Island Hopper's Future Uncertain??

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by downhillcrasher, Jul 20, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. downhillcrasher

    downhillcrasher Gold Member

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    I was reading this month's copy of 'Airways' magazine, and on page 13 there is a "Request for Proposal for Air Transportation" from the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia for transport to Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Korsae. This has me concerned that United is no longer interested in running the route and they are now looking for someone new. Alternatively, maybe this is just standard bureaucratic procedure of having to solicit bids, even though it will almost certainly go to United. Anyone have insight on this?

    I am reluctant to post an image of the actual ad (copyrighted?). However, I did find this article from last fall indicating United's contract was up:
    http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/...21/micronesia-seeks-new-provider-for-air.html
     
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  2. EWR764
    Original Member

    EWR764 Silver Member

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    I think this is just the standard public bidding procedure for a government contract. I cannot foresee United being in any danger of losing the Island Hopper, although it would not shock me to see Delta enter a competing bid. Stranger things have happened, and 'way back when' in the midst of CO-DL merger talks in the 90s, it became public knowledge that Delta coveted the Continental Micronesia operation.

    The nature of the flying, including ETOPS restrictions, special-qual airports, infrastructure, experience in the region, brand awareness and suitability of equipment weighs heavily in United's favor. I do not think any other carrier could replicate the operation within a reasonable timeframe such that the selection of a new operator would be justified.
     
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  3. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

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    That was several management teams ago at DL.

    Admittedly DL is larger in the pacific today than they were in the 90s...so perhaps they would still be keen...but interest in the route 20 years ago may unto itself be less of an indicator today.
     
  4. milchap
    Original Member

    milchap Gold Member

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    The ad is in the public domain.....
     
  5. EWR764
    Original Member

    EWR764 Silver Member

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    Without a doubt, but it also speaks to the desirability of the Micronesia market, if an airline has the critical mass in a logical gateway. To that end, DL has embraced the Japan-Micronesia beach markets since its merger with NW, operating more service to GUM and SPN than Northwest ever did, plus adding ROR.
     
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