Hartford-STN may be a possibility this summer, with 757 service. (Hartford is a region of 1.2 million people between Boston and New York). Read on:
Bradley-To-London Service Has Potential, Consultant Finds
March 6, 2002
By PAUL MARKS, Courant Staff Writer
AtlanticJet, the start-up airline that plans to fly to London from Bradley International Airport this summer, can succeed if it follows its business plan, a consultant to the state Department of Transportation says.
But the report released Monday by Campbell-Hill Aviation Group emphasizes that one key factor is beyond AtlanticJet's control: how fast Connecticut overseas travelers will drop their historic reliance on airports in New York and Boston, and start booking
flights from Bradley.
"The traveling public must support AtlanticJet's service from the outset," the consultant's report says. "If the product is good, reasonably priced and reliable, everything else will fall into place."
But author Dean B. Hill, Campbell-Hill's executive vice president, cautions: "The key for AtlanticJet will be educating the Bradley service area on exactly where Stansted [Airport] is located in the metropolitan London area and how it is convenient to where passengers need to go."
Stansted is London's third-largest airport, behind Heathrow and Gatwick. It lies about an hour's drive from the city center, and offers public ground transportation as well as connecting flights to
other European destinations, including nine daily flights each to Paris and Amsterdam.
AtlanticJet's president, former West Hartford council member John D. Shulansky, said the consultant's report is encouraging and may help the fledgling airline get the state financial aid it is seeking.
He said the airline, a limited-liability corporation formed last summer, remains committed to starting daily flights to Stansted Airport in late June.
Tickets should be on sale by late April or early May.
Shulansky said Campbell-Hill, an Alexandria, Va., firm that advises the state transportation department on a variety of aviation matters, validated his firm's projections that there are more than
enough trans-Atlantic travelers by far to support a daily flight from Bradley.
"Without even stimulating the market" through advertising, he said, "we already have sufficient demand there." With 1999 data
showing an average of 476 people from Connecticut and western Massachusetts flying to Europe daily, getting 170 to fill a midsize jetliner should be easy, he said.
AtlanticJet is to offer the first nonstop trans-Atlantic service from Bradley - something the airport has pursued for many years.
In the late 1960s, Trans World Airlines flew to London from Bradley twice a week, with a stop in Boston in both directions.
Extensive charter service to London was offered from Bradley during the 1970s.
Fares on AtlanticJet would be 9 percent higher than those of the average flight between Boston and London's Gatwick Airport, the consultant says.
They would be 14 percent higher than the fare charged by Continental Airlines when it flew between Newark and Stansted Airport - a route that was discontinued after the terrorist hijackings of Sept. 11.
However, Andre Libert, marketing and route development director for the transportation department's Bureau of Aviation and Ports, said
higher rates are justified because AtlanticJet would save Connecticut travelers the time and expense of taking a limousine to New York or Boston, or otherwise paying the higher cost of parking at Kennedy International Airport or Logan International Airport.
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