July 31, 2006

Allegiant's Flights

I just checked the next four flights out of Worcester (Thursday, Friday, Sunday & Monday). I was able to book 9 (the max you can do on-line) tickets for each flight. Simply do not get how we are not selling more tickets in light of the Boston traffic and the great prices/service from Allegiant.

The word is not getting out about Allegiant. Check this story out about how Rockford targets Senior Vacationers:


The small, friendly atmosphere of Rockford's airport has taken away many seniors' fear of flying. They say it's much easier to travel out of Rockford than O'Hare because they don't have to rush. The 55 and older crowd is a growing customer base at the Chicago Rockford International Airport. So in turn, airport leaders are targeting the age group for a marketing campaign. The airport will host a tour event for seniors next Tuesday.

One of the seniors planning on attending says she will never fly out of O'Hare again. "It was very stressful. By the time I boarded the plane I was ready to lie down and sleep. I was exhausted. Here I felt like, wow, I'm going to have a good time. The people made it that way," Alice Alfredson said.

A customer service coordinator personally books flights for seniors at the airport. Alice said the woman who helped her showed up at 5:30 a.m. to make sure she got on the plane okay.
To sign up for the senior airport tour next Tuesday, call Carol at 969-4466. The tour runs from 9 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday and includes free food and giveaways

July 30, 2006

Eclipse Certified

The first of the VLJ's, Eclipse (Linear Air has an order for these), has received certification from the FAA. Full story in the Globe.

A new fleet of very light jets that could redefine the way Americans travel received preliminary certification Thursday from the Federal Aviation Administration.It's the first step in getting 2,500 of the planes skyward to help reduce congestion at major airports, Acting Transportation Secretary Maria Cino said. The FAA granted Eclipse Aviation of Albuquerque, N.M., the certification for the Eclipse 500, a cheaper and faster type of flying SUV, during a ceremony at the Experimental Aircraft Association's 54th annual AirVenture fly-in in Oshkosh.

The federal approval -- meaning most of the aircraft's technical performance and safety issues have been resolved -- allows the company to begin training pilots and continue building the planes, pending final approval, called type certification, Cino said. "Thousands of new jets like this are going to redefine the way Americans travel, help cut airport congestion and drive economic growth in cities and towns across the country that today only dream of commercial air service," Cino said.

The new light jets, costing less to buy and operate, will be able to affordably fly travelers from thousands of small airports across the county because they need less room to land and take off, giving travelers new options, Cino said. Very light jets weigh 10,000 pounds or less, feature twin engines and automated cockpits and have room for five or six passengers, aviation experts said.

Eclipse Aviation already has 2,500 orders for its $1.5 million jet, the transportation secretary said.
Vern Raburn, president of Eclipse Aviation, said the company expects to receive the final FAA approval by Aug. 30, allowing its first 50 new jets to be delivered to customers this year. "We have looked forward to this monumental accomplishment since Eclipse was founded nearly eight years ago," said Raburn, a former Microsoft executive whose venture is being backed by Bill Gates.

Six other very light jets are in the process of being certified by the FAA. Honda Motor Co. announced this week at AirVenture that it will start accepting orders for its very light jet, the HondaJet, this fall.
The FAA predicts 4,500 of the very light jets in service 10 years from now. Raburn predicts the new jets will be used as air taxis -- limousines-with-wings that will take off and land at the more than 5,000 small, underused airports in the United States.

Eclipse Aviation has hired 560 new employees in the past year and now employs more than 820 at its Albuquerque headquarters, Cino said. Billed as the world's largest gathering of recreational aviators, AirVenture, a fly-in and EAA convention at Wittman Regional Airport, attracts more than 10,000 airplanes -- many of them homemade aircraft -- and nearly 250,000 aviation enthusiasts from throughout the world.

July 29, 2006

How to Attract JetBlue

Check out what Columbus did and the comment about Skybus:


JetBlue Airways today announces it will begin service between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Columbus, OH with up to four daily nonstop flights starting October 3, and one daily nonstop flight between Boston's Logan International Airport and Columbus starting October 18. Port Columbus spokeswoman Angie Tabor said the Columbus Regional Airport Authority will grant JetBlue a year's free lease on a gate at Port Columbus and will waive landing fees for the same periods as an incentive for the new carrier. She did not immediately have a value of the fee waivers. But Tabor called the incentives "quite substantial." As a new carrier, she said the airline also will receive $75,000 to spend on marketing the new service. Readers may recall we did a piece on Columbus-based startup Skybus some time ago. This news clearly is a headshot to Skybus – we are not sure if its fatal. However, as you know, headshots are usually fatal.

Please check out our on-line petition to recruit JetBlue to ORH:


July 28, 2006

Allegiant August Flights

Just checked the last flight for July and all the August flights and I could book the maximum amount of tickets (9) on each flight. I am very surprised that these flights are not close to sold out with all the problems in Boston and the prices being charged by Allegiant in August ($89 one way all month). Please note the last week of August, as well as September and October, the flights drop to two from four each week.

Lastly I heard an ad on WTAG about Allegiant to Orlando, without the tunnel problems, from ORH.. Good ad, hope it plays in some Metro-West outlets to fill these planes.

July 27, 2006

Worcester Airport

Boston Traffic

I had an appointment in Wakefield at 1:00PM yesterday. Driving up Route 128, there was a rather large back-up of traffic for counters onto Route 128 trying to get onto Route 93 South. Later I noticed a a temporary sign stating that this was the "Best Route to Logan". Again let me stress early afternoon traffic was jammed. Keep in mind this is still about 45 minutes away including a trip through the Callahan Tunnell and finding a parking spot at Logan.

This is a huge opportunity for Worcester!!! Maybe we should be asking for more flights per week from Allegiant, advertise that fact and make ORH to place to go for a flight to Orlando. This can be done note the story below. Before you read this please review our on-line petition (if you have not already).



Two months after launching service from Roanoke to Orlando, low-cost carrier Allegiant Air announced Tuesday plans to double the number of weekly flights on that route starting in November. The Las Vegas-based airline currently flies nonstop to Orlando's Sanford International Airport twice a week from Roanoke for about $100 each way, and according to airport officials, those flights have stayed consistently full throughout much of the summer.

Allegiant will add flights on Monday and Friday to its existing flights on Wednesday and Saturday. The flights leave Roanoke at 6 p.m. and arrive in Orlando at 7:50 p.m. The airline flies twin-engine MD80 jets that carry 150 passengers. "We generally don't add service so quickly," said Allegiant Air spokeswoman Tyri Squyres. "But from the beginning, we've gotten such a good response from the Roanoke community." She added that Roanoke was among the airline's best booking markets for flights to Orlando. The airline also flies nonstop to Orlando from 14 other cities including Allentown, Pa., and Newburgh, N.Y.

Sherry Wallace, a spokeswoman for Roanoke Regional Airport, said that while airlines have cut capacity nationwide this year, more people tend to be flying this summer than several years ago. Allegiant Air has been selling out many of its flights, she said, and probably will continue to as the summer traffic dies down. Orlando is ranked fifth on the airport's list of top 10 destinations and stays popular throughout much of the year, Wallace said.

Las Vegas, the airline's home base, is ranked 10th on Roanoke's list, but Squyres said it is doubtful that Allegiant Air will begin flying nonstop between the two cities -- at least not in the short-term.
"For the aircraft we fly, fuel would be an issue," Squyres said, adding that the 150-seat plane would have to make at least one stop to refuel. The farthest east Allegiant Air flies, she said, is from Las Vegas to Lansing, Mich. Allegiant Air specializes in taking passengers to Orlando and Las Vegas from smaller-city airports such as Roanoke. It saves money by flying into Sanford International Airport, northeast of Orlando and about 35 miles from Walt Disney World.

July 26, 2006


Just passed 60,000 views on the blog yesterday.

JetBlue Game Plan

Whether it be JetBlue or another carrier, the shuttle to a major hub (like JFK) is just a first step.. The underlying carrier, again whether JetBlue/Mesa/ATA or anyone else, would track ticket sales from ORH. If they saw alot of people traveling from ORH to JFK then on to another destination; for example, DC-Dulles, JetBlue would start a direct ORH-DC route.

In Syracuce JetBlue added an Orlando flight, in Buffalo a direct Boston route and in Columbus a direct Boston route has been added to the JFK shuttles from these three cities. For the record, I would gladly change the name of Worcester Regional Airport to JetBlue Airport if that would help bring them to ORH.

Check out our petition:


July 25, 2006

Airport Name Change

Yesterday I posted Rockford's name, NorthWest Chicagoland International Airport at Chicago--WOW... Actually this was corrected--- the revised name is Chicago/Rockford International Airport. The you consider Worcester-MetroWest-Boston Airport. Has this been voted on by the City Council yet? maybe we should change to JetBlue Airport, if some shuttles were moved to ORH.

By the way, has anyone been up Airport Drive from Pleasant Street lately. Last week the road was closed at least one day and it was down again today..

July 24, 2006

Rockford Airport

The model for secondary airports, http://www.flyrfd.com, will announce a new airline this Friday. Rockford, like ORH, had no passenger service a few years back and is close to a major metropolitan airport (Chicago). They were bale to return service back to RFD through second-tier carriers like TransMeridian, Hooters and Allegiant, while offering free parking (not sure about WiFi).

After proving that their airport could support an airline, NorthWest tried with daily flights to their hub (Detroit) , but failed. United picked up where NorthWest left off, however, with daily flights to their hub (Denver) and by all accounts have done well. By the end of the year they will also have start-up Festival Airlines utlizing RFD as their hub. Lastly they changed their name from Rockford to NorthWest Chicagoland International Airport at Rockford.


ROCKFORD — An announcement planned for Friday at the Chicago/Rockford International Airport concerning a new international destination will not involve startup Festival Airlines, airport and airline officials said Thursday.Airport officials said the 1 p.m. announcement will concern a different airline, but declined to elaborate other than to say in an e-mail to members of its MilesAhead customer program that the airline will fly to a destination this winter.Festival Airlines Chief Operating Officer and President Thomas Glasgow said in an e-mail to the Rockford Register Star late Wednesday night that the airline is still planning the announcement of its initial destinations from Rockford and would not be part of Friday’s event.

July 23, 2006

Open Meeting Law

Today the Worcester Telegram:

The editorial detailed how the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, a 10 member board that is shaping the new health insurance law, will hold a lengthy retreat next month. Accordiing to the Telegram, this is not only "astonishing" but a clear violation of the Open Meeting Law.

Maybe the Telegram should take a closer look at our own Airport Commission. Take a look at the May Minutes, the most recent minutes that we have: http://www.flyorh.com/boardminutes.html.
In regards to Allegiant Operations, the commissioners "were briefed on the enplaned and deplaned passenger numbers." Technically this is not a violation of the Open Meeting Law, but typical of the lack of information--where are the actual numbers?? Upon asking our airport liaison for the numbers, I was told that these numbers could not be released clearly a violation of the Open Meetings Law.

WhatI find most disturbing, however, is that you can not find any mention of any negotiations with any airlines on any airport board minutes. Does this mean we have not talked to any airlines the past 12 months?? I find this alarming since we have spent over $100,000 to IMG for airline recruitment. What about DJ Air Group,we know that we talked to them, but no mention anywhere. Maybe the commissioners have had "chance meetings" on the street or at Tornadoes games??

I do, however, agree with the Editorial when they say "there is no justification for discussing goals and strategies in secret." or " people are unlikely to find much to laugh about when the board that will be making decisions that could cost them many millions of dollars chooses to launch the decision-making process behind closed doors."

Lastly take a moment to check out our on-line petition:


July 22, 2006

Charley Farley is Back

Good to have Charley back.. Let me address one of his points regarding Frontier.

The original $100,000 paid to IMG resulted in them recommending 6 airlines. One of which was Frontier. Since that time we have paid an additional $100,000 from the Small Community Air Service Grant to help us recruit an airline. One would assume that IMG would recruit one of the airlines that they themselves recommended, thus I can only assume that Frontier has been contacted and presented. At the same time since we never get any updates on the status of any negotiations, who really knows.

At the same time I do not think we would have much of a chance with Frontier. Their hub is in Denver and they are mainly a West Coast/Mexico. The only flights to the East are to major airports and currently have no destinations in New England. I just see Worcester, a secondary airport, being a hard sell..

Think we need to focus on a couple daily flights to a major hub that is closeby. Check out our petition at:


July 21, 2006


What do you think?? Sorry, I already posted it and once you--no changes can be made.


We urge the City of Worcester to utilize the remaining funds available from the Small Community Air Service Grant (approximately $250,000) to entice JetBlue to divert two of the ten flights per day from Boston (BOS)-JFK to Worcester (ORH)-JFK. In addition to making these fuinds available to JetBlue, the City of Worcester should waive all landing fees and any other associated overhead expenses JetBlue would incur at ORH thru end of June, 2007.

We also urge MassPort, the City of Worcester's current operating partner, to help ORH convince JetBlue to move these two flights per day to Worcester. It would not only benefit their partner, Worcester Regional Airport, but the passengers in the Metro-West/Worcester areawould have Worcester as an option and help lessen the traffic into Boston.

July 20, 2006

Today's Editorial

Last week Tom and Jahn pointed out how the tunnel problems could actually be beneficial to ORH. This week it was followed up with a story by Clive McFarlane in the T & G and various City Council orders from Mayor Murray and Councilor Petty. Last night I even watched a segment on the local news channel commenting on it and how a Boston-ORH flight might be able to alleviate traffic???

Now today's editorial:


The editorial basically clasasifies these efforts as fruitless although "if you do not ask, you don't get." This would not be so disturbing if it not for Bob Nemeth's position with the newspaper and the airport, when the editorial elaborates "Given the complexities involved in bringing in new airlines, even temporarily, the odds that the agencies will take Mr. Murray up on his offer are not good ".

Let me get this right. Providence and Manchester see huge opportunities for themselves to pick up Logan traffic, but the "complexities" are too much for ORH? I am going to put together a petion today in regards to JetBlue's Embraer 190, putting on the blog tomorrow for review then post on http://www.petitiononline.com.

July 19, 2006


There is a story in today's paper concerning Mayor Timothy P. Murray is calling on the state to beef up the commuter rail schedule and divert some Logan International Airport flights to Worcester Regional Airport while Big Dig tunnels are being repaired.


Myself, I think we need to be more specific in our request to help divert some of the Logan Flights; for example, ORH will waive all landing fees etc if Logan could divert 2 of 10 daily JetBlue flights from Logan-JFK. What if we created a petition stating this at http://www.petitiononline.com??

July 18, 2006

ORH Bonds Outstanding

According to the June 30, 2005 financial statement ORH owes $4,165,016 and Bonds. Imagine that is the debt representing the approximately $600,000 per year of debt service.

Midland, Michigan

Friend of ours from Midland, Michigan visited this past week-end. We asked her to fly into Providence since I feel that is the easiest place to pick someone up.. On her end she flew from MBS International Airport (http://www.mbsairport.org) to Detroit on NorthWest and then direct to TF Green again on NorthWest.

Upon further investigation there are two airlines, NorthWest and United (SkyWest) feeding their respective hubs (Detroit and Chicago). We need to keep adding leisure like Allegiant but we absolutely positively need a a daily carrier feeding their hub.

July 17, 2006

Kudos to Clive McFarlane

Great story by Mr McFarlane agreeing with our discussion last week that the tunnel tragedy had the potential of being a great opportunity for ORH. Check it out:


July 16, 2006


Maybe it is a good time to look at IMG's initial recommendations from their $100,000 report:

  1. USA3000 http://www.usa3000.com
  2. Sun Country http://www.suncountry.com
  3. Frontier Airlines http://www.frontierairlines.com
  4. Cape Air http://wwwflycapeair.com
  5. Hooters http://www.hootersair.com
  6. SunShip1 http://www.sunship1.com
  7. Vacation Express http://www.vacationexpress.com

Since the release of the IMG report we have paid them an additional $104,765 to help recruit an airline. One must assume that IMG would target their own recommnedations. SunShip1 and Hooter are out of business. No way do I see Frontier or SunCountry coming to the East Coast. Cape Air would have wanted the summer markets.

That leaves us with two potential possibilities--USA3000 and Vacation Express from the initial list of recommendations. These two would want the peak winter months starting in Nov/Dec and would need at least 60 days to get up and running. In other words we need to have one of them committed by September.

Bottom line is that we have paid alot of monies to IMG and their time to produce is now. If you are wondering about other carriers like JetBlue, Mesa, Skybus or Linear, 349 days to the end of the current operating agreement with MassPort and we have no idea to status of any negotiations with any airlines.

July 15, 2006

Idea For Us-350 Days Left

We have put alot of facts on this blog about ORH. Right now I do not see ORH being sold and I think that is a huge mistake. What do we think about trying to start some type of movement amongst us bloggers to sell ORH over the next 350 days?

Today's Paper

This is confusing. The MBTA is working with Rhode Island to make it easier for people to gett to Rhode Island and TF Green Airport?? Here is the entire story:

BOSTON— Commuters can expect more rail service between Providence and Boston by the end of the month, including new weekend service. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority announced yesterday it is increasing the number of weekday round trips from 11 to 15. The last train for Providence now departs from South Station in Boston at 8:15 p.m. The new schedule, which starts July 24, adds three hourly departures between 9 p.m. and midnight. The MBTA is also introducing weekend service, authorities said. There will be nine round trips on Saturdays and seven on Sundays, starting July 29.

MBTA officials said the expanded service is a result of a partnership between Massachusetts and Rhode Island, which obtained federal funds for the increased service and a new train layover facility in Pawtucket. Rhode Island transportation officials are also working on a $225 million project to connect Boston to communities south of Providence as early as 2008. Two new commuter rail stations near T.F. Green Airport in Warwick and North Kingstown are being planned.

July 14, 2006

If MassPort Owned ORH??

If MassPort actually owned ORH, do you think things would be different right now? I do !! One fo the first thing MassPort would have considered after the tunnel collapse would have been to divert some flights to their other airport (ORH).

What incentive do they have right now with less then one year in the current operating agreement, where they subsidize 68% of the operating deficit? NONE!!!! Right now we should be not only be calling JetBlue but MassPort asking them to buy--never mind extending the current operating agreement which has a long established track record of failure!!

If MassPort owned ORH:

  1. It would provide not provide an initial one time cash infusion from the sale.
  2. Provide better commercial air service out of ORH
  3. Improve the tax base from the economic spin-offs of a successful airport

Continuing the current agreement for another 3 years would not only do none of the above but drain the City approximately $1,500,000 per year from the General Fund.


June Airport Minutes

Have not been posted yet, since they are not released until they are approved at the next monthly meeting. This month the July meeting is not until the 31st. In other words, we will see the June board minutes in August sometime.

July 13, 2006

JetBlue Embraer 190

Two years ago, one of our initial ideas were to get JetBlue to fly one of their first shipments of the Embraer 190 2 times per day from ORH-JFK. Since that time JetBlue has received the Embrear. Recently they have been deployed to Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham and Columbus to JFK in addition to the already announed Pittsburgh, Bangor and Boston.

Every year JetBlue will be getting more Embraers and they will eventually have to start looking at secondary cities.

July 12, 2006

Ted Williams Tunnel

Lately I have been getting some e-mails from various readers of the blog, which make me feel good about running this. We really have a good following here and I honestly believe that we are helping to make ORH an asset. Particularly proud of a phone call from Tom Moore last night and a comment yesterday by Jahn.

Nobody is trying to lessen the tragedy of the accident in the Ted Williams Tunnel, but the reality of the situation is that the traffic is going to be awful without this second tunnel. Both Tom and Jahn pointed out that this may be a perfect opportunity for ORH (which I completely over-looked)!!!

Why not call JetBlue today and try to have them divert 2 of the 10 BOS-JFK Embraer 190 flights to ORH??? We can stress to JetBlue that with the increased traffic problems to Logan, JetBlue would be catering to their customers by offering this option!!!

Keep up the good work.

July 11, 2006

Air Gumbo

I posted this the other day, but it did not catch my eye. Read this:

Another proposed low-cost carrier for the U.S. market is Louisiana-based Air Gumbo, which has been persistently pursuing its plan since 1998 despite seeing it derailed by 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Air Gumbo CEO Ralston Champagnie said he came to the conference amid a new fund-raising effort and hoped to file for DOT approval this year and fly by 2007.

That's right since 1998!!! I know that one of our target airlines fromt he IMG report are start-ups, but these must be placed in the long-term goal side of the ledger. Airlines like Air Gumbo, DJ Air, Skybus may some day fly, but there are just as good a chance that there will never be a flight. ORH does not have the time or can risk spending too much time pursuing these airlines.

I am not saying do not pursue them, but airlines like Mesa or JetBlue if convinced to fly out of ORH could start an NYC shuttle to JFK tomorrow, if they we put together a good package. In addition, we need to start increasing revenues and lowering the operating deficit tomorrow not next year.

July 10, 2006


There are many airports in a similar situation as ORH; for example, Portsmouth-Pease, Mid-America Airport, Rockford, Arnold Palmer, Gary and Youngstown. Typically within an one of a major airport with little to no commercial service.

As a result, we have watch the happenings at many of these airports. To that end, check out http://yngair.wordpress.com/ today in regards to the free wireless at Youngstown Airport. This was one of our initial recommendations. Other then Councilor Petty filing an order about one year ago, I have not hear anything about this?

It has been some time, but here is our orginal list of recommendations from two years ago:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Contact, pursue and invite leisure airline who target secondary cities and provide discount prices to popular leisure destinations (note targeted airlines below).
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. Explore possibility if naming rights for the terminal or airport itself.
  7. 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.
  8. Explore new revenue sources including but not limited to the available restaurant slot and lands remaining idle in the Airport Industrial Park.
  9. Revise and update the official web page.
  10. Start a bumper sticker campaign to generate civic pride and support of the airport. A small oval with the letters ORH?
  11. Improve business traveler services specifically FREE WIFI and FREE PARKING!
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Seek help from the State and Federal Government to upgrade landing system from Category 1 to Category 3 which would enable airplanes to land in heavy fog.

July 08, 2006

World Low Cost Airlines

Scott forwarded me this link:
Besides their meeting in London in September, they recently had a regional conference in Miami on June 27th and June 28th. Here is part of a story on the conference in Miami (note the mention of DJ AIR--what happened to them?):

The U.S. market has been more stable and less dynamic. The only new low-cost, low-fare carriers recently have been Independence Air, which flopped financially, and Mesa Air Group's Go!, which just started and offers only Hawaii interisland service. But a few more entrepreneurs are hoping to give it a shot within the next year or so.

Anthony Tangorra, CEO of Latitude Transport Advisory, offered them hope. Tangorra told conference attendees that Ryanair charges half as much for a ticket as Southwest, and he contended there's nothing inherent in the U.S. that makes it a higher-cost market than Europe.
"There's an opportunity for lower-fare new entrants in the U.S.," said Tangorra, a former chief strategic adviser for DJ Air Group, which aims to be among the new entrants.

Several other proposed new entrants also are poised to find out whether there is more room, if they can overcome obstacles. One is Virgin America, which is still stalled and struggling for approval from the Dept. of Transportation because of a debate over whether it really is under U.S. control, as required by law, given the involvement and investment of Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson. Brian Clark, Virgin America's vice president of planning and sales, arrived here to proclaim confidence his airline would get off the ground in 2007, if not this year. But he didn't reveal more about its strategy. Virgin America, which signed a licensing agreement to use the Virgin name, is relying on the brand to give it a big boost. Clark said the Virgin brand has greater than 90% recognition in large metropolitan areas. Clark also emphasized pricing and "next-generation" onboard products as key differentiators, but he didn't say a lot about either. CEO Fred Reid, however, recently told the San Mateo County Times that product plans include broadband access, an entertainment system with a 9-inch screen, interactive games, on-demand movies and the ability to use a touch screen to order food that is sold on board.

Another proposed new entrant, Skybus, did not show up here, but there was some chatter about the Columbus, Ohio-based airline, which in March received DOT approval to fly. Skybus already is billing itself as "America's Ultra-Low Fare Airline." But it remains to be seen whether the Ryanair model will work in the U.S. Industry insiders said Skybus had retained Ryanair or former Ryanair managers and was trying to make itself the Ryanair of the U.S. market. Skybus reportedly plans to outsource everything it can and has been pushing uncrowded airports to provide big incentives and price breaks to win Skybus service. But the latter strategy, which Ryanair has used to great effect in Europe, is not being greeted warmly by airports here, the insiders said. And one of them said there has been some disgruntlement and disagreement over Skybus' proposed routes. Europe's biggest low-cost carrier not only gets big cost breaks from airports, but it cuts costs by removing seatback pockets and reclining seats and recently began charging for checked baggage. It also relies heavily on ancillary revenue from items such as hotel and rental car bookings, travel insurance, onboard sales and other travel-related items, so much so that it is aiming to let half of its customers fly for free by 2010 since it would make money from their other spending.

Another proposed low-cost carrier for the U.S. market is Louisiana-based Air Gumbo, which has been persistently pursuing its plan since 1998 despite seeing it derailed by 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Air Gumbo CEO Ralston Champagnie said he came to the conference amid a new fund-raising effort and hoped to file for DOT approval this year and fly by 2007. But Champagnie still faces what may prove to be his biggest challenge: convincing investors that New Orleans will bounce back enough to make feasible his plan to fly Bombardier regional jets out of New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport for service to neighboring and nearby states. Champagnie said he hoped to tap into federal dollars for rebuilding New Orleans as an incentive for new investors to come onboard. He said Air Gumbo also planned to tap into the culture of New Orleans and southwest Louisiana with a gumbo design on its planes, gumbo onboard and jazz music while boarding. He said the carrier was working with Apple and cabin designer BE Aerospace to incorporate an iPod-based entertainment system in seat armrests. He proclaimed little concern about competing against Southwest out of New Orleans. "I think there's still lots and lots of room [for new entrants]," he said.

July 07, 2006

Airport for Sale

Thanks Jahn, who found this link on e-bay. Go to http://www.ebay.com and search "airport for sale" and you will find one in upstate New York. Why not have ORH do this?? E-bay, Wall Street Journal advertising ORH for sale?? What exactly do we have to lose?



PS I look forward to receiving Councilor Gary Rosen's requests from the airport administration soon.

July 06, 2006

Charley Farley in Youngstown

Check out the blog today (July 6, 2006) in Youngstown.


July Allegiant Flights

I just tried to book 9 outbound tickets on every flight out of ORH to SFD the rest of the month, including today , and I was able to find seats. This is not good news.

CEO Jack Smith

I never know why I did not think about this before, but today I heard Michael Warshaw (WoMag) on WTAG today mention Worcester natice Jack Smith, CEO of Delta, in regards to the Ionic Ave Boys Club.

Mesa Air Group, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Freedom Airlines, Inc., began service for Delta Air Lines as a Delta Connection carrier in October 2005. The Company currently operates 14 regional jet aircraft as Delta Connection and will operate a total of 30 regional jet aircraft as Delta Connection at August 1, 2006. On March 7, 2006, the Company announced the expansion of its Delta Connection arrangement with the addition of 12 Dash-8 aircraft. The Dash-8 aircraft will commence operations in New York - JFK in July 2006.

Should we not tap Worcester native Jack Smith to help us set up Mesa Air Group, a Delta connection carrier, on a twice daily ORH-JFK shuttle? What do you think of people on this blog e-mailing, writing a letter or telephoning Jack Smith about flying the Mesa Dash=8 out of ORH?

July 05, 2006

Maxjet & Smintair

I do not know if anyone else noticed or not but there was an advertisement for MaxJet in the Google ads on the blog today. They only fly JFK-London and cater to the business travelers. If we had a JFK shuttle, it would be very easy for someone to get to London out of Central Mass.

Then check out Smintair, the world's first smoker airlines.

Allegiant Passenger Numbers

About two weeks ago, I sent a letter to our airport liaison requesting number of flights and total number of passengers since inception thru the end of June. Since that time, we found out that ORH had their 100th flight and 10,000 passenger.

Monday I received a letter from Airpor Liaison Niddrie stating that Allegiant did not want to make this information public at ORH (or any other airport that they fly out of) and that the airport administration would honor that request. Guess it will to be to hard to keep track ourselves since the total passenger count out of ORH and Allegiant passengers is one and the same.

I will not push the matter, but an airport in the last year of the of its current management partnership losing $2,000,000 per year to decide not reveal passenger counts to the public is a puzzling decision.

July 04, 2006

Airport Management Companies

JAHN made a comment yesterday about other management companies, not just MassPort. I agree, we have been saying for two years (recommendation #13 on http://www.flyorh.com) to put together an RFP to solicit bids from airport management companies. Instead we paid IMG $100,000 for a study and they told us that nobody would be interested. The IMG report went further and recommended that we extend the current agreement and depicted MassPort picking up 68% (the current percentage) of the operating deficit.

Wouldn't it have made more sense to find out for ourselves, rather then just take IMG's word for it?? Guess who runs Sanford Orlando Airport?? Answer: TBI Airport Management. Guess who runs Stewart International?? National Express. In other words it would have been nice to have airport management companies like TBI or National Express come to ORH. Right now we are out of time--one year is going to fly by...

It will take all our efforts and strength to convince MassPort to buy ORH.

July 03, 2006

MassPort has the Cash

Check out the Central Garage Project at Logan:


It is a $205 million dollar project.. Lets just say, for arguements sake, MassPort offered $30 million for the ORH??? Where did I come up with that number--no idea... Think about how much MassPort has spent the last 6 years and they have nothing to show for it... We need to convince MassPort that owning three airports (Hanscom, Logan and ORH) would be beneficial to MassPort in the long term.

Under MassPort's ownership, we would get the commercial activity that we need, increased tax revenues and not have to spend $1,500,000 per year to keep ORH open.


July 02, 2006

Linear Air President

Bill Herp, is invited to talk at an aviation conference in St Petersburg, Fl. We should be inviting this guy to ORH. http://www.linearair.com


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 16, 2006--William Herp, President and CEO of Linear Air, a premier jet-taxi operator based in Lexington, Massachusetts, will participate in a panel discussion among aviation officials and other air-taxi industry leaders at the Flight School: Air conference on June 16th in St. Petersburg, FL.

Organized by Release 1.0 CNET Networks' quarterly newsletter, and hosted by visionary thinker Esther Dyson, Editor of Release 1.0 and regular contributor to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on the impact of new technology on business and society, the goal of Flight School: Air '06 is to open up discussion on the emerging jet-taxi market, the "disruptive technology" making it possible, business models, marketing strategies and regulatory environment.

Mr. Herp will participate in a panel discussion entitled The Pure and the Practical: Air Taxis and Similar Things, together with Cameron Burr, President of Pogo Air, Ed Iacobucci, President and CEO of DayJet, and Greg Johnson, President of OneSky. Many of the most important issues surrounding the emerging jet-taxi market will be covered during this panel discussion, specifically the different business models surrounding a revolutionary class of new 4-6 passenger jet aircraft, termed Very Light Jets or VLJs.

These new VLJ aircraft, which cost significantly less to own as compared to the current smallest jet on the market, will lower operating costs significantly while maintaining jet performance on a regional basis. VLJs are predicted to transform regional air travel from the current hub-and-spoke system to a point-to-point on demand model utilizing small regional airports. Eclipse Aviation, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico has the front runner aircraft for the jet-taxi space with their Eclipse 500. Linear Air has ordered 30 Eclipse 500s.

Linear Air's participation in the conference is directly related to the impact and success that the company has already experienced while operating in the emerging jet-taxi space. "Because we are the only jet-taxi operator currently flying rather than waiting for the new very light jets to come to market, our success is a true testament to the emerging jet-taxi industry and the expected potential benefits for those who participate as investors or customers," noted Mr. Herp.

July 01, 2006

Year 3 Begins today

Today marks the beginning of Year 3, the last year, of the current operating agreement. What does that mean? The MassPort obligation of the operating deficit drops from 85% to 68%. Based on an estimated operating loss of $1,300,000 that means MassPorts payment drops from $1,105,000 to $884,000. Let me remind everyone again that the debt service, which is approximately $600,00/yr, is 100% the City of Worcester.

In other words the cost to run ORH to the tax-payers of the City of Worcester just went up $221,000 or $19,000 per month today...

One year left in the current operating agreement and we are still waiting for a Master Plan, have no idea what the status is of any negotiations with any of the carriers that we have spent over $200,000 to IMG to help recruit. Meanwhile many are calling for a continuation of the current agreement???

I say six years of this partnership which has consistently resulted in losses of $2,000,000 per year and one commerical airline flying three times per week is enough. The Future does not look bright today on this first day of the 6th year partnership with MassPort..