Monday, April 9, 2012

I answered no.

Despite my earlier support FOR expansion at Hobby, I'm forced to answer "no" now to Lauren Steffy's "poll".

Poll: Should Southwest be allowed to begin international flights from Houston? Lauren Steffy,

While it's true that I have expressed some support for the idea in theory, the actual application of the plan appears to be a poorly thought-out thumb to the eye of United for having the temerity to leave Houston. That's not a good way to do business. Of course, it's par for the course for Houston's current leadership so I guess we shouldn't expect much different?

It's a plan that appears to be totally unvetted by the HAS (minus to "non-released" studies that is) that doesn't take into account the future transportation needs of the region. While I don't think the proposed cancellation of United's terminal B renovation is that big of a deal, I do worry about the effect this could have attracting International carriers that are partners in the big networks. (Star Alliance and SkyTeam) If more space could be added to IAH for Trans-Atlantic flights etc. while Central and Northern-South America flights could be focused out of HOB (with the airlines sharing both) then I could see a benefit. But the plan as it's currently drawn up doesn't seem to address that. It's just designed to provide access to International markets for WN. Add to all this the fact that the usual cast of wrong-headed economic-thinkers seem to be behind it and you have the makings of what seems to be a long-term mess to me.

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