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  #101  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2008, 3:09 PM
misterno misterno is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trae View Post
Continental has won countless awards in the past three years. They are a great airline.

we do not want award winning airlines

we need cheap and reliable airlines

Who cares about awards for services if only the upper middle class and above can afford.
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  #102  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2008, 6:39 PM
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LoneStarMike LoneStarMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trae View Post
Continental has won countless awards in the past three years. They are a great airline.
Quote:
Originally Posted by misterno View Post
we do not want award winning airlines

we need cheap and reliable airlines

Who cares about awards for services if only the upper middle class and above can afford.
Well, why can't both airlines co-exist and compete? Seems to me that each airline is targeting different customers.

Continental and AeroMexico compete for the Fortune 500 crowd and the upper-middle class & middle class that can plan ahead and they charge higher fares, but in return their customers get better, more comfortable terminals, with jet loading bridges, automated baggage handling, a frequent flyer program, elite lounges, potential upgrades to first class, more frequent schedules at convenient times, the opportunity for numerous connections at the legacy's hub(s) etc. And a part of everyone's fare helps to pay for all those extra little perks, regardless of whether they fly (or spend) enough to be upgraded to first class, earn award trips, or maintain membership at the elite club.

Right now, Viva Aerobus competes for the more price-concious folks or folks who can't plan ahead and gives a cheaper fare in exchange for a bare-bones terminal with ramp boarding, a low-tech baggage delivery that may take longer (and one you have to pay extra for), no frequent flyer programs, no award trips, no first class, less frequent schedules at possibly inconvenient times, no elite clubs, etc.

And if you read Viva Aerobus FAQ on their website, they don't even allow you to make a connection to another Viva AeroBus flight in Monterrey. Try and make a reservation from Qeretaro to Juarez, or Morelia to Guadalajara. You can't. They are strictly a point to point carrier from Monterrey to 22 destinations and back to Monterrey.

It's not too much of an issue for AUS because Viva AeroBus would have nonstop service to six destinations - not just Monterrey, like most of the other Viva AeroBus cities in Mexico do now.

Of course, that could change at some point in the future as they expand their network. If you think about it, Southwest didn't offer connections for about 5 or 6 years. The first 4 years they only flew between Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas so there was nowhere to connect to. Harlingen was added in 1975 and even then, I don't think Southwest offered connecting service just nonstop and one-stop point to point service between the four cities.

I don't think they started offering connecting service until about 1977 when they added Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, El Paso, Corpus Christi and Austin into their network.

Southwest operated fewer overall routes in their first several growth years, but the ones they did operate they operated at a greater frequency.

Viva AeroBus if the opposite. They offer lots of destinations, but with little frequency in each market. - usually 1 or 2 daily flights, sometimes less.

If the marketplace is supposed to be about choices, then let passengers choose. Right now, we only have the legacy choice. Viva Aerobus would give Central Texans and our potential visitors from Mexico another choice with regards to price.

Both airlines have to the potential to increase tourism, and convention center business in Central Texas by attracting a diverse mix of visitors. More visitors would help fill all those hotel rooms we've recently built or have planned for contructions. More hotel guests in the downtown area would also help support the Second St. District and other retail in the downtown core and as-yet un-opened ground floor retail planned in a lot of the residential towers, and they wouldn't necessarily have that big of an impact on the traffic issue.

Here's something else to think about.

The basic idea of their business plan is explained in their CEO Mike Szuc's resume, submitted as part of the application to the US DOT back in August, 2007.

http://dms.dot.gov/search/document.c...docketid=28919

scroll down to page 39 of the pdf document.)

Quote:
Viva Aerobus commenced commercial operations on 30th November, 2006. Viva Aerobus is a low cost carrier with the purpose of providing air travel to all of the people of Mexico. The airline is based in Monterrey and currently flies five 737-300 aircraft to 22 destinations. in Mexico. The fleet will expand to 10 by the end of 2007, and then a further 10 in each of 2008 and 2009.

In 2006, only 4% of the Mexican population was able to fly due to the high prices on offer from the then existing carriers. Viva Aerobus has been able to stimulate huge volumes of new traffic by lowering prices dramtically. In the first six months of operation, Viva AeroBus flew at a load factor of 75% confirming that there is huge demand in Mexico for real low cost carriers.
Also from their application:

Quote:
The company is approximately 75% owned by a subsidiary of the Mexcian bus transportation company, Inversionistas en Autotranportes Mexicanos SA de CV ("IAMSA") and approximately 25% owned by the Ryan Mex Group. As the biggest passenger bus transportation operator in Mexico, IAMS serves 20 of the 31 Mexican states, transporting 260 million passengers annually, with 9000 buses and 389 stations
So this bus company obviously thinks they can fly people as cheaply as the they could transport them by bus. I'm not sure what amount of the 260 million is trans-border traffic, but the bottom line (as Jim Smith likes to say to the City Council) if their plan works, it would have to potential to greatly increase AUS's international passenger number.

Will their plan work? Who knows. They're applying for a foreign carrier permit, which would also allow them to transport freight and mail. Would the extra revenue from that, help offset lower revenues from rock-bottom fares? Some of their costs (like fuel) are fixed, but could they save enough in other areas to offset that?

And if Viva AeroBus (or any other foreign ultra-low-cost carrier) fail to become profitable and file for bankruptcy, Austin's not at risk, and it's not like the US Government is going have to bail them out. So they might as well try.
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  #103  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2008, 6:56 PM
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More questions

In his presentation to the City Council, Jim Smith said "Everybody who flies at the airport pays the same fees so that cannot be modified." In his response letter to Southwest he wrote "...users of the GECAS facility will pay the same airfield charges (landing fees, RON charges, etc) as users of the Barbara Jordan Terminal. Those fees make up for the majority of the costs of carriers operating at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

If you go here:

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/austinair...aus_fall07.pdf

and scroll down to Page 2, on the right hand side of the page, it shows the different rates the airlines pay at AUS as of October 2006. Most rates are the same, but the landing fees can differ depending on whether or not the airline is a signatory carrier. Signatory carriers at AUS pay a landing fee of $2.92 per 1,000 lbs. of maximum landed aircraft weight, while Non-Signatory carriers pay a fee of $5.84 per 1,000 lbs. of maximum landed aircraft weight.

I'm not really up on the differences between the two, but I was under the impression that a signatory carrier was one who signed a long-term lease with the airport (at least a year) for it's gates, apron space, etc, while a non-signatory carrier might lease the same on on a month-to-month or per-use basis.

Looking at the Nov. 5 press release on ABIA's website, it says:

The simple nature of the [ULCC] terminal---such as no jet bridges or sophisticated baggage handling system, and common use hold rooms, gates and ticket counter areas---positions Austin to better compete for air service for these kinds of business models.

So is Viva Aerobus going to be a signatory carrier or a non signatory carrier?

My first thought was that they'd be a non-signatory carrier. Since the gates are common-use, I didn't think Viva Aerobus could sign an actual lease for them. Aren't common-use gates/space to be used by any ULCC and/or shared by more than airline? If that's the case and they were Non Signatory, wouldn't the higher landing fees offset the lower terminal fees?

Then again, GECAS (not the City) is going to be the "landlord" to the airline(s) using the ULCC Terminal, and GECAS did (or will) sign a long term lease with the City for the land & apron space and is paying the construction costs for the terminal, so does that give GECAS signatory status that they can "pass on" to any airline using their ULCC Terminal? I don't quite understand how all that works.

One of the other fees listed was - Terminal Equipment Fee - $33,600 per gate, per annum. What does "terminal equipment" consist of? Loading Bridges? Furniture and/or light fixtures? Departure/arrival monitors? Other stuff?

I also saw where it said Conditioned Apron Space $13.74 per square foot, per annum and Unconditioned Apron Space $8.59 per square foot, per annum. Can someone explain what the difference is between the two?

And finally, ABIA's Nov. 5 press releasealso says Once approvals have been granted seats will be put on sale through its Web site

www.vivaaerobus.com

Viva Aerobus filed their application with DOT back in August.

Here is a link to the pdf file of their application.

http://dms.dot.gov/search/document.c...docketid=28919

I'm assuming DOT hasn't given approval, because it still says status pending and flights still aren't bookable on vivaaerobus' website. Any ideas on how much longer an approval might take?

BTW, it's really too bad that the tickets aren't bookable, yet. If you go to VivaAerobus' website, they're having a huge sale right now:

When we say ALL the tickets, we mean ALL the tickets

All the tickets at $1* Mxn plus taxes

VivaAerobus has ALL the tickets, ALL the destinations, ALL the departure times, ALL the flights, everyday costing only $1 plus taxes


Buy your tickets from January 11th through 16th and fly every day in Febraury, March, April, May and June. (From February 6th to June 30th. Except March 14th through March 31st and April 30th to May 6th.

* Final price may vary from $256 Mxn to $293 Mxn depending on the destination

At today's conversion rates, in US Dollars, that last sentence would read

* Final price may vary from $23.42 to $26.81 depending on the destination.

Looks like Central Texas is gonna miss out on this particular promotion, but maybe they'll have something similar if/when VivaAerobus launches AUS operations.


LoneStarMike
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  #104  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2008, 7:26 PM
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And if you're wondering why the air traffic system is so overloaded, consider that they're charging by weight instead of by "time the runway is tied up". Of course, the rich guys with their own planes would scream bloody murder if they had to pay almost as much as the AA flight, but they logically SHOULD, since they're using the scarce resource for almost as long...
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  #105  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2008, 9:08 PM
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Major AWACS Major AWACS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterno View Post
we do not want award winning airlines

we need cheap and reliable airlines

Who cares about awards for services if only the upper middle class and above can afford.
There is no such thing as a cheap airline. I have explained this to you already.
The prices you seem to want to pay are unrealistic. The industry cannot make a profit they way you seem to want it run.

Continental charges what the market will bear without going out of business or losing money for its shareholders.
Flying for the sake of flying is not a right, it is priviledge.

$50USD tickets to Mexico is not the norm and not realistic. The costs per seat mile are just to high. Flying is not, nor has it ever been "cheap".

You want cheap you can take the bus.

Ciao,
AWACS
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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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  #106  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2008, 3:47 PM
misterno misterno is offline
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Another nice vacation package to Cancun and I can not go. Why? Because although Houston is located the closest to Cancun it is one of the highest priced. Continental is to blame.

check the deal here

http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthr...87624&t=686703
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  #107  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2008, 3:59 PM
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Major AWACS Major AWACS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterno View Post
Another nice vacation package to Cancun and I can not go. Why? Because although Houston is located the closest to Cancun it is one of the highest priced. Continental is to blame.

check the deal here

http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthr...87624&t=686703
no it isn't Continental's fault it is the free market--- that is how business works. I am sorry economics is so hard for you to grasp on this issue.
besides that is a all in V fare via Delta. A search by me finds other cities similarly priced.
A search via CO's own website has non-stop flights to cancun, during spring break for $345 roundtrip. Not bad at all
Aeromexico is cheaper at $274 but that is with a stop, connection, and longer journey. $345 rt is fair, why are you complaining?

And a quick review online by me and I can find cheaper fares and hotels to Cancun doing it myself-than an all in for ~$1600
the only benefit in that package is "Free alcohol" which often has a disclaimer at those resorts.
Besides you could fly airtran to ATL then catch that deal if you wanted.

You are not looking at the big picture or how the industry works.
You bring in discount players and you get the likes of Air Florida, hopefully minus the fatal crashes. For airlines to charge as little as you seem to want to pay, something has to give, service, realibilty, or safety. Normally a little bit of each.

Continental does not price in a vacuum on many Houston routes. That is why Houston has some of the cheapest fares in the USA, contrary to what you see. You can check via the WWW.BTS.Com

Ciao,
AWACS
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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.

Io sempre voglio la fica della mia mogile. Ti amo e mi manchi tantissimo tesorino.
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  #108  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2008, 5:13 PM
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AUS lands nonstop Toronto service on Air Canada

...which is a resumption of service offered some years back to my understanding.

(since this has become the AUS aviation developments thread, I figured I'd post the news here)

From the press release:

Quote:
Toronto-Austin, Texas

Starting May 1, 2008, daily, year-round non-stop service using a 75-seat Bombardier CRJ-705 Jazz regional aircraft featuring both Executive and Economy class and personal audio-visual entertainment at every seat. This will be the only daily, non-stop service between the two cities and solidifies Air Canada's position as the leading carrier serving the most destinations to Texas from Canada.

AC8115 will depart Toronto at 1:20 p.m. and arrive in Austin at 3:40p.m. AC8114 will depart Austin at 4:15p.m. and arrive in Toronto at 8:25p.m.. The flight provides convenient connections to London, U.K., in both directions.
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  #109  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2008, 7:00 PM
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Finally! DOT has approved VivaAerobus application to serve Austin. In spite of earlier news reports that this had already occurred, it was pending. It's official now as of January 23, 2008.

http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspubli...000064803a1feb
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  #110  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2008, 12:10 AM
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Per the Austin Business Journal article...

In a press event on Jan. 29, the airline will announce the start of its daily, low-cost direct flights to Mexico from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and unveil the dates and fares for the new service.

...and so it begins.
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  #111  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2008, 9:11 AM
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VivaAerobus has now posted a "map" of the Austin ULCC Terminal. Not a map of the terminal, per se, but rather a map of the airport showing it's location.

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  #112  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2008, 5:22 PM
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From their website Looks like the initial service will be to MTY and CUN only and will start on May 1, 2008. The introductory $9.99 fares are limited and require a purchase 5 weeks in advance.

LoneStarMike
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  #113  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2008, 5:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneStarMike View Post
From their website Looks like the initial service will be to MTY and CUN only and will start on May 1, 2008. The introductory $9.99 fares are limited and require a purchase 5 weeks in advance.
Yeah, that's a huge ad on their home page! $9.99 from Austin to Cancun starting May 8.

Are they already building the terminal? Otherwise, they are going to have to put it up fast... less than 4 months left.
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  #114  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2008, 8:55 PM
pato79 pato79 is offline
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After taxes you end up paying only around $130 round trip! Awesome especially for me since I go to both locations at least once a year. Cant wait to get home, get my passport number and get some tickets.
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  #115  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2008, 9:30 PM
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LoneStarMike LoneStarMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hookem View Post
Are they already building the terminal? Otherwise, they are going to have to put it up fast... less than 4 months left.
They're not actually building anything right now. They're renovating the old Texas National Guard Building. If and when passenger counts reach a certain level, then and only then will GECAS contruct the "permanent" low-cost termial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pato79 View Post
After taxes you end up paying only around $130 round trip
You may want to double check that price. It might be a little lower. Something I noticed is that when you choose your flights and go to the next page, out to the side it gives you your total fare in that green space. Directly underneath that, it says "Price Details" If you click on that, it gives you a completely different (lower) total fare. The discrepancy seems to be in the amount of tax being charged on the return flight to the US from Mexico.

BTW, this is the initial schedule

AUS-MTY - Depart AUS 14:20 - Arrive MTY 15:35
MTY-AUS - Depart MTY 07:00 - Arrive AUS 08:10

AUS-CUN - Depart AUS 08:45 - Arrive CUN 11:00
CUN-AUS - Depart CUN 11:25 - Arrive AUS 13:45.

So it looks like the initial schedule starts out in MTY at 07:00 and flies MTY-AUS-CUN-AUS-MTY, arriving back in MTY by 15:35.

Last edited by LoneStarMike; Jan 29, 2008 at 10:59 PM.
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  #116  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2008, 10:54 PM
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Yes, for mine it was $116 round trip after the taxes. Maybe the taxes/fees are different on days? Anyway, wife's b-day is in June and she loves Cancun/Cozumel. I'm so set.

Plus, the flight supposedly leaves at 8:45 and gets there (Cancun) at 11:00am... 2 hrs 15 mins... if they calculate arrival/departure like the other airlines, that would mean like a 1hr 55 minute actual flight time. But I'm not sure they do it the same way, since they don't taxi up to a gate.

I just hope the planes aren't too bad, I've never flown an ULCC...
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  #117  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2008, 12:23 AM
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Here's a rendering of the temporary terminal

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  #118  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2008, 10:55 PM
JGFrisco JGFrisco is offline
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It's very much the Skybus model - a few 10 dollar seats on every flight. With that, it's $118 round trip on the cheapest day (security/AP fees are fifty bucks each way).

Using Austin makes more sense than you think. Yes, it's not SA...but part of their idea is to pick a central location and try to attract people to drive. Few are going to drive from DFW to San Antonio for a flight, but a lot might go to Austin. The airport is less than 3.5 hours from about 16 million people, several million of which have relatives in Mexico.
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  #119  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2008, 5:40 AM
DrewDizzle DrewDizzle is offline
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The tax flying OUT of Cancun is ridiculous.
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  #120  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2008, 2:51 PM
pato79 pato79 is offline
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Did anyone else have problems buying the tickets through their website? I had to call to get mine. Still only $315 for 2 round trip tickets to cancun in July. Cant beat that.
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