August 31, 2006

Allegiant Adds Chattanooga

Since Allegiant has pulled out of ORH, they have:

  • started service out of W Virginia
  • started service ouf of S Carolina
  • keep, although reduced service to Portsmouth
  • added flights out of Newburgh, NY
  • has not stopped service to any other city
  • starting service to Tennessee (note below)
Low-cost airline Allegiant Air today unveiled plans for nonstop jet service between Chattanooga and Orlando Sanford International Airport starting Oct. 31.The Las Vegas-based carrier will fly once a day, four days a week — Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday — on 150-seat jets, officials said. Flights will depart Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport at 10:15 a.m. and arrive in Orlando at 11:50 a.m. Leaving Orlando, flights will depart at 8:00 a.m. and arrive in Chattanooga at 9:40 a.m.


To date we have paid them $100,000 for a study and an additonal $100,000 to help us retain/recruit commerical air service. I can not find one mention of anything they are doing in the newspapers or monthly board minutes.

Can not help but think this $200,000 could have been spent better on Allegiant, a new website, a spokesman for the airport or FREE Parking. Peak travel time for ORH is the winter months so if IMG is going to come through with an airline, we will need to hear something shortly since it will take them some time to get up and running (marketing, etc) to catch this season.

At the same time the pitch from IMG to any of the airlines that they are talking to (we have no idea who)got a whole lot harder this past week.

Allegiant Increases Flights at Stewart


NEW WINDSOR - Allegiant Air is boosting its holiday flight schedule to the Orlando, Fla., area.Stewart International Airport and the low-cost airline announced today that flights will be added on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from Dec. 14 through Jan. 3, 2007.Presently, the airline serves the runs between Stewart and Sanford-Orlando International Airport on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. The added seasonal flights will temporarily take the service up to seven days.


Worcesteria has some comments on Allegiant.

Please note the on-line version says 10 tickets at 90 per flight represents $9,000. Obviously it is a typo since it would be $900 and the round-trip is reported correctly at $1,800. It is, however, much more then just the lost ticket revenue. Allegiant makes their profit on the vacation packages, they make no money on the flights. The fact we had to use the smaller plane (130 seater most of the time) put us behind the 8-ball since we had fewer numbers to begin who could potentially book vacation packages then cities that are served by Allegiant's larger planes.

As far as Allegiant pulling out of the cities, what airline has not pulled out of cities since 2000?? Why do airlines stop a route?? They are losing too much money. In other words if Allegiant was making money on the ORH-Sanford route, they would still be flying here and other airlines would take notice. The fact Allegiant has terminated service to ORH sends a very clear message to other commercial airlines that they could not make money here. It will make it extremely difficult to get another commercial airline to come to ORH.

August 30, 2006

Airport Commission

Noticed 2 vacancies in the paper today.

One other piece of information , I heard the brand new Shaws on lower Grafton Street closes the end of October.

Allegiant Adds W. Virginia

HUNTINGTON, WV – Tri-State Airport will soon add new flights and a new destination to its schedule as a new carrier signed on at the Wayne County terminal. Allegiant Air announced Aug. 30 that the carrier will offer two non-stop jet flights per week from Huntington to Orlando, Fla., beginning this Nov. 3.

City blasts Allegiant Air for pullout

Full story at:

I still say we should be thanking Allegiant for giving ORH a shot?? We need to figure out why Allegiant could not make money at ORH, since Allegiant continues service at all the other cities in their network with the same high fuel costs and the same fuel inefficeint MD-80's. Couple of very interesting things, however, I want to point out:

  • "airline was running its flights from 80 percent to 85 percent capacity from December to April. Capacity dropped to 69.3 percent in May, and it was 71 percent June and 88 percent in July. "

What happened to the 85-90 loads? If you do the math quick, it looks to be more in the 80% load range. In the end when the final numbers are analyzed, the load will be approximately 75%.

  • "We need to make sure that diversity exists in the airport’s operations. People often associate success at an airport with commercial air service. But commercial air traffic will always be impacted by the vagaries of the economy. That is why we need to diversify the airport’s operations.”

Any future announcements concerning ORH in the short-term will center on General Aviation. There will be no commercial airlines announcements.

August 29, 2006

Colgan Air

Other then the fact Allegiant is sites as being quite successful at ORH, the response is quite insightful. Looks like commercial airlines see us as a potential years down the road.

Greetings Mr. Randell,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding air service to Worcester, Massachusetts. We are always looking for potential new markets as we continue to grow our expanding route network and Worcester has come up many times in the past. However, after much analysis we have come to the conclusion that Worcester currently doesn’t fit into our business model.

We do fly to other small communities in New England, as you mentioned we fly to Lebanon, NH and Hyannis, MA. Lebanon is an essential air service market, meaning that we receive federal subsidies to fly there. Without that subsidy, service to Lebanon would be a money losing venture. Hyannis on the other hand is a very popular high-yield tourist destination in the spring and summer and that is why we add so much service there in those months, in the winter we reduce their service to the bare minimum, two daily flights to Nantucket continuing on to LaGuardia.

When we look at potential new markets there are many things we look at when determining if a market will be profitable enough to fly. When I look at Worcester it is very hard figure out if it would be profitable; however, history and low-fare competition makes me believe that it would not .
ORH has had service to Washington Dulles in the past with Atlantic Coast Airlines operating as United Express, they discontinued the service after several years due to increasing passenger losses to Boston and Providence. This happened when airlines like ValuJet (later AirTran) began serving BOS and Southwest began serving Providence with much lower fares. USAirways Express served Philadelphia for many years; however, they too pulled the service as passengers chose BOS rather than ORH. American Eagle flew to Chicago (O’Hare) and the Delta Connection flew to Atlanta both followed USAirways and they too pulled their serve due to low passenger numbers.

The main problem that Worcester has is its close proximately to Boston and Providence. These two airports have service by every low-fare carrier in the country, jetBlue, AirTran, Southwest, Spirit, Frontier and USAirways. The low fares being offered from those locations makes it hard for Worcester to attract passengers unless ORH can have low-fare service too. This is why Allegiant Air is doing so well in ORH with their low-fares to Florida. Adding turbo-prop service from ORH to New York, Philadelphia, or Washington would be at fares that are higher than those being charged from BOS & PVD to the same destinations. This is due to the higher operating costs per seat on turbo-prop equipment. There are passengers who would be willing to pay the extra $150 per ticket for the convenience; however, there are not enough for us to turn a profit. As time goes on, and Boston Logan becomes more congested low-fare carriers may begin looking for an alternative and if they were to serve ORH with larger aircraft lower fares would be possible and service to major business destinations would become just as profitable as Allegiant’s service to Florida.

I hope this helps explain the situation.

Thanks for your interest,

Business 101

There are two basics in business--Revenues and Expenses. In the case of ORH, the expenses now exceed revenues by $2,300,000 annually. You need to do two things 1) cut expenses or 2) increease revenues to reduce this deficit. I will leave it up to others to cut expenses but the goal of this blog is to make the airport a realized asset (increasing revenues).

What sources of revenues does an airport have?

  1. Commercial Airlines
  2. General Aviation (GA)
  3. Lease or Sale of available land to businesses
  4. Terminal Space
  5. Parking Revenues

Until we get people back at ORH, we need to table parking revenues and offer FREE PARKING. Now that Allegiant has pulled out of ORH (and nowhere else), we can forget about revenues from the Commercial Airlines for now because nobody is coming short-term.

The past couple of days a few people have commented that GA is the future of ORH. This blog never said it wasn't, although the emphasis has been on commercial airlines since that is the most tangible return to people like me.

I do not want ORH to close, but right now we need to maximize the returns on General Aviation and the development of ancillary business at ORH to reduce the $2,300,000 annual shortfall or it will in fact close. In the future I will keep looking the potential of future airlines coming to ORH but the emphasis will be on items of General Aviation, FBO's, hangar space, RFP's etc. Lastly all of those who have much more knowledge then me on these matters should use this blog as a means to educate the tax-payers. If you do not, tax-payers will not keep subsidizing any entity at a cost of approximately $200,000 per month.

One question are VLJ's (operations like Linear Air) General Aviation or Commercial Aviaiton?

New FBO For Albany

Although its been doing business here for a year, the Albany County Airport Authority is hosting a grand opening celebration for the airport's fixed base operator, Million Air at the charter and general aviation terminal.
The event. scheduled for Aug. 24, kicks off at 5 p.m. and will include a brief program with Million Air CEO Roger Woolsey at 5:30 p.m.

"The arrival of Million Air resulted in an immediate and substantial decrease in the price of aviation fuel for corporate and general aviation jet aircraft using Albany International Airport," said David Langdon, Chairman of the Albany County Airport Authority. "The reduction in fuel prices will continue to play a significant role in the Airport's ability to once again attract and station corporate and private aircraft at the airport.
Million Air is headquartered in Houston and is the third largest fixed base operator in the world. A fixed base operator provides services for non-airline traffic.

Million Air is operating the general aviation terminal and fuel operation for the Albany International Airport under a $100,000 per year, plus incentives, management contract. The airport bought the facilities formerly owned by Aircraft Service International Group for $3 million last year. Together the airport and Million Air have upgraded the terminal and provide a VIP feel for pilots and passengers, said airport CEO John O'Donnell.

"Many customers are using private jets to travel more often than ever before," said Woolsey. "We sought to promote Million Air Albany and Albany International Airport as the entrance to the Capital Region and have been very successful. Working in tandem with the airport authority, our goal is to welcome visitors and businesses 'Million-Air' style, with top-notch customer service and world-class amenities." Guests at the event will be given tours of the upgraded terminal, a chances to fly in a new Cirrus aircraft, operate a flight simulator, and test drive a new Bentley. Guests will also get a free New York State Lottery Ticket in keeping with Million Air's theme, said airport spokesman Doug Myers.

August 27, 2006

July Board Minutes

I have them on-line at:,%202006.pdf

  • no mention Allegiant is considering pulling out of ORH, although there were concerns about August.


Blog passed 70,000 page loads yesterday.

Andi Esposito

If you want to look at a truer picture of ORH, check out Andi Esposito's story today (great job). I missed it, thank you W.T.

Here is what I see in the future:

  1. No Commercial Carriers will be coming over the next next year in light of Allegiant pulling out and the the fact nobody knows what the management structure will look like in 307 days.
  2. All emphasis will be on General Avaition/business jets etc.
  3. Hopefully MassPort will take an ownership stake in ORH via a 99 year lease and invest the monies like they have at Hanscom for hangars, etc

AIrport This Morning

Picked up my brother-in-law at ORH today. Although he lives in Boca, we convinced him to drive the 2-3 hours to Sanford. Better to drive 2-3 easy hour in Florida then having to battle with Boston. Ironically enough he is catching the last flight Sept 3rd back to Florida. He said Allegiant was great, the flight was ahead of schedule and the convenience of both Sanford and ORH is awesome. Did you know Sanford gets 6 flights per day from the UK?

One baffling thing today, however,was the parking. I entered the parking lot and explained to the attendant that I was just picking up. Real nice guy told me to park, take my time and have a nice day. After I returned to my car, I went to the exit gate preparing to tell the attendant how I was just picking up but nobody was there. Sitting there confused, the gate opened and I drove away.

This got me to thinking. What is someone else had left their car for the week, proceeded to their car and simply drove through the exit gate like I did??? I am going to get some final numbers on the parking this week.

Telegram Story

Bob Nemeth has a story in today's paper about the airport:

Here are some highlights:

  • "The planes were nearly full."
  • "They are leaving is not the lack of passengers and that they carried an almost full load. This should be a selling point to the next airline that is coming to ORH"

Again nobody wanted 100% loads more then me, but the truth is the load factor was in the 75% and it was in fact one of the main reasons Allegiant pulled out of ORH. How can we keep denying that fact?

  • "Excuse by Allegiant President Maurice Gallagher that the fuel-inefficient MD-80 aircraft used by the company cut its profit margin seems flimsy at best."
  • "Losing what one aviation consultant described as a "cruise ship with wings."

We continue to hammer Allegiant, when we should be thanking them for trying ORH. By the way the reason Tyri from Allegiant stated for leaving ORH was that it was the worst performing city in their network, not the cost of fuel. In addition the aviation consultant cited was Michael Boyd, the same person who criticized the $100,000 IMG report last year.

  • "Mr Kinton envisions ORH being active not just in the passenger service, but also general aviation, catering to the growing corporate jets."
  • "Seeking private bids for the development of two airport sites suitable for new hangars and full-servicem, fixed based operators."

As we discussed earlier this week the emphasis will now be on General Aviation and the development of the empty parcels. Not saying this is a bad thing, in fact it might be the exact thing we should be doing, but we are not going to get any commercial airlines in the short-term.

  • "The agency has invested about 45 million in capital projects at Hanscom."
  • "Everything is on the table."--Kinton's response to if MassPort would take title to ORH"

Massport sank 45 million into Hanscom, because they own it. They will never sink money into our airport like this under the current short-term contracts, they will need to outright own ORH or lease it for 99 years to make this kind of a commitment. In the end General Aviation may in fact be the answer at ORH, I don't know. It really bothers me, however, that we are denying the fact the airline loads were one of the main reasons Allegiant pulled out of ORH.

August 26, 2006


I have been worrying about the summer flights all year with Allegiant (check the blog and you will see). Although I was confident that we would fill the flights during the peak months, I was concerned about the off months. People in this area have alot of options throughout New England.

Right now Portsmouth may not be too happy with us, but these are the type of airports that we need to build alliances. The needs of the catchment area in Portsmouth are identical to the needs of the ORH catchment area.

Here is my idea, why don't we go to Allegiant and work with them to fill the two flights per week during the peak months out of Portsmouth?? Check out the map to the right, it appears to me that ORH is right in the flight path so the additional costs to stop at ORH should not be to high. If the booking get too high, Allegiant can always add a flight? It is worth a try.

SFB (28°46'40"N 81°14'15"W) Sanford
ORH (42°16'02"N 71°52'33"W) Worcester
1068 mi

ORH (42°16'02"N 71°52'33"W) Worcester
PSM (43°04'41"N 70°49'24"W) Portsmouth
77 mi

Blog Activity

Thought this was pretty interesting. As of 7:17AM this Saturday here is the ORH blog activity for the week:

I know it may be tought to read but here goes:

Wednesay: 1034 page downloads
161 visitors
83 returning visitors

Thursday: 1048 page downloads
160 visitors
89 returning visitors

Rockford Update

Here is a story on Rockford Airport-one hour outside of Chicago, FREE PARKING, great website ( and a frequent flier program for people who utilize the airport. All things lacking at ORH.

Here are the higlights:

ROCKFORD — New passenger flights to Denver, Florida and Arizona are likely, Chicago/Rockford International Airport Executive Director Bob O’Brien strongly hinted at a public forum Friday.New service to places such as Clearwater/St. Petersburg, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Phoenix could be coming soon, O’Brien said during a 70-minute question-and-answer session at Second Congregational Church.O’Brien, responding to when there will be flights to East Coast destinations, told the 17 attendees that United Airlines flights to Washington, D.C., will come to Rockford once United is successfully flying four times daily to Denver and said a third flight will be announced next week....

During his presentation, O’Brien talked about anticipated announcements for new flights to three more stops in Florida and a route to Phoenix. Afterward, though, he wouldn’t go into further detail on the future announcements.“I can’t confirm or deny officially at this point,” O’Brien said.If the airport is successful in adding any of those flights, it’ll be bucking the trend this year for regional airports. ......

Passenger traffic at Chicago/Rockford is up 3.4 percent through July compared with 2005 and O’Brien believes it will be up 20 percent by year’s end.“It’s demand and supply. We’re working hard to mobilize the community to understand it’s in their best interests to use their airport rather than O’Hare and Midway,” O’Brien said. “That’s why I speak to community groups. We have an international-grade facility, and we have a population base, not in Rockford, but within one hour of this place that would prefer to avoid O’Hare if given the opportunity. I can’t get empty aircraft out there waiting for people to show up. I’m trying to get people mobilized to demand the supply. .....

Even the soaring oil costs, which would hit airlines the hardest if they began topping $80 and $90 or even $100 a barrel, didn’t seem to dull his enthusiasm for the near future of the airport. U.S. airlines have been putting most of their new seats in routes to Europe, Latin America and Asia while cutting some domestic routes, hoping it will allow them to raise fares to cover soaring fuel costs. Delta cut its July domestic capacity by 13 percent while Northwest reported a 12 percent decline.“One-hundred-dollar-a-barrel oil costs universally affect the entire country,” O’Brien said. “Would it unilaterally affect (the Rockford airport)? No. I will say we are working to prepare ourselves for that. The board has a strategic plan to tap into an underground fuel pipeline, which most airports don’t have, and to put in some additional storage for purposes of hedging fuel.”

August 25, 2006

Allegiant Starts in S. Carolina

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport is hoping its newest carrier will put Florida on residents’ minds. Allegiant Air plans run four nonstop flights from the airport to Orlando starting Nov. 14. The discount carrier is offering introductory fares for its 150-seat jets starting at $49 one way.

Allegiant Stays in Portsmouth

Maybe we should call Allegiant and see if they would do the same at ORH??

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. Allegiant Air announced this morning it cutting back operations, but staying at (New Hampshire's) Pease International Tradeport.The small air line says it plans to reduce flights to two days a week and suspend service in the summer and fall. Allegiant has closed its operations in Worcester, Massachusetts, and was considering pulling out of Portsmouth.

This morning, the Pease Development Authority reached an agreement with the airline to continue service from Portsmouth to Orlando, Florida, during the peak travel period between November and spring, and suspend service during the off-peak summer and fall months.

Allegiant Post-Mortem

Nobody wanted the average loads to be in the 90+ range more then me. If this was in fact the case, Allegiant would have added more flights, like they have in other cities. The addition of more flights would have then have helped prove our case to other airlines that ORH is the place to be.

The fact the 10,000 passenger flew out of ORH on the 98th flight on a plane the seats 130, the numbers from website uncovered by Charley Farley and the assertions of Allegiant themselves clearly show the loads were not in the 85-9o range. It looks to be more in the 75% range. We can do the math ourselves when the 138th flight departs on September 3rd on a plane that seats 130 when we get the final counts. Why were the results not better???

I do not see how we can blame Allegiant, although I do wish they were on services such as Expedia, etc. Allegiant provided great service at an affordable price (unlike PanAm), while anyone that I know who flew Allegiant was quite satisfied with the experience. How can you blame MassPort, area fliers, the City Manager or the City Council? You can't.

The everyday management decisions (not the airport commissioners) made by those who run the airport everyday really need to be looked at:
  1. For two years, we have pointed out how awful the website is and it is still horrible.
  2. Two years ago, we received a $455,000 Small Community Air Service Grant from the FAA, how was this spent? Why was it not spent on travel agents who sold tickets through ORH, on on internet placement ads where people looking for flights to Orlando from our catchment area would be directed to ORH, or new web page that actually helped sell tickets? Instead most of the monies were spent on IMG (over $100,00) to help recruit other airlines, maybe we should have focused on the one airline that we had?? Does anyone know where IMG stands on any of these negotiations?
  3. Parking!! Although we have pointed out what a draw FREE PARKING would be and it was actually stipulated in the application that resulted in the $455,000 award, it was not offered. How much did we make by charging for parking? Can the mgmt company (LAZ Parking) be terminated not at no cost or do we have to buy them out?? This was another huge mistake in judgement. The marketing draw of FREE PARKING could have been huge!!

I truly believe if we had a website that actually helped sell tickets, the monies from the Small Community Air Service Grant were spent better (not just on IMG) and FREE PARKING had been offered, the results the past nine months would have been much better. Enough to have kept Allegiant at ORH through the peak winter months, helping build a loyal customer base into the future for years to come and great selling point to attract other airlines. The high prices of fuel may have forced Allegiant's hand, but the achilles here was the people who run the airport everyday did not make the right decisions to provide the load numbers that Allegiant needed to stay at ORH.

The truth is we are going to have a very hard time finding any airline to come to ORH with the departure of Allegiant and now all talks will be on attract business jets or developing the empty parcels of land. If we do attract these 30 million dollar corporate jets, where will they park? Seriously, do we have the hangar space for jets of this nature?

We have 310 days until the end of the current agreement with MassPort.

August 24, 2006

Allegiant/Portsmouth Update

PORTSMOUTH -- A year after Allegiant Air arrived with great fanfare and hopes, the Pease Development Authority is in negotiations with the airline to keep it flying in and out of Pease. On Monday, Allegiant's chief executive officer, Maurice Gallagher Jr., told Worcester, Mass., officials that the airline was stopping flights from Worcester Regional Airport on Sept. 3 due to escalating fuel costs.

Michael O'Brien, the Worcester city manager, said the Las Vegas, Nev.-based economy airline also planned to stop service to Pease. But Suzanne Bresette, a spokeswoman for the Pease Development Authority, told the Herald Wednesday that O'Brien's remarks were "premature" and "not verified." Bresette, of the Portsmouth-based communications firm Bresette & Co., said Allegiant Air and the PDA "are still in negotiations" and that no final decision has been made but one will be announced "soon." Representatives from Allegiant Air did not return calls seeking comment.

Since August 2005, when Allegiant began round trips four days a week between Pease and Sanford International Airport, near Orlando, the privately-owned airline has announced plans to take the company public and has expanded service to eight Midwestern cities. "We have great confidence our airline will work well for Portsmouth," said Tyri Squyres, Allegiant's director of corporate communications, in August 2005. "We are very committed to the area."

In addition to waiving Allegiant's landing, passenger and counter fees at Pease for two years, the PDA said at the time it would spend $100,000 in a cooperative marketing partnership with Allegiant Air to highlight the new service and the airport

Fly Worcester Website

Check out the official Worcester Regional Airport website detailing the status of Allegiant Airlines at ORH:


Read the paper after my post earlier today.. I know this is hard to believe but Bob Nemeth's editorial says it all (sorry the link is not working): "Any failure lies with Allegiant not with Worcester, MassPort or area travelers" and "planes routinely have been filled to 85 percent to 90 percent of capacity" . Clearly the numbers do not back up the 85-90 percent capacity claim and how can we lay all blame on Allegiant??

Actually we should be thanking Allegiant for taking a chance on Worcester, while providing great service at a great price. Let me make an analogy of a business that opens, has great products and great prices, but closes down. Why does that typically happen? The answer usually is that the business did not market their services well enough.

How can we place all blame on Allegiant? In the end, I feel that Allegiant's product brought us the 75% loads and it was up to the airport administration to market the flights to achieve the 90+ loads. This did not happen--why? All the marketing efforts especially the use of the $455,000 of Small Community Air Service funds have to be be questioned, poor website needs to be completely overhauled, parking fees must be waived and one route needs to clearly established as "the road" to ORH.

Lastly, next to the editorial there is a picture depicting Allegiant stabbing Worcester in the back. Let me ask you this if you were an airline considerinig ORH, how would feel reading editorials placing all blame on Allegiant and pictures of this nature. Time to take the high road, thank Allegiant for working with us and work on our deficiencies which are quite evident.

Has anyone seen or heard from our Airport Director or Liaison???

Wall Street

I have heard on the radio and read in the paper that Allegiant may have pulled out of ORH to show Wall Street that they can cut expenses in light of their upcoming IPO. Alot of existing companies that already have issued stock sometimes have lay-offs or close plants to show Wall Street and their investors exactly this. Companies, however, that have a pending IPO typically do not do this. Why?

Allegiant right now is trying to sell a business plan that a second tier airline can be profitable by flying from secondary airports to popular leisure destinations as a discount carrier. If anything they want to show investors that they are increasing their service area, not having to pull out of markets. Just remember Boston Chicken or Krispy Kream who kept opening store after store to create the illusion that they could not miss wherever they opened a store. If anything the ending of service in Worcester may send signals to potential investors that the Allegiant business plan is flawed.

In other words, the pending IPO actually may have actualy helped Allegiant to stay in Worcester. The bottom line is that Allegiant ended service to Worcester because 1) the loads were in the 75% range and 2) based on some of the comments that I have read the cost of fuel at ORH is higher then the other secondary airports that Allegiant served. We need to figure out why loads were this low (check out blog below entitled "Why Allegiant Failed?") and investigate whether or not ORH fuel prices are uncompetitive with other secondary airports.

August 23, 2006

Worc Business Journal Daily News Flash

Allegiant's says airport departure "should not have been surprise". Fuel costs and sub-par passenger headcounts have forced Allegiant Air to cease operating at Worcester Regional Airport as of September 3, the company says. Allegiant, based in Las Vegas, had been operating twice-weekly flights between Worcester and Orlando-Sanford International Airport for nine months, and the operator's presence there was considered an anchor that could draw other airlines to the struggling airport. Allegiant spokeswoman Tyri Squyres said the company's decision "should not have been a surprise" to city officials, and that the airline, the city, and Massport had been in discussions about the performance of Worcester's airport "for months and months." Squyres said the passenger headcounts were lower than the 85 to 90 percent capacity figure cited by City Manager Michael O'Brien, and called Worcester the "worst performing city that we have in our system."

Allegiant Load Factor

  1. June 22nd, the 10,000 passenger embarked (outbound ORH-SAN) passenger.
  2. June 22nd was the 98th outbound flight
  3. Average passengers per flight outbound equates to approximately 102 passengers
  4. MD-80 seats 130 so the average load is 78.5%

I calculate the last flight on September 3rd to be the 138th flight outbound. We will need to get the total passenger count from the DOT site that Charley Farley gave us to them determine the exact loads, unless of course our airport liaison will give them to us. Although I wish the loads were in fact 90%, I simply do not see that to be the case. If on June 23rd the loads were 78.5% and the summer months were most likely slower, I am betting on more like 75%.

Trust me if the loads were in fact 90%, other airlines will jump to take the place of Allegiant in Worcester like other airlines have done when TransMeridian/Hooters went out of business. In the end I feel the real reason Allegiant pulled out were low loads, not fuel prices. Considering Allegiant has a limited fleet, they need to put their planes were the demand is strong.

Why Allegiant Failed

Over the past two years, we have seen several secondary airports succeed after 9/11 within close to major metropolitan airports:

  1. MidAmerica ( St Louis
  2. Rockford ( Chicago
  3. Stewart ( Upstate
  4. Lebanon ( Manchester

What did these airports have in common:

  1. Great website
  2. Free Parking (note Stewart charges but they have 4 airlines now)
  3. Free Wireless Internet

Although we recently added wireless internet service at ORH, was it free? I do not know. On the other hand nobody can argue our website was the worst website ( of any commercial airport in the US and parking was not free. The website importance can not be underestimated. How do most people buy plane tickets?? I do not have an exact number but I know it is the internet. Look at any of the four website above and now look at Worcester (, what message are we delivering? Not a good one.

Free parking should have been our number 1 marketing theme!!!! FREE PARKING -FREE PARKING-FREE PARKING. Billboard should have had "Come to Worcester where the parking is free!!" beneah the promos for Allegiant Air. Instead we disregarded our own application to the DOT for the Small Community Air Service Grant and charge for parking. I will get an update on how much money we have made on the parking but it was only approximately $25,000 in profits for six months. Although $25,000 is alot of money, ORH would have created alot more then this is goodwill and great advertising by offering FREE PARKING, not to mention increased tickets sales to help an Allegiant stay.

Lastly the Small Community Air Service Grant itself, which was rejected the two years previously,that we all worked hard to get resulted in a $455,000 from the FAA two years ago was not spent effectuvely. Initially we had hoped, after the award had been announced, that a "Blue Ribbon Committee" would be created to make sure the monies were spent to not only attract an airline but make sure airlines that we attract sell tickets. In the end the committee was not put together since the airport administration wanted to have the control on how to spend the money. I will get an update on how alll monies were spent but from the June 9th post:

  • 6/10/5 IMG $9,750.00
  • 9/27/5 Event $726.75
  • 10/5 thru 11/5 IMG $39,375.51
  • 10/13/5 Sponsorship Event $500.00
  • 10/26/5 Booth Business Expo $500.00
  • 10/28/5 Event $75.00
  • 10/28/5 Event $112.00
  • 12/14/5 Fliers $920.00
  • 12/16/5 Posters $740.00
  • 12/22/5 Event Decorations $220.75
  • 12/22-27/5 Event Catering $4,732.06
  • 1/2/6 Radio Ad $1,500.00
  • 1/16/6 Printing $1,001,.15
  • Total Spent $60,153.22
  • IMG $49,125,.51

This equates to 81.67% of all the of the total Small Community Air Service Grant award monies was spent on a consultant (IMG). Also there was a new contract signed with IMG for $55,640, which I imagine was also submitted to the DOT. Other cities utilize their Small Community Air Service Grant monies to create their own frequent flier programs in particular Labanon ( Although this (an ORH frequent flier program) was not one of our orginal ideas, here were some:

  1. Pay a commission to travel agents on top of the commission that Allegiant pays who book a ticket through ORH. This could have easily been set-up with Allegiant's own on-line ticketing system.
  2. Putting ads on sites like Expedia and Travelocity where when someone in catchment area is looking for a ticket to Orlando, an ad for ORH appears that can link the prospective passenger to our great new web page.
  3. Improve the web page
  4. Install free wireless
  5. Make sure parking will be free
  6. We need to pick one route as the preffered route versus attempting to direct prospective passengers from every single exit off Route 290.

I know hindsight is 20/20 but if things were done differently I honestly believe Allegiant would have achieved greater success and would not be leaving ORH on September 4th.

August 22, 2006

Allegiant Pulls Out of ORH!!

Effective September 4th!!! This from the Telegram:

WORCESTER— The only commercial airline serving Worcester Regional Airport is leaving. Allegiant Air, which began flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport in Florida last December, has told City Manager Michael V. O’Brien that escalating fuel costs forced them to stop service.The last flight will leave Worcester Sept. 3, the city manager said this evening.Airline officials have assured Mr. O’Brien that refunds or tickets with other airlines will be offered to those holding tickets after that date.The city manager said he is “down but not daunted” by the decision. He said the city continues discussions with several airlines that have expressed an interest in Worcester.

I have been worried about the low loads the past couple of months... In light of the problems in Boston, I half expected not only for the flights to be at 100% load, but for Allegiant to add flights. By looking at the on-line reservation system and the availabilty of seats (since the airport administration would not release the numbers), one could tell that this obviously was not happening. Allegiant, unlike our airport administration, are good businessmen who run a good operation and are not in business to lose money.

The numbers were not there, plain and simple. Other cities, in particular Lehigh Valley, which have the same escalating fuel costs announced ironically enough yesterday an expansion of service to five times per week during the month of January.
Is Allegiant pulling out of any other cities? As of today Worcester is the only one. If the numbers were there, all Allegiant had to do was raise the ticket costs like all the other airlines are doing. On the other hand if the numbers are not there, raising the ticket costs does not help.

Although I am not surprised, I am also quite disappointed and realize that this is a huge blow to ORH trying to recruit other airlines. Allegiant, unlike PanAm for example, is a great airline targeting secondary cities with a track history of suceeding at airports like Worcester, in an expansion mode raising money on Wall Street for an IPO while looking to add a 2nd Florida destination. The fact Allegiant has been forced to stop service sends a very loud clear message out to other carriers that no study or consultant can spin. If you were a strategic flight planner for a start-up like Festival Airlines or a more established business like a USA3000, with a similar business plan as Allegiant, would you come to Worcester.

General Aviation Airport here we come. Please please sell ORH to MASSPORT!!!


Nothing to do with the airport, but losing good experienced hard-working people like Zidelis and DaGillis from the City Administration will make jobs like turning around ORH even harder.

August 21, 2006

Hyannis Again!!

Check out this story.... Maybe the City of Worcester should follow suit?? Here is the link for the entire story:

To rectify past errors, airport reveals minutes

By DAVID SCHOETZSTAFF WRITERHYANNIS - With a single, sweeping vote Tuesday night, the Barnstable Municipal Airport Commission rectified a decade's worth of state open meeting law violations. The airport commission unanimously released meeting minutes from 40 executive sessions held behind closed doors from 1986 to 1996.

Newly released minutes from the Barnstable airport commission include topics such as labor contracts and personnel decisions. (Staff photo by Steve Heaslip) After attending a spring workshop in Barnstable about open meeting and public information laws, airport commission chairman Arthur Kimber discovered the violations when he reviewed the commission's records.
''I like to operate in a way where there's no ambiguity,'' Kimber said after Tuesday's meeting. ''We do not operate in secret. We do not operate in powwows at local restaurants.''
Oversight of the airport has come under repeated scrutiny in the last year. In December, Barnstable police investigated the authenticity of signatures on a pair of airport leases. Ultimately, police found that in ''all probability,'' no forgery had taken place. Still, Kimber responded to the police probe by announcing in January that all future airport contracts and leases must be signed and dated in blue ink and that original documents will be stamped with a raised seal.
In July, the airport commission - as well as airport manager Quincy ''Doc'' Mosby, his assistant and the airport's counsel - were named in a federal lawsuit filed by airport tenant Rectrix Aerodrome Centers Inc. Included in the 61-page complaint is an allegation that airport officials deliberately kept certain public documents from the tenant. Under the state's current open meeting law, enacted in 1975, government agencies may go into closed executive sessions for nine reasons, including discussion of collective bargaining agreements, personnel issues, litigation, and the purchase of real estate.

Those minutes can be kept private, however, only until the matters addressed in the executive session are resolved. The newly released executive session minutes include discussions about labor contracts, personnel decisions and real estate acquisitions. This month, with the help of two other commissioners, Kimber will review minutes from executive sessions between 1997 and 2001 to see which additional records should be released to the public

Colgan Air

Colgan Air, as a US Air connection, officially added to our target list as a daily shuttle to a major hub (LaGuardia) along with;

  1. JetBlue to JFK
  2. Mesa Air (delta connection) to JFK

August 20, 2006

Lebanon, New Hamshire Airport

Same here as Hyannis. Colgan Air, as a US Air connection, flies 3 times per day between Lebanon ( and LaGuardia. Guess what else this small airport offers:

  1. Free Parking
  2. Free Wireless
  3. Great web page

Over and over again we find that small secondary airports that achieve any level of success has these three common characteristics. In the past, we blogged about this before but it is worth a review. In addition to the above three assets, Lebanon utilizes their Small Community Air Service Grant to give rebates back to people who actually fly out of their airport, versus speding over $200,ooo to IMG.

Here it the link and short description:

Lebanon Airport is paying YOU to fly LEB.

Fly one roundtrip, get $50 back!

Fly three roundtrips, get $250 back!

Fly five roundtrips, get $500 back!

Save your roundtrip boarding passes, fill out a rebate brochure (also available in the lobby of the Lebanon Airport) and mail it to the airport. Within weeks, you'll receive your cash rebate. This offer can even be combined with friends, family members and coworkers. A family of five can fly once from LEB and receive their cash-back bonus of $500! Students traveling with friends can pool their roundtrip ticket stubs and split the cash!
See the program's rules or call Lebanon Airport at (603) 298-8878 for more information about this great offer!

August 19, 2006

Hyannis Airport

I was down the Cape last week and read a story about the Hyannis Airport. Besides the Island flights that I was unaware the US Airways connection carrier Colgan Air flies 5 flights per day. Three direct to LaGuardia, one to Providence and one to Nantucket.

Boston and LLC's

Long story in the Boston Globe about Logan and LLC (low cost carriers). Check out the line in BOLD. Next week Logan will have 71,774 passengers on low-fare carriers!!!

With Spirit's arrival, Logan gains ground in discount-fare offerings

Logan International Airport travelers got a new option for discount flights to Detroit and Myrtle Beach, S.C., yesterday on Spirit Airlines, and airport officials hope Spirit will soon expand to serve Florida and the Caribbean from Boston. Spirit's move is helping Logan bolster its low-fare carrier offerings in the wake of January's shutdown of Independence Air , which flew five daily round-trips to Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., and Delta Air Lines Inc.'s May decision to fold its Song low-fare unit back into mainline Delta.

For years, Logan has faced competition from discount carriers -- Southwest Airlines in particular -- at Manchester Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire and T.F. Green Airport outside Providence . The biggest carriers at Logan, by passenger volume, remain traditional ones like American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines, and US Airways, which after its merger with America West last fall has begun fashioning itself as a low-cost carrier. But in the last year, Logan has attracted enough new service from AirTran Airways and JetBlue Airways Corp., and now Spirit, to be able to contend it now offers more seats on low-fare carriers per week than Manchester and Providence combined.

For the week beginning next Monday, low-fare carriers will fly a total of 71,774 seats out of Logan , according to figures developed by the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs the airport. That compares with 59,786 low-fare seats available from Manchester and Providence, almost all of those on Southwest . In the same week a year earlier, Logan's low-fare service totaled 54,977 seats, compared with 65,155 from Providence and Manchester. Overall, compared to 2004, Logan now offers 20,407 more seats on departing low-fare carrier flights, a 39.7 percent increase.

Spirit has begun Boston service with a pair of daily round trips to Detroit and a single daily round-trip to Myrtle Beach. Massport chief executive Thomas J. Kinton Jr. said he hopes Spirit will follow up as soon as this winter with new Boston-to-Fort Lauderdale, Fla., service. Spirit flies to 11 destinations in the Caribbean and to Cancun, Mexico, from its hub there . ``Spirit has a reputation as a high value, low cost air carrier whose presence at Logan will result in more choices and competitive fares for our customers," Kinton said.
Spirit yesterday was offering September round-trips for $198, not counting taxes, according to its website. That compared to ticket prices normally in the $288 range offered by Northwest Airlines, which has long dominated Boston-to-Detroit service, for flights purchased this month before Spirit launched service.

Spirit executives have in the past floated the possibility of expanded service from Boston. But yesterday, Spirit spokeswoman Lynne Koreman said the airline has ``no plans for what's next yet. We'll get through day one first." Koreman said flights are booked nearly full through the week, but before deciding whether to add more destinations from Boston, ``We need to get through the season." Spirit currently offers year-round service from Providence to Fort Lauderdale and seasonal flights from Providence to Fort Myers.

While the demise of Song and Independence Air was a step backward for discounters at Logan, other low-fare carriers have been moving aggressively to widen offerings in Boston . Since March, JetBlue has rolled out nonstop service to four new destinations -- Richmond, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo -- and plans to add service to Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 18. That will bring to 20 the number of destinations JetBlue serves from Boston. Bermuda and Jacksonville, Fla., are widely seen as potential future destinations from Boston, but JetBlue has not confirmed specific plans.

AirTran began flying to Rochester, N.Y., on July 6. Filling a void left by Delta replacing big Song jets with smaller Delta jets, AirTran plans to add service to three Florida cities this autumn: Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers on Nov. 15, and Orlando on Dec. 21. That will increase AirTran Boston service to 31 daily flights to 10 nonstop destinations

August 18, 2006

Golden Triangle Airport

The Golden Triangle Regional Airport is centrally located between the cities of Columbus, Starkville and West Point, Mississippi, and is only 15 minutes away from Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women and Old Waverly Golf Club, rated by Golf Digest as one of the top 100. The May 2005 issue of Golf Digest lists America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses and Old Waverly is No. 94.

If you were to guess, what kind of air service would you think they have??? How about three flights per day on Delta Connection ATA on a CRJ100 to Delta hub Atlanta. Although parking is not free, the weekly cost is $25 but there is free wireless.

What is my point??? It amazes me that small airports like Golden Triangle Airport and McAllen Airport ( in Texas can have such better airline service then ORH? What do all of these smaller airports have in common?

  1. Great web pages
  2. Free or very low charges for parking (less then ORH)
  3. Free wireless internet
  4. Couple Direct Leisure flights to popular tourist detinations
  5. Daily shuttles to a major hub
  6. Terminals that are full, not empty slots like our "restaurant spot"

August 17, 2006

Telegram Story

Here is the link to today's headline story that "City Airport Future May Hinge on Study":

There was some interesting stuff in the story including the fact ORH lost 2.3 million. I also have one correction. The current agreement with MassPort just finished year 2 of a 3 year contract. The previous agreement with MassPort was 5 years not 3. In other words ORH has had MassPort as a partner for 7 years !!! Lets take a minute to review the three studies:

  1. Leigh Fisher Associates: They are putting together our 20 year Master Plan. The final plan is suppose to be released in the Fall of 2006. Although the study cost approixmately $400,000, 90% was picked up by the FAA and 10% by the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission. We are waiting for the results this fall.
  2. IMG: DONE!! This study cost $100,000 and was paid by the City of Worcester. A copy can be found at Official City of Worcester Web page under the reports tab on the left side. Highlights of the study include the fact ORH should focus on cost-conscious direct service for the leisure traveler (in particular Florida), free parking should be provided at ORH, closure would not be good for Worcester, privatization would be a tough sale but a operating agreement with a private party with a term of 5-10 years, ephasizing the recruitment of commercial service(while specifically recommending 6 carriers) has a possibility. ORH has gone on to spend an additional $100,000 to IMG to help attract a commerical carrier.
  3. New England Regional Air Study Plan: This is the plan being put together by the New England Council to study how best to optimally utilize all the airports in co-ordinated fashion. Last December of 2004 there was a meeting, which did not have much to say about ORH. This study is the topic of today's story in the Telegram and the results will be released the last week of September.

I find it hard to believe, however, that the New England Regional Air Study Plan will hold the "key" Worcester Regional Airport's future. In the end we may have to hire a 4th consultant to tie the recommendations of these three studies into one cohesive plan--just kiddin.

Although City Manager O'Brien indicated that there are some major announcements on the horizon in regards to commercial service in today's story. Lets hope this happens soon.

August 16, 2006


This past fiscal year ending in June represented the 5th year of our partnership with MassPort. Today there is 318 days left (less then one year) until the current 3 year agreement ends. If you were the owner (since we are) of this airport and were looking at the results the past 7 years, would you want to renew the contracts with the current management? I say "no".

The airport has continued to lose approximately 1.5 million per year the past 7 years, while last year we set an all time high of $2 million in losses. If we had daily shuttles to JFK on a JetBlue or a Mesa (Delta connestion) then I may be able to accept these losses, but one airline a couple times per week to one destination? No way.

Again, it is not MassPort's fault. How can we expect them to invest the time and assets into ORH during three year operating agreements, where they have no opportunity to reap any of the returns? If you were renting an apartment, would you remodel the kitchen and bathroom? I would not.

In light of the current consolidation of Mass Pike (with Mass Highway), lets continue the trend with our Massachusetts airports and consolidate the three commercial airports (Boston, Hanscom, and ORH) under one management company--MassPort. Either we (City of Worcester) outright sell ORH or lease ORH for 99 years to MassPort. Continuing the current agreement will only result in the continuation of the same results during the past 5 years.

August 15, 2006

Fiscal 2006 Financials

Revenues: 1,993,336
Airfield 183,286
Airfield Support 286,933
Terminal Building 253,651
State Aid 1,005,619
Misc 263,847

Expenses: 3,073,303
Salaries 853,676
Maintenance 1,274,204
Capital 3,669
Debt Service 634,897
Fringe 306,857

Loss 1,079,967

What does this mean?? The airport lost 2,085,586 Fiscal 2006 costing MassPort (state aid) 1,005,619 and the City of Worcester 1,079,967. Lets take a moment to review Fiscal 2005 numbers:

Renevues 2,129,627
Airfield 92,809
Airfield Support 286,933
Terminal Building 207,612
State Aid 1,241,001
Misc 249,648

Expenses: 2,809,182
Salaries 764,374
Maintenance 1,120,377
Capital 3,326
Debt Service 630,850
Fringe 290,255

Loss 679,555

Last year the airport lost 1,920,556 in Fiscal 2005 costing MassPort 1,241,001 and the City of Worcester 679,555.

In other words the Airport overall lost 165,030 more then it did last year, but it cost the City of Worcester 400,412 more then last year. Keep in mind that this year the State Aid is reduced from 85% to 67% of the operating deficit and in 319 days to the end of the current MassPort (state aid) agreement ends.

Still amazes me that Green Hill losing $150,000 is such a big story, while the Airport lost over 2 million dollars last year.

August 14, 2006

Airtran in Boston Update

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. , today announced the airline will launch new seasonal service to popular destinations throughout Florida, including Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers. The new flights will be served using the airline's fuel-efficient Boeing 737-700 aircraft. Seasonal service to Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers begins November 15, and seasonal service to Orlando begins December 21.

"Whether it's a family getaway, a business meeting or a romantic weekend at the beach, AirTran Airways is making Florida even more accessible for our customers in Boston this winter," said Kevin Healy, AirTran Airways' vice president of planning. "Boston is a growing market for AirTran Airways, and we look forward to providing our customers with the best-possible service and value at Logan International Airport during this winter's busy travel season. And for our customers in Florida, getting to Boston to visit the harbor or get a bowl of authentic clam chowder has never been easier than it is this winter."

"AirTran Airways' announcement could not come at a more appropriate time for our traveling customers," said Massport's Interim Director of Aviation, Ed Freni. "Now serving 10 nonstop destinations and providing 31 daily flights including the additional service to Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers and Orlando, AirTran has addressed customer demand in this marketplace

Anothr VLJ Story

Sorry, but this could be the next big thing in aviation. ORH needs to be out front on the VLJ's and go after companies like Linear Air:

Buoyant global economy, and a overstretched hub-based aviation sector, are seeing the rise of alternative forms of business travel for . The VLJ answers many such needs. With the perennial rivalry between Boeing and Airbus continually grabbing the headlines, the growth of the business aviation sector in general, and the advent of the 'very light jet' (VLJ) in particular, has happened away from the spotlight. It took the launch of auto manufacturer Honda's sleek VLJ, the HondaJet, at the Oskosh air show in the US this year, as well as the type certification of the Eclipse 500, to refocus attention on this business phenomenon.

"What I have in my hand is probably the most significant piece of paper in America today, a piece of paper that will truly change the face of aviation," said US Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA) administrator Marion Blakey, just before handing the provisional Type Certificate for the Eclipse 500 VLJ aircraft, to Vern Raburn, Eclipse Aviation's president and CEO. Eclipse Aviation Corp will now become the first company in the world to deliver such jets to customers. Eclipse's achievement has been seven years in the making.

Accepting the certificate from Blakey, Eclipse CEO Raburn was no less optimistic: "This sector of the marketplace is attracting more interest, more investment and more activity than any other place in aviation," he said. Eclipse already has nearly 2,500 orders from customers, worth a total of $3.8 billion. With VLJs now set to arrive at airfields around the world in thousands, such numbers are set to alter the face of business travel. The Microjet VLJs or microjets are small planes whose interiors are the size of a minivan's, and are targeted at organisations that want to diversify their corporate fleets, at individual pilots who want to fly their own jets and a budding air-taxi industry that seeks to link small and big airports. Air-taxi services are targeting business travellers who would not like to waste a lot of time shuttling in and out of hub airports. (See: Fractional Jet Ownership)

Most of the VLJs are designed to carry between five to seven passengers along with a pilot, and depending on the load, have a range of between 900-1,400 miles. A VLJ will cost between $1.5 million to $3 million, as compared with corporate jets, whose prices range from $4.5 million to $50 million. VLJs are also less expensive than most of their turboprop competitors. According to Eclipse calculations, a one-way, 400-mile trip on a VLJ, with four passengers on the plane, could cost about $1 a mile per passenger. Some trips could, at most, cost about that of a first-class airline ticket. An identical trip on a corporate jet could cost more than $10 a mile. (See: Business aviation aircraft

August 13, 2006

Link from John


here is part:

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. -- Eric Eisenberg flew home to Alabama from his New England vacation Saturday out of Bradley International Airport, avoiding the crowds and larger security lines in New York and Boston.
"I'd much rather go through a small airport like this," said Eisenberg, 39, of Birmingham, who was traveling with his 3-year-old son. "I figure, A, it's just more convenient, but, B, terrorists are probably going to go to the more populated places and they aren't going to a small airport like Hartford."

Barry Pallanck, Bradley's airport administrator, acknowledges that an increased terror threat is probably not going to result in people changing tickets they have already purchased just to fly out of smaller airports. But, if new security measures remain in place for a long time, more people like Eisenberg probably will make the decision to bypass the major travel hubs for lower-hassle alternatives, he said.

VLJ Story

Here is part of a story from travel weekly:

The first test of the concept, however, should come when DayJet is allowed to take possession of its first Eclipse 500s for the “per-seat, on-demand” short-haul service it hopes to begin near the end of this year for service in the Southeastern U.S. DayJet said its seats would be priced about 20% higher than full-fare coach on regional carriers. It believes that will cost travelers about the same as air, hotel and daily expenses on a typical business trip.

DayJet will have two pilots and up to three passengers per flight, and spokeswoman Vicky Harris said the company could break even with just 1.3 passengers per flight. DayJet, based in Del Ray, Fla., will serve routes under 600 miles, with its first services connecting the Florida communities of Boca Raton, Gainesville, Lakeland, Pensacola and Tallahassee. DayJet said it chose the five Florida cities because each one “represents a strong and growing local economy and business environment that is underserved by the airline hub-and-spoke system.” It plans to add four more cities in Florida and 12 more across three Southeastern states within 12 months of launching the service.

DayJet is targeting midlevel managers and people who typically drive on business trips today because their air-service option is not appealing. It also said travelers might take a scheduled service flight in one direction and a DayJet flight for the trip back to avoid having an overnight stay.

Another service, Lexington, Mass.-based Linear Air, is planning to be the first jet-taxi service in the Northeast. It’s already offering air taxi service on Cessna turboprops and has ordered 30 Eclipse 500s for delivery over the next two years.

Dick Knapinski, a spokesman for the Experimental Aircraft Association, said he believed the biggest market for the very light jets would be air taxi services and companies that can’t afford big corporate jets.
Knapinski said he can appreciate the potential appeal of air taxi services. Any community with 25,000 people or more usually has a fairly nice local airport, and “the vast majority of airports in this nation are under-utilized,” he said. And as a former resident of northern Wisconsin, Knapinsky said, he knows how frustrating air travel from those communities can be. “I know some rather large businesses in far nothern Wisconsin, near nice airports with 5,000-foot runways, but at least two hours from any commercial air service,” he said. “It would be two hours just to get to an airport where you would probably connect with a regional carrier to connect to a hub airport, where you would get on another regional carrier.”

But asked how much business travelers would be willing to pay for more convenience, Knapinski said, “You would have to ask each company, ‘What is that worth to you?’ “

August 12, 2006

Allegiant Loads

Allegiant August flights for the remainder of the month all have at least 9 available seats. I honestly thought with all the problems in Boston that we would sell out all of these flights for the month of August, which would have maybe made Allegiant think twice about dropping to two flights per week the last week of August.

MidAmerica Airport

There are many secondary airports in the US that are in a similar situation as ORH, like Rockford (Chicago), Stewart (upstate New York), Arnold Palmer (Pennsylvania) and MidAmerica (St Louis). Earlier this week I had blogged a story of how Stewart had worked a deal to develop space for hangars that was worth milions and millions of dollars. Followed by another story about how Tracy Airport in California has worked with Boyd Aviation to develop a Master Plan that also included the development of additional hangar space.

Now from MidAmerica Airport a story regarding air cargo warehouse space. An airport has many revenue sources and we need to develop all of them to wipe out a $1,500,000 space. ORH has plenty of extra land maybe we should be looking to lease out space for companies to build air cargo warehouses also??

BEFORE LAST week, we didn't know the Riau Islands from Gilligan's Island. We got a valuable education when the governor of that Indonesian province visited MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. We learned the Riau Islands were growing wildly, an economic powerhouse drawing lots of foreign investment. We learned they were strategically located just a few miles south of Singapore on the major shipping route between the Indian Ocean and Asia. And we learned their governor, Ismeth Abdullah, was the former leader of their industrial development commission -- the group that helped bring more than 9,000 local and 700 foreign manufacturing plants to the province's main island, Batam. Batam now accounts for $6.8 billion, or 14 percent, of Indonesia's exports excluding gas and oil.

Abdullah toured the metro-east and got the sales pitch for MidAmerica Airport, which has an $8 million, 50,000-square-foot air cargo warehouse standing ready. He also saw the metro-east's nexus of highways, rail and river transit drawing huge distribution centers that his province's electronics manufacturers could access via air cargo."It's a very strategic location," Abdullah said. "It's straight in the middle of the United States. We will learn from here how to create the cooperation."

Encouraging words from a man who knows the value of location. MidAmerica Director Tim Cantwell and St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern made a lot of optimistic predictions last fall about the airport, including that the cargo facility will be fully rented this year. The fact that MidAmerica drew the time and attention of a man whose market is the world has us feeling a little optimistic, too. For the taxpayers' sake, here's hoping this becomes a deal that would make Thurston Howell III smile

August 11, 2006

June Board Minutes

I have them up on Interesting stuff. GOOD NEWS---WE ARE TALKING WITH LINEAR!!!!!

BAD NEWS There is not one mention of where IMG stands with any of their negotiations???

Although costs to change signage for the airport name change were mentioned, as well as emplanements/deplanements for Allegiant, no actual numbers are reported in the minutes. Hypothetically if the cost to change the signage is a million dollars, do we still want to change the name??? As tax-payers we have a right to know the actual cost to change the signage as well as the number of passengers on the Allegiant flights.

Tracy Airport Master Plan

Blog favorite, Boyd Aviation, is at it again. Here is an update on the Master Plan for Tracy Airport (

Tracy airport is only living up to a fraction of its potential, according to a consultant, but expansion plans would see more flights pass over homes, including the proposed Ellis and Tracy Hills housing projects.Aviation specialist Michael Boyd from the Boyd Group told City Council and the Airport Commission that the airport, which was “paying pretty much for itself,” earned the city $875,000 in employment, profit and taxes in 2005.

He said this figure could be quickly increased by building more hangars and by taking over airport gas sales from Tracy Flight Center. The city only earned seven cents per gallon from the 24,000 gallons sold at the airport last year, despite gas prices that were about a dollar higher than prices at Byron Airport, according to Boyd.Boyd said the city was also short-changing itself on hangars and fees.“There are people that want to park their airplanes,” he said. “People will pay for a T-hanger which is basically a shed.”Hangar rentals accounted for two-thirds of airport revenue last year, and Boyd said the city should build more low-cost T-hangars in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration, and that it should increase rental fees, which currently range from $500 to $800 per year.Pilot Marty Turny said he paid just $10 a month to park his Piper Warrior in the open at Tracy Municipal Airport. Turny said there was a waiting list for airport hangars, but he recently turned down a hangar when he reached the top of the list.“The only reason I have it tied down is for easy access for my daughter during her flight training,” he said.

Boyd suggested the city sell New Jerusalem Airport, although FAA rules would make this difficult.The biggest risk to the airport was homebuilders, said Boyd. “I’m not a big fan of developers,” he said.Commission Chairman John Howard said the council should try to protect areas around the airport from homebuilders.Tracy’s stunt pilots used the airport for more than a decade until complaints from people living in newly built homes close to the airport shut them down in 2004. The pilots finally took to the air again this year, but were immediately dogged by noise and safety complaints.The Surland Cos.’ proposed Ellis housing project and AKT Homes’ and Souza Realty’s proposed Tracy Hills housing project would both be under the paths of airplanes, according to developers.“We’re planning Ellis with the airport in mind,” said Surland President Chris Long. “There’s about 23 acres set aside for an outer approach zone. You could still have some limited uses there you could have one home per acre.”Councilwoman Suzanne Tucker said extensions to the Tracy runway would be virtually impossible because there isn’t any more room.The City Council asked staff to prepare a report and recommendations on a raft of Boyd’s recommendations, including debt refinancing and the construction of sewage and other infrastructure.

August 10, 2006


Great new billboard on Route 290 Westbound right after the Route 146 exit. Also I have not received the June Airport Board Minutes yet and they have not been posted on the City of Worcester website. I will write a letter to Airport Liaison Niddrie formally requesting them today.

August 09, 2006

Corporate Hangars

August 9th, we still do not have the June Airport Board Minutes, never mind July (they are not on the official website either, Many times people have told me that we need more corporate hangars at ORH. Check out what Stewart International has done. The story is short:

Stewart to get new hangars
By Craig Wolf

Ascend Development SWF LLC has signed a deal with Stewart International Airport to develop a large hangar complex for corporate jets in the next 10 years.The total project is valued at $60 million, airport president Chuck Seliga said.The company will lease about 32 acres of land and develop it in phases.Construction is expected to begin within a year, according to information handed out by Seliga. This will allow time for due diligence, land surveys and analysis.Facilities would eventually include 15 hangars serving a variety of corporate jets, from the smallest to the largest, Seliga said.The development is expected to create a large number of jobs, said Richard O'Beirne, head of the Construction Contractors Association of the Hudson Valley.

Check out this story about Ascend:

August 08, 2006

June Minutes

Anxious to see the board minutes. Hopefully there is something interesting there?? As soon as I get them I will post.

August 07, 2006

Green Hill Country Club Deficit

Another story today on the deficit balance in the Green Hill Enterprise account, note story below. Don't get me wrong, I am glad to see that we are worried about a $167,000 loss, but I only wish the same coverage was spent on another enterprise account (ORH) that is consistenly losing $1,500,000 and is 327 days away from the end of the current operating agreeement.

Green Hill Municipal Golf Course finished the past fiscal year with one of its larger budget deficits — roughly $167,000. Because Green Hill operates under a so-called “enterprise account,” in which the revenues generated at the golf course are used to pay its expenses, the City Council recently had to transfer money from the city’s tax levy budget to offset the shortfall. In recent years, the golf course has racked up revenue shortfalls ranging from $100,000 to $150,000. In fiscal 2001, the golf course had a $175,000 budget. The harsh winter that year played a big role in fueling that deficit, as the prolonged cold weather and snow damaged the course’s greens and delayed Green Hill’s opening.

Weather was also a contributing factor in the golf course’s budget deficit this past fiscal year. The heavy rains in May and June cut into the number of rounds of golf played at the course during the late spring and early summer, a traditionally busy time of the year for Green Hill, according to Robert C. Antonelli Jr., assistant commissioner of parks, recreation and cemetery. The latest budget deficit at the golf course is expected to resurrect debate on ways to increase revenues there. Earlier this year, Robert L. Moylan Jr., commissioner of public works and parks, proposed seeking a limited beer and wine license for the golf course. While he was not suggesting that the sale of beer and wine alone would generate enough revenue to offset the golf course’s budget deficit, he said their availability could help attract lucrative tournaments to Green Hill. While Mr. Moylan’s plan was blocked by the Parks and Recreation Commission in April, he has indicated that he intends to bring the idea back before the commission at some time in the future

August 06, 2006

Good News

Only one ticket available for the flight tomorrow. Lets hope this continues.

This week I hope to get the June Board Minutes and the financial numbers for the past fiscal year July 1, 2005 thru June 31, 2006.

August 05, 2006

Boyd on the Eclipse VLJ

"This is a disruptive airplane," said Michael Boyd of The Boyd Group, an Evergreen, Colo., aviation consulting firm. "If it does what it's supposed to do at the price it advertises, it will make obsolete a whole slew of existing airplanes."

Here is some more from,2565,ALBQ_19838_4877055,00.html

Herp, of Linear Air, says simple economics justifies the business model. To book a last-minute coach seat from Boston to Elmira, N.Y., on a commercial airline - with a layover in Newark, N.J., - costs $680 per person or around $2,700 for a group of four, he said. Linear Air will charge that same group $3,000 for better service and a direct flight, he said. "We've got more business than we can handle right now," Herp said

August 04, 2006


Spirit starts Boston to Myrtle on August 15th and have been running ads touting Again too bad we could not get some of these flights out of ORH from our partner, MassPort, during the winter.

Bottom line--good advertising by Spirit and Logan. This morning I heard the radio ad on WTAG that has been running every day. It is a good ad and comments about how Worcester has no tunnel problems and has cheap parking if you want to go to Orlando/Dayton. People who listen to Hank/Sherm in the morning, however, seem to me would already know about this. Lets hope this ad is being run in markets that are not aware of ORH.

Master Plan

Tracy Municipal Airport ( has finished their Master Plan with our favorite airline consultant, Boyd Aviation. Lets hope our Master Plan has clear recommendations like theirs.

The Boyd Group's study of the Tracy airport released in June concluded that the airport contributes insignificantly to the economic well-being of Tracy, and it recommended several short- and long-term ways to improve. The list of immediate solutions includes reclaiming the aircraft fueling contract from operators of the Tracy Flight Center, building more hangars for general aviation and selling New Jerusalem Airport, an unused strip of concrete among the fields seven miles southeast of town.

But the city signed a contract through 2013 with Lloyd McFarlin to operate the flight center, including all fuel sales. And Howard said the Federal Aviation Administration has rebuffed Tracy's attempts to sell New Jerusalem for more than three years. Rod Buchanan, assistant director of parks and community services, said it still might be possible to sell the unused strip, but it might take hiring a political consultant who has experience dealing with the FAA."Maybe hiring a person with expertise in these matters could have a better outcome than we've had," he said.

Longer term, the study suggested building a new administrative complex and linking with city water and sewer lines. Both have been stated goals of the commission since it wrote a strategic plan in 2003.But the report also concluded that extending the main runway is too expensive and impractical given the airport's proximity to development and the California Aqueduct. Commissioners have stressed a 1,500-foot extension could help increase the amount of commercial aircraft that frequents the airport.Buchanan said only 200 to 300 feet are currently available for expansion, and huge sums of time and money would need to be spent on environmental reviews and public outreach before it could occur. And the FAA might not approve such a small change anyway when it would not alter substantially the airport's ability to lure bigger aircraft.

"The report is extremely fair," Buchanan said. "It addresses all the issues brought up by the commission and in my mind evaluates the entire picture and gives solid recommendations."

August 03, 2006

Kinton CEO of MassPort

Now that Tom Kinton is officially the new CEO of MassPort, we need to meet with him and convince him how the purchase of ORH by MassPort makes the most sense for the future of both MassPort and ORH. The current ride to Boston is absoluteky terrible and people will soon depart from Providence, Hartford and Manchester, if they have not already. At the same time you can not blame MassPort for not diverting flights to ORH with the current operating agreement.

It will be interesting to see how many passengers Logan will lose to Manchester/Providence/Hartford. As the owners (whether an outright purchase or long term lease) MassPort would realize the benefits of investing in ORH and give their Boston passengers an alternative.

August 02, 2006


These guys are good. Check out this promotion:

August 01, 2006


I just noticed Wi-Fi advertised on the site. Anyone know when this was added and whether or not it is free??

We should definately advertise this if it is in fact free.


I just went on to Expedia and tried looking for Boston-Orlando flights. Thinking to myself that an ad for Worcester/Allegiant would be perfect for these type of searches but there were none to be found.

Then I tried looking for flights from Worcester to Sanford and it read:

No flights were found that matched your search
No flights were found between Worcester, MA (ORH-Worcester Municipal) and Sanford, FL (SFB-Central Fl Regional) that matched your request

In other words it does not look (to me) that we are in the Expedia database????

Allegiant Doubles Up at Rockford

Not only has Allegiant doubled the flights from Roanoke, but they have increased Rockford-Sanford to six times per week.

SANFORD -- Allegiant Air LLC announced this week that it will double the number of flights from Orlando Sanford International Airport to Roanoke, Va., and Rockford, Ill.
Roundtrip service to Roanoke will become four days a week, beginning Nov. 10, with departures in Virginia on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings. Return flights will depart Orlando Sanford the same afternoons.
On Nov. 8, six-day-a-week service will begin between Rockford, a city northwest of Chicago, and Orlando Sanford. Flights will originate in Orlando Sanford each morning, except Tuesday, with return service from Rockford to Orlando Sanford the same afternoons.