America asked the US DOT to reconsider forthcoming flight caps at Newark
Liberty International airport, claiming they will erect barriers to entry by
new domestic entrants.
argues it would be limited to three roundtrips at the airport, with no
operations during afternoon or evening hours–periods it says are essential for
viable long-term service, especially given the carrier’s point-to-point, high
aircraft utilization business model.
times allotted to Virgin America would require West Coast departures at 10:30
p.m., 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., it explains, “none of which can be competitively
marketed, much less priced at a level sufficient to sustain operations at a
major New York area airport”.
America currently does not operate from Newark,
and argues the caps shut out new entrants while preserving market power of the
airport’s largest operator, Continental Airlines, which holds a 72% share air
tells DOT “over one-half of all domestic non-stop routes at Newark are already total or near monopolistic
DOT and carriers operating out of Newark
agreed to a temporary two-year flight cap that will allow 83 flights per hour
during peak periods starting in May.
which applies to domestic and international carriers, enables 30 more flights
per day than the summer of 2007 and is similar to caps at New York’s JFK airport. JFK caps began 30
March and continuing through 24 October and limit operations to 81 per hour
between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.
America says it could provide low-fare service between Newark
to Los Angeles, as well as, San Francisco.