Telegram story link.
"The handwritting was on the wall for some time, and it spelled doom." Bob, I got to ask you. If you saw this so clearly, why didn't your warn the people, who have bought tickets and have millions of dollars in limbo and ruined travel plans? On other hand, I did come to this realization this past November and opted to warn people and posted on this blog that Direct Air would be out of business by February 2, 2012. I felt that I owed it to my readers. Guess that is why I am a silly blogger.
Another silly blogger idea was when you came to my office and I urged you to put the entire airport out to bid--"privatization". Remember, I had to explain what this meant and gave you the example of how National Express had paid 35 Million to take out a 99 year lease of Stewart Airport from Newburgh New York in 2000. They did such a good job and created competition for the Port Aurthority of New York that in 2007 , the Port Authority of New York bought out the remained of the 92 lease in 2007 for 78 million. Story click here.
You then told me nothing gets done without going through you and for me to write a letter to the Airport Commission, which you chaired, urging you to do an RFP for the entire airport not just parcels of land. I did, it was read into the minutes of a board meeting (February of 2005) and the idea was dismissed (as fast as it was submitted). Why? I was told that nobody would bid for the entire airport. On one hand you say "state of the art airfield, with an adjoining industrial park, remains a major asset", but when you are urged to put it out to bid , you say nobody would bid on it?
Instead, parcels of land were in fact put out to RFP and nobody did bid. Imagine if some big gaming operation had saw an entire "state of the art airfield" out to bid and took an educated bet that gambling may come to Worcester? But again what do we "silly bloggers" know.
Bob, my favorite line of you story, however, is "Despite the failure of Direct Air's overall operations its Worcester-based service...... was profitable". Say that again?? One of the reasons the "handwritting" was on the wall for me were the prices that they were charging. Between the cost to lease a plane, the cost of the crew and the exploding cost of fuel, there was no way in hell the costs of the tickets that they were charging covered these expenses. Bob, these flights were far from being profitable!! Can you say Chapter 7 bankruptcy...
Do you want proof? No other airline has stepped in. Believe me if these routes were profitable airlines would be here the day Direct Air stopped flying. A prospective airline needs to calculate what they need to charge to make money (avoid going out of business) and how many people would buy tickets at that price, not base their projections on Direct Air sales. Anyone can sell alot of tickets if the business plan is to pre-sell as many tickets/vouchers/memberships as possible, don't pay any bill and take off with the monies then file Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Bob, under your guidance the airport commission made a big mistake not trying to market the airport to as large an audience as possible. Instead you focused soley on one buyer--MassPort. Maybe instead of reading the "handwritting on the wall" you should have paid attention to a letter urging you to put the entire airport out to bid 6 , or was it 7 years ago, and our "bright future" may have been getting realized today.
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