What market would there be for FAT if SWA serves everywhere around there?
They are 2 hours from the Bay where they serve all 3 airports. They are 2.5 hours from SMF. They are 3 hours from RNO. They are 2.5 hours from BUR. There is no real reason for them to set up shop there, as there isn’t the capacity to support anything from those routes, let alone from their OAK base.
As far as those routes go, there really isn’t anything from one side to the other to support it. AAY is based now at LAS, and when I lived there, they started in Fresno. I personally know Mitch Allee, who started the airline back in the late 1990s They did everything out of FAT, which is why they still serve there. UAL has a stranglehold on FAT mainly through SKW operating for them. NKS already serves there in some major capacity, and the VOI and AEX are the only international carriers with any service there. There just isn’t the need for it.
SWA normally AVOIDS airports that has that much of a hold on it. They avoided anything in MSP until NWA and MEP went under. They saw that FFT and UAL were going downhill before they went back to DEN. COA’s merger with UAL awarded them slots at LGA, EWR, DCA, and IAD, otherwise they avoided those airports at all costs, just to keep costs down. The merger with TRS awarded them ATL, but note how they still refuse to fly to DFW, MIA, ORD, or JFK. They only went to LAX because they were promised the closest gates to the runway to preserve their 20-minute turnaround time.
So it comes down to:
- Turnaround. If they can support the 20-minute turnaround time from parking at the gate to pushing from the gate,
- Capacity. If there is enough capacity to support the route, and
- Viability. If the service is lucrative enough to support the ROI from starting it,
Then SWA would consider it. Right now, they’d only meet 1 of those 3. All of the routes you mentioned with the exception of #6 (SWA doesn’t fly to anywhere in Delaware; closest is BWI) have nonstop flights to LAS or OAK, which are two of the initial points for HNL service (SMF being a third). Also, Since SWA’s routes are point to point, there would have to be viability of service TO FAT, not just through it. There isn’t the viability or capacity to support that.
As for #8, it’s really negligible, because the Hawaii service would be from SFO, OAK, LAS, LAX, RNO, or SMF. The passenger would need to get to one of those airports first, which if you look at their schedules, you’ll notice that there are very few airports that SWA services that does NOT have a nonstop flight to LAS. Replace Fresno with Las Vegas, and each one of those you’ve mentioned are viable routes.