• NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.
  • Logbook Pro for Apple iOS version 8.1 is now available on the App Store. Major update including signature endorsements and dark/light theme support. Click here to install now.

Cranky Flier: SWA continues Cutting ATL, DL must be thrilled

Dornier 335

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Posts
1,089
Total Time
10300
link

Remember when Southwest announced it was taking over AirTran and people immediately thought Delta was in trouble in Atlanta? Hah. Yeah, right. I’d say the opposite is true. Delta must absolutely love Southwest for how much it has cut back Atlanta so far.

Southwest didn’t complete its purchase of AirTran until May 2011, and the first joint schedule wasn’t released until travel for September of that year. For that reason, I decided to take the summer 2011 schedule in Atlanta, before the changes, and compare it to the recently-released summer 2013 schedule. I looked at a Wednesday in the middle of July and the results are quite clear. Southwest has put a serious dent in AirTran’s Atlanta schedule.

Southwest and AirTran combined in 2013 will operate 12 percent fewer departures than AirTran alone did in 2011. (Southwest didn’t start serving Atlanta until well after.) AirTran had 211 Wednesday departures back then, but the combined airline will have 185 next summer.

Probably more staggering is the number of cities that have lost service completely. In fact, the combined airline has cut the number of nonstop destinations from Atlanta by 20 percent. Southwest/AirTran will serve only 45 destinations next summer while AirTran served 56 back in 2011. And those 45 destinations include 4 new Southwest ones. That means Southwest has ditched 15 AirTran destinations. (The most recent, Wichita, was just announced recently.) Take a look at the carnage via this Great Circle Mapper map.



The red lines go to the 15 cities that had nonstop service on AirTran in 2011 but will be losing it by next summer. The blue lines are the four airports that weren’t in the schedule in 2011 but will be next summer.
So has Southwest grown anywhere? Sure. It did add new service to Austin and Louisville. It also added 4 new flights to Baltimore along with 2 new flights to Vegas, Chicago/Midway, and Memphis. There was also 1 additional flight each to Akron/Canton, Ft Lauderdale, Houston/Hobby, Pittsburgh, Richmond, St Louis, and Tampa. In other words, most of the growth has been to Southwest strongholds. And that’s not a surprise. (I don’t count Norfolk as growth since it basically replaced 4 Newport News flights with 3 in Norfolk. And Aruba was an AirTran destination that just wasn’t served on Wednesdays back then.)

We also have to think about seat count growth. As those 717s are replaced by 737s, each flight will end up having more seats onboard. So there is growth in existing markets just by changing aircraft types. But there are a lot of markets left with nothing.

As you can imagine, Delta has to be enjoying this. It serves 13 of the 15 cities that AirTran/Southwest ditched, so it has to love what’s happening on those routes. (The other two are Atlantic City and Branson.) At the same time, Delta is going from competing with an airline that has First Class and seat assignments to one that doesn’t. It’s also facing a Southwest/AirTran that will have higher costs than what AirTran had on its own. That means fares have to be higher for Southwest to make money.

Yes, it’s mostly a good news story for Delta. Southwest is slowly turning Atlanta into a very different kind of city in its network compared to what it was in the AirTran network. Here’s the breakdown of daily departures by airport, for those who are curious. (The 2011 numbers came from masFlight, but I used Southwest/AirTran schedules for 2013 data.)

see link
 

scoreboardII

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Posts
2,694
Total Time
xxxxxx
Why would they expect swa to keep ATL like AT kept ATL, SWA runs a different operation.
 

Lear70

JAFFO
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Posts
7,487
Total Time
4abeer
I wouldn't say he expected anything; he's just pointing out a glaring fact: this merger will actually HELP Delta by taking out a competitor, leaving no one to compete in ATL who is able to offer a competing product (business class), and raising ticket prices all-around for all the Legacies.

Not to say that it's a threat to SWA - it's just an unexpected plus for Delta. To be honest, we had a better product than SWA does. Better on-time, baggage handling, etc, etc, and people LIKED assigned seating and business class. I haven't heard a single passenger since the announcement say "This is going to be so much better than AirTran alone!"

Yes, I know that's not the business model, but I can't tell you how many times I've heard passengers tell me they will miss us. They all lament the loss of business class and assigned seating and many of those premium passengers will take their business to Delta.

Not a slam, just a fact of life post-acquisition. Different business model, different target audience.
 

fam62c

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Posts
719
Total Time
10K+
Hub and spoke Vs, stagecoach style operation, SW is in the stagecoach business. This is the same reason the 717 doesn't work in SW's operation but worked for AT and will work for DAL. SW is different, whether it's still a better system now that the company is huge remains to be seen in the coming years but it's served SW well for many years. They are concentrating on the markets where they are strongest and have critical mass. SW has never tried to be all things to all people like the legacy carriers have tried to do over the years. Again, we will see how their model holds up and if they are willing to adapt if necessary. The times they are a changin'.
 

General Lee

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2002
Posts
20,442
Total Time
A lot
"Remember when Southwest announced it was taking over AirTran and people immediately thought Delta was in trouble in Atlanta? Hah. Yeah, right. I’d say the opposite is true. Delta must absolutely love Southwest for how much it has cut back Atlanta so far."



Looks like the orange "invasion" turned out to be an orange fart.


Bye Bye---General Lee
 
Last edited:

General Lee

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2002
Posts
20,442
Total Time
A lot
Did you come up with that all by yourself, or did your teacher help you?

I can't remember how many times you Corndogs got on here and stated "We're gonna take ATL by storm" or "You better watch out Delta..." Guess what? That so far hasn't happened, and it's looking doubtful to say the least. Sorry.


Bye Bye---General Lee
 

canyonblue

Everyone loves Southwest
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
2,314
Total Time
15000+
Remember when Southwest announced it was taking over AirTran and people immediately thought Delta was in trouble in Atlanta? Hah. Yeah, right. I’d say the opposite is true. Delta must absolutely love Southwest for how much it has cut back Atlanta so far.

He obviously didn't know it was never about Atlanta.
 

redflyer65

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2004
Posts
4,456
Total Time
8000
I can't remember how many times you Corndogs got on here and stated "We're gonna take ATL by storm" or "You better watch out Delta..." Guess what? That so far hasn't happened, and it's looking doubtful to say the least. Sorry.


Bye Bye---General Lee

Your a legend in your own mind General.
 

txav8r

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Posts
13
Total Time
12000
So much for AirTran bringing Atlanta to the merger!

At least they brought lots of airplanes. Oh, wait...
 

hairball1173

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2009
Posts
78
Total Time
10000
Atlanta will be a Draw down and then re build based on the aspects of the operation. We have all seen it in Memphis, msp, dtw, and all the other mergers that have happened in the last 50 years.

There is no doubt Atlanta is delta's home town and to compete is a fierce market. AirTran competed and so will the next. It's just the life of the airline business.
 

ron burgundy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Posts
403
Total Time
12000+
Hub and spoke Vs, stagecoach style operation, SW is in the stagecoach business. This is the same reason the 717 doesn't work in SW's operation but worked for AT and will work for DAL. SW is different, whether it's still a better system now that the company is huge remains to be seen in the coming years but it's served SW well for many years. They are concentrating on the markets where they are strongest and have critical mass. SW has never tried to be all things to all people like the legacy carriers have tried to do over the years. Again, we will see how their model holds up and if they are willing to adapt if necessary. The times they are a changin'.

Exactly..they used to compete against busses and trains. They had their niche market. Really,not much competition with the legacy carriers. They had their fan base and it served them well. Like or not,they have grown up and are competing with the rest of the "real" world now. TIME TO ADAPT.
"If ain't broke..don't fix it"....Well,when they realize/ADMIT that it is broken............it"s too late to fix it.. SWA should just get it done. Furlough,dissolve,liquidate the remainder of FL and let everyone get a head start on a new life. I hear that is the general consensus around FL. That it will never "fully" come to fruition. Feeling the GLUV...non-powdered I believe.
 
Last edited:

KNOTS

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Posts
66
Total Time
5700
I can't remember how many times you Corndogs got on here and stated "We're gonna take ATL by storm" or "You better watch out Delta..." Guess what? That so far hasn't happened, and it's looking doubtful to say the least. Sorry.


Bye Bye---General Lee

Both sides in this 'debate' are childish and silly...(Yes, I do remember some SWA guys saying this nonsense... and of course you can see some Delta guys countering it)

"My airline is bigger than your airline." (As if you pilots had anything to do whatsoever with this stuff.)

You all sound like idiots.
 

Bobby Orr 4

Just happy to be here.
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Posts
213
Total Time
6500
I wouldn't say he expected anything; he's just pointing out a glaring fact: this merger will actually HELP Delta by taking out a competitor, leaving no one to compete in ATL who is able to offer a competing product (business class), and raising ticket prices all-around for all the Legacies.

Not to say that it's a threat to SWA - it's just an unexpected plus for Delta. To be honest, we had a better product than SWA does. Better on-time, baggage handling, etc, etc, and people LIKED assigned seating and business class. I haven't heard a single passenger since the announcement say "This is going to be so much better than AirTran alone!"

Yes, I know that's not the business model, but I can't tell you how many times I've heard passengers tell me they will miss us. They all lament the loss of business class and assigned seating and many of those premium passengers will take their business to Delta.

Not a slam, just a fact of life post-acquisition. Different business model, different target audience.

Careful Lear. If Mrs. Magill finds you bad mouthing SWA on a public forum you will be dragged into Dallas and flogged.
 

Lear70

JAFFO
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Posts
7,487
Total Time
4abeer
Heh heh... ;)

Not hating or bashing, just stating a true fact: AirTran had a loyal fan base based on our product and we competed with Delta successfully with that product, and it was one that I liked and was proud to help produce.

SWA has a different product and a different target audience and will lose that business traveler who wants business class. Just the way it is.
 

redflyer65

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2004
Posts
4,456
Total Time
8000
I get where your proud of your past business product Lear. I agree it was a fine setup. But, I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the Southwest business model. We, a lot of times offer direct flights between cities that Delta can't even compete with. Raliegh to Nashville? We go direct. Tampa to Nashville, Raliegh, Louisvillle, Columbus, etc, etc. No connection required.

Delta, and it's passengers, have to deal with the friction of the hub and spoke, and that friction also irritates the business passenger when they HAVE TO connect in Atlanta for every damn flight. The Atlanta hub has been a joke over the years (not the city or people) but the Delta insistance that you go through ATL. Remember 'If you go to Hell, you have to connect in Atlanta'. Very similiar to the DFW hub in Dallas.

Connecting in Atlanta to go international? Makes perfect sense. Sometimes it doesn't for the business guy who wants to bypass the hassle and go direct...then get home direct for dinner.

Add to the fact that we have Southwest Business software in place at these businesses for these guys to book their own travel. There's plenty going on behind the scenes that really never gets discussed. And SW route planning has been firing on all cylinders when it comes to revenue per city pair. I guarantee it's being looked at from every possible angle.

I wish we knew what the Atlanta service would look like in 1,3, and maybe 5 years. To be honest, I'm not sure Gary and route planning know that far out.

Think about it this way..

When Jetblue tried to come into Atlanta from Long Beach, Delta just flooded that one route with more planes and FF miles and drove them out...easily. How does Delta compete with Hundreds of direct flights that fly right past Atlanta? That's a little harder. Delta will have to charge less for a connecting flight that actually cost MORE to operate. Not saying it's a slam dunk against Delta (because they are a good airline), but there are alot of moving parts that sometimes get dismissed.

It's the 'being in the dark' that causes articles like this to be written. As if the writers know better than the airline at how to run things. But you hit it on the head when you said it's really about two different models. Both excellent, but in and Apples and Oranges kind of way.

RF
 

scoreboardII

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Posts
2,694
Total Time
xxxxxx
DEN was considered a crapshoot by most here, today they own the C concourse.
 

KNOTS

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Posts
66
Total Time
5700
I get where your proud of your past business product Lear. I agree it was a fine setup. But, I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the Southwest business model. We, a lot of times offer direct flights between cities that Delta can't even compete with. Raliegh to Nashville? We go direct. Tampa to Nashville, Raliegh, Louisvillle, Columbus, etc, etc. No connection required.

Delta, and it's passengers, have to deal with the friction of the hub and spoke, and that friction also irritates the business passenger when they HAVE TO connect in Atlanta for every damn flight. The Atlanta hub has been a joke over the years (not the city or people) but the Delta insistance that you go through ATL. Remember 'If you go to Hell, you have to connect in Atlanta'. Very similiar to the DFW hub in Dallas.

Connecting in Atlanta to go international? Makes perfect sense. Sometimes it doesn't for the business guy who wants to bypass the hassle and go direct...then get home direct for dinner.

Add to the fact that we have Southwest Business software in place at these businesses for these guys to book their own travel. There's plenty going on behind the scenes that really never gets discussed. And SW route planning has been firing on all cylinders when it comes to revenue per city pair. I guarantee it's being looked at from every possible angle.

I wish we knew what the Atlanta service would look like in 1,3, and maybe 5 years. To be honest, I'm not sure Gary and route planning know that far out.

Think about it this way..

When Jetblue tried to come into Atlanta from Long Beach, Delta just flooded that one route with more planes and FF miles and drove them out...easily. How does Delta compete with Hundreds of direct flights that fly right past Atlanta? That's a little harder. Delta will have to charge less for a connecting flight that actually cost MORE to operate. Not saying it's a slam dunk against Delta (because they are a good airline), but there are alot of moving parts that sometimes get dismissed.

It's the 'being in the dark' that causes articles like this to be written. As if the writers know better than the airline at how to run things. But you hit it on the head when you said it's really about two different models. Both excellent, but in and Apples and Oranges kind of way.

RF

Regardless of everything you just said... if SWA is being driven out of ATL... SWA will miss out on the O and D traffic in ATL... which is BIG.

And your logic wouldn't apply to folks going to florida through atlanta who don't care if they stop in atl once on the way to disney world, or a cruise ship, etc..
 
Top