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Rumor: FWA Soon To Lose All Airline Service?  
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1640 posts, RR: 28
Posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6218 times:

Currently, I'm home in Fort Wayne, IN, visiting my family and friends (as a vacation from my studies in San Francisco).

Yesterday morning, my younger sister and mother were discussing recent talk in the local (Fort Wayne) news about the possible end of all airline service at FWA. This was a total surprise to me.

Is FWA really in danger of shutting down as a commercial airline airport? FWA, formerly known as Fort Wayne Municipal (Baer Field) Airport (now Fort Wayne International), has served Fort Wayne (and the tri-state region) since 1945 as our local scheduled-airline airport, both with mainline and regional airlines, with aircraft ranging from RJs to 727s and 737s and airlines ranging from AA to G4.

Especially if you are local to FWA, can you let us know if this rumor has any basis in truth to it?

If Fort Wayne, IN, were to lose all commercial air service, there would be no alternative but to drive hours to IND, SBN, TOL, DTW, or ORD, and that would not save any gas (which is needless to say very expensive). FWA would end up as a ghost town.

SmithAir747


I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSkyrat From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 173 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6125 times:

From what I have heard, the airport is running thin on money. It's a possiblily as service is already being cut. Airlines are really hurting and don't look to be improving anytime soon.


flown:146,a319,a320,717,722,733,735,738,744,752,763,772,crj2,crj7,crj9,dc9,dc10,e135,e145,e170,e175,frj,md80
User currently offlineCrjfixer From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6059 times:

Pinnacle just opened a new hangar there(New to them), doubt they will be pulling out anytime soon

User currently offlineVincewy From Taiwan, joined Oct 2005, 767 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5983 times:

With current airline crisis, this may be a brutal reality for not just FWA, but many cities (even mid-sized). What needs to be done is establishing alternative transport, in the case of FWA, a frequent bus service or rail link (convenient and frequent BTW, and doesn't have to be high speed, although HSR is in the drawing board out of Chicago to span over 8 lines) to ORD or IND.

If nothing gets done, many places in US will have no means of transportation. Current Amtrak network outside Northeast can't handle more capacity should more people switch to rail, not to mention inconvenience and speed.


User currently offlineSyncmaster From United States of America, joined Jul 2002, 2039 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5972 times:
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Quoting Crjfixer (Reply 2):
Pinnacle just opened a new hangar there(New to them), doubt they will be pulling out anytime soon

They leased the former Shuttle America hangar, which they had until Republic bought them out a few years back and phased out the Saab fleet. Pinnacle had a hangar not very far away already, they simply moved in to a larger one.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some reduction in FWA flying - the airport especially has been hurting quite a bit in the last year. Particularly because of the loss of Kitty Hawk. I would not by anymeans say the airport will lose all service though, there is still enough of a demand to have service, but like I said I wouldn't be stunned to see some reductions in service, particularly from American Eagle and United Express. I think Northwest and Delta made enough cuts during the bankruptcy that there won't be a huge loss in service from them, if any at all. And Allegiant is here to stay.

-Charlie

[Edited 2008-07-05 02:36:59]

User currently offlineExaauadl From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 5851 times:



Quoting Vincewy (Reply 3):
With current airline crisis, this may be a brutal reality for not just FWA, but many cities (even mid-sized).

FWA isnt going to lose all airservice, this is nonesense. All this panic was sparked by e completely irresponsible press release by some group calling itself the Business Travlers something or other. They used no data to support their claims. Best I can tell is they say any airport within 150 miles of a LCC served airport will lose all service and stupidly included such airports as ANC, GRR, and DAY. FWA will probably lose longer haul flights like DFW but will keep at the very least ORD and DTW.

Think about this: The last airline in a place like FWA will make a mint even with $200 oil. Why would they leave? Back in the 1950s when only the rich could afford to fly, FWA still probably had a half dozen flights daily to MDW and DTW combined. In the worst case scenario, it could revert to that.


User currently offlineFWAERJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 3833 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 5791 times:



Quoting Exaauadl (Reply 5):
FWA isnt going to lose all airservice, this is nonesense. All this panic was sparked by e completely irresponsible press release by some group calling itself the Business Travlers something or other. They used no data to support their claims. Best I can tell is they say any airport within 150 miles of a LCC served airport will lose all service and stupidly included such airports as ANC, GRR, and DAY. FWA will probably lose longer haul flights like DFW but will keep at the very least ORD and DTW.

You are correct... it was a study done by a lobbying group known as the Business Travelers Coalition. All sorts of other airports, including airports where WN is the #1 carrier, were on the list.

And actually, FWA's passenger numbers have gone up for over 15 consecutive months. And FWA is relatively unaffected by the latest round of cutbacks so far... for example, Eagle is pulling one ORD flight in August, but adding a third daily DFW flight in November.

As for the money situation facing FWA, I think most of it has to do with the Kitty Hawk bankruptcy and hub closure from last year and the repayment of the remaining facility debt.



"Did he really need the triple bypass? Or was it the miles?"
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23308 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5574 times:



Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 6):
And FWA is relatively unaffected by the latest round of cutbacks so far... for example, Eagle is pulling one ORD flight in August, but adding a third daily DFW flight in November.

The conventional wisdom is that long flights are less attractive, but with a substantially larger local market to DFW and just as many connecting opportunities, I'm not convinced that's true for MQ at FWA.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineAndrewUber From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2528 posts, RR: 40
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5337 times:



Quoting Syncmaster (Reply 4):
the loss of Kitty Hawk.

Kitty Hawk really screwed the city of Fort Wayne. The 100,000+ sq ft cargo sort facility was built on the FW taxpayer's dime, and leased to KH more or less for free for the first ten years. They moved into the facility in 1998, and pulled out almost ten years later.

One possible light at the end of the tunnel is the rumors I've heard about Kalitta and Capital Cargo possibly using the facility. Perhaps that could be a shot in FWA's rear end.

Pity they just completed a $90+ million tower to control all this traffic.

Quoting Exaauadl (Reply 5):
FWA isnt going to lose all airservice, this is nonesense.

 checkmark 



I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
User currently offlineOuboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4616 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4693 times:



Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 8):
One possible light at the end of the tunnel is the rumors I've heard about Kalitta and Capital Cargo possibly using the facility. Perhaps that could be a shot in FWA's rear end.

Cargo traffic in the region is really going to be up in the air for a bit. The major sorting hubs that are left, off the top of my head, are: RFD (UPS), IND (FedEx), TOL (BAX), SDF (UPS), and the apparently soon to be extinct DHL op in Wilmington. Willow Run is so-so with Kalitta...but its not really a sorting hub. The key for FWA, will be developing the ability to get the remaining cargo companies to drop a jet there and connect them to the network or pick up a contract for an FWA-based company that needs to ship stuff somewhere often.

Capital Cargo I would say is up in the air if they send anything to FWA. Most of their capacity is dedicated to BAX with the rest going to the making express package companies (can't remember if it is UPS, FedEx or DHL).

Kalitta...possibly - if there is a contract out there that would warrant the nonstop flights.

FWA's day as a hub is pretty much over for now though until an existing airline or a new upstart comes into view. Their main competition is going to be ILM and LCK for landing such an operation. LCK has been coming on extremely strong establishing thier multi-modal setup.

FWA should hold on to most passenger air service, so that should be able to get them through. Cargo wise...FWA's role as a hub died with Kitty Hawk for awhile.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20362 posts, RR: 59
Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4619 times:



Quoting Vincewy (Reply 3):

If nothing gets done, many places in US will have no means of transportation. Current Amtrak network outside Northeast can't handle more capacity should more people switch to rail, not to mention inconvenience and speed.

Yup. And then people get all pissy with me when I say that the infrastructure will destroy the U.S.

If you can't move goods and people, then you cannot have an economy. If you do not have an economy, you have a "developing country."

The U.S. is not immune to going bankrupt. And if we don't fix the infrastructure, it will sooner than later.


User currently offlineTAN FLYR From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1920 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4210 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 10):
The U.S. is not immune to going bankrupt. And if we don't fix the infrastructure, it will sooner than later.

Boy, Isn't that for sure. But politicians don't want to talk about that..it isn't sexy or hot. NO, we talk about stupid stuff that doesn't amount a darn.

Years ago when I lived in FWA, you still had Amtrak from downtown on the old PRR mainline from PIT-CHI. IF the politicians were ever to get serious about some sort of hi-speed rail, Fort Wayne is lucky as it actually has 2 great routes to Chicago , that former PRR (Conrail) line and the NS (old Nickel Plate Road) line. Either one could be converted to someday tie into rail direct to ORD. (FWIW, the NS line to Detroit goes right past DTW..it is sandwiched between airport property and I-94.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 6):
And actually, FWA's passenger numbers have gone up for over 15 consecutive months. And FWA is relatively unaffected by the latest round of cutbacks so far... for example, Eagle is pulling one ORD flight in August, but adding a third daily DFW flight in November.

The numbers are great news..maybe people in Fort Wayne are realizing the actual cost in TIME & FUEL to make the trip to IND or where ever..And Eagle would not have added that third flight back to DFW if they did not believe it would make money. Makes my trips from FAT much easier connection-wise. While the times that AA currently have for ORD service are not ideal, they do save them the cost of RON a crew each nite. I guess every dime counts.


User currently offlineJeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1336 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3636 times:

Any airport that has mainly regional service is most likely going to lose some if not all the commercial flights that they get. I do not see those flights ever coming back again. I never really understood why the airlines even had some of those flights. Especially the ones where they would fly people maybe 100 miles to a hub city on a plane that held maybe 30-50 passengers. I say if those people really wanted to fly where they were going they would have just driven to the hub city.


God bless through Jesus, Jeff
User currently offlineSuseJ772 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 826 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3432 times:



Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
Is FWA really in danger of shutting down as a commercial airline airport?

I bet they will lose some service. But not all service. No way.

Quoting Syncmaster (Reply 4):
I wouldn't be surprised to see some reduction in FWA flying - the airport especially has been hurting quite a bit in the last year.

Exactly.

Quoting Exaauadl (Reply 5):
FWA isnt going to lose all airservice, this is nonesense. All this panic was sparked by e completely irresponsible press release by some group calling itself the Business Travlers something or other.

Exactly.

Quoting TAN FLYR (Reply 11):
Years ago when I lived in FWA, you still had Amtrak from downtown on the old PRR mainline from PIT-CHI.

When did you live in FWA? I don't remember Amtrak in FWA and I lived there for the first 18 years of my life (although I might have just been oblivious)

Quoting Jeffrey1970 (Reply 12):
Any airport that has mainly regional service is most likely going to lose some if not all the commercial flights that they get.

I would support that statement in regards to "some" traffic, but not all traffic. I can't see a single airport that is currently being flown to commercially losing all of their flights.



Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
User currently offlineTAN FLYR From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1920 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3311 times:



Quoting Jeffrey1970 (Reply 12):
Especially the ones where they would fly people maybe 100 miles to a hub city on a plane that held maybe 30-50 passengers. I say if those people really wanted to fly where they were going they would have just driven to the hub city.

You have to calculate the time, in time used, and cost as well as cash cost, opportunity cost when you would decide, for example, to drive from FWA to ORD. Could be 3.5 hrs..could be 6 in weather, traffic, accidents, construction, etc. ( same as here, FAT-LAX, 3.5 by car under most favorable conditions, otherwise ANYWHERE from 4-6, for 209 miles)

Quoting SuseJ772 (Reply 13):
When did you live in FWA? I don't remember Amtrak in FWA and I lived there for the first 18 years of my life (although I might have just been oblivious)

Lived in FWA 1972-1982..Fort Wayne had Amtrak ( The Broadway Limited) (trains 40/41) from the inception of Amtrak (5/1/71) until about 1995 or so. Amtrak dropped the Broadway Limited from its' named roster and now calls the train "the 3 Rivers" , referring to Pittsburgh, PA. and routes it on CSX (old B & O) from Chicago to Pittsburgh, PA. The station was the original PRR station down by Lincoln Life, downtown.

Permit me a digress for an aviation forum... just FYI , Fort Wayne was a premier station for the PRR for over 80 years . First known as the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad, was absorbed into the PRR in the late 1880's or so. Check out the plaque at the main Post Office, it stands on what once was a huge complex of PRR shops employing hundreds on men from the 1880's to the 1930's or so. It also was one of only about 8 stops on that premier train, "Broadway Limited" when it was an all pullman train from NY to Chicago.

Back to topic..Fort Wayne, and communities like it, that have the socio-economic base will always have some sort of air service..particularly on hops to hubs..that is the only ay to make money. UA was the last to offer scheduled daily NS service to a major destination (NYC via EWR) from FWA in the late 60's,or 71/72..

Hope all the trivia and little known facts helps!...Have a great weekend.


User currently offlineChgoflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 622 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3220 times:

Where is Ft Wayne? Cant you get to another airport close by?


Will someone please wake me up in 4 years
User currently offlineTAN FLYR From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1920 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3185 times:

you are kidding? right...


Open Rand Mc Nally to the pages just after Illinois and Chicago Metro maps...you will find Indiana..look in the NE quarter...

BINGO... a metro area of about 225,000 souls...157 miles to Chicago, 125 to DTW, 109 to IND, and about 200 to CLE.

That ought to give you an idea.


User currently offlineChgoflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 622 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3177 times:

Quoting TAN FLYR (Reply 16):
That ought to give you an idea.

I live in Chicago! What will you want next airline service from Muncie?

[Edited 2008-07-05 20:58:21]


Will someone please wake me up in 4 years
User currently offlineSuseJ772 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 826 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2990 times:



Quoting TAN FLYR (Reply 14):
Lived in FWA 1972-1982

Ahhh...born in 1982. You left FWA right when I came into the world  Wink

Quoting Chgoflyer (Reply 15):
Where is Ft Wayne? Cant you get to another airport close by?

It isn't real practical for most flying. A lot of people drive to IND, but I refuse to. In the past 6 years I have flown in and out of FWA at least 20 times. Never once out of IND.

Quoting Chgoflyer (Reply 17):
I live in Chicago! What will you want next airline service from Muncie?

Muncie is significantly closer to IND and they have a city population of 67,000 people (or 30% of Fort Wayne's population).

Like I said above, FWA will see cuts I am sure, and I sincerely doubt FL will be moving there like has been rumored on this site, but they will always have at least some air service.



Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
User currently offlineSyncmaster From United States of America, joined Jul 2002, 2039 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2849 times:
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Quoting SuseJ772 (Reply 18):
It isn't real practical for most flying. A lot of people drive to IND, but I refuse to. In the past 6 years I have flown in and out of FWA at least 20 times. Never once out of IND.

Its simply not worth the extra hassle in 99% of the cases to even bother looking outside of the regional airports. The trek to IND - especially with high fuel prices - can sometimes double the amount of time it takes to get somewhere. I know this as I quite often get stuck flying out of MDW instead of SBN/FWA/AZO. I love the airport, but hate getting to and from it. The extra cost of the local airports outweighs the cost savings of the larger airports.

-Charlie


User currently offlineJeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1336 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2659 times:



Quoting TAN FLYR (Reply 14):
You have to calculate the time, in time used, and cost as well as cash cost, opportunity cost when you would decide, for example, to drive from FWA to ORD. Could be 3.5 hrs..could be 6 in weather, traffic, accidents, construction, etc. ( same as here, FAT-LAX, 3.5 by car under most favorable conditions, otherwise ANYWHERE from 4-6, for 209 miles)

I understand that, and maybe for that reason Fort Wayne just might retain some commercial airline service. However, there are other regional airports where it just makes no sense to have commercial service. Hagerstown, MD for one, is less then 100 miles from BWI, and only a few hours by car from DCA and IAD. Usairways, and PanAm (Boston to Maine airways) used to fly out of there. Both airlines lost a lot of money out of that airport because it was much cheaper for people to get in there cars and drive a few hours to the bigger airports.



God bless through Jesus, Jeff
User currently offlineSean-SAN- From United States of America, joined Aug 2002, 772 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2626 times:

Pinnacle has a big MX base there, and we often fly planes there with less than 10 pax just to rotate the planes in and out. We even recently started MSP.

User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40076 posts, RR: 74
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2580 times:

I guess Fort Wayne is facing fierce competition from Gary, Indiana (GYY).  rotfl 


Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineTAN FLYR From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1920 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2527 times:



Quoting Jeffrey1970 (Reply 20):
However, there are other regional airports where it just makes no sense to have commercial service. Hagerstown, MD for one, is less then 100 miles from BWI, and only a few hours by car from DCA and IAD

Agreed..lots of communities that currently have unsubsidized air service that in the current cost environment will probably lose it sooner or later.

Then there are the EAS communities..some (Like VIS, just 45 min drive to FAT) that have expensive subsidized service. I would suspect in many of these, it would be cheaper to put the few pax in vans/ taxis and pay the fare to the next airport with viable commerical service.

As I stated, I would suspect that communities that have either the population base as a whole, or socio-economic power to support air service (profitable) will have it.


User currently offlineTb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1652 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2500 times:



Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 8):

One possible light at the end of the tunnel is the rumors I've heard about Kalitta and Capital Cargo possibly using the facility. Perhaps that could be a shot in FWA's rear end.

Yeah I don't think it's going to be happening Sad



Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
User currently offlineTiger119 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2494 times:



Quoting TAN FLYR (Reply 14):
You have to calculate the time, in time used, and cost as well as cash cost, opportunity cost when you would decide, for example, to drive from FWA to ORD. Could be 3.5 hrs..could be 6 in weather, traffic, accidents, construction, etc. ( same as here, FAT-LAX, 3.5 by car under most favorable conditions, otherwise ANYWHERE from 4-6, for 209 miles)

- Do not forget about the time difference though


I know this has nothing to do with passenger or cargo aircraft, but the Indiana Air National Guard has an F-16 wing there. Every time I am at FWA or around it, I see F-16s flying (and they are beautiful). I think Indiana is still the only state with TWO F-16 wings (the other one Indiana wing is at HUF).

David



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
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