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Airtran Adds Tunica, MS  
User currently offlinemkeflyer717 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 431 posts, RR: 12
Posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5240 times:

New Nonstop 717 Service Between Tunica and Atlanta begins May 6th, 2010

Atlanta Tunica 1578 10:15 a.m 10:53 a.m. M, Th, F, Su
Tunica Atlanta 1579 11:28 a.m. 1:45 p.m M, Th, F, Su

"Tunica is one of the fastest growing resort areas in the country and the demand for air service to this previously unserved market is growing by leaps and bounds," said Kevin Healy, senior vice president of marketing and planning for AirTran Airways. "The reach and convenience of our Atlanta hub will make it easy for customers from around the country to experience all the area has to offer."

http://www.airtran.com/press/tunicamspress.aspx

I definitely didn't see this route coming. IMHO this announcement is very surprising given the close proximity of MEM, an already existing FL destination. I've been to Tunica several times and it is barely an hour's drive from the MEM area.

[Edited 2010-02-10 09:35:18]


Avoid the Chicago ORDeal!! Fly MKE!
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17332 posts, RR: 46
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5188 times:

I believe this is a former Pan Am MCXVIII route 


E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5790 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5163 times:

Interesting. I can't help but wonder if this is at least partially another shot in the AirTran vs. Allegiant battle.

Allegiant has the charter contract with Harrahs, basing 2 aircraft at Tunica. Allegiant announced in November that the Tunica charter program would see an increase.



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlinesldispatcher From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5145 times:

Looks like Allegiant copy cat route. G4 already has a base there with aircraft for charters - not regularly scheduled service.

I don't know, but this seems a little silly to me. FL had numerous opportunities to expand into cities with sizable populations and no LCC service..and this is what they choose to do?

Our local airfares are $500 advanced purchase for simple RT to florida/NYC, LA, etc. That's in part due to the very high percentage of business fliers here (>70% of the traffic).

I'll be interested to see if FL wastes a year trying to chase off G4 or if they start going after real markets with lots of connectivity potential within their network?


User currently offlineDLCnxgptjax From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 353 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5145 times:

I have a feeling the casinos are behind this.

Good news for the Tunica area though.


User currently offlineKingCavalier From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 1302 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5110 times:

Quoting DLCnxgptjax (Reply 4):
I have a feeling the casinos are behind this.

Of course they are. FL must be receiving subsidies, because as sldispatcher points out, FL had plenty of other low hanging fruit.



Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness
User currently offlinesurfandsnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2846 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5092 times:

Tunica?!? At least I had heard about Branson before service began there...

I don't think too many folks have ever heard of the place. I don't see this flight lasting long. If FL service to GPT is made possible only because of casino subsidies, the folks in Tunica better fork over a lot of $$$ if they want this to stick around..



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlinessides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5023 times:

Quoting surfandsnow (Reply 6):
I don't think too many folks have ever heard of the place. I don't see this flight lasting long. If FL service to GPT is made possible only because of casino subsidies, the folks in Tunica better fork over a lot of $$$ if they want this to stick around..

Tunica is actually the third-largest gambling center in the United States, behind Las Vegas and Atlantic City. It's bigger than Shreveport, bigger than Gulfport-Biloxi. Casino markets are generally higher-yielding than standard leisure markets like SGF (MCO notwithstanding), and with FL having the market to itself, I think there's a decent chance of success here. The big question is whether the proximity to MEM is a factor.



"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6343 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4978 times:

Interesting...anyone know the IATA identifier for Tunica? (assuming it even has one...)  


Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlinesurfandsnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2846 posts, RR: 30
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4964 times:

Quoting ssides (Reply 7):
Tunica is actually the third-largest gambling center in the United States, behind Las Vegas and Atlantic City. It's bigger than Shreveport, bigger than Gulfport-Biloxi.

There is no way Tunica is bigger than Reno, and I would think even Lake Tahoe (Stateline, NV) and Biloxi would be far bigger. Even if they aren't, the likes of Las Vegas, Reno, Atlantic City, Biloxi, and Lake Tahoe are well-known across the country as the primary gambling meccas, unlike Tunica. Also, most metropolitan areas now offer some kind of casino gambling, be it state-licensed (such as the casinos scattered around the Chicago area in IL and IN) or owned by Native American tribes (which is how you have major casino resorts all over Southern California, South Florida, and even in Connecticut). I have no clue who goes to Tunica, but if it is that close to Memphis, I imagine it functions as little more than that area's gambling oasis. If more than 10% of the gamblers there weren't from Southwestern Tennessee or Northern Mississippi, I would be SHOCKED.



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlinesldispatcher From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4960 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 8):

KUTA


User currently offlineKingCavalier From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 1302 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4924 times:

There is no way Tunica is bigger than Gulfport-Biloxi. It it were, you would have already seen sustained scheduled air service. At one point, the Mississippi Gulf coast had over 20 casinos. I do not know what it is now, but I believe Tunica has around 9 casinos. What is true is Harrah's (I think it was formerly the Grand) in Tunica is billed as the largest casino resort between Atlantic City and Las Vegas.


Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness
User currently offlinesldispatcher From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4913 times:

Quoting ssides (Reply 7):
Casino markets are generally higher-yielding than standard leisure markets like SGF

That must be why G4 is charging those sky high fares to Las Vegas???

I'm not trying to be a smart aleck, but I do disagree with that to a point. I can see where you could look at Northeast to Florida and make that point.

My guess is AirTran is basically playing the role of taking a safe bet here (ie. subsidy) and flying for the subsidy money.

Message to AirTran: Stop the madness. G4 takes the low fares, swoop in with a couple of daily flights to key underserved/overfared markets and you can start cleaning up. JAN, BTR, SHV, BHM, SDF, MOB, CHS, the list goes on and on


User currently onlineJohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1656 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4896 times:

Quoting surfandsnow (Reply 9):
There is no way Tunica is bigger than Reno, and I would think even Lake Tahoe (Stateline, NV) and Biloxi would be far bigger.

In terms of gaming revenue, Tunica is indeed the #3 gaming market in the United States.


User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6520 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4884 times:

Quoting JohnJ (Reply 13):
In terms of gaming revenue, Tunica is indeed the #3 gaming market in the United States.

I've heard that as well...hard to believe, but true. Tunica is not a place I'd want to spend a lot of time in. If you want to go gaming and you're in the region, go to Biloxi or New Orleans.


User currently offlinetvnwz From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 2352 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4868 times:

Quoting mkeflyer717 (Thread starter):
"Tunica is one of the fastest growing resort areas in the country and the demand for air service to this previously unserved market is growing by leaps and bounds," said Kevin Healy, senior vice president of marketing and planning for AirTran Airways.

Who knew! Vacation in beautiful Tunica.


User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6577 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4861 times:

Quoting sldispatcher (Reply 12):
JAN, BTR, SHV, BHM, SDF, MOB, CHS, the list goes on and on

The problem with these markets is that DL will defend them to the death. They will flood these markets and bleed FL out...which is exactly what already happened to two of the markets in your list (MOB/CHS).


User currently offlineFlytravel From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 873 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4861 times:



Quoting ssides (Reply 7):
The big question is whether the proximity to MEM is a factor.

The MEM to Tunica distance is even closer than the PHL to ACY distance! Though maybe because of the state difference (for TN and MS), people don't know it. Or, maybe the plan is to phase out MEM and keep Tunica as "Memphis Area"

[Edited 2010-02-10 11:12:15]

User currently offlinesldispatcher From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4817 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 16):
The problem with these markets is that DL will defend them to the death.

Well, they obviously are able to coexist in some markets....


User currently offlineKingCavalier From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 1302 posts, RR: 17
Reply 19, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4805 times:

The wiki page for Tunica does say it's the third largest, but the Casino page on wiki states -

Las Vegas has the largest concentration of casinos in the United States. Based on revenue Atlantic City N.J. ranks second, and the Chicago region third.

Top American Casino Markets by Revenue (2008 Annual Revenues[7]):

1. Las Vegas Strip $6.12 billion
2. Atlantic City $4.55 billion
3. Chicago region $4.55 billion
4. Connecticut $1.57 billion
5. Detroit $1.36 billion
10. Boulder Strip (Las Vegas) $837 million
11. Reno, Nevada $779 million
16. Downtown Las Vegas $582 million
17. Laughlin, Nevada $571 million
The Las Vegas area is reported as 5 different areas.



Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5790 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4795 times:

Quoting surfandsnow (Reply 9):
There is no way Tunica is bigger than Reno, and I would think even Lake Tahoe (Stateline, NV) and Biloxi would be far bigger.
Quoting KingCavalier (Reply 11):
There is no way Tunica is bigger than Gulfport-Biloxi.

Actually it is. Depending upon what areas you include, Tunica is #3 or #6. But still ahead of Reno and Biloxi.

Rankings by 2008 gaming revenue from the American Gaming Association. (note they break Vegas into different areas - strip, downtown, Boulder, etc)
1 Las Vegas Strip $6.121 billion
2 Atlantic City, N.J. $4.545 billion
3 Chicagoland, Ind./Ill. $2.251 billion
4 Connecticut $1.571 billion
5 Detroit $1.360 billion
6 Tunica/Lula, Miss. $1.105 billion
7 St. Louis, Mo./Ill. $1.031 billion
8 Biloxi, Miss. $951.27 million
9 Shreveport, La. $847.61 million
10 Boulder Strip, Nev. $836.60 million
11 Reno/Sparks, Nev. $779.38 million
12 Kansas City, Mo. (includes St. Joseph) $756.22 million
13 Lawrenceburg/Rising Sun/Belterra, Ind. $731.65 million
14 New Orleans, La. $701.37 million
15 Lake Charles, La. $651.23 million
16 Downtown Las Vegas, Nev. $582.46 million
17 Laughlin, Nev. $571.18 million
18 Black Hawk, Colo. $508.69 million
19 Yonkers, N.Y. $486.46 million
20 Council Bluffs, Iowa $468.52 million

http://www.americangaming.org/Indust...tsheets/statistics_detail.cfv?id=4



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineKcrwFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3795 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4795 times:

Quoting sldispatcher (Reply 3):
Looks like Allegiant copy cat route. G4 already has a base there with aircraft for charters - not regularly scheduled service.

I wasnt aware G4 was flying scheduled service to ATL from UTA.

Quoting sldispatcher (Reply 12):
Message to AirTran: Stop the madness. G4 takes the low fares, swoop in with a couple of daily flights to key underserved/overfared markets and you can start cleaning up. JAN, BTR, SHV, BHM, SDF, MOB, CHS, the list goes on and on

You're right... go get SMOTHERED by DL..... dont try anything new or low risk. PS they just left CHS, and MOB has had numerous tries with FL.


User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6577 posts, RR: 24
Reply 22, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4791 times:

Quoting sldispatcher (Reply 18):

Well, they obviously are able to coexist in some markets....

But most of the markets they coexist in are larger markets with more traffic to be shared. There are a handful of smaller markets, but most of those are outside the South where DL is very strong. I can almost guarantee you that the people of SHV would just keep flying DL if FL entered.


User currently offlineFlytravel From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 873 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4767 times:

I'd like to see FL build up ACY, an existing gambling center market, a bit more. Maybe try out CLT-ACY. The closest route in competition is US' CLT-PHL, a route with generally high fares.

User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4713 times:

To me, this is surprising, but not unexpected. I honestly would have thought that DL would have launched service via one of their Delta Connection carriers before FL would have started service.

One of the things that has kept airlines from serving Tunica was the airport. There's not a "terminal" in the typical sense. The G4 charters as well as the previous service to ATL from Pan Am Clipper Connection operate from the Tunica Air Center. There is a passenger terminal that is in the early stages of being built.

http://www.tunicaairport.com/

Quoting sldispatcher (Reply 10):
Quoting KELPkid (Reply 8):

KUTA

That's the ICAO code.
The IATA code is KUTM.

Quoting Flytravel (Reply 17):
The MEM to Tunica distance is even closer than the PHL to ACY distance! Though maybe because of the state difference (for TN and MS), people don't know it. Or, maybe the plan is to phase out MEM and keep Tunica as "Memphis Area"

A similar thing can be argued when it comes to LAS and IFP. It's about an hour's drive or so between these two cities as well. IFP doesn't have any scheduled service other than some seasonal flights by SY from MSP and DFW and Canadian North out of YYC and YEG. I think Tunica is similar in respects as folks tend to drive to Tunica from where they live (Places like ATL are about a 5 hour or so drive.) or they fly into MEM and either rent a car or take a shuttle bus to Tunica (Same thing is true about Laughlin, NV.).


25 sldispatcher : That's because they aren't. However, it is well documented on this forum that Airtran is entering several G4 markets/market like situations. (which t
26 Post contains images KELPkid : You mean UTM?   The K is only applied to ICAO identifiers, which us nerdy pilots have to know  
27 JetJeanes : It is the third largest casinos outside Nevada, and is much larger than Biloxi. Biloxi has always had air service. Personally im 15 minutes south from
28 KingCavalier : I think saying Tunica is MUCH larger than Biloxi is a little bit of a stretch (just a little). If you go by the revenue numbers in reply 20, Tunica i
29 stratosphere : I would love to see WN come in there since I don't think they would ever come into MEM. With Airtran all ready in MEM it think it is foolish to fly to
30 JetJeanes : A good portion of people have fled Memphis and either gone south into Miss, or farther east. North Miss is the fastest growing area in the state.
31 KingCavalier : I thought an interesting fact about Tunica was they only had 16 hotels rooms in 1992, and now they have over 6,000.
32 KcrwFlyer : If you're comparing WN going into new markets to FL going into DL strongholds, you must not understand the DL / FL relationship and history. Its enti
33 FlyPNS1 : When was the last time WN went into a smaller market like SHV, MOB, CHS, etc? Hasn't happened in a long time EXCEPT for the upcoming PFN/ECP. And PFN
34 JohnJ : Another interesting fact is that Tunica County, MS prior to the casinos was the poorest county in the United States. Sugar Ditch Alley in Tunica, wit
35 RW717 : I work in the Travel Department for Harrah's Entertainment and we are the ones selling the majority of the seats on these flights. The flights will a
36 dsuairptman : UTA has been working this for a long time. I hope the wait for them will be well worth it. Perhaps if FL proves viability in the UTA market, it will m
37 stratosphere : I would be jumping up and down if WN comes in to Tunica...I live is North MS and will not fly DL....I fly AirTran but would like some more air service
38 JMackey : What kind of facilities does Tunica have to handle AirTran ? Does a jetway exist ?
39 JohnJ : Tunica already handles 2-3 MD-80 series aircraft a day, so handling the aircraft should be no problem. Checking the Bing Maps "birds-eye" view, I don'
40 Braniff722 : Trust me, NO THEY WOULDN'T. Apparently, you don't understand what actually IS going on here at SHV and what the flying public in SHV, want!!!! If you
41 FlyPNS1 : I know exactly what the people of SHV want.....low fares!! What makes SHV any different (or more "hungry") than the folks at MOB, CHS, SAV, TLH, etc?
42 Post contains links srbmod : The Allegiant flights are charters for Harrah's (Harrah's Tunica, Tunica Roadhouse [Formerly the Sheraton], and the Horseshoe.), and the Vision fligh
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