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Montana Aviation Thread 2!  
User currently offlineFloridaflyboy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2018 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3178 times:

Hey Everyone, was just thinking that it had been since early summer since us Montana aviation enthusiasts had discussed things, so I thought I'd go through and set up a thread for those of us from Big Sky country. Anyway, I checked out the schedule for the late fall/early winter, and here's what it looks like we can expect up there:

Delta:

BIL: Looks like 6 flights daily to SLC (some days as few as 4). All operated by SkyWest, of course, and 5 will be on CR2, and 1 on CR7
BTM: Same old story. 2 daily CR2 on SkyWest to SLC
BZN: 6 Daily SLC on SkyWest, 5 CR2, 1 CR7. Also, 3x weekly 738 mainline to ATL
GTF: 3 Daily SLC on SkyWest, all CR2
HLN: 4 Daily SLC on SkyWest, all CR2
FCA: Depending on the day, anything from 4 to 6 daily to SLC. All SkyWest, mostly CR2 with the occasional CR7 thrown in.
MSO: 5-6 Daily SLC on SkyWest, all CR2

Northwest:

BIL: 2 Daily to MSP, one A319, one A320. They will also have a third flight on a DC-9 thrown in there for Christmas
BZN: 2 Daily to MSP, one A319, one A320. They will also have a third flight on a Pinnacle CRJ in there for Christmas
GTF: 2 daily to MSP, both Airlink CRJ's on Pinnacle
HLN: 1 Daily to MSP, on CRJ operated by Pinnacle
FCA: 2 Daily to MSP, both Airlink CRJ's on Pinnacle
MSO: 2 Daily to MSP, both on EMB-175 operated by Compass

United:

BIL: 4 Daily to DEN, 3 mainline 737s, and one SkyWest CR2. There will be an extra CR2 for the Christmas season.
BZN: 4 Daily to DEN, all SkyWest, 3 CR2, 1 CR7. Switches to 5 CR2s in December. Also, one daily ORD flight on SkyWest CR7
GTF: 2 Daily to DEN, both SkyWest CR2s
FCA: 2 Daily to DEN, both SkyWest CR2s
MSO: 3 Daily to DEN, all SkyWest, 2 CR7, 1 CR2

Frontier:

BIL: 2 Daily to DEN, Both DH4 operated by Lynx (Of course, once Lynx gets flying)

Horizon:

BIL: Big one here! Billings goes back to CR7 from DH4 effective November 18. Also, the schedule will continue to be 2 Daily to SEA, and 1 Daily to PDX.
BTM: 2 Daily to SEA both via BZN, both on DH4. However, the return, as usual includes 1 non-stop, 1 via BZN
BZN: 3 Daily to SEA, 1 Daily to IDA, and 1 Daily to BTM, All on DH4
GTF: 1 Daily to SEA, 1 Daily to HLN, 2 non-stops from SEA, all on DH4
HLN: 1 Daily to SEA, 1 Daily to GTF, both return flights stop in GTF, all on DH4
FCA: 2 Daily to SEA, both on DH4
MSO: 3 Daily to SEA, all on DH4

Allegiant:

BIL: 3 Weekly to LAS through until November, then 4 Weekly Until January, Then back to 3 Weekly until March, then 5 Weekly until May. Also, 2 Weekly to IWA
GTF: 2 Weekly to LAS Until March, and then 3 Weekly.
MSO: 4 Weekly to LAS until NOV, then 5 Weekly until Januray, then 4 weekly until March, and then 5 weekly from there. Also, 2 Weekly to IWA.

Well, there you have it, everything except Big Sky, which I don't quite have time to play with. I'm sure there are some minor innacuracies above, or something that I missed, so please fill us in on what's new with aviation in Montana.


Good goes around!
45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAirbusaddict From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 415 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3167 times:

Hows Big Sky doing at MDW? Isnt that EAS service? Im not surprised by this but why havent they expanded east instead of west?


Finally F9! FSD-DEN 7-4-2011
User currently offlineFloridaflyboy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2018 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3151 times:

Quoting Airbusaddict (Reply 1):
Hows Big Sky doing at MDW? Isnt that EAS service? Im not surprised by this but why havent they expanded east instead of west?

Actually, the MDW thing didn't work out so well for them. They dumped that entire operation a couple months back. Now, their big thing is, of course, the DL connection thing out of BOS. As for East vs. West, Big Sky is a very fickle company. They seem to go east one day, west another. They had service into the Dakotas, but then dropped it. They also had a fair bit of service in Washington, but that's gone as well. At one time, they had a mini-hub of sorts at DFW with a bunch of southern service, but of course, that's gone as well. They will also be starting 1 or 2 (I forget if they got both) routes at CVG later in the year. I would say these won't last long, but they are branding them as Delta Connection (at risk flying, of course), so they may last a little longer.

[Edited 2007-09-29 21:00:02]


Good goes around!
User currently offlineStapleton From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 281 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3082 times:

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Thread starter):
so please fill us in on what's new with aviation in Montana

Great Information! A couple more adds for you:

Northwest - MSO will have a 3rd E75 for the Christmas season, BZN will have a daily 3rd Airbus to MSP from Mid February through early April and a Sunday only DTW flight during the same period.

United - BZN will have Saturday only CR7 service to SFO from December 15th through the end of March

Delta - The 3 weekly flights to ATL from BZN are during the Christmas holiday and are a mix of 737-800 and 757 aircraft and then will be Saturday only through the rest of the ski season. (Delta's December schedule is not yet finalized so there will likely be some changes in the next few weeks.


User currently offlineYtib From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 578 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3050 times:

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Thread starter):
BIL: 2 Daily to DEN, Both DH4 operated by Lynx (Of course, once Lynx gets flying)

This has been served by JetExpress with CR7's for a few years. It will at some point switch to Lynx and the DH4.


User currently offlineFloridaflyboy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2018 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3034 times:

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 3):

Thanks for the adds, Stapleton! Good to hear BZN will be seeing the 757 once again this christmas. Also, good to see a 3rd E175 for MSO for the season.

Quoting Ytib (Reply 4):
This has been served by JetExpress with CR7's for a few years. It will at some point switch to Lynx and the DH4.

Yep, I know. I've flown on it many a time. It's been a very good route for F9 during the peak season. It could be good for them in the off-peak, too if they'd get the scheduling right!



Good goes around!
User currently offlineShanderawx From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 3001 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I remember flying Great Falls-Billings-Fargo-MSP on a puddle juimper with NW Orient many years ago.
Do such flights no longer exist?


User currently offlineFloridaflyboy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2018 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2989 times:

Quoting Shanderawx (Reply 6):
I remember flying Great Falls-Billings-Fargo-MSP on a puddle juimper with NW Orient many years ago.
Do such flights no longer exist?

Aah, the old Montana point-to-point. No, that whole system was discontinued in favor of non-stops to all the Montana cities. However, you do find an occasional one. For example, up until about 3 years ago, NW served HLN with a MSP-BIL-HLN, and up until last year, they did some similar stuff with great falls and Kalispell where they flew MSP-GTF-FCA-GTF-MSP. This winter, however, they opted to go airlink instead, putting Pinnacle into GTF and FCA (they've already been serving HLN), and Compass into MSO. BIL and BZN are big enough markets to warrant mainline year-round.



Good goes around!
User currently offlineStapleton From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 281 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2958 times:

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Thread starter):
Northwest:

BIL: 2 Daily to MSP, one A319, one A320. They will also have a third flight on a DC-9 thrown in there for Christmas

It appears that NW has downgraded the DC-9 over Christmas to a Pinnacle CRJ.


User currently offlineFloridaflyboy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2018 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2897 times:

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 8):
It appears that NW has downgraded the DC-9 over Christmas to a Pinnacle CRJ.

Yeah, I noticed that. Wouldn't be surprised to see it changed back, though. They seem to run three mainline every christmas, as loads are VERY good for NW in particular that time of year at BIL.



Good goes around!
User currently offlineStapleton From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 281 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2884 times:

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 9):
Wouldn't be surprised to see it changed back, though

It appears the Christmas schedule is nearly final so I don't think it will be back. There has also been quite a bit of talk about Compass in Billings similar to MSO. Makes sense to increase the frequency to compete with UA through DEN. Unfortunately, that could mean losing some mainline service.


User currently offlineFloridaflyboy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2018 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2884 times:

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 10):
It appears the Christmas schedule is nearly final so I don't think it will be back. There has also been quite a bit of talk about Compass in Billings similar to MSO. Makes sense to increase the frequency to compete with UA through DEN. Unfortunately, that could mean losing some mainline service.

Yeah, I don't see that happening. Knowing some folks at NW very well, their ideas on it are that BIL loads are very good, and yields are very good. I would imagine we could see a mix, but I don't think you'll ever see BIL or BZN lose mainline NW at all, just like you'll never see BIL without mainline UA. What will be interesting will be to see whether at some point UA upgrades BZN to mainline. I think it's a very real possibility during the peak season.



Good goes around!
User currently offlineKingAir200 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1630 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2884 times:

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Thread starter):
FCA: 2 Daily to MSP, both Airlink CRJ's on Pinnacle

That's gotta be a fun ride. I can't wait until the winter when they have to start taking ski bags and boot bags out for those skiing at Big Mountain... I mean Whitefish Mountain...



Hey Swifty
User currently offlineFloridaflyboy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2018 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2884 times:

Quoting KingAir200 (Reply 12):
That's gotta be a fun ride. I can't wait until the winter when they have to start taking ski bags and boot bags out for those skiing at Big Mountain... I mean Whitefish Mountain...

Yeah, no kidding. I was really surprised to see FCA downgraded that far. I initially figured that they'd go Compass or at least XJ with the CR9 for FCA. It would seem more appropriate with ski season up there.



Good goes around!
User currently offlineStapleton From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 281 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2884 times:

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 13):
It would seem more appropriate with ski season up there.

Big Mountain has not yet attracted the numbers of US skiers to really impact the traffic at FCA. Over the years, they marketed to Canada with resonable success but have struggled in on the US side. (With the Canadian dollar strong, they will probably have a really great year this year.) So in terms of seats (with United now in the market) the CRJ is probably more reasonable. The difficult part is the CRJ performance on that long of a stage length with winter weather contingency requirements. I agree the CR9 would be much better in performance but might be too many seats.

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 11):
What will be interesting will be to see whether at some point UA upgrades BZN to mainline.

You are on to something there. In August, United Express in BZN outboarded United mainline in BIL by over 3,400 passengers. United Express in Billings came in at just over 4,300 so there was only a net difference of about 900 passengers. The one difference is that the BZN market has the year round Chicago that is doing exceptionally well and makes it a bit more difficult to choose adding mainline to DEN or additional Express frequencies to ORD.


User currently offlineCopaair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2836 times:

Are the UAX SFO-BIL flights coming back in the summer?


-Copa


User currently offlineFloridaflyboy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2018 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2824 times:

Quoting Copaair737 (Reply 15):
Are the UAX SFO-BIL flights coming back in the summer?


-Copa

No confirmation on it yet, but I would imagine that they will come back to both BZN and BIL. The route did very well on both fronts. Wouldn't be surprised to see an increase in frequency, and possibly a MSO-SFO, although MSO hasn't developed for UA as nicely as BZN has.



Good goes around!
User currently offlineKingAir200 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1630 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2824 times:

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 14):
The difficult part is the CRJ performance on that long of a stage length with winter weather contingency requirements.

That is what I was thinking about. Pack a bunch of bags, ski bags, boot bags, planeside bags, a lot of gas; it could be interesting.



Hey Swifty
User currently offlineStapleton From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 281 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (7 years 2 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2698 times:

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 13):
I initially figured that they'd go Compass or at least XJ with the CR9 for FCA.

It appears that you are going to be partially correct. FCA gets an XJ CR9 on one of the two flights to MSP from December 19th through January 6th. This is 122 seats less than what NW had last year from FCA - MSP over Christmas but with the additional 100 seats from United Express and some additional seats from Delta Connection, FCA should at least see a small increase in total seats for the period.


User currently offlineFloridaflyboy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2018 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 2 months 18 hours ago) and read 2663 times:

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 18):
It appears that you are going to be partially correct. FCA gets an XJ CR9 on one of the two flights to MSP from December 19th through January 6th. This is 122 seats less than what NW had last year from FCA - MSP over Christmas but with the additional 100 seats from United Express and some additional seats from Delta Connection, FCA should at least see a small increase in total seats for the period.

That's awesome, and I agree, the market is a little more saturated this year. On a side note, UA is doing extremely well at FCA from everything I've heard from the officials at FCA. That's going to be Montana's biggest up-and-coming market right there!



Good goes around!
User currently offlineCessna172RG From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 749 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 2 months 10 hours ago) and read 2636 times:

Anyone seen the Big Sky Logojet with the big "Skoal" logo plastered on the side?


Save the whales...for dinner!!!
User currently offlineStapleton From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 281 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (7 years 2 months 3 hours ago) and read 2602 times:

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 19):
That's going to be Montana's biggest up-and-coming market right there!

Might be a bit quick to say this. NW just posted their January schedule and it shows only one CR9 to MSP per day. Currently it returns to two CRJs in the middle of February. NW enplanements in September at FCA were down sharply. Overall enplanements at FCA were up with the addition of United though. But anytime an airline goes to one flight per day, it makes the long term viability more questionable. (Just look at what happend with F9 in FAT).

Also, NW replaced the two E175 is MSO with a single A319 until February as well. Fortunately, this is equivilant to what they had last year.

It will also be interesting to watch what happens in HLN. They are going after UA with their small community air service grant. Questionable if NW will stay in HLN with the CRJ if UA starts service.

What does all this mean? Win some, you lose some. Every community needs to be aware that when you go after new service, it could and often does affect the current service. Hopefully at the end of the day, the market supports the new service without drastic affect on the current.


User currently offlinePDXLVR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 2 months 2 hours ago) and read 2594 times:

Wow, who knew Montana could have a thread of its own?  Smile Thanks for all the great info. I'd like to hear a little bit more about Big Ski Air if anyone has more info then has been posted so far. I'm up near HVR and use them on occasion, although I usually end up driving to GTF to save a little $$.

What, HVR doesn't get a tool tip? No respect I tell ya.



I left my heart in PDX
User currently offlineFloridaflyboy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2018 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2534 times:

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 21):
Might be a bit quick to say this. NW just posted their January schedule and it shows only one CR9 to MSP per day. Currently it returns to two CRJs in the middle of February. NW enplanements in September at FCA were down sharply. Overall enplanements at FCA were up with the addition of United though. But anytime an airline goes to one flight per day, it makes the long term viability more questionable. (Just look at what happend with F9 in FAT).

More what I'm saying is that FCA is the market in Montana that will likely see the most remarkable growth in the coming years. The Flathead valley is growing extremely fast and Flathead County is already the second most populous county in Montana. Plus, with the addition of so many more luxury lake homes in that area, the demand for a premium product and yields in general will be better like it is in BZN.

Quoting PDXLVR (Reply 22):
Wow, who knew Montana could have a thread of its own? Thanks for all the great info. I'd like to hear a little bit more about Big Ski Air if anyone has more info then has been posted so far. I'm up near HVR and use them on occasion, although I usually end up driving to GTF to save a little $$.

You'd be surprised how many a.netters have a vested interest in Montana aviation. For such a small state, it's quite a few with Stapleton and myself likely having the most information on the topic. I will look into GQ's schedule here in Montana and post it since you're interested.



Good goes around!
User currently offlineTeo747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 140 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2473 times:

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 11):
What will be interesting will be to see whether at some point UA upgrades BZN to mainline. I think it's a very real possibility during the peak season.

I was just doing some flight searching for next summer on united.com, and it is showing DEN-BZN and vice-versa with one daily 735 along with three daily CRJ flights. The dates I have been searching are in late June and early July, but I don't have time right now to figure out exactly when the (scheduled) mainine service begins or ends. Will be nice to see another type of mainline aircraft back at BZN if it actually happens...

Edit: OK, so I'll be a little late for work but who cares about that! united.com shows the daily DEN-BZN 735 flight as beginning on Feb. 13, 2008, ending sometime in March or April and then starting up again in June.

[Edited 2007-11-07 07:32:38]

[Edited 2007-11-07 07:34:16]

25 GQfluffy : BIL hasn't seen a DC-9 in over a year. We get stuck with A319s. Rats. I love to hear those JT9's...but I suppose I'll just have to live with the FX 7
26 Copaair737 : With the exception of the ATL flight, No. I think that BIL could make a go out of an ATL flight. Maybe you'll see it this upcoming summer season. I'd
27 Stapleton : Delta mainline staff are in BZN, they handle the above wing and then contract out the below wing operations. The DL mainline staff in BZN handles the
28 Post contains links and images GQfluffy : I see I somehow screwed up the picture... This picture is what I was talking about. View Large View MediumPhoto © Joseph A. Del Guidice Now, is
29 Post contains images UA_727 : GQFluffy - A shame to hear that you're not part of "TeamBIL" anymore... (the all-airline team, that is...). Since I've moved to TUL, I've been countin
30 ATAIndy : Wasn't HUF one of those routes? I'd hope so, it seems surprising to me that there are only two NW flights from BIL to MSP. Didn't it used to be four
31 Stapleton : The most recent NW schedule change shows some interesting changes in GTF, FCA and MSO for NW over the next few months: MSO - MSP 20Dec - 06Jan (3 E175
32 Floridaflyboy : The three routes from CVG are Cape Girardeau, MO (CGI), Owensboro, KY (OWB), and Jackson, TN (MKL). They start this month. NW's MSP-BIL fluctuates a
33 Post contains links Stapleton : The big reason Delta does BZN-ATL is because 17.8% of Bozeman's passengers are going to the Southeast and Midsouth regions of the country whereas at
34 Floridaflyboy : I've read the report and it's definitely full of excellent information. The reason that a BIL-ATL will happen long-term is because of the growth and
35 Stapleton : I agree on either the AA or CO possibilities for Billings. CO might have a leg up since they at least have some Montana knowledge as well as the SkyTe
36 Floridaflyboy : Totally agree. CO seems the logical choice for a BIL-Texas. I also agree about BIL-ORD going year-round. That market has matured nicely for UA. I als
37 Stapleton : I also hear that Helena is working with United on the Small Community Air Service Grant. It will be interesting to see if United adds this service. It
38 Floridaflyboy : That is true that HLN is working with UA under that grant. I also agree that it's a quite well-served airport. I could see UA going for it and adding
39 Stapleton : I know what you mean. I could see NW leaving the market if United begins service. Could be half a million spent just to change the airline scenery.
40 ATAIndy : Ah, I didn't take into account the Airbuses being larger aircraft, that makes sense. I hadn't heard anything about that in awhile because I haven't b
41 Stapleton : While the passenger might not mind flying IND-ATL-BIL, Delta would have to weigh whether or not they want to actually sell that ticket. It is 1953 mi
42 Copaair737 : I'd think that CO could make BIL work, probably starting with an XJet ERJ, then moving up. I'd like to see American Eagle make it a go as well, though
43 Floridaflyboy : QX used to do a BZN-LAX flight during ski season with a CR7. It hasn't been back the past couple years, though. I think it could work down the road w
44 ATAIndy : I could certainly see CO coming to BIL, American Eagle, not as likely, IMHO. Well true, but I was just trying to show that a flight could work. Hones
45 Floridaflyboy : I agree that CO definitely makes more sense. For one, as Stapleton said, CO has served Montana before in the past, whereas AA has never touched Monta
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