Centerlines - September 2008 - (Page 62)

AIR SERVICE HOLD ON FOR A WILD, WILD RIDE B Y T HOM A S J. S M I T H S even airlines and seven different stories. As a several hundred gathered in Pittsburgh at ACI-NA’s annual Marketing and Communication Conference, seven airline planners explained where their individual carriers and the industry were headed in the coming months. With oil hovering above $140 a barrel at the time, few had insights beyond fall travel season. All agreed that next year will be a wild, wild ride. Southwest Airlines Lee Lipton, Director, Network Strategic Planning Once known for selecting secondary or nonhub airports, Southwest is now flying out of some of the most expensive airports. “The secondary city selection process is not dead, nor did it really exist,” Lipton said. “It has always been about what markets we see as the best opportunity for expanding the business and growing the airline.” “Our long term views are still very important to us. If anything has changed, it is the number of different options and scope of different scenarios.” At the June conference, Lipton said that the carrier, like others, is now exploring international options as a new revenue stream. However, instead of initiating its own international service, he said Southwest is looking for international partners to hold down its costs. In July, Southwest announced just such a partnership with Canada’s WestJet with code-sharing to begin in 2009. AirTran Airways John Kirby, Director, Strategic Planning & Scheduling “At AirTran, today we don’t know what the fundamentals are,” Kirby said. “Where does it go, when oil is at $150 to $200 a barrel? It is something we don’t know how to get a handle on yet. In the long run I think you will see less experimentation.” Kirby acknowledged that there may be some room for growth in AirTran’s near future. “Our approach has always been that we are profitable first and foremost. Some use expansion as a loss leader; we don’t. A route needs to make money.” 62 CENTERLINES | SEPTEMBER 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Centerlines - September 2008

Centerlines - September 2008
Welcome to Boston
President’s Message
Canadian Airports
Associates’ Corner
Policy Center
On the Hill and On the Stump
Downes Award
ACI-NA 60th Anniversary
Host Airport Profile
Cover Story: James L. Oberstar
Regulatory Front: Security Standards
Security: Checkpoint Evolution
Environment: Measuring Greenhouse Gases at Sea-Tac
Air Service: Wild, Wild Ride
Passenger Focus: DOT’s Complaint Desk
On Management: “TLC” at John Wayne
Revenue Arena: A Tale of Two Diversified Cities
Media Relations: New Media
Now Underway
Grand Openings
New Members
Conference Sponsors
Conference Exhibitors
Index of Advertisers/
Box Scores

Centerlines - September 2008