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Airport Performance, When To Change Mngmt  
User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4567 posts, RR: 23
Posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3512 times:

This thread is not meant to draw issues to just one airport, but to get the overall views of people who various situations. Below I've listed an example on a particular city and its performance over the last 4 months and then compare it to similar sized airports, in small cities, and how it compares. What I'd like to get is feedback from people on what you opinion is on how airport management should be judge by performance and when is it time to seek a change.

The airport up for exhibit is of course, KROC's favorite city on the planet - Toledo (TOL).  Smile Located at http://flytoledo.com/compare/ I've presented a comparison of the airport to Flint and Akron-Canton as well as Detroit, Cleveland and Ft. Wayne for air fare purposes only. The existing management team took control of TOL back in April of 2000 - the Airport Director was promoted from within the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority (which handles railroad, airport, and seaport among other things) and the new position of Air Service Manager was created by the hiring of a former travel agent.

Since 2000 several things have come to pass, not all the managements fault...but some has to rest squarely on their shoulders. The pull out US Airways mainline and later all regional jet service, the pull out of AirTran, Northwest has gone from 10 to 4 now back to 5 daily flights, American from 7 to 4, the arrival of ATA Connection, the indefinite delay on the new control tower and cold storage facility, and so on. They have also made decisions that have delayed the setup of a new FIDS system, attempted to penalize airlines for moving gates - when the Port left them no choice, attempted to close down the entire western wing of the terminal so they wouldn't have to upgrade it (there are currently 2 airlines in it now and will have 3 when the east ramp is closed for repairs), and the failure to follow through on work requests and keeping the building a healthy and safe environment to work in - if you look at the airline operations areas you will see plenty of water stains, holes, peeling paint, etc.

Other disturbing decisions have arose through various discussions one on one where comments to the tone of 'we are looking to raise load factors, even if it means cutting service' were made. These further gained significance after the airport director was quoted in the local paper saying:

"January is always the slowest month of the year," Mr. Toth said after he reported the results to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's airport committee Friday. But on the upside, the airlines filled a higher percentage of their seats.

Now two months after those comments are made, the April passenger figures revealed a very disgusting detail - the airport is continuing to lose 15-20% of its customers per month. http://www.flytoledo.com/news/paxnumbers.htm

January was down 16%, Feb down 17%, March down 20%, and April down nearly 21%. For the first three months of the year, TOL was down around 20% overall. In comparison, Akron-Canton was up 28% and Flint was up 45% in overall passenger figures. Up against FWA, CAK, and FNT...TOL had fewer nonstop destinations then the others (8, 8, and 11 respectfully). Overall seats per day were also very different - CAK with 2184, FNT with 2088, FWA with 1453 and TOL with 1334. Fares weren't much different...when up against those three plus DTW & CLE...TOL wasn't the lowest in any of its top 10 O&D markets. CAK was the lowest overall, while FWA was the highest - notably due to no low fare competition.

We can complain and use 9/11, Iraq, etc. as excuses for why people aren't flying as much anymore - but when airports such as CAK and FNT can show that growth is possible, one has to look to other reasons for answers. A study done previously on TOL showed a market leakage of over 60% to surround airports - the most to DTW. To curb this the TOL management have embarked on an advertising campaign via radio, tv and print over the last several months. The radio adds have become much more sparse, as have the TV ads. A little over a month or two ago the airport launched on a new promotion awarding people who fly from the airport with a chance to win a 2 year...LEASE...on a Ford Focus. Besides covering 75% of the windows on the western wall of the check in area with large (sticker-like) signs advertising this...the fan fare has been less than perfect. Airline employees show their dissatisfaction by ignoring the promotion or talking it down and the advertisements on TV boosting it all showcase airlines & airliners that don't offer passenger service in TOL - Midway CRJs, US Airways 320s, 747-200s, etc.

My question out to those aviation management majors and industry types...when do you say when to continued decreases and lack of vision? It is obvious the Port, whom awards its President a $6000 bonus in January even though the seaport and airport are struggling, has lost its ability to become a player while its people are interested in maintaining the "good old boy" network and holding the status quo.

Does anyone else have examples on how these situations have been turned around, or are you experiencing the same thing? This discussion is really not meant at focusing on one city - but getting the overall opinions and ideas on how things should be operated and when is a good time to shake things up a bit to keep it fresh.

Thanks much!

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7521 posts, RR: 28
Reply 1, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3474 times:

Well I don't know how things work it TOL exactly.

We all know that many airport director/management positions are given out as political favors. Many times these people have little experienc in the industry. You don't have to look any further than to CLE or DTW to see that, at least in the past.

Right now many of the problems simply a result of external events and have little reflection on the actual airport's performance. Right now comparing year-over-year data does not mean much. Right now to make any meaningful comparisons you would have to look back to early 2001. The data for 2002 and early 2003 is beyond skewed due to world events.

The airlines are also playing hardball right now. In the past two years they have cut schedules, eliminated aircraft types, renegotiated airport leases, converted to RJ's, etc. Again many of these events are beyond the control of the individual airport's management team. They are not responsible if the market is not there. It would appear as if there are too many airports attacking the same market in this case (DTW, TOL, LAN, and FNT).

I don't know all the inner workings of the airport down there but considering the circumstances, the TOL economy, and its location. Things are not as bad as they seem. CAK & FNT are much more viable alternative airports than TOL.


User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3467 times:

"CAK & FNT are much more viable alternative airports than TOL."

I don't doubt you on that one. In fact, I've driven to fly in and out of FNT just because it's a nicer airport ;o) Thing is, it is perceived right now that the top management is not allowing it a chance to become a viable alternative option. The other airports mentioned above have been aggressively marketing airlines and service to fit the needs of their community. This airport has not. While other cities have increased flights and seats, we have lost seats. I guess everyone out there is going to be somewhat biased against my views only because I work there and I see how terrible it is to be there. The terminal on the west side leaks every time it rains. Our ops room has puddles in the middle of the doorways and our carpet smells every time it rains. After repeated requests to fix it, they still have yet to even look at the problem. I don't deny there is some good out of the airport (new food court, new prop(jet)way for NW, new giftshop. But to me, the rest of the airport is lacking because of it's past. The past has shown, if they fly it, people will come. And things suggest to me that they don't want airlines to fly it. It's just really hard to explain to someone from the outside what really is going on there, it just makes you wonder what kind of idiots are running the place.

Ry


User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4567 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3450 times:

Right now many of the problems simply a result of external events and have little reflection on the actual airport's performance. Right now comparing year-over-year data does not mean much. Right now to make any meaningful comparisons you would have to look back to early 2001. The data for 2002 and early 2003 is beyond skewed due to world events.

I don't understand why you would go back to early 2001, prior to 9/11, when the industry is currently in a post 9/11 world. That is like comparing the jet age to the prop age - it is apples to oranges. The other part of this comment is something that really annoys me; using 9/11 and Iraq as an excuse for everything. It may effect traffic through major hubs...but it isn't going to effect the spoke airports as much. I am a huge fan of Joe Leonard and his words ring very true...the recovery is here, everyone else still using 9/11 as excuses are those who aren't willing to adapt to the new economy. I've taken this way of thinking and examined industries outside of aviation as well - it is all related. On a smaller scale I've used it to my advantage for my own company by picking up cheap advertising rates (thanks to everyone else dropping their budgets) and getting better deals on equipment for my new 250-seat call center. Everyone is so afraid to spend right now, that is what is holding things back.

They are not responsible if the market is not there. It would appear as if there are too many airports attacking the same market in this case (DTW, TOL, LAN, and FNT).

The market is always there when you have a 60-70% leakage of the local travel market to other airports. FNT & CAK have done wonders with double digit growth...but they also have a team that is proactive by building new facilities, offering to work with the airlines to launch new routes, etc. It is called risk sharing...and you have to do it in order to succeed. It will take the airports working with the airlines to provide the service in order to get the people. The people aren't going to fly out of that airport if the service isn't there.

CAK has done this by working with AirTran by offering $1 million in "insurance" funding for the launch of LGA. LGA was such a huge hit that the $1 million will now be put up to give AirTran an incentive to launch service to BWI or another city. LAN currently has a plan where they will pay the airlines $100,000 for a new nonstop city, or $50,000 for additional frequency to an existing city.

The market is there...but you are right in one respect, CAK and FNT are more viable alternatives - because they are working to offer the services the passengers want. 1) Low fares, 2) non-stop service to more destinations, and 3) larger (than RJ) jet service. So what is holding TOL back? 1) ATA isn't providing extremely low fares as AirTran did, 2) non-stop service in the last year as only been added to Cleveland and Midway (even though ORD already had service), and 3) all the full size jets are gone - unless you feel like riding in a box.  Smile

Management needs to be creative, innovative, and use common sense. It seems that today managers are taught the old school way of doing things and not using their heads. Hopefully those currently in school aren't polluted with this old way of thinking.


User currently offlineRajivvyas From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3444 times:

How many gates does Toledo have? And what is the cost of emplanement? Has anyone looked into this?

User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4567 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3434 times:

8 gates currently - 5 are jetbridges and two are low level board are (1 and 1A). 1A is slated to receive a new mobile walkway that will extend out onto the ramp and be able to provide an additional 3 "gates" if you will - the walkway will have 3-4 doors in it that will lead out to various parking spots.

Jetbridge fees are $90 per use and the PFCs are currently maxed out at $4.50 I think it is.


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4488 posts, RR: 33
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3415 times:

Could something be making FNT more attractive to Detroiters, since AirTran thrives there and didn't at TOL? I'm not very familiar with the Detroit market. What is the driving time from downtown Detroit to TOL, and what sort of driving does it involve?

On a road atlas, it looks like the majority of the metro Detroit population lives north and west of downtown, and might be a little closer to FNT. Also, one does not have to go through either downtown Detroit or downtown Toledo.

What might differentiate Toledo that local leaders could pitch? According to Ohio DOT, Toledo's metro population is over 500,000. That should support much more air service than you're describing. It still amazes me that AirTran didn't do better in Toledo. Also, does TOL's location so far west of town have anything to do with it? EG, if we have to drive, we might as well drive to Detroit?

Local political and business leaders have to be very aggressive in pursuing air service. They're the people who airlines see as having power to generate local air travel demand, and they command more attention. Airport management needs their full backing or it won't get far.

Rochester's very competent airport management has had aggressive backing from the county executive and our local Congresswoman. Local companies also made good on promises to use AirTran. Considering the bad economy, and the fact that Southwest entered Buffalo, Rochester has done well in attracting new air service in the past couple of years.

We also still have nonstop service to almost all the destinations we had in early 2001, although we have much less Cartel-network mainline seat capacity. AirTran and JetBlue are both thriving. Northwest's new daily nonstop to MSP is also a sign of health. I'm not convinced we'd have all of this if our local political and business leaders weren't so pro-active.

Jim


User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3391 times:

"What is the driving time from downtown Detroit to TOL, and what sort of driving does it involve? "

It's not that bad of a drive and it's actually about to get better. The only problem is getting from I475/23 to the airport on SR2. That area has a pretty big shopping center and for years has been very congested during peak times, but still not a big hassle to get through. At the end of this year, that area will have been expanded to 6 lanes of traffic not including turn lanes. The rest is cake. If one travelling from the Detroit area wanted, they could either drive straight down I75 to the turnpike or take the I475/23 route.

The problem isn't getting Detroiters to the airport, it's getting the Toledoans to the airport. Between 60% and 70% of the Toledo population drives to DTW to take the nonstop and I believe that 70% - 75% of the Toledo business community flies out of DTW. Those statistics are something that bothers me but I understand why they do, nonstop destinations (TOL only having 5).

"It still amazes me that AirTran didn't do better in Toledo. "

AirTran was doing fine in the first 4 months of service at the airport, their numbers were down slightly from the previous year, but they were poised for growth later in the year. The summer would probably have been phenominal for them because of the larger jets. I keep hearing that the Port had something to do with their departure and won't think about coming back until the current management is out of place. This comes from very reliable business sources in the area and a couple of sources within AirTran itself.

Another article in this morning's Blade quotes the air service manager as saying something to this tune "yes passenger volume dropped 20%, but our load factor was great at over 70%" I don't like this thought at all, and that has been the thought that has been driving the airport managers for some time now. Instead of increased service, they want increase load factors....anyone see anything wrong with this?? TOL is a regional airport and should average between 60% and 65% load factors just like the prime regional feed lf should be. ASA again ran over an 85% load factor for the month which continues their trend over that mark since as long as I can remember, yet they only want 3 flights a day......I'm giving up on it...I just work there now.

As for landing fees.....I don't remember exactly what the per pound fee is, but I do know it is relatively expensive for a smaller airport, mostly to pull money from BAX and the National Guard.

Just a side note the Port Authority sent the wrong tax bill to BAX instead of and admitted it, but say that it's BAX's fault and won't reimburse for any of the over paid taxes. The Port won't even negotiate on it, no landing fees, nothing....what a way to alienate airlines.....::cough:: AirTran ::cough::

=(

Ry


User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4567 posts, RR: 23
Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3359 times:

Jim,

Ryan hit on most of it for you. As for the location...the Toledo metro is currently in the urban sprawl mode - which is moving the population base closer to the airport. What it really comes down, I believe, is incompetent management. Of course who am I to question someone's ability? A little background, when I started the airport's website a few years back - it was a hobbyist, traveler, employee site to share ideas on the airport. Eventually it gained recognition and was for a period of two years the "official" site of the airport. However, when the airport started its nose dive last year everyone started becoming more critical of the management style. Here TOL was dropped thousands and thousands of passengers per month, yet CAK and FNT have massive expansion programs in effect.

About 6 months ago word leaked out that someone in the airport management circle spoke to a couple of the airline employees. Completely hearsay, but essentially what the context of the discussions were about was that they would rather see higher load factors than more flights. No one really thought about it much until in January that Airport Director came out with the "yes passenger numbers are done, but load factors are very strong," speech. Now in an article today - the air service manager says the same thing (story below). Well as everyone became more critical of the airport, I received an e-mail solicating a bid for the Port Authority to purchase the domain in which I operated the site under (toledoexpress.com). I gave them a price and it was answered with a $100,000 lawsuit claiming cybersquatting, lack of security due to increases in terrorism since 9/11, and a score of other things their lawyer decided to throw in. The tone taken by the Communications Director was that of a true politician claiming I was making money off the website by funneling traffic to my ISPs website - funny I never noticed one customer signing up after clicking over. However, they were completely convinced I was making money off of it. Eventually the lawsuit settled later that day, I got my check...They got a domain in which they have sat on for over 2 months now.

The web site was relaunched that day under the FlyToledo.com domain and was made public thanks to the local paper. The message board was never silenced and people were free to continue to post their critics of this management's style. After posting one of my thoughts on what was going on, in March/April...their Communication Director came on and completely questioned my intellect and knowledge of this area followed up with the comment "sour grapes perhaps?" in relation to the settling of the lawsuit. Needless to say this sparked outrage among everyone on the forum and it got so bad to where I decided to shut it down, and wipe it clean and start over. The Communications Director eventually contacted me in my office and offered his apology followed by making comments relating to the lawsuit and essentially calling me a liar again. Oh well - people never change.

Anyway, so that brings us to today. The website is what it is...and will now cover all airports in the region to bring attention to the fact something is wrong - locally. Call it a watch dog or what not...it is simply a forum for employees, travelers, and supporters to voice their opinions to make the airport better. As Ryan alluded to...something happened with AirTran that we don't know and will probably never know about. I am extremely good friends with the Cheif Executive of a company that is strong ties with AirTran and they are a partner on a certain product. They have specifically told me AirTran was "ran out" due to the local managements style. Whether that was the locals telling them to leave, that they didn't want RJs, that they doubled their lease rates, whatever...it was made clear that AirTran didn't want to leave, and that they want to come back with the CRJs. This is now a company that must send their employees to FNT or CAK to fly out on AirTran and one that has considered moving out of the City of Toledo.

OH well...maybe i'm trying to hard. Maybe I should just move back to OKC...who knows. It just sucks when you do business with a common sense approach and then look around and see people doing business the stupid way.  Smile

Story from The Blade today that was referred to above...


Passenger volume plummets in April
Passenger volume at Toledo Express Airport continued a sharp decline during April, down nearly 21 percent compared with the same month in 2002.

Airport managers blamed the drop on reduced service, including the loss a year earlier of discount carrier AirTran Airways, but pointed to a higher percentage of seats filled on the remaining flights as a positive sign for Toledo.

Planes leaving Toledo Express during April had 23,742 of their 33,724 seats filled - a 70.4 percent load factor, Air Service Manager Kris Nichter said in a report to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority???s airport committee.

During the past seven years, Mr. Nichter reported, that percentage was exceeded only in 2001, when departing flights were 75.4 percent full.

Last month???s outbound headcount was 16.5 percent fewer than the 28,429 passengers who boarded flights at Toledo Express in April, 2002, and the overall volume of 47,488 marked a 20.78 percent decline compared with the comparable month.

For the first four months of the year, total passenger volume through Toledo Express is down by 19.1 percent, from 227,230 in 2002 to 183,810 this year.

May will represent the first month during which the year-to-year comparison will not include AirTran, which pulled out of Toledo on April 28, 2002. During its final month of service at Express, the airline had 9,992 local passengers.

This month???s resumption of Toledo-Cleveland service by Continental Connection also should boost the airport???s May numbers. Since four daily flights began May 4, Mr. Nichter said, the Cleveland planes have flown about 40 percent full.

"It takes a little while to get ramped up," he told the airport committee, adding that some travel agents won???t book a carrier during its first few weeks in a market.



User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4488 posts, RR: 33
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3337 times:

They have specifically told me AirTran was "ran out" due to the local managements style. Whether that was the locals telling them to leave, that they didn't want RJs, that they doubled their lease rates, whatever...it was made clear that AirTran didn't want to leave, and that they want to come back with the CRJs. This is now a company that must send their employees to FNT or CAK to fly out on AirTran and one that has considered moving out of the City of Toledo.

Keep giving 'em hell, OUBoy. Oftentimes it's tenacious local citizens who are willing to gather and process reams of information, as you have, who uncover and help change bad local government policy. I've never heard of an airport management that wasn't horrified to lose a major low-fare carrier, and which saw higher load factors on remaining (ostensibly higher-fare) flights as an improvement. Something's rotten in the Lucas County-Toledo Port Authority, it seems to me.

And if you turn out to be wrong, what harm has been done? Toledoans deserve a lot better than the airport management you've described. Scrutiny and questions can only help the situation.

Flintonians aren't rejecting AirTran to get NW's DTW nonstops. Why should Toledoans, whose metro area is at least as large as Flint, have done differently? I don't get it.

Jim



User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 33
Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3339 times:

Comment was made in a prior response regarding airport director/management positions being political favors. While it is true that many of them are, it is also true that a great number of us are career airport management types (I've been in the business since August of 1984, at the time, I'd just graduated from Embry-Riddle).

At MSY, my boss's boss is the airport director, and he came to us with a career spent both as airport director at DAY, and also time spent at USAir.

Airports as a whole are tied to the airlines, as they go, so we go. I can't really speak to TOL's problems (it sounds like they have some serious ones), and I'm not trying to defend them or make excuses here (the construction of the new tower is an FAA function, not an airport function; the FIDS project may have been delayed either by over-design, or an under-budget (we were guilty of an over-design on our FIDS, I know of an airport that didn't budget enough money)); we've lost 1 JetBlue daily flight, Midwest Express left us a couple of weeks ago, Air Canada is suspending YYZ service until Labor Day.

And then USAirways wants the PIT airport management to come up with 100-odd million bucks to convert a terminal to an RJ-hub,.....after rejecting their lease agreements?! You've got to be kidding me (we've all heard of the old saying 'putting good money down a dry hole').

Tom in NO (at MSY)



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4488 posts, RR: 33
Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3315 times:

And then USAirways wants the PIT airport management to come up with 100-odd million bucks to convert a terminal to an RJ-hub,.....after rejecting their lease agreements?! You've got to be kidding me (we've all heard of the old saying 'putting good money down a dry hole'). Tom in NO (at MSY)

Allegheny County and the state of PA will likely pay it. The business community in Pittsburgh has enough US Airways FF miles racked up to fly to Deep Space Nine and back. They will do whatever they can to keep US Airways at PIT in whatever form.

It'll be expensive, since that money will be frosting on top of the $675 million in PIT Airport bonds that the county and state are about to eat. But US Airways has been the largest employer in Pittsburgh for years, and would likely remain so even with an RJ hub. I'd be surprised if the state and county didn't give US pretty much whatever they want.

Longtime local institutional relationships don't always answer to business sense. Considering the fact that PIT's business community has rejected any number of opportunities to get lower fares (AirTran's PIT-LGA, PIT-PHL, for instance) in order to stay in bed with US, it's unlikely that they'll see the situation with the clarity you do.

Jim


User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4567 posts, RR: 23
Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3295 times:

Jim and all...

To crunch some other numbers to add to Air Service guy's info:

He said Airport managers blamed the drop on reduced service, including the loss a year earlier of discount carrier AirTran Airways, but pointed to a higher percentage of seats filled on the remaining flights as a positive sign for Toledo.

Planes leaving Toledo Express during April had 23,742 of their 33,724 seats filled - a 70.4 percent load factor, Air Service Manager Kris Nichter said in a report to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority???s airport committee.

During the past seven years, Mr. Nichter reported, that percentage was exceeded only in 2001, when departing flights were 75.4 percent full.

Last month???s outbound headcount was 16.5 percent fewer than the 28,429 passengers who boarded flights at Toledo Express in April, 2002, and the overall volume of 47,488 marked a 20.78 percent decline compared with the comparable month.


Some April numbers to compare side by side...

2002 Outbound
Pax: 28,429
Seats: 44,161
Load Factor: 64.4%

2003 Outbound
Pax: 23,742
Seats: 33,724
Load Factor: 70.4%
Pax Change: -16.5%
Seats Change: -23.6%

2002 Inbound
Pax: 31,514
Seats:, 44,828
Load Factor: 70.3%

2003 Inbound
Pax: 23,746
Seats: 33,776
Load Factor: 70.3%
Pax Change: -24.6%
Seats Change: -24.6%

2002 Overall
Pax: 59,943
Seats: 88,989
Load Factor: 67.3%

2003 Overall
Pax: 47,488
Seats: 67,500
Load Factor: 70.4%
Pax Change: -20.8%
Seats Change: -24.1%

Maybe someone can explain it differently to me, but these numbers just don't work for me. Cutting nearly a quarter of the capacity and only gaining 3 percentage points in load factor - thanks in part to also losing a fifth of the traffic as well. For me I see it like this...the people aren't going to fly if the service isn't there. By eliminating the flight options, instead of boosting load factor levels - they've lost nearly a fifth of the traffic and about $35,000 in PFCs they could have collected for that month.

I can't put my finger on it, but something doesn't jive for me.


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4488 posts, RR: 33
Reply 13, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3283 times:

Maybe someone can explain it differently to me, but these numbers just don't work for me. Cutting nearly a quarter of the capacity and only gaining 3 percentage points in load factor - thanks in part to also losing a fifth of the traffic as well. For me I see it like this...the people aren't going to fly if the service isn't there. By eliminating the flight options, instead of boosting load factor levels - they've lost nearly a fifth of the traffic and about $35,000 in PFCs they could have collected for that month.I can't put my finger on it, but something doesn't jive for me.

That doesn't jibe for me either. Questions that come to my mind:

Does anyone in TOL airport management; the Port Authority; or the city or county government, have a financial or informal relationship with Delta or US Airways? Do a few key people maybe own large amounts of Delta stock? Or perhaps someone has a daughter married to a relative of Leo Mullin's?

I'm not kidding. Very large public decisions, with serious implications for communities, can turn on very venal, personal interests. Investigative reporting is in order. Might the Blade be interested in digging into this story?

Jim


User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6578 posts, RR: 24
Reply 14, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3265 times:

I am a huge fan of Joe Leonard and his words ring very true...the recovery is here, everyone else still using 9/11 as excuses are those who aren't willing to adapt to the new economy.

I guess Joe's own people don't believe what he says as Airtran has blamed the events of 9/11 and the economic downturn as a reason for Airtran's poor performance in TLH and ICT.

Here's a quote from Tad Hutcheson, Airtran spokesman, in the Tallahassee Democrat: "The economy has not been operating at peak performance, and the war has not helped traffic," Hutcheson said. "We're working to get the market sustainable long-term."


As for TOL, obviously the prime reason for TOL's losses is the loss of Airtran. Is it because of bad management? It does seem like TOL's management did its best to run off Airtran. Bad relationships between an airport management and an airline can certainly cause an airline to leave/not offer service even if the service is viable. One classic case, for years Peoria had been wanting DL to start service to ATL with RJ's. However, the Peoria Airport Director was extremely hard to work with and kept making things difficult for DL, so DL refused to serve Peoria. Finally, when the airport director left, DL announced service to Peoria which started Aug 1, 2001.

However to be fair to TOL's management, Airtran can be a fickle customer and Airtran has pretty lofty expectations for how a market should perform. Also, there are a lot of larger markets wanting Airtran that can provide a traffic flow that TOL can't. Should Airtran use its planes in a market that will be a proven money maker or should they take time and develop smaller markets like TOL that might be a little slower to develop?



User currently offlineRajivvyas From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 2 months 6 days ago) and read 3243 times:

Does the Toledo airport, Flint and Lansing have screeners or do they check bags manually? I just found out that in Allentown, PA, they don't have screeners.

User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4567 posts, RR: 23
Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3230 times:

What do you mean by screeners? Toledo Express does have the standard TSA people at the check point as well as at each counter where they swab down each bag for explosives.

User currently offlineRajivvyas From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (11 years 2 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3210 times:

That's what I meant. In Allentown, they don't have any screening machines to check for explosives so they make you open each and every bag and check it.

User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4567 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3156 times:

An update to the whole TOL management saga. The local paper, the Blade, has called for the heads of the Port Authority President James Hartung and Airport Director Paul Toth over tax issues.

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20030606/OPINION02/106060165


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