olddominion727 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 352 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 11 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3037 times:
I know G4 has service to SCK from Mesa, AZ (and we thought HI), but is commercial service ever going to come back? I remember HP (YV) flying it when it was subsidized and those flights were always packed (both of them) but back when AA, WestAir, PS and a few others flew in their you never thought it would lose way to SMF/OAK but it's right in the middle. I would've thought with all of the families that moved to the central valley during the dot com craze because they couldn't live on Bay Area cost of living, could utilize such air service. Stockton and Tracy are not small cities either.
OH-LGA From Denmark, joined Oct 1999, 1436 posts, RR: 21 Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2902 times:
It's true that the Stockton/Tracy area has a sizable population (Stockton ~250,000 people and Tracy ~79,000 people), but sheer numbers don't equal commercial air service success. There are a few circumstances that work against the development of commercially sustainable air service.
Like you say, SCK is smack dab in the middle of a plethora of airport options. SMF is only an hour drive from Stockton, OAK can be reached in approximately 1h15m by car, and both SFO and SJC are about an hour and a half's drive or so. Of course, these numbers are without traffic, but you get my point. The closest two airports (SMF and OAK) have substantial Southwest presence, and this limits the ability to capture sufficient yields to launch commercial air service into SCK, because price-sensitive consumers will easily opt for a cheaper price out of OAK or SMF and drive there. All four of the larger airports can also work with economies of scale by tapping the much larger catchment area, providing a higher number of flights and passengers, reducing prices further and placing SCK at a competitive disadvantage. Reaching most major parts of the world is easily done by a slightly longer drive to SFO, where one can simply hop on one flight to cross an ocean rather than the hassle of changing planes somewhere else to get the same result.
Redding (RDD) has EMB-120 UAX service to SFO, but potential passengers usually drive to SMF to fly out on Southwest (which is a 2.5 hour drive) to take advantage of lower fares from there. The fact that Stockton is much closer to no fewer than four major airports hurts commercial air service viability out of SCK that much more. When I worked at SFO, people often would take the BART from SFO to the Pittsburgh/Bay Point station (same-train service from SFO) and get picked up from there when their final destination was Stockton or Tracy. The Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) train also runs from Stockton to San Jose, which makes getting to SJC fairly easy as well (albeit the service runs a limited schedule on weekdays only). The transit infrastructure is well developed enough to where although it doesn't directly reach Stockton/Tracy in certain circumstance, it does make it that much easier to drive a shorter distance to a transit stop, providing a tradeoff between low prices and one's own internal cost of time and other expenses to reach an airport many people are willing to accept.
You mention that Stockton and Tracy experienced rapid population growth as a result of people moving because of the cost of living in the Bay Area. These cities became more bedroom communities as people continued to commute into the Bay Area to work. Relatedly, this is where the majority of the businesses are, who are willing to pay higher prices and provide higher yields to airlines. Also, the Stockton metropolitan area is suffering more than other areas, with Stockton named the "Foreclosure Capital of America" as a result of the 2008 financial crisis from which the US is still struggling to recover from. That certainly restricts disposable income, which would be what would be used in purchasing airline tickets, etc.
That's not to say that SCK won't be able to attract some sort of commercial air service in the future, but until the economic environment improves, the current landscape looks pretty bleak.
Head in the clouds... yet feet planted firmly on the ground.
wedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5754 posts, RR: 5 Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2858 times:
SCK, IMHO, seems to be an ideal destination for an airline like Horizon Air, who could include flights to SEA and LAX...kind of like STS. The same thing could go for MRY, and maybe even MOD and VIS. But like you said, these communities are overshadowed by their major airports in somewhat close vicinity.
Perhaps when the economy continues to improve, airlines may be more likely take a chance on these smaller, secondary destinations.
I believe the Mesa service was discontinued, as was the short-lived Long Beach Service. G4 continues with service to Las Vegas and new service to Palm Springs.
I think G4 could sustain a daily rountrip to LAX and weekend service to San Diego.
The large Mexican population of the Valley could utilize LAX for the Volaris and AM flights into Mexico or the San Diego service to cross the boarder and use the Tijuana Airport.
United Express has prop flights from SMF to SFO. A couple of these flights could route through Stockton.
N1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 25989 posts, RR: 78 Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2431 times:
Quoting OH-LGA (Reply 1): Redding (RDD) has EMB-120 UAX service to SFO, but potential passengers usually drive to SMF to fly out on Southwest (which is a 2.5 hour drive) to take advantage of lower fares from there.
RDD is a funny place. I remember flying in there on a UA 737-200 what seems like a million years ago now. But yeah, SMF soaks up the majority of the traffic - especially since SMF is also the airport that pulls in traffic from that whole corridor.
Quoting wedgetail737 (Reply 2): SCK, IMHO, seems to be an ideal destination for an airline like Horizon Air, who could include flights to SEA and LAX...kind of like STS.
SCK is not the same as STS - at all. STS is a major, high end tourist market with a wealthy local population. It also requires having to traverse major population centers to get to either reasonable airport option (OAK and SFO), given that the airports for both cities are on the opposite side of the city from STS. Further, the key market for STS is LAX - which is much easier reached by car from SCK than STS. You are talking about something like 40% more driving time.
Quoting DesertAir (Reply 7): I believe the Mesa service was discontinued, as was the short-lived Long Beach Service.
How in the world did G4 get a LGB slot?
Quoting wedgetail737 (Reply 8): You can blame Useless Airways for that. I longing for those days of AirCal, but AA killed that.
Yep. Also can blame PSA's later inept management. Much like jetBlue's existence is key in showing WN is not infallible, WN's massive growth is key in showing how PSA could have been with their management not being so short sighted.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
RWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2582 posts, RR: 4 Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2384 times:
Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 6): I was wondering if the thread title was coincidence or a play on words.
"SCK No Service On The Horizon..." (as in QX)
I read that into it as well, but I do agree AS could do well connecting travel out of SCK via the SEA and LAX hub cities, providing connections to lots of Mexico and all of the Pacific NW and Alaska. Hawaii wouldn't be a market they would chase.
Quoting N1120A (Reply 10): SCK is not the same as STS - at all. STS is a major, high end tourist market with a wealthy local population. It also requires having to traverse major population centers to get to either reasonable airport option (OAK and SFO), given that the airports for both cities are on the opposite side of the city from STS.
I do agree with what you've said as far as O/D trraffic, SCK is no STS but with decent sized hubs on either end of a SEA-SCK-LAX routing 2 x daily, can provide a great aternative to many Mexican destinations via LAX and via SEA all of WA, OR, ID, MT, and AK destinations.
N1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 25989 posts, RR: 78 Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2378 times:
Quoting RWA380 (Reply 11): I do agree with what you've said as far as O/D trraffic, SCK is no STS but with decent sized hubs on either end of a SEA-SCK-LAX routing 2 x daily, can provide a great aternative to many Mexican destinations via LAX and via SEA all of WA, OR, ID, MT, and AK destinations.
If a place like OXR, which served an area with nearly twice the population, can't maintain 30 seat service to LAX - why would SCK support 75 seat service to LAX and SEA? Similar driving distances to the big airports.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
milesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1902 posts, RR: 7 Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2045 times:
There are 514,453 people in Stanislaus County which is just to the south of San Joaquin County which had a population of 685,306. That is 1.2 Million people in these two counties, certainly enough to support service at SCK. MOD has a few flights a day with small props but MOD cannot really support the traffic that SCK can. Yes, its 70 minutes or so from Stockton to SMF, and OAK is 75 minutes or so, but from Stanislaus it's another 30 minutes to those points. I lived in Modesto in the mid 70's and used SCK a bit for than MOD then, because although both airports had three flights a day to SFO on UA 737's, SCK had PSA flights to LAX wtih a stop at FAT, and a couple of RW flights a day as well. But with that many people, one would think they could support flight to a hub whether it be SLC, or DEN, or flights to LAX.
And here are your problems. On one side (Stanislaus) you have Fresno pulling the traffic within an hour drive. On the other side (San Joaquin) you have Sacramento, Oakland and San Jose pulling the traffic within a 1-1.5 hour drive.
I'll use my little OXR story again. Ventura County has more than 800,000 people. OXR wasn't able to keep its EMB-120 flights, despite two massive military bases pulling government traffic (Actually, UA's huge spike in the government fare was largely to blame for passenger numbers falling off. Secondary was the inconsistent frequency of flights.). Largely to blame was the presence of airports (LAX, BUR and SBA) within that magical hour or so drive.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
milesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1902 posts, RR: 7 Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1774 times:
Quoting N1120A (Reply 16): And here are your problems. On one side (Stanislaus) you have Fresno pulling the traffic within an hour drive. On the other side (San Joaquin) you have Sacramento, Oakland and San Jose pulling the traffic within a 1-1.5 hour drive.
First of all, its longer than an hour from Modesto to FAT, its 99 miles and Mapquest estimates the drive at 1:42 minutes. When I lived in Modesto, I traveled almost every week. I used UA out of MOD, PSA and RW out of SCK, or drove to SFO, SMF, or OAK. But none of those airports are within your magic one hour from any point in Stanislaus County, it's about 25 minutes to SCK. From Turlock, the southern most town in Stanislaus Co, its 86 miles to FAT. The fact is that WN now dominates the Intra California traffic, and they have not not ever attempted to start service from SCK to LAX. But when its only a five to six hour drive to the LA Basin from Modesto, it hardly makes sense to drive 90 minutes or more to an airport, and park, and have to get there 60 minutes before flight time, and then take another 1:15 or 1:20 minutes to fly to LAX from either SJC or OAK. The drive to SMF is 90 miles and at least 90 minutes from Central Modesto. Then when you get to LA you can drive another 30-45 minutes to your destination. What did you save, 30 minutes to an hour then just jumping on CA 99 and driving to LA. SCK can support service if the fares are reasonable. To get to an airport that has nonstop service to most major markets, one must drive to SFO and that is even further.
SANFan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 4967 posts, RR: 15 Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1741 times:
I notice while reading this thread that everyone talks about LAX as THE So Cal destination. There is a thread ongoing now about AS (QX) starting some new activity (and possible future growth) in SAN. Included is new service to MRY, FAT and even STS. (As referenced by RWA330 in reply #14 above and I'd like to expand on that just a bit.)
I'm wondering if this experimentation with intra-California expansion by AS from SAN, if successful, might open the door for a SAN-SCK route sometime in the not-too-distant future? SCK is a somewhat doable drive down I-5 to LA -- several hours on a crowded intrastate -- but those on the road bound for "beyond LA" have another 2 hours minimum to face.
Given the large amount of air traffic flown currently (only) by WN between SAN and SJC, OAK and SMF, a SCK flight might just make some sense, no? Of course AS/QX might not be well known for high frequency low-cost flights but I could see at some point perhaps Q400s flying maybe 3 daily round trips in the market... As is often the case, I had hopes that G4 might try the route but they don't seem to have any interest in SAN these days, including from FAT; thankfully, AS/QX seems to feel differently about that to the tune of 2 daily roundtrips!
Please note: AS does not serve MRY at all right now, and the new SAN-route starting in June will be the only service from that city. In other words, no MRY-LAX is currently on the books for the future. So who can say that AS/QX might not think about doing the same thing with SCK?
I'm just saying that SAN seems to me to be a city that at least deserves some discussion in a thread like this. And AS/QX seems to be one airline that could start to fit into such discussions. (BTW, I do note that DesertAir does mention SAN in reply #7 and makes valid points about SAN and Mexico-bound travelers.)
wedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5754 posts, RR: 5 Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1597 times:
I think AS/QX may make a move into SCK once that region's economy gets back on its feet. And who knows? Maybe we'll see SCK service sooner rather than later. I was also hoping that QX would re-enter some markets left a while back like ACV or RDD.
LAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 23469 posts, RR: 50 Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1584 times:
I still say while there might indeed be viable business opportunity on a host of intra-CA routes, a 76 seat Q400 is too big imo.
An economic 30-50 seater would be a much more viable as many markets will simply not generate a needed 60-odd seats per departure.
Lastly, its also important imo to keep an eye on the macro-economic picture in the state. Air travel and business activity remains depressed and many of the inland and central valley cities seeking service happen to be some of the worst off at the moment.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
FAT - Pax counts finished 2011 only about 3% below the peak year of 2007. New SAN service from QX and other new services may make 2012 FAT's highest passenger boarding year ever.
Additionally, Mexican govt reports show FAT in 2011 was second largest (behind only LAX) in number of boardings on non-stop flights to GDL among California/Nevada airports. That means FAT-GDL non-stop flights handled more pax than LAS-GDL, SJC-GDL, SMF-GDL and others. Yet FAT is the smallest market area with flights to GDL in the 2 states. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/01/18/...laska-airlines-adds-fresno-to.html
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain