Jonnyboy From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2000, 220 posts, RR: 1 Posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4919 times:
Following from the recent discussions on what flights are needed at various airports, and the expansion of 'focus cities', what do people think would be the best city to start an airline? or if thats too hard, what hubs should be started or scrapped?
I have $100 million to start a new airline but am not sure where I want to be based. The money goes to the best suggestion!
N202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1551 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4592 times:
Not necessarily. Meigs could handle jet aircraft if the runway were extended by about 750-1,000 feet. You could, for example, get a 328 JET in on a field like that. And the utility of such a field is incredible--just 10 minutes max from the downtown area by car, a business traveler's dream come true.
I think that flying to LAX and SFO from CGX is rather pie-in-the-sky, but on the other hand, an airline flying 328 JETs could easily fly CGX-LGA, CGX-DCA, CGX-DAL, CGX-STP, CGX-DET, and other medium-range routes to close-in airports serving cities with large amounts of commerce. This is the basis for my "Republic Airlines" revival proposal, in which business travelers would be targeted by focusing on the convenience of Meigs Field, as well as comfort (PTVs, leather seats, Legend-style parking garage) and savings (tickets cheaper than most unrestricted fares).
I would have to second CGX as the best current place for a start-up carrier (provided that expansion efforts were made).
N202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1551 posts, RR: 3 Reply 6, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4552 times:
Currently, it is 3,899 ft. long, and 150 ft. wide. With a light load, you could put a 328 JET down on that, but for safety considerations, you'd probably want at least an extra 500 feet, if not 750 or a thousand. And some more overrun room would be nice, too.
One possibility would be to extend runway 18 further north, dig a deep trench and put the roadway to the planetarium underneath a bridge that provides overrun room. That way, the people in car traffic on this road are safe, and Meigs can be expanded.
PresRDC From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 650 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4546 times:
Personnally, I think pigs will fly before an airliner ever does from Meigs. I cannot see the city giving a green light to such a move for several reasons.
1. There is already a contraversy about building a new airport in Chicago. I doubt anyone will be inclined to make this proposal.
2. Despite it jutting out into Lake Michigan, there is not a lot of room for expansion. Yes, the runway could be lengthened to the south, but there is also no room to build a large-enough terminal on the site.
3. Although the concept is done in England at LCY, I think people would have too many safety concerns. There are some real tall buildings right around Meigs (I should know, I work in one) and I doubt people would be comforted looking down from their office on a landing airliner.
If, however, the airport was to be expanded, it would likely be a sucess with the business community.
N202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1551 posts, RR: 3 Reply 8, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4527 times:
Although I don't think the concept is likely, with the expected closing of Meigs for good within the next year, it's food for thought. Those who don't see the utility of Meigs as a reliever field to two of the nation's worst airports, and for a market with only two real viable options for business travelers to fly to, aren't looking very hard.
1.) Instead of building a new airport, Chicagoland could make use of "reliever" airports, such as Chicago/Gary, Meigs, and perhaps convert another one to Part 139 standards, such as Waukegan or others.
2.) A reasonably-sized 12 gate regional jet terminal could be carved out of the site by renovating the current terminal building (4 gates), adding a bent wing along the roadway to the north (5 gates), and a straight wing to the south (3 gates). Further expansion could be accomplished through the demolition of the current control tower and the construction of a new one on top of the terminal building. The fire house could be moved to the east side of the runway, allowing more room for expansion, and a new GenAv terminal could be added towards the south end of the field.
GenAv traffic would have to be restricted, perhaps to jet aircraft and twin props over a certain weight, but the other Chicagoland airports could take care of the single-engine props.
3.) DCA sees jets much bigger than a thirty-four seat 328 JET every single day (try 727s and 757s), and they have to shoot a very narrow approach between the high-rise office buildings of Rosslyn, VA, and the restricted airspace over the White House, Pentagon, etc....all the while avoiding the 555 ft. Washington Monument on final. In comparison, the approaches to Meigs are simple and straightforward. You'd fly a pattern over Lake Michigan that would bring the aircraft in over the water, just barely skimming over Navy Pier before touching down at Meigs. I mean, Lears and other private jets do it all the time now, so what's the difference between seeing that kind of aircraft from your window and a 328 JET?
KUGN From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 615 posts, RR: 6 Reply 9, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4513 times:
I think Waukegan Regional used to have scheduled Midwest Express flight at some point few years ago.
Unfortunately, nothing will come true of the things proposed for Meigs. Current mayor of Chicago is all to powerfull, and connected and he is the one who is taking the lead to turn the airport into a park. We already talked about it few weeks ago.
There is a demand for more flights to/from Chicagoland. While Gary is good solution, and has some discount airlines flights, I think that the major demand exists in northern suburbs; Paulwakee is too close to O'Hare and had already expanded runways to the limits.
Waukegan Regional unfortunately doesn't have good highway connections. Kenosha, the regional airport north of it, is however in Wisconsin and too far from Chicago.
Seems like the additional runway on ORD will be the only thing that Chicago can get soon, and that is not enough for the good conditions for any new airline startup.
Jonnyboy From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2000, 220 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4508 times:
Chicago - take note from London.
London is in a similar predicament, but attempts to take pressure of overcrowded Gatwick and Heathrow have failed.
In East London there is a similar field to Meigs - London City and in 18 years of operation only now handles just over 1% of the London market (1.3 million pax per year).
It has a 4000'+ runway which just about allows a BAe 146 to land on a steep approach over 800' skyscrapers.
There is no low-fare or dedicated airline, but airlines like LH and AF have a few business flights a day.
Even though Heathrow is tres incovenient from downtown (40-50 mins.), there aren't enough services to justify flying from there, and not enough passengers to justify more services - catch 22. Even though LHR and LGW are terrible for business, LCY will never 'take off'.
Also, rail turned out to be the solution in Europe, with Paris and Brussels less than 3 hours away from Central London (see the NE shuttle in California discussion) by Eurostar.
By the way, DCA and LGA have near 7000' runways, something which Meigs will never have, and in my opinion it won't be too successful without 100+ seat jets.
A Meigs based airline is a cool idea, but it is a very small niche at most that you could attract.
N202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1551 posts, RR: 3 Reply 11, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4473 times:
A very small niche, but one that has a lot of *money*.
Business travelers are generally concerned about time first, then money. Because they are often travelling on someone else's dime (the self-employed set aside), business travelers are often willing to pay a little more to get better service, and most importantly, better schedules.
Convenience is a related factor that is also at the top of the list for business travelers. What's the point of getting a flight to Midway that arrives at 8:30 am when you have a business meeting in downtown Chicago? It'll take you at least twenty minutes to a half-hour to get out of either congested Chicago airport, and that doesn't factor in Chicago traffic. Ouch. You'd have to get on a 6:30 flight or earlier (from DC) to make it in for your meeting...and that's if the plane *isn't* delayed.
In comparison, Meigs offers convenience to the business traveler, allowing them to fly into the heart of Chicago and be 5-15 minutes away from their meeting. No airport congestion. No landing delays. It's an underused airport, and that's why many fly in there. Unfortunately, not everyone has a corporate jet or a private twin at their disposal. This is where a new airline like my Republic concept could flourish.
An airline could make a mint there, because they could essentially sew up the lion's share of gate, terminal, and parking space before any of the majors had a chance to do so. AA and UA wouldn't even consider flying there (indeed, United Express' affiliate there flies a Meigs-Springfield route...which is the only route of theirs not covered in their partnership). But like Legend at DAL, a new airline could build a comfortable Executive Terminal out of the existing building and a couple of wings, and build a niche there. By the time AA and UA come screaming for gate space, there'll be maybe two gates available, and there'll be little room to build more. A carrier like Republic could sew up a nice, tidy niche in Chicago like Legend is trying to do in Dallas right now.
Plus, if you run 30-seat jets with quick turnaround at near-capacity, you'll be able to get more flights out of fewer gates, and carry more traffic. With the kind of marketing plan I have in mind, that should not be a problem.
But I admit it's not a *huge* solution to much of Chicago's air traffic problem. That will come with the expanded use of Chicago/Gary, and the upgrading of another area airport to Major League status, so to speak.
What about DuPage? It seems to have the runways and room for expansion necessary for a medium-size reliever airport. Maybe make it into a regional jet field, serving the midwest, and reserve most of the larger traffic for O'Hare? Admittedly, that doesn't help out Midway any, but it's a start.
KUGN From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 615 posts, RR: 6 Reply 12, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4468 times:
My knowledge of LCY is limited to what has been written in Airliner World and Airways magazine; and both have been very supportive of the airport.
To me it seems that 1% of the London airports' volume is not the point; the point of LCY is rather the niche that it serves - business travelers from Europe looking for the quick and easy access to the London's business district. More than half of all passangers that pass thry LCY are flying business class.
In my opinion that is good enough reason to keep the airport running -- it means business to the city and jobs to the wider community.
As about Meigs, I think it is unfortunately done deal. We can forget about it, and talk about some real choices for airline startups.
N202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1551 posts, RR: 3 Reply 13, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4454 times:
It probably is a done deal, but I had to bring it up, because it's my number-one choice for a start-up carrier.
An excellent possibility, which I've mentioned before, is St. Paul Downtown Airport, which features the proximity to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul that MSP does not. Also, I think people who are fed up with the lousy service that Northwest and Sun Country provides would flock to a carrier here. Also, the 6,700 foot runway means that 727s and 757s can fly here, so transcon service with up to about 200 passengers is possible.
KUGN From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 615 posts, RR: 6 Reply 14, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4443 times:
We were typing posts at the same time; if I've seen I'd word point about Meigs differently. I like your idea, but you're aware as well who is making a call on this one.
Now, your idea about St. Paul Downtown Airport is something else. That might be it! St. Paul and Minneapolis together make a good market, and yet they are 6 hours of driving away from the Midwest center, Chicago. You'd be able to capture both regional business traffic between industrial centers, and with the east coast, and Texas.
I guess you could make a business model for ERJ/CRJs on frequent regional routes and AVRO/717/319s on routes to NYC, Washington DC, Houston.
FrontierMan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 413 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4451 times:
I think an airline based in the Southwest would be good. If you went PeoplExpress with it. Have assigned seating, but charge for food and snacks. These "Extras" would help lure passengers away from Southwest. I think it would be wise to have either Dc-9/50s or Md-80s. Have them fly routes like Dallas-Love to Albequerque and Ellington-Field. Then branch out from ABQ to Burbank, Long Beach, San Diego, Oakland or San Jose, and Sacramento. Then add service to Reno, Colorado Springs (a large untapped resource), Pheonix, and add routes in between cities like Ellington Field to Oakland or something. Something like Hughes Airwest or Muse Air would work nowadays. If you look at an unstable America West. You could really pull off something in the Southwestern United states.
FLY777UAL From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4510 posts, RR: 3 Reply 16, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4458 times:
Seeing as how the City of Chicago is so dead opposed to keeping CGX open even for general aviation, you'd have a helluva time getting the City to lengthen the runway, let alone build/renovate the terminal! The runway (as stated) is 3,899' long, but that also includes the approx. 550' long runway overrun, which cannot be used for landing. Total length now--3,349'.
If you really wanted to make Meigs a reality, prop aircraft would be your only chance due to the above stated runway length. The Fairchild 528/728 would be the best bet as far as technology, effeciency, et al. Here's what Mr. Brent Hoben of Faidor Sales Engineering had to say when I contacted him on July 7th about the 528/728 performance from Meigs:
"The 728 and 528 performance numbers published on our website
are with flaps 20 and slats 18 for takeoff and flaps 35, slats 28 for
The 728 could offer limited payload / range capability out of Meigs with a
MTOW of about 68,000 lb. and a MLW of about 62,600 lb. This results in a
takeoff useful load of 22,150 lb. and a landing useful load of 16,750 lb.
Real capability translates into 200 nm range with 70 pax on board going out
and a maximum of 59 passengers going in. All this assumes ISA, SL
conditions and is precertification data."
Out of the following six routes, only one* would fall within the range of the best-performing in class 728JET.
Jonnyboy From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2000, 220 posts, RR: 1 Reply 17, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4446 times:
LOOK AT LONDON CITY!
Meigs would have even more problems with regulation etc. LCY had massive government backing, and I stand by my point that its not really having an effect.
Sure there are some people business travellers on expense accounts who fly into LCY, but you can't fly anywhere further than, say Milan (800 miles), and although there are flights to huge commercial centres such as Paris, Frankfurt and Brussels, there are more flights, on larger more comfortable planes, more frequently.
At Meigs, you would need superior service like Legend (eg 328 JET with 20 seats) as well as frequency to match the big boys. American has 17 daily ORD-LGA, 10 to DCA. UAL has 15 ORD-MSP, 10 to IND. Republics gonna have to match that! otherwise you aren't saving time on a flight 2 hours after you want it.
And the idea of stealing passengers from Southwest, in the Southwest is pretty ridiculous, ABQ isn't a big market.
I like St.Paul airport, I went to MSP a coupla' years ago, nothing special. St.Paul is right downtown. You could use Pro-Air as a model, in Detroit City, but I don't know if thats good or bad. They fly 737's around the East.
TropicalSkies From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4426 times:
Where did you get $100 million? I've been pondering where to get that kind of money for some time. Not for myself, but for my airline plan. Originally Trans Pacific Airlines, now Pacific World Airways, I'll be based out of both HNL and SFO with A340-500s and A330-200s.
If you want a fast-growing city to base out of, and a good, growing market to get into, here is my suggestion:
Base yourself out of either San Diego or Tampa, FL. If out of Tampa, it might actually be a better idea to operate out of St Petersburg/Clearwater Intl. This way you are still close to urban area, but avoid competition with the majors at Tampa Int'l. But, Tampa Int'l has better facilities. So it's a choice of do you want to compete, but offer better services, or do you want to avoid the majors, have a better chance of getting slots, and have to advertise more for people to get to you at Clearwater. You choice.
Now, if you operate out of SAN, it's a new ball game. SAN is THE fastest growing city in America, according to TIME magazine. Telecommunications and computers, plus big banking are coming in rapidly. The result? Bigger overseas and transcon market.
So there is your most opportunity, Tampa or SAN, in my opinion.
Here's a plan for you for Tampa, you be the judge-
Operate flights out of TPA or Clearwater to SAN, IAH, and the notheast sector. This connects the growing western markets with the burgeoning market of TPA, as well a connections to key eastern cities. Don't even try to go to New York, BOS, etc, or other real big northeastern cities. Competition is too fierce, and if you are not a big airline, you are digging your grave. If you must, however, fly into Providence. It is right between BOS and Hartofrod. Or you could do Hartford, which would put you between BOS and NYC. Therefore, you avoid the lion's den by a few miles, and can easily partner with a bus line to transport people to BOS or NYC. I see alot of potential there.
Another focus city for you out of TPA could be Houston. Try to get into Hobby, it's closer to downtown and you can get more biz pax on you plane. If you must, then go ahead an fly to IAH, but watch the majors, they'll undercut you. Your main problem at Hobby will be SWA and CO. Finally connect Houston with Hartford or Providence. In effect, you have yourself a triangle of growth. TPA, Hartford/Providence, and Houston. Offer tour packages as well. People will be wanting to see NASA Space Center in Houston, the bay in Tampa (also offer a bus to Cape Canveral), and of course the northeast is self-explanitory.
Now, offer flights to SAN from TPA. This'll connect you with a growing western city with alot of potential. Don't offer alot of flights, use a large plane once of twice dail to cut congestion down, and you'll be more likely to get a slot that way too.
Trust me, you'll go far with this idea, and you don't have too terribly much competition. If you stay on your toe and be cut above the rest, I think you can pull it off.
Now, a more reliable plan would be base out of SAN, and offer services to TPA, Chicago MIDWAY, and Houston. Off course you could also try MDW-PVD, but theres alot fo competion from ORD there.
This puts you in a good market. Like I said, SAN is growing fast in big business. To offer connections with Houston (Hobby) and Chicago (Midway) would be great. So why am I saying Midway? Well it's simple, you die in ten minutes at ORD, and Meigs is unfeasible, so Midway is you best bet. Also, DEFINITELY offer services from Idway to Houston. That is a guaranteed money maker. Now you could also do the same but use Dallas instead, but do you REALLY want to compete with AA there? And you can't use Love Field, because you can only fly to neighboring states from Love. You'd have to stop in Little Rock and then continue to Love, if you were flying MDW-Hobby. (This is why SWA does that too).
So, you establish yourself a business triangle from SAN-MDW-Hobby-SAN. You face little competition from the majors SAN-MDW, but alot from SAN to ORD. Be a step aheas, and offer great services. Now, connect to TPA from both SAN and MDW. You'll have vacationers and tourists from Chicago wanting Florida sun in winter, and also they'll want to see Cape Canaveral. Again, partner with a bus line.
No matter what, these two plans are your best bet.
Personally, I'd base out of SAN, just to eliminate that tangle in the East. But hey, it's your call.
Also, try and use bigger aircraft, instead of smaller ones. Reduce frequencies and increas you chances of getting slots!!!
Also, BUY AIRBUS. Even if you are a Boeing fan, BUY AIRBUS. Why? Well let me put it simply....how does a 40% discount on your aircraft purchase sound? That's right, AI will knock off 40% of the original aircraft price if you are a start-up. This is how jetBlue started up so big. But, use the money you save to make your in-flight service and paint scheme excellent, you'll never fail!!!!
So trust me, I've been planning tactics for my real airline Pacific World Airways for about four years, I know what I'm saying here. PWA will start up in the mid-2010s, when I have the funds and education to do so. If you have the opportunity now, follow my advise above, you won't loose. Also listen to other people's suggestions on this suggestion.
Watch out for the majors, they'll jump at any chance they get to kill your airline. Be a step ahead, when they lower fares, lower yours, but limit yourself. If they know their price down to $20 below yours, but your breaking even on you flights for your current price, ggo no lower. Eventually, they'll raise their price back up. Stay in the market, and you won't loose anything but a few pax for a while. They'll come back to you when the majors give up.
Also, rely on repeat customers. Leave a good first impression. You won't go wrong!!!!
52blk.shadow From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 19, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 4418 times:
Colorado Springs, has already proven to be a successful place to start an airline. West Pac would have survived had they not moved to DIA. They were doing well while based in COS. Brand new terminal within the last 3 years.
Adam84 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1400 posts, RR: 2 Reply 20, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4399 times:
WHat about Jacksonville? Jville is a fast growing city and JAX is one of the fastest growing airports in the US. It probably wouldnt be a great starting hub but if you plan on growing in the Latin market it would be a great location. I am surprised that no other airline has come and overrun JAX, I know its not that big of an airport but it has room to expand and JTA is planning on expanding sometime in the near future. They can handle most passenger jets, 737, 757, 767. I am just throwing out ideas.
TropicalSkies From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 21, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4395 times:
The reason is just as you stated, Jacksonville NEEDS expansion, some airlines just aren't willing to pay the price yet. Plus Jacksonville isn't as popular a vacation or business spot as SAN, TPA, and SLC are becoming, but it's close behind. Have patience my friend, it'll come.
Jonnyboy From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2000, 220 posts, RR: 1 Reply 22, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4394 times:
Tropical Skies you the man!
I can really identify with the youthful excitement I get when thinking of new airline possibilities.
I'm agreeing with you on a lot of issues, SAN and Tampa to start with, both huge potential air markets.
My personal pet project - Jazz Airlines based at MSY. Nothing big, but you gotta fill the gaps. I'd have ERJ's to start with, and I reckon I could knock out US Airways express measly Beech 1900 operation to cities like Shreveport, Pensacola etc. Then, add high frequencey flights to IAH, DFW and MEM (Cuz Southwest fly to HOU and DAL). I would buy those reduced A320's for mainline service to BOS, JFK, SEA (no services at present to either, 1 TWA flt a day to JFK) and other mainstream destinations. Then after a few years, with enough established finances I could take on Southwest into BWI, SAN, TPA and MCO, offering superior service, similar to what jetBlue is offering right now. I might not have to cut prices as much in the less competitive market.
Hopefully MSY will then develop into a mini-hub for the Gulf region.
BTW, if you are looking at underused, city center airports, try BUR. Until the SW crash it was looking pretty sweet. Its 7000' runway could take longer range flights then present, flights to ATL, MIA, ORD, DC all not served by anyone. SW is dominant but only on West Coast. BUR sure is convenient for the whole Northern half of LA (geographically, correct me if i'm wrong). A little investment and you got yourself a DCA, DAL, HOU...
Airliners rule From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 23, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4398 times:
Ok this is just an Idea an you never stated whether or not it had to be in the US or not but I would suggest YHM Hamilton Ontario Canada it currently only has 3 flights a day to Winnipeg Manitoba, 1 flight a day to
Thunderbay Ontario, 2 flights a day to Ottawa Ontario and 1 flight a day to Moncton New Brunswick on Westjet airlines and 4 flights a day to pittsburgh U.S.Air Express. the westjet flights are almost full to capacity. The USAir Express flights dont do as well because they are turbo props. But I would start from here if Canada is ok because It is in Close proximity to Toronto but it has no congestion at all. as a matter of fact people drive past Pearson International just to avaoid the congestion of the airport and surrounding highways. The main runway at YHM is 10,000 feet long. There is a great demand for flights to NYC, BOS, PHL, IAD, ATL,DEN,DFW and LAX just to name a few. 2.2million people live closer to Hamilton Airport then to Toronto,s Pearson international. To find out more Info about the airport visit www.yhm.homestead.com/main.html (this is my personal website on the airport with more info then the official site www.yhm.com so visit it or the oficialy website for more info or contact me at email@example.com.
HermansCVR580 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 496 posts, RR: 1 Reply 24, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4377 times:
I agree about using the Republic name for a start-up, also I like the idea of the St. Paul downtown airport. Just think about it people in the MSP area already know the name Republic Airlines and the downtown airport is a place where you wont have to worry about NWA coming in a squashing you. I was also thinking that Kenosha WI would be a good place to start an airline, their are many companies in southeastern WI that would prefer an airport closer than MKE and without the traffic headach of ORD. This is my 2cents worth. I don't care were an airline starts-up if it was using the Republic name I'd be happy
The right decision at the wrong time, is still a wrong decision. "Hal Carr"