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NY Times Article On Delta Cutting Hibbing Et Al.  
User currently onlinesimairlinenet From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 911 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11985 times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/05/us...lea-for-planes-to-keep-flying.html

Unfortunately, the article is missing what I think is a key point. Delta has a 500-employee reservations center in nearby Chisholm handling SkyMiles. From an operational (and employee relations) perspective, I'd have a hard time believing that Hibbing flights would disappear if the reservations center is staying. Your thoughts? Are there other examples of an airline having important operations somewhere without flights going there?

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMidex461 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 282 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 11757 times:

US has a sizable res center in INT - but no flights there


Opinions and views expressed are MINE and do NOT represent the views of US Airways
User currently offlinecrosswinds21 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 698 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11640 times:

From the article:

Quote:
Q. Delta says the flights are not nearly full, and that it is losing money. Why should they keep flying to Hibbing?

Ms. Shafer: “A lot of these big companies don’t care about the people. They just don’t care about the needs of people anymore. They only care about their bottom line. If that isn’t greed, what is it? It’s crazy.”

And....there goes his credibility.


User currently offlineGrid From Kazakhstan, joined Apr 2010, 624 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11481 times:

I read this article prior to its posting here. I was disappointed in the journalist not really calling out the answers of the officials. It was a puff-piece. The official says they have elderly people there and buses are not a good choice. And? They also complain that you have to pay for parking if you drive to the Twin Cities? I'm not sure why certain people should not have to pay for parking at the airport - millions of Americans do it regularly.

The whole accusation of greed is baseless. How long has Delta been losing money on the route? Is that greed? What if it Delta raised prices so it would not lose money on the route - would that be OK with these two?



ATR72 E120 E140 E170 E190 Q200 717 727 737 747 757 767 777 A319 A320 A321 A330 A340 MD11 MD82 MD83 MD88 MD90
User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7461 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11256 times:

If Delta were making massive profits on this route, then I MIGHT start to see his point, but they are not a registered charity.

Why does the town not organise buses or find an airline that can make the route work.

Incidentally, is this an EAS route.


User currently offlineBlueJuice From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11185 times:

Lousy article. Big attention going to the loss of HIB-MSP and how it's about 4 hours away. Glossed over the part where DLH is about 90 minutes away.

User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7824 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11160 times:

Sounds like these people need to go to the corporate greed protests in DC  


Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinejoeljack From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 933 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11053 times:

DLH is only 72 miles from Hibbing. That's nothing!! DLH has DL service to MSP and DTW. UA has service to ORD. Allegiant Serves LAS, Phoenix-mesa and Orlando(seasonal). There is no way my tax dollars should go to support an airport this close to another airport with service to 3 hubs!! Makes my stomach turn!!

User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 10850 times:

Quoting Midex461 (Reply 1):
US has a sizable res center in INT - but no flights there

AirTran has a reservations center in Savannah, but ceased flying there a couple of years ago.


Airlines can't prop up every money-losing station, so at some point, they've got to cut service even if there is an EAS subsidy, especially if the per passenger costs exceed the limits of the EAS subsidies (Case in point, Georgia Skies and the ATL-MCN route which no longer operates with the EAS subsidy because of the per passenger costs exceeded the EAS limits.).

One part of the article I want to address:

Quote:
Butte, Mont.; Muscle Shoals, Ala.; Waterloo, Iowa; Pierre, S.D.; Greenville and Tupelo, Miss.; Sault Sainte Marie, Mich.; and Hibbing, Minn., are among the cities where the flights are threatened.

Butte is about 70 miles from Helena, which has airline service.
Muscle Shoals is about 70 miles from Huntsville.
Waterloo is about 60 miles from Cedar Rapids
Pierre is well over two hours from commercial airport, but they still have Great Lakes service to DEN and Alliance, NE.
Greenville, MS is a 2-3 hour drive from a number of commercial airports in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
Tupelo is about a 70 minute drive from the Golden Triangle Regional Airport.
Sault Ste. Marie is about a 3 hour drive to the nearest airport for domestic service. There is commercial service across the border in Ontario, but not to any US cities and would require connecting within Canada in order to get to any US cities.
Hibbing has already been addressed in the thread.

In many of these cases, there is an airport within 90 minutes of them that offers similar service, and there is no need for some of these cities to retain airline service. Cities in which the nearest airport with commercial service is over 90 minutes really need to be retained if at all possible (assuming the per passenger costs with the subsidy are not excessive). In some cases, there may not be any other choice but to end commercial service at some of these airports that are a significant distance from the nearest commercial airport.


User currently onlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1909 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10208 times:

Quoting simairlinenet (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, the article is missing what I think is a key point.

I'd call that a key point too, but considering it was a Q&A with city leaders I can't fault the writer too much. The city officials are elected for the benefit of every citizen, not just the Delta employees at the call center. So I can see why it wasn't mentioned.

However like you say if the flights disappear that would really be a blow to the sizable amount of employees there. The staff is well known for providing good customer service, and losing local air service is a hit to their benefits of being a Delta employee. It's definitely not a positive for them or the regular users of HIB. People simple pointing to DLH as an option really don't understand the situation. Not all PAX that fly out of HIB are just 75 miles from DLH (Chisholm is farther away), and in the winter it really doesn't matter sometimes. Driving can be treacherous no matter how far it is.


User currently offlineplanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3524 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9520 times:

Quoting Grid (Reply 3):
I was disappointed in the journalist not really calling out the answers of the officials. It was a puff-piece.

Echoing MSPNWA's thoughts, the "article" was actually a Q&A with little or no editorial input from the writer. It was purely from the point of view of the folks being interviewed, which to people like you and me shows a pretty glaring ignorance on their part (the town officials). To make an emotional argument for a purely business decision is pretty weak:

A lot of these big companies don’t care about the people. They just don’t care about the needs of people anymore. They only care about their bottom line. If that isn’t greed, what is it? It’s crazy.

Where has this lady been over the last 30 years? Delta (and other airlines, and most publicly traded companies) are in it to make money to return to their shareholders. They do it by serving passengers in and out of airports where they can make money. If they can't make money on a route, they shouldn't have to keep it going if they don't want to.

It's like she's straight out of Lake Wobegon from A Prairie Home Companion.



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1553 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9246 times:

It sounds like the officials want corporations to subsidize folks living in isolated areas - areas so isolated that perhaps people shouldn't live there.

User currently offlinemilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1991 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8501 times:

PLN which is served by Delta is only 65 miles from Sault Ste. Marie, on Interstate Highway, so its hardly a three hour drive as was alleged above.

Quoting srbmod (Reply 8):
Sault Ste. Marie is about a 3 hour drive to the nearest airport for domestic service. There is commercial service across the border in Ontario, but not to any US cities and would require connecting within Canada in order to get to any US cities.


User currently offlineCoronado From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1169 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8403 times:
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The UP of Michigan needs to think in terms of building ONE new airport about 20-25 miles south of L'Anse to become a Western UP regional airport that can cater to Marquette, Houghton/Hancock/Calumet/, Iron Mountain, Ironwood, Escanaba.
If you place a well located regional airport within 90 minutes drive of the population centers of the Western UP you can then market the region as having reliable frequent scheduled service to the rest of the world. Let's face it any time jet fuel remains above 3.00/gal, airports who cannot justify 2 flights x 100 pax/day are frankly not viable. Sure those towns/regions can hope that the politicos will approve larger EAS subsidies, but in this day and age that is a short sighted strategy.



The Original Coronado: First CV jet flights RG CV 990 July 1965; DL CV 880 July 1965; Spantax CV990 Feb 1973
User currently offlineacidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1874 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6293 times:
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I guess one of the questions is why this is all happening right now. One reason may be fuel prices. Another idea discussed is that the Saabs are simply getting long in the tooth and that there isn't a really good replacement option for them at this time.

NW operated all of these routes through low and high fuel prices and didn't flinch. It was almost that they felt that they had a duty to the region to keep it "well connected." Then DL came in. To many it feels like if it doesn't have anything to do with ATL or JFK it is just expendable. There are politics to everything.

South Dakota seems to have a problem with people willing to drive an extra distance to save a buck. This is true whether it is groceries, fuel, clothing... or airline flights! Maybe that is their thrifty and conservative nature. But it then makes for problems with the local businesses trying to stay afloat.



Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
User currently offlineTOLtommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3288 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4720 times:

Quoting acidradio (Reply 14):
I guess one of the questions is why this is all happening right now. One reason may be fuel prices. Another idea discussed is that the Saabs are simply getting long in the tooth and that there isn't a really good replacement option for them at this time.

It's fuel prices. Like the 50 seat CRJ, there just are not enough seats to offset the higher fuel cost. The Saabs are not young, but not nearly as old as some make it sound. Still younger than the youngest DC9, and even most of the MD88 fleet.


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8894 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4664 times:

Quoting TOLtommy (Reply 15):
Still younger than the youngest DC9, and even most of the MD88 fleet.

Still, the Saabs have been doing 10 segments a day for 10-15 years now, which is a lot of wear and tear.

The fact is the with -9s and -88s is that (a) they aren't doing nearly as many segments as that, and (b) McD-D overengineered the hell out of that plane - something you can't say about really any new line built in the last 20 years.


User currently offlineNWAROOSTER From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1066 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4589 times:
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Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 16):
Still, the Saabs have been doing 10 segments a day for 10-15 years now, which is a lot of wear and tear.

Delta and moist US Airlines are dumping their SAAB 340s due the fact they do NOT want to fly turbo prop aircraft.
Fifty seat RJs are NOT the answer as they would require more passengers per flight to break even.
There really is no 34 seat turbo prop being currently built as there is no demand for the aircraft. People do not like turbo props and think they should fly jets. The only thing I do not like about turbo props is the deicing or anti ice system. Instead of using bleed air to heat the main wings's leading edges, rubber boots are use to break the ice off leading edges of the main wing.
If a city can not support air service to a larger airport, maybe these cities should consider a bus shuttle service that would transport people to a larger airport. There is such a system that runs daily from Rochester, MN to Minneapolis, MN (MSP), and it is very successful. The Rochester Shuttle has several pick up points in Rochester and goes directly to the airport at MSP and back more than once a day. It also makes money.   


User currently offlinejetdudetim From United States of America, joined May 2009, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4471 times:

Ms. Shafer: “A lot of these big companies don’t care about the people. They just don’t care about the needs of people anymore. They only care about their bottom line. If that isn’t greed, what is it? It’s crazy.”



What a stupid, stupid thing for her to say. Get real, businesses aren't charity!


User currently onlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10351 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4432 times:

Quoting jetdudetim (Reply 18):
What a stupid, stupid thing for her to say.

I don't know her backround, but she sounds like someone that has been in civil service all her working life. She sound like those that regard the airlines as public utilities instead of businesses.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7521 posts, RR: 28
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4362 times:

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 16):


Still, the Saabs have been doing 10 segments a day for 10-15 years now, which is a lot of wear and tear.

The Mesaba B+ Saabs were all delivered new between 1996-1998. Ultimately they are being removed for a few reason, but not because of their age. They do not and have never flown 10 segments a day. Really, it is more like 6-8 cycles, no different than the CRJ fleet today.

Saabs are being retired:
- Because they can, their leases up for renewal, unlike many of the CRJs which are on longer term leases
- Fuel cost, with the limited number of seats, requires much higher yields to cover the sector cost
- Glut of 50 seat RJs, of which many leases are not up for renewal
- Changing economics of air service in many of these communities over the past few years, many are weaker than they were before and can't overcome the leakage to other airport

Quoting milesrich (Reply 12):
PLN which is served by Delta is only 65 miles from Sault Ste. Marie, on Interstate Highway, so its hardly a three hour drive as was alleged above.

PLN is also an EAS airport like CIU. DL has said they want to continue to serve both CIU and PLN with EAS subsides but need to get the subsidy to cover the increased cost of CRJ service vs. SF3 service in the past.


User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1358 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4343 times:

Quoting simairlinenet (Thread starter):
re there other examples of an airline having important operations somewhere without flights going there?

United Airlines had a reservations center in Atlanta Georgia. They stopped service to ATL completely from late 1979 to sometime in 1984. Closest town with service was HSV, about a 3.5 hour drive.


User currently onlinesimairlinenet From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 911 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4178 times:

Quoting acidradio (Reply 14):
NW operated all of these routes through low and high fuel prices and didn't flinch. It was almost that they felt that they had a duty to the region to keep it "well connected." Then DL came in. To many it feels like if it doesn't have anything to do with ATL or JFK it is just expendable. There are politics to everything.

A recent article (sorry, can't remember whose) uncovered the fact that a Northwest study shortly before the merger found that 25-30 such regional routes were unprofitable but worth maintaining for the political capital they generated (read: Oberstar et al.).


User currently offlineexFWAOONW From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 402 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3815 times:

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 17):

Do they still run jets RST-MSP in competition with the shuttle?



Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3771 times:

Quoting milesrich (Reply 12):
PLN which is served by Delta is only 65 miles from Sault Ste. Marie, on Interstate Highway, so its hardly a three hour drive as was alleged above.

I completely forgot about I-75 connecting the U.P. with the L.P., and didn't even think to look at any nearby airports in the L.P. while piecing together my post. I'm not from around that area and never have been there, so it was an error on my part to not fully research things.


25 N1120A : In the winter, its quite a bit.
26 cslusarc : I live in Winnipeg and winter driving is not that bad if it isn't snowing and if there aren't strong winds with blowing snow that obscure visibility.
27 Post contains images NWAROOSTER : Yes, Delta has several RJs flying between RST and MSP and back. However, the there is still a bus shuttle to and from RST to MSP.
28 mayor : Things don't shut down, completely, in the winter and if the weather is bad enough where it might, it's not likely that anything will be flying, anyw
29 jc2354 : If DLH is an EAS city, then how can it loose money? Shouldn't it at least break even? Out of curiosity, where was it located?
30 mayor : I didn't realize we were talking about DLH, other than as an alternative airport for Hibbing...........?
31 DeltAirlines : Duluth is not an EAS city. Not sure if they give subsidies out, but with flights to three hubs on two major airlines, EAS wouldn't come into play.
32 KaiGywer : Keep in mind though, that MOT's capture area includes much of southern MB and SK. I used to work at the MOT airport, and a large percentage of passen
33 XPJets : GFK is the same way. Quite a lot of people driving down from Winnipeg and other areas of southern MB. Comparing fares, it's been up to a $300 savings
34 flyguy89 : OMG she sounds exactly like one of those hack moocher characters right out of Atlas Shrugged lol. In all seriousness though, if they want air service
35 Post contains images PGNCS : Technically it's her credibility that has been shot, but your point is well taken! I don't grasp that either. If this was a sure-fire money maker, it
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