SegmentKing
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Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Mon May 24, 2004 4:16 am

http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf89/281424_web.pdf

According to the paperwork filed with the Department of Transportation, there is NO air service in & out of Marathon (although we just boarded 9 on our AM flight on Friday).

We've made some mistakes in the past, but to be completely overlooked by the Monroe County Aviation Director is a bit of a slap in the face... considering they want us to start services to Palm Beach & Sarasota from Key West...

We've really really tried hard to make Marathon work, but sheesh.. to completely leave us out of the paperwork is a little more than lying to the US Government in my mind!

[Edited 2004-05-23 21:34:26]
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B4REAL
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Mon May 24, 2004 5:05 am

I've flown from MTH to MIA before, though it was not on a standard commercial airline and I could not have bought such ticket on the Internet.

DL Connection carrier Comair service from MTH to MCO would rock! I would imagine twice daily CRJ-40 seaters on the weekends, and maybe Monday, Thursday, Friday to MCO as well. My only concern is that the DL Connection flights from ATL-EYW would be lightened by this route. But, for the middle keys, people would rather just drive to/from MIA, FLL, PBI I suppose.B4
B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
 
DeltaMIA
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Mon May 24, 2004 5:19 am

If MTH got the government subsidy and If Delta were to take up the subsidized route it would most likely be flown with 37 seat ERJ-135's with RP.
It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.
 
B4REAL
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Mon May 24, 2004 5:24 am

DeltaMIA I would expect RP to use ERJs also, but Seg's link mentions DL Cnxn carrier Comair specifically. Which is why I went that way.B4
B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
 
acvitale
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Mon May 24, 2004 8:11 am

Grants under this program must be jet or turbine. Piston operators do not count. Further, 9 seats a day does not a market make.

Sounds like MTH is finally going for a real lift program with RJs and mainline carrier codeshares.

I think DL connection would do well out of MTH.
 
flymia
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Mon May 24, 2004 10:05 am

American Eagle used to serve MTH from MIA years back. Why not bring that back? ATR-42
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
CMHSRQ
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Tue May 25, 2004 12:51 am

Who is MTH going up against? SRQ, TLH and SFB? I think we can rule out SFB, anyone want to make bets on which of the 3 will get the Florida grant?
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vivavegas
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Tue May 25, 2004 1:20 am

MTH just does not have the numbers to support Eagle, let alone jet service by DLx.

Money is better spent elsewhere..

Craig
MKE/EYW
MKE / EYW / LAS - The true trifecta of aviation!
 
SHUPirate1
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Tue May 25, 2004 2:09 am

But why Orlando? Why not Atlanta by ASA, where every single one of those 18 markets (excluding MIA and ATL, for fairly obvious reasons) is served nonstop, and nobody would have to backtrack...that would also give the number six market to the Florida Keys a nonstop flight to Marathon...makes more sense than putting that flight to someplace where some of their top 20 markets would have to double-connect...
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
DeltaMIA
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Tue May 25, 2004 2:20 am

"But why Orlando? Why not Atlanta by ASA,"

The longer the flight the lower the revenue and greater the costs. DL could fill two daily flights to MTH from ATL, but it wouldn't be at too high of a profit.
It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.
 
SegmentKing
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Tue May 25, 2004 2:11 pm

It would be nice if the government would hand Monroe County money to upgrade EYW and MTH to ILS approaches.. right now if it's bad weather, forget about landing in EYW & MTH. I know DL from MCO has spent numerous hours circling EYW due to the non precision approach.

*takes off FCA hat*

I"m all for the MCO flight.. I think it will be fantastic for the Middle Keys. I'm just upset that they completely ignored FCA in the filing and made it sound like there is NO air service, which is completely false & a lie. We boarded almost 4,000 people in 2003 (not a lot, but still its enough).

-n
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mariner
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Tue May 25, 2004 3:21 pm

SegmentKing:

It took me a while to work out that you mean Florida Coastal Airways (yes?). You refer to FCA, which requires a brain cell or two, but your profile just says "an international airline". (Congrats on the "international").

So - how's FCA doing? Any new routes planned? Any chance of slightly larger aircraft?

Does FCA have any tie-ups with airlines flying into FLL that don't have commuter/express connections to the Keys/Bahamas?

If not, do they plan to?

TIA

cheers

mariner
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SegmentKing
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Tue May 25, 2004 4:20 pm

USAirways is our #1 partner... and I just got the contract signed for Cayman Airways (lots of Keys/Bahama - Cayman traffic). Next up is Air Jamaica & 1 other domestic airline.

I don't think we'll ever wear the USAirways Express titles.. maybe a sticker on the side and operate with USAirways in almost the same fashion as Cape Air does with Continental down here (but we'll still keep our code & res system). But right now we're busy working on our next 2 domestic markets, which should be announced in 2 weeks for a September 2004 start. USAirways agreements should be in full effect in the next couple of weeks & you'll see our services ramping up to that effect.

In regards to larger aircraft, right now it's down to 3 types, all turbine engine... 19 to 37 seat aircraft. The Caravan is our next step, naturally, but you can't fly the Caravan legally to the Bahamas in the manner we would prefer to operate it. The other idea is to get 3 XXX and yank out some seats and fly it with 9 "executive" chairs in a combi configuration... which sounds really nice, but just not sure the cargo revenue to the islands would be sufficient to offset the increased cost of the "possible new" airframe.

I'm actually against upping to a 121 cert... I'd rather get our 402C fleet up to 10 or so then talk about the "other airplanes". Someone tried to give us 2 Saab 340B's last year and honestly there's just no way to fly them as charter to make it worthwhile...

But we do have a new paint job (search here for it).

-n
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mariner
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Wed May 26, 2004 12:18 am

SegmentKing:

Thanks for that. I'm fairly surprised.

I went to the website before I posted my questions to you, and it did not give me the impression that things were so active.

I think a little work on the website might help, but hey, sounds as if you're doing great.

Good one.

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
SegmentKing
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Wed May 26, 2004 3:38 am

Yeah, one of the owners wanted someone else to do the website who has never worked for an airline nor understand the climate in which we operate.. the website is going to be changed this week until we get our more professional looking site up.

White on White is supposed to be popular, ya know *grin*
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acvitale
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Wed May 26, 2004 10:35 am

Nate,

For the record MTH has a GPS approach but, Over the last two years FCA has refused to upgrade the avionics. Each aircraft has different avionics leading to differences in each aircraft and removes the common parts that would enable FCA to maintain a parts inventory. Hence, Even with FCA aware of the GPS approach and the limitations not having GPS in their aircraft you look for the feds to put big $$$ into an ILS which is not the next generation in technology.

FYI, I believe you will find GPS approaches available to most of the islands you fly to in the Bahamas as well.

I like FCA but, your tone belies the whole truth. FCA could have put in the Garmin 430s and saved the cost of installation and purchase against what they spent in one month last year on avionics for old king/bendix radios.

Eventually, FCA will realize that they need to spend money to make it and save it. Trying to keep 20-30 year old avionics going is a losing battle.

Even at Chalks who flies some of the oldest 121 aircraft in they have modern avionics and have new hyd. systems etc.

ACVitale
 
SegmentKing
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Wed May 26, 2004 1:46 pm

ACVITALE,

But you also know that 95% of our MTH/EYW flights are not IFR filed trips... and if they do have to file IFR, its probably not the best conditions and we shouldn't be flying anyway... you know how that goes.

In regards to the weather, I think that all airlines at EYW would love a precision approach; all we have now is the fishhook ADF & Key West VOR which is off of Fleming Key (6 miles WNW of the airport)... I was just making a general comment that the weather is a damper and the fact that both airports don't have ILS is a deterrent.

In regards to the GPS & avionics, 2 of the planes should have matching cockpits by October and not sure about the 3rd. I know that's been an issue with acquiring other 402Cs is making sure the instrumentation is as close to what we have right now (don't go there).

Then again, this is just what the Director of Maintenance told me... my job isn't avionics.... so i could be wrong
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blueairbureau
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Wed May 26, 2004 9:01 pm

Skip the Saabs. Buy up some of ACA's old J-41s. They are real economical from what the pilot's I flew with told me. They only seat 29. You'd have to get a flight attendant, though. But hell, I'd volunteer extra time to get the program off to a good start seeing as I flew on the J-41 for a couple of years. They're probably equivalent in price to a caravan right now. Did I mention they're economical. They also posses good payload for chugging around heavy fishing tackle. Here are just a few fun numbers: My favourite economical cruise-260kts@26,000f.t. Max takeoff-24,000lbs Range with 29 seats filled about 725nm. It was a good performing aircraft in turbulence (never once did any one get sick!) The cabin windows are real big to for a great view.
 
SegmentKing
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Thu May 27, 2004 1:12 am

our DM is a master with Garretts, but again, that would require we upgrade to a 121. We've looked at some markets that would need to be served by a "Brasilia" sized aircraft and the J41 would do it. I like the J41 from a dummy pilot (20 hours) and a passenger standpoint. I'm just not thrilled about the fact you still need a GPU to start the puppy.

-nate
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SuperDash
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RE: Marathon, Florida Ignores FCA

Thu May 27, 2004 2:00 pm

Interesting application. Some key points. First off Marathon has a "targeted" service. Since there is no supporting letter from Delta nor Delta Connection suggests that this is more the community wanting the service, not Delta wanting to serve Marathon. Second, even if Delta did support this application, they are under no obligation to serve the route. Marathon can modify its application if they win the grant, but can not fulfill the grant as written. In other words, they could look to another carrier. They would have up to 3 years to use the money. A little over 100 communities applied. It's just over $25 million in total applications. Since $20 Million has been appropriated to the program, it looks like the maximum 40 communities will win grants. Up to 4 grants from 1 state can be awarded. My guess is that Marathon would be mostly a leisure destination (low fares). 37,000 peak enplanements with 3 airlines is pretty weak overall enplanements. It seems like Beech 1900 service is much more likely than regional jets. But then again, many communities have been misguided into thinking RJs are the savior. We should know in late Aug, early Sept.

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