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Commuter Airline On The East Coast, USA

Mon Oct 04, 2004 12:21 pm

If the east coast had a commuter airline (Maybe hubbed out of BDL or PVD), which routes would be profitable?? I recently flew US PHL-LGA, and LGA-HYA, and ACK-PHL, and all the flights were full capacity. Which routes have you flown that were full or popular in the New England area?

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BENAIRE - The Refined Airline
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RE: Commuter Airline On The East Coast, USA

Mon Oct 04, 2004 12:40 pm

When Shuttle America started as an independent carrier back in the late 90s, they were "hubbed" at BDL, serving Buffalo and Wilmington, Delaware. If I remember correctly they also served from Norfolk, Virginia; Bedford (Hanscom), MA; I think Albany for a bit too, from BDL. My dad flew the BUF route a few times but said the flights were half full at best, USAirways Express dominates that route. But being a BDL person I'd love to see another carrier base there. Not sure about PVD, but I know they have a serious space crunch in terms of ticketing area, esp with Spirit starting there.
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RE: Commuter Airline On The East Coast, USA

Mon Oct 04, 2004 4:02 pm

The only way a commuter can survive these days is to be connected to a major airline. There are very few that don't have some codeshare agreements to feed passengers form somebody. Business Express did fly out of BDL. They are now absorbed into American Eagle. The costs at BDL were quite high. At one time it was their main maintenance base but they moved it to Portsmith,NH before they got bought out.
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RE: Commuter Airline On The East Coast, USA

Mon Oct 04, 2004 4:16 pm

If the east coast had a commuter airline

The east coast does have plenty of commuter airlines. The thing is, the majority operate as franchise carriers for US Airways and Continental.

Commutair, for example, operates all their flights as Continental Connection. They are a major commuter airline in the Northeast, with a microhub in Albany.

Gulfstream International is Florida's main commuter airline, and operates a lot of service to the Bahamas. They also operate as Continental Connection.

Colgan Air provides services to many small communities in the Northeast, operating as US Airways Express.

These airlines, and some others, all pick routes, schedule flights, etc. independently of the airlines they fly for. They basiclly have franchise agreements with major airlines to use their name, reservation system, etc.

The only significant independent commuter airline is Cape Air, which operates an extensive route network in the Cape and Islands of Massachusettes. Though they also operate as Continental Connection on most of their intra-Florida commuter services.
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RE: Commuter Airline On The East Coast, USA

Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:30 pm

A commuter airline in the Northeast 'HAD' a strong and profitable route system. Up until 1998 Business Express flew to many cities out of their three main bases: BOS, LGA and JFK flying under the Delta Connection banner. When BEX was bought by American Eagle in 1998, Eagle ripped the BEX route system apart leaving it just a skeleton of what it once was. In fact they just recently closed the Portland, Maine base and thus dropped the BOS-PWM route which was a cash cow for BEX. I remember one time I was shown an old BEX route bid sheet. It showed something like 36 cities they flew to..., now Eagle is down to something like 6.
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RE: Commuter Airline On The East Coast, USA

Tue Oct 05, 2004 2:14 am

responding to the poster's "if" scenario ignoring all that is already present, I'll play armchair CEO with respect to PVD:

If PVD had no other service on any other carriers, these would be the routes I'd look into for a commuter hub as mentioned...

30(ish) seat aircraft:

PVD-ACY (weekend service)

BDL would probably be about the same with a couple additional markets since BDL is a slightly larger overall market than PVD.