You advised "if you want a very specific market to grow--in this case, MSY-OAK/SFO--two things need to happen. One, specific effort needs to be spent to grow that market... But second, we need to see the traffic returning to levels that can support nonstop service. THEN we'll try and bring a nonstop and then hook 'er up with upline/downline support to/from Florida.
** Pls read: http://www.neworleanscitybusiness.com/uptotheminute.cfm?recid=17201&userID=0&referer=dailyUpdate
Louis Armstrong Airport is practically busting at the seams with passengers & needs capacity added to its pre-Katrina markets (like the Bay Area).
** Pls see http://www.flymsy.com/
Airline traffic year-to-date at Louis Armstrong is largely back to Pre-Katrina levels, '08 thru March = 1,038,801 vs '05 thru March 1,261,990. What's missing? Southwest!! '08 SWA passengers thru March = 281,149 vs '05 SWA passengers thru March = 371,106.
You also said: We have not re-entered the MSY-OAK market for two simple reasons: "the local market simply has not grown back to the size that it was"
** How do you measure this statistic? By population or more specifically by airline traffic? Have you taken into account the population explosion in the Florida Parishes into account?
"And two, because the market was not that large in the first place."
** SWA currently has non-stop service between Oakland and Nashville. Nashville has comparable population & airline traffic statistics YTD. Why do you fly to Nashville?
"With oil at $103 a barrel (have mercy...) we can't just throw nonstop service back in for "old times sake.""
1950 miles from Oakland, CA to Nashville, TN
1912 miles from Oakland, CA to New Orleans, LA
Again, why do you fly to Nashville over New Orleans? You can save yourself 38 miles of jet fuel now that oil costs $124 a barrel!
Thank you for taking time to respond to my comments. As a Southwest shareholder, I also see this as a positve step for profitability. With the large % of airline passengers coming to MSY for business, SWA has an great opportunity to charge higher fares for these passengers. Thank you.
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Thank you for responding. However, I am still scratching my head... here's why:
Southwest split the Bay Area-New Orleans nonstop route with United Airlines pre-Katrina. United decided to re-route connecting flights through LAX/DEN/ORD, so now the only competition is gone. Virgin America sees value & publicly stated plans to offer a direct between SFO & MSY but is still in its infancy stage.
Why doesn't Southwest take advantage of this golden opportunity? Its a monopoly on a lurcative route!!
I am even more confused about your second point: "with local civic and business leaders to build support (meaning traffic) for the route". You are kidding, right? In a five month period, the city hosted three college football bowl games, Mardi Gras, 2008 NBA All-Star game, and estimates well over 500,000 attendees to attend the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival. This is in addition to multiple other conventions.
Futhermore, New OrleansÃ
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Also interesting when looking at the statistics of "Enplaned Passengers" at LOUIS ARMSTRONG NEW ORLEANS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT:
2004 4,862,525 passengers 2005 3,904,366 -19.7% (Hurricane Katrina 8/29/05) 2006 3,097,684 -19.9% 2007 3,740,650 +20.8%
The stats suggest that the airport is on-track to return to ~'04 traffic levels in 2008. So... is the next step restoring all pre-Katrina Southwest MSY flights this year? What other Southwest routes have not been re-established to/from MSY?
What was the average load factor on the OAK-MSY route pre-Katrina? Is this information released?
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Could we please get an update on Southwest's official stance regarding nonstop service between the Bay Area & New Orleans? It seems that there is overflowing demand for this potentially lucrative route. Just over the past several months the city has hosted three college football bowl games, Mardi Gras, and the '08 NBA All-Star game. Furthermore, the city seems to be doing its part to encourage more flights. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Armstrong_New_Orleans_International_Airport), New Orleans' aviation board voted on an amended incentive program which waives landing fees for the first two airlines to fly nonstop into a city not serviced by the airport. WHAT OTHER FACTORS HAVE NOT BEEN SATISFIED FOR THIS ROUTE TO BE RE-ESTABLISHED? Is there anything that your dedicated customers could do to expediate this process? Thank you in advance for listening. Appreciate hearing your feedback.
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