Atlantic Coast AirlinesAtlantic Coast Airlines, or ACA in short, is an airline that flies under United Express for United Airlines and Delta Connection for Delta Air Lines.
ACA operates United Express flights out of Chicago, Illinois's O' Hare International Airport and Chantilly, Virginia's Dulles International Airport with Jetstream 41 Jet and the Canadair Regional Jet. Their Delta Connection flights out of Logan International Airport in East Boston, Massachusetts and Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport in Covington, Kentucky are operated by a Fairchild Dornier 328.
ACA has plans to end service as a United Express carrier, and to establish itself in Dulles as a low-cost carrier.
Atlantic Coast Airlines will, when it is released from its current contract with United sometime in 2004, immediately begin operations as a independent low-fare airline. The new airline will not be namd "Atlantic Coast." Rather, ACA is currently developing a brand name which is expected to be released in November of 2003.
Currently, the start-up plans are codenamed "Goldilocks," but this is unlkely to be the name of the new airline. Remember that when Microsoft was redesigning Windows 3.1 into Windows 95, its code name for the new program was "Chicago."
Immediately upon start-up in 2004, the new airline will serve the following cities with its current fleet of Canadair Regional Jets (all from Dulles):
Buffalo, NY - (Southwest competes from BWI) Rochester, NY - (AirTran/BWI) Syracuse, NY Albany, NY - (Southwest/BWI) Manchester, NH (Southwest/BWI) Portland, ME Boston, MA (AirTran/BWI) Providence, RI (Southwest/BWI) Hartford, CT (Southwest/BWI) Pittsburgh, PA (USAir fortress hub) Harrisburg, PA Philadelphia, PA (USAir hub) Allentown, PA Newark, NJ New York, NY (either LGA or JFK) (USAir/Delta Shuttle from DCA) Norfolk, VA (Southwest/BWI) Raleigh/Durham, NC (Southwest/BWI) Greensboro, NC Greenville/Spartanburg, SC Columbia, SC Charleston, SC Atlanta, GA (Delta and AirTran hubs) Savannah, GA Jacksonville, FL (Southwest/BWI) Cleveland, OH (Southwest/BWI) Columbus, OH (Southwest/BWI) Dayton, OH Indianapolis, IN (Southwest/BWI) Detroit, MI (Southwest/BWI) Chicago, IL (either MDW or ORD, competes with Southwest/American/United/ATA) Milwaukee, WI St. Louis, MO (Southwest/BWI) Kansas City, MO (Southwest, BWI)
By start-up, the new airline will also have a small fleet of narrow body aircraft. ACA is looking at the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A319 and A320. The narrow body planes will be used to fly to the following cities (all of these cities will be served at start-up, all from Dulles):
San Juan, PR Orlando, FL (Southwest/BWI) Tampa, FL (Southwest/BWI) Fort Lauderdale, FL (JetBlue/IAD and Southwest/BWI and Song) Denver, CO (United/Frontier hub) San Francisco, CA (JetBlue/OAK) Los Angeles, CA (JetBlue/LGB)
The first rule of airlines is: "Don't compete against Southwest!"
That said, Atlantic Coast has three strong points. First, they are betting that people in northern Virginia would rather pay $20 more and fly from Dulles than pay a little less and have to drive all the way to BWI. The new airline's fares will be slightly higher than Southwest's but considerably lower than the majors. Second, because of the CRJ fleet, the new airline will be able to offer very convenient schedules for passengers; hourly service to RDU for example. Frequent service is more attractive to business travelers. Third, the new airline will have a hub at Dulles. Even at start-up, the new airline will be a huge presence in the Washington area, with more flights than anyone else.
Between 2004 and 2006, the new airline plans to add new narrow-body aircraft to serve the following cities:
Seattle Portland Salt Lake City Minneapolis/St. Paul Las Vegas San Diego Phoenix Dallas/Ft. Worth Austin San Antonio Houston New Orleans Fort Myers, FL