Northern Pacific threw one hell of a party for the unveiling of its new livery. I was there and met up with Brett Snyder from Cranky Flier for a quick chat about the plane, the plan, and what might come next.
Like what you hear? Support the Show and get early access to episodes.
Enjoy the show!
Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.
Agree that it’s only prudent to approach any new airline venture with a degree of healthy skepticism. But as a long-term resident of Seoul, I also can’t help being really excited about Northern Pacific, and really hope they can make it work. When you look at the globe, the value proposition is obvious – how can there not be any passenger service between East Asia and Alaska?
If I were looking for reasons to be optimistic, I’d consider the following:
-The potential for Japan/Korea – Alaska tourism should not be overlooked, given attractive flight times, prices and packages. With a flight time of 6-7 hours each way, Alaska has obvious appeal for East Asian office workers with limited vacation time, but in search of something exotic. All it takes is a well-timed TV drama for a place featured to spike in popularity. (Case in point: Korean outbound tourism to Turkey and Croatia).
-The potential to serve additional secondary markets in Japan and Korea that have no non-stop service to the US, meaning that a one-stop product is at less of a competitive advantage. In Korea, this means Busan. In Japan, for cities north of Tokyo, three is an added benefit as the travel distance would also be shorter compared to transiting in Tokyo.
I agree that local tourism demand to Alaska can be part of the appeal. But I’m also skeptical of just how much will come of that. It is possible to induce demand just by showing up, but I’d expect it to be highly seasonal and at some point they still have to pretend they want to make money to keep flying.
The secondary markets opportunity is real. I’m just not sure it will be enough for a primary city on one side and secondary on the other, versus secondary at both ends. Especially since the connection options for the primary at one end will be broad.
Comments are closed.