kgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 3704 posts, RR: 1 Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6290 times:
In the Maryland counties east of Hagerstown, many don't even know the service exists. And in local media outlets -- even the Internet -- there is absolutely no chatter or publicity about the flights.
Yet, in the narrow sliver of western Maryland where the Hagerstown area is -- Maryland, Ohio, western Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia are only a couple of miles apart. There *is* a market there, so someone out there is not doing their prep work.
kgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 3704 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6257 times:
Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 1): Heck, G4 was offering $29.99 fares to SFB recently.
I was just out visiting my cousin in Monterey California (Naval Postgraduate School) and they've just lost *their* Allegiant service.
Allegiant was only flying out of there two days a week -- and for as little as $9.99 for the first seat sold on a flight. But American Eagle dropped their ticket prices to Allegiant's levels and stole all the customers.
In the end, it was frequency of service that won out over price.
Happened when NW launched vacation routes to LAS with daily flights from the Plains states to "beat G4" under their "heartland strategy" 4-5 years ago, too, just to drive G4 off the routes. Not sure on which routes G4 survived the NW challenge.
We did an MRY-SAN-MRY one-day-excursion on May 27th (did Horton Marketplace, Mission Valley, and Fashion Valley - lunch in Point Loma) for $186 per ticket ($93 each way vs. Allegiant's $99)
with a change of aircraft at LAX.
jeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1335 posts, RR: 13 Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4667 times:
Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 2): Yet, in the narrow sliver of western Maryland where the Hagerstown area is -- Maryland, Ohio, western Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia are only a couple of miles apart. There *is* a market there, so someone out there is not doing their prep work.
I live in Western Maryland. I can tell you that there is no market in this area for an airline. The people in this area who do fly do not mind driving to BWI, PIT or IAD. However, the vast majority of people in this area either do not make enough money to fly anywhere, and if they do, many do not want to fly. I have meet a lot of people in this area who think nothing of driving 12 hours or more to Florida.
FATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5673 posts, RR: 17 Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3782 times:
Quoting mariner (Reply 10): Any clues as to why Allegiant SBA-LAS didn't make it?
Poor load factors mainly. I understand it averaged somewhere in the 65% range during the year it operated. It never had a single month that exceed 80% LF. Allegiant's LAS operation runs at about 88-90% average LF.
I don't know how ancillary revenues were at SBA but it would have needed to be very high to offset those loads.
mariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 22874 posts, RR: 87 Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3759 times:
Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 13): I understand it averaged somewhere in the 65% range during the year it operated. It never had a single month that exceed 80% LF. Allegiant's LAS operation runs at about 88-90% average LF.
Thanks for the reply.
I had heard about the load factors, but I suppose what puzzles me is that SBA didn't work and SMX does. It is only a hop, skip and a jump up the road and I would assume (?) that the Santa Maria flights draw from Santa Barbara, to some extent.
FATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5673 posts, RR: 17 Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3728 times:
Quoting mariner (Reply 14): I had heard about the load factors, but I suppose what puzzles me is that SBA didn't work and SMX does.
SMX ran a little on the low side last year also, but was much better than SBA. I understand SMX was averaging about 80% in the first 9 months of last year. With SBA cancelled it is likely that has improved.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
LAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 22251 posts, RR: 51 Reply 16, posted (3 years 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3699 times:
For SBA I think it was a matter of having alternate flight choices and also being close enough that folks will drive down to LA area and access flights from BUR for example.
SMX is about an hours way up the coast and solely has a United Express link to LAX and I would say is a bit far away for most to drive down to LA from. I mean if you are going to drive to LA from SMX to get to LAS, I'd just drive to Vegas directly.
p.s.-might add there is frequent private van and bus service from SBA to LAX that facilitates people accessing flights at LAX, and I suspect the demand must be strong to warrant 4 separate private companies to run such services for many years now.
[Edited 2010-06-05 22:44:44]
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
my1le From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 178 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (3 years 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3142 times:
I drove by HGR yesterday on my way to PA. It is really sad to see it just sitting. Northrup has a hangar(s) out there to do P-3 work. I really wish they opened up a connector service to IAD or something just to get airlines flying there.
UA (Colgan) fly a SAAB 340 everyday (3 times) from IAD to CHO a 25 minute flight if it during a busy departure bank. It seems crazy that people will pay $500 dollars for that flight. I am sure they would get the same load factor doing a HGR route.
kgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 3704 posts, RR: 1 Reply 21, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2447 times:
Quoting my1le (Reply 19): UA (Colgan) fly a SAAB 340 everyday (3 times) from IAD to CHO a 25 minute flight if it during a busy departure bank. It seems crazy that people will pay $500 dollars for that flight. I am sure they would get the same load factor doing a HGR route.
The large research-oriented universities -- like University of Virginia in CHO -- spawn peripheral industry. In turn, that spawns the need for air service. Maryland has a different setup with its major research universities *all* located in its Baltimore-Washington population center.
On the other hand, Allegiant's strategy for pricing flights is friendly to an area like Hagertown -- which does have industry -- but has a much lower cost-of-living and salary base than either Baltimore or Washington.
ScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6373 posts, RR: 34 Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2018 times:
Quoting mariner (Reply 18): Without wishing to hijack the thread, I understand why American pulled SBA-DFW with 85% load factors but I remain surprised that Allegiant didn't do well there, and I'd be interested to know why.
As LAXintl said, proximity to BUR/LAX is probably the key to Allegiant's decision to pull out of SBA. SBA-area travelers had a choice between flying from the more convenient airport -- at a single time on the days when G4 offered service -- or driving a couple of hours down to BUR and flying when they wanted to fly. If G4's time happens to be convenient, then it works. SMX is still farther from BUR & LAX, so passengers are likely to put up with somewhat more inconvenience to avoid the drive.
The success of failure of service from smaller airports on the periphery of areas served by much, much larger airports will often turn on how the value of service at the "convenient" airport compares with the value of service at the more distant airport. Are less optimal flight times, (often) higher prices, and (often) a need to connect counterbalanced by a much shorter drive, cheaper parking, and a user-friendly airport experience? And can the airlines offering service make a profit?
As others have said, passengers around HGR are most likely just opting to drive over to BWI since there are far more flights available at competitive fares. G4-type service to spoke markets on the edge of major metro areas will likely be hit-or-miss, especially with the variable of how well the traffic drives ancillary revenue.
FATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5673 posts, RR: 17 Reply 24, posted (3 years 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1953 times:
Some numbers I've heard from the Central Coast indicate passenger counts on all airlines fell more in SBA and SLO counties than in my area which was hit harder by the recession. That may be another reason for G4's cut.
Maybe someone has the actual SBA decline number but I've been told overall SBA passenger counts on all airlines were running about 10-15% lower last year before Allegiant cut the route in Sept. To compare, FAT was down about - 3.7% last year.
SMX passenger counts were also down last year. It had lower than system average load factors for Allegiant too but not as low as SBA. SMX had also been a station longer and had already seen the addition of a second destination (AZA).
So the overall passenger decline might be part of the puzzle also along with proximity to BUR/LAX.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
25 mariner: Thanks, FATFlyer - that makes some sense to me. Obviously, I understand the attractions of LAX/BUR, but there seems - to me - to be more to it than t
26 LAXintl: Yes SBA traffic dropped in 2009 vs 2008. Total passenger volume in 2009 was about 752,000 while in 2008 was just about 818,000. The SBA heyday was rea
27 ScottB: It's not too surprising to me when you consider that speed limits on the Ventura Freeway went from 55 mph to 65 mph in the mid-1990's; that effective
28 Flytravel: I wonder if Allegiant being in Hagerstown was similar to the Prime Outlets in Hagerstown, to attract a base from the western suburbs/exurbs of Baltim
29 FATFlyer: A little bit on both coasts I think, but I don't know how much to assign to route decisions and how much to the weak economy. The length of the recess
30 diverdave: You mean the speed limit that nobody paid attention to anyway? Not to mention the increased congestion on the US 101 and I-405 freeways. I believe th
31 mariner: Do we know what the load factors are for HGR, and if size of aircraft played into it? As we saw with Sun Country at BKG, a 60% l/f may be low on a 73
32 LAXintl: Here you go. Per DOT. Latest month avail is Nov09 HGR-SFB Nov09: 80.2% Oct09: 85.3% Sep09: missing Aug09:85.5% Jul09: 79.5% Jun09: 88.2% May09: 85.4%
33 mariner: Thanks. That doesn't seem too shabby. As usual, much more to it than the l/f, I guess. mariner
34 vin2basketball: averaged around 87% for the year of 2009, ranged from 83-95% per month
35 FATFlyer: This article was out of the Hagerstown area. I think we can read some things about the revenue side in this quote: http://www.herald-mail.com/?cmd=dis