December 31, 2005
1) Please make the most recent qtrly report to the DOT detailing how the $455,000 Small Community Air Service Grant has been spend to date part of the minutes of the Airport Commission monthly board meeting.
2) Please make the monthly parking reports from LAZ mgmt part of the minutes of the Airport Commission monthly board meeting.
December 30, 2005
Unlike many in the airport adminstration, who actually get paid good money to answer questions from the tax-payers but do not, Mr Farley always tells you his opinion backed by facts. Like him, I just do not see how our airport can remain open losing $2,000,000 per year, we can not afford it!!!
Where we differ, however, is that I feel the airport has the potential to be a viable airport, run close to break-even and become a valuable asset to the City of Worcester. At the same time, if we do not see more results, I myself have no problem joining Mr Farley to investigate the scaling back, closing of ORH or interviewing another mgmt company.
The next six months are vital to the future of the airport that is why things like 1) charging for parking, 2) delays in many of these initial Allegiant flights, 3) no wi-fi, 4) no place to sit down and eat, and 5) advertising for Allegiant--where is it? all concern me. These winter months should be our prime revenue producing months.
This is our last chance to make ORH a success.
Here is a little test for all the readers of this blog. Comment here the next time you see any advertising for Allegiant in any local media outlets.
December 29, 2005
Can someone find out what went wrong with this flight... If I was on this flight, I myself would not be flying Allegiant a second time.
What accounts for the $2,000,000 per year difference. Charley Farley can look into this???
December 28, 2005
Reporting on the airport's financials, the airport is showing an improved financial condition for the year, so far beating its budget by $64,983. For October, reported operating income is at $101,721 against operating expenses of $68,186, and total net income from operations at $33,535.
Year-to-date, total operating income through October was $943,963 against operating expenses of $885,243 through October. Total net income from operations so far this year is $58,720.
December 27, 2005
Questions to and Answers from Anthony in Youngstown, Ohio:
1) What made you start this web site??
I started this website when Pan Am began. YNG'S website hasn't been updated in years and they are supposedly getting a new website which was to be done in early November; nothing yet. I saw Fly Toledo and other sites and I thought by making a new site for the airport as a commercial aviation facility; more people would consider to fly from it.
2) What has been your biggest frustration???
My biggest frustration is many people in our area think the airport is a complete failure. Not only that but we are 0 for 2 with Vacation Express and Pan Am and if Hooters and Allegiant don't succeed we may just close with the continued growth of Akron-Canton.
3) How has your airport administration received your efforts?
Vic Rubenstein's marketing fir, which was hired by the airport authority, has contacted me via email and were very excited to know I'd do my part to market the airport. So I have tried to upgrade the site and make our airport attractive to local passengers.
4) Do you charge for parking at YNG?
When Vacation Express was here I do beleive for some time parking was free and when they said Pan Am would come they said Parking would be free and would waive the landing fees for a month and gas fees for a week.
5) How do you feel about secondary airports like YNG, ORH and a Portsmouth, NH joining to recruit airlines?
I live in Youngstown, OH and within an hour and 15 minutes you have over 20+ airlines and thousands of destinations non-stop and one-stop. We are between a rock and a hard place and we need something attractive. Hooters does well in nearby Pittsburgh and they have approached the airport to begin here to other destinations which would be good for our airport. Airlines like Allegiant and Hooters will continue to succeed with the business-idea of small airports; good fares; and good destinations. Ultimately small regional airports like our's just need to stand tough and attract airlines which what we have to offer in our immediate area. I mean in Youngstown our 2 county area: Trumbull and Mahoning = over 400,000 people and you extend 1 county our each way you are over 3,000,000!
6) Since TBI already runs Sanford/Orlando what do you think of Youngstown and Worcester Officials working togethet to get TBI to manage both of our airports??
In early Winter of 2005, Around Feb. The YNG Airport put out a major feat in a major marketing blitz with Vic Rubenstein at the helm. They contacted hundreds of aviation businesses in the US and into Europe and from there about 40 prospects were interested. Of that about 3 airliners, 1 cargo, and 5 managing businesses. Of that is TBI in England which runs SFB. They have done to me an OKAY Job there. Allegiant probably will be their strongest US Domestic Carrier ever there, as Southeast-TMA-Pan Am have all been buried away.
December 26, 2005
First arrival, numbered 775, from Sanford-Orlando to ORH scheduled to land at 10:35 AM today was diverted to SWF (Stewart in Newburgh, NY) and arrived at 12:31PM.. What went wrong?? You can get the exact details on the Allegiant Air website flight tracker. This also means the flight (flight776) that was suppose to depart at 11:10 AM this morning departed at 1:23PM.
Not the start that we had all hoped for. Believe me, I have been delayed in airports many times and end up walking the terminal buying a book, watching television or grabbing some lunch.. At ORH we can not do any of these all the more reason to get, in the very least, free WIFI up and running to give passengers something to do when the inevitable delays arise.
The people who I have met are not limited to just Worcester. I have received several e-mails from people around the country at other airports and airlines asking questions. Over the week-end I received an e-mail from a person, who like us, created his own web page for the Youngstown Airport. It is real good and they are in a similar situation as ORH with no passengers surrounded by successful airports.
It looks like they will also be receiving service from Allegiant as well as Hooters, or so it is rumored. Maybe an airport like Worcester should work with secondary airports like Portsmouth (especially since that is where are new assistant City Manager is from) and places like Youngstown to attract Allegiants, Hooters and USA3000??
Good to know that their our other, as our airport chairman called us, "special interest groups" in the country who, like us, not only want their local airport to succeed but put themselves on the line to make it happen.
December 23, 2005
I always forget that ORH sits not only on Worcester land but Leicester as well. Although I do not recall the exact split, I was surprised how much of ORH is technically Leicester. Why am I bringing this up??
Any route across the City will be very difficult to get approval and the cost would be very very expensive. Consider an access road off the Mass Pike onto Route 56. There is plenty of room at this interchange to build entrances and exits. Route 56 is wide already from the MassPike until you hit Leicester Center.
It would not only be an access road to the airport but also relieve the traffic through Worcester for people living West of the City. Best part is the toll collections for this new exit can defray the cost.
December 22, 2005
In the end flight took off 30 minutes (11:46 instead of 11:00), I imagine due to the kick-off, but made up 15 minutes en route (2:15 instead of the scheduled 2:00). Overall 15 minutes. Great start!!!
The City of Worcester should consider a program like this to target leisure travelers and reward them for supporting ORH. Where do we get the money?? Versus spending more on consultants, we need to put monies (from our DOT grant?) back into the pockets of people who will buy tickets. Tom Kinton, MassPort director, made it very clear. We need 100% loads not 80% loads for MassPort to continue picking up the tab.
I did not have a chance to attend the kick-off today, please anyone who did make some comments.
December 21, 2005
December 20, 2005
December 19, 2005
If you want to go to Boca, Tampa, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Miami etc then do not waste your time.. Our goal with the entrance of Allegiant was to put ORH back on the market with with flights at or near 100% loads to Orlando-Sanford. If this was accomplished then the airport industry would take notice and maybe we could then get flight to St Petes (not Tampa but close), Ft Lauderdale, Miami and Fort Myers.. This could be done by possible expansion by Allegiant or the entrance of USA3000 or Hooters.
The question is (I do not know the answer) is are the other airlines taking notice of ORH sales to Orlando on Allegiant, either good or bad. Guess we will know over the next couple of months??? The fate of ORH may be solely based on these early returns from Allegiant.
December 18, 2005
For the inaugural flight, there will be some special things going on at ORH--good idea. Giving passengers a box lunch?? Think they would rather have free parking, free wifi and a dunkin donuts..
Tom Kinton, MassPort director, made some interesting comments. Do not think he will subsidize commercial activity at ORH if we hit 80% loads on Allegiant. Sounded to me like he wants closer to 100%....
December 16, 2005
Why doesn't the Airport Commission have their agendas and minutes on the city website??
December 15, 2005
Today I picked up the proposal from LAZ to handle the parking. Although this company seems to have a great reputation (this is no reflection on them), but this whole idea to charge for parking is completely ridiculous. The parking lot will only be staffed 20 hours per week at a cost of $29.90 per hour or $598/wk which is $2,591 per monthly (although the bid stated this was $2,392 per month which would be right if there were only 48 weeks in the year).
If we get 14 weekly parkers at 42 per week then we break even. We will need to monitor the profitability of the lot, but how much can we possibly make initially when there are only two flights per week with a $598/wk overhead. The airport commission targets a profit of $12,000 to $15,000, looks to me that the only who will make out here is LAZ parking who will make $31,092.
More importantly there are service questions:
- What if someone arrives early before anyone is working the stipulated 20 hours per week?
- If you prepay for a day or week, but decide to stay longer and your ticket expires, what happens? According to Airport Liaison Niddrie in WoMag today "cars will not be towed, patrons overstaying their welcome will be asked to speak to an attendant. We want to make sure Worcester Airportis well-received." Why pay for a week, pay for a day, leave your car as long as you want, you will not be towed...
- Let me ask again what if you park your car in the Worcester State shuttle lot, how will anyone know???
Between the Airport Drive and the fact we do not have enought flights initially to justify a full-time parking lot attendant, why are we even bothering with this system hiring someone 20 hours per week to hang prepaid tags that mean nothing, since you will not be towed.. Drop the parking charges now, wait till we get more flights to justify a full-time professional system.
When did Hope Ave exit off Route 290 became the main access route... This makes no sense to me since there are one entrances onto Route 290 on Hope Ave going East and only one exit onto Hope Ave going West.
AUBURN _ Citing heavy traffic on Oxford Street North, selectmen last night unanimously rejected a request by the city of Worcester to put up six signs in town directing motorists getting off the Massachusetts Turnpike to Worcester Regional Airport. Selectmen voted against the request minutes after Julie A. Jacobson, Worcester assistant city manager, said traffic getting off the Massachusetts Turnpike would add less than one-half of 1 percent to a busy Oxford Street North that Worcester Assistant Traffic Engineer James M. Kempton said handles about 7,000 motor vehicle trips a day.
Allegiant Airlines is scheduled to start four-day-a-week flights from the airport Dec. 22. Ms. Jacobson said projections are the flights would increase traffic by 37 vehicles to and from the airport for each flight. She said Allegiant will cut down the number of flights to two per week for the month of January. Last night’s vote came about four years after selectmen voted against supporting any access road through Auburn to the airport. About a year later, the Massachusetts Highway Department dropped Auburn from consideration for part of an access road. State Rep. Paul K. Frost, R-Auburn, said last night’s request was an attempt to direct airport users on a route the Massachusetts Highway Department ruled out.
While Ms. Jacobson said the long-term plan is to develop the Hope Avenue exit off Interstate 290 in Worcester as the main access route, her proposal last night called for adding signs along the Oxford Street North, Pinehurst Avenue and James Street route to the airport. She said it was 6.8 miles from the Massachusetts Turnpike exit in Auburn to the airport.
Excerpt of a story below on Frontier:
-- First came touchdown in the warm resort cities of Mexico. Now Frontier Airlines is looking north to snowy Canada. The low-cost discount carrier is researching the possibility of expanding service to Canada, although no decisions have been made on destinations or a timetable, Chief Financial Officer Paul Tate told The Associated Press Wednesday.
"We're interested in continuing to grow our Denver presence and clearly a natural link or extension would be Canadian service," Tate said in an interview.
Analysts said Canada would be a good, logical move for Frontier.
"You want to build your hub so you want as many spokes from good cities as you can. It gives you more flow over your system," said airline analyst Raymond Neidl of Calyon Securities Inc.
The look at Canada comes three years after Frontier started service in Mexico, a schedule that it will expand to seven cities this weekend with flights starting to Cozumel and Acapulco.
The Denver-based airline, which is saddled with high fuel costs, a new competitive threat and hurricane-related service disruptions, recently sold about $80 million in convertible debt to help pay for aircraft and expanded operations.
Officials have not refined the finances that would be involved but believe it is feasible, he said.
Aviation analyst Mike Boyd of The Boyd Group speculated that Frontier would look at Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver. "Canada is a good generator of traffic to Mexico," he said. "Frontier could interconnect a lot of people." In January, Southwest Airlines Co. plans to start nonstop service to three cities from Denver International Airport. Frontier also faces competition in Denver from United Airlines which is expecting to emerge from bankruptcy next year.
Frontier has said it expects to post a net loss per share in the October-December quarter. Its stock closed up 11 cents, or 1.37 percent, to close at $8.13 a share on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Frontier serves 48 destinations in 28 states and five cities in Mexico from its Denver hub.
December 14, 2005
December 13, 2005
On Feb. 8, two days will be added to the airline's schedule between Toledo and Orlando Sanford International Airport, which will begin with four-days-a-week service next week.
Strong demand for the service led to Allegiant's decision to expand its schedule as the peak Florida vacation season begins in early February.
The initial days for Allegiant's Toledo-Sanford flights will be Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday and Saturday service will be added Feb. 8. The airline also will launch a Toledo-Las Vegas route with four-days service on Thursday.
December 12, 2005
December 11, 2005
Three items I am looking forward to hearing about are:
1) At the February, 2005 meeting, Airport Liaison Niddrie discussed a required qtrly update on the grant required by DOT, can you please make the most recent DOT grant qtly update part of the next meeting, so we can see how the monies have been spent to date. Specifically, I notice in the in the March, 2005 meeting, IMG will prepare presentations for 6 airlines at the cost of $53,000, is that in addition to the $100,000 that had been spent on the IMG report or included in the $100,000.
2) Also at the March, 2005 meeting, it was stated that the City was "obligated" under the DOT grant to hire a consultant to prepare these 6 presentations; however, the DOT Grant application stated 6 months of free parking. How is the City "obligated" by the terms of the application to hire a consultant to prepare these 6 presentation but not "obligated" by the to provide the 6 months of free parking as stated in the DOT application
3) What is the status of the 6 presentations?
This got me to thinking, why do people not know the name of the airline?? In today's Sunday paper there is an ad on page A22 that is about 1/12 of the page. I think over the past week I heard a radio ad on WTAG, that I almost did not even realize was an ad for Allegiant. There may have also been a television commercial that I saw. In all honestly, if it was not for my involvement in the efforts to rejuvenate ORH, I may also not have know the name of the airline that has come back to ORH. If you do not believe, ask someone the name of the airline that starts December 22nd??
FREE PARKING!!! Sorry I always go back to that but that should have been, and still be, the best way to market this airport and make people aware of the airline that is flying out of ORH.
Imagine if we had these three things going for ORH.. People cutting over the airport would stop, maybe check their e-mails and get a coffee and would be aware of Allegiant Air. My point is that marketing the airport as a destination is almost as important as marketing the airline in our intial stages, if not more important. To date the airport management has done a lousy job. If you do not believe me, ask someone today what airline starts at ORH on December 22nd.
Members of WIP met with the Mayor about one year ago and it was suggested that a Blue Ribbon committee (including some of us) would be established to decide how to spend the $455,000 DOT grant. This was not done and that was a mistake. I look forward to getting a report at the next airport commission meeting as to how the grant monies have been spent to date.
December 09, 2005
Why can't the airport administration mention who were are talking to?? Specifically what airlines are IMG preparing three presentations. It is no big secret since the airport minutes and the City Council meeting mentions it and we already not the seven preliminary carriers to targeted in their report?
DJ Air, it is not going to happen here!! A leisure second-tier airline flying a few times per week can survive at ORH w/o an access road. A business plan, like that of DJ Air, will require an access road to provide the numbers that they will need to survive. Lets also keep in mind DJ Air's first flight, if it ever happens, will take years. Based on the state of the airline industry, especially the demise of Independence, I do not see venture capitalists lining up to give DJ Air 100 million dollars.
Access Road!! Why do we continually waste time on this???? It is not going to happen, accept it and move on. Target second-tier airlines like Allegiant/Hooters/USA3000 and charters like Apple Vacations/Funjet who can be profitable at ORH w/o an access road.
How do you compensate for not having an access road?? Provide free parking.
December 08, 2005
The next logical step was to get an airline to service the business traveler with mutliple flights to a hub. To that end, NorthWest began service January of this year with multiple daily flights to Detroit. The question was would a secondary airport like Rockford be able to put up the numbers for NorthWest to stay.
Northwest has announced that they are pulling out of Rockford the end of this month... This is not good news for secondary airports like ORH trying to recruit multiple daily flights. Maybe the destiny of airports like Rockford and ORH are to be solely leisure airports???
December 07, 2005
December 06, 2005
We have a full-time airport director and airport liaison, why are we paying monies to a consultant to prepare a recruitment package while we can not afford to provide free parking.
To date I know $100,000 has been spent on the IMG report but I am not sure what else has been spent.
Take a moment to review how Lebanon, NH, where parking is free, utlized their grant monies. Utilizing their Chamber of Commerce they will pay you $150 for three round-trip boarding passes out of Lebanon and $500 for five round-trip boarding passes.
December 05, 2005
JetBlue will make five or six daily flights from Washington to Boston, one of Independence Air's most popular routes. JetBlue Airways Corp. plans to announce today that it will begin service next year to Boston's Logan International Airport from Washington Dulles International Airport with introductory fares as low as $25 each way. JetBlue will fly six daily weekday flights between Dulles and Boston and five daily flights on weekends.
The new service is the latest competitive blow to Dulles-based Independence Air. Last week, Independence Air's parent, Flyi Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and set a Jan. 5 deadline for selling assets or finding an equity investor.
December 03, 2005
Here is what the RFP consists of:
Operation of the surface lots including the provision and installation of a secure and reliable pay system to operate lot A on an immediate, and both lots on a long-term basis beginning December 22, 2005 including a parking lot attendant, a collection system (daily and monthly), monthly reconciliation of receipts and expenses, preparation and filing of tax returns (if applicable), maintenance of internal auditing controls of receipts, parking tickets, daily recording of cars parked in the lot in a manner acceptable to the owner, supervise and control of payments of wages and amounts due to vendors, supervise and maintain purchasing and inventory controls.
December 02, 2005
Lastly, if you ever read a review of a stock, there is always a disclaimer at the bottom if the writer owns stock in this company. I feel any time the Telegram wants to editorialize on the airport that they should put a disclaimer on the bottom that one of their employees, Mr Nemeth, happens to be the chairman of the Airport Commission.
December 01, 2005
To the editor:
In a recent letter to The Concord Journal, John Wood, a private airplane owner, suggests that it is better for people to move further away from Hanscom Field rather than worry about the problems and hazards of airport expansion. During his digression into irrelevant personal attacks, Mr. Wood fails to address the important issues raised in my guest commentary three weeks ago.
The fact that the airport has been here for a long time is no excuse for endless expansion without environmental reviews. Today we know a lot more about the health hazards related to airports than we did in the past, and the fact that we have many residential homes in Concord, Lincoln, Bedford, and Lexington located within miles of the airport cannot be ignored.
The ongoing Hanscom expansion, particularly the current Crosspoint and Linear Air projects (the latter of which has become an alarming reality since my letter), affect everyone in our community and neighboring communities, not just people who live close to the airport or directly under a flight path. If Massport succeeds in making Hanscom a haven for jet aircraft, our historic communities will soon be far less attractive to live in.
Quail Run Drive
November 30, 2005
Check out their passenger incentive program. The long and the short of it is that if you book three tickets out of Lebanon, you get $150. If you book 5 tickets, you get $500. The funds for this rebate program came from the DOT's Small Community Air Service Program Grant, which the City of Worcester received $455,000.
Maybe the Airport Administration could learn from this. Versus spending our grant monies on consultants, maybe the a better way to get "fannies in the seats" is to use the monies on free parking and rebates??
Both do not charge for for parking to compete with larger materopolitan airports.
Check it out. Pease International Airport.
They even have airport minutes on-line.
Allegiant, the Las Vegas-based carrier that specializes in low-cost vacation travel, reports load capacity above 80 percent during its first month of nonstop, four-day-a-week flights between Portsmouth and Orlando, Fla., which began on Oct. 28.
"The bookings are going well," said Tyri Squyres, communications director for Allegiant. "It’s our first venture into New England, and we’re happy to say it’s been a success."
PDA Deputy Director Dave Mullen said when an airline like Allegiant comes in and succeeds, it sends a message to other carriers to come in and take a second look.
Currently the Commonwealth is doing a study on how to improve the East-West flow of traffic across the City of Worcester. Wish they would also add a study of an exit of the MassPike onto Route 56 creating a North-South Connector enabling people West of Worcester not having to travel across the City of Worcester. Not to mention providing better access to ORH.
How would you pay for it?? The toll booth would provide increased revenues to cover the cost.
What would this do the values of properties in Leicester, Paxton?? I think a direct access to a Mass Pike exit would increase property values dramatically.
November 29, 2005
Note story below, however, that NorthWest has termed their results so far as disappointing.... Makes me wonder if secondary airports like Rockford and Worcester can only be leisure airports. Also note that Rockford has free parking and their airport director is constantly in the news touting the benefits of flying out of Rockford.
Story From Chicgo Tribune starts here:
Bob O'Brien has taken some grief for the decision to rename the airport here.It became the Chicago/Rockford International Airport this month, although it is about 90 miles from Milwaukee and South Bend, Ind., are similar distances from the city, but neither of those public airports has seen a need to add Chicago to their name.
But Rockford is close enough to the far northwest Chicago suburbs that many of its potential customers identify with it, said O'Brien, the airport's executive director. Rockford also is trying to prove it can support daily service by major carriers, even if O'Hare International Airport is within driving distance.
O'Brien calls the name switch — from Greater Rockford Airport — a reflection of changes in marketing and attitude. It also is the outgrowth of an effort to promote the airport that enabled Rockford to land what many said was impossible: twice-daily service by major airlines — United Airlines and Northwest Airlines. Rockford's success at attracting United and Northwest came after an intense effort to demonstrate that there was sufficient demand in the local market, O'Brien said.
Now, the airport must prove it can support those carriers. Northwest has been flying the route since May, and an airline representative called the first months disappointing. United is to launch its service next year. Rockford went to major carriers citing its success with smaller players, such as Hooters Air and TransMeridian Airlines. Then it offered financial guarantees to United and Northwest. Rockford used federal and local money to give Northwest a $2.8-million revenue guarantee and United a $2.5-million deal.
First, for someone using this for the first time, it is not as easy as one may think.
Second, if I understand this correctly what happens if someone prepays for one week, puts the tag on the windshield but decideds to stay longer once they are in Florida? Are they towed?
Third, where do they buy the tag outside or inside. Either way a customer at ORH will need to, after arriving at the lot, buy a ticket wherever it is , go back to their car, hang it on the windshield and then take their bags to check-in.
November 27, 2005
Many of us from the Worcester InCity Partnership worked hard to ensure that we received the current DOT marketing grant, that failed in the two prior attempts. In fact, we called a meeting at Congressman McGovern's office with officials from the FAA, City Manager O'Brien, Mayor Murray and the Congressman stressing the importance of this grant. Aided mainly by the efforts of Congressman McGovern, the City of Worcester received $455,000. At the time of the award, we were told that a "Blue Ribbon Committee" would be formed, that we could be part of, to help figure where best to invest the grant. This committee was never formed and the Airport Commission was put in charge of the grant. Reviewing the Board Minutes from 2005, I have the following questions:
1) In the February, 2005, Airport Liason Niddrie discussed a required qtrly update on the grant required by DOT, can you please make the most recent DOT grant qtly update part of the next meeting, so we can see how the monies have been spent to date. Specifically, I notice in the in the March, 2005 meeting, IMG will prepare presentations for 6 airlines at the cost of $53,000, is that in addition to the $100,000 that had been spent on the IMG report or included in the $100,000.
2) Also in the March, 2005 meeting, it was stated that the City was "obligated" under the DOT grant to hire a consultant to prepare these 6 presentations; however, the DOT Grant application stated 6 months of free parking. How is the City "obligated" by the terms of the application to hire a consultant to prepare these 6 presentation but not "obligated" by the to provide the 6 months of free parking as stated in the DOT application
3) What is the status of the 6 presentations?
November 26, 2005
- Free Parking
- Free Wifi
- Improved signage to and from ORH
- "Dunkin Donuts" type set-up with fresh coffee and donuts, etc
Not all has gone to plan... Let me add to the list:
5. Completion of construction work on Airport Drive from Pleasant Street. From the October meeting "unsure whether or nottheir contractor will be able to complete a base coat of asphalt on the road before winter".
November 25, 2005
Massport is scrambling to eliminate a computer glitch in its new $21 million express parking equipment that has caused maddening delays for Logan Airport passengers who paid in advance for a speedy exit, officials said.
The equipment, which is available in all Logan’s garages, has difficulty reading plastic and paper cards designed to help people whisk through new exit express lanes. The problem leaves prepaid passengers stuck staring at parking gates while attendents work to correct the error.
“We’ve got some bugs and we’re working on them,” Massport business manager Jack Hemphill said.
The new express parking options were introduced at the airport this year to help reduce delays and chaos in the airport’s cramped garages. Passengers can now register for a plastic “parking passport” card through Massport or they can use “exit express” kiosks to pay for parking in terminals so they can leave quickly when they get to the garage gates.
November 24, 2005
There are eight reasons why I feel parking should be free:
- IMG Report recommended free parking
- IMG Report explained our primary trade area as people who are within a 20 minute ride. Why would any of these people pay for parking when they can simply be dropped off and picked up?
- In September, 2003, we all worked to get small community air service grant from the DOT. After Congressman McGovern stepped in, ORH received a grant of $455,000. For the record, we were denied this grant the prior two years and it was Congressman McGovern who should be credited for making it happen. In the application it was explained we would offer 6 months of free parking. Why have we changed out mind?
- It is not fair to people who bought tickets when Allegiant was first announced and before the parking rates were announced. Maybe one of their reasons to fly Allegiant out of ORH was free parking?
- Although I tried to get this confirmed, I am guessing that the system to collect money will be unmanned. The automated systems are simply a pain and will cause problems. You will need to bring your parking tickets inside the terminal, pay the automated system, get your ticket stamped and remember to bring it with you to get through the gate.
- Other secondary airports around the country who are within one hour of major metropolitan airports do not charge for parking.
- If I park my car in the Worcester State shuttle lot, how will anyone know if I am a Worcester State student or flying Allegiant to Florida.
- Leisure travelers, our target market, will not understand an automated parking system unlike the business traveler. I can seriously see people jumping in their cards proceeded to the exit gate looking for an attendant.
In the end the revenue forecast will not be met, people in Worcester will not pay for parking, the unmanned system will cause problems and the image of conveniece that IMG says we need to profess will not be met. As good as it was to land Allegiant charging for parking is a huge mistake!!!
November 23, 2005
Looks like the RFP was sent to MassPort, at the time of this board meeting (10 mos ago), for review. Once MassPort signed off, the Commission would sign off and then the City would sign off, but "no solicitations will be undertaken until such time as we know there are potential bidders for the project".
I see no other follow-ups from the minutes after that through October. Assuming there have been all the appropriate sign-offs, how do you know if there are any bidders if you do not release the RFP? Better yet why would you put together an RFP have MassPort, the Commission and the City sign off but then not release to see if there was any interest?? Isn't that the whole point of an RFP to determine interest....
Although I feel ORH is a great untapped asset, I will join Mr Farley (2,000,000 per year) to close ORH unless I see substantial changes at the airport. The next 18 months at ORH will determine its future.
If it is business as usual and the airport continues to lose $2,000,000 per year, whether it is subsidized or not by MassPort, I will join Mr Farley (aka abused taxpayer). Can we get some clarification on the FAA number that is owed?? IMG reports 8.5 million while prior press releases typically mention 25-30 million.
November 22, 2005
Just now I deleted all these comments. Not because the comments differ from my opinion, but because I just do not think we can have people post comments anonymously. If you want to disagree, fine but you need to state who you are.
For the record, if things do change up ORH fast, I may join the "abused taxpayer" to close ORH. Airlines like Hooters and USA3000 need to be recruited now for this winter season. Everyday that passes we will miss the winter season for these leisure carriers.
November 21, 2005
As Rockford grows some of the second-tier carriers, who gave Rockford a chance, will be the casualty of the success that they helped create for Rockford. Don't feel bad for Hooters their are other secondary airport out there that need their help.
November 20, 2005
- 2004 2,288,131
- 2003 2,378,854
- 2002 1,938,700
- 2001 1,172,206
- 2000 948,439
- 1999 1,148,082
- 1998 1,120,434
The past 7 years the total operating loss has been 10,994,846!!!
A big thanks needs to go to MassPort who subsidized almost half (5,144,705),but it still cost the taxpayers of Worcester $5,850,141. If this was a private business, management would have been changed years ago.
Obviously we need to try and renegotiate and extension of the current operating agreement with MassPort, to help subsidize these losses. At the time we need to make in some changes in the actual management of this airport. As IMG suggested on page 29, "A private partner could potentially be convinced to take over operations for a 5-10 year period"
Losing over $10,000,000 in 7 years speaks for itself.
November 19, 2005
In the report, there are excellent explanations why closure and privatization would not be good or work at ORH. At the same time, the IMG report does state that it may be a long shot, but the most viable PPP (public private partnership--page 29) would be an operations contract.
"A private partner could potentially be convinced to take over operations for a 5 to 10 yearperiod, with strong incentive for increasing air service, the primary purpose of such an arrangement."
Imagine this would be similar to the DCU Center. Although the City of Worcester owns the DCU, we bring in a management company to bring attractions. Is there an private partner who would be interested??? I do not know but it only makes sense to put together an RFP (Request for Proposal) and find out.
The IMG report is really alot better then I initially had thought, but the real question is will we follow the recommendations.
November 18, 2005
Myself why would I park and pay $42 when I can have someone else drop me off and pick me living so close by.
In essence, charging for parking will make it less convenient (having to bug family/friends to drop off and pick up) and will not create the revenues that are forecast . Citing the IMG report again, convenience, location and ticket price are the main drivers or airport selection (page 59). If we truly want to target cost-conscious non-stop leisure travelers (page 39), we should be offering free parking (page 61).
Why pay for $100,000 study and not listen to the recommendations?
‘‘It looks like ATA's traffic base is slowly eroding,'' said Michael Boyd, president of The Boyd Group, an Evergreen, Colo.-based aviation industry consulting firm. He called ATA's abandonment of Indianapolis surprising. ‘‘This is like Sears Roebuck moving to China.'' Looks like ATA and Independence will be joining the list with SouthEast and TransMeridian as carriers, who are no more.
Some may say this is the perfect opportunity for a start-up, like a DJ Air Group, to fill a void left by these carriers??? I hope that I am wrong, but I feel the complete opposite. Events like these will make it that much harder for DJ Air Group to get their first flight, from anywhere, off the ground.
November 17, 2005
The state of PA has put together this site to promote the utilization of airports in Pennsylvania. Kind of hard to explain but it highlights the benefits of the various (16 !) of them in PA so why drive out of state?? Even has a neat chart of how much you save flying local versus driving to Newark.
This would not be very effective now until we get more flights but once we do a website called http://www.IFLYMA.com ??
ORH should keep in touch with JetBlue for an ORH-JFK shuttle.
November 16, 2005
- a very good analysis as to why privatization has many obstacles
- Worcester focus should be on cost-conscious, non-stop leisure travelers
- great analysis of our catchment area and primary air trade area
- top markets traveled to
If you have the opportunity check it out at http://www.ci.worcester.ma.us.Initially I was looking for something that would be earth-shattering, maybe some unknown fact that would save the airport overnight. Bottom line is the airport is a business just like any other business and you need to know your strengths and weaknesses then market accordingly, there is no secret formula. The IMG report does a very good job of doing this, although the cost to me does seem high (100K).
I also have to say, it really does validate many of the recommendations that WIP put together last year. Not surprising since many of us are business-owners and look at ORH realistically as a busines. Now is the time to put these recommendations from IMG into action.
One interesting point on page 62: Air Service will need to be well marketed and must off value to passengers:
- free parking
Last night, at the City Council meeting a parking fee schedule is announced effective December 22nd.
Is this fair to people who have already purchased tickets on Allegiant out of ORH thinking parking is free? If we need to charge for parking, we should at least have the first 6 months free, expecially for those who have already purchased tickets.
During the six months we would be able to track the amount of cars and the potential revenues to base our decision to charge or not?
They too lost all commercial service after 9/11 and were able to attract "second-tier" carriers attracting leaisure passengers back to their airport:
- TransMeridian (went out of business)
- Allegiant (Vegas & Sanford)
- Hooters (Myrtle Beach, Atlanta, Denver and St Pete's)
- Apple Vacations (USA3000 partner)
- SunShip1 (ceased operations)
Once they were able to put themselves back on the map, legacy carriers with multiple flights per today for the business traveler:
- NorthWest (Detroit)
- United (Denver in March, 2006)
Please note that during this build-up and even now there is FREE PARKING. They have a great advertising pitch hilighting this fact:
Don't let parking costs eat into your vacation fun! Fly RFD and park for FREE!
November 15, 2005
Looks like the rates will be $5/day and $35/week (Dec 22-Feb28) then increase to $7/day and $42/week. Think the initial DOT application of 6 months of free parking, or even your first two days free (something along those lines), then followed by the above fee structure would have helped lure people back to ORH from the other airports that we compete against.
1) Highly recommend a trip by the City Manager/Mayor to Philadelphia to meet with USA3000/Apple Vacation.
2) Highly recommend a trip by the City Manager/Mayor to Mytrle Beach to meet with Hooters Air.
3) Highly recommend that we invite William Herp of Linear Air to Worcester.
4) Highly recommend that we invite President (forgot name) of Cape Air to Worcester.
5) Highly recommend airport board minutes to be placed on the official website of the city
6) Status of the Leigh Fisher Master Plan?
7) Status of the New England Regional Air Study Plan?
8) Status of the RFP for the restaurant slot?
10) Status Free wifi?
11) Status of parking (free or fee)?
12) Status of new signs
13) Privatization should we look into an RFP?
November 14, 2005
Meanwhile check out Apple Vacations. USA3000 and Apple would be perfect for ORH.
The editorial, however, brings up one one good question:
"The IMG report, coupled with the master plan (Leigh Fisher) and the FAA survery (assume they mean the New Engand Regional Air Study Plan) still in the works, will provide a solid foundation for decision-making yet to come."
When will the results from these two studies be released?? According to the city web site under the "Master Plan" link, both are to be completed by the fall, 2005. We need to get these studies behind us so that decisions are actually finally made, versus delayed, waiting for the next study.
November 13, 2005
In addition to general and business aviation, we can have a leisure market. Unlike the business-traveler who need multiple daily flights with many options, ORH can not support this market (business-traveler) without an access road and with 4 airports (Manchester, Providence, Hartford and Boston) all within an hours drive.
On the other hand ORH can support the leisure traveler who can accept 2 to 4 flights per week. Lack of an access road would be outwieghed by reasonable direct flights, free parking, free wifi and a coffee stand, which we do not have--why not??. We took the first step with flights to Orlando on Allegiant, now we have to start picking up direct flights to all the other markets in Florida:
- Tampa/St Pete
- Fort Myers
- Fort Lauderdale
The Central Mass market to Florida alone is huge, we need to tap this market. Once we get that done, we need to look at Myrtle Beach and the Bermuda. At first this sounds like a pipe dream but we only need two airlines to come to ORH to service all of these markets above--USA3000 and Hooters.
For the life of me, I am still amazed that IMG did not even recommend Apple Vacations, the vacation (charter) partner for USA3000, both based in nearby Philadelphia. We should fly the City Manager and Mayor to Philadelphia and make a presentation to Trevor Sadler at USA3000 and Apple Vacation luring them to ORH. After that, a trip to Myrtle Beach and a meeting with Mark Peterson of Hooters Air. This would be money well spent.
Lastly how can IMG simply dismiss an ideas for privatization and recommend negotiations with MassPort only?? I will bring up the house an analogy. If you were selling your house , would you let your house fall into desrepair and only attempt to sell it to your next door neighbor?? No, you would paint the house, mow the lawn, remodel the kitchen and market it to the world. We need to get free WIFI, attract airlines like USA3000/Apple Vacations and Hooters today and market our airport to the world.
Can we once and for all put DJAir belongs, in the 100 to 1 long shot/don't depend on them category. Imagine being a venture capitalists and a couple guys walk into your office looking for 100 million to start an airline targeting both the business-traveler and leisure traveler with the base of operations at ORH. On the other hand, I do see Hooters and USA3000 taking a very close look at ORH, if asked.
Great job by Diane Williamson calling a spade a spade and what about Michael Boyd's comments "The fact you paid $100,000 on that study just amazes me."
November 12, 2005
- Rename the airport to Boston-Worcester to approve its appeal as alternative to Boston. This has worked very well for Baltimore Washington and Orlando Sanford International Airport.
- Improve access to and from Route 290 including reverse signage. We need to pick one route as the preffered route versus attempting to direct prospective passengers from every single exit off Route 290.
- Contact, pursue and invite leisure airline who target secondary cities and provide discount prices to popular leisure destinations (note targeted airlines on http://www.flyorh.com).
- Replace studies with action. Prospective airlines do their own research before entering a market so why waste monies on consultants when we could utilize these same dollars to help advertise airlines who enter this market?
- Open lines of communication among involved parties with monthly reports from the Airport Director to the City Council pertaining to the budget and prospective airlines.
- Explore possibility if naming rights for the terminal or airport itself.
- Generate positive press for the airport. Correct misconceptions about not being able to landing in bad weather and highlight the high level of general aviation activity.
- Explore new revenue sources including but not limited to the available restaurant slot and lands remaining idle in the Airport Industrial Park.
- Revise and update the official web page.
- Start a bumper sticker campaign to generate civic pride and support of the airport. A small oval with the letters ORH?
- Improve business traveler services specifically FREE WIFI and FREE PARKING!!!
- Recruited airlines need to offered a package that waives fixed overhead expenses and allocated a portion of the $455,000 Small Community Air Service Development Grant from the FAA to their advertising needs.
- Invite airport management companies to Worcester and review the possibility of putting together an RFP whereby we lease the entire airport to a private management company.
- The PILOT program for non-profits is extremely controversial. We may look into the possibility of asking local non-profits to contribute to a fund that would help attract a daily business flight which would benefit the entire community.
1) Discount Carriers
There is no chance of Frontier flying into Worcester.
Denver to ORH?
2) Second Tier Carriers
Agree on all three
3) Charter Carriers
SunShip1 only has one flight from Rockford to Cancun which just got wiped out by a hurricane Wilma?
Think Vacation Express must be scrambling since their partner, Transmeridian, just went under? At the same time, I believe they partnered with Pace which is affiliated with Hooters so a Vacation Express/Hooters pitch makes sense.
SunCountry has very little presence in the NorthEast?
Apple Vacations should be the number 1 charter since they are partners with USA3000. Also like FunJet.
4) Regional Carriers
Agree but add Linear Air.
Again have we not been saying this for over one year, $100,000 less then IMG by the way. Lets send the Mayor and City Manager to USA3000 headquarters (Philadelphia) to bring USA3000 and Apple Vacations to ORG. Trevor Sadler, route planner for USA3000 is a very smart guy and knows their is potential at ORH.
After that take a trip to Mytrle Beach and meet Hooters (Mark Peterson).
Surprised that a couple of the ten daily JetBlue's Embraer 190 flights from Boston to JFK were not recommended over Frontier Airlines.
Lets hope the recommendations are more insightful then IMG.
November 11, 2005
- we have a market
- target leisure traveler
- MassPort must play a role
- do not close the airport
- privatization is not an option
- name change for the airport
- aggressive marketing strategy must be adopted
If you look at our recommendations from http://www.flyorh.com, we have many of these listed for over a year, including Boston-Worcester Airport name change. The only real real discrepency is that we recommended that privatization should be looked into versus being dismissed without an attempt to solicit bids.
In fact the recruitment of DJ Air actually does not agree with the above recommendation. DJ Air will not be targeting the leisure traveler like Allegiant or the other "second-tier" carriers. Michael Boyd, Presient of the Boyd Group, also makes a great point also, if ORH was near 495 or had an access maybe a DJAir would come to ORH. A generous incentive package alone will not entice a DJAir to come to ORH.
We need to focus on the "second-tier" carriers like Hooters/USA3000 and charter companies like FunJet who do in fact focus on the leisure traveler. This traveler will not mind if ORH is on a hill, not right on Route 495. They are more concerned about direct flights, low prices, free parking and other amenities like free wifi.
In the end, I personally did not learn anything from this $100,000 report. Lastly I do not want any more studies, since we already have two more (Leigh Fisher 20 year Master Plan and the New England Study) but the next time we need a consultant, can we hire Michael Boyd?
November 10, 2005
The tycoon also highlighted his green credentials, giving his support to a possible emissions tax on planes.More than 100 million people have used the distinctive orange and white planes since Mr Haji-Ioannou pioneered the pared-down flights, tackling the higher prices of more established rivals and driving up demand for air travel.EasyJet launched from Luton Airport with a service to Glasgow on this day in 1995. Today it scrapped its no-frills policy, but just for the day, to serve free drinks on a repeat flight to celebrate its anniversary.
As well as getting drinks on the house, the passengers on the 11am flight were greeted at Luton by Mr Haji-Ioannou and were given chocolate bars to enjoy on the journey.Today he credited his idea with bringing European nations closer together - and even helping promote world peace."We have made a difference to people`s lives," the tycoon said today."One hundred million people have flown so far with us, so it is making a difference to a lot of people`s lives."We have made relationships possible ... love affairs, weddings."Europe is getting smaller, we are less likely to fight each other or go to war against each other."It is going to be a more peaceful place."
Together with rival carriers such as Ryanair, easyJet has revolutionised air travel for Britons, taking advantage of the open skies policy in Europe and breaking the stranglehold that high-price European state carriers had on the market.The company`s soaraway success has shocked its founder, who credits luck - and a rich father - for his success."It was difficult in those first years," he told the Press Association. "The only thing I was worrying about in 1995 was survival.""I don`t think I could have predicted this 10 years ago."EasyJet has gone from two routes to 224 routes. It has 110 aircraft and carries more than 30 million passengers a year.
EasyJet took delivery of its first wholly-owned aircraft in April 1996 and launched its easyJet.com website in 1997.In 2002 the airline acquired low-cost rival Go, which had originally been set up by British Airways. As rival operators such as Debonair and Duo air fell by the wayside, Mr Haji-Ioannou had succeeded in consistent growth, said Mr Calder, the travel editor of the Independent newspaper.
"This is a very easy game to lose lots of money in," he said."Stelios was in the right place at the right time."He was able to design an airline from a blank piece of paper without union demands, having to serve meals or use travel agents."The rest of the industry has taken a hell of a beating at the hands of easyJet because they weren`t able to take a look at what they were doing."EasyJet and Ryanair have revolutionised the industry. They said `all we do is fly people from A to B, let us make it simple and still make a profit`."People now don`t think twice about commuting from Luton to Spain."They have actually changed our mindset. It is liberating us and giving us the possibility
November 09, 2005
According to Rick DeLisi, director of communications, "No changes in routes, destinations or schedules are planned." Delisi also said the airline will be concentrating on lowering operating costs. As with many other airlines, high fuel costs combined with low fares and multiple carriers on the same route have hurt Independence Air's bottom line.
The announcement is terrible news for investors of the carrier. In a statement posted on its Web site, the airline said that after Chapter 11 proceedings, stock in the company would most likely be worthless. Trading at $6 on its first day of operations, Tuesday afternoon the price of Flyi stock had fallen to .08 cents on the Nasdaq exchange.
November 06, 2005
- City of Worcester should look to MassPort to continue current agreement
- We should ask MassPort to subsidize 67% of the operating deficit
- Ask MassPort if they want to buy ORH
- Privatization, having the city operate the airport as a general aviation airport and closing the airport were rejected.
- If we can not get MassPort to sign an extension, however, we should downgrade the airport to general aviation which means no commercial aviation.
- IMG also recommended a regional marketing effort and name change.
- Our catchment area represents 623,530 people within a 20-30 minute drive.
Is there anything here we did not know???
Why do we only look to MassPort as the only potential suitor to ORH. If you were trying to sell your house would you only talk to your next door neighbor or people on your street?? Privatization is simply ruled out without an RFP looking for a potential buyer?
Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York, has solicited proposals for their airport to privatize. In April, 1998, New York State selected the U.K. firm National Express to lease Stewart Airport for 99 years. National Express Group PLC offered $35 million in cash up-front, plus a percentage of airport revenues. Its bid was judged superior to those of the other four finalist teams: American Port Services (Baltimore), D.M. Airport Developers (Morristown, N.J.), Airport Group International (Glendale, Calif.), and LCOR / Schiphol Airport (New York City). How we just say privatization is no good with an RFP (request for proposal), because IMG says so?
In addition, I did not translate Councilor White's, or Councilor Lukes, comments about MassPort as "biting the hand that feeds you." Everyone in Worcester, including WIP members and all City Councilors realize how lucky we are to have MassPort picking up a part of the tab, hereby giving us another three year period to get our act together. Councilors were simply asking why it took so long to get the money, which is predicated under the current agreement. You do, however, bring up a good point, why was the bill not received until September 7th by MassPort when the qtr end 6/30? The only venomous reaction I see is that anytime anyone asks questions about the airport, Bob Nemeth (the current airport commission chairman), attacks them in his Sunday column.
Who didn't know our catchment area consisted of drivers within a 20-30 minute drive, when we do not have an access road and are surrounded by four airports that are approximately one hour away (Manchester, Providence, Boston and Hartford)? Name change?? That was one of WIP's very first recommendations.--Boston-Worcester Airport. Note on the "Recommendations" page of http://www.flyorh.com.
Lastly what do you think an airline that we are recruiting like DJAir, for example, will think when they read that if we do not get an extension by the Spring by MassPort that the airport should be downgraded to general aviation. Not exactly a help to reveal this information when we are trying to recruit other commercial airlines or passengers, for that matter, to fly out of ORH. Bet you Allegiant will feel great about spending money in our market to attract passengers when they read this? What happened to IMG's idea to start a secondary city to secondary city route like ORH to Harrisburg?
Right now we have to forget about all of these studies!! Get ready for the first passengers for Allegiant on December 22nd by providing proper signage to and from the airport, make sure the road itself is repaired (last week it was under construction),free wi-fi and free parking. After that we need to put together an RFP to privatize the airport and market it nationally...... Why not invite companies like National Express to ORH? What exactly would we lose if we do that and find out nobody is interested??
November 04, 2005
We have added a link to FlyWorcester to our blog. Instead of waiting for the November report on the the status of the three studies:
- Leigh Fisher 20 Year Master Plan
- New England Study
Base your answers from the last report that you filed with the City Council in October. Instead giving us the whole report there are three questions that I have received time and time again:
- when is the next community meeting with Leigh Fisher tentatively scheduled?
- when can the results of IMG be expected?
- when is the next release of any findings or the next planned meeting from the New England Study coming?
Answers to these three specific questions would be greatly appreciated. Look forward to your answers posted here.
November 03, 2005
November 01, 2005
If you want something done right, the saying goes, you'd better do it yourself. It's a maxim that the people at Apple Vacations took to heart when they were examining ways to make the air portion of their packaged holidays more reliable and of higher quality.
That was the impetus behind the creation of USA 3000, which began operations with a pair of leased A320s in early 2003 and expects to have up to 15 of the twinjets by year end. The carrier is privately held and is led by CEO John Mullen, whose family owns both companies. It does not release financial results.
"The whole concept of USA 3000 was to provide a high-quality product for our sister company Apple Vacations, moving their traffic to and from their resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico," says COO Angus Kinnear, who appears to have a fondness for the number 3000. He previously headed Canada 3000 Airlines, an unrelated company that had moderate success until an ill-starred merger with another leisure carrier, Royal Aviation, sent it into a nosedive that 9/11 made permanent.
The US edition operates out of Baltimore, Newark, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Chicago O'Hare and St. Louis providing both scheduled and charter flights to destinations in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean. Approximately 80% of the service is scheduled, with up to 54 daily flights, according to the company.
Prior to launching the airline, Apple Vacations, which has been in the travel and tour business for more than three decades, relied on ad hoc charter operators to haul passengers for whom it booked holidays. But it often had to rely on older used aircraft, so reliability and ontime performance were issues. "The product was really a second-class operation from an aviation point of view," says the blunt-spoken Scotsman-Canadian. "The airplanes being contracted to fly the vacation packages were probably second-generationthe ones Major carriers had passed down like 727s and MD-80s. We wanted to make sure we could provide not only a safe operation but also a reliable one."
October 31, 2005
Airport authorities are currently negotiating with other airlines, including American, United and DJ Air Group -- which is seeking to create a low-fare carrier -- to add service to Tweed, Fernandez said. He said Tweed officials are focusing on securing two or three additional airlines.
In case you have not hear, Delta is discontinuin its low fare carrier, Song Airlines! Song was Delta's attempt to compete with discounters on the East Coast but it never made money.
Considering Indepence is in trouble, Song is no more, SouthEast went out of business along with TransMerdian, do you think Venture Capitalists will be lined up to give DJAir group 100 million?
October 29, 2005
October 27, 2005
Obviously JetBlue tracks their tickets sales and know people are flying JetBlue or they would not advertise in the T & G... This is truly hard to believe that MassPort, our partner, can not use some influence to make this happen??
That's about all the capacity we'll have with our existing fleet," said Tyri Squyres, a spokeswoman for the airline. "But Orlando has already been really good for us."
The vast majority of Allegiant's traffic comes from small-town America. But Las Vegas and Orlando residents are starting to take notice of the airline's low fares and using it for their own travel.
Squyres said 9.5 percent of Allegiant's Las Vegas passenger counts originate in Las Vegas. Through August, the airline served 526,673 passengers at McCarran, making it the ninth-busiest at the local airport and on par with popular low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways.
But Orlando has embraced the airline even more: 16.1 percent of the airline's Orlando counts originate there.
Allegiant Air has 14 airlines in their fleet.
October 26, 2005
After posting this I opened the newspaper. Check out the ad on page 11. This ad from JetBlue says "Introducing up to 10 daily flights from Logan to JFK." This is a huge ad so JetBlue must already be aware of the people flying from our catchment area, if they take an ad out like this in the Worcester Telegram.
Lets convince JetBlue to keep only 8 flights from Boston-JFK and add the other 2 to Worcester!!!!
October 25, 2005
October 25, 2005
MANCHESTER, N.H. --New Hampshire transportation officials say construction could begin by next fall on a road linking the F.E. Everett Turnpike to Manchester airport. The access road could be completed by the end of 2009. The road is aimed at relieving congestion while providing access to the airport and industrial land in Londonderry.
The $100 million project is in its final design stages. The project was delayed several years ago when bald eagles were found nesting in its projected path. A planned bridge over the Merrimack River had to be relocated to gain federal approval for the project.
October 24, 2005
Lets learn from this and create a new image with the start of service in December w/ Allegiant:
- How about a new logo ORH (do we have a logo now?)
- New name Boston-Worcester
- Bumper sticker campaign to generate civic pride and support of the airport. A small oval with the letters ORH?
October 23, 2005
Anytime a CFO quits his job, leaves the industry and region, the underlying company is about to make alot of employees and creditors very angry. Reports say DJAir Group needs to line up about 100 million in venture capital to get started. Things like Independence Air potentially going down the tubes can not make this an easy task, not to mention SouthEast and TransMeridian.
That does not mean we should not pursue DJAir, but lets focus in the short-term on other second-tier carriers to compliment Allegiant Air. How much would it cost to send the Mayor and out City Manager down to Hooters Air Headquarters in Myrtle Beach? It would be well worth the investment.
October 22, 2005
Needless to say DJAir does not believe in the hub and spoke system. The business plan, however, may have made more sense in New England, before JetBlue has made such a large presence in New England and decided to invest in 101 Embraers not to mention the presence of SouthWest.
Just not sure how DJAir will be able to compete against well-established Discount Carriers like JetBlue and SouthWest who are not leaving many markets underserved.
In other words we have three different consulting agencies working on recommendations that concern the future of ORH. Starting to wonder how these can all be co-ordinated?? What if one recommendation from one agency runs contrary to that of another agency??
October 21, 2005
On September 13th, Embraer delivered the first Embraer 190 to JetBlue. The first of a firm order of 101 with delivery of approximately 18 per year from 2005 through 2011. Although the conventional hub and spoke system may be changing, it is not dead. What do you think JetBlue will do with this fleet of 101 Embraer 190's? Maybe some will be used to provide some point to point service but 101......
One of the first Embraer 190's, if not the first, will go to Logan to shuttle to JFK. Add this with existing shuttles from Burlington, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo, to JFK and it looks like a hub and spoke. I can very easily see these Embraers being used to feed JFK even more, from cities like Newburgh, NY, Manchester, NH and Portland, Me. Long Beach, JetBlue's base on the West Coast, will see similar types of routes for the Embraer.
That is why I think we should keep in touch with JetBlue to target an Embraer for an ORH-JFK flight.
October 20, 2005
"These are jet carriers which focus on leisure and vaction passengers only," Boyd said of carriers such as Las Vegas based Allegiant Air. "Their main destinations are Orlando and Las vegas, and they usually have some kind of package deal for their customers. There's nothing with that, but they really aren't providers of air service", Boyd added. Allegiant is joined by Sun Country Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Hooters, according to Boyd, in this second-tier carrier category.
WIP's initial target airlines like Allegiant, USA3000 and Hooters now have an official name---second-tier carriers. Seems appropriate when ORH is a secondary airport. There is nothing wrong with this being our initial target market, since it is here where ORH can re-establish itself and then focus on Legacy and Discount carries.
In addition the conference mentioned above by Mr Boyd seems to me to be the type of place that we should send out City Manager and Mayor to network and sell the benefits of ORH. Versus spending monies on a survey, monies spent on attending a conference like this would be more beneficial to ORH. Check out Boyd Group at http://www.aviationplanning.com
October 19, 2005
Allegiant Air, an up-and-coming low-fare carrier based in Las Vegas, will be launching its service to Orlando in December, and serious talks now under way could bring in at least one additional carrier in the near future.
The issue was raised several months ago by Joseph Cohen, a former airport commissioner. He suggested that parking, which has been free since scheduled commercial air service ended in 2003, should remain free during the first year or so of any new service. Mr. Cohen’s rationale is compelling: The airport has not figured in people’s travel planning for 2 1/2 years, he noted, and free parking would serve as an incentive to get people back to the airport. We agree.
The issue was raised again last week by City Councilor Frederick C. Rushton, who warned that high parking fees would be “the death knell” of the airport and the new air service. Whether parking fees would be fatal is debatable, but he is right in pointing out that parking would be another way to separate the airport from others in the region. He favors keeping parking free or at a very reduced rate, the latter being the less appealing.
To serve as an incentive, a reduced rate would have to be so low that most of the revenue would be consumed by the cost of collecting the fee — and “reduced” certainly lacks the marketing punch of “free.” A few years hence, with air service on a solid footing, the issue can be revisited. Meanwhile, free parking is a potential marketing opportunity Massport and the city should seize.