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Why Are Great Lakes And Cape Air Unique?  
User currently offlineTharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3243 times:

In the lower 48 states of the United States, at least. Hawaii and Alaska, I don't know.

As far as I can tell, they are the only commuter/regional operators of more than tiny scale still doing substantial business under their own brand, at own risk, with their own livery. At least for 9K in its home market, if not Florida and Mike.

Besides them, you see failed attempts (express jet or indy); sporadic at-risk or own-brand operations on the side; sometimes a house livery. But not the whole package, unless I am missing other examples.

Is it only a matter of time before 9K becomes JetBlueExpress? Or is there something about the operation, fleet, brand or routes that makes these carriers more profitable just as they are, long term?

ZK seems to be an EAS specialist; is it not worth making them your feederliner if they don't bring much feed?

Sorry if this has been recently discussed, but I didn't see anything the last couple years.

(I'm not counting Horizon here, and who knows where Republic is headed, so let's omit them)

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlyPBA From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 431 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3111 times:

Um ... Horizon ... they only fly under their own brand

User currently offlineAWACSooner From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1902 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3082 times:

What about Gulfstream?

User currently offlineHAJFlyer From Switzerland, joined Sep 2005, 1473 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3056 times:



Quoting Tharanga (Thread starter):
ZK seems to be an EAS specialist; is it not worth making them your feederliner if they don't bring much feed?

ZK codeshares with United and Frontier on their flights out DEN. AFAIK they have no codeshare agreements for flights from their focus cities ABQ and ONT.

OT: I wonder how long ZK will able to service some of their very small and remote stations such as Wolf Point, MT (app. 3000 inhabitants) or Ely, NV (app. 4000 inhabitants) in the current economic environment despite the EAS subsidies.


User currently offlineMtnWest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2458 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3056 times:



Quoting FlyPBA (Reply 1):
Um ... Horizon ... they only fly under their own brand

True, but they are owned and used basically as a AAG feeder.

In AK, you have Frontier Alaska group of carriers flying. They include Era Aviation, Frontier Flying Service, and Hageland Aviation.



"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently offlineAWACSooner From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1902 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3044 times:



Quoting HAJFlyer (Reply 3):

ZK codeshares with United and Frontier on their flights out DEN. AFAIK they have no codeshare agreements for flights from their focus cities ABQ and ONT.

Where does ZK fly to from ABQ and ONT?


User currently offlineTharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3020 times:



Quoting FlyPBA (Reply 1):
Um ... Horizon ... they only fly under their own brand

I see them as their own sort of oddball. Co-owned and basically co-branded with Alaskan. I guess the "horizon" brand was too valuable to rename them as "alaskan eagle or alaska connection" or whatever.

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 2):
What about Gulfstream?

Don't they fly as Continental Connection? They may have their own liveries, but their website forces me to go to continental.com to book, which disqualifies them from the topic, in my mind.

Quoting HAJFlyer (Reply 3):
OT: I wonder how long ZK will able to service some of their very small and remote stations such as Wolf Point, MT (app. 3000 inhabitants) or Ely, NV (app. 4000 inhabitants) in the current economic environment despite the EAS subsidies.

Wouldn't the government just increase the subsidy until somebody found it worthwhile to fly? I'm not sure how that works.


User currently offlineItalianFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1099 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3019 times:

I think that the Great Lakes, Cape Airs, Frontier AK Groups and *gasp* Gulfstream models may be the next growth segment of the industry. Their small planes are perfect for filling small demand markets.

User currently offlineHAJFlyer From Switzerland, joined Sep 2005, 1473 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3019 times:



Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 5):
Where does ZK fly to from ABQ and ONT?

From ABQ to Clovis & Silver City
From ONT to Merced, Visalia, Kingman, Prescott and Farmington


User currently offlineHAJFlyer From Switzerland, joined Sep 2005, 1473 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3001 times:



Quoting ItalianFlyer (Reply 7):
Their small planes are perfect for filling small demand markets.

However, no 19-seater is in production anymore (except for DHC-6 and Do 228 neither of which is suited for an ZK/style operation); therefore, growth options are limited.


User currently offlineTharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2990 times:



Quoting ItalianFlyer (Reply 7):
I think that the Great Lakes, Cape Airs, Frontier AK Groups and *gasp* Gulfstream models may be the next growth segment of the industry. Their small planes are perfect for filling small demand markets.

I wonder about that.

If people prefer RJs to turboprops, then many will prefer driving to a Cessna. The places where these carriers are successful seem geographically special in some way - over water, over ice - to make driving difficult.


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2968 times:

Cape Air - unique market which does not lend itself to larger aircraft. Also greatly limits the ability of Cape Air to grow. They do fly a larger regional aircraft - ATR - out of Guam, but that is a Continental regional bird. Cape Air built their name serving a very special client base on routes which made the aircraft profitable.

Great Lakes - again pretty unique, small markets which have proven unprofitable in larger aircraft.

A few others have tried to create a similar niche market, but I think the geography and population densities have to be just right for an airline like these to succeed over a period of time.

Horizon also has a solid market with the right aircraft at the right time. Their association with Alaska helps tremendously, but the key again is the right geography and population.


User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5803 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2953 times:



Quoting HAJFlyer (Reply 8):
From ONT to Merced, Visalia, Kingman, Prescott and Farmington

ONT from Merced and Visalia seems to be mainly a mix of people buying a second ticket on WN along with some O&D business travel. A few people buy a second ticket on other airlines besides WN at ONT, but Southwest appears to be the main choice.



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineWhatUsaid From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 664 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2930 times:



Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 12):

I've flown the VIS-ONT a couple times. Loads are so light - we're talking 3 to 7 pax... I agree, some are connecting to WN - primarily to PHX for yet another connection.

While this is a nice option to LA from FAT, the thought of the per passenger subsidy is pretty frightening.


User currently offlineHAJFlyer From Switzerland, joined Sep 2005, 1473 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2917 times:



Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 12):
ONT from Merced and Visalia seems to be mainly a mix of people buying a second ticket on WN along with some O&D business travel. A few people buy a second ticket on other airlines besides WN at ONT, but Southwest appears to be the main choice

The route must be doing quite well as ZK recently introduced a non-stop from Merced to ONT; initially they only served MCE from ONT via VIS twice a day.


User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2909 times:



Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 2):
What about Gulfstream?

 vomit  That airline only exists because their pilots are stupid enough to pay the airline so they can fly for them.

ZK whores itself out as an EAS provider. I will say though to get from PRC to PHX in ~30mins it only costs a few bucks more than if I was to spend the fare for a craptastic shuttle down to PHX that will take me 2hrs and $60 round trip. Heck the B1900 is a much nicer ride than a stupid ford econoliner  yuck 


User currently offlineHAJFlyer From Switzerland, joined Sep 2005, 1473 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2890 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 15):
ZK whores itself out as an EAS provider

What is wrong with that? The model seems to work quite well for them. They are definitely not a huge financial sucess story, but at least manage to survive.


User currently offlineMtnWest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2458 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2855 times:



Quoting HAJFlyer (Reply 3):
OT: I wonder how long ZK will able to service some of their very small and remote stations such as Wolf Point, MT (app. 3000 inhabitants) or Ely, NV (app. 4000 inhabitants) in the current economic environment despite the EAS subsidies

Probably enough time to take down the signs ans toss em in tha plane to DEN.
[

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 15):
ZK whores itself out as an EAS provider. I will say though to get from PRC to PHX in ~30mins it only costs a few bucks more than if I was to spend the fare for a craptastic shuttle down to PHX that will take me 2hrs and $60 round trip. Heck the B1900 is a much nicer ride than a stupid ford econoliner

They don't offer PRC-PHX anymore. Only ONT and FMN-DEN.



"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22926 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2737 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 15):
That airline only exists because their pilots are stupid enough to pay the airline so they can fly for them.

I disagree, actually. They operate the perfect aircraft for the Florida-Bahamas hops and, arguably, for some of the Florida flying too (e.g. MCO-EYW).



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineTharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2730 times:



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 18):
I disagree, actually. They operate the perfect aircraft for the Florida-Bahamas hops and, arguably, for some of the Florida flying too (e.g. MCO-EYW).

The aircraft may be perfect, but would the margins be there if they treated their employees otherwise?


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22926 posts, RR: 20
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2706 times:



Quoting Tharanga (Reply 19):
but would the margins be there if they treated their employees otherwise?

To which employees are you referring? They pay significantly more than ZK, and-- at least outside of the occasional hurricane-- it's probably easier flying.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineTharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2603 times:



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 20):
To which employees are you referring? They pay significantly more than ZK, and-- at least outside of the occasional hurricane-- it's probably easier flying.

Weren't they caught exceeding pilot duty times?


So does anybody imagine more codeshares for Cape Air?


User currently offlineNASBWI From Bahamas, joined Feb 2005, 1311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2590 times:



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 15):
That airline only exists because their pilots are stupid enough to pay the airline so they can fly for them.



Quoting Tharanga (Reply 19):
The aircraft may be perfect, but would the margins be there if they treated their employees otherwise?

Ok seriously, this thread is supposed to be about the unique capabilities of Cape Air and Great Lakes. Having seen in previous posts the animosity shown toward Gulfstream, please start your own thread to bash them. It's getting quite old when one sees the anti-Gulfstream rhetoric flowing in barely- or non-related topics.

Gulfstream looked at options for EAS services out of CLE; to date, I'm not sure if that's happened. There's where the similarity ends. Gulfstream (in Florida, at least), is not an EAS carrier; it competes with the likes of UP, MQ, B6, and NK on at least a few of its routes (FLL-NAS, MIA-NAS, FLL/MIA-EYW, FLL/MIA-FPO, etc).



Fierce, Fabulous, and Flawless ;)
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22926 posts, RR: 20
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2424 times:



Quoting Tharanga (Reply 21):
Weren't they caught exceeding pilot duty times?

If they were (and I don't remember it, but I believe you), do you honestly believe that 3C is unique among regionals?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
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