March 31, 2006

JetBlue Ad Page 9

For those out there who keep asking if there is a demand, let me offer page 9 (at least the 2nd time this week) as evidence there is. It is a five columne add, 18 inches and two colors. How much do you think that costs?? Answer- $9,000!!!!

Who do you think knows best, where their JetBlue customers are coming from?? Answer--JetBlue!!! My point is that JetBlue would not be spending monies like this in our market advertising JetBlue out of Boston.

This is great news, since we do not even have to convince JetBlue about the existence of the market here. Why?? JetBlue already knows the demand is here already as evidenced by the ads. We need to roll out the red carpet, explain the leakage to Providence/Manchester to SouthWest, drop any overhead charges to enter the ORH market, tell them we will call the terminal the JetBlue terminal and throw matching marketing dollars at them.

Now the most disturbing part of the ad. It says "DEAR BOSTON"!!!!!!! Someone at our airport (Director/Liaison) needs to call JetBlue and tell them an ad in the Worcester paper should not say "DEAR BOSTON", it should say "DEAR WORCESTER". Herein lies the problem, JetBlue does not realize there is a difference between BOSTON and Worcester.

We do not need another study, a consultant or a survey to get this done.. Somebody (the people getting paid to run the airport) has to actually pick up the phone and make a call... Take a look at the ad--$9,000!!

March 30, 2006

30,000 Visitors

That's right, we just passed 30,000 visitors on the blog!!! Considering we started this in September, that's alot of traffic. I know many blogs people may disagree with and I, in turn, may disagree with many of the comments. The only way we are ever going to make an educated decision on this airport is through dialogue like this..

Allegiant's Bankruptcy

For all of those bemoaning the fact that we were in negotiations with Hooters, let us not forget that Allegiant Airlines reogranized under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from 2000 to 2002.. Again citing my ValueJet example when their plane crashed in the Everglades, many industry experts thought they would never make it. Today they are Airtran.

We need to talk to any airline that we can offer them discounts on overhead (landing fees, free rent, etc) and matching advertising dollars, but we need to stay clear of any revenue guarantees. Many smaller airports end up owing millions with the types of deals.

March 29, 2006

Failure of Hooters

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.

Hooters Stops Public Charters

It is official.. The public charter service from Hooters is done. They will be removed from our list and join the dead list with SouthEast and TransMeridian. These start-ups are quite risky and since they are private companyes, there is little to no financial information available. All the more reason why a company liek DJ Air Group was always such a stretch.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Hooters Airlines in Myrtle Beach is stopping regularly scheduled air service. The airline said it will stop its public charter flights April 17 and will run only private charters out of Winston-Salem, N.C.

President Mark Peterson said Hooters Air will serve large groups such as sports teams and tour groups. Peterson said some of the airline's 350 workers will be laid off in Winston-Salem. About five workers in Myrtle Beach are being laid off.

Hooters started service between Myrtle Beach and Atlanta in 2003. It was serving 15 locations last July, but the airline began canceling holiday flights in December. It had stopped most flights in January but said it would resume service to Myrtle Beach in the spring.

Airport Liaison

I received the following e-mail response regarding the status of the information, that I have requested numberous times, from Airport Liaison Niddrie last night March 28th :

Got your letter on the 22nd. Reply in process.

My letter that he received on May 22nd asked Airport Liaison Niddrie for the following information:

  1. the monthly parking reports from LAZ
  2. the most recent qtrly filing to the DOT on how the Small Community Air Service Grant
  3. has been spent operating numbers for the first half of fiscal year (2006).

Upon receipt I will post information on the blog and web site.

March 28, 2006

JetBlue/Cape Air

Harry--thanks for the story. I have it below... This is bascially a variation of our idea of have a plane from ORH to feed the JetBlue hub, not to mention NYC.

Cape Air seeks deal with JetBlue

Cape Air, the top year-round carrier from Logan International Airport in Boston to Cape Cod and the islands, has been facing a May 2007 deadline to clear out of Logan's Terminal C to make way for rapidly growing JetBlue Airways Corp.

But now both JetBlue and Cape Air are expressing hope they can work out a deal that keeps Cape Air at its current gate, operating as a kind of connector-feeder for JetBlue.
From Logan, Cape Air flies nine-seat propeller planes to Hyannis, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and Provincetown. On summer weekends, when Cape Air has diverted extra planes to New England from winter operations in Florida and the Caribbean, it often ranks as the busiest airline at Logan -- measured by flight arrivals and departures, that is, not total passengers.

At Logan, Cape Air occupies a gate in Terminal C that is among four the Massachusetts Port Authority has agreed to lease to JetBlue by November 2008. JetBlue now uses seven gates to offer about 45 daily departures, and hopes to expand to more than 100 in coming years.
In separate interviews last week, the chief executives of both airlines said they hope to reach a deal that keeps Cape Air in JetBlue's terminal.

''We like the location, and we think our customers like being able to connect to JetBlue" without having to go through security again, said Daniel A. Wolf, who is president of Cape Air and, on summer Saturdays, one of its several dozen pilots. ''We bring potentially a lot of valuable customers to JetBlue." JetBlue chief executive David Neeleman, in an interview at The Boston Globe Travel Show Friday, agreed that ''it'd be great to see if there's a way to work that out. They run a really great operation."

Neeleman said that having Cape Air stay in Terminal C to feed passengers into JetBlue's network, and connect travelers coming from JetBlue cities in the United States to the Cape and Islands, ''would probably be a pretty good option for Cape Air. It would make a lot of sense for us." Thomas J. Kinton Jr., Massport's aviation director, said finding a home for Cape Air is just one of many gate-space problems at Logan.

Massport also is trying to find new gates for fast-growing AirTran Airways and to help bankrupt Delta Air Lines fill gate space at its half-empty $500 million Terminal A. ''In these discussions, it's always paramount for us what's best for the customer, and the customer is both the passenger and the airline," Kinton said. ''At the same time, it has to work for the airport from a gate-management standpoint."

A sixth Logan runway set to open late this year for small planes, called 14/32, is ideal for handling Cape Air's Cessna 402s, and that could argue in favor of moving Cape Air to Terminal A or B to be closer to that runway, Kinton said. ''A lot has to play out," Kinton said. ''We'll be in a lot of discussions."

March 27, 2006


This week I will have the following reports and will post on the web page and blog. Stay tuned:

  1. the monthly parking report from LAZ
  2. the most recent qtrly filing to the DOT on how the Small Community Air Service Grant has been spent
  3. operating numbers for the first half of fiscal year (2006).

March 26, 2006

YNG Blog

Great blog on YNG today. It amazes me how similar we are. Read this, but keep in mind this is YNG that they are talking about not ORH:

Local Airplanes Not Housed at YNG

While I was looking for other information to contribute to this blog, I was searching websites and came accross the FAA website and found something interesting. At There are 379 aircraft registered in the two counties that own our Airport. For agrument sake, we can throw about 79 of those out and end up with 300.

Of the other 300, only 40 or so are at Youngstown Warren Regional. WHY? Some of those are private jets in private hangars, some are for the flight schools, some belong to the FBOs, and some are corporate jets renting space from the Airport or the FBOs. What about the rest?Well, we called three of the owners from Mahoning County and three more from Trumbull County and asked them a series of questions to find out. They were all very helpful and may start even reading this blog. Here is what we found out.

First, none of the six were at Youngstown. One was at Warren "Skeets" Airport. Four were in Pennsylvania at small airports, and one was at Salem Airport. When asked "Why?" we got several answers that were repeated by almost all of the people. All stated that YNG needs more "T-Hangars" for small aircraft. Currently, there are only 12 T Hangars at YNG that the owners say are in poor condition for such a nice airport. One owner from Poland pointed out that there are more T-Hangars at Haski Avaition in New Castle then there are registered owners in that county. He said the same goes for Grove City and Greenville.

Next, they stated that the cost of maintenance and aviation gas at YNG has always been too high compared to that of other airports including "Skeets", Greenville, Grove City, New Castle, Ashtabula, and others. They pointed out that the prices are a little better in the last two years because the new FBO and the old FBO are fighting for business, but that the difference is enough to still go elsewhere. Some said that about five years ago, the price was almost $1.00 per gallon higher at Winner Air in YNG than at Franklin, PA.

They also pointed out that YNG needs a restaurant on the field and free parking for those who want to go to it. Many again pointed to Franklin Airport in PA. That airport has a thriving restaurant and the airport gets aircraft largely because of the cost of hangars, the restaurant, and the cost of fuel. Some airports even offer self service to the pilots to save even more money.

Lastly, the owners pointed out that the administration of YNG has not always seemed receptive to single engine aircraft owners. Many have said that they have not gotten the warmest feeling from YNG and felt like they were bothering the administration and the FBO with trying to hangar their planes at Youngstown. According to many of those asked, YNG may not even have "tie downs" any more for securing parked aircraft.

March 25, 2006

Another Analogy

Lets say Akron-Canton Airport is flying ten flights per day to a hub. It does not have to be JetBlue to JFK, maybe it is Delta to Atlanta or NorthWest to Detroit. The underlying carrier realizes that they have many passengers from the Youngstown catchment area and advertise heavily in the local Youngstown newspaper.

Now add the fact that the mgmt company running Akron-Canton has taken on the responsibility to run Youngstown's Airport by assuming a decling percentage of the operating losses for three years, while promising the ability to bring flights with their buying power. How difficult would it be for that mgmt company to ask JetBlue, Delta or NorthWest to divert a two of these ten flights to Youngstown.....

As a businessman, I know that it is all about the $$$$$.. If people, who read this blog, do not realize this then I am not doing a very good job. Please, these flights would not be a mission of mercy, but plain and simply--GOOD BUSINESS!! These two flights from Youngstown (or Worcester) would enable the trend-seting carrier the ability to forge a bond that a second or third airline would never be able to enjoy.

For arguements sake, lets assume JetBlue came to ORH and flew two flights per day to JFK, can you imagine the allegiance that this would create to JetBlue for the people in the ORH catchment area? Not only that, how many colleges are in Worcester?? We better not ask YNG, since he never heard of Worcester, but right now Holy Cross (for one) is in the final 8 of the NCAA college hockey championship.... JetBlue could create a lifetime bond with the students at Holy Cross, WPI, Assumption, Becker, Mass School of Pharmacy, Anna Marie, etc.

Now, what if I am completely wrong and Youngstown (or Worcester) does not support the flight?? Send the two flights back to Youngstown (or Worcester). Now, lets just say JetBlue diverted 2 of the JFK shuttles per day for 6 months and at the end we had abysmal load factors?? Well maybe that is what we need to find out once and for all..

I feel that we could support, other airlines would take notice and ORH would be on the road to recovery. If I was wrong ( I would not be happy), but I would agree that a downgrade to a GA airport is the only alternative..

My MassPort Story

Two years ago, we came up with the idea that we should approach JetBlue based on their substantial investment in the Embraer 190. Our idea was that we should talk to JetBlue about flying a shuttle from ORH-JFK, JetBlue's hub, where one could fly direct to their other destinations. At that time JetBlue did not fly from many destinations in New England other then Burlington, VT to JFK and a few, very few, flights from Boston to Florida (maybe some other locations).

Finally Tom Moore contacted Dave Ulmer, the strategic flight planner for JetBlue, and invited him to ORH and he accepted the invitation. One of my concerns was that, if this was such a good idea, then should we not be concerned about Logan/MassPort taking the idea. Our airport director, Eric Waldron, assured me that MassPort was not interested in the hub/spoke model. They would only do point to point routes.

At this point Tim DeSantis put together a great video, entitled the JetBlue Road, to show JetBlue how easier it could be to get to ORH on the JetBlue road. The day of the meeting at the airport, there was a great turn-out (40-50 people) including Tom Kinton from MassPort. What happened after that?? I have no idea , since when I asked questions about follow-up to JetBlue I was told to 1) stay out of it and 2) they had it under control.

In the end MassPort ended up getting a huge commitment from JetBlue, including 10 flights to JFK (our idea which Mr Waldron told us would never happen), and we ended up with nothing??? I do not blame MassPort for not helping us, we need to watch out for ourselves but MassPort, our "partner" could have negotiated two, of the ten flights, to JFK...

March 24, 2006

ORH-JFK Shuttle via JetBlue

I really thought when I bring up JetBlue diverting one of ten shuttles to JFK from Boston to ORH, everyone would agree. We went to MassPort, the owner and manager of Boston, for their expertise and leverage to help us get an airline. Is is really asking so much for MassPort to have JetBlue move one of their flights to ORH???

It is not like JetBlue will lose money... We would fill one plane per day very easy and help JetBlue increase their customer base. The Central Mass catchment area has alot of SouthWest fliers going to Providence and Manchester. I could go on and on, but this would be a good move for JetBlue. This is not a mercy flight.

This is the example of what we expected when we asked MassPort to take over the mgmt of our airport. If our sole reason was to simply help us pay the operating deficit so we could fly a couple of flights per week to Florida, lets give up right now and downgrade to a GA airport. This should be a very easy thing for MassPort and our airport mgmt to pull off.

Tale of Two Fitness Clubs

Lets assume Tim has a health club that is overflowing with members and for arguements sake, there are ten exercise bikes in the club. Now I have a fitness club on the other side of the city that has no customers, I am losing money badly and I have no exercise bikes.

Tim and I are friends and he offers to help me pay my bills for the next three years and tells me that he will try and help me anyway that he can. About 20 months into the three plan, he and I both realize that there are alot of people the live on my side of the city that drive across the city to his club. We figure that he could give up two exercise bikes to get people in my area to go to my gym.

What should Tim do??

a) Sending two bikes to my club will lessen the overcrowding at his gym and people will find parking spots easier. Also my increased profits will lessen the amount he has to subsidize of my losses.

b) What if he sends the two bikes to my gym and I start to turn it around. Maybe I bring in more equipment, start taking customers from Tim and when the current deal ends we are competing against each other?

Maybe this is an over-simplification but I see some inherent conflicts in our agreement.

March 23, 2006

Boston-NYC Shuttle --JetBlue

Think about this. Our partner, MassPort, is doing alot of business with JetBlue. Right now they have ten flights per day from Boston to New York. JetBlue realizes alot of people in the ORH catchment ares fly these flights as evidenced by their advertising in the Worcester Telegram.

How hard would it be for MassPort to divert two of these flights per day to ORH??? Wasn't that the whole reason we wanted to partner with MassPort. Their contacts and their experience would have spin-off benefits for ORH.

Think about it 2 of 10 flights?? How hard can it be???

March 22, 2006

Today's E-mail Message

How do I buy tickets online for the flight from Worcester to Sanford? I keep coming up with cheap tickets etc. and no flights listed from our own Worc. airport. It is very frustrating. When are the politicians going to stop blocking the essential access road to the airport? I have lived here near the airport for 50 years. What a shame that the politicians can destroy what could be an incredible money maker for Worcester, instead of a dead airport....


March 21, 2006

Hooters-More Bad News

part of the story:

Time may be running short for Hooters Air. While Robert Brooks, a Loris native and owner of the Myrtle Beach-based charter airline, declined to say the airline would soon shut down, he cast doubt on its future. "I just hate to quit. I'm still fighting, but don't expect anything long term," he said Monday. "I dearly wished it could have turned out better."

Brooks is also chairman of Hooters of America, an international restaurant chain known for its scantily clad Hooters Girls. The company also owns a casino in Las Vegas that opened in February. In a wide-ranging interview with The Sun News, Brooks said he is "open for suggestions" over what to do about Hooters Air. "I haven't had any surprises in the casino business, or in manufacturing, or in the restaurant business, which we deal in worldwide, but the airline business is crazy," he said. "The airline business isn't my cup of tea."

He does have options - including finding investors to pump capital into the financially ailing airline or selling to new owners. Indeed, Brooks said the airline was contacted Monday by a potential buyer, though he downplayed a deal. Whether he sells or not, the airline industry hasn't been kind. "I've not been enamored with the industry in general," Brooks said. "You can't depend on anybody and anything. It's dog-eat-dog and one thing or another from one minute to the next. What I understand about it, I don't like what I see."

March 20, 2006

Leigh Fisher Associates

These are the guys working on our 20 year Master Plan. In December of 2004, we had a meeting up the airport but never saw them in 2005 and are waiting for some numbers from the New England Regional Study Plan.

They made the Herald today ( Here is are a couple of small portions:

The free-spending Massachusetts Port Authority, fresh off another round of pay raises, recently dropped $154,000 on a self-congratulatory economic impact report that came to the obvious conclusion that Boston’s airport and seaport are economic engines for the region. “It’s absolutely absurd. It’s a complete waste of public money,” John Vitagliano, a former Massport board member, said of the study. The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce kicked in $35,000, putting the total price tag of the 33-page glossy puff piece at $189,000.

California-based airport consultants Leigh Fisher Associates compiled the report based on surveys of local employers and government agencies. The study, which took a year, claims Massport generates $8.7 billion a year in economic activity.

I wonder if the report had anything on ORH and the potential economic spin-off for ORH if there was more commerical service?? More importantly, is there a potential conflict with Leigh Fisher working closely with MassPort doing our Master Plan??

Today's letter to the Editor

Traveler recommends Allegiant Airlines

Traveling on Allegiant Airlines to Orlando in February was easy, comfortable and affordable. I was dropped off at Worcester Regional Airport, checked in and passed through security without delay. Thirty-five minutes from my front door to the boarding area. The flight was on a real plane and it left and arrived on time. Not needing a rental car, I paid $30 to Orlando Carriers for a van ride to my destination. Easy, comfortable and affordable. I recommend Allegiant Airlines from Worcester Regional Airport to all flying to the Orlando area.

March 19, 2006

Route 290 Billboard

There is a billboard on Route 290 that you can see coming from the West before the Holy Cross exit. My only comment is that although the sign advertises, it should also have the website for Worcester Airport.


They are coming!! There has been alot of talk the past couple of years, but the future is here with the first VLJ's (Very Light Jets) coming on-line this year. Check out this story,1,6227915.story?coll=chi-business-hed

Here is a section:

If the market takes off, Palwaukee ( figures to benefit. While it is home to several business jets because of its proximity to a number of corporations in the north and northwest suburbs, it can handle more traffic, Rouleau said. The little jets can land on runways as short as 3,000 feet, compared with the 5,000 feet needed by the smallest jets now being flown. Two of Palwaukee's three runways are shorter than 5,000 feet but longer than 3,000 feet.Rouleau is so excited about the prospects for the new jets that he has requested proposals to redevelop an empty terminal at the airfield to accommodate the planes and passengers.

He's been planning ahead because two manufacturers are on pace to gain final FAA certification for their very light jets this year.The first of those is the Eclipse 500 from Eclipse Aviation Corp., which hopes for FAA approval by the end of June. At $1.3 million, the six-seater is one of the lowest-priced twin-engine jets available. A combination of new jet engine technology and lower-cost electronics has helped drive prices down.

March 18, 2006

Public Records Requst

Maybe I was not going about it correctly when I was asking items to be placed on the airport agenda. I have been told that it is best, easier and faster to simply request any information via a public records request as stipulated in Mass General Law Chapter 66 Section 10 (

I have notified our airport liaison Phil Niddrie via e-mail and intend to drop off a note to receive a copy of:

  1. the monthly parking report from LAZ
  2. the most recent qtrly filing to the DOT on how the Small Community Air Service Grant has been spent
  3. operating numbers for the first half of fiscal year (2006).

I should have this information within ten days and will post it on the blog and website.

Letter to Editor 3/17

Tim MacDonald had the following letter printed yesterday. Tim is a local resident, local business-owner and an avid fan of ORH. Seems like a perfect addition to the board??

Friday, March 17, 2006
Allegiant service is hope for airport

I recently took a flight on board Allegiant Air’s Worcester to Orlando service. It began with purchasing a very reasonably priced round-trip ticket for two on board a full-size commercial jet plane. The flight was one of the easiest I had ever taken.

I was at the airport in minutes. I checked in, proceeded through security and read my newspaper while I waited to board. The plane took off and landed on time. My trip back took off on time and landed ahead of schedule in Worcester through a pretty thick fog and during a light snowfall. Worcester Regional Airport has potential, but I also realize it has some hurdles to overcome on its way to returning as a choice for people when planning to travel.

This may be Worcester Regional Airport’s final chance at becoming a major player as a regional airport in New England. I do believe with the right airlines, destinations, the support of the greater Worcester area and those involved in making the long-term decisions for the airport, it can happen. If Worcester is a city looking for a revival it must have a viable commercial airport.


March 17, 2006

Hooters Down to One Route

Hooters Air will stop flying from Lehigh Valley International Airport, making it the fifth carrier to pull out of the airport since 9/11.The news appears to mark the end of Hooters' national ambitions. The carrier, created in 2003 and known for the scantily clad ''Hooter Girls'' on its flights, reached 15 cities last year. It will soon only have one route left, between Newark, N.J., and Myrtle Beach, N.C., where it is based, an LVIA official said.

March 16, 2006

February, 2006 Board Minutes

On-line at

New Open Meeting Bill

Story in Worcester Telegram today. In particular the last line

BOSTON— State lawmakers yesterday advanced a major revision to the state’s Open Meeting Law, proposing to expand possible penalties for officials who violate the law and a new state board to conduct initial investigations into alleged violations. The bill, compiled from several proposed revisions to the law, was recommended for adoption yesterday by the Joint Committee on Administration and Regulatory Oversight. It was expected to be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, which would have to clear it for an initial vote in the House later this session.

House Chairman Antonio F. D. Cabral, D-New Bedford, said the bill would also tighten definitions to ensure that boards could not use e-mails and electronic communications to do business outside of public view. It also would extend fines to state boards and commissions as well as municipal ones, and allow individual officials to be fined for improperly closing meetings to the public. Currently, only boards and commissions as a whole are liable for fines of up to $1,000 for violations. The new legislation would also allow fines up to $500 on individual officials for violations. The legislation states, however, that those officials recorded as opposing a government act that is found to violate the open meeting law would be exempt from individual fines.

The bill calls for a seven-member Open Meeting Board based in the office of the state attorney general to receive meeting violation complaints. The board would investigate and review incidents within 10 days of receiving a complaint. Violations would be referred to local district attorneys and the attorney general; enforcement actions would have to be taken within 90 days. Mr. Cabral said the board would have four members appointed by the governor, including representatives of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, the Massachusetts Municipal Association and the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association.

The board would also have an appointee of the secretary of state, and two representatives of the attorney general. New language would ensure that “real time communication” by government bodies, over the Internet or in other forms of electronic communication, would trigger the open meeting law, allowing the public to listen to or watch those sessions. E-mails and other communications involving a majority of any board subject to open meetings would have to be made available to the public. Another provision would change an exemption that allows municipal bodies reviewing job applicants to use closed executive sessions. The committee said the exemption is “overused.”

Another change would require agendas outlining meeting topics to be posted along with advance meeting notices.

March 15, 2006

February Minutes

I have them and will post sometime today on the website. Of the questions I have been asking

1) Are we applying for a DOT grant this year? Nothing in the minutes.

2) Copy of the most recent filing with DOT as to how money has been spent? Not in the minutes.

Although the February minutes do state that $50,000 has been spent to advertise Allegiant which Allegiant has matched. To date $100,000 for the IMG study, $50,000 for IMG (not sure?) to prepare presentations and $50,000 for Allegiant advertising so there is another $255,000 remaining. Again I am only guessing since there is no documentation.

3) Operating loss for the airport from July 1 thru December 31? Nothing in the minutes.

4) Copy of the monthly report from LAZ parking? Not in the minutes.

Although it does state an average of $425 per operation day and the targeted $15,000 should be met. I guess this means $425 two days per week, since we have flights two days per week, which would equate to $44,200. Less the operating cost for LAZ, which is approximately $2,500 per month or $30,000 per year, would net out the $15,000 per month.

Keep in mind that these are the peak operating months for flights to Orlando, we need to keep an eye on this. The question that needs to be asked would the benefits of offering free parking offset a loss of $15,000 of profit over 12 months? I think is does.

Hooters News Gets Worse

Looks like the service to Orlando is ending too.

PITTSTON TWP. – Hooters Air service to Orlando could go the way of other Florida flights that were recently scratched. The charter carrier stopped service to Fort Lauderdale and St. Petersburg/Clearwater from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport last week.
Airport director Barry Centini said high fuel prices and dwindling riders have forced the Myrtle Beach, S.C., airline to cut back service.

Those flights were extras Hooters Air added to its main Florida service to Orlando. That service could be in jeopardy, too, and the airport may not be able to recover the $325,000 in federal and county funds used to secure an 11-month contract with the carrier.
Centini said he was not certain if the airport had a legal claim if the carrier cuts short the contract that runs through September. Repeated messages left with Mark Peterson, president of Hooters Air, have not been returned since Friday.

March 14, 2006

Katie's Allegiant Air Experience

Good Morning, Bill ...

Just want you to know that I was very pleased with my overall experience with Allegiant Air.

First, the Orlando/Sanford: "Tale of Woe"

On 9 March I arrived at the Orlando/Sanford Airport at 7:25 a.m. ~well in advance of the 10:25 a.m. departure time. ... I am disabled, being deaf and unable to walk long distances (using crutch canes) and required a wheelchair (which was requested when I made my reservations). ... After asking a couple of airport and Allegiant employees for a wheelchair, a young man wearing an Allegiant polo shirt, brought a wheelchair to the front entrance for me. ... ... Then he left me there. *Sigh*. ... It was virtually impossible for me to navigate the wheelchair and handle my carry-on luggage. ~ There I sat until another employee was walking past me. ~ I managed to get his attention and asked if he would please assist me to the ticket desk. ... Which he did... leaving me there in the check-in line with approximately six other passengers ahead of me. ~ Finally, one of the gals at the check-in desk, waived to me and motioned me forward. ... Duh? ... I asked for assistance, and she came out from behind the counter and moved my wheelchair up closer to the counter. ~ After handing me my boarding pass, she moved the wheelchair into the waiting area and said someone would be by to take me upstairs. ... An hour later, I was still sitting there. ~ Managed to get someone's attention, and was told they had "forgotten" I was there! ... Had to wait another 20 minutes before an employee arrived to take me upstairs and through security, etc. .... Rather than "pre-boarding" as I always am, I was literally the last passenger to board the plane.

The flight was one of the best I have experienced. ... From the time I was assisted to my seat to the time a cheerful airport employee arrived with the wheelchair to take me to the terminal and the Avis rental desk.... Delightful.

Worcester to Orlando/Sanford: Delightful !

On 13 March, I returned to the airport at 9:00 a.m. for my 11:00 flight back to Orlando/Sanford. ... From the moment I parked the rental car by the curb and requested assistance, everyone was just super. ... Two airport security officers assisted me inside the terminal, into a wheelchair and even brought me and my carry-on luggage to the Avis desk to check the car back in; and immediately called for someone to assist me to the ticket desk. ... Rather than being left in line, I was brought right up to a ticket agent, received my boarding pass and was immediately taken through security and to the boarding gate. ~ When the plane arrived, I was cheerfully assisted onboard and to my seat.

Bill the ENTIRE Worcester Airport experience was an absolute delight. ~ From the time I arrived at the curb to the time I boarded the plane.

The Allegiant flight crew was wonderful ! ... Both the flight to Worcester and the flight home to Orlando/Sanford was a joyous, relaxing experience. ... I would recommend Allegiant Air service from Worcester to Orlando/Sanford to anyone. ... And do hope it continues for a very, very long time. ... And am hoping the problems and lack of service at the Orlando/Sanford Int'l Airport will be remedied soon.

Thank you for your assistance. ... Hope you are keeping warm up there today. ~ It was a joy to return to sunshine and warm temps. ... Smile.

Hooters Story

Hooters Air will cancel flights to two Florida vacation spots after Thursday, an airport official said, just two months after the airline laid off its six locally based flight attendants.Flights to Fort Lauderdale and St. Petersburg, Fla., will cease, said Eric McKitish, marketing director of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.Service to Orlando will continue, and flights to Myrtle Beach, S.C., will begin next weekend as planned, he said.The reason for the change is not clear.“We have not spoken with the airline, but we did get an updated schedule — it looks like we are going to get a service reduction,” McKitish said.

Rough financial times at Myrtle Beach-based Hooters Air may have led to the cutback.The airline has canceled many other routes around the country in recent months.It also reportedly owed more than $1 million in unpaid fuel bills to Lehigh Valley International Airport near Allentown as of last week.All those signs combined suggest the airline’s future could be in jeopardy, said John Pincavage, an aviation industry financial analyst.“The fact that they are not current on bills would indicate they are having some strains on their cash flow,” Pincavage said. “When times are decent, times are good, it never happens.”Efforts to reach Hooters Air President Mark Peterson were unsuccessful Friday. Peterson has previously blamed the airline’s struggles on high jet fuel prices.The price of jet fuel sold in New York Harbor climbed 83 percent over the past two years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Local Hooters Air flights started in late October as nonstop service. The next month, however, fuel prices forced the Fort Lauderdale and St. Petersburg routes to begin making pit stops in Allentown to pick up more passengers.It appears Hooters will continue flying to Orlando, which is the only destination required by its service agreement with Lackawanna and Luzerne counties and the airport.That 11-month agreement subsidized Orlando flights with $325,000 from a combination of federal and county tax dollars, in exchange for guaranteed service.

It is not clear how long the parent company would be willing to operate Hooters Air at a financial loss, said Michael Boyd, president of the Evergreen, Colo.-based aviation consulting firm the Boyd Group.The airline was created three years ago, in large part to promote the restaurant chain of its parent company, Hooters of America Inc.“Hooters is a little different, in that it really is flying billboards for the restaurant,” Boyd said. “They will come and go (from markets).”Very little financial information is publicly available about the privately held company.There will probably be little or no advance public notice if the airline ceases operation in the future, Boyd said.

March 13, 2006

Airport Commission Meeting

Tonight 6:30PM at the airport ...

March 12, 2006

Direct Service Versus One Stop

The other day I posted a message about ORH working with other secondary cities who all have the same goals being direct service to popular leisure destinations (Florida, Vegas and Mytrle).. On top of that maybe consider utilizing a Gary, Indiana. Think about this.

Say we got a company to fly three planes from ORH, Portsmouth, New Haven to Gary. At which these three planes continued to Myrtle, Vegas and St Petes. A person in Worcester would in essence be able to continue on to 4 locations with this one flight:

  1. Vegas
  2. Myrtle
  3. St Pete
  4. Chicago

I would much rather have direct service to theser four locations then a stop in Gary, Indiana, Youngstown, Oh but what are the chances of getting four flights to these locations versus one flight to a mini-hub like Gary or Youngstown. Now an airline isn't stupid either if we started getting 80% loads on a flight to St Pete's that makes a stop an airline would decide to make direct to St Pete's.

We all want direct service but we need to be realistic and consider all options. By the way last time I flew to Boca Raton my SouthWest ticket out of TF Green simply said Fort Lauderdale, but we stopped in Tampa.

Next Board Meeting

I have e-mailed our airport director ( and airport liaison ( to put the following questions on the next agenda.

  1. Copy of most recent qtrly report to the DOT showing how the DOT grant monies have been spent to date.
  2. LAZ monthly parking reports.
  3. Amount of losses incurred by the first six months (July-Dec 2005).
  4. Will ORH be preparing an application for this year's DOT Small Community Air Service Grant?

If anyone else wants another question, please e-mail me or leave a comment. I have also checked the board & commissions link on the city web page ( and to date the minutes of the January, 2006 have been published but no agendas are listed for any meetings.

Will MassPort Own ORH?

As the current operating agreement enters month 19 of 36 and our portion of the deficit increases to 32% on July 1st followed by 100% on July 1st, 2007, it is something we need to consider. How will the tax-payers of Worcester feel about $640,000 (July 1st, 2006) and $2,000,000 (July 1st, 2007) of the city's revenues covering the airport operating deficit when we need to close schools??? The political pressure will be intense to do something fast... There are precendents......

Small airport draws interest from SRQ
Herald Staff Writer

MANATEE - Airport officials are eyeing a small, private airport north of Port Manatee for possible purchase. Located 10 miles north of Palmetto on U.S. 41, Airport Manatee is one of the largest privately owned public-use airports in Florida.The 345-acre Airport Manatee has a 3,600-foot runway and serves about 100 private aircraft based there.

Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport officials said Monday they were unsure whether the airport was for sale, and are certain it isn't conducive to landing large aircraft.But as more and more small strips close, "where do these planes go?" said Fred Piccolo, CEO and executive director of Sarasota-Bradenton International. "It's a capacity issue. As more small airports close, you compress more and more aircraft into fewer landing strips. You only have a finite number of airports. Where will our capacity be 20 years from now?"

With 1,000 feet of frontage on Highway 41, airport officials worry that Airport Manatee would be an attractive buy for housing developers. "We could operate that facility in the future for the good of aviation," Piccolo said. "We're taking a look at it to see if it can be saved for aviation."
J.T. Reeder, one of the airport's owners, neither confirmed nor denied that the airport was for sale. "I guess everything's for sale everywhere at some price," Reeder said. "We're not advertising it."

The airport is in good condition, and it has some metal hangars, according to airport authority commissioner Jack Rynerson. "We don't want something like that to get away if there's a way to save it." It isn't unusual for airport authorities to own several small airports. In addition to Tampa International Airport, the Hillsborough County Airport Authority owns Vandenberg and Peter O. Night airports and an airport in Plant City.

"If an authority serves the public, they would be interested in keeping an airport an airport," Reeder said. "I doubt there'll be many more." Reeder co-owns the airport with a group of others. He said they built it about 30 years ago."You don't make any money out of an airport," Reeder said. "With us, it's a fun thing. We built it and we're enjoying it, and people who have planes here and who fly in and out enjoy it too."

Airport Authority member Kathy Baylis said in the present environment, a parcel with that much frontage on Highway 41 warrants further investigation. Buying 300-plus acres of property anywhere in Manatee County would be a sizable expense, said Piccolo, who plans to look into possible funding sources.

March 11, 2006

Gary, Indiana

Although it is in Indiana, it is very close to Chicago. Right now they have no commercial flights since Hooters Air has not resumed service.... Now think about secondary airpots in the Northeast--Portsmouth/New Haven/Worcester to name a few..

What if we could convine someone to make Gary. Indiana hub for secondary airports to popular leiasure destinations like Mytrle Beach, Vegas and other Florida destinations like St Pete's, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers. Not to mention the fact that you are only 1/2 hour outside of Chicago.

All the airports could work together to put together monies to attract an airline, offer lower overhead to fly out of their airports and between the various catchment areas practically guarantee high loads.

Florida Parent

E-mail I received today, by the way I told her that the best option was to take a taxi to Union Station then catch the train in. If anyone has a better idea let me know.

Dear Bill,

I am a mother from Winter Park, Florida. I am looking into using Allegiant to send my daughter back to school at BU. I am not able to find out if there is any public transportation that will get my daughter from the Worcester airport to Boston. It appears to me that cost of a taxi from your airport would offset any savings I might gain in using your airport. I am unable to find any options from your web site.

I would like to know what my options are. Is there a shuttle to a bus or train station? If so, what stations? Can you give me a link to find out the schedule?

I know I am not the only parent from here that has had these concerns. Travel from the Orlando/Sanford airport is much easier for most families in the northern Orlando communities. Our only real concern is how complex (and expensive) it is when we arrive at the Worcester airport.

I am inclined to make every effort to use your airport simply based on the fact that I am able to email you my concerns. I hope there is a viable solution to my concern. Thank you for your time in responding.


Maureen May
3081 Heartleaf Place
Winter Park, FL 32792


Instead of spending more monies on endless studies and consultants, we need to work with other secondary cities in the Mid-West and NorthEast to attract commercial air service. To name a few Portsmout,NH-Youngtown,Oh--Gary, In all have similar needs, why not work together???

I read a very interesting story about Bangor,Me and Halifax, Nova Scotia who reached an agreement more than a year ago to create a committee to explore joint marketing efforts for the two cities. Not exactly sure what the format should be but an alliance between 3 or 4 airports may be able to attract the service that they all need versus working seperately.

March 10, 2006


John the jet you saw:

Hooters--Future Does not Look Good

Hooters Air is cutting trips from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport to two Florida cities.

The airport director tell us Hooters Air will cut four flights a week to Fort Lauderdale and four flights a week to St. Petersburg beginning March 16.

Hooters Air will continue flying direct to Orlando. It will also add a direct flight to Myrtle Beach around March 16 from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

Linear Air

About 18 months ago, Tom Moore called Dave Ulmer (strategic flight planner for JetBlue) and invited him to ORH. Ulmer stopped by and was greeted by a pretty large crowd and Tim DeSantis put together the video on the JetBlue Road.

Linear Air is based in Hanscom Field and will be getting the new Eclipse (very light jets). I would call him and invite him to lunch at ORH, if I knew other people would greet him with me. Anyone else in??



March 09, 2006

Hooters Air

In January when Hooters pulled out of Columbus and Gary, they promised to come back in March... They have not started up and these should be their biggest months.. I can not figure out what they are up to.

Airport Privatization--TBI Management

We should talk to these guys..

They own and manage Sanford Orlando International Airport. Isn't this the company also talking to Youngstown??

Today's Editorial

As one of ORH's biggest fan I agree with everything in the editorial today, but how about a little reality from the editorial board?? We are 20 months into a 36 month operating agreement. Right now we are paying 15% of the operating deficit soon to be 32% starting July 1st. Based on a $2,000,000 operating deficit that equates to $640,000 starting July 1st (4 months from now). How are we going to justify closing New Ludlow Street School which would cost $300,000 to keep open but are going to be able to pay $640,000???

It gets worse. If we do not get MassPort to resign an agreement we are looking at the entire deficit in 16 months. That's right July 1, 2007, the airport will cost $2,000,000. Actually we have no idea exactly what the current deficit is since my requests to get the semi-annual (July thru December) numbers have not been answered.

Sorry, I do not mean to be negative and I agree Allegiant has been great, but the Editorial Board should be asking tough questions like 1) where is the Airport Master Plan, 2) why have we not made any more progress with other airlines, 3) whats up with Hooters Air, 4) what happened to DJ Air , 5) how are negotiations going with MassPort. I mentioned 6 months ago that the past six months would be pivotal. We landed Allegiant with one destination with a couple flights per week, again that was great news but nowhere near enough.

Here is the editorial:

Allegiant Air’s strong start bodes well for airport

Worcester seems to have landed itself a winner in Allegiant Air, and vice versa. Since it began flying passengers to and from Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 22, the airline clearly has pleased travelers and has posted some sunny statistics. By the industry measure known as “average load,” Allegiant has excelled in its inaugural months. In a report to the City Council, Julie A. Jacobson, assistant city manager for economic development and neighborhood services, said the airline’s average load on flights in and out of Worcester has been 82 percent. By comparison, the average-load figure for the industry as a whole during the 12 months that ended in September was 78 percent. She also said that Worcester Regional Airport’s on-time average in the first two months of Allegiant’s service was 76.9 percent, topping the 75.1 percent average at five other major New England airports for January.

As the statistics show, the Las Vegas-based airline has come in and done the job it said would do. Allegiant’s reliable service record, popular destination and affordable prices, along with the ease of getting to the airport, are drawing leisure travelers from well beyond Worcester and the immediate Central Massachusetts area. An Allegiant survey cited by City Manager Michael V. O’Brien shows that the airline is attracting customers from southern New Hampshire, Northeastern Connecticut and northern Rhode Island as well. A broad customer base is essential for the hoped-for takeoff of the airport itself. According to surveys, area residents would like to see flights to Las Vegas, the West Coast, Tampa, Fla., New York City, Washington, D.C., and other destinations added to the airport’s offerings.

Allegiant’s success brings this future closer. Armed with the Allegiant data, city and Massport officials can make a convincing case to other carriers that Worcester’s airport is a place in which they can prosper.

March 08, 2006


Check out this story...

Here is small part;

Delta's Chief Operating Officer Jim Whitehurst said the new connections will position the airline to attract more domestic and international passengers. In anticipation of the increased volume, the airline is investing more than $10 million in its Terminals 2 and 3 at JFK.
"Our customers should make no mistake that Delta is committed to New York and that this summer's expansion at JFK is an important step in offering enhanced service to customers in most every direction from New York City," Whitehurst said in a statement detailing the service expansion and terminal upgrades

Delta is going right at JetBlue... The best way to negotiate is to go talk to the competition... If JetBlue is not interested in us, lets talk to Delta..

Next Board Meeting

The agenda has been put on the city website and I am not sure when the next meeting is but here are the questions that I have resubmitted.

  1. Copy of most recent qtrly report to the DOT showing how the DOT grant monies have been spent to date.
  2. LAZ monthly parking reports.
  3. Amount of losses incurred by the first six months (July-Dec 2005).
  4. Will ORH be preparing an application for this year's DOT Small Community Air Service Grant?

If anyone else wants another question, please e-mail me or leave a comment. I have submitted the following questions for the next airport commission meeting by submitting an e-mail to the Airport Directort (Eric Waldron) and the Airport Liaison (Phil Niddrie):

Delta Looking for Flights to JFK

We should approach Delta!!!! Check out this story below. It is pretty much the same theory we proposed 2 years ago when we thought about JetBlue and their Embraer 190 to JFK. The only difference is that it is Delta. Maybe we could team up with Portsmouth and put together a package deal???

Delta Air Lines will introduce 46 new nonstop flights a day from New York JFK to 17 new destinations this summer. The new routes will serve destinations across the Northeast and the West Coast connecting passengers with Delta's JFK hub. They will be phased in between June and September. When all of the new services are operational, Delta will boast more flights out of JFK to more destinations than any other airline - 139 peak day services to 67 cities worldwide.

This summer's new and expanded destinations are expected to include Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse; Cleveland; Detroit; Norfolk and Richmond; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Hartford; Providence; Washington, D.C (Reagan and Dulles); San Diego; Las Vegas; and Montreal in Canada. The expansion has been welcomed by Senator Hilary Clinton, who outlined the flights' importance to local economies: "Delta's expansion of air service to cities in Upstate and Western New York is welcome news. It is important to have thriving air service into these regions as it will help the local economies grow and increase tourism throughout the state."

To ensure that there is sufficient infrastructure to support the increased JFK presence, Delta has also unveiled plans to spend $10 million improving facilities at Terminals 2 and 3.

Airport Commission

There is a vacancy!! Deadline is March 31st, 2005. Send a resume and cover letter to Board needs passionate people so please anyone reading this consider applying.



March 06, 2006

FAA FY2007 Budget

Right now it looks like there are some serious cuts being proposed, including a complete elimination of the Small Community Air Service Grant Program. This could possibly be the last year such funds are available to airports like ORH, I hope we apply????

March 05, 2006

Another Great Idea by Allegiant

Check out the story below--perfect for ORH with all the local colleges. Now they need to put together packages for frustrated golfers to Orlando. As I have said before you can not find an avid golfer who does not travel south, at least once during the winter (usually Myrtle).

Allegiant Air, LLC, has teamed up with University of British Columbia students to launch the company’s new College Representative Program.Throughout the upcoming months, Allegiant Air College Representatives will host a variety of promotional events on and off campus. During these events, Representatives will distribute free materials to students and will be available to answer any question about Allegiant’s nonstop, low-cost service to Las Vegas. Students may sign up for Allegiant Air’s e-mail list which will provide them with information about sales and promotional deals to Las Vegas.

For their efforts, the college representatives who participate in the program will earn flight benefits with the company.Allegiant Air will have representatives for future semesters and is currently accepting applications for the Fall semester. To become a future representative in the program, students may contact Allegiant Air Public Relations at 702-853-4625 or email can be made on the airline’s website at, through the airline’s Reservations and Information Center at 800-432-3810 or through professional travel agents.

March 04, 2006

Festival Airlines

We should reach out to them ASAP. Looks to me like they are going to follow the role model set by Allegiant Air. Doubt they will take on Sanford/Orlando but go after the other destinations in Florida from secondary airports like Pensacola/St Petes/Fort Lauderdale/Fort Myers/etc. Check out this story:

A company trying to become a "vacation-only" airline announced Thursday that it plans to serve Pensacola, as well as perform some maintenance and training there.
Festival Airlines, based in Chicago, also plans to offer flights from Chicago's Midway Airport and Rockford, Ill., sometime this year. The idea is to offer cheap tickets at times convenient for leisure travelers.

Festival plans to start by chartering planes, then to get approval as a full-fledged airline from the Federal Aviation Administration. No date for the first flights has been set. Festival hopes to serve as many as 10 destinations in its first phase, all using Boeing 757-200 aircraft.

"We see this as a tremendous opportunity for Pensacola, not only for vacation destination tourists for the upper Gulf Coast, but also the opportunity for Pensacola for non-stop destination opportunities to cities where we currently don't enjoy non-stop service," Frank Miller, the airport's director, said in a statement.

The company's business model calls for offering low-cost flights and vacation packages to different locations that may shift from summer to winter. Among the target markets are Pensacola and other parts of Florida, Las Vegas and ski resorts.

The Rockford airport has been trying to position itself as an alternative to Chicago's O'Hare airport, 60 miles to the southeast. However, some carriers that have offered service to Rockford have pulled out. Some companies have had long and relatively successful runs as charter airlines geared to vacation packages, including Minnesota-based Sun Country Airlines.

But some experts are dubious of Festival's plan, especially the focus on Rockford and Chicago.
"All the danger signs are here," Michael Boyd, president of airline industry consulting firm the Boyd Group, told Crain's Chicago Business. "There is no major opportunity out there, especially out of Chicago," Boyd said.

March 02, 2006

Festival Airlines

Lets keep an eye on them

March 01, 2006

Festival Airlines

Rockford announces new airline---Festival Airlines.. Lets keep an eye on this one.

ROCKFORD — Festival Airlines announced today that it has scheduled an event on Thursday at Chicago/Rockford International Airport to announce a “relationship” with the airport, which officials have said will include new air service to several destinations from the Forest City.
The Chicago-based company is a leisure airline that provides nonstop jet service to vacation destinations and vacation packages. The airline will focus on primary and secondary metropolitan airports, according to a company statement released today.

Expected to attend the news conference to announce the service are executives from the company and airport officials. The event will be held at 10 a.m. on the first floor of the airport’s main terminal. The airline is a startup carrier with plans to begin operations nationally. The company’s board of directors is expected to include several people with expertise and experience in the aviation industry.

Hooters Air Problems

FYI.. Hooters has not started up in Gary or Columbus, as they had promised when they discontinued service. Now read this story below, where Hooters owes LVIA (Lehigh Valley) one million for fuel.... Are they going to be another SouthEast or TransMeridian??? We need to keep a close watch on these second-tier privately owned airlines before we break the bank for them.