Originally Posted by airport1-600
Richard, everything I've heard about this airline says they have a ton of start-up capital, more so than say PeopleExpress. That's why they're doing things like the fashion show. I really hope this venture takes off, that livery is beautiful.
I hope you're right, however I can't think of any recent startups that began as a charter and successfully transitioned to scheduled. If they had the money they'd just move into scheduled service. What I don't really understand and can find little info about is what is their plan? Why would someone fly them?
It seems there are three models available for a mainline:
Full service carrier
: Going up against the majors is risky unless you have a focused market like JetBlue.
Scheduled from new markets
: Flying from or to small 'underserved' airports. This strategy hasn't worked at all - see Skybus, Pan Am 3, Eastwind, Western 2, PeoplExpress etc etc etc
: Once this was a good strategy when it was new - see ValuJet, Frontier 2. But now you really have to be ultra-low (Spirit) to survive against the majors.
The only other option is to do an Allegiant but that doesn't involve new 737-800s.
It's not like Miami hasn't got a huge AA hub at it and plenty of other service. Airlines like ValuJet, Frontier, JetBlue and to a certain extent Virgin US all began as scheduled offering a clear product to people that wasn't the same as what was on offer. JetBlue and Virgin both were able to tap into the NY-California TransCon markets. Plus both of them had big cash reserves and real orders (i.e. aircraft had begun to be delivered).
Eastern may still have brand recognition (though I'd question how many people really remember them after over 20 years and even those that do probably don't remember good things) but people nowadays don't have much brand loyalty. Cost is king unless you are aiming at business travelers. The new EA won't be able to offer the same levels of connectivity and service as AA and there isn't the O+D demand as in the NY-CA market is there? But they're not a low cost either are they?
Until their ordered 737s begin entering service I'll consider their orders in the same way Primaris' 787 and Skymark's A380s orders were considered.
As I say I hope to be proved wrong but the airline business is no place for sentiment. Good luck to them - and the 737 does look good.