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ATA Connection Starting FWA - MDW  
User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2008 posts, RR: 13
Posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2808 times:

Discount airline plans city flights

By Urvaksh Karkaria

The Journal Gazette


Fort Wayne International Airport will get its first low-fare airline starting June 1 - a move that's expected to send ticket prices into a dive and passenger traffic soaring.
Indianapolis-based ATA Airlines Inc. will launch daily air service between Fort Wayne and Chicago Midway airport, said Larry Thompson, vice president of air service development at the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce.

The discount airline will operate four daily round-trip flights between the cities.

The Chicago market is already served by two airlines from Fort Wayne. American Eagle and United Express each fly four daily round-trip flights between Fort Wayne and Chicago O'Hare.

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority will offer the lion's share of a proposed $2.5 million incentive package, said Rick McElroy, the airport's director of administration and finance.

The package includes a $1.5 million payment in cash plus equipment such as a jetway through which passengers enter and exit the aircraft, he said.

ATA will also receive marketing support worth about $255,000, McElroy said. The marketing campaign will be paid for by the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance and the city of Fort Wayne.

The airport authority board is expected to vote Friday on the incentive package.

In return for the incentives, ATA has promised to maintain air service in Fort Wayne for at least 12 months, Thompson said. The airline will employ about a dozen people, including reservation clerks and baggage handlers, he said.

The economic incentives make sense because a low-fare carrier such as ATA needs to have financial incentives to "test the waters," said Stephen Hoedt, airline analyst with National City Wealth Management in Cleveland.

If ATA, the 10th largest air carrier in the United States, is able to compete effectively in the Fort Wayne market, other low-fare carriers might also become interested in the market, he said.

ATA "is focused on driving traffic from Chicago and Indianapolis to warm weather and resort destinations," making it a leisure traveler's airline, Hoedt said.

The airline serves 40 destinations in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean and had annual 2003 sales of about $1.5 billion, Hoedt said.

"Fort Wayne fits within the footprint served by ATA via its Chicago hub," he said.

ATA's entry into the Fort Wayne market is expected to have a ripple effect on passengers and competing airlines.

Based on the experience at other airports, when a low-fare carrier is introduced, other airlines in the market lower their fares and enjoy higher passenger traffic, McElroy said.

A low-fare carrier could increase the number of passengers boarding flights at the Fort Wayne airport by 20 percent to 30 percent annually, he said.

In 2003, more than 300,000 passengers boarded at Fort Wayne International, up about 2 percent from the prior year, McElroy said.

The airport is also hoping the air carriers will increase the number of flights out of Fort Wayne to meet the increased demand, Thompson.

A low-fare airline could also reduce the average cost of a round-trip flight between Fort Wayne and most destinations by about $60, Thompson said.

One-way ticket prices could also fall. A one-way ticket, bought on the spot, from Fort Wayne to Los Angeles on ATA could cost a little more than $200, Thompson said. That same ticket on a traditional airline could cost about $600, he said.

But the discount carrier's entry and the ensuing price war could hurt other airlines serving Fort Wayne.

"As long as the routes remain profitable for the major carriers, they won't leave. They'll lower their prices to a level that allows them to compete," Hoedt said. "But if they are not able to deliver service profitably, they will exit the market."

-from Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWmupilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 1473 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2756 times:

Wow I didn't even see that one coming!!


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User currently offlineAirT85 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2739 times:

Wasn't Chicago Express complaining about a shortage of aircraft? Where are these aircraft coming from to launch this new service? Or will existing markets lose frequencies?

-Tony


User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 2705 times:

Any word on the equipment? The article mentions a jetway is being supplied. CRJ?


"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7645 posts, RR: 27
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 2698 times:

Saab's are jetway compatable with regional aircraft jetbridges.

Whats the deal here with the aircraft utilization? First the 16x MDW-IND and now MDW-FWA, aircraft don't just grow on trees.

Now, to be a little critical here:
The media is going a little crazy here with the first few lines of the article....

"Fort Wayne International Airport will get its first low-fare airline starting June 1 - a move that's expected to send ticket prices into a dive and passenger traffic soaring."

Uhh...ok....four daily Saabs offering an additional 120 seats to CHI markets and beyond, is a small drop in the bucket. This will hardly put a dent in fares and enplanements. You won't see people flocking en masse to this, and afterall its still a prop, and you have to combat the IFOP "Irrational Fear of Prop" syndrome that so many people have.

Also, C8 is hardly a low-fare provider. Look at some of the fares they charge on routes to FNT, GRR, and TVC, they are not all that low, and equal or if not higher to the competition.

Offering incentives is nice, but that makes everyone else want one to start service....so its kind of a bad habit to be getting in.

Don't look for B6 or WN to be setting up shop in FWA anytime soon, although C8 is a logical choice for this market. You gotta love media hype though.


User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4604 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 2683 times:

Okay...for whatever reason my post didn't go through...

ATA Airlines Inc
TZ 3220 Midway (MDW), Chicago, IL, USA 08:15
Fort Wayne Municipal (FWA), Fort Wayne, IN, USA 09:10
Non-stop
SF3 0h55min Tuesday, June 1, 2004
Saturday, October 30, 2004 Daily

ATA Airlines Inc
TZ 3230 Midway (MDW), Chicago, IL, USA 11:45
Fort Wayne Municipal (FWA), Fort Wayne, IN, USA 12:40
Non-stop
SF3 0h55min Tuesday, June 1, 2004
Saturday, October 30, 2004 Daily

ATA Airlines Inc
TZ 3224 Midway (MDW), Chicago, IL, USA 16:45
Fort Wayne Municipal (FWA), Fort Wayne, IN, USA 17:40
Non-stop
SF3 0h55min Tuesday, June 1, 2004
Saturday, October 30, 2004 Daily

ATA Airlines Inc
TZ 3226 Midway (MDW), Chicago, IL, USA 22:25
Fort Wayne Municipal (FWA), Fort Wayne, IN, USA 23:20
Non-stop
SF3 0h55min Tuesday, June 1, 2004
Saturday, October 30, 2004 Daily


ATA Airlines Inc
TZ 3227 Fort Wayne Municipal (FWA), Fort Wayne, IN, USA 06:15
Midway (MDW), Chicago, IL, USA 07:10
Non-stop
SF3 0h55min Wednesday, June 2, 2004
Saturday, October 30, 2004 Daily

ATA Airlines Inc
TZ 3223 Fort Wayne Municipal (FWA), Fort Wayne, IN, USA 09:35
Midway (MDW), Chicago, IL, USA 10:30
Non-stop
SF3 0h55min Tuesday, June 1, 2004
Saturday, October 30, 2004 Daily

ATA Airlines Inc
TZ 3225 Fort Wayne Municipal (FWA), Fort Wayne, IN, USA 13:10
Midway (MDW), Chicago, IL, USA 14:05
Non-stop
SF3 0h55min Tuesday, June 1, 2004
Saturday, October 30, 2004 Daily

ATA Airlines Inc
TZ 3221 Fort Wayne Municipal (FWA), Fort Wayne, IN, USA 18:05
Midway (MDW), Chicago, IL, USA 19:00
Non-stop
SF3 0h55min Tuesday, June 1, 2004
Saturday, October 30, 2004 Daily


User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4604 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2666 times:

AirT85-

LEX and CID are both being closed to help supply the new IND-MDW shuttle and now FWA from the looks of it. Other cities have already seen their flights rearranged like TOL (6 dailies) with some flights leaving as late as 935pm to MDW.

JetService-

C8 only operates Saab 340Bs.

PSU-

This new scheduling is kind of confusing. They complain they don't have enough planes...ATAH says no more planes for you...and then they go and dedicate up to 3 planes for an employee shuttle.

As far as the jetways go, last I heard C8 is EXTREMELY against any jetbridge being using on their saabs. They will likely just throw some stairs at the end of the bridge like they did in TOL (before they moved to a commuter gate).


User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2666 times:

PSU, actually the hype is more plausible that it seems. About 40% of flyers from the area drive to IND or SBN for flights because the fares are so much higher here. 40% is no exaggeration either. FWA flyers are almost all business travellers. Vacationers drive elsewhere. The only reason is the fares. The airport is modern and very convenient and all but USExpress and COEX offer jet service. The premise is that ATA will force other airlines to compete and lower there fares thus making FWA economically viable to vacationers. If that happens, the emplanements really could explode. But we'll see. The fact that ATA has made a 12-month commitment will give the domino effect to take hold. I just hope they bring the hockey-jets because that would seal it.


"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2659 times:

OK, I didn't know they only operated Saabs. For some reason, I thought they had CRJs in their fleet. Oh well. This is still huge if it turns the other airline fares down.

Also, I don't know what kind of jetbridges can be used on Saabs, but the ones at FWA are for full-size jets and can be used on CRJs and ERJs with a little ramp. Saabs have never used the jetways there.



"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7645 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2640 times:

Only regional jetbridges can be used on Saabs, like found in DTW.

Full size ones are not compatable, and/or extremely difficult to use, due to the floor height, and more importantly, proximity to the propeller.

Perhaps the airport will be installing a regional jetbridge for their use.

Yes, but 40% for an airport like FWA is very, very typical and obviously IND will offer lower fares and more choices. What I'm saying, is that, no doubt C8 will have some effect on fares in certain markets, but they are not the true 'low fare' airline that the paper makes this out to be the best thing since sliced bread. Wait and see, but $2.5 Million for a prop outfit is an awful lot to offer for an incentive. Mainline carriers are lucky to $500,000 to $1 M to start service. It doesn't take that much to break even fly Saabs, but you will have to convince the leisure flyers to fly props, and for the most part, they have the worst fear of them. Business travelers don't mind as much, especially on a short hop like FWA-MDW. C8's fares cater more toward business travelers than the bargain basement leisure traveller anyways. And you'll always have drive aways no matter what.


User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7645 posts, RR: 27
Reply 10, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2631 times:

I should add on another note, I'd delt with numerous customers that have IFORJ "Irrational Fear of RJ's). They think since the ceiling height is rather low and for or less for the fact they have to walk up to the plane (no jetways here) that the aircraft is small and dangerous.....sigh

They think anything less than a "737" is dangerous and will drive to PIT or PHL to avoid 'those scary small planes in State College'. People will always drive away because they think that bigger airports are always cheaper, and often thats not the case. Sadly, I'm convinced that about 75% of the people in this country are too stupid to think for themselves and/or educate themselves.


User currently offlineJohnboy From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2594 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2616 times:

Very sorry to hear about LEX closing!

For the past few months, flights leaving from SFO to LEX have been dirt cheap. I'm talking about making reservations on Expedia or Travelocity for NEXT DAY travel for roughly $250. Round trip!

Stunning, when one considers the cheapest flights into nearby SDF or CVG run 3 - 4 times that amount for walk-up fares.

I guess the bigger airlines wanted ATA out of the market, and dropped fares accordingly. It'll be interesting to see how fares go up once ATA is out of that market.


User currently offlineWmupilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 1473 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 2506 times:

There has also been rumors that GRR will be seeing an 8th flight at some point this summer to cope with loads.


JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
User currently offlineALSF 2 From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 89 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 2483 times:

It is very sad to see LEX and CID closing, unfortunately in this industry it is simply business not personal. And yes, I will guarantee that LEX prices will return to their old (pre-ATA) levels. FWA will see ALL the airlines trying to lower their fares and the area will benefit. Should be fun!

Cheers!


User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Reply 14, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week ago) and read 2454 times:

Also, C8 is hardly a low-fare provider. Look at some of the fares they charge on routes to FNT, GRR, and TVC, they are not all that low, and equal or if not higher to the competition.

Since when do they serve TVC?


User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7645 posts, RR: 27
Reply 15, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2398 times:

Man, I'm having a bad day with airport codes, I'm messing everything up. That should he TOL, not TVC. Sorry the don't serve TVC....at least yet.

User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Reply 16, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2386 times:

PSU,
I thought you knew something I didnt!

Anyhow, I agree. Its a safe assumption they will be in TVC sooner than later.

Regards,
Chad


User currently offlineWmupilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 1473 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2362 times:

ATA's fares out of GRR are far lower than that of our competitors. The only time they are higher are when the flights are more full. Otherwise we beat the pants off the competition out of GRR. I'm also positive that FNT is the same way. That is why both stations are running about a 85-90% load factor...give good weather conditions.


JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4604 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2304 times:

TVC would make sense for C8...but they will need to do more than just weekends only like they did before ATA. However, we'll need to see how the aircraft situation pans out ans there won't be any spare aircraft and they'll need to cut flights elsewhere to serve there. I guess they could also look at one stop flights through GRR or something too.

User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2008 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (10 years 7 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2265 times:

TVC would be great for summer packages for golf and rec up there on Lake Michigan. As Ouboy eluded to, aircraft and even parking constraints in MDW really have us limited. Back to FWA though...I'm kind of surprised it took C8 this long to go into FWA. It was about 8 or 9 months ago that an article came out in FWA that they were actively looking and had been for a while to get a LCC. I'm also surprised they are going to offer a covered boarding for the Saabs, none of C8's stations utilize them now. I wish we had them here in TOL every time that darn ADA lift breaks down while I got a pax up in it  Big grin Anyways, great move for ATA and sorry about your luck CID and LEX...I think we moved into those two markets hastily anyways back in 2002. I feel for the people gettin laid off there...I know what it's like (if you liked working there).

Ryan


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