I think one of the keys to success on a route is an airline study on how many people are flying a particular route as what they call "Origin And Destination" passengers. For example, if Midwest Airlines sees that there are a large number of people flying MKE
(through connections), they will determine if that service is feasible.
It's not the only factor in the decision, but it can be the key to a new route. Continental's hub at Newark (directly accessible to the metro NYC area) allows them to fly to some smaller European airports, as they see O&D passengers to/from the metro area as well as connecting passengers through their hub network.
As for Midwest, their key is the business passenger. Filling the "cheap seats" may work on some airlines, but for others, the premium seats are what pays for the route. BA
had no trouble filling a 777 LHR
in economy, but the business seats never filled up the way they used after 9/11.
One other factor is the presence of one airline as the dominant carrier at an airport. My guess would be a large number of business flyers in the northwest have their FF
miles on Alaska (which connects that area quite well) or one of the legacy carriers.
You've got nothing to lose by asking - I did this same thing many years ago when BFL
received its first MD80's on AA
in 1984 - I wanted to see the airport opened up to all kinds of planes and competition. I received many polite replies that "a market survey was being done". Best of luck to you!!
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