AirTran announced some employees have left the carrier as the company prepares to be acquired by Southwest Airlines (The Atlanta-Constitution, 31-Mar-2011). AirTran chief executive Bob Fornaro stated he expects Southwest to try to maintain as much of AirTran’s workforce as possible. “Certain jobs are going to gravitate towards Dallas because that is the headquarters. I think Southwest is going to make a very good effort to accommodate most of our people,” stated Mr Fornaro. About 6000 of AirTran’s 8000 employees are based in the Atlanta metro area.
Some AirTran employees leave as company prepares for Southwest takeover
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Frontier Airlines and its network challenges: starting and leaving routes as US ULCC dynamics shift
US ULCC Frontier continues to make numerous changes to its network. In early 2016 it unveiled a network blitz, tabling 42 new routes that start in Apr-2016 and continue through Jun-2016, including a return to the smaller market of Colorado Springs. It also joined Allegiant Air in injecting some ULCC competition into Pittsburgh, and it continued expansion from Orlando International airport.
At the same time Frontier has opted to reduce its footprint in Atlanta after joining fellow ULCC Spirit Airlines in making a push from the airport in 2015. Atlanta is a market dominated by two of the large US network airlines – Delta and Southwest. It is not clear whether that has bearing on Frontier’s evaluation of its strategy in Atlanta but Orlando is largely an O&D market, which could be better suited for Frontier’s ULCC operations.
The only conclusion that can be drawn from many of Frontier’s network moves is that no distinctive pattern emerges. There are major competitors in every market that it is leaving, but that is also the case for the remaining routes the airline is serving from Atlanta. Despite the shifts by Frontier, a small ULCC presence remains in one of the world’s busiest airports.
jetBlue Airways makes strategic competitive moves as it contemplates longer-term route development
jetBlue Airways has drawn attention during the last few weeks as it became the first US airline to operate commercial flights to Cuba in more than half a century, and from its growing consideration towards launching long haul flights to Europe. But behind those headline-grabbing events, jetBlue continues to grow from its points of strength in Fort Lauderdale, Boston and Orlando.
In early 2017 the airline plans to add strategic flights from those three focus cities, entering markets where ample competition already exists. However, as a major force in Fort Lauderdale, Boston and Orlando, jetBlue needs a presence in strategic markets from those airports. Its planned route additions are areas where jetBlue lacks service, and despite the vast competition, the airline needs to offer those route options to its customers.
A recent push by Delta Air Lines into jetBlue’s Boston focus city has not appeared to spook jetBlue. On the contrary – jetBlue’s ambitious growth from Boston continues unabated as it has declared a new daily peak-day departure target of 200.