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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 12:52 AM
texastarkus texastarkus is offline
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Arrow AUSTIN - Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) Updates

Low cost airline comes to Austin

06:42 PM CST on Monday, November 5, 2007

KVUE.com

An ultra low-cost air carrier Monday announced it will begin service out of Austin Bergstrom International Airport and hopes to attract passengers with its price -- starting at $9.99.

The U.S. Department of Transportation granted Mexico's vivaAerobus the right to fly out of ABIA Monday afternoon. The carrier will fly nonstop to Cancun, Guadalajara, León, Monterrey, Puebla, and Queretaro.

The airline in no frills, and it will have a new terminal that will have no jet bridges, sophisticated baggage handling, gates or ticket counters.

“The costs of flights between Mexico and the US have been too high for too long. We are going to be the first airline to offer genuinely low fares on international flights. We will attract thousands of new American tourists to the beautiful cities in Mexico, and we will position the city of Austin as a new tourist and business destination for the people of Mexico,” said Mike Szucs.

Flights start in March. Tickets go on sale in a couple of weeks, and the company plans to expand to three more cities by the end of the summer.

Last edited by texastarkus; Feb 12, 2008 at 5:23 PM. Reason: This thread has taken on a life of its own as ABIA
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 6:00 AM
Schertz1 Schertz1 is offline
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Is this some joke? Are people really able to contribute to a tourist or business economy when they cannot even afford a coach airline ticket? I would not count on this benefiting Austin or any other US City.
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 6:28 AM
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Less money being spent on a ticket to a destination, means more money being spent at that destination.
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 6:56 AM
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It also means you are already pinching pennies. It is an overly optimistic model and if you think upper middle and upper class Mexicans will fly to Austin to shop, walk down the tarmac to a plane, and possibly have to help load their luggage all because of cheap airfare you are mistaken.

The only people this will benefit are college kids looking for a cheap spring break or a quick getaway.
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 8:09 AM
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It's the RyanAir business model.. in fact, they are the majority owners. It's been working gangbusters in Europe, and might be the discount airline model of the future in the US. It's Southwest and Jet Blue but taken to another degree. It's a big time coup for Austin, along with San Diego and the other airports they will be using in the US.
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 9:17 AM
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The Ryanair model is not ripe for the North American market. Skybus isn't doing that hot, despite decent loads. It works in Europe where flights are shorter, security lines are quicker, and trains actually stop at airports, even ones in the suburbs. It is likely not going to work in the U.S. and Mexico, and this airline isn't going to last long. They are also relying on the idea that people are going to drive from across Texas and fly out of Austin, and chose Austin for the simple reason that AUS airport officials are bowing down to whatever they ask for.

As Aeromar, Frontier, and AeroMexico have shown us multiple times, the Austin-Mexico market is difficult to succeed in.
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  #7  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hookem View Post
It's the RyanAir business model.. in fact, they are the majority owners.
To clear up some facts here, from vivaAerobus's own website...
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivaAerobus
vivaaerobus.com has been formed in Mexico as a strategic alliance between the Mexican bus group, IAMSA (Inversionistas en Autotransportes Mexicanos SA de CV), and the Irish backed RyanMex, the investment company of Dr. Tony Ryan, his family and other low cost aviation specialists.

IAMSA is the biggest passenger bus transportation operator in Mexico .

RyanMex is part of the investment fund of the Irish Ryan family, whose President is Dr. Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair 21 years ago.

Dr Ryan was also founder of GPA (Guinness Peat Aviation) and is also a significant investor in Tiger Airways ( Singapore ) and Allegiant Air (USA).
In other words, yes, the same Ryan guy founded RyanAir on the same principles that this airline will operate. But no, RyanAir does NOT own vivaAerobus. While I'm not familiar with the particulars of Mexican cabotage, I can't imagine that their rules would allow for such an arrangement.
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 5:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schertz1 View Post
It also means you are already pinching pennies. It is an overly optimistic model and if you think upper middle and upper class Mexicans will fly to Austin to shop, walk down the tarmac to a plane, and possibly have to help load their luggage all because of cheap airfare you are mistaken.

The only people this will benefit are college kids looking for a cheap spring break or a quick getaway.
Someone has no concept of the European/Asian low-cost business model. You also have no concept of upper middle class Mexicans either - many of the tertiary airports in Mexico doesn't even have jetways. One thing is for sure, plenty of San Antonians will be making the drive up to Austin for the cheap airfare.
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 5:27 PM
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Thoughts on VivaAerobus

From what I understand, they looked at San Antonio. Austin airport officials lobbied very hard for this and one of the reasons it went to Austin not San Antonio is the state of their airport - I don't want to start anything with anyone.
The scuttlebutt is there are two domestic ultra low fare airlines looking to come into Austin. They're supposed to use the same low cost south terminal. Those in the know have signed an agreement to not disclose the airline(s) until it's a done deal but they're coming. If you think hard enough you'll come up with them.
The idea is to attract travelers who wouldn't normally fly. As for VivaAerobus, there is a large number of legals in this area (and the extended area) who want to fly back and forth to their homes in Mexico. Notice that of the six cities (Cancun, Guadalajara, León, Monterrey, Puebla, and Queretaro) listed only one is a tourist destination.

Last edited by texastarkus; Nov 6, 2007 at 6:28 PM.
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 6:57 PM
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Originally Posted by texastarkus View Post
As for VivaAerobus, there is a large number of legals in this area (and the extended area) who want to fly back and forth to their homes in Mexico. Notice that of the six cities (Cancun, Guadalajara, León, Monterrey, Puebla, and Queretaro) listed only one is a tourist destination.
Guadalajara is a huge city and the large amount of gringo expats that live on Lake Chapala would make this route very lucrative.
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2007, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbeiter View Post
Someone has no concept of the European/Asian low-cost business model. You also have no concept of upper middle class Mexicans either - many of the tertiary airports in Mexico doesn't even have jetways. One thing is for sure, plenty of San Antonians will be making the drive up to Austin for the cheap airfare.
The fact that many airports in Mexico lack jet ways and/or bridges is not the point. $@&&, many airports in the U.S are the same. The point is Upper-class Mexicans will not fly on an airline developed to service migrant workers. As far as illegal immigrants using the airline to travel back home, it will be difficult. You cannot go to Mexico without a passport.
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  #12  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2007, 1:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Schertz1 View Post
The fact that many airports in Mexico lack jet ways and/or bridges is not the point. $@&&, many airports in the U.S are the same. The point is Upper-class Mexicans will not fly on an airline developed to service migrant workers. As far as illegal immigrants using the airline to travel back home, it will be difficult. You cannot go to Mexico without a passport.
The airline wasn't developed to 'service' migrant workers - no idea where you came up with that. You were the one that mentioned having to walk on the tarmac, not me, I was just pointing out that it's not something Mexicans would be necessarily unfamiliar with, nor would it be to Americans - for the price I think most people would deal with it.

Being from a San Antonio suburb near IH-35, you of all people should know that Mexicans drive hundreds of miles, from Monterrey or farther (I see a lot of Jalisco and D.F. plates as well) to come shop at our outlet malls. Don't you think this would appeal to them as well? I bet it's much cheaper to fly and rent a car than to drive their VW Pointers all the way and wait in a long line at the border.

Middle-class Mexicans on Easter shopping holidays, Mexican-Americans with family in Mexico, legal Mexican immigrants (even some illegal ones who fly one-way), American tourists are all potential customers of these flights. It's obvious that there's a potential here, otherwise GE Capital wouldn't have gotten behind it.

Years ago, in the UK people wouldn't have ever considered flying to Alghero, Graz, Gdansk, Mulhouse, or wherever the hell RyanAir flies these days - but due to how cheap it is, people just go for the sake of going. My cousin has been to some pretty off-the-wall places just because it's $50 to go there. I flew to Salzburg one time just because I could! No doubt this kind of potential exists in America as well, and Austin will be at the vanguard of what I hope is a successful concept.
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 10:30 AM
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I will definitely try it out. I like to visit the old temples and archaeological sites -- and take pictures, of course! I've been waiting for cheap flights to Mexico for a long time.

I want more photos like these:







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Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 2:48 PM
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I give it 8-12 months.

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Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 3:03 PM
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To be honest, Im kinda shocked this didn't go to San Antonio first or Dallas or Houston for that matter. San Antonio has alot more people from Mexico living and visiting the city. I agree with AWACS, 8-12 months on this one.
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 6:15 PM
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I guess the two are Skybus and Virgin America?
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  #17  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 6:46 PM
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Yes.. within Mexico, it's competing with buses and trains. Since it's associated with RyanAir, I'm fairly certain it will be successful -- they know those planes will be packed. I'm also suprised it's not happening in San Antonio, but I'm sure it will be coming there too.

The "Austin as a destination for Mexican Tourists" bit is BS, but as I said, those planes will be full...

assuming that it happens... the terminal isn't even built yet.
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 8:03 PM
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I live in europe it is not that great a concept. Houston has the consulate general for Texas and there are consulates in nearly every border town. means nothing.

European commuters do not use ryanair.

And VirginAmerica is not the same concept, they offer a premium product.

ABIA sold it's soul for this LCC terminal. Time will tell...

Ciao,
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Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 8:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Capt AWACS View Post
I live in europe it is not that great a concept. Houston has the consulate general for Texas and there are consulates in nearly every border town. means nothing.

European commuters do not use ryanair.

And VirginAmerica is not the same concept, they offer a premium product.

ABIA sold it's soul for this LCC terminal. Time will tell...

Ciao,
AWACS
Actually, commuters do use Easyjet - I know of a few companies who use them routinely. And it is a good concept, I don't know what you're talking about - it has brought tourism to off-the-wall places, is a huge factor in the reverse immigration from the Baltics/Eastern Europe to England.
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Old Posted Nov 12, 2007, 12:22 PM
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Actually, commuters do use Easyjet - I know of a few companies who use them routinely. And it is a good concept, I don't know what you're talking about - it has brought tourism to off-the-wall places, is a huge factor in the reverse immigration from the Baltics/Eastern Europe to England.
Easyjet and Ryanair are not the same, similar but not the same. I know I have flown them both. And commuters do not like airlines that have 60% ontime arrival rates and cancel flights with little recourse which happens often. The new EU compensation not-withstanding.

It is a good concept in some markets, not North America. I can suggest some reading if you want to learn about the subject more.

If the airline makes markeeting work in Mexico they might survive, but not in the form you see stated in the OP.

And from what I read ABIA gave the land for this terminal away with an abatement land better used for cargo and GA. expansion.

Hey I hope it works good for them, but those of us with any knowledge of the airline business think it will be an uphill battle.
And not all the tickets will be $5. A few seats will be cheap then the fare buckets go up accordingly

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AWACS
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Last edited by Major AWACS; Nov 12, 2007 at 12:45 PM.
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