In an earlier thread someone posted an article on the efforts to re-open the old Detroit City Airport for scheduled passenger service: http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/1683486/
With all passenger service ceased for years, it will be difficult to redirect passenger flow back to DET. The only incentive that usually works is low fares. Hence it would in ll likelihood have to be a LCC that opens up a base there. There would have to be a sufficient number of routes available to make it worthwhile for any potential DET passenger to change their flying habits. It wouldn't suffice, if let's say AirTran opened a single route to Atlanta.
IMHO, the only potential candidate at this time is ATA, and only if they follow through with their 100-seat aircraft order. In this case, I could see an ATA focus city operation at DET, with nonstops to the important East Coast markets (BOS
) along with frequent shuttle flights to MDW
for both O&D traffic and connections to destinations that would be out of reach from DET. This operation could be further supported by some ATA connection service to other Midwestern cities. With this sort of integration in a route network, DET might be able to attract a sufficient number of pax to make it work, especially with ATA's low fares and quality product. Besides, they do have a stronghold in the Midwest and are able to make a stand even against Southwest. DET would give them the opportunity to build up an operation without immediate competition and at a fraction of the cost of any service into DTW
Also, for ATA this would make sense, because even at their main hub at MDW
future growth is limited due to lack of gates (and slots?). Therefore, establishing a circle of focus cities around MDW
linked by point-to-point routes would be an alternative to a single Midwestern hub, and it would offer more flying options for every regular ATA customer (unlike the STL
-centric operation of the late TWA, which made even passengers from Kansas City backtrack in order to catch a flight to the West Coast - if they didn't opt for different carrier right away, that is).
What do think?