At this stage we need to target second-tier start-up carriers in a similar situation as us. For that reason, Allegiant was the perfect airline for ORH.
At the same time we need to face the brutal truth.... These start-up are private companies and can go out of business without any notice. TransMeridian and SouthEast went out of business without any notice. At least Hooters, for those of us watching, was showing signs of trouble when they stopped flying one route after another.
Does that mean we should not have been talking to Hooters, SouthEast or TransMeridian. Absolutely not!!! We need to establish the fact that people in the Worcester catchment area will fly from ORH; for example, at the demise of TransMeridian, Allegiant swooped right into 3 or 4 markets where TransMeridian had high loads. Lets say Allegiant went out of business tonight, it would be a bad thing but I bet you other airlines would come to ORH knowing that people will support a ORH-SAN route.
At the same time we should not get tied into contract with these start-ups that cover their losses up to a million dollars. We should merely offer discounts or not costs on overhead that they would incur at ORH and some matching marketing monies. More importantly we should not make out public officials be scared to take a chance by having negotiations with these airlines.
I am glad that we were in discussions with Hooters, but I ony hope we are in discussions with USA3000, JetBlue, Cape Air, Linear Air and charter airlines (Apple Vacations). The name of the airline is that as important as us supporting the flown route.