Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

memphis born

Southwest Airline

20 posts in this topic

Read a interesting paid advertisement in today's commercial appeal, business section page D7. The ad ask for mid-south citizens to write a letter in detail stating why Memphis would be a great location for Southwest to expand. I would like to ask all urban planet members to write a personal letter to:

Mr. Herb Kellher

Chairman of the Board

Southwest Airlines

P.O. Box 36611

Dallas,TX 75235-1611

This could lead to great things for Memphis.

Please consider.

Respectfully,

Memphis born

Citizen of Memphis

:shades:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Do you have a link of sorts to the company/group (if there is one) that paid for the advertisment? I would love to see more of this if you got it.

I know for a fact that SWA has looked at Memphis before, but has said that the NWA hub has held them back from coming. That has been a few years ago so things could have certainyl changed by now. Who knows. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know for a fact that SWA has looked at Memphis before, but has said that the NWA hub has held them back from coming. That has been a few years ago so things could have certainyl changed by now. Who knows. Good luck.

This article from the memphis business journal talks about the hurdles that Southwest faces.

http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/stories...ry2.html?page=2

Does anyone if that bill that is mentioned in the article ever got repealed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This article from the memphis business journal talks about the hurdles that Southwest faces.

http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/stories...ry2.html?page=2

Does anyone if that bill that is mentioned in the article ever got repealed?

A compromise among SWA, American, Love Field and DFW was drafted last month that would allow "through ticketing" to destinations beyond the states allowed in the Wright Amendment. All restrictions would be lifted by 2014. If Congress agrees to repeal the Wright Amendment, SW could fly between DFW and Memphis, but it would have to make a intermediate stop somewhere else...presumably in Little Rock. In 2014, they could offer direct service.

As far as Memphis is concerned, the Wright Amendment is actually something of a red herring. As the MBJ article mentioned, Chicago is a bigger destination for Memphis passengers than Dallas. There is no reason SW couldn't initiate service to Midway Airport. Same goes for Houston, where SW has a large operation at Hobby Airport. I just don't think SWA expects enough revenue to come out of Memphis to make it worthwhile to take on an NWA fortress hub. Besides, they're already getting some of the Memphis market via Little Rock and Nashville!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have a link of sorts to the company/group (if there is one) that paid for the advertisment? I would love to see more of this if you got it.

Here ya go Lexy...

http://display.commercialappeal.com/ROP/Ad...mp;adid=3327205

Seems like a Mississippian trying to stop having to drive all the way to Jackson (which only has 4 Southwest nonstop destinations) to catch a flight.

Here's an ancient article talking about SWA wanting to come to MEM from a decade ago...

http://www.memphisflyer.com/backissues/iss...cvrstory409.htm

Doubt NWA would like Southwest moving into Memphis International, and I don't really know what kind of power and leverage they have with MSCAA but I'm almost positive they don't have any with Tunica. The reason Little Rock is a Southwest focus city is because

1)No other airlines have a hub there

2)Closest airport so it could satisfy the Wright Ammendment.

I could see Southwest flying to Tunica and that will hurt both Little Rock and Nashville. I flew out of BNA a few times and was suprised by the number of Shelby, Madison, and Mississippi plates. Are there any stats that tell how many from metro Memphis go to LIT and BNA? Another thing that got my attention was that all our discount flights go to Atlanta, 5 daily with Airtran and 3 a week with PanAm. Why not get a cheap flight to another city for a change? I would like to see flights to LAX, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Philly, Detroit, Nashville, St. Louis, Portland, and San Diego. The Memphis area doesn't even have direct flights to San Diego, Portland, and Honolulu so Southwest will dominate the routes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bears,

Thanks alot. I think a SWA flight from Memphis would be great personally. It would certainly make things cheaper in the long run for some flights. I hope you guys get some flights from them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would pose this question...would it be worth having SWA's presence here if it resulted in NWA shutting its hub down? That would bring substantially cheaper fares, but it would probably put 1,000 or more people out of work or else get them transferred out of the area. It would also lead to reduced revenues for the airport authority (landing fees, gate leases, concessions royalties, etc.), loss of nonstop service to numerous cities, loss of direct international service, and a terminal building that would be about 1/2 deserted.

It's the multi-million dollar question, and honestly I don't know what the answer is. While SWA's presence here wouldn't automatically kill the NWA hub, it would certainly damage the economics of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^You raise a good point cdarr. Even though I support SWA moving into the market, I don't want them to make Tunica a focus city. They probably won't since Nashville is just up the road. Maybe just 10-20 flights daily, enough to cause Northwest to focus more on MEM and boost the incentive for people to travel with them over Southwest. I read a while back that MEM has a disproportionate number of business travelers over leisure. Many people just decide to drive since Florida and the Gulf Coast is a days drive away and its cheaper than buying 4 tickets with NWA.

Personally, I don't think NWA has used Memphis to its full potential. Many in the Memphis MSA don't have excessive disposible incomes so we clearly need cheap fares. So why won't Northwest make Memphis the primary hub for Compass? I think if Southwest was to move into Tunica, Northwest would probably choose to make MEM the main hub for Compass over MSP. Northwest also has many things to offer that Southwest can't. They service flights for small markets like Tupelo and Lafayette along with international destinations, both of which Southwest probably won't service any time soon. Plus, the big corporations in the area won't put their business travelers on Southwest. Look at ATL for example. They have both Delta and Airtran.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I think the consensus is correct, that while SWA would be a benefit to the citizens of Shelby county, it would hurt NWA and therfore cause massive job losses. What if NWA decided to move their hub from MEM to St. Louis? Or even Nashville?

It seems riduculous that all this get's tossed around, but I think Memphis and Northern Mississippi are better off without SWA. I would also pose this question to my fellow Nashvillians who were here during the AA hub years: Looking back, would you rather have kept the AA hub, or do you prefer being some sort of a focus city for a discount airliner?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the consensus is correct, that while SWA would be a benefit to the citizens of Shelby county, it would hurt NWA and therfore cause massive job losses. What if NWA decided to move their hub from MEM to St. Louis? Or even Nashville?

If they can't survive a little competion from SWA in Memphis, how are they gonna handle moving to an SWA focus city like St. Louis and Nashville, both of which are about the same size as Memphis' airport? NWA has been expanding and upped the class at their Detroit hub when SWA moved in (5 destinations), so they can do the same in Memphis. More competion could mean better things for MEM, including more international flights to Europe, Africa, or Latin and South America. SWA would be a good thing, but lets not go overboard. The airport is in a good financial situation so MSCAA has the abilitiy to expand facilities if need be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the consensus is correct, that while SWA would be a benefit to the citizens of Shelby county, it would hurt NWA and therfore cause massive job losses. What if NWA decided to move their hub from MEM to St. Louis? Or even Nashville?

It seems riduculous that all this get's tossed around, but I think Memphis and Northern Mississippi are better off without SWA. I would also pose this question to my fellow Nashvillians who were here during the AA hub years: Looking back, would you rather have kept the AA hub, or do you prefer being some sort of a focus city for a discount airliner?

From a civic pride standpoint, I guess American was more prestigious. But, personally, I like SWA ten times better. I fly with my family all over the place. Been to NYC, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia in the last couple of years. I couldn't do that with American or NW.

Even Eddie George flies SWA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From a civic pride standpoint, I guess American was more prestigious. But, personally, I like SWA ten times better. I fly with my family all over the place. Been to NYC, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia in the last couple of years. I couldn't do that with American or NW.

Even Eddie George flies SWA.

I'm gonna agree. I would much rather have a airline with the history, service record, and focus on NASHVILLE (I strees the city name because American never seemed to care enough about us here) that SWA brings to the table than an unstable, and narrow-minded airline like American. 10 fold! Southwest has made this airport busy again (9.5 million in 2006 is a new passenger record) and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger with every month or two it seems. With the addition of more flights on US Airways, Southwest, and JetBlue....things are only going to go up from here hopefully. Now I am hearing rumors of expanded service with JetBLue and their not even here yet! LOL!!!! you can thank Southwest Airlines for all of the growth at the airport over the last ten years.

And on the corporate comment. While I will agree to a degree on that, take a look at many of the passengers boarding a SWA plane in Nashville and it would surprise you how many are business travellers. Cheap tickets and round trips mean a lot in today's money driven marketplace. I know my company flies all its execs on WN flights. 100% of them too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the consensus is correct, that while SWA would be a benefit to the citizens of Shelby county, it would hurt NWA and therfore cause massive job losses. What if NWA decided to move their hub from MEM to St. Louis? Or even Nashville?

I think it's highly unlikely NWA would relocate their hub from Memphis to STL or BNA. Both cities already have SWA buzzing all over them. It would be very difficult to command the high "fortress hub fares" NWA would want when there's already a major Low Cost Carrier presence. The LCC's can kill big hubs, but it doesn't really work the other way!

The most likely scenario that would cause NW to leave MEM is a merger with another major carrier. The most commonly discussed merger candidates for NWA have been Delta and US Airways. In an NW/DL merger, it's pretty obvious they would look to consolidate operations in ATL. In a NW/US merger, MEM traffic might shift to Charlotte - although MEM and CLT are far enough apart that it might make sense to keep them both.

On the airliners.net message board, people are constantly "closing" the MEM hub, considering it a drain on the NW system. But it's likely that NW is far more tied to MEM than is widely known or thought. There are no other good candidates for a southern hub...the big cities (ATL, DFW, CLT, Houston) already have big hubs, and the other mid-sized cities already have entrenched LCC competition. NW also has the advantage of sharing a large airfield with FedEx, and the overall operating costs here are below average. A heavy LCC presence here would seriously hurt their margins, but would it be enough to send them packing? I just don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Interesting. Good read cdarr. I have often felt that if places like Nashville were to become a 'hub" in the future, it would be a hub for a LCC and not a legacy carrier. Of course, Southwest was here while American had a hub here (we just didn't have near the importance to them (SWA) that we have now). But I don't know much about the numbers back then and the money spent on each airline then so that may not be of any help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the consensus is correct, that while SWA would be a benefit to the citizens of Shelby county, it would hurt NWA and therfore cause massive job losses. What if NWA decided to move their hub from MEM to St. Louis? Or even Nashville?

It seems riduculous that all this get's tossed around, but I think Memphis and Northern Mississippi are better off without SWA. I would also pose this question to my fellow Nashvillians who were here during the AA hub years: Looking back, would you rather have kept the AA hub, or do you prefer being some sort of a focus city for a discount airliner?

Why would it relocate? It might contract, through a merger, to save money, but relocations cost money, they don't save money, and given that Memphis is profitable, they're not going to spend extra money to keep a 3d hub. They'll either close or keep it open, and closing it would only make sense if they merge, cuz they need a southern hub esp. during winter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Why would it relocate? It might contract, through a merger, to save money, but relocations cost money, they don't save money, and given that Memphis is profitable, they're not going to spend extra money to keep a 3d hub. They'll either close or keep it open, and closing it would only make sense if they merge, cuz they need a southern hub esp. during winter.

Yes. I failed to mention the expense involved with moving. That would certainly be a consideration in any relocation analysis. NWA has had too many good excuses in the past to pull out here, and they've never done so. There was talk in the early '90s that they would move into ATL and take over Eastern's vacated gates. Didn't happen. Then, after 9/11, industry "experts" said small hubs like MEM would be dropped like hot potatos. Didn't happen. Then, NWA files for Ch. 11 and the experts said there was no future for MEM. Ummm....they're still here.

It is also forgotten that just prior to 9/11, NWA added a fourth bank of flights to MEM, increasing its schedule by 25%. I think that shows that there was nothing inherently wrong with the MEM hub. They have contracted since then, but why should that be any surprise....the whole industry has.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. I failed to mention the expense involved with moving. That would certainly be a consideration in any relocation analysis. NWA has had too many good excuses in the past to pull out here, and they've never done so. There was talk in the early '90s that they would move into ATL and take over Eastern's vacated gates. Didn't happen. Then, after 9/11, industry "experts" said small hubs like MEM would be dropped like hot potatos. Didn't happen. Then, NWA files for Ch. 11 and the experts said there was no future for MEM. Ummm....they're still here.

It is also forgotten that just prior to 9/11, NWA added a fourth bank of flights to MEM, increasing its schedule by 25%. I think that shows that there was nothing inherently wrong with the MEM hub. They have contracted since then, but why should that be any surprise....the whole industry has.

I could be completely wrong, but since the contraction, they've ramped service back up some . . . I hesitate to say that it is back to pre 9/11 levels though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Relocations rarely cost money in the long term, otherwise they wouldn't happen! Nissan isn't moving to Middle Tennessee so they can blow money; they are moving here because there is a lower cost of living and their employees don't have to earn as high of salaries. Same reason Tech companies outsource to other countries. A programmer in the Czech can earn $10k US and live like a king over there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Relocations rarely cost money in the long term, otherwise they wouldn't happen! Nissan isn't moving to Middle Tennessee so they can blow money; they are moving here because there is a lower cost of living and their employees don't have to earn as high of salaries. Same reason Tech companies outsource to other countries. A programmer in the Czech can earn $10k US and live like a king over there!

There is always some additional expense involved in moving that wouldn't have occurred if a business stayed put. If the future economic benefit (revenue) exceeds that cost, however, it may be in the best interest to move.

There could be a situation for NWA where the financial benefit of moving to another city outweighed the cost. I just don't think it would be St. Louis or Nashville. If SWA came into this market with 10 or 15 flights a day, how would moving to Nashville be better for them? SWA has several times that many flights out of BNA, so the competition would be far worse in a similarly-sized market. Maybe they would have a better shot taking on SWA in St. Louis, which is a larger city, but that hub operation would overlap too much with Minneapolis/St. Paul.

If NWA was going to relocate their hub out of Memphis, I think they would end up going to a non-hub, non-LCC focus city that was willing to build them new terminal facilities and make airfield improvements. Could be a city like Birmingham or Oklahoma City. Perhaps even New Orleans, crazy as that sounds. The federal government is throwing so much money at those folks, they'd probably build them a new airport too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ If the money was right and the political stars lined up right, they would go wherever they choose. Nashville, Birmingham, etc. St. Louis is a long shot as they appear to be the new midwest hub for JetBlue. No doubt though, SWA would certainly go head to head with NWA in any "hub-less" city at this point. Little Rock, Birmingham, Louisville, Nashville, Jacksonville, the list goes on and on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.