By nearly every measure, Southwest has underperformed in Denver. Among the big three Denver airlines, which also include hub carrier United (UAUA), Southwest has been last in load factor, last in average fares and last in available seat mile, in every month, without exception, since it re-entered the market in 2006 after a 20-year absence.
"Southwest is losing money in Denver," says Denver-based aviation consultant Mike Boyd. "Last summer, they put out more red than Sherwin Williams.
"When Southwest came to Denver, Frontier stood and fought," Boyd says. "Frontier is a hometown team, they have a better product and people in Denver are enamored with them. They gave Southwest a bloody nose and a lot of heartburn." But Frontier also sought bankruptcy protection in April 2008.
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