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chrisnh
Posts: 3435
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 1999 3:59 am

Decline Of Portland, Maine

Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:44 am

I've seen that Portland, Maine has slowly (but obviously) lost mainline service. Sure, other cities have as well. But my post is about Portland.

Gone, for the most part, are the following: mainline UA; mainline US (save for one seasonal 733 to PHL); and biggest of all is the news that Delta will be pulling out later this year. Yes, Indy Air has one or two A319s into PWM each day...but that is about the only upgrade in service against a continuing tide of downgrades.

Is it a Portland thing? Is the market just too seasonal to support any kind of major mainline presence? Indeed, I think Independence Air's A319s are seasonal, no? I recall Delta flying 757s to and from Boston, so at one point PWM had what it obviously doesn't have now.

Is it a Manchester thing? Has MHT siphoned off traffic from southern Maine to render PWM a smaller market than it used to be?

Thoughts?

Chris in NH
 
FlyingTexan
Posts: 2998
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:30 am

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:59 am

Manchester has Southwest. Look around the passenger parking lots at MHT – you’ll see tons of Lobsters [or what’d they switch to now, a loon or a pinecone as opposed to the venerable ‘Live Free or Die’ in the Granite State].

Maine is a small state population-wise ~ some 1.3ish million residents. Maine is also highly seasonal. After all, those lobster plates told me it’s Vacationland.

My folks – whom are in NB - used to make the 6+ trek to MHT just to sit in an unassigned seat. Now they’re biting the bullet and using BGR, Fredericton (YFC), or Saint John, NB (YSJ).

I’m surprised PWM kept maineline this long.
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5042
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:14 pm

Uh NW has 3 DC-9s and an ARJ daily to DTW. So all is not lost

Tomorrow is showing
DTW-PWM
NW 1034 9:03-10:52a DC-9-30
NW 1036 1:40-3:29p DC-9-50
NW 1040 5:39-7:29p DC-9-30
NW 3468 8:55-10:53p ARJ

PWM-DTW
NW 3473 6:01-8:15a ARJ (what a layover!)
NW 1033 8:45-10:53a DC-9-30
NW 1035 12:00-2:10p DC-9-30
NW 1037 4:10-6:19p DC-9-50

Load factor is running 93% tomorrow for PWM flights
 
PHLBOS
Posts: 6507
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:38 am

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:53 pm

Quoting ChrisNH (Thread starter):
Is it a Portland thing? Is the market just too seasonal to support any kind of major mainline presence? Indeed, I think Independence Air's A319s are seasonal, no? I recall Delta flying 757s to and from Boston, so at one point PWM had what it obviously doesn't have now.

Is it a Manchester thing? Has MHT siphoned off traffic from southern Maine to render PWM a smaller market than it used to be?

My guess would be that PWM has been a casualty of the Southwest Effect over at MHT. Real-life example: a couple of co-workers of mine attended a conference over in Portland a year ago. When they compared the PHL-MHT r/t fares (US & WN) vs. PHL-PWM (US only); the price for 2 r/ts to MHT on WN were cheaper than one r/t PWM fare on US. Since they were renting a car for their trip anyway; the rental car fee did not give the PHL-PWM itinerary any advantage over PHL-MHT.

I'm surprised officials at PWM haven't tried (or have they?) to entice WN, FL, and/or even B6 (especially once they get their EMB-190s) to establish service. When did DH come to PWM?
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
September11
Posts: 3293
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:11 pm

I wonder how big is MHT airport? How many gates does PWM have?

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potomac
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 5:06 am

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:17 pm

i dont know - i'm not sure if this is a PWM demand issue, including a loss of traffic to Manchester, or if it's more just part of the general trend towards more RJs and less mainline for small and some medium sized markets.

and don't forget that PWM is important to people headed towards those parts of maine north and northeast of the airport as well, where manchester isn't an appealing option no matter what the price. i will be flying 2x to PWM this summer on the way to boothbay harbor and acadia national park. and to be honest, flights from the DC area to PWM have always been reasonable out of DCA and IAD, even before Indy came to town.
 
IFly4UAL
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2000 8:30 am

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:18 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 3):
When did DH come to PWM?

DH has been serving PWM since Day 1. The A319 service, however, is indeed (as of now anyway) seasonal. Once the A319 service is dropped from the PWM-IAD route for the off-season, it will be replaced by a CRJ.
BGR--Vacation Spot for All the Flying Crazies
 
Tornado82
Posts: 4662
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:19 am

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:43 pm

Quoting September11 (Reply 4):
I wonder how big is MHT airport?

MHT has 2 airliner-length runways which cross... a BEAUTIFUL terminal, with 15 gates... 17 if you count two "A's" stuck onto the other gates on 9 and 15.

A problem is that MHT's terminal is out of gate/counter space already. I flew there several times last summer via US. Top-notch facility! The best of any of those smaller-city airports I've ever seen.

For more info: www.flymanchester.com Interesting on there for your PWM issue is that on their driving directions page they even highlight Portland on the map.


As for PWM though... what's wrong with RJ's? I'd rather have 4 RJ's a day than 1 or 2 mainlines, I'll take frequency/convenience in my city over the size of the plane anyday.
 
N801NW
Posts: 558
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:56 am

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:45 pm

Burnsie: Who does NW ops at PWM? 9E, XJ, or NW?

I fly out of PWM, MHT, and BOS. IF PWM is within say $75 or so I'll stay local. When I went to Hawaii all three airports were about the same price, and who needs a two hour drive on top of all that flying.
 
A330323X
Posts: 2666
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2003 4:06 pm

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:04 am

mainline US (save for one seasonal 733 to PHL)

US mainline serves PWM pretty much year round, except during the very slow periods, with mainline service to PHL and/or DCA, depending on the time of year.
I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.
 
User avatar
chrisnh
Posts: 3435
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 1999 3:59 am

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:30 am

I am saddest about Delta abandoning mainline service at PWM. If anyone can shed light on that, please do. This is a carrier that had 2 or 3 757s into PWM daily, from (of all places) Boston and LaGuardia and/or CVG. This goes back to the 1980s. I know DL is undergoing a major overhaul post Labor Day, and MHT is seeing 737-200s in place of MD-88s on a couple flights. For the life of me, I can't fathom why airlines keep relics like this around. Is it true that a 737-200 is a better aircraft on the MHT routes than the MD-88s it will replace? It certainly isn't because we're not filling the MD-88s...I think we most assuredly are.

But getting back to Portland, it's Delta's departure that saddens me most. I know they aren't pulling out entirely, but still...the symbolic departure of mainline jets is a blow to civic pride, to be sure.

Chris in NH
 
mfricke
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2001 3:04 pm

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:36 am

Not just is the pullout of Delta with mainline jets sad for it's affect on civic pride. Iis also sad because it is removing one more of the remnants of the Northeastern route system in Delta's, which Delta merged with around 30 years ago.
ONT - Southern California's Ontario!
 
EMBQA
Posts: 7798
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:27 am

ChrisNH-

I think the biggest thing is the cost of the ticket -v- taking a bus to BOS or MHT. My mom fly to the west cost a few times a years and 9 times out of 10, takes a MaineLine Tours bus to Boston and saves $300.... PLUS she gets to park her car for free, has better services on the bus then she'd ever get on the plane.....with a light snack, a drink and even a movie..!! All that in reality in the same time to fly.....!!
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
PHLBOS
Posts: 6507
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:38 am

RE: Decline Of Portland, Maine

Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:59 am

Quoting Mfricke (Reply 11):
Iis also sad because it is removing one more of the remnants of the Northeastern route system in Delta's, which Delta merged with around 30 years ago.

I believe you meant to say ...remnants of Northeast's route system...

FYI, NE (w/its Yellowbirds) merged into DL in Aug. 1972.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981

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