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Seaport Downgrades PDX-AST To A Caravan  
User currently offlinehatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3263 times:

http://www.dailyastorian.info/main.a...2&SubSectionID=398&ArticleID=68662

SeaPort will change their PDX-AST flight schedule since their 3 flights a day are averaging 20% LFs. They will also change the aircraft from the PC-12 to a Cessna Caravan from sister airline Wings of Alaska.

Quote:
SeaPort President Rob McKinney, who took over the company's daily operations in February, said many of the marketing strategies SeaPort has tried to attract passengers to its three daily flights between Portland and Astoria aren't working.

SeaPort charges between $49 and $149 for one-way flights between Portland and the coast. It keeps income from ticket sales and receives a subsidy payment that guarantees revenue up to a pre-set cap. This month, the cap decreases from $190,000 a month to $170,000 after starting at $200,000 in March 2009. While SeaPort's two daily round-trip flights between Newport and Portland have been about half full on average, flights between Astoria and Portland are only about 20 percent full despite aggressive marketing campaigns. McKinney said to make the service sustainable, Astoria's nine-passenger flights need to be two-thirds full on average.

McKinney said the schedule didn't yield any additional passengers, and the old schedule will work better with the company's plans to replace the current Pilatus PC 12 planes with the Cessna Caravan. Both are nine-seat turboprop planes, he said, but the Cessna is unpressurized and not as fast as the Pilatus. SeaPort's sister company, Wings of Alaska, operates the Cessna Caravan in its flights in and out of Juneau, Alaska.

"It's a cheaper plane to operate," he said. "It's not quite as luxurious."

Can't say I'm surprised. I've been saying the PC-12 is just way too much airplane all along. Looks like they're finally admitting it. It's one thing to get subsidies to make it profitable, but if you want a 9 seat operation to be sustainable, can't be done with a PC-12.

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1525 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3256 times:

Quoting hatbutton (Thread starter):
Can't say I'm surprised. I've been saying the PC-12 is just way too much airplane all along. Looks like they're finally admitting it. It's one thing to get subsidies to make it profitable, but if you want a 9 seat operation to be sustainable, can't be done with a PC-12.

And theres the problem for the PC-12, it's only certified for 9 pax operation, which is a shame I absolutely love to work on the PC-12's

/Lars



139, 306, 319, 320, 321, 332, 34A, AN2, AT4, AT5, AT7, 733, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 146, AR1, BH2, CN1, CR2, DH1, DH3, DH4,
User currently offlinehatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2886 times:

In other potentially bad news for SeaPort in Oregon:

http://www.dailyastorian.info/main.a...2&SubSectionID=395&ArticleID=68707

The board for the Port of Astoria:

Quote:
voted 4-0 to send a letter to SeaPort Airlines putting the company on notice for failing to meet the deadline for securing interline agreements with other airlines. The agreements make it easier for passengers to book connecting flights with major air carriers out of Portland International Airport. SeaPort had a year to secure an agreement, but hasn't done it yet. The letter from the Port will echo a notice the City of Newport sent to SeaPort noting the deadline of March 15 had not been met and requesting concessions from the company to make up for the absence of interline agreements.


User currently offlinevfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 4062 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2848 times:

20% on a 9 seater is, err, 1 or 2 pax. I am not impresse. Looks like a waste of money.

User currently offlineContinental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5521 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2801 times:

Well it's certainly better than a Dodge Caravan!   

User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2626 times:

I asked the question in Tech/Ops a long time ago, and the conclusion is that, with the direct operating costs that Seaport has/had filed with the FAA, there is no way they could ever make money flying the PC-12 in commuter service, even if they had a 90% load factor (well, of course, apart from EAS contracts and subsidies...). Smart move. The Caravan will probably substantially cut their costs...

Quoting Larshjort (Reply 1):
And theres the problem for the PC-12, it's only certified for 9 pax operation, which is a shame I absolutely love to work on the PC-12's

The US FAR's say that 9 passenger seats is the max. for a single engined aircraft, and you cannot operate scheduled service under Part 135 with any more than 9 passenger seats...(and more seats, and you have to have a Part 121 certificate, and Part 121 specifically prohibits ops with single-engine aircraft).



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1743 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2586 times:

Quoting Continental (Reply 4):
Well it's certainly better than a Dodge Caravan!

95 miles, about an hour and a half. A Dodge Caravan with great seats, WiFi might be a great choice.



Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlinebrons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3017 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2575 times:

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 6):
95 miles, about an hour and a half. A Dodge Caravan with great seats, WiFi might be a great choice.

It's definitely more than an hour and a half considering the roads involved. It is NOT freeway until you get into Portland Metro. And you go through the Coast Range so there's ups and downs and curves. Plus it rains a lot in Oregon.



Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1743 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2534 times:

Google maps shows 1 hour and 44-51 minutes depending upon the route.


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2482 times:

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 8):
Google maps shows 1 hour and 44-51 minutes depending upon the route.

Heh, let's hope you don't hit rush hour in Portland   



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineAviationAddict From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 630 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2353 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

9K bid for this service but lost out to SeaPort - maybe the C402's would have been a smarter choice after all?

User currently offlinewedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5951 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2292 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting AviationAddict (Reply 10):
9K bid for this service but lost out to SeaPort - maybe the C402's would have been a smarter choice after all?

It would be wonderful to see Cape Air up here, but would it be sustainable?


User currently offlinehatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2212 times:

Quoting AviationAddict (Reply 10):
9K bid for this service but lost out to SeaPort - maybe the C402's would have been a smarter choice after all?
Quoting wedgetail737 (Reply 11):
It would be wonderful to see Cape Air up here, but would it be sustainable?

I think 9K would have worked. They already have interline agreements with almost every airline that flies into PDX. I know that is a huge deal to people. They also have exposure on sites like Expedia and such. SeaPort is almost there for getting on travel websites, but I don't think they're really close to any sort of bag agreement.

Though I have to admit, I expected AST to have more pax. It's not really that SeaPort is doing a ton wrong. They have 3 flights a day and many of the fares are only $49. Seems reasonable to me. I definitely think that ONP could be sustainable on its own. They have much better numbers.


User currently offlinenwaesc From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 3408 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2137 times:

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 6):
95 miles, about an hour and a half. A Dodge Caravan with great seats, WiFi might be a great choice.


On hwy. 30? No way. It takes longer than it looks. Then you get to PDX, and depending on time of day, get to spend a lot of time admiring the Fremont bridge's impressive architecture and/or I-5 Northbound... or I-84; your choice.

Quoting brons2 (Reply 7):
It's definitely more than an hour and a half considering the roads involved. It is NOT freeway until you get into Portland Metro. And you go through the Coast Range so there's ups and downs and curves. Plus it rains a lot in Oregon.

Yes.

Quoting hatbutton (Reply 12):
Though I have to admit, I expected AST to have more pax.

Are you serious? Why would you think that? (honest question)



"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
User currently onlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3432 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2122 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 9):
Heh, let's hope you don't hit rush hour in Portland

Yup, it can take well over an hour to get from the beaverton area to the airport even if you know all the backroads. Taking the freeways? I could see people spending several hours parked on many different roads.


User currently offlinehatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2107 times:

Quoting nwaesc (Reply 13):
Are you serious? Why would you think that? (honest question)

Because it has a decent catchment area and is far enough away from PDX to make me think the flight would be worth it over the drive. And in the summer I know the Oregon coast is a great place to go for vacation. If somebody promoted it enough I think they could draw enough for three 9-seater flights a day.

When QX briefly served AST from 1994-1995 with the metroliner, they carried 19,000 pax total on the route. That is about 23 people per day each way. Something a 9-seater should have no problem managing. It just shows me that a brand and connection to a worldwide network is important in pulling people onto a plane vs. driving.


User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1743 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2100 times:

The 1 hour 51 minute route never goes through Portland. The airport is on the river next to I 205 which goes directly into Washington State, north to Longview WA, cross over to Oregon (the Columbia River flows north from Portland to Longview where it turns again to the west), and on to Astoria (or on the Washington side to the Astoria bridge whatever road is currently the best).


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2089 times:

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 16):
The 1 hour 51 minute route never goes through Portland.

Funny, last I checked PDX was well inside the city limits....  
Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 16):
The airport is on the river next to I 205 which goes directly into Washington State, north to Longview WA,

You definitely don't want to be on 205 going North after about 3-4 in the afternoon, it turns into a parking lot when denizens of Portland's largest suburb (Vancouver, WA) start heading home from work.

A more logical route is just to take Columbia Blvd. back into town, go over the St. John's bridge, and catch Hwy. 30 going North...



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlinenwaesc From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 3408 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2086 times:

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 14):
Yup, it can take well over an hour to get from the beaverton area to the airport even if you know all the backroads. Taking the freeways? I could see people spending several hours parked on many different roads.

You know what sucks even worse? Sitting in gridlock while MAX whizzes by. LOL.

Quoting hatbutton (Reply 15):
Because it has a decent catchment area and is far enough away from PDX to make me think the flight would be worth it over the drive. And in the summer I know the Oregon coast is a great place to go for vacation. If somebody promoted it enough I think they could draw enough for three 9-seater flights a day.

When QX briefly served AST from 1994-1995 with the metroliner, they carried 19,000 pax total on the route. That is about 23 people per day each way. Something a 9-seater should have no problem managing. It just shows me that a brand and connection to a worldwide network is important in pulling people onto a plane vs. driving.

Thanks for responding. I remember the QX flights (I thought they stopped later than that?!), and had that in mind. But I also remember whomever it was that tried it a little while later, and the failure that that was. Maybe people in AST have just gotten the idea that any flight involves PDX ingrained in their mind?

Not for nothing, but IMO, half the fun of going to the coast *is* the drive from PDX; whether you take 26 to 101, 30, or cut over to Tillamook before heading north. That's just me, though.

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 16):
The airport is on the river next to I 205 which goes directly into Washington State, north to Longview WA, cross over to Oregon (the Columbia River flows north from Portland to Longview where it turns again to the west), and on to Astoria (or on the Washington side to the Astoria bridge whatever road is currently the best).

I know the route(s); I grew up there. Even taking 30 to Longview still takes awhile. Plus, if you're going in the morning, both I-5 & 205 south suck, and add on extra time.



"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
User currently offlinehatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2044 times:

Quoting nwaesc (Reply 18):
Thanks for responding. I remember the QX flights (I thought they stopped later than that?!), and had that in mind. But I also remember whomever it was that tried it a little while later, and the failure that that was. Maybe people in AST have just gotten the idea that any flight involves PDX ingrained in their mind?

Not for nothing, but IMO, half the fun of going to the coast *is* the drive from PDX; whether you take 26 to 101, 30, or cut over to Tillamook before heading north. That's just me, though.

No worries. I know what you mean. I too like the drive to the coast.

Perhaps when QX flew the route it was less of a hassle too because it was pre 9/11 and all that. Or perhaps the people who live on the coast now are just the type who moved there for a reason, because they don't want to go anywhere else. The economy definitely hasn't helped as people have less disposable income and are more inclined to penny pinch than anything. Hard to justify paying $400 round trip for a family of four when you can drive it for half a tank of gas.


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