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Could LRU Be The Next NM Airport For AA/AE?  
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6423 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3364 times:

With AA's/AE's services to SAF and ROW being successful, I was wondering, could LRU be the next New Mexico airport for them to serve? I have read somewhere that the City of Las Cruces has sent a letter to AA to start service to LRU.

In terms of population, Las Cruces is larger than Santa Fe, yet does not have any commercial air service. Driving distance from Las Cruces to ELP is roughly the same as Santa Fe to ABQ. However, it appears that the people in Santa Fe are willing to spend a little more for the convenience of flying out of SAF, which is probably why services have been a success. I think the only concern for LRU is that I believe the population of Las Cruces is on average a little poorer than Santa Fe. Still, I think such service might work, considering both SAF and ROW have been successful, and Las Cruces is larger than both Santa Fe and Roswell.

Does anyone have their own opinion?


The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCrosswinds21 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 698 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3342 times:

Not to say that it can't happen, but the comparison to SAF and ROW isn't very close. SAF, like you pointed out, has a substantial wealthy population - something that LRU doesn't really have as far as I know. As such, there are plenty of people who are willing to pay more for the convenience of not having to drive to ABQ. SAF actually sees a decent amount of paid first class tickets (P/A/F fares on connecting flights from DFW or LAX). Additionally, there is decent demand for O&D traffic to LAX, which is part of the reason that the SAF-LAX can be supported. Regarding ROW, there is an Air Fore Base there and ROW sees a decent amount of Government traffic (there probably is demand for USG traffic to White Sands but then Alamogordo would probably be a better option than LRU in this case). Most importantly, ROW has no other airport with regular commercial service within hundreds of miles (I'm not counting any EAS airports) so people will pay the premium to fly from ROW. The fares out of LRU will be higher (due to the higher costs) and since LRU lacks the wealthy population that SAF has, this will cause people to drive to ELP anyway - an airport which has LCC service and very low prices as it is. I think that without subsidies, flights to LRU won't happen.

[Edited 2010-01-24 13:40:37 by crosswinds21]

User currently offlineMtaabq From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3325 times:

Here's my two cents. . .

. . .The City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County both have a very high per capita income level (as does nearby Los Alamos) so I would say there are more people who can afford to pay for the convenience to fly to/from SAF.

Las Cruces and Dona Ana County have a significantly lower per capita income but I certainly wouldn't describe either as "poor" given the number baby boomers who are retiring to Las Cruces and the Mesilla Valley. By and large folks in Las Cruces have less disposable income than those who live in SAF (and surrounding areas). I don't know that the folks in Las Cruces would be willing to pay extra for the convenience of flying to/from LRU when they can sashay one hour down I-10 to catch flights to/from ELP.

Certainly, if AA were to offer AAEagle service between LRU and DFW you can bet that the fare would be higher than that from ELP so where's the incentive to fly from LRU?

ROW initially didn't make sense to me but given it's proximity to ANY major airport it seems to have been a safe bet and the folks of southeast NM seem to be supporting the endeavor given the load factors I've heard.

With SAF I still think it's too early to tell but I hope it IS successful given how long the City of Santa Fe has been trying to get reasonably-priced regular air service. A lot of people in SAF are rather snobbish towards ABQ and those who can afford it are very, very happy to spend the money to fly to/from SAF and avoid ABQ altogether.

You make a valid point about the proximity between ABQ/SAF being comparable to LRU/ELP but I don't see AA or anyone making a go of it in LRU.

Again, that's just my opinion.


User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6423 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3315 times:



Quoting Mtaabq (Reply 2):
With SAF I still think it's too early to tell but I hope it IS successful given how long the City of Santa Fe has been trying to get reasonably-priced regular air service. A lot of people in SAF are rather snobbish towards ABQ and those who can afford it are very, very happy to spend the money to fly to/from SAF and avoid ABQ altogether.

The SAF-DFW flights are an obvious success. AA/AE is adding a third SAF-DFW flight on Februrary 11, and this one will remain overnight in SAF to depart to DFW the next morning. As for SAF-LAX it is definately still too early to tell.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineMtnWest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2422 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3228 times:
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Quoting Crosswinds21 (Reply 1):
Regarding ROW, there is an Air Fore Base there and ROW sees a decent amount of Government

There is no AFB in ROW. Closest ones are Holloman at Alamogordo (130 mi SW) and Cannon at Clovis (115 mi NE).



"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently offlineTexan From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 4271 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3186 times:

I think we are probably done with AA New Mexico expansion for now. Las Cruces is an easy drive to El Paso and the cost of starting the route probably is outweighed by the potential benefit, especially since fares would be higher and it would only serve to segment a market already well served by AA (ELP). Just my opinion, though.

Texan



"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6423 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3166 times:



Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 4):
There is no AFB in ROW. Closest ones are Holloman at Alamogordo (130 mi SW) and Cannon at Clovis (115 mi NE).

ROW itself used to be Walker AFB until 1967. However, you are right that there is currently no AFB in Roswell.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineCrosswinds21 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 698 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3060 times:



Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 6):
ROW itself used to be Walker AFB until 1967. However, you are right that there is currently no AFB in Roswell.

Hmmm...I guess I must have confused it with something else. Regardless, I do know that ROW does see a decent amount of Government traffic...for whatever reason. Maybe it's traffic to the two bases mentioned in Reply 4.


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6339 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3048 times:

I would love to see it happen...

The up and coming NM spaceport (Virgin Galactic, anyone  Wink ) might actually make this one a reality, unless VX is going to fly spaceport passengers nonstop to the spaceport runway in Upham, NM.

I used to be a lineboy at LRU during the days when YV was doing well at intra-New Mexico flights (under their own brand), before a certain thorn-in-their side became the CEO. I used to love watching the Beech 1900's coming in twice a day.

Las Cruces has kept up both the passenger terminal and the field's Part 139 certification in hopes that something like this would one day happen...



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
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