nycflyer
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Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:18 am

As we all know, Delaware is the only state with no commercial service. There is New Castle Airport in Wilmington (ILG), which, to my knowledge, had some sort of commuter service once-upon-a-time (anyone know details?)

Why does it have no service now? With all the corporations that are based there, there must be a large (for a city its size) amount of high-yield o/d.

I know Wilmington is v/close to Philadelphia, but PHL is very crowded, and ILG seems like an ideal reliever airport. It could be to PHL as, say, FNT is to DTW.

If it weren't for trying to put US out of business, I could see WN preferring ILG to PHL. The Philadelphia metro area is one of the largest in the U.S. with just a single airport.

Any thoughts?
 
PVD757
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:25 am

ILG used to have UA mainline in the 80's/90's as I recall. UA had service to all 50 States at the time. Why ILG has no schedule airline service is a 4 part answer (see below):

1. Interstate 95
2. Amtrak
3. BWI
4. PHL

Your same question is being asked by the people who live in Bridgeport, CT, Worcester, MA, Trenton, NJ, and Groton, CT. Funny thing is my answer is the same for most of those cities as well.
 
airportplan
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:28 am

ILG is a very nice airport with a well maintained terminal that could be put into operation tomorrow. But it is located between two WN airport (BWI and PHL). Because of this, there is a 0% chance of getting scheduled service in the near future. But I do know that airport managers have been seeking scheduled charter service (i.e. Tranmeredian, Apple Vacations etc. to leisure destinations.
 
haveric
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:59 am

Don't forget that PHIL is south of Philadelphia and thus places it closer to Delaware. Additionally, pal's position right on I-95 makes it a pretty close jaunt south to Wilmington.
 
stirling
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 4:24 am

United Airlines flew MAINLINE equipment into ILG for a few years in the mid-80s - part of their campaign, "Service to All 50 States."

At one time they operated with 737s ILG-IAD-MCO, and MIA-TPA-IAD-ILG. (didn't understand the reasoning of this one...)

And then for about 2 years settled on 2 dailies, one being usually ORD-IAD-ILG. (but not always...)
The second flight would alternate through one of these 4 separate routings:
ORD-BWI-ILG,
ORD-RIC-ILG,
ORD-MDT-ILG,
ORD-ABE-ILG.
All of these routes were served with the either the 727-200 or 737-200.
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Lindy
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 4:42 am

Wilmington DE is only 20 minutes away from PHL airport. Why anybody should start service there???
To get to IAD from Washington DC without a traffic it takes over 30 minutes, so here is your answer.

Rafal
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nycflyer
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:06 am

Quoting PVD757 (Reply 1):
Your same question is being asked by the people who live in Bridgeport, CT, Worcester, MA, Trenton, NJ, and Groton, CT. Funny thing is my answer is the same for most of those cities as well.

Well, Wilmington is much more prosperous than all of these cities you mention. The four you list are old factory towns that are past their prime and have been on the downswing, losing population, trying unsuccessfully to find an economic niche, for the last 50 years or so. Wilmington is a major force in corporate America.

It's also part of a large metro area whose main airport is very overcrowded.
 
PVD757
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:28 am

NYCflyer, my answer is also 4 part

1. If you don't like the answer, don't ask the question.
2. I wasn't debating whether ILG is better than any of those other cities.
3. Just because all the cities in question currently have no scheduled air service doesn't make them more or less likely to even get some again.
4. I never said ILG was anything of the sort that YOU are saying about those other cities. If you're so sure air service will prosper at ILG, start an airline and base it there!

And by the way, I bet folks in some of those other cities feel differantly than you do.

[Edited 2005-04-06 22:53:27]
 
ScottB
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:46 am

Quoting NYCFlyer (Reply 6):
Wilmington is a major force in corporate America.

While many corporations are incorporated in Delaware (due to favorable state laws, courts, etc.), very few are actually headquartered in Wilmington or anywhere else in Delaware, for that matter. In fact, the only large company I can think of which is headquartered in Delaware would be DuPont.

I would imagine that an important reason for lack of commercial air service at ILG would be the lack of adequate terminal facilities when compared to PHL. It also appears that the airport's operator has more interest in marketing the airport to general and corporate aviation, rather than commercial carriers.

And, of course, it does suffer from its proximity to PHL, BWI, and the NYC and WAS metro areas. Would you prefer to have a choice of two or three daily RJ's to Chicago from ILG or flights that leave every hour or two from PHL?
 
nycflyer
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 6:05 am

Quoting PVD757 (Reply 7):
NYCflyer, my answer is also 4 part

1. If you don't like the answer, don't ask the question.
2. I wasn't debating whether ILG is better than any of those other cities.
3. Just because all the cities in question currently have no scheduled air service doesn't make them more or less likely to even get some again.
4. I never said ILG was anything of the sort that YOU are saying about those other cities. If you're so sure air service will prosper at ILG, start an airline and base it there!

And by the way, I bet folks in some of those other cities feel differantly than you do.

you, my friend, need to relax and not take this so seriously.  Yeah sure

I am merely pointing out that I didn't agree with your grouping of ILG with the four cities you mention.

I don't think I'll be starting my own airline soon, but thanks for asking  Wink
 
nycflyer
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 6:07 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 8):
Would you prefer to have a choice of two or three daily RJ's to Chicago from ILG or flights that leave every hour or two from PHL?

Interesting question. But let me pose a hypothetical - if WN was not going for US's jugular, do you think they would be attracted to ILG instead of PHL?

I think ILG could be attractive to an LCC, moreso than AA Eagle or UAX doing a couple RJs to ORD.
 
redngold
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:35 am

NYCflyer -

I wondered the same thing while I was attending the University of Delaware, but during my time there I learned some interesting things.

An alternative answer to those mentioned above is that the state of Delaware is relatively insular. Most people who live in Delaware work in Delaware, and those who work for major corporations are usually at a main or division headquarters. Those people who commute to Philadelphia don't have a long commute compared to people who live in other large metropolitan areas.

People who live in lower Delaware generally work in small local businesses or on farms. I'd hazard the guess that most of them are willing to drive to Baltimore or Salisbury, MD to get flights. (SBY is served by USAirways Express via PHL.) For the people of lower Delaware, it's as long if not longer to drive to ILG as to BWI or SBY. The "relief route" - Delaware Rt. 1 - isn't as fast and efficient as it appears on a map.


redngold

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A330323X
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:55 am

In addition to United and Eastern having served ILG during the 1980's, ILG was most recently served by Shuttle America from 1998-2000, when it was an independant carrier flying Dash 8s. Shuttle America served ILG-BDL/BUF/ORF.
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gsoflyer
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:05 am

My guess is this, we see places that are large like Toledo, Greensboro, Greenville-Spartanburg, Dayton, Rocestor, Syracuse, etc that all suffer because they are within 100 miles of other slightly bigger or just plain bigger airports.

Wilmington is sandwitched between PHL, TTN and BWI.

And my guess it hat because Amtrak serves BWI from Wilmington in a 30 minute train ride with 14 trains and MARC/Amtrak serve for even more per day.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:10 am

Didn't the original Shuttle America (before it became a US Express carrier) briefly offer service to/from ILG with Dash 8s during the early or mid '90s?
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ScottB
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:16 am

Quoting NYCFlyer (Reply 10):
But let me pose a hypothetical - if WN was not going for US's jugular, do you think they would be attracted to ILG instead of PHL?

Nope, because of the other reason I presented above -- adequate terminal facilities. Part of the reason they went into PVD and MHT was the availability of good facilities with the option to expand in future, if needed. And I'd argue that PHL was very proactive in trying to get Southwest to start service there.
 
sprxUSA
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:23 am

Eastern did not service ILG at anytime in the 80s!
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usairways85
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:37 am

WN would never go to ILG. If they went anywhere in the Philly area with the exception of PHL it would be ABE. ILG does not have that big of a terminal area, and a medium size parking lot at best. Also its even closer to WN's operation at BWI.

When you talk about a reliever of PHL you have to take into consideration everyone who travels from PHL may not live right in Philly. People come from all over South Jersey, and PA. The drive to ILG would be even longer for them. So basically ILG would really only cater to those living in Delaware and South PA. People who could easily just drive to PHL, BWI, and SBY or take the train from a multitude of stations along that corridor.
 
redngold
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:49 am

Wilmington, DE - BWI Airport is indeed roughly 1 hour (give or take 10 minutes) by Amtrak, but I can attest to it not being the easiest alternative to driving since I frequently used Amtrak. The Wilmington train station has nil parking and from most places in Delaware, as stated above, it would take just as long to drive to BWI, PHL or SBY.

MARC (Baltimore/Washington rail) does not serve Wilmington; SEPTA (Philadelphia's rail system) does but you have to connect to the airport line by going all the way in to University City and paying an additional fare.
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DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:23 am

My guess is this, we see places that are large like Toledo, Greensboro, Greenville-Spartanburg, Dayton, Rocestor, Syracuse, etc that all suffer because they are within 100 miles of other slightly bigger or just plain bigger airports. .

I suppose you mean Rochester (ROC). ROC has consistently had air service from all six network carriers and/or their affiliates since consolidation in the 1980's, and always had trunk and regional carriers before that (and commuters and smaller mainline carriers after Deregulation). We did have some bleed to Buffalo when Southwest entered there, before AirTran entered ROC; the same thing happened for a few years before People Express entered ROC in 1985. Our bleed has lessened a lot, though, since AirTran entered ROC in March 2002. ROC set an all-time traffic record in 2004 (2,760,000 pax enplaned/deplaned).

Wilmington is not even a half-hour drive from PHL on 95 in good traffic, which is much closer than ROC is to Buffalo (about 1.5 hours). Were PHL located say in Bucks County, maybe ILG would be able to maintain consistent air service as a reliever. As it is, the geography of the region seems to work against ILG.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
redngold
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:25 pm

If an airline wanted to start serving an airport in Delaware, the better alternative, in terms of geography, would be Dover Air Force Base (DOV). There is a small passenger terminal there albeit for the military "passengers."

Of course, it is an air force base, so good luck getting civilian commercial aviation installed... even general aviation is restricted to those who have used the airport before.


redngold

PS there is a virtual airline that is "based" at ILG. See http://www.delawareairlines.com/.
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cha747
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:59 pm

Hey Redngold - I'm a Blue Hen as well...class of 1998...when did you graduate? I was an RA in Russell from 1995-1998....whereabouts did you live?

In anycase, having lived in northern Delaware for 8 years and Philadelphia for 7 years, there is one reason why ILG can't sustain its own air service...PHL PHL PHL! I've said it once and I'll say it again, northern Delaware identifies with Philadelphia; it is essentially a suburb of Philadelphia. Wilmington gets Philadelphia news, weather, and yes, air service. For $24 per person each way (last time I checked) you can take a van-service to PHL from most points (usually your doorstep) in New Castle County. In comparison, it takes $20 to take a cab from Center City Philly to PHL...$24 from your door is cheap! Service to BWI wasn't more expensive....service to EWR and JFK wasn't outrageous either by this van service. With all of the connections from PHL and BWI to all over the world, it really makes little sense to start air service here.

In anycase, yes, ILG had USAirways service to Morgantown (?WV) under contract from Dupont in the 1990's. The US counter there was open during the daytime but was more of a "ticket office" for passengers who wanted to do ticketing for FF miles and vouchers so they didn't have to schlep up to PHL and pay for parking (AFAIK, parking is still free at ILG). I posted in another forum also, but there was this small airport between ILG and Dover that used to have Piedmont service in the 80's...I've never had this story confirmed or denied and I can't remember the name of that airport.

In addition, at peak air traffic times, is there enough airspace to squeeze-in major traffic between PHL and BWI? The reason why I ask is that when PHL is taking arrivals stacked-up from the south, the planes are lined-up over northern Delaware. I really can't understand where the space would be in the air to pack in more arrivals and departures. During a ground-stop for northeast traffic, it could take forever for service to be restarted at ILG.

What would be a dream (well my dream when I lived in Delaware) would have been to have scheduled helicopter (or light aircraft) service from ILG to PHL, with the idea that you would have already passed through security, gotten checked-in for your flight, and have your bags checked-in to your final destination via interline agreements. This way once you get to PHL you can just go to your gate and forget about the hassels of parking, checking-in, and (the worst) going though security at PHL. I say helicopter rather than light aircraft because if arrivals are stacked-up on 27, the plane might have to fly deep into Bucks county before they could get in line to approach; I suspect a helicopter could make a much more direct route to the airfield. I may be crazy, but there could be a market for this.
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prosa
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:13 pm

Quoting NYCFlyer (Reply 6):
Well, Wilmington is much more prosperous than all of these cities you mention. The four you list [Bridgeport, CT; Worcester, MA; Trenton, NJ; Groton, CT] are old factory towns that are past their prime and have been on the downswing, losing population, trying unsuccessfully to find an economic niche, for the last 50 years or so. Wilmington is a major force in corporate America.

Along with the rest of southeastern Connecticut, Groton has enjoyed quite a bit of prosperity in the last few years thanks to the two huge Indian casinos in the area. I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see significant commercial service to GON some day soon, at least if its 5000-foot main runway can be lengthened.
Commercial service at ORH has never really worked out mainly because of poor road access to the airport and its proximity to BOS. TTN has problems with complaining neighbors and also is relatively close to PHL. BDR's runways are less than 5000 feet and there's no room for expansion.
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DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:24 pm

I posted in another forum also, but there was this small airport between ILG and Dover that used to have Piedmont service in the 80's...I've never had this story confirmed or denied and I can't remember the name of that airport.

For what it's worth, Piedmont's November 1, 1986 timetable shows no Piedmont or Piedmont affiliate service to any airport in Delaware. However, Piedmont's Henson commuter subsidiary had 12x daily nonstops from Salisbury, MD to BWI, and one daily nonstop to DCA.

Jim
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nycflyer
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Fri Apr 08, 2005 12:10 am

Quoting Redngold (Reply 20):
PS there is a virtual airline that is "based" at ILG. See http://www.delawareairlines.com/.

also another one, http://www.fantasyairways.com/home1.htm

(now, if someone can please tell me why people start virtual airlines, I would be very interested - is there some broader consortium of these?)
 
AirAmericaC46
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Sat Apr 09, 2005 1:21 pm

One of my dreams is to have a low cost carrier serve ILG for an easy connection to the world----ideal is JetBlue EMB 190 ILG-JFK! I did write in one of B6's comment/suggestion card to include ILG in its route network. We'll see.
Yes, PHL and BWI are easy reach but the major artery I-95 which the locals nicknamed "Die-95" because some soul/s get killed on that stretch daily!
 
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:44 am

Eastern Airlines used to print Wilmington, DE along side of its service to PHL; Philadelphia, PA/Wilmington, DE. Maybe it's assumed that PHL services Wilmington, DE as well.
Things aren't always as they seem
 
redngold
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:48 am

Cha747 -
I wanted to e-mail you but you have no contact in your profile.

I am UD Class of 1996... Lived in Ray Street during your years as an RA but also "did time" in Dickinson and Rodney. One semester from hell in Sypherd (nice dorm, but too much road noise from Delaware Ave.)

During my years there, I flew out of PHL and BWI exactly once each. (PHL-SJU-PHL for a summer vacation and BWI-CLE-BWI scouting for jobs during senior spring break.) All other times I used Amtrak to go back and forth between Delaware and downstate NY. Flying was too expensive and time consuming to be worth it when compared to rail transportation. I usually departed from Wilmington and returned to Newark.

If there had been air service say from ILG-LGA/HPN/SWF then it might have been worth the airfare.


redngold
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TWA902fly
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:15 am

What about Dover? maybe PHL-Dover, IAD-Dover, CVG-Dover, JFK-Dover, LGA-Dover?


TWA902
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redngold
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:43 am

TWA902 -

See my response (#20). Dover is an air force base with only a small civilian terminal, and apparently landing there is restricted to those who have had prior landings.


redngold
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usairways85
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:45 am

And where is an airline going to fly to in Dover. As far as i know there really isn't any type of general aviation airport like Wilmington and if you think the Air Force will let airlines fly to one of the most important airbases on the east coast you are very wrong.
 
N766UA
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:03 am

That's like asking if anyone would begin airline service to Edwards or Nellis.... Dover is a big AFB, no civilian line's gunna fly in there....
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STT757
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:11 am

Quoting NYCFlyer (Reply 6):
The four you list are old factory towns tha

Wilmington is an old factory town too.

Quoting NYCFlyer (Reply 6):
Wilmington is a major force in corporate America.

On paper.

Wilmington feels more Mid-Western than Eastern, I took my fiance to see Green Day at Kahunaville about 2-3 years ago. It was awesome because it was such a intimate venue, but man there are some real hicks in Delaware!..

We were laughing at these couples who looked like they were square dancing to Green Day songs!
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USAFHummer
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:24 am

Quoting Usairways85 (Reply 30):
As far as i know there really isn't any type of general aviation airport like Wilmington

Correct, there are only very small airports in the Dover area besides Dover AFB...nothing like KILG though...Dover does have a civil terminal, but a 72 hr. PPR is required, and I imagine getting that PPR is no cakewalk...

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September11
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:32 am

for your information...

photo of Wilmington airport:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Harri Laitinen

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LRGT
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:33 am

Quoting NYCFlyer (Reply 6):
The four you list are old factory towns that are past their prime and have been on the downswing, losing population, trying unsuccessfully to find an economic niche, for the last 50 years or so.

Service to TTN would not be there to serve Trenton, NJ, but rather its VAST list of sourrounding towns and suburban areas. There *IS* the business there and they do not even have low-cost service, so what does that say for Wilmington, DE!

There were some failed services at TTN after the fall of Eastwind (who was very successful out of TTN until they went under from their other routes), but they failed because of they charged fares that were at least 3x the price as PHL and EWR.
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milesrich
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RE: Why No Service To Wilmington, DE?

Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:35 pm

ILG was served by Eastern prior to deregulation, and at one time, AA operated Convair 240's there, but the airport has never had much service and the only longer flights or direct jet flights there were operated by UA as set forth above.