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Why No Small Regional Carriers At SEA?  
User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5947 posts, RR: 6
Posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3763 times:
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Perhaps someone could shed some light on this...especially the locals.

Back in the day, SEA used to have some small regional carriers serving the surrounding area like San Juan Airlines, Harbor Air, Sequim Air, etc.

Outside of the wonderful economic conditions, why wouldn't a model like Kenmore Air today at BFI work at SEA, even in good times?

AS/QX could have codeshare agreements to places like Oak Harbor, Sequim, Port Angeles, Astoria (OR), Anacortes, Longview/Kelso; even seasonal service to Newport (OR) or Westport, WA.

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3494 times:

Given the current state of the economy, no one is really flying those routes anymore. It costs too much money to do those routes in the SEA area, IE: fuel.

Just the lack of loads, thats all there is to it.

Speaking of Kenmore Air, isn't that a water plane fleet on Lake Washington?



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineHatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3487 times:



Quoting Wedgetail737 (Thread starter):
Outside of the wonderful economic conditions, why wouldn't a model like Kenmore Air today at BFI work at SEA, even in good times?

Just take a look at Seatac's fee structure. They have a pdf on their website that shows all the various fees associated with flying out of there. It costs $355/sq foot just to rent terminal space per year. It's the same for counter space. So assuming you'd like at least a small ticket counter and one gate area, you will probably be paying close to a million bucks just for that alone. Then you still have all the landing fees, inbound passenger baggage fees, badging fees, gate lease fees, ramp parking fees, etc.

If you were going to make it work you'd have to fly to a bunch of cities to bring the cost per departure down. Flying to only one or two places would kill you because you couldn't bring enough revenue in on 9 pax flights to make up for all that cost. It's kind of ridiculous and SEA is one of the most expensive airports in the country.

One of the reasons Harbor Air floundered was because they owed about $400,000 to the Port of Seattle and couldn't pay it back. They went under and the Port never ended up pursuing the money because they knew Harbor Air had no way of paying it back even if they sued.


User currently offlineRampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3152 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3454 times:



Quoting Hatbutton (Reply 2):
$355/sq foot just to rent terminal space per year. It's the same for counter space. So assuming you'd like at least a small ticket counter and one gate area, you will probably be paying close to a million bucks just for that alone.

Couldn't a small airline partner with an existing airline for use of counter space, gate, and back office, as happens in many other aiports? They could pay a proportion of the rental costs, and save a lot that way.

-Rampart


User currently offlineAlexinwa From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3445 times:



Quoting Hatbutton (Reply 2):
Just take a look at Seatac's fee structure. They have a pdf on their website that shows all the various fees associated with flying out of there. It costs $355/sq foot just to rent terminal space per year. It's the same for counter space. So assuming you'd like at least a small ticket counter and one gate area, you will probably be paying close to a million bucks just for that alone. Then you still have all the landing fees, inbound passenger baggage fees, badging fees, gate lease fees, ramp parking fees, etc.

If you were going to make it work you'd have to fly to a bunch of cities to bring the cost per departure down. Flying to only one or two places would kill you because you couldn't bring enough revenue in on 9 pax flights to make up for all that cost. It's kind of ridiculous and SEA is one of the most expensive airports in the country.

One of the reasons Harbor Air floundered was because they owed about $400,000 to the Port of Seattle and couldn't pay it back. They went under and the Port never ended up pursuing the money because they knew Harbor Air had no way of paying it back even if they sued.

All around great post and you've hit it right on the head.

I really believe that at some point BFI will become a player sooner rather than later. The WN idea was wonderful and I was bummed that as per the norm our leaders have NO forward vision and killed it.

I believe there is a market for our smaller cities, however as stated above not from SEA. Many wonderful shorter routes have been lost over the years. (Omak, Astoria, Port Angeles, Moses Lake, etc......)

Lot's of possible routes.........

YKM-PDX
BLI-GEG
BLI-PDX

I would love to see EAT/PSC/YKM connected to another city south or east.

Too bad Reno Air got swallowed up, they could fly DH4's or E70's to RNO from EAT/PSC/YKM with great connections to Cali, Nev., and Arz.

Another issue is security. I would fly SEA-EAT more often, but by the time I arrive at SEA and land in EAT I save maybe 30 to 45 minutes and it cost me alot more.

longer range under-served markets

GEG-LAX (area)
GEG-SFO (area)
GEG-anywhere east



You mad Bro???
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3437 times:



Quoting Alexinwa (Reply 4):
The WN idea was wonderful and I was bummed that as per the norm our leaders have NO forward vision and killed it.

It wasn't the leaders of King County that killed it. It was also the Port of Seattle and the residents living around BFI killed it as well.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineHatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3390 times:



Quoting Rampart (Reply 3):
Couldn't a small airline partner with an existing airline for use of counter space, gate, and back office, as happens in many other aiports? They could pay a proportion of the rental costs, and save a lot that way.

Yeah the Port also has fee per use payment options as well. I just still don't know if 9 pax flights even with a cheaper deal would make enough money worthy of starting service. Although I would love to see it happen. Someone eventually will give it a shot I'm sure. But probably not until the economy gets better. I did see a while back that the Port of Seattle was willing to waive certain fees for a small small carrier to start service to local communities around the region. Don't know if that offer still stands.

Quoting Alexinwa (Reply 4):
Lot's of possible routes.........

Exactly. I always thought that BLI-PDX or BLI-GEG would be good bets. I always wondered why QX never tried PDX-PUW either. The SEA flights do well and considering the large number of WSU students/alumni who are from the greater Portland area, I don't see why it wouldn't work.


User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5947 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3284 times:
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Good inputs from eveyone...thank you!

I thought that maybe SEA could support a Kenmore Air or Cape Air kind of operation, especially if they could hook up with a larger airline like AS.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 1):
Speaking of Kenmore Air, isn't that a water plane fleet on Lake Washington?

Yeah...they are the seaplane fliers out Seattle (Lake Union...not Lake Washington).


User currently offlineHatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3265 times:



Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 7):
Yeah...they are the seaplane fliers out Seattle (Lake Union...not Lake Washington).

Well they also fly out of Kenmore Air Harbor which is on the north end of Lake Washington. That is their main base of operation.

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 7):
I thought that maybe SEA could support a Kenmore Air or Cape Air kind of operation, especially if they could hook up with a larger airline like AS.

Who knows, maybe eventually. Wishful thinking though.


User currently offlineBaxter From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3263 times:



Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 7):
Yeah...they are the seaplane fliers out Seattle (Lake Union...not Lake Washington).

Actually, they are based in Kenmore on the North end of Lake Washington, and also have a port on Lake Union...


User currently offlineHamlet69 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2745 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3243 times:



Quoting Hatbutton (Reply 2):
Just take a look at Seatac's fee structure. They have a pdf on their website that shows all the various fees associated with flying out of there. It costs $355/sq foot just to rent terminal space per year. It's the same for counter space. So assuming you'd like at least a small ticket counter and one gate area, you will probably be paying close to a million bucks just for that alone. Then you still have all the landing fees, inbound passenger baggage fees, badging fees, gate lease fees, ramp parking fees, etc.

If you were going to make it work you'd have to fly to a bunch of cities to bring the cost per departure down. Flying to only one or two places would kill you because you couldn't bring enough revenue in on 9 pax flights to make up for all that cost. It's kind of ridiculous and SEA is one of the most expensive airports in the country.

One of the reasons Harbor Air floundered was because they owed about $400,000 to the Port of Seattle and couldn't pay it back. They went under and the Port never ended up pursuing the money because they knew Harbor Air had no way of paying it back even if they sued.

Excellent post!  checkmark 

Quoting Alexinwa (Reply 4):
I really believe that at some point BFI will become a player sooner rather than later.

I could see BFI working sometime in the future. However, with the experience of the WN deal's failure, this most definitely will be later rather than sooner. OTOH, initial rumblings coming out of SnoCo might mean that PAE (or, should I say the idiots against commercial flights at PAE) have finally lost ground, and PAE could see opportunity/growth in this area. If G4 and QX start service out of PAE, and make it work, I could definitely see some more (smaller) service coming out of here.

Of course, my real dream would be another Proposition 1 in a few years time, extending light rail from the current limit at Lynnwood all the way up to Everett Station, with a branch feeding over to PAE. With a light rail station connected to a new, modern terminal, commercial flights at PAE would be a very viable option.

Quoting Alexinwa (Reply 4):
Lot's of possible routes.........

YKM-PDX
BLI-GEG
BLI-PDX

BLI is a wonderful airport to fly out of, and I'd love to see more flights from there. However, the Bellingham population would have to grow more significantly to get more dedicated BLI service.

But I agree. Regionally, this is a very untapped market. What we need is a good, new small turboprop to do it!

Regards,

Hamlet69  profile 



Honor the warriors, not the war.
User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5947 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3154 times:
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Quoting Hatbutton (Reply 8):
Well they also fly out of Kenmore Air Harbor which is on the north end of Lake Washington. That is their main base of operation.



Quoting Baxter (Reply 9):
Actually, they are based in Kenmore on the North end of Lake Washington, and also have a port on Lake Union...

Don't most of their flights leave their port on the southwest side of Lake Union? You see them buzzing around the Space Needle when they depart/arrive there.

I guess I never really paid attention to their whereabouts on Lake Washington.


User currently offlineHatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3115 times:



Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 11):
Don't most of their flights leave their port on the southwest side of Lake Union? You see them buzzing around the Space Needle when they depart/arrive there.

I believe so. We were just clarifying that they do have a base on Lake Washington where their offices and maintenance work is done. But I doubt their pax loads out of there exceed that of Lake Union's.


User currently offlineSupraZachAir From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Feb 2004, 634 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3053 times:

Kenmore also flies Caravans out of BFI.

User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5947 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3015 times:
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Quoting SupraZachAir (Reply 13):
Kenmore also flies Caravans out of BFI.

That part I knew. They took over Northwest Seaplanes' Caravan operation shortly after my wife and I flew to Friday Harbor on them. At that time it was called Kenmore Express.


User currently offlinePlanesNTrains From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 5704 posts, RR: 29
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2947 times:



Quoting Hatbutton (Reply 6):
Exactly. I always thought that BLI-PDX or BLI-GEG would be good bets. I always wondered why QX never tried PDX-PUW either. The SEA flights do well and considering the large number of WSU students/alumni who are from the greater Portland area, I don't see why it wouldn't work.

I always wondered the same. Of course, this was back about 8-10 years ago when DL had the PDX base running. I thought flights feeding PDX from a variety of pnw cities, including some of the smaller ones, might be a good fit.

Oh well...

-Dave



Next Trip: SEA-ABQ-SEA on Alaska
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 2661 times:



Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 7):
Yeah...they are the seaplane fliers out Seattle (Lake Union...not Lake Washington).

I had a feeling it was Lake Union, but instead I said Lake Washington. I stand corrected.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
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