10 Responses

  1. Ted
    Ted at |

    I just don’t see how UAL can compete against a below 6 CASM(xJetA).
    Prices can stay this low for long period of time, especially you get more pressure internationally.

    The problem is the labor contact with the pilot.

  2. DaninMCI
    DaninMCI at |

    Nice post on Spirit issues.
    It seems like if they could solve the pilot and engine problems that would help, duh. I don’t know about Newark and NYC issues around Spirit as I don’t fly there much but until they improve their model it will hold them back. What I mean is that Southwest has made great gains on odd semi-hub airports that maybe have lost or need more lift. Like STL for example. Once AA de-hubbed that airport it opened a door for Southwest to grow there with routes that don’t involve going to ORD or DFW everytime. At the time it helped that Southwest had cheaper fares (see today’s Spirit fares) but it worked.

    I really like flying Spirit but I feel like I’m rolling the dice every time I get to a remote airport with them. It’s a gamble that that aircraft doesn’t go mechanical. Like the Allegiant issue at LAS this week.

    I think Spirit will eventually succeed long term if they can turn a profit and solve their PR issues. I also think airlines like Allegiant will turn into Valujet or maybe Air Tran eventually.

    Being even more long winded if I ran Spirit I would build an secondary hub network at some second tier airports and try and use the stop and go route method that Southwest uses. In fact I’d try to copy Southwest on a bunch of stuff, except high prices. My thinking is that some second tier regional airports that have capacity would be glad to throw cheap gates, lounges, tax breaks, etc. at them. Places like DFW or NYC just want to cash in from the airlines that need them. They still need the big cities for O&D traffic but putting hubs in second tier cities could help them cut cost and provide a more stable platform. Heck even larger cities like PHX might be a good fit as AA moves more to LAX. FLL is a good fit for them, STL would be good, CLT (maybe long term). Milwaukee maybe. New Orleans?, PDX, Little Rock, Sanford FL, etc.

    This could be an interesting topic for Dots Lines and Destinations if you could get a guest that knows a lot about Spirit or flies them a lot.

  3. James Gennero
    James Gennero at |

    I recall flying Spirit when they were a reputable option to NWA out of DTW. Until their spiral to the worst LCC…

  4. Mike Holovacs
    Mike Holovacs at |

    The “mobile device booking fee” will be a paywall in the app. Sure, it’s a free download…but then you have to use the app, and only people who use the app will get charged. I hate Spirit…the airline industry equivalent of an anal fissure.

  5. John Dekker
    John Dekker at |

    TANKED did that stock today!

  6. Jason Demby
    Jason Demby at |

    I used to fly them every so often from NYC to FLL them when i was going solo and it was always an awful experience…with my family…NEVER…

    1. Mike Holovacs
      Mike Holovacs at |

      Spirit used to be the best choice out there for me: ACY-FLL on MD-80s when ACY didn’t have jet bridges. It all went to shit when they hired BBB.

  7. Gary Cohen
    Gary Cohen at |

    Seth: Can they afford to give their pilots pay parity with the big guys and still make money?

    1. Seth Miller
      Seth Miller at |

      Hard to say for sure. The average total revenue per passenger isn’t all that low and they save enough on some costs that I’m guessing it can be at least competitive. Probably not industry leading, though.

    2. Gary Cohen
      Gary Cohen at |

      Industry leading is only industry leading until the next contract beats it…and then it isn’t industry leading anymore 🙂