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« Pondering American and jetBlue: Most Interesting »

Coming on the heels of last week's post about Southwest and being jilted by Delta and US Airways in their reworked slot exchange, this morning we get an announcement that American and jetBlue are entering into a new commercial arrangement at key east coast cities.  I will probably write later on the topic but wanted to jot a few things down before I leave for meetings.

  • Each SkyTeam and STAR have enhanced their positions in the New York metro market in recent months.  Given the importance of New York and the key east coast cities of New York and Boston, American enhances its presence as well as that of oneworld with this announcement. 
  • jetBlue has a relationship with Aer Lingus.  Lufthansa invested in jetBlue.  Now jetBlue enters into a commercial relationship with American whereby customers of each airline can enjoy interline capabilities with the other at each Boston Logan and New York JFK on non-overlapping routes.
  • Is jetBlue becoming the Alaska Airlines of the east coast?  Keeping itself most relevant in its home market by code sharing with many airlines? 
  • American intends to transfer eight slot pairs at Ronald Reagan National Airport and one slot pair at White Plains N.Y. to jetBlue.  Three more than jetBlue would receive in the DL-US proposed transaction.  So for jetBlue, will it be 5, 8 or 13 slot pairs at Ronald Reagan National Airport? 
  • jetBlue intends to transfer 12 slot pairs at JFK to American.
  • This slot transfer business is getting very interesting.
  • It has been a bad week for Southwest.  Between their cry of being "left out" of the US - DL slot swap; talk of being jilted by WestJet; and now American teaming with jetBlue .......

I wonder what Southwest must be thinking?


Reader Comments (2)

I think you're absolutely right: this slot transfer stuff is getting very interesting. I mean, it's gotta be good for both companies, no? I like this and as a frequent traveler up the east coast corridor and occasionally across the pond, I already see being able to take advantage of this deal.

03.31.2010 | Unregistered Commenterwhenry

There's one carrier that successfully bloodied the old Southwest Airline's nose. It was the hybrid carrier Alaska, and they beat them quietly during Southwest's 1990's heyday. Fast forward to the today and we're all witnessing a fat and seemingly rudderless Southwest attempt to play its same dated playbook to gain access to the largest air market in the USA. But guess what? There's yet another hybrid in the way.

Look at markets on the west coast like SEA-GEG, SEA-LAX, SEA-SFO. Alaska dominates the Pacific Northwest. Southwest's frequencies are a shadow of what they once were in these markets. They tried to apply the Southwest Effect, but it didn't succeed against a hybrid.

Southwest's problem today is that they're no longer a discounter. But are they a hybrid? No. And of course, are they a revenue premium legacy? Of course not. There's an identity crises taking place in Dallas, and I predict it may take a managerial house cleaning to find their pace in the industry once again.

03.31.2010 | Unregistered Commentermartin

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