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AEagle Ops At TLH (MIA & DFW)  
User currently offlineclrd4t8koff From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1172 times:

I read on here once that when MQ started TLH-MIA/MIA-TLH service that it was one of the most profitable segments in AA's system. They started with 2x daily, going to 3x not long after (2009 I believe) and even adding a single daily flight to DFW. Since then it's been stagnant as far as growth is concerned. What I'm curious about is the 1x daily DFW? Looking at 2 other airports in the Florida panhandle - PNS & VPS - both have multiple MQ DFW flights - with VPS having a smaller metro area than TLH (and one that overlaps with PNS). According to Fare Mesaure (http://www.faremeasure.com/View-Airport-TLH-Tallahassee_Regional_Airport.html) 47 ppdew fly to DFW. Add on top all of the other cities (IAH, AUS, SAT, OKC, ELP, OMA, ABQ, DEN, etc) - Is the flight a poor performer as far as yields or why has it been so stagnant from a growth perspective?

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1173 times:

The VPS and PNS flights will have a couple advantages over the TLH flight.

VPS and PNS are both very active tourist destinations.

VPS and PNS have a steady core of military personnel movements.

Now if the vacation market goes down, or the military cuts the size of PNS and VPS bases - those flights could stagnate, or even some frequencies be dropped.

(This assumes MQ stays in business, which my predictions since the start of the AA bankruptcy are that MQ will be shutdown, and American Eagle flights will be contracted out to other regional carrier airlines.)


User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7279 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1173 times:

The other two are tourist destinations while TLH is is not. TLH will have more business traffic but that goes more to MIA anyway.


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineclrd4t8koff From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1171 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 1):
VPS and PNS are both very active tourist destinations.
Quoting flymia (Reply 2):
The other two are tourist destinations while TLH is is not.

So initially this was my thought as well. But anyone who's ever been to the Panhandle from about November 1st - April 1st knows that it's certainly not ideal beach weather. It's actually quite chilly. Growing up in TLH I can remember seeing snow several times. Nothing like what the north gets, but enough that you could build a snowman. So their tourist season is very seasonal - heck, even the majority of the snowbirds it used to get have migrated more towards central FL due to all of the hurricanes in the early 2000's.

Quoting flymia (Reply 2):
TLH will have more business traffic but that goes more to MIA anyway.

And that's my thought as well. I understand MIA will be busy due to intra-state Government travel, but with TLH having 2 major universities (FSU and FAMU) and a giant State College (TSU) with almost 20k students itself, that's close to 80k students in the city with lots of travelling - professors, students, families.

I wish MAH4546 was reading this as he seems to be very "in the know" when it comes to AA/MQ and their routes.


User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1170 times:

I can see MIA-TLH being one of the most profitable. Most traffic probably books close to departure and is local making yields very good.

User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1170 times:

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Reply 3):
that's close to 80k students in the city with lots of travelling - professors, students, families.

Students and colleges are about the lowest yield, lowest profit 'businesses' for airlines. There is almost no traffic during the regular semesters, and most students have too much baggage to fly at the end of semesters.


User currently offlineclrd4t8koff From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1170 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 5):
Students and colleges are about the lowest yield, lowest profit 'businesses' for airlines. There is almost no traffic during the regular semesters, and most students have too much baggage to fly at the end of semesters.

Students travelling on their on dime (spring break, to see friends at other schools, etc) are pretty low yield and profit. However, students travelling home - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mom/Dad's birthday, their own birthday, etc. - when mom and dad are footing the bill is not - parents pay what is needed to get them home on the limited schedules they have away from school. Airlines rake in the dollars from students travelling during limited Christmas/Thanskgiving windows. And all that baggage - $cha-ching$ $cha-ching$ for airlines - again, mom and dad pay. The other side of the University population - the professors, coaches, administrative staff pay very well simply because a lot of their travel tends to be last minute.


User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7279 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1169 times:

I also think it being the south and AA/MQ getting into the TLH market a little late that there are a lot of DL FFs down there especially the students and faculty. DL sends mainline equipment down to TLH from ATL. Also FSU is a regional school many of the students live in Florida so they would drive home anyway.

I will agree with above thanksgiving and Christmas college student travel is a nice money maker for airlines. Look at a flight like DCA-MIA or BOS-MIA they are filled with college students flying right in the most expensive time to purchase a tickets. I was one of those students for four years on DCA-MIA. One time the prices were so high I found myself on NK



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 1169 times:

Yes - Holiday season travel is probably very profitable. But it won't support daily service the rest of the year.

User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6733 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1169 times:

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Reply 6):
Students travelling on their on dime (spring break, to see friends at other schools, etc) are pretty low yield and profit. However, students travelling home - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mom/Dad's birthday, their own birthday, etc. - when mom and dad are footing the bill is not - parents pay what is needed to get them home on the limited schedules they have away from school. Airlines rake in the dollars from students travelling during limited Christmas/Thanskgiving windows. And all that baggage - $cha-ching$ $cha-ching$ for airlines - again, mom and dad pay.

The problem is that the vast majority of students going to FSU/FAMU are from Florida/Georgia/Alabama, so a flight to DFW isn't going to do them any good. Most will drive home. Not to mention, as others have pointed out, that you can't really build your schedule around holiday travel. The planes have to do something the other 350 days a year.

TLH is a tough market. There's some good government traffic (but even a lot of that is intra-state) and some of the university traffic, but that's about it. TLH is not much of a business market nor is it a strong leisure market. You'll note that CO tried and abandoned IAH-TLH and as DL dismantled MEM, the MEM-TLH route was one of the early casualties. So that leaves TLH with ATL, CLT and DCA for out-of-state service.


User currently offlineCIDFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2362 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 1169 times:

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Reply 3):

So initially this was my thought as well. But anyone who's ever been to the Panhandle from about November 1st - April 1st knows that it's certainly not ideal beach weather. It's actually quite chilly. Growing up in TLH I can remember seeing snow several times. Nothing like what the north gets, but enough that you could build a snowman. So their tourist season is very seasonal - heck, even the majority of the snowbirds it used to get have migrated more towards central FL due to all of the hurricanes in the early 2000's.

I'm not sure if I would necesssarily agree with that. Yes its not as warm as central and southern Florida, but Destin/Ft Walton and Orange Beach/Gulf Shores (near PNS) still supports a large number of snowbirds. I know this first hand my parents have wintered in Orange Beach and I have gone there every Feb for the past 16 years and those flights always seem full with lots of families coming to visit parents/grandparents etc. I dont think they have ever seen snow in all those years either. Yes there can be some chilly days, but there are alot of swings when temps can be in the 60s and 70s by February. Anything is better that the snowy cold north in the winter time.


User currently offlineclrd4t8koff From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1168 times:

Looks like my timing was just a bit premature as AA has just loaded a new 2nd daily into the GDS. Info courtesy of our resident Timetable guru enilria -

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...eneral_aviation/read.main/5609090/


User currently offlineclrd4t8koff From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1167 times:

Also, it appears that in addition to a 2nd daily DFW flight, a 4th daily MIA is added for 6 daily MQ flights @ TLH. This will also mean two aircraft to RON meaning they must be getting a 2nd gate? Anyone know how they're going to handle this?

User currently offlinetlhgator From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1166 times:

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Reply 12):
This will also mean two aircraft to RON meaning they must be getting a 2nd gate? Anyone know how they're going to handle this?

The first logical choice would have been A5 but seeing how US is using A5 for its DCA flight, they could park at A6 jetway but the issue will be work space as Silverwings operates out of A7. They could hardstand it at A1 but, the space between A1 and B1 is currently used to store ground equipment and it would also be a hard stand operation. It would also be snug with the other AA dept at A1 as well as the DL mainline dept at B1. Another viable option if they chose to hardstand would be to use A2/A4 which is currently not being used, US from time to time what park a RON a/c at that gate with passengers having to walk up the stairs.
The addition of the second DFW flight is good for TLH as it gives travelers going west an alternative without having to go through ATL. When I worked the CO flight to IAH it was leaving full, and while full doesn't always mean high yields, people were happy with having an alternative to ATL.


User currently offlineclrd4t8koff From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1166 times:

Quoting tlhgator (Reply 13):
When I worked the CO flight to IAH it was leaving full, and while full doesn't always mean high yields, people were happy with having an alternative to ATL.

Interesting you mention that because I always wondered why CO pulled TLH. Did CO at all try adjusting fares to improve yields? TLH is so under served compared to just 6-7 years ago.

Previous TLH routes: JFK, CVG, IAH, PNS, JAX, PBI, MCO, TPA, MIA, DFW

Current TLH routes: ATL, CLT, DFW, TPA, FLL

50% of the routes previously flown are gone, now down to just 5. Pretty sad state for TLH.


User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6733 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1166 times:

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Reply 14):
Current TLH routes: ATL, CLT, DFW, TPA, FLL

You're forgetting DCA and MIA, so it's not quite so bad.

Some of the routes lost like PNS, JAX and PBI were quite thin and relied on small props that are no longer viable in much of the country. CVG and MEM (missing from your list) were lost because of dying hubs. JFK was simply too long and thin to work. With IAH, I just don't think TLH has enough demand from the western U.S.


User currently offlinebjorn14 From Norway, joined Feb 2010, 3686 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 1 day ago) and read 1166 times:

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Reply 14):
PNS, JAX, PBI, MCO

Was that Sunshine or Dolphin? w/Metros?



"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6733 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 1 day ago) and read 1166 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 15):
Was that Sunshine or Dolphin? w/Metros?

TLH-PBI and TLH-MCO have been flown in recent years with B1900's operated by Silver Airways (formerly Gulfstream).

TLH-PNS and TLH-JAX were operated until about 2003 using B1900's operated by USAirways Express...I believe Mesa was the operator. These flights were actually part of a milk run flight that would fly SHV-MSY-PNS-TLH-JAX.


User currently offlineclrd4t8koff From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 1166 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 17):
TLH-PNS and TLH-JAX were operated until about 2003 using B1900's operated by USAirways Express...I believe Mesa was the operator. These flights were actually part of a milk run flight that would fly SHV-MSY-PNS-TLH-JAX.

Back in the day (90's - 2003) USAirways had quite the operation in TLH. Multiple mainline flights to CLT, MCO, TPA, MIA, with Express flying to JAX and PNS. They would have on average 2-3 planes on the ground at any given point and they pretty much dominated the A concourse, with DL being the smaller player. Now roles have shifted and DL has all but taken over the B concourse and runs the most daily flights. Other airlines have come and gone - CO, FL most recently. AA has started and stopped TLH mutliple times with the most recent panning out as a success.


User currently offlinetlhgator From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 1166 times:

Quoting clrd4t8koff (Reply 14):
Interesting you mention that because I always wondered why CO pulled TLH. Did CO at all try adjusting fares to improve yields?

The reason given to us, while we were not COEX employees, but actually we worked for 9E and had the ground handling contract, was the flavor of the month at that time, but the same reason given by many airlines, high fuel costs, that and some other COEX cities were being cut back at that time, but I can't remember which ones.
The intra-state flying done by both DL and CO/UA would spike between Feb. and May when the legislature would convene and the pre-session committee meetings held in Feb. The big winners flight wise were MIA and FLL always full if not oversold.


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