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Song Will Fly Transcon

Delta announced that its low fare subsidiary Song will increase its fleet by 33% this year, adding a bunch of new service, including JFK to LAX, Seattle and San Francisco, and JFK to Aruba and San Juan. 

A couple of things to note:

–I don’t really understand the transcon service choice.  Song was started to service leisure destinations, which would allow Delta to differentiate between its business-focused Delta service and its leisure-focused Song service.  This blurs that line, leaving travelers confused as to what benefits you get from Delta mainline flights vs. the so-called leisure brand Song. 

–America West just pulled out of these markets saying that they couldn’t make any money on them.  And their costs are lower.

–United just improved service on these routes with their new P.S. product, offering lie-flat beds in first class, and all Economy Plus seating.  Is it odd that Delta is competing with this product by throwing its budget carrier at the route?  What does that say about Delta’s mainline product?  Why offer it at all?  Why not make Song Delta’s domestic brand, and Delta the international brand?  (actually, that’s not a terrible idea at all…)

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  1. One word: JetBlue. The whole leisure strategy was a smoke screen. Song is a pure and simple toe-to-toe, route-by-route JetBlue competitor from JFK and Boston. By packing 757s with coach seats, I think they get per-seat-mile costs competitive with JetBlue, even though they have higher labor and overhead costs.

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