ERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6692 posts, RR: 18 Posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3571 times:
My question is this.. all the major airlines are merging and creating mega-companies. This is good for getting international and such, but it's leaving some stations with some gaps in service. So could independent regional airlines work. I don't mean airlines like Air Wisconsin or Skywest that use regional jets for service. I mean airlines like Porter and Solomon that fly a few routes and typically have one hub and maybe one focus city. An airline that is not looking to go global but one that is trying to serve a market, serve it well, and grow as necessary.
For instance, should MSY and OAK have a regional airline that serve the needs of their travelers. Branson has the idea but they are a private airport. Is it time to return to the 70s and 80s where many airports had their "own" regional airline that hubbed there?
I'm sure the argument can be made that many of these airlines went out of business, but it seems to work in other countries so I'm just wondering..
For example, little EWN (Coastal Carolina Regional Airport - New Bern, NC) has service on US to CLT and DL to ATL. What I envision is maybe a small airline that could offer EWN-WAS/NYC/MCO on either the Q400, ATR4-600, E70, CR7 or something similar. The market has service but doesn't get much as far as non-stop destination which is essential for business travel and attracting new service. And by incorporating the right aircraft with the right fares, I believe pax count can be stimulated for what is currently not there. So, what do you think?
DesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1424 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3562 times:
I think the time is ripe. Small communities hungry for air service are good candidates. You hit the nail on the head ERJ170 with is thread. Stockton, CA is a good example. Stockton for many years sustained service to SFO y LAX. Why not now? Allegiant has been a hit with its LAS service. Small communities need good reliable service, with good fares, not a lot of fees and complications, good walk-up fares....
mfricke From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 267 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3494 times:
What you are proposing is exactly what the directors of California Pacific Airlines have in mind. They have been pursuing a plan to start up a regional airport to operate out of San Diego County's Carlsbad/Palomar Airport. Check out their website at: http://www.flycpair.com
There is also a great presentation posted online, where you can see the efforts the County of Ventura have been making with "CP Air" to bring their proposed air service to Oxnard, which lost air service last year when United Express pulled out. You can find the presenation at
I believe that smaller airports have a future with airlines. The challenges are to effectively pull passengers away from larger airports. One would think it's a "no brainer", but just look at the struggles that ONT has been going through to lure travelers away from LAX and other area airports.
DesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1424 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3386 times:
Quoting mfricke (Reply 2): The challenges are to effectively pull passengers away from larger airports.
Good point! To do this these new regional airlines have to have well planned schedule, on-time operations and options when problems arise.
Case in point: when I lived in Tucson, to fly to Sacramento I had three choices...WN with many options-service through SAN, LAX and LAS; UA with service through LAX and EspressJet non-stop service. The non-stop was attractive but with only a flight in the morning and one in the evening there was not a lot of option if problems arose.
New Regional Airlines have to build confidence in the flying public to pull people away from the larger airports with multi-options.
goblin211 From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 1209 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3339 times:
Quoting planeguy727 (Reply 4): How does the US pax addiction to airline miles, frequency, and elite benefits impact this idea?
A lot because the regional airlines don't have those benefits that the larger airlines do. That's why so many pax go to larger airports.
Another reason for pax going to larger airports is because of lack of PR from the regional airlines. DL, UA, WN, F9, etc. have many ads on tv, internet. Where's Porter? for example. I don't see any ads for Porter and what they have to offer.
Exactly my point. Also a reason LFC have ended svc at some stations - fares come down and pax stick to legacy carriers due to these addictions rather than support the competition that brought the fares down.
And on the Porter example - i've seen their planes at EWR. From a distance you might think them CO Express planes so they don't even stand out at the airport, much less ad campaigns elsewhere.