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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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  #3  
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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  #6  
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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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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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 2:48 PM
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I give it 8-12 months.

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  #9  
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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  #10  
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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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 5:27 PM
texastarkus texastarkus is offline
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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, 6:15 PM
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I guess the two are Skybus and Virgin America?
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  #13  
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, 6:57 PM
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Quote:
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 6, 2007, 7:26 PM
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2 big things at play...

Government... State leadership and the Mexican consulate are in Austin... this is a political play as Mexico wants to grow relationships with the state of TX... you can hit all of the reps in Austin.

2nd... GE is funding the terminal... and their logistics group is based in the Austin area...

...additionally Austin's airport has plenty of space

The massive latino population in SA will probably travel an hour for these fares...

If you haven't been to europe... this is a really cool concept. Not sure if it will be succesful but I hope it expands domestically... but it goes against the big boys "hub" models... so I doubt our government will make it easy... It is great for business though... can really commute on a daily basis as done in Europe.
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  #16  
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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The TSA is the worst workfare program in US gov't history, and is full of feckless hacks who think the 4th amend. stops at airports. TSA delenda est!!
Does your city have a statue of a guy on a horse? All good cities have statues of guys on horses.

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  #17  
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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  #18  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 9:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt AWACS View Post
ABIA sold it's soul for this LCC terminal. Time will tell...
Perhaps better posted in a.net (good to see some of you over here too!), but I gotta ask why you feel this way.

The ULCC terminal will reside on land leased by the city that will be primarily modular in construction with limited infrastructure improvements required. It does not interfere with the airport Master Plan (at least the preferred option whereby the south terminal can eventually be built) and the risk is entirely GE's as to whether airlines will use it.

To me, it's a no-brainer.
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  #19  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 10:42 PM
DrewDizzle DrewDizzle is offline
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Wow, a lot of big ballers in here too good to walk on the tarmac or pick up their baggage.
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  #20  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2007, 10:43 PM
ATXboom ATXboom is offline
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ABIA did not sell anything... GE is funding the build out. The city is simply doing a short term lease and will actually make money.

I travel to 10+ desitinations for per work trip in Europe... I love the economy hops... I fly all over Germany for cheap!
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