Topic Author
Posts: 2727
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 1999 2:47 am

Shuttle America

Tue Jan 11, 2000 5:22 am

How is Shuttle America doing i heard they just dropped 4 BDL-BED flights. Are they going under?
Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
Topic Author
Posts: 2727
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 1999 2:47 am

Yep They're Done

Tue Jan 11, 2000 5:40 am

I just checked flight sched and it shows BDL-BUF and BDL-ILG flights all discontunied after jan 31 It also shows BUF-TTN and ILG flights ass discon after jan 31. BUF and ILG being their top tow i'd say they are done for.
Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
Posts: 2181
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 1999 11:05 pm

RE: Yep They're Done

Tue Jan 11, 2000 6:07 am

Could it be the Feb. 1 sked is not posted yet? Sometimes on OAG you see that and then have to wait to see Feb. schedule.

I know the BUF-BDL and BUF-BED routes are their best. Maybe they are just retooling. I haven't heard anything to suggest they are done with.

They have a smart business plan and efficient aircraft. Here's a story from the Boston Globe:

Windsor Locks, Conn.-Based Airline Startup Makes Waves in Industry

By Matthew Brelis, The Boston Globe
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Dec. 9--WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn.--The irreverence of the start-up company is
plain to see at the front door of Shuttle America's corporate offices near
Bradley International Airport.
The painted lettering on the glass door to the nondescript building
reads "Shuttle America World Headquarters."
Welcome to the world of the upstart start-up that has ruffled feathers
in some of Boston's toniest suburbs by flying out of Hanscom Airfield in
Bedford to worldly destinations like Hartford, Buffalo, N.Y., Trenton, N.J.,
and Wilmington, Del.
Elected officials and some residents of Bedford, Concord, Lexington, and
Lincoln have fought to keep Hanscom free of scheduled commercial service.
Indeed, on Sept. 27, the day before Shuttle America was to begin service from
Hanscom, company officials did not know whether they had the right to do so,
even though the airline had a schedule and had sold tickets for the low-fare
A Superior Court judge was to rule on a temporary restraining order to
prohibit the Massachusetts Port Authority from letting a commercial carrier
use Hanscom.
"We had thought the judge was was going to make a decision four days
before we were to fly," recalled Shuttle America president Barry S. Lutin.
"We had sold our schedule and still not heard anything, and then the
afternoon before ... the judge denied the request. We had to get [FAA
Administrator] Jane Garvey at 8:45 that evening to sign the certificate."
Since then, Hanscom has become the airline's busiest station, and the
four daily flights out of the airport quickly became 10 flights. Vice
president Mark Cestari is quick to point out that 22 percent of the people
flying out of Hanscom come from the four towns that tried to stop the airline
from flying to suburban Boston.
Such are the trials of starting a company, particularly one as difficult
as an airline, where in the age of deregulation failures are the rule.
David F. Hackett, a founder and chief executive of Shuttle America, said
the airline began operations with more than $8 million in venture capital and
$500,000 in seed money from the founders, many of whom were former
Continental Airlines officials. Nearly two years of study occurred before the
first flight took off. While the Shuttle America strategy could be employed
anywhere, the company decided the densely populated Northeast provided the
best opportunity.
In one year, operating costs dropped significantly, as planes were added
to the fleet. In November 1s. Because the equation is a function of airplane
size and distance traveled, major carriers have even lower costs per seat
Currently flying at about 52 percent capacity, Shuttle America is
reaching the break-even point and must decide how quickly to expand.
The privately held company will early next year go for a second round of
financing of about $5 million to $7 million, Hackett said.
Each new market and airplane costs about $1 million.
"There is no shortage of growth opportunities; we get calls from cities
nearly every day," he said.
The airline has not committed itself to any new routes, but markets that
it's carefully eyeing are Detroit and Greensboro, N.C.
But instead of using giant Detroit Metro Wayne County airport, which is
a Northwest Airlines hub, Shuttle America would use the smaller Detroit City
Hackett said U.S. Department of Transportation figures indicate 50 to 60
passengers go between Buffalo and Detroit each day, but the airline believes
there is a pent-up demand for travel between the two cities, which are
heavily dependent on the automotive industry.
A possible destination for Shuttle America flights from Hanscom is
LaGuardia Airport in New York City -- one of the few at which landing slots
are restricted. The airline is lobbying the Department of Transportation for
One Massport official, when told of Shuttle America's effort to offer
low-cost flights to New York from the Boston area, was stunned.
"Wow! That would be really significant," he said.
A low-fare carrier operating from Boston to New York could challenge not
only major airlines' shuttle operations, but Amtrak, too.
That's easier said than done, though: Shuttle America must still win
approval to fly to LaGuardia, and it needs to make certain it can operate
efficiently there.
"Charging low fares is easy; making sure you can do it with low costs is
the challenge," Hackett said.
To do that, the airline leases $10 million turboprop aircraft instead of
regional jet aircraft, which have acquisition costs that are twice as high.
In addition, Shuttle America issues no tickets, has a simple reservation
and fare system, does not overbook, and attracts employees who want to work
around airplanes and pilots who enjoy being able to fly and live in New
And while the choice of aircraft may be risky in terms of passenger
acceptance -- jets will usually win out over propeller airplanes -- company
officials defend their aircraft. The planes, they say, are quieter and
cheaper to operate, and given their route structure -- most flights are 200
to 300 miles -- more efficient, because they cruise at lower altitudes.
Shuttle America also chooses airports that are underserved or ignored by
major airlines but are near major population centers.
Hanscom is a perfect example. No other scheduled airline flies there,
it's within 30 minutes of Boston, and parking is free.
On a recent flight to Hartford, passengers were greeted by two
protesters outside the civil aviation terminal, where Shuttle America spent
$50,000 to modernize a small waiting area and bring in security equipment.
There were six passengers on the flight, which continued on to Buffalo.
Peter Pidgeon was returning to Buffalo on Tuesday after visiting his
son, a Northeastern student. "I drove down because he needed a car, and I
called up Sunday and got a one-way ticket for $99, compared to $314 on U.S.
"I like this," he said."It reminds me of the old People Express."
People Express had low fares but no leather seats, and they didn't offer
free drinks and Pepperidge Farm cookies, as Shuttle America did -- even on
the 30-minute flight to Hartford.
Despite the rocky relationship with Hanscom's neighbors, Shuttle America
is making an effort to be a good corporate citizen. When six firefighters
died in Worcester last week, Shuttle America executives called Worcester
officials and fire chiefs in every city it serves and offered to fly any
firefighter to today's memorial service for $100, round trip.
Because the airline is so small, regular fliers are greeted by name, and
when one plane was taken out of service for repairs when a piece of ground
equipment accidentally banged into it, reservation agents were able to call
all passengers affected to alert them.
"It is terrific when the flight attendant knows your name, but it's bad
when a piece of ground equipment backs into one of the airline's planes and
knocks it out of commission for a few days," Cestari said.
And there is no anonymity in a 280-employee company. Perhaps that's why
the manager at Wilmington (which won station of the year honors at the
airline's one-year-birthday party in Buffalo last weekend) sent out a memo,
apologizing for the accident.

Free-thinking, left-leaning secularist

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