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chrisnh
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AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:52 am

In a move that makes abundant sense, AirTran will turn its Saturday-only service between Portland, Maine and Orlando to Daily service later this year. Not everyone who travels between the two cities wants to do so on a Saturday, so a Daily circuit is a natural. The airline also said they'd extend their PWM-BWI service through early January, extending by two months the expected hiatus of that service.

Chris in NH
 
CitrusCritter
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:55 am

Excellent...always happy to have tourists pumping money into the economy here in MCO.  Smile Glad to see that PWM is doing well for FL as well -- it seems that they and B6 are both doing well in the market. What's the consensus here? Was this a "WN effect" or was PWM underserviced before B6 and FL came in?
 
BH
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:14 am

Everybody seems to like the BWI-PWM service, also great news for MCO! Now if only we can extend that SEA service a little bit.
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whappeh
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:43 am

Rad... they do it after I'm already in PWM! BAH! Non-reving into this town is the lowest of the low!
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boeing743
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:49 am

That is good that PWM is having daily service to MCO but I am wonder how would it has impact on load factors everyday? full or low loads when fall season begin when not many people would travel down there since PWM is small airport and town too.
 
flyer62
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:39 pm

PWM is not a small airport,we have 7 major airlines here and the terminal and parking garages will be expanded again.PWM is a growing airport our MCO service has been very well recieved,that is why we are going daily.yes before Jetblue and Airtran this airport was very underserved with high fares
 
deltairlines
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:43 pm

PWM-MCO should do very well as a daily year-round. New Englanders love to go to Florida; MHT has 5 flights to MCO and 2 to TPA on WN; BOS has quite a few DL, AA, FL and B6 flights to Florida, including MCO, FLL, MIA, TPA, RSW, PBI and JAX. PWM should have no problem filling a daily 717 with only 120 seats to Florida. Loads might get low in September/October, but the Northeast-Florida traffic really starts picking up in November when the temperatures drop in New England, and they stay busy the rest of the year. Wouldn't shock me at all to see AirTran up this route to a 737-700 this winter; I'm sure PWM could support the 737 on this route no problem.
 
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chrisnh
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:18 pm

As DeltAirlines correctly notes, the appetite for New England-Florida service is very robust and sustainable...especially Orlando. That leaves (I think) Burlington, VT as the only decent-sized commercial airport in New England without a nonstop link to Florida.

Chris in NH
 
richierich
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:55 pm

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 7):
As DeltAirlines correctly notes, the appetite for New England-Florida service is very robust and sustainable...especially Orlando. That leaves (I think) Burlington, VT as the only decent-sized commercial airport in New England without a nonstop link to Florida.

And the BTV situation may change soon, based on rumors from the JetBlue camp. I wouldn't be surprised to see a BTV-MCO and/or BTV-FLL from JetBlue soon, probably on E190 equipment. They just announced BUF-FLL service and already have a SYR-MCO daily (on an A320).

I'm wondering if B6 will respond to AirTran by adding a PWM-FLL direct?
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KPWMSpotter
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:10 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 8):
I'm wondering if B6 will respond to AirTran by adding a PWM-FLL direct?

That's what I've had my fingers crossed for since JetBlue started service up a year ago. Neeleman hinted towards Florida non-stops in his initial press conference up here. Personally, I always thought that meant MCO, but now with AirTran jumping on the market, and FLL getting all the expansion with JetBlue...who knows, it could go either way. (we've seen that JetBlue is doing well here, with their re-expansion of summer service with A320s and an upgrade to 5x daily to JFK. I'd be willing to bet that a good number of those passengers end up connecting to Florida anyways.)


As for AirTran's service thus far, it seems to be doing very well. I flew on the PWM-MCO run on the 23rd, and came back the same way on the 30th. On the way down the load factor was very near 100%, with a few empty seats towards the back. The return was packed, not an empty seat on the plane. It also seems that the $60 business class is very well received by the tourist crowd as well...I was shocked to see a family with two small children, and two lap babies taking up the first row of Business class...
I'm not so sure about the BWI flights though. I'm sure they are doing well with the business travelers...but Maine doesn't exactly have 300+ business travelers per day to put on the planes. The gate area for the departing BWI flight seemed crowded, but of course, that gate area is always crowded, with travelers on NW, FL, UA, CO, and DL all packing into that little area. I guess AirTran's decision with the service tells the real story though...it's doing okay, but not okay enough to be sustained year round.
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MAH4546
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:26 am

I don't see how a daily, year-round flight to Orlando is going to work. I'd be shocked if it lasts long before they put in a year-round to Atlanta or Baltimore, which offers flexible connections throughout Florida.

I wouldn't be surprised to see them add Atlanta and/

Quoting Richierich (Reply 8):
They just announced BUF-FLL service and already have a SYR-MCO daily (on an A320).

jetBlue is also adding FLL-SYR, and yes, more routes are coming, but to FLL, not MCO.
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KPWMSpotter
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:38 am

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 10):
I don't see how a daily, year-round flight to Orlando is going to work. I'd be shocked if it lasts long before they put in a year-round to Atlanta or Baltimore, which offers flexible connections throughout Florida.

You're really underestimating the power of the Florida market here in the Northeast. The traffic headed to Florida (especially MCO) during the winter is just as great, if not more than the traffic during the summer months. If you take a look at the schools around here, you'll find the best evidence of that. Ask any school administrator around, there is rarely a week where a family is not pulling their children from school so that they can go see Mickey Mouse and the Florida sights.
Way too often do you hear people telling stories about their early morning drives to Manchester to catch Southwest down to Florida. Now that fares at the Jetport are down, some of the passengers that would normally pack onto the Manchester flights will stick closer to home and fly from PWM instead. The 1x daily 717 is no problem for PWM to support, and it's my belief that maybe a couple of 737s, A320s, or E-190s would do the market good too.


btw, here's a link to the original press release, since no one has posted it yet. http://pressroom.airtran.com/phoenix...-newsArticle&ID=1021982&highlight=
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chrisnh
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:42 am

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 10):
I don't see how a daily, year-round flight to Orlando is going to work.

Why not? Orlando is a hugely popular destination. Manchester supports 5X Daily to Orlando, and there should be no reason why PWM can't support a single circuit each day. Besides, the airline isn't just 'guessing;' there are all sorts of O&D numbers to bear out their belief that Portland can handle one 717 a day in the market.

Chris in NH
 
MAH4546
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:47 am

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 12):
Why not? Orlando is a hugely popular destination. Manchester supports 5X Daily to Orlando, and there should be no reason why PWM can't support a single circuit each day. Besides, the airline isn't just 'guessing;' there are all sorts of O&D numbers to bear out their belief that Portland can handle one 717 a day in the market.

AirTran has always been a little floppy with their Florida routes to various destinations. Not even cities like Bloomington have supported consistent year-round service, and I don't see why this will be different.

AirTran frequently doesn't do their homework. They very often will announce new routes and never start them, or discontinue them extremely quickly (TPA-PHF, FLL-DAY, FLL-FNT, MCO-ICT, RSW-RIC, SRQ-LGA, PBI-IND, etc., etc.).

Manchester gets a lot of feed from the greater Boston area outskirts, Portland does not. We'll see what happens, but I would bet it is quickly reduced to 4x weekly and they add Baltimore or Atlanta to keep daily service year-round.
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panam330
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:57 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 8):
They just announced BUF-FLL service and already have a SYR-MCO daily (on an A320).

They also just recently announced a daily E190 for SYR-FLL. However, the city of Syracuse (that runs the airport, but really shouldn't) has given B6 subsidies in the way of reduced landing fees for both non-stop services. I don't think anyone's complaining, however. We haven't had decent non-stop service since Delta Express way back, and the T9 services to SFB, a much less convenient airport. I wouldn't be surprised to see B6 continue the 'connect the dot' trend, and add a few BTV-Florida flights, most notably MCO and FLL, of course.
 
KPWMSpotter
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:59 am

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 13):
AirTran has always been a little floppy with their Florida routes to various destinations. Not even cities like Bloomington have supported consistent year-round service, and I don't see why this will be different.

While this might be true, I think AirTran has stumbled onto something that can work in Portland. In 2004 (before JetBlue, AirTran, or even Independence were established in PWM) PWM had a total of 51,500 passengers who departed with an ultimate destination of Orlando. (that was the third largest O&D market for the year, only behind New York and Washington DC) In terms of daily passengers, that is just about 141 people a day.
Now, I'm sure you will argue that 141 people a day isn't nearly enough for AirTran to profit off of, with passengers turning to JetBlue, Delta, or any of the other airlines that are able to provide discounted seats on a connecting flight. But also look at the total increase in passengers since 2004.
2004 saw 1,365,000 passengers passing through the Jetport. 2005, with Independence Air established at PWM with its A319s saw 1,454,000 passengers (a 6.5% increase) all due to a single airline with capacity to spare, and low fares to go around. Now, the 1st quarter of 2006 drags its numbers down, as PWM saw 5 months with no Low Cost carrier whatsoever, but let's for a moment just look at the 2nd half of the year, when JetBlue was in town. 2005 saw 769,000 people. 2006 saw 829,000, about an 7% increase.
Looking at this data, I'm going to make a leap to a conclusion and say that with the introduction of a low cost carrier to PWM, the added seats and lower fares will lead to a yearly increase in passengers of about 6%, plus the continued growth based on the established carriers, etc etc. Now, there is no way I can prove this theory of mine at the current time, but I expect to see growth equivalent to this when the Jetport releases it's numbers for the first half of the year any time now.

Applying this 6% annual growth to the 51,500 passengers headed to MCO in 2004, we see this number jump to 61,337 passengers this year, or 168 passengers daily. That's, well, a decent number of people to be jumping on a plane to Orlando every day.
I still stand that this number is a conservative estimate, since the figures don't take into account the number of people that previously headed to Manchester for the low fares and the non-stop to Orlando on Southwest, and it doesn't take into account the added draw of simply offering a non-stop flight. I am very confident that AirTran will make money off of this flight.

Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 14):
However, the city of Syracuse has given B6 subsidies in the way of reduced landing fees for both non-stop services.

I didn't know that. Did BUF also give the same incentives? I know that Portland is very excited to see the MCO non-stop...I wonder if the Jetport administration is trying to work a similar deal with FLL...
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flymia
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:06 am

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 15):
I didn't know that. Did BUF also give the same incentives? I know that Portland is very excited to see the MCO non-stop...I wonder if the Jetport administration is trying to work a similar deal with FLL...

It would be cool to see a FLL-PWM flight, but I don't think it will work. The one thing that make it popular is that there is a good amount of traffic from the Miami area to Maine during the summer, like to Bar Harbour. A lot of that traffic right now just uses Boston and rents a car.

[Edited 2007-07-03 21:11:10]
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CitrusCritter
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:17 am

Quote:
ORLANDO, Fla., July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AAI), today announced that the airline will expand its flight service from the Portland International Jetport in Portland, Maine, to Orlando International Airport from seasonal to year-round, as well as increase the frequency from Saturday-only to daily. AirTran Airways will continue service between the Portland International Jetport and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport until January 7, 2008, and will resume at a later date for the season. The service was previously scheduled to end two months earlier, on November 6, 2007.

"The response to our flights from Portland to Baltimore and Orlando has far exceeded our expectations," said John Kirby, director of strategic planning and scheduling for AirTran Airways. "We are pleased to add Portland, Maine to our growing list of year-round AirTran Airways cities."

AirTran Airways will offer the following nonstop flight options between Portland International Jetport and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport:


Nonstop Service between Portland, Maine and Baltimore/Washington
(Effective Nov. 7, 2007 - Jan. 7, 2008)

From To Flight Departs Arrives Frequency

Portland Baltimore/ 489 6:45 a.m. 8:20 a.m. Daily
Washington

Portland Baltimore/ 344 4:57 p.m. 6:32 p.m. Daily
Washington

Baltimore/ Portland 422 2:57 p.m. 4:22 p.m. Daily
Washington

Baltimore/ Portland 438 8:45 p.m. 10:10 p.m. Daily
Washington*

* Effective through Jan. 6, 2008.


Nonstop Service between Portland, Maine and Orlando, Fla.
(Effective Nov. 7, 2007)

From To Flight Departs Arrives Frequency

Portland Orlando 798 2:02 p.m. 5:22 p.m. Daily

Orlando Portland 799 10:12 a.m. 1:27 p.m. Daily
AirTran Airways, a Fortune 1000 company, offers passengers more than 700 affordable, daily flights to 56 destinations throughout the United States. The airline is the second-largest carrier at its hub, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and one of America's largest low-fare airlines. With more than 8,800 friendly Crew Members and free online booking on airtran.com, AirTran Airways makes travel both pleasant and convenient. The airline flies America's youngest all-Boeing fleet, composed of the fuel- efficient Boeing 737-700 and 717-200 aircraft. AirTran Airways was also the first to install XM Satellite Radio on a commercial aircraft and the only airline with Business Class seating on every flight. For more information, visit airtran.com.

I think it's a mistake to make PWM-BWI seasonal only. It ends the possibility of offering connections, as I doubt many are in the market to fly PWM-MCO-MDW. If it needs to be downgraded to a 717, then downgrade it, but sure don't make it seasonal service. This just further illustrates FL's need for an E-170/175 size aircraft.
 
panam330
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:05 pm

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 15):
I didn't know that. Did BUF also give the same incentives?

It's been posted in many press releases, and I believe (being too lazy to search myself  Wink) that the number was somewhere around $600,000 in reduced fees for one year just for MCO. As for BUF, I have no idea whether or not B6 is receiving any subsidies.
 
boswashsprstar
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:22 am

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 15):
While this might be true . . .

To this robust collection of data points, I'd also just add the observation that one-stop (or sometimes multi-stop) fares from PWM to Florida aren't often great; $300+ is common, as are tortured multi-stop itineraries on all nature of regional jets in order to get the lowest prices points. So AirTran can easily be the price leader in the market even while making a healthy profit just by lowering prices only slightly off the current base. Together that means that AirTran can poach most, if not all, of those 141 daily passengers, and make money doing it.

AirTran also benefits from being slightly more mainstream than B6; i.e. FL sells tickets on Orbitz, Expedia, and the like, so even the most oblivious of passengers are likely to see the non-stop option pop up when they search for flights.
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:34 am

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 10):
jetBlue is also adding FLL-SYR, and yes, more routes are coming, but to FLL, not MCO.

Not entirely true. A couple of execs at B6 are friends of the family, and they said that while there will be significant expansion at FLL, with the addition of some of the gates from FL here in Orlando, MCO will also get significant expansion this winter or next spring.

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 10):
I don't see how a daily, year-round flight to Orlando is going to work. I'd be shocked if it lasts long before they put in a year-round to Atlanta or Baltimore, which offers flexible connections throughout Florida.

I understand your love for South Florida, but it isn't the only part of Florida capable of turning a profit for the airlines. I don't understand why you always seem to have these gloom and doom theories for every route that isn't to MIA or FLL. I think this route will do very well to Orlando. I also agree with you, however, that they need to run a BWI or ATL year-round to route connecting passengers in order to better distribute them to Florida.
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jetbluefan1
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:52 am

Quoting BosWashSprStar (Reply 19):
AirTran also benefits from being slightly more mainstream than B6; i.e. FL sells tickets on Orbitz, Expedia, and the like, so even the most oblivious of passengers are likely to see the non-stop option pop up when they search for flights.

Don't forget that B6 now sells seats on all mainstream websites, including Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity. Not to mention that B6 is in all major GDS programs now.

If FL prices this thing right, it may well just work out and eat into the connecting traffic of the Legacies and B6 out of PWM.

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Flighty
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:01 am

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 10):
I don't see how a daily, year-round flight to Orlando is going to work. I'd be shocked if it lasts long before they put in a year-round to Atlanta or Baltimore, which offers flexible connections throughout Florida.

PWM already has abundant hub flights. The PWM market growth has shocked people (including the designers of the terminal, the local fire marshal, etc). The lure of LCC pricing on a nonstop Orlando run will be a strong pull away from US, DL and FL itself.

Rather than being an overreach, I think PWM has shown itself worthy of the flight. It's a bigger market than anybody thought...
 
CitrusCritter
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Sat Jul 07, 2007 5:09 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 22):

There is still a need for FL to offer a flight to ATL, BWI, or one of the other big focus cities in order to gain some non-MCO business at PWM. I really doubt anyone is going to fly PWM-MCO-MDW to get to Chicago. They need to keep another destination open to offer viable connections and grow the PWM business.
 
KPWMSpotter
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:45 am

Quoting CitrusCritter (Reply 23):
They need to keep another destination open to offer viable connections and grow the PWM business.

I see the same need, although, I'm not sure how they are going to pull it off. I'm sure AirTran can very well survive only serving MCO, but if they want to gain any recognition in PWM as serving anywhere else, they need to at least keep BWI as a year round. The January end date for BWI is still quite a ways away...I wouldn't be totally surprised to hear them keep it on at least in some respect as a year round flight. As for an ATL flight, I'm sure they could also make that work...but what I've heard in other threads is that they don't have the gate space. PWM was the first market to open without an ATL flight. I can't imagine that they see no opportunity there...so either it's a lack of planes (not many 717s left around without any routes to keep them busy), or a lack of gates at ATL. Either way, it may be a little while before we see ATL happen.

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 20):
A couple of execs at B6 are friends of the family, and they said that while there will be significant expansion at FLL, with the addition of some of the gates from FL here in Orlando, MCO will also get significant expansion this winter or next spring.

That's great to hear! Any hints towards cities to come, or a time frame for the announcements?
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CitrusCritter
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RE: AirTran Goes Daily On PWM-MCO

Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:45 pm

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 24):

I would not expect to see an ATL flight, at least until the market matures for FL. The flights to BWI for the connections to the rest of the network are pretty good, though a few would require a double stop in BWI and ATL (LAX for example). Obviously the plane utilization is much better PWM-BWI than PWM-ATL, which is probably what allowed this service to begin originally. But if they make BWI seasonal, they can't hope to grow non-tourist traffic at PWM.

I think this really shows the need for FL to consider the E-170 and/or the Q-400 to serve smaller markets year-round.