727LOVER
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Whatever Happened To Access Air?

Fri May 30, 2003 2:51 am


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Did they go bust?  Confused
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DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Whatever Happened To Access Air?

Fri May 30, 2003 3:32 am

Access Air flew briefly, around 2001 I think, and shut down. They were started by a wealthy businessman in Des Moines to provide low-fare service to MDW and LGA, and I think they tried a couple of other places too. Access's loads generally didn't get above the 30s, and the whole affair wound up costing the businessman tens of millions of dollars. Medium-size markets should not play the airline-founder game; that should be left to professionals. LCC's need to be based in a big market and fly to medium-size markets as spokes, in order to succeed.

Said businessman and the Des Moines business community would have done much better to put together a travel bank and gone after AirTran. By comparison, Wichita has blown less than $5 million on its failing FL travel bank. The Des Moines metro area has three or four times the population of metro Wichita and could probably easily fill four or five FL dailies--say 3 ATL, 1 MCO. Such an effort in Des Moines would probably cost little, and AirTran would wind up with a profitable new market.

Maybe--now that it's been a couple of years since the Access Air debacle--the powers that be in Des Moines might be willing to try it.

Jim
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727LOVER
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RE: Whatever Happened To Access Air?

Fri May 30, 2003 4:03 am

All good points Jim, but it begs the question:

Why doesn't Southwest serve Des Moines?  Confused
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LV
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RE: Whatever Happened To Access Air?

Fri May 30, 2003 4:10 am

Well, for now, until reaches a bit more crtical mass...DSM people can drive to MCI or OMA for WN

Oh, and by the way, I was thinking that Access Air was hauling Bush/Chenney around during their campaign and the plane was repoed....then the Republicans had to scramble to come up with another plane for the rest of the campaign (I think they went with Pace)

[Edited 2003-05-29 21:13:42]
 
ERFly
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RE: Whatever Happened To Access Air?

Fri May 30, 2003 5:38 am

LV,

Bush and Cheney used a North American B757 for their campaign flights. They never used Pace.


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OzarkD9S
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RE: Whatever Happened To Access Air?

Fri May 30, 2003 5:40 am

Access Air also got financial support from the Peoria, Illinois business community as well. They served LAX, DSM, MLI, PIA and LGA at one point. It was a classic new entrant blunder: old planes, small markets, markets well covered by major's connections, undercapitalized, and visions of grandeur. The local populations and economies simply could not support 737-200's in those markets.
I grew up in PIA, and Ozark Airlines served the market well under regulation. Nonstop and direct services to ORD, STL, MSP, DSM, ATL, IAD (later BWI), LGA, DEN, IND, BNA and TPA were all offered. After deregulation PIA is now a classic regional spoke with RJ and prop services to MSP, DEN, STL, ORD, DTW and ATL. The locals always bitched when OZ was the only game in town, but they had pretty good service for a region of about a quarter of a million sandwiched between ORD and STL. Now they have more airlines with less direct choices. Such is the compromise smaller cities have dealt with under deregulation.
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flyboy7974
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RE: Whatever Happened To Access Air?

Fri May 30, 2003 5:43 am

accessair also flew cross country, flights would run lax-dsm-mli-lga, sometimes instead of moline, they used peoria as the stop on the way to lga. after a while, the flights to the west coast started to make a stop in cos. a/c offered two services, coach, and a premium economy, both with full meal service. flights always ran delayed due to maint. after a while, they shut down, came back a few months later funning dsm-midway three times a day, trying to link pax with ata in midway.
 
srbmod
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RE: Whatever Happened To Access Air?

Fri May 30, 2003 7:23 am

The airline was bankrolled by Ruan Transportation, which is primarily is in the trucking business.
 
DSMav8r
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RE: Whatever Happened To Access Air?

Fri May 30, 2003 9:39 am

AccessAir was doomed from the start. Its starting business plan, was to provide nonstop service to both coasts from DSM, MLI, and PIA (LAX and LGA). This lasted for a short while, then the carrier filed ch. 11. After about 6 months, they reorganized somewhat and had a much better business plan, with a new CEO, but they were already so much in debt, that there was no way to turns things around, despite seeing better loads and higher yields. Their final routes mainly focused on DSM service, PIA and MLI are just too small to support any kind of nonstop coastal service. They added COS and MDW to the map and flew DSM-COS-LAX and DSM-MDW, which were pretty successful routes. They also flew nonstop DSM-EWR, instead of direct via MLI and PIA. This folded and again and they tried to reorganize, but nothing materialized accept occassional charter work, mainly for political campaigns and Iowa St. athletics.

The prospects of WN entering the DSM market are pretty doubtful...DSM, a metro of only 460,000 (Wichita is 570,000, BTW) does not have the population base to even make WN consider it. Especially when much larger cities like Omaha and Kansas City already have WN and people are willing to drive to fly. DSM had AirTran for a short time in the late 90s, but predatory practices and low loads drove them out, as well as Vanguard. I would doubt that AirTran would re-enter the market, unless of course the city decides to throw a bunch of money at them like Wichita is doing. But, as long as DSM has nonstop service to DCA and direct service to LGA (via MCI) with Midwest, I doubt that will happen. The AccessAir shadow will probably hang over the city for quite sometime...
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