31 March 2009

Southwest Pilot's Deal: No Codeshares

Obviously I dont have access to the fine print but several people are reporting that WN has agreed with its pilots to a new deal that lets them cut hours in 2008 followed by an aggressive ramp up in 2010. By agreeing to no new code shares and knowing that WN has some markets that it is eyeing specifically - there are some things that can be inferred.

1. The international flights with WestJet will likely be flown by Westjet pilots.
2. Ditto with Volaris - although this deal is very nascent.
3. International airlines are probably exempt from this provision.
4. WN is seriously looking at flying to Hawaii nonstop.

Let's be clear. WN has an aircraft that is capable - the 737-700 can easily make it. However as an aircraft it is not rightsized for the market yields. a 737-800 has much better economics. Would WN flood the market say from OAK, LAX, SAN, SEA, PDX to HNL? unlikely. But it is well known that WN covets going back to HNL which it lost as a result of the demise of ATA.

So lets see if WN finally decides to run a long haul operation. I think it is an idea whose time has come.


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