thepilot
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NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:47 am

Hi all,

I will be attending the University of North Dakota next year, and I was wondering what the profitability of these routes are for NW out of MSP. It seems like Grand Forks, Brainerd, Thief River Falls, Bemidji, Fargo, Hibbing/Chisholm and Devil's Lake would be moderately profitable for NW, seeing as they have a monopoly on all these routes, excluding FAR. So I was wondering how they are doing. Has anyone taken these routes? Thanks!

http://www.nwa.com/travel/trave/route/upmid1.shtml

[Edited 2007-03-06 21:16:18]
From YVR
 
SiouxATC
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:20 am

Nice, I will be attending UND fall of this year. I agree with your above comments, you would think that they are happy with the situation up in North Dakota. But I would also think that the premium pax are rather limited up there. So you never know, it will be interesting to get some insight on this topic.
 
USPIT10L
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:12 am

Quoting Thepilot (Thread starter):
I will be attending the University of North Dakota next year, and I was wondering what the profitability of these routes are for NW out of MSP. It seems like Grand Forks, Brainerd, Thief River Falls, Bemidji, Fargo, Hibbing/Chisholm and Devil's Lake would be moderately profitable for NW, seeing as they have a monopoly on all these routes, excluding FAR. So I was wondering how they are doing. Has anyone taken these routes? Thanks!

FAR and GFK are mainline and airlink, while the others are all XJ stations. I would think NW does quite well with the routes, considering the lack of competition and longtimer service on these city pairs. FAR warrants A319s at times, IIRC. Haven't seen a detailed sked for NW in quite some time, even though I now work for them at PIT.
It's a Great Day for Hockey!
 
alvaro
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:19 am

Hello there,

I have flown MSP-FAR-MSP several times and I assume it must be profitable. A roundtrip could cost up to 450 USD for such a short flight. I noticed that all flights the load factor has been 95-100% so I guess NW gets good money out of it. What a shame there is no competition.

Regards,
Alvaro
En Mexicana cumplimos 85 años de hacerte sentir el placer de volar sin limites
 
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treebeard787
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:52 am

I have flown MSP-BJI many times and most flights (Especially in summer) were full, and it's an expensive ticket too! about $250 to $300 in winter and $350 to somtimes $450 or more in Summer.
Allons-y!
 
graphic
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:58 am

R/T GFK-MSP NW = $450
R/T GFK-STP NDU = $440 (give or take)

UND students = pwned.
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FoxBravo
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:18 am

Most of these are EAS routes and are therefore subsidized, so I'm sure NW does just fine. More on that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_Air_Service

Some, like Brainerd, are also popular with vacationers in the summer--lots of cabins on the lakes up there. I flew MSP-BRD last July and the flight was packed.
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
 
jcs17
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:31 am

Fargo is one of the most profitable domestic NW stations.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
Dreamflight767
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:47 am

When you get here my friend, that's all you're going to hear about, learn about, and talk about. NW this, NW that...it's sickening. Professors and students alike have this one-track NW mind. People here know nothing else about any other carrier. It is a pet peeve of mine. If you are not from this area, you're going to get sick of hearing about NW. I flown with them on only two occasions and those were my last two occasions.

For my travel needs, I drive down to FAR and fly UAL. Many people from MSP go to school here. If you make friends with with them, you can easily get a ride to MSP and have a larger selections of carriers.


A-
 
pilottim747
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:57 am

Quoting SiouxATC (Reply 1):
But I would also think that the premium pax are rather limited up there.

FAR, FSD and DSM are some developing heartland cities have growing industries requiring air service. I think these cities give NW some good premium pax.

Quoting FoxBravo (Reply 6):
Most of these are EAS routes and are therefore subsidized, so I'm sure NW does just fine.

The only current essential air service subsidies in North Dakota and Minnesota for Mesaba/Northwest are HIB, TVF, DVL, and JMS.
Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
 
access-air
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:06 pm

Maybe its me but people, the main reason those cities are on the route map is to provide feed for the MSP hub....Yes there might be some local rtraffice between the city pairs but I would wager a guess the majority of the traffic is just connecting thru MSP beyond MSP.....So why the initial questions? Why should airlines limit themselves to huge cities....If they all did that, then a majority of the US wouldnt have air service....

Access-Air
Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
 
alphascan
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:39 pm

Quoting Pilottim747 (Reply 9):
The only current essential air service subsidies in North Dakota and Minnesota for Mesaba/Northwest are HIB, TVF, DVL, and JMS.

HIB is about as essential as a hoola hoop. It is a one hour drive to DTH, about the same as driving from a northern suburb to MSP in good traffic. The chairman of the House Transportation Committee keeps a false residence in Chisholm however and needs to fly there to clear the unread newspapers from the porch every two weeks.
"To he who only has a hammer in his toolbelt, every problem looks like a nail."
 
burnsie28
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:44 pm

Quoting Dreamflight767 (Reply 8):
I flown with them on only two occasions and those were my last two occasions.

Why because they didn't give you more then OJ or Water on a less then 1 hr flight.


GFK for most of the year is pretty full, we see 3 daily DC-9's (sometimes all -50's) on rare occasions A319's. CRJ and Saab daily.

FAR is typically full as well, but also has more flights so a lot of times there are still open seats. Especially the early morning (5am) flights. Airfares in GFK are now pretty much the same as those in FAR, a lot of times i find the exact same fare, and repeatidly DL is the most expensive out of Fargo. United and NW switch on and off, sometimes UA is a lot more some times NW.
 
burnsie28
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:52 pm

Quoting Dreamflight767 (Reply 8):
Professors and students alike have this one-track NW mind.

Also remember thats most that anyone here flies, and the secondly a lot of the professors are former NW, XJ employees.
 
pilottim747
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:06 pm

Quoting Alphascan (Reply 11):

HIB is about as essential as a hoola hoop. It is a one hour drive to DTH, about the same as driving from a northern suburb to MSP in good traffic. The chairman of the House Transportation Committee keeps a false residence in Chisholm however and needs to fly there to clear the unread newspapers from the porch every two weeks.

And to think that GPZ used to serve the region as well. GPZ didnt have a subsidy (at least not in the late 1990s and early 2000s). According to the DOT website, HIB didnt have a subsidy until 2004.

I think of the places that need a subsidy in Minnesota, MKT should be back on the list. It hasn't had air service since the mid-1990s but was been eligible for a subsidy after service was discontinued. It is close to MSP, 77 miles by road, but fills is a block of space that doesn't have air service in southwestern Minnesota.
Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
 
UNDAEROSPACE
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:23 pm

Well I am a second semester PRE-ATC student at the University of North Dakota. First off they have a great program out here so to all of you on this topic that are going you will have a great experience. For me im from Long Island,New York so I usually go out of JFK or LGA. EWR is out of the way and what not so its often not worth to drive in the traffic. For instanse for spring break to go back to JFK costed me 499$. The lowest fare ive seen from Grand Forks to New York is 423$ but bet on paying somewhere closer to 500$. Trust me they must make a killing on the GFK route and its probally one of NW's most profitable domestic station.
Regards
Justin
 
FoxBravo
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:59 am

Quoting Pilottim747 (Reply 9):
The only current essential air service subsidies in North Dakota and Minnesota for Mesaba/Northwest are HIB, TVF, DVL, and JMS.

You're right--I should have said "some of", not "most of". Of course FAR and GFK are not EAS routes, but I believe BRD and BJI were at one time (although I could be mistaken).
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
 
Dreamflight767
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:08 am

Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 12):
Quoting Dreamflight767 (Reply 8):
I flown with them on only two occasions and those were my last two occasions.

Why because they didn't give you more then OJ or Water on a less then 1 hr flight.

I know this is not supposed to be a "bashing thread," but since I peeked your curiosity...

More along the lines because the water I did receive was frozen solid...a drink of water would have been sufficient but an icicle was not cool, tray tables conveniently had graphite written on them (for my in-flight entertainment?), the trash and left over service items (cups, napkins, etc.) where still available for my use on the floor and my seat, the service from the FA comprised of "hey, what do you want?" Oh, and the colorful gum on the arm rest was also a nice touch.

I gave NW the opportunity to meet my travel needs on those two separate occasions (8 legs total). But considering the above seemed to be standard service, I took my business elsewhere. Granted I arrived safely, no complaints there, and no airline is perfect...but I just did not like what I encoutered.

My opinion and experience...

A-
 
burnsie28
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:13 am

Quoting Dreamflight767 (Reply 17):
More along the lines because the water I did receive was frozen solid...a drink of water would have been sufficient but an icicle was not cool, tray tables conveniently had graphite written on them (for my in-flight entertainment?), the trash and left over service items (cups, napkins, etc.) where still available for my use on the floor and my seat, the service from the FA comprised of "hey, what do you want?" Oh, and the colorful gum on the arm rest was also a nice touch.

Fair enough, but something in the over 2,000 flights i have taken on NW something i RARELY see. Maybe a lot of the FA's attitudes will begin the change now that new hires are coming on board and a lot of the old grumpy ones are on
 
azstar
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:16 am

I don't think I've ever flown MSP to FAR when the flight wasn't 90-100% full. And, the unrestricted fare used to be about $350.00 each way a few years ago. That's pretty good yield for 225 miles. Very few other routes could command that kind of premium price, even ORD-LGA.Of course, most of the psgrs are connecting so the yield is probably not consistently that high, but it's still pretty high.

[Edited 2007-03-07 20:21:32]
 
thepilot
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:22 am

Thanks for your replies guys!

I talked to a friend of mine who is an intern for NW, and he said that GFK and FAR are two out of their top ten moneymakers in terms of profit. I guess having a monopoly on the route don't hurt, huh? Also, a few of my friends and North Dakota, who fly the MSP-GFK route to death, say that it is NEVER less than 90% full. I wonder why they don't upgrade to an Airbus, or even a 757? Is it just they can't afford to give up the planes on their other routes?
From YVR
 
burnsie28
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:31 am

757 we dont have the demand for , i did fly a 752 from GFK-MSP before, but it was a diversion from LGA because MSP was down to one runway operations. Airbus is a very heavy aircraft, though they use a lot to FAR. They have brought it to GFK, but a DC-9 is cheaper to get in and out of here.
 
AsstChiefMark
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:51 am

Try pricing out MSP-EAU sometime. It's at least $250. You can drive it in 90 minutes. A nonstop airport van trip is $34.

Who the hell would pay over $200 more to save 30 minutes of time?
Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Damned MSP...Red tail...Red tail
 
FoxBravo
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:47 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 22):
Try pricing out MSP-EAU sometime. It's at least $250. You can drive it in 90 minutes. A nonstop airport van trip is $34.

Who the hell would pay over $200 more to save 30 minutes of time?

Not many--those flights are mostly connecting traffic. I doubt many people in the Twin Cities buy a plane ticket to EAU. However, if someone in EAU wants to go anywhere beyond MSP, the EAU-MSP segment probably doesn't add that much to the total fare, and it's probably a lot easier to deal with parking, security, etc. at EAU.

As a similar example, when I flew to BRD last summer as mentioned above, I was coming from NYC. I could have just flown into MSP and driven the 3 hours or so to get there, but the connecting flight only added about $30 to the total fare. Renting a car would have cost more than that, and besides it was much more relaxing to have lunch at MSP and then hop on the quick Mesaba flight to my final destination. On the other hand, if I lived in the Twin Cities and just wanted to head up to the lake for the weekend, it never would have crossed my mind to fly.
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
 
access-air
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RE: NW MSP-GFK, FAR, TVF, BJI, DVL, HIB, BRD

Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:01 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 22):
Try pricing out MSP-EAU sometime. It's at least $250. You can drive it in 90 minutes. A nonstop airport van trip is $34.

Who the hell would pay over $200 more to save 30 minutes of time?


Again, Again, Again, Again, you are missing the point!!!!!!! The reason for the flights from EAU to MSP is not to just provide service between EAU and MSP but to provide ONLINE connection service beyond MSP to everywhere else NW flies to.... If the only reason an airline was flying between these two cities was to try and capture the origin destination traffic there would be no need for the carrier to be aligned as a NW Airlink carrier.
You guys are putting too much thought into all this.....
If EAS subsidy is provided for a city, then it is to help maintain air service into a city to keeps vital airlink to the rest of the world available. Yes, you al may think the airfare is outrageous, but its a service that is essential. A lot of thses cities also rely on these airline routes for mail delivery as well....In some cases, an air mail route will pay for the service itself or some freight contract. Everyone tries to analize everything too much in this forum.
If you sick enuff bean counters on every route an airline flies, I am sure that half of the routes would be a waste of the airline's time and effort.....
Face it, any place in Upper Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, the Dakotas or in Washington State and Oregon suffer from sparce populations therefore you dont have a low cost airline environment there....Most of those cities served are flying in basic need items and airline luxury service comes in 2nd place. The airfares are higher and they may seem unfair but look at all the nonsense fares they have to SUBSIDIZE in other NW airlines cities such as MSP to ORD or DTW to ORD.....All of those rediculous fares in high density markets dont even bring in enuff to pay for a SAAB 340 to be operated let alone a DC9 or A320....
In the grand scheme of things, it all equals out in one way or another......
The only other way to lower airfares in smaller cities is to declare Commuter Regional Partnerships with majors Illegal and make them operate under their own banners and level the playing field for competition to come in and may the best regional win......With the current situation NW's small cities are locked in to a Monopoly and have to pay whatever is dictated....
Okay before I get off on to much of a tangent I'll close this........

Access-Air
Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!

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