Chatting with some folks today about JetBlue‘s new DFW-BOS service got me to thinking. And that’s never a good thing. JetBlue paid a king’s ransom by some accounts for the eight slot pairs each at LGA and DCA. They’re going to need to realize some serious profits on that investment. So they’re going to want to go to markets where there are high yields and limited competition. Both airports are limited by perimeter rules in terms of flight distances that can operate so it is basically Texas or east (and not even all of Texas works) for the routes. So what would I do if I were sitting at the white board working on routes?
A somewhat disturbing and almost certainly untenable option came to mind: Attack DFW.
Assuming you could get another gate or two at DFW, why not attack the American Airlines hub? JetBlue has already shown that they’re willing to attack a little bit, putting 3x daily on DFW-BOS starting next year. Why not go all-in? Sure, they don’t really own any market share at DFW. Or LGA. Or DCA. But they could try, right?
It wouldn’t be a half-assed effort like Spirit Air‘s gambit. We’re talking about a total of 19 daily frequencies, all to major business cities and all where the competition is VERY limited. US Airways flies E-Jets 3x daily on the DCA-DFW route. US, Spirit and Frontier all list DFW-LGA but they all fly it as a one-stop direct flight. Seems like there could be a lot of fun to be had with some new blood bringing competition on these routes.
Then again, it would require the additional gate at DFW. And the stage length is a bit high for fleet utilization and yield management. Still, showing up at DFW with that much lift would be an incredibly entertaining challenge to the incumbent.
Another great option would be service from Austin, connecting folks from the west coast, too, but that’s just outside the perimeter at both LGA and DCA. Sad.
Besides, what else are they going to do? Fake shuttle service?
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