Will Express Jet's new model work?


#1

Aside from the color scheme, will the new biz plan work? Can they become the SWA of Small Town America? What kind of routes are the planning anyway? Beaumont to Midland, or San Antonio to New Orleans?


#2

This was on a local TV station in Tulsa.

ExpressJet in Tulsa & OKC


#3

I give them six months. I just see this being Independence part 2, unless I’m missing something big. Maybe it’ll help not being in the saturated NE market, but I don’t see it.


#4

I don’t think they are going to be 100% independent.

ExpressJet takes wing with regional service
Houston Business Journal - January 24, 2007

ExpressJet Holdings Inc. intends to roll out an independent regional jet service to 24 cities across the country.

Houston-based ExpressJet, which operates regional flights for Continental Airlines Inc., said Wednesday that it has 44 aircraft in place to launch the small-market regional service in April in the West, Midwest and Southeast portions of the country.

ExpressJet will unveil the new route system, to include free XM Satellite radio, advanced seat assignments and snack and meal service on longer flights, on Feb. 1 when it releases its ticket pricing system.

Separately, the company said that it has gone to arbitration in a dispute with Continental over 2007 rates related to its capacity purchase agreement, expected to be resolved by the third quarter.

The company also said that its new corporate aviation division operated its initial charter flight on Dec. 31, with six aircraft dedicated to that fleet, with plans to expand to 15 aircraft.


#5

They are going to still be flying for CO, at least for the time being, but these new routes being talked about are NOT affiliated with CO, and these are the routes I’m talking about. I see them crawling back to CO in the near future with their tails between their legs.

With airlines starting to regain profitability, and therefore being able to be more competitive, along with fuel costs rising again, the odds aren’t with them.


#6

I don’t think the profitability of other airlines is really going to be the factor in their success. It sounds like most of thier new routes will be where there is no other direct flights.

I wonder though, if that will mean there is enough business.


#7

I don’t mean to sound rude (okay, maybe I do), but is there a reason that this entire thread couldn’t have been attached to the ALREADY EXISTING thread RIGHT BELOW IT titled “New ExpressJet?” There are more than enough subject forums here; the last thing we need is more redundant ones. No wonder the newbies complain about it being so hard to search for anything!! :confused:


#8

That thread was generically labeled, but the subject of it is about the plane and the paint scheme. I thought I would be hijacking his thread if I brought this up.

Really, I was trying to be thoughtful and organized by going this way, as my subject was about the company, not the plane.


#9

First of all, his subject heading was generic enough that you wouldn’t have been hijacking the thread…
Secondly, if you DID hijack the thread, do ya really think that it would be the first time that that’s happened on this site?! :wink:


#10

Initial services:

ExpressJet Airlines (XJET.com) (Houston) has provided more details on their stand-alone airline operation. The initial route map will serve 24 cities from the East Coast to the West Coast. Scheduled service starts on April 2. The initial cities are Austin, Boise, Kansas City, Omaha, Ontario (CA), Sacramento (April 9), San Antonio, Spokane and Tucson. Albuquerque, Oklahoma City and Tulsa will come on line on April 16 followed by Colorado Springs, Corpus Christi and Fresno on April 30. San Diego is added on May 7 followed by Bakersfield, El Paso and Monterey (CA) on May 14. Finally sometime this summer the final group of Birmingham, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans and Raleigh/Durham will be joined to the network. Ontario (near Los Angeles) will be the busiest station with 29 daily flights.

source: AirlinersGallery.com


#11

This is what we are hearing in Tulsa.

KOTV Ch. 6, Tulsa, OK


#12

Interesting, looks like they are just avoiding hubs. They may be on to something if they simply looked for weak spots in the present hub and spoke system. Those are pretty good sized markets.

I noticed Tulsa, which has a lot of SWA traffic now though.


#13

I emailed ExpressJet and asked about routes out of Bakersfield (parentals still live in that hell hole) and they were nice enough to send this link to their cities and routing. Darn. I will have to go through San Diego.

ExpressJet Route/Cities

ExpressJet also mentioned this:

We will consider adding new routes once our Phase I and Phase II rollouts are complete in mid-June 2007.


#14

WOOHOO!!! DOUBLE POST!!!

Haven’t seen their website for reservations posted yet so here you go:

ExpressJet

Also, another story on the service. This time, from the Bakersfield Californian:

A new option: flights to San Diego
ExpressJet will offer two nonstop flights a day starting on May 14
BY RYAN SCHUSTER, Californian staff writer
e-mail: rschuster@bakersfield.com | Monday, Feb 5 2007 8:25 PM

Last Updated: Monday, Feb 5 2007 9:42 PM

ExpressJet Airlines will begin offering two nonstop flights a day from Bakersfield to San Diego on May 14. But speculation continues to fly about whether the airline will add local service to Sacramento.

John Schrage, senior director of Labor Relations for ExpressJet, announces service from Bakersfield to San Diego.

Photo by Felix Adamo

County supervisors Mike Maggard, 3rd district, left, and Don Maben, 2nd district, chat with John Schrage, right, of ExpressJet after it was announced that the service wil be flying from Bakersfield to San Diego.

“We studied a lot of cities. Bakersfield we felt was underserved,” John Schrage, senior director of labor relations with ExpressJet Airlines, said during a news conference Monday at Meadows Field.

“We thought we could provide nonstop, comfortable service and help businessmen make more of their day when they get to San Diego. It is a growing market. We are always real excited about growing markets. We thought Bakersfield was a perfect fit.”

Tickets for the airline’s two daily flights to and from San Diego went on sale Monday.

A one-way flight to San Diego will range in price from $69 for an advance ticket to $129 for a walk-up ticket, with round-trip tickets ranging from $138 to $258, ExpressJet spokeswoman Kristy Nicholas said.

“We’re going to be extremely competitive,” Schrage said of ExpressJet’s prices. “You’re not going to want to drive anymore.”

Monday’s announcement was received warmly by local officials, but it immediately led to calls for nonstop flights between Bakersfield and Sacramento.

“This is the first step in connecting the dots in California,” said Don Maben, chairman of the Kern County Board of Supervisors. “Sacramento is going to be next.”

Maben said the local market can support a Sacramento route.

“Since we lost our Sacramento flight years ago, it has been missed,” Maben said. “We are going to work on that. I think it will (happen).”

County airports director Jack Gotcher said airport staff “would love to see” flights to Sacramento and is working on compiling data and possibly conducting a survey to show local demand for such a route.

Schrage said he has heard there is local interest in adding flights to Sacramento.

“We’re evaluating every day new places to fly for underserved markets. We would love to expand,” Schrage said. “Sacramento is certainly a place we’re going to look at (flying to/from Bakersfield). We’re going to look into it.”

But Schrage wouldn’t speculate on how long it could take for Bakersfield to get another nonstop destination. He said ExpressJet’s expansion will be limited by its current fleet size, but added that the fledgling airline would consider purchasing more planes.

ExpressJet will launch nonstop routes between Bakersfield and 23 other midsize U.S. cities in April and May, concentrating on routes that are now without nonstop service.

“ExpressJet is introducing nonstop service to connect cities that are underserved by major airlines,” Schrage said. “ExpressJet looks for the opportunity to introduce our brand of flying to the right markets with the right aircraft where we are the right operator to provide the service.”

ExpressJet, formerly owned by Continental Airlines Inc., expects to operate 44 50-passenger Embraer jets complete with leather seats, 100 free channels of XM satellite radio and snacks on all flights.

ExpressJet currently serves Bakersfield with flights to and from Houston under the name Continental Express. ExpressJet will continue to operate Bakersfield’s Continental Express flights for the foreseeable future, said ExpressJet’s Schrage and county airports analysis and marketing manager Teresa Hitchcock.

ExpressJet said it planned to hire nine local employees and invest about $270,000 in airport facilities and equipment.

“I am excited about the boon to our local economy,” said county supervisor Mike Maggard, whose district includes Meadows Field. “It offers us an opportunity to expand our economic base throughout California. We can now go all the way to San Diego and back in a day and conduct business. That will strengthen our economy and add more jobs.”

Gotcher said that adding more flights and destinations to Meadows should help lower prices and make them more competitive with airports such as Los Angeles International Airport.

“As you add more capacity, there’s not quite so much competition for each seat,” Gotcher said. “When Continental started (flying to Houston), every seat was filled plus five for the first two or three weeks. As we’ve added service, we’re still in the upper 90 percent capacity most of the time.”

Gotcher said Frontier Airlines has approached Meadows Field about adding a Bakersfield-to-Denver direct flight and the airport has responded with a proposal for the possible future service.

“I don’t know who else might be out there,” Gotcher said, adding that while the 1-year-old, $36 million William M. Thomas Terminal can handle more airlines, at some point the domestic terminal will need to grow up, not out.

“The better service would be to add bigger airplanes and more flights,” Gotcher said. “More airlines gets to be more of a management problem. I would rather have four, five or six really good airlines and larger airplanes so I have really good staff to take care of people.”

ExpressJet daily service to San Diego

Bakersfield to San Diego

Departs Bakersfield Arrives in San Diego

6:30 a.m. 7:28 a.m.

1:45 p.m. 2:44 p.m.

San Diego to Bakersfield

Departs San Diego Arrives in Bakersfield

Noon 1 p.m.

7:40 p.m. 8:40 p.m.

Flight service begins May 14; flight times subject to change

For flight information or to make reservations, call 1-888-958-9538

SOURCE: ExpressJet Airlines


#15

Interesting article, typical politicians. Give them “A” and they also want “B”. I’m sure Expressjet studied the market to determine if a BFL/SMF market is viable at this time but decided that BFL/SAN was better.


#16

BFL has been screaming for the SMF route for years. Personally, I was pissed when AA pulled their BFL-DFW non-stop. That was the easiest way to rack up the free travel voucher money during the spring! Get into DFW about 10AM, volunteer to be put on another flight because of thunderstorms, get travel vouchers (and sweet talk the gate attendants into some food vouchers), repeat until gate attendant recognizes you and forces you on to a flight (after getting $1500 in travel vouchers). FREE AIR TRAVEL FOR A YEAR!! Came in handy for a poor, starving, college student.

But I digress. BFL opened a new terminal and would like to see more flights out of state. Hopefully ExpressJet can and a BFL-ABQ flight (granted, a BFL-TUL flight would be ideal for me, but one man a market does not make). If they stay away from the hubs, they should do OK. Their fares are decent, but not great (round trip from TUL-SAN $340. Kayak. com is at $371, granted, with one stop, but still. I would expect a better fare). I like the idea of free XM on the flights. It will be interesting to see how their “frequent flyer” program is structured.


#17

Just curious - what does BFL* base the need for a SMF route on?

*By BFL, I presume you mean the airport management


#18

Well, both the airport and city/county (Kern). There is a lot of business done between Bakersfield and Sacramento.


#19

Talked to the reservation 800# the other day after noticing a serious issue with the xjet.com site. The site is unable to process flights with a stop. Even the reservations phone line can’t do this. In order to book a flight with a stop, you have to book one leg, then book the second leg. For 2 people going from TUL-BFL, with stop at SAN, it is over $1,000 (kayak.com has for $253 with one stop). The person who I talked to on the phone, while she was very nice and helped as much as she could (even put me on hold to go find answers instead of saying “sorry, can’t help you with that”), said that nobody knows if and when they will be able to do flights with a stop. Not good. They keep this up, don’t see ExpressJet being around very long.

EDIT:

UPDATE!!

I am officially going to have to say that this model will NOT work. This is the most recent communication I received from a contact at ExpressJet:

We are not selling a through trip from TUL to BFL, so what you are seeing is a ticket price for TUL to SAN and then a ticket price for SAN to BFL. We are concentrating on non-stop travel and convenient connections where applicable. This route is not one of the five markets where a convenient connection is available and priced.

Main problem with this (and I am just using BFL as an example because, well, that is where I would go the most that ExpressJet services), is that SAN is the ONLY destination from BFL, so technically, that would cause SAN to fall into the “convenient connection” theory.


#20

I would think Express Jet did their homework before doing it.

I think there are advantages to it where they will do well, and parts where they could be hurt.

Advantages Connecting cities that are not currently connected. They give some options to the middle of the country that doesnt exist without a connection. Another advantage is using a regional get on some routes in CA making boarding faster, getting there quicker.

Disadvantages ERJ140 on routes over 90 minutes. They fly to a lot places Southwest flies to. Its going to be hard to get people away from Southwest, even if they need to make a stop so they can go fly on a regional jet. People will have to want the service and not be looking to save every penny on airfare.