels (or close to it). In addition to NH residents, I imagine Sprit will draw a fair number of pax from the working class towns along I-495, like Lowell.
NK service looks to break MHT’s long record of futility – for 15 straight years, it’s had Y/Y decreasing traffic. Even giving them a pass for 2020, there was still a decline every year from 2006 to 2019 in decline, from 4.3mm in 2005 thru 1.7mm in 2019 – courtesy of the opening of the Ted Williams tunnel to BOS and the growth of JetBlue as a low(er) cost alternative in BOS, utterly destroying WN’s New England strategy.
Question is when MHT shows a lift vs 2019’s levels.
I live in the area and have prefer MHT, PWM (Portland, ME), BOS, in that order, largely based on door-to-door time; I check PSM (Portsmouth) as well, and have picked up people from there, but have never flown out of it myself, as I’m not an Allegiant fan.
Unfortunately, even given that I’m willing to pay a bit of a premium to fly out of MHT, I often wind up fighting the traffic and bad roads and flying out of BOS. Anecdotally, WN itineraries from MHT often seem to sell for a significant a premium to similar itineraries from DL/AA/B6 from BOS, and WN often requires a stop in a place like BWI, as opposed to nonstops from BOS. PWM is typically pretty expensive as well, at least for the routes I fly.
Even before the IT problems at WN, it’s operation had been a sh*it show. They are horribly short staffed in most departments at the Airports resulting in long delays. At their hubs, especially DEN, it’s pathetic. They are also short on Crews. I would expect them to cut their schedule down too in the next week. I suspect their D0 at DEN, DAL, HOU, BWI and MDW is in below 20%.
Most companies around the country are experiencing staffing shortages at the moment. Hardly the fault of any one company.
WRONG! Airlines are different than Companies.
I don’t find the current operational issues to be particularly unusual in light of the market’s unpredictable nature, and the fact that the industry has been largely mothballed for the last 15 months. The obvious question going forward is how well the ramp-up issues are going to be managed. But I also think we should be as fair as we can about how we look at these things. Honest, constructive criticism is fine, as long as it’s fair and fact-based. It’s also easy to be critical of others when one has the advantage of 20/20 hindsight. But my overarching thoughts on being critical simply for the sake of being critical were first stated by Theodore Roosevelt who observed:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
“The obvious question going forward is how well the ramp-up issues are going to be managed. ”
Beats me, but my station has a handful of brand new hires starting this week. After the past 12-18 months, I didn’t think that was a sentence I would be typing.
Are you doing a article int the boise build up ?
Hayden – Not here. That was one of the trends in this week’s Cranky Network Weekly, but I’m not doing anything on Cranky Flier.
I’m excited for AZA-PIT. That has been an overpriced market for a while. Hopefully some real competition will help.
I think DL pulling back on SEA-IND/MKE/YYC is just the beginning. Ranging from depositing free money and miles to SEA flyer accounts to dirt cheap fares on non-stops from SEA, DL has been desperate to lure SEA flyers this past year. All the while, AS is ramping up destinations & frequencies across the board. With PVG and PKX off the radar for the foreseeable future, their TPAC ops is just HND and ICN. Wonder how long the bleeding can go on…
I get that we all have our narratives that we want to cling to regardless of the facts, but actual DOT data shows that Alaska and Delta’s average domestic fares for the local SEA market were down very similar amounts. Most other airlines suffered much deeper reductions than those two. AS and DL’s relative shares of capacity have been fairly consistent. and to add perspective that some miss, AS is significantly pulling back on transcon routes which benefits DL among others.
It might also surprise you that Delta’s traffic flow on its SEA to smaller midwest nonhub routes is predominantly domestic not unlike Alaska. Delta has plenty of options to carry that traffic over other hubs while AS does not.
AS and DL are two of the most rational competitors with each other which explains why they both do fairly well financially relative to the industry and why they manage to coexist despite internet lore that they are out to kill each other. Good, financially responsible competition is good for everyone and some airlines know how to do it.
Keep in mind that the longer Asia takes to reopen also impacts AA’s plans to build a SEA hub. Right now, DL and UA are at the same small number of flights/month to Shanghai with AA at a much lower level and Beijing and Hong Kong shut out for US airlines. It is hard to know when Asia will reopen but Tokyo and Seoul will be the two cities that will rebound first. I don’t think anyone is counting on anything of significance before the summer of 2022 at the earliest.
We had to know you’d jump in for this one, Tim…
Stop pretending you use facts and accusing of others of a narrative when your entire writing style is a giant misuse of information to make some ridiculous pro-delta spin narrative.
Saying AS and DL fares are down similar amounts means absolutely nothing for actual avg fare or profitability of either hub, especially with the Lower AS cost base. The AS SEA hub is designed around the current domestic environment; the SEA hub for Delta is entirely built around a Pacific hub to replace Narita, of course Delta is probably hurting there. That doesn’t mean domestic can’t work for delta, but competing from lower frequency/destinations vs AS and at a higher cost base than AS is hardly a winning formula for delta right now. Your “narrative” is deceptively inaccurate, as ever.
Delta is a great company but is significantly smaller than AS in SEA. AA doesn’t need to do a thing in Seattle until the pacific market returns. AS will still Be there. Delta is trying to be a player in SEA while being much smaller than the largest carrier at SEA, AS.
In case you’ve forgotten, being a strong but much smaller #2 rarely bodes well for airline hub profitability.
Julie and KS,
it is great to chat w/ you and I appreciate your insights.
You are absolutely right that normally the smaller player in the market doesn’t do well compared to a much larger rival. You also know that there aren’t many dual or triple hub airports left – AA and UA at ORD; AA, B6, and DL at JFK; the LAX clan etc.
Delta clearly made the decision to put hubs in BOS and SEA not with the expectation that they would overtake B6 or AS but that DL could offer a different set of routes than AS or B6 and the data does seem to indicate that they are succeeding at succeeding in a niche role.
You are correct that there are bound to be costs associated with Delta’s SEA hub due to its Pacific operations which are not fully back in place – but that is true w/ every airline that is part of the transpacific market.
btw, the percentage difference between AS and DL’s average domestic fares from SEA has stayed fairly constant as has their capacity. AS has obviously put more capacity back into the market than some other carriers have in other hubs. As you probably know, DL has added a higher percentage of capacity in the west (esp. LAX, SEA and SLC) than it has in the NE which has been impacted by lower demand for all carriers.
We honestly don’t know profitability for any airline’s hubs because they don’t provide it. AS and DL are well-run companies and they also have found what they each do well. Delta is stronger to destinations east of the Mississippi while AS is stronger up and down the coast – and both have built their SEA hubs around those strengths. Delta is a global airline while Alaska relies on partnerships to serve international markets. I do think AS will benefit from the AA-oneworld relationship.
As for the west coast, DOT data shows that AS and DL traded places depending on the month as the two largest airlines on the west coast during covid. Even before covid, Delta was behind United as the 2nd largest airline by revenue and ASMs. United is being heavily impacted by the much slower return of demand in the Bay Area but there will be healthy but rational competition on the west coast among multiple players.
thanks for your comments and the opportunity to interact.
Julie – Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org since I do not have your address.
“Alaska and Delta’s average domestic fares for the local SEA market were down very similar amounts.”
– I am not sure that say anything. If you even look at average fares on the non-stops out of SEA, DL’s are the cheapest on most days (especially weekdays when it is difficult to fill flights currently), with AS maybe matching one of their numerous flights to that price range. That is no sign of health for DL at SEA. DL’s numerous offers at SEA are a testament to that. DL offers the level of service it currently does in SEA not because it is working great for them – but because if they don’t, AS will simply walk over them and they know it. Unless TPAC improves significantly, I don’ see how it is a sustainable proposition for DL.
“and to add perspective that some miss, AS is significantly pulling back on transcon routes which benefits DL among others.”
– AS pulling down transcons from SFO and LAX is not going to help DL at SEA. Either way, AS FFs can currently still chose numerous non-stops on AA from LAX and SFO on top of the AS non-stops from SEA and PDX; and it is far more options than what DL FFs have. As far as the West Coast options are concerned, DL is now a very distant third, there is no doubt about that.
My daughter just flew BWI-ORD-HNL on AA. The flight to ORD was delayed 3 hours and she was very worried that she would not make the connection in ORD to HNL. The plane was at the gate the entire time during the delay. The reason given by the gate agent for the delay was a “staffing shortage.”