Will Southwest Airlines ever fly the 737-800 to Love Field?


#1

All I see there, (other the biz jets) at Southwest Airlines 737/300/500/700’s those get pretty boring and the 737-800 just catches my eye.


#2

They don’t have a whole lot of them yet, comparitively, but I’m sure they will be around soon.


#3

Currently, no routes from DAL require the range or capacity of the 738. It’s possible one would pass through at some point - but I don’t see a route requiring the aircraft until Wright ends. Then maybe you’d see something like DAL-NYC, DAL-LAS, DAL-MCO, or DAL-PHX operated with the 738. However, none of those routes are currently allowed from DAL.


#4

I think the range may be secondary concern for Southwest, The -800 has more seats than the other Southwest 737s so I can see them using the aircraft out of DAL even before the hideous Wright Amendment is fully dissolved.


#5

Why? Where? What routes out of DAL are starved for capacity?


#6

Once the Wright Amendment is lifted Oct 13, 2014, Southwest will only have 16 operating gates out of DAL. They are expecting around 160 departures a day. I don’t believe many 800’s will be flying out of there just for the fact that they take longer to deplane and board making for longer turn times.


#7

I think September 2014 (for test flights) Oct 14th for regular services. DAL-BWI, DAL-MCO, DAL-LGA, DAL-DCA, DAL-MDW, DAL-LAS, DAL-LAX would be logical runs. When Wright Amendment ends that will free them up to step up their -300 retirement program since they would be cutting runs like LAS-ABQ and DAL-ABQ.


#8

To add DAL-DCA and DAL-LGA they’ll have to pull LGA and DCA flights from somewhere else. WN has very few DCA slots from which to do that, so I don’t think it will be one of their initial routes from DAL unless they get some of the divested slots from US/AA before that time. The fact that they will be likely be flying DAL-BWI makes it even less necessary.

Other likely early routes are TPA, BNA, PHX and OAK or SFO

Of course they are already gate constrained at DAL, so they will have to pull down a lot of the service within Texas (possibly even leave some cities completely or only serve them from HOU, such as HRL, MAF, and AMA) and likely significantly cut back routes like MCI, STL, TUL, OKC, and MSY.


#9

Although it will NEVER happen, I would love to see WN challenge UA on the BFL-HOU run or come in with a BFL-DAL flight. I know that BFL doesn’t have the passenger count for WN, but talking to people that I know at BFL and who live in and around Bakersfield, they have all said that if WN comes to town, they would be a lot less likely to drive to BUR/LAX/ONT/SNA to catch a flight.

Of course I tell them that WN won’t come to BFL until they see the local support.


#10

Never say never. With Southwest thinking of charging for luggage next year, it wouldn’t surprise me if they decided to get a regional partner to fly routes to cities such as BFL.


#11

Southwest’s pilot contract prohibits the use of contract carriers/regional partners. I also don’t see the connection between charging for bags and using a regional partner.

If an LCC were to come to BFL it would probably be Frontier or Spirit with less-than-daily service to DEN in F9’s case or who-knows-where in Spirit’s case (DFW?).


#12

With the oil ties between Bakersfiled and Dallas/Houston, if a LCC would come in, 2-3 times a week, I see no reason why BFL wouldn’t support the flight.

I flew BFL-DFW multiple times before AA left BFL in the late 90s and that flight was typically fairly full. I know of a lot of oil folks that took that flight, as well as many of the local politicians (especially the one that the new terminal is named for) instead of going to LAX. At that time, the flight into BFL was within $30 of flying DFW-LAX.

Oh well…


#13

What I was pointing out is that Southwest has said “no” to baggage fees yet they are now thinking about them. If they can do this then they can get their pilots to agree to a regional partner.


#14

Full doesn’t necessarily mean profitable. The flight could have also been profitable but by using the aircraft on another route could mean they get even more money. Example: BFL/DFW could have a profit margin of 5% but if they utilized the aircraft on, say, GCN/DFW (only an example) they could get a profit margin of 10%.


#15

That would require giving their pilots a huge raise and job guarantees. It’s not something they could just talk their pilot group into. Considering the economics of running a regional operation are pretty marginal as it is, I think it’s very unlikely that they would add tens to hundreds in millions of added cost for the minimal benefit. In addition with the FL merger they actually have first hand data on how the Airtran feeder operations worked financially (my guess is not very well, although the SkyWest operation at MKE a few years ago was operated at-risk by SkyWest and FL didn’t lose any money on it).


#16

AAY may be a better fit, especially since they pretty much started/headquartered in Fresno, then moved to Vegas, but still keep a good presence there. They have the MD80s to spare.

BL.


#17

Allegiant has already tried BFL-LAS and dropped it due to not enough demand - bakersfieldnow.com/news/busi … 19394.html

It makes sense IMHO that BFL-LAS wouldn’t work as it’s a pretty easy drive. I don’t know if BFL-IWA would do better. Maybe. US already flies BFL-PHX so they probably have a decent idea of how big the local market is right now, without any significant fare stimulation.


#18

Isn’t Southwest ordering the 737 MAX? Be excited about that…