Byrdluvs747
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Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:22 am

With HP adding more service to ANC, I'm wondering how they would serve some of the other communities in the state.

It appears that AS has all the regionals in their grip. Can the market there support another regional airline?
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FriendlySkies
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:26 am

I don't think there is enough of a market to warrant another regional. Doesn't AS do most intra-Alaskan flying with their own metal (meaning not Horizon)?
 
Byrdluvs747
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:31 am

I believe(I could be wrong) AS is partnered with Era Aviation and Penn-Air I believe for non mainline flights.
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:38 am

AS codeshares with PenAir (Peninsula Airways) and Era Aviation for non-mainline flying to both small and large communities in the state, but AS does quite a bit of mainline jet service to various cities throughout Alaska - many of which are partially paid with EAS subsidies.

IMHO, there isn't sufficient demand to support another regional carrier. Many have already gone under due to high operating costs, difficult operating conditions, etc.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:42 am

Era has been sold, and the new owners only want to keep the rotary wing portion. It will be interesting to see what happens with Era in the very, very near future. They are, as reported in the paper, in negotiations with a "buyer" to take over the fixed wing portion. I can't speculate on who the buyer might be. If it's an already established Alaska based carrier I'd have to guess, of course, PenAir or Frontier. I believe PenAir is better suited financially.

In this light, I'd say not another regional carrier - but a reincarnation of Era.

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Byrdluvs747
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:52 am

Funny. I happend upon this DOT FAQ page expaining EAS.

http://ostpxweb.dot.gov/aviation/rural/easfaqs.htm#PAYING%20AN%20EAS%20CARRIER


We currently subsidize 26 communities in Alaska...


I guess that sums it up. If so much of the state is receiving EAS funding then the markets can't be that big. Not only that, but competitors would have to wait until EAS funding for each route comes up for renewal.
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AeroWesty
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:57 am

MarkAir, anyone?  Smile

Cheers.
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isitsafenow
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 5:11 am

According to the JP book, I believe there are more airlines in Alaska than any other state. Most are bush pilots hauling outdoorsmen and cargo but they are airlines.
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Chugach
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 6:27 am

It does seem a little bit surprising that nobody has partnered up with 2F (Frontier Flying). They are the other big regional airline up here.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 6:36 am

I use Frontier Flying often - once a month at least, between ANC and FAI. Flight time is a bit longer than AS on a 73 or MD80, and there's no service (bring aboard coffee or a coke) but the tix are cheaper - by a few dollars and the biggest reason of all - NO TSA NAZIS!!!

They have an extensive network throughout mostly northern Alaska - even flying to SCC, AS only competition there . . . I wouldn't at all mind seeing them take over the Era fixed wing operation. There would be considerations though - what would AS ask of them if they were to be offered FF Partner status? Would they have to abandon some routes where they compete with AS? Perhaps not - Era competes on the ANC-ADQ run. Who could know.

Certainly some things will change in Alaskan aviation shortly with the sale of the Era fixed wing operations.
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Chugach
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:24 am

Era and AS also compete on ANC-Cordova. Off the top of my head, AS competes with PenAir on ANC-Dillingham, ANC-King Salmon, and until recently ANC-Dutch Harbor.

Although this is a financial pipe dream, I think it would be kind of cool to see Horizon take over the Era routes if Era were to go under. Era's a nice little airline though, I have always enjoyed their chocolate chip cookies.

Frontier Flying is also the only competition for AS on the ANC-FAI route.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:32 am

Chugach . . . .Era were to go under.

They aren't going under - they are fine . . . Era Aviation was purchased by Secor, a Louisiana based company that operates strictly rotary wing in support of oil fields, off shore drilling etc. Secor made it known from the beginning that they did NOT want a fixed wing airline in Alaska . . . .therefore, the fixed wing assets are for sale.

They won't simply quit flying because of the Federal Essential Air Service ERA provides to many Alaskan towns and villages. But someone will have to take over the fixed wing operations soon. They have already retired the Convair 580s because the new company didn't want to pay for insurance on the old girls . . .


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Chugach
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:33 am

ANCflyer...that was a bad choice of words on my part. I completely forgot about their operations out of Bethel. There was an interesting article in Sunday's Fairbanks paper about Carl Brady, the founder of Era. He seemed pretty sad that the airline is being sold.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 12:33 pm

Same article in the Anchorage Daily Gag . . . the guy started the business with one small helicopter and built it all himself. Sold out several years ago but remained on the board, yadda, yadda - why am I telling you - you read the article.

I suppose I'd be sad too if I saw I put my life in to just disappear or be chopped apart.

I'm gonna miss those Convairs on the Crew Change flights to the Slope . . .

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flyingnanook
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 12:41 pm

Frontier Flying is a great airline. They seem to have had problems competing against AS on the FAI-ANC route though. They used to have somewhere around a dozen flights each weekday, but now they've cut back to 3 daily. It looks like they've put more effort into the interior bush villages lately.
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Chugach
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RE: Alaska: Is There Room For Another Regional?

Wed Jan 26, 2005 1:32 pm

Quite frankly I always figured Frontier would have a hard time competing on the FAI-ANC route. I'm glad they are flying it just for the sake of competition but the fact is that most folks are going to opt for a jet over a Beech, especially those from the lower 48 who only know about AS.
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