Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:21 pm

New UA, QX SBP Service Next Year?

Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:07 am

New article about the possibilities of new service to San Luis Obispo...

Flights to Denver are “a good possibility” by next summer. The airport manager said she is in discussion with United Airlines to start the service.

Conversations are also ongoing with Horizon Air about adding two roundtrip flights a day to Seattle. One of those would include a stopover in Portland.

Nairne said she has been “speaking quite frequently” with SkyWest Airlines, a carrier for Delta Airlines and United Airlines, to add a flight to Sacramento.

Any thoughts if any of these would work?

edit: title

[Edited 2007-08-24 04:22:32]
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RE: New UA, QX SBP Service Next Year?

Fri Aug 24, 2007 12:30 pm

It would be great to see more California markets gain QX service. Although, I'm a little surprised that SBP wouldn't persue LAX service on Q400's. Good luck!
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RE: New UA, QX SBP Service Next Year?

Fri Aug 24, 2007 6:35 pm

I would see Horizon perhaps taking away the intra-Calif. flights of AE upon the phase outs of the Saabs, but not until then... and they are basically the majority of Eagle flights from LAX. Once they are gone would I see the Q400s flying for AA at LAX.
I think that 1x flight a day to SMF might make bank with the local politicians who have a hard getting to the capitol from the central coast -- this seems a lucrative market for the local elite whom the local Pacific Skyways tried to cash in on with J31s.
DEN might work out with the amazing location with one-stop connections to the Midwest and East -- as well as the great ski connections to the Rockies during the winter.
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RE: New UA, QX SBP Service Next Year?

Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:30 am

SBP-DEN on UAX might have some value, but also competition. SMX is in Denver this week talking with Frontier. That would be only a 30 minute drive south of San Luis Obispo and would split the market. There are only about 450,000 people in the San Luis Obispo County and Northern Santa Barbara County areas.

SMF-SBP is a route that has been flown many times over the years. Swift Aire operated it with Herons and later Nords in the 1970s. In fact the route played a strong role in Swift Aire's causing regional air service to shift from PRB to SBP.

I think though that if the SMF route was started by Skywest it would not be as DLConn. The only possibility would be as UAX.

The problem is that UAX is designed to operate to/from SFO and LAX on the west coast. There are few P2P routes (i.e. FAT-LAS) and those are flown at-risk.

Personally I think San Luis Obispo should follow BFL's example and recruit XJet to operate SBP-SMF.
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RE: New UA, QX SBP Service Next Year?

Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:24 am

The REAL problem for both communities is that SBP and SMX are 22 nautical miles apart - and driving wise, they are only 32.4 miles apart. SBA is 64 driving miles from SMX, there nearest other airport with commercial service.

Sorry folks, two small airports that close together are always going to compete. Maybe if both airports closed and a newer joint facility for the two metropolitan areas was built, then perhaps more service could be enticed.

However, California airports are hit or miss. The big ones - SMF, Bay Area, Los Angeles metroplex, and SAN - have lots of flights and are usually very competitive with each other. FAT, due to a combination of its geographical "isolation" and explosive growth, is quickly approaching the level of service comparable to the larger airports.

The smaller airports, on the other hand, exist in the shadow of the "big boys" - for example, BFL, despite being a metro area of over 500,000 people (city limits and unincorporated areas) is a notorious revolving door for airlines coming in and out. Unless all the L.A. metro area airports max out, people in Bakersfield will swarm to the Airport Bus service direct to LAX to save a couple of hundred dollars on flights that out of BFL might be limited and very pricey.

I just don't see things changing much in California anytime soon - growth will happen VERY slowly, but SMX and SBP are going to be competing for service.
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