|Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 1):|
Local employees here are hoping for DAL, MDW, and LAS before too long, as well.
I was looking at a pre-Katrina schedule the other day (the one that came out in June) and noticed that of the 17 daily HOU-MSY flights WN operated, 10 of them went on to Florida cities (1 to JAX, 4 to TPA and 5 to MCO) In my mind, HOU passengers were at least helping to support the MSY-Florida flights.
OKC's and TUL's service to MCI is also supported in part by HOU passengers. All 7 of WN's MCI flights out of HOU to MCI stop in either OKC or TUL.
I believe JAN's BWI nonstops are supported partly by HOU passengers as those flights run HOU-JAN-BWI. Southwest is often able to bring nonstop service to smaller cities by making the smaller city an intermediate stop on a high-demand bigger city pair.
Most price-consious passengers don't mind a one-stop direct flight if the intermediate stop is only 30 minutes at a smaller uncongested airport. And with only 24 commercial flights per day right now, MSY would seem to be anything but congested.
Post Katrina, through no fault of it's own, MSY has become a weaker city with regards to demand for air travel, like OKC or TUL, or JAN. It no longer has the population it once did and the tourism industry hasn't come back in full force yet. If the Wright Amendment were repealed, I believe that DAL passengers could help support more nonstop service out of MSY to other cities in Florida just like HOU helps other smaller cities in WN's point-to-point network.
(Hope that made sense)
Anyway, it's good to see MSY slowly rebounding and best of luck in a speedy and prosperous recovery.