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GSO Not Alone: MOB Takes Hits  
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7100 posts, RR: 23
Posted (14 years 7 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1462 times:

GSO isn't the only airport losing flights. Since September 11, MOB has lost one third of its daily flights. Service to ORD and IAD has been cancelled. Service to CVG suspended indefinitely. Service to IAH, MEM, DFW and ATL reduced and or downgraded. Needless to say the people of MOB aren't happy.

Congressman Callahan of AL wants Secy Mineta to force airlines to resume service to cities like MOB because of bailout out money. But can Mineta really force airlines to fly routes? I don't think so.....

Callahan wants Air Service Restored to MOB

WASHINGTON -- In the wake of a plunge in Mobile's passenger service
following last month's terrorist attacks, U.S. Rep. Sonny Callahan has asked federal transportation officials to consider requiring airlines to restore some flights in return for receiving taxpayer bailout funds.

"I certainly understand that all communities are being impacted as airlines make unavoidable decisions to reduce air services in response to reduced demand," Callahan, R-Mobile, wrote in an Oct. 12 letter to Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. "However, I believe that Mobile may have suffered a disproportionate loss of service."

Under a $15 billion bailout package rushed through Congress shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Mineta can require any airline receiving "direct financial assistance" to continue the same flight schedule in place before Sept. 11 for any particular route.

Nationally, carriers have since slashed service by about 20 percent, with Mobile losing one-third of its outgoing flights, according to Callahan. He's not alone. In all, some 30 members of Congress have registered similar concerns about local air service cuts, Transportation Department spokesman Bill Mosley said.

Although the department is preparing a response, its only action thus far has been to mandate 15 days' notice of any significant service cuts. Several aviation officials doubted that Washington is likely to get into the business of setting flight schedules; Callahan spokesman Jo Bonner indicated that the letter's primary purpose is to build a case for Mobile's receiving better air service in the future.

The Transportation Department can play a pivotal role in that process,
thanks to its role in allocating flight slots at some airports. Nor is it unusual for members of Congress to lobby agency officials on behalf of their districts.

"I think we want to go on record to note that we feel that significant
disruption in service has taken place in Mobile," Bonner said. Rather than
force airlines to restore a full flight schedule, he said, "our desire is to
make sure that Mobile not be taken for granted when, hopefully, normal
service resumes, whatever normal is."

Callahan's office provided a copy of the Oct. 12 letter last Friday at the Mobile Register's request.

The last seven weeks have been painful for Mobile Airport Authority officials, who have watched the facility's 27 daily outgoing flights dwindle to 18.

A complete pullout by United Express last month ended nonstop service to Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C., as well as to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

Delta, Continental Express and Northwest Airlink have all pared their daily takeoffs from Mobile. Beginning Thursday, Comair plans to indefinitely
suspend nonstop service to Cincinnati.

Another blow came eight days after the Sept. 11 attacks when Orlando-based discount carrier AirTran announced that it would begin service from Pensacola to Atlanta next month, putting it in direct competition with Mobile.

More than local pride and travel convenience are at stake. Flexible air
connections can also play a role in helping to lure new jobs and industry.

The catastrophe triggered a government-ordered shutdown of the air
transportation system that the airlines say cost them billions of dollars. While more-or-less normal service has resumed around the country, the system is running at about 50 percent of capacity.

The federal rescue legislation provides $5 billion in direct relief and $10 billion in loan guarantees to make it easier for the airlines to borrow money.

"I think it's a way of the squeaky wheel getting the grease," said Kevin
Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition, a Pennsylvania lobbying organization that represents large corporations. The package was designed to compensate airlines for their losses and help them to revamp their operations.

"To fly empty planes is not part of the deal," Mitchell said. "I guess if I were beholden to my constituents, I would do the same thing," he added, in reference to the resumption-of-service provision. "I just don't think it's going to work."

Copyright Mobile Press Register

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCactusA319 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2918 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (14 years 7 months 2 days ago) and read 1415 times:

MOB takes hits. LOL. That's pretty clever.

User currently offlineAirCanadaMan From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 465 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1407 times:

It seems that not only MOB is seeing mass reductions, but GPT is seeing its fair cutback:
Canada 3000, I dont think they are returing,
Co Express, reduced flights
NWA, downgraded to Avro
Southeast...who knows?

I fly into the MOB-GPT-MSY area at least twice a year, and find it more and more difficult as the years go on, I remember we American Eagle pulled out of MOB, it really buggered things up, but life went on.

Hopefully theses carriers will reinstate and bring back the original services, once things get going again.

User currently offlineTWA717_200 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1397 times:

That IS funny. Was the pun intended?

Speaking of Cactus A319's, there goes one now. Been seeing a lot of HP's "Ohio" lately too.

User currently offlineCritter592 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1396 times:

I Live near all 3 of these airports. I must say that they are not doing too good. Airtran in GPT just axed their flights to DFW, and HOU. Mobile is suffering Bigtime. I just wish I could turn back time to Sept. 10 and stop the 4 flights the next day.

User currently offlineJmhLUV2fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 559 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1388 times:

While air service to Mobile, Alabama is being reduced, an alternative city for travelers to use is Pensacola Regional Airport (PNS) in Pensacola, Florida.
We have a fine faciltiy. The Pensacola community worked hard to lure AirTran, and in turn the airline must have seen a market to utilize there services as they do not choose to serve destinations that are not profitable. I feel this move can benefit the entire Gulf Coast, PNS airport is centrally located between Mobile and Ft.Walton, with a short drive many can benefit from the discount airline. I look forward to seeing AirTran in Pensacola, they start service next Tuesday. No other airline could offer one way fares of $49.00 to Atlanta. "Fly Easy, Fly Pensacola Regional Airport"

User currently offlineCo LITE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1365 times:

I am very saddened to see this happen to MOB. MOB is still a great airport with great customer service, period. The fares are the problem. With no lowfare competition (AirTran left in 98) they are suffering terrible passenger losses. They will continue to do so with FL in PNS. I wish MOB the best.

User currently offlineCo LITE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1364 times:

The good news is USAirways Express is making good loads. MOB-CLE seems to be a good route.

User currently offlineBigmikenice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1368 times:

Yeah PNS really porked MOB when they got Airtran, didn't they? I wouldn't look at PNS being an alternative to MOB (like PVD or MHT for BOS, since BOS needs alternatives..."relievers" as we know them). PNS is kinda like the girl who goes for her ex-man's best friend while the poor guy is still grieving. Ohhh, so that's where their code came from. It's all about the PNS Big grin.

User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7100 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (14 years 7 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1349 times:

The pun was kind of intended....I figured I might as well be creative with my topics.

MOB seems to be getting squeezed with FL in GPT to the west and now FL in PNS to the east. I'm just so surprised how things turned against MOB so quickly....I remember two years ago when MOB was thrilled to be the only Gulf Coast airport from JAX to MSY to have nonstop service to ORD and IAD.

Even to DFW, MOB has really seen service collapse. Two years ago, they had one mainline nonstop to DFW and two mainline one-stop flights. Now, they just have two RJ's.

MOB should really lobby Southwest hard....they seem to be the perfect candidate. Then again, so are tons of other cities.

User currently offlineBonanzaFunjet From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (14 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 1331 times:

MOB has only themselves to blame. Valujet flew there and lowered the fares so everyone could fly Delta. Once Valujet threaten to leave MOB and the city asked them not to. So again the natives flew Delta.

Valujet left. MOB got what they deserve. TOL is about to too. Goodluck getting SWA.


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