OPNLguy
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New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Sun Apr 27, 2003 8:31 am

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/travel/jump/1858408


April 21, 2003, 8:30AM

Plans for Air Gumbo simmering

Associated Press

LAFAYETTE, La. -- Planes painted to look like a giant bowl of gumbo -- crawfish included -- could be taking to south Louisiana skies and venturing west to Houston by the end of this year. Lafayette businessman Ralston Champagnie has announced plans to launch Air Gumbo, a medium-size airline with hub operations in New Orleans and its headquarters in Lafayette.

Air Gumbo's fleet would consist of seven Boeing 737s. The planes would be painted so the forward part of the aircraft is a pale blue and the back looks like a bowl of gumbo, including a giant red crawfish, onions, sausage and red peppers.

The airline would be a low-fare, low-cost and no-frills service that would first serve Louisiana cities and Houston, then branch out to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, Champagnie said.

"We are waiting on the war now and looking for funding," said Champagnie, a native of Jamaica who has lived in Lafayette for 20 years. "I feel that we will be up and running by the end of the year."

The plans call for up to 1,000 employees by the second year of operation, with most of the workers in New Orleans.

The 47-year-old businessman said getting the necessary Federal Aviation Administration approval and negotiations with the airports involved for landing rights should take about nine months.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Sun Apr 27, 2003 8:32 am

maybe they can get Forrest Gump as their spokesman.

"Gumbo and Sccccchrimp"
 
delta-flyer
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RE: New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Sun Apr 27, 2003 9:11 am

....and just leave people salivating? How cruel!!

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
JBLUA320
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RE: New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Sun Apr 27, 2003 11:05 am

Ill swim in a giant heap of crawfish if this happens..

Okay, maybe not, but you get my point  Smile

JBLU
 
caribb
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RE: New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Sun Apr 27, 2003 11:22 am

Will there be some guy jumping out of the cockpit and pounding his fist on the engine cowling yelling Aiyieeeeeee! ??

 
DeltaRules
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RE: New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Sun Apr 27, 2003 12:35 pm

Gee, I wonder what their in-flight meals would be if they change their minds on the no-frills service...  Big grin

DeltaRules
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MSYtristar
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RE: New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Sun Apr 27, 2003 12:40 pm

Air Gumbo....sort of an odd name in my opinion. Although I LOVE gumbo...had some good gumbo tonight in fact, at the place voted by Craig Kilborn as the "Late Late Shows Best In Gumbo for 2003"....The Gumbo Shop!

I think CRESCENT AIRWAYS is a great name for an MSY-hub airline, as New Orleans is known as the "Crescent City".


Steve in New Orleans
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Sun Apr 27, 2003 1:58 pm

...or how about "Big Easy Air"?

Then again, better not. Might receive a court summons on behalf of Stelios  Laugh out loud
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Sun Apr 27, 2003 2:15 pm

Maybe some investigation is needed.

This news has only been announced in the last few days.

When you do a WHO-IS on airgumbo.com you see the registrant is:

Jake Mathis
P.O. Box 1178
Rayne, LA 70578
US

The domain was registered on 05/04/2003.

The date of registration of 05/04/2003 is at least 2 weeks before this "news" was released.

A quick search of the name brings up his website:

http://www.angelfire.com/la/delboytrotter/

http://www.angelfire.com/la/delboytrotter/airline.html

It is a website for the aviation collecting activities of someone in Lafayette. How would an aviation enthusiast know to register this domain name 2 weeks before the business is made public?

A search on the name "Ralston Champagnie" brings up nothing on Google, except for a "Letter to the Editor" on the subject of bus services in Lafayette:

http://www.timesofacadiana.com/html/59B3CAD6-917C-4C75-A6F0-0B45BD71F51F.shtml

Isn't this quite unusual for a business man only to have 1 traceable source on the internet these days? By searching for his name, you should probably get a list of the businesses owned by him at the very least.

Something smells "fishy" here, and I don't think it is the gumbo.
 
LoneStarMike
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RE: New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Mon Apr 28, 2003 1:05 pm

The domain was registered on 05/04/2003.

The date of registration of 05/04/2003 is at least 2 weeks before this "news" was released.

I assume you mean April 5, 2003. (I can never remember which countries write their dates MM/DD/YY and which ones write it DD/MM/YY.)

There was a different (longer) story on the New Orleans Int'l Airport website that apparently ran in the Times-Picayune on April 4, 2003. AirGumbo.com was registered on April 5 which would mean the site was registered one day after the following article ran in the Times Picayune

Air Gumbo could be airborne by end of year
Times Picayune
Friday, April 4, 2003, Page C-1

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Planes painted to look like a giant bowl of gumbo — crawfish included — could be taking to the south Louisiana skies by the end of year.

Local businessman Ralston Champagnie announced his plans Wednesday to launch Air Gumbo, a medium-size airline with hub operations in New Orleans and its headquarters in Lafayette.

Air Gumbo's fleet would consist of seven Boeing 737s. The planes would be painted so the forward part of the aircraft is a pale blue and the back looks like a bowl of gumbo, including a giant red crawfish, onions, sausage and red peppers.

The airline would be a low-fare, low-cost and no-frills service that would first serve Louisiana cities and Houston, then branch out to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, Champagnie said.

"We are waiting on the war now and looking for funding," said Champagnie, a native of Jamaica who has lived in Lafayette for 20 years. "I feel that we will be up and running by the end of the year."

The first phase will call for about 300 employees, with 100 of them located in Lafayette, he said. The Lafayette employees would be administrative personnel while the remaining jobs in New Orleans would go to pilots, terminal workers and ground crews.

"As the airline grows, so will the number of people in Lafayette and New Orleans," he said.

The eventual plans call for up to 1,000 employees by the second year of operation, again with the most workers in New Orleans.

The 47-year-old businessman said getting the necessary Federal Aviation Administration approval and negotiations with the airports involved for landing rights should take about nine months. Champagnie said he hopes to have those issues completed before the end of the year.

The key to his plans is funding, Champagnie said. Several investors are interested, but he added that his capital raising campaign is just beginning.

Champagnie said the first part of Air Gumbo's plan is to develop links to Louisiana cities including Lafayette and then to Houston as its only out of state destination for now. The second phase, which he said could be completed as early as the summer of 2004, would be to develop destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.

"We do not want to be too aggressive in our first and second phases," Champagnie said. "We want to establish ourselves and Air Gumbo first."

A presentation has already been made to the state Department of Economic Development and one is planned for the state's Office of Tourism, he said.

Air Gumbo has received resolutions of support from the Lafayette Airport Commission, the Calcasieu Airport Authority and the New Orleans Aviation Board.

Champagnie said he would make a second presentation to the New Orleans Aviation Board since it has new members named by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

Initial planning for the airline began in 1998, he said.

LoneStarMike

 
MSYtristar
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RE: New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Mon Apr 28, 2003 9:07 pm

Apparently, plans have been "simmering" for a Louisiana-based airline since 1998...it has taken this long to become public due to the obvious tough times we are in currently.

Can Air Gumbo work? At first I had my doubts, but if he sticks with a niche and offers good service, he may be successful. They should go after underserved markets from MSY, such as BOS, BWI, LAX, MDW, FLL...just to name a few...all of those markets either have no or very limited nonstop service. And about the service to Houston, well, there are 30 flights every weekday between the two cities now, I guess 4 or 5 more can't hurt.  Smile


Steve in New Orleans
 
sccutler
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RE: New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Mon Apr 28, 2003 9:20 pm

Hmmmm.

Can you say, "Pride Air"?

Sure, I knew you could.


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How 'bout, "Crystal Airways"?



When pigs fly. Really Big Pigs. Really High.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
MSYtristar
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RE: New Airline "Air Gumbo"

Mon Apr 28, 2003 9:54 pm

Pride Air was troubled from the get-go....competition out of MSY was much more fierce back then in the mid 80's than it is now....they had 2 maybe 3 competitiors on all the routes that they flew to. Delta was still huge here at the time, as was Continental, and Muse Air was rapidly expanding service. Even Eastern had a decent prescence here in 85.

People were still fiercly loyal to Delta here at that time, as they still flew several L1011's per day and had nonstops to maybe 12 different cities. Times are a little different now...the only real loyalty goes to Southwest (and some Delta loyalty which is fastly going down the drain), who in many cases is the only option for nonstop flights to many cities. They need at least one competitior on the routes to give the public more options out of MSY.

I wish them luck, as we all should.


Steve in New Orleans

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