floridaflyboy
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:57 am

Hey Everyone, was just thinking that it had been since early summer since us Montana aviation enthusiasts had discussed things, so I thought I'd go through and set up a thread for those of us from Big Sky country. Anyway, I checked out the schedule for the late fall/early winter, and here's what it looks like we can expect up there:

Delta:

BIL: Looks like 6 flights daily to SLC (some days as few as 4). All operated by SkyWest, of course, and 5 will be on CR2, and 1 on CR7
BTM: Same old story. 2 daily CR2 on SkyWest to SLC
BZN: 6 Daily SLC on SkyWest, 5 CR2, 1 CR7. Also, 3x weekly 738 mainline to ATL
GTF: 3 Daily SLC on SkyWest, all CR2
HLN: 4 Daily SLC on SkyWest, all CR2
FCA: Depending on the day, anything from 4 to 6 daily to SLC. All SkyWest, mostly CR2 with the occasional CR7 thrown in.
MSO: 5-6 Daily SLC on SkyWest, all CR2

Northwest:

BIL: 2 Daily to MSP, one A319, one A320. They will also have a third flight on a DC-9 thrown in there for Christmas
BZN: 2 Daily to MSP, one A319, one A320. They will also have a third flight on a Pinnacle CRJ in there for Christmas
GTF: 2 daily to MSP, both Airlink CRJ's on Pinnacle
HLN: 1 Daily to MSP, on CRJ operated by Pinnacle
FCA: 2 Daily to MSP, both Airlink CRJ's on Pinnacle
MSO: 2 Daily to MSP, both on EMB-175 operated by Compass

United:

BIL: 4 Daily to DEN, 3 mainline 737s, and one SkyWest CR2. There will be an extra CR2 for the Christmas season.
BZN: 4 Daily to DEN, all SkyWest, 3 CR2, 1 CR7. Switches to 5 CR2s in December. Also, one daily ORD flight on SkyWest CR7
GTF: 2 Daily to DEN, both SkyWest CR2s
FCA: 2 Daily to DEN, both SkyWest CR2s
MSO: 3 Daily to DEN, all SkyWest, 2 CR7, 1 CR2

Frontier:

BIL: 2 Daily to DEN, Both DH4 operated by Lynx (Of course, once Lynx gets flying)

Horizon:

BIL: Big one here! Billings goes back to CR7 from DH4 effective November 18. Also, the schedule will continue to be 2 Daily to SEA, and 1 Daily to PDX.
BTM: 2 Daily to SEA both via BZN, both on DH4. However, the return, as usual includes 1 non-stop, 1 via BZN
BZN: 3 Daily to SEA, 1 Daily to IDA, and 1 Daily to BTM, All on DH4
GTF: 1 Daily to SEA, 1 Daily to HLN, 2 non-stops from SEA, all on DH4
HLN: 1 Daily to SEA, 1 Daily to GTF, both return flights stop in GTF, all on DH4
FCA: 2 Daily to SEA, both on DH4
MSO: 3 Daily to SEA, all on DH4

Allegiant:

BIL: 3 Weekly to LAS through until November, then 4 Weekly Until January, Then back to 3 Weekly until March, then 5 Weekly until May. Also, 2 Weekly to IWA
GTF: 2 Weekly to LAS Until March, and then 3 Weekly.
MSO: 4 Weekly to LAS until NOV, then 5 Weekly until Januray, then 4 weekly until March, and then 5 weekly from there. Also, 2 Weekly to IWA.

Well, there you have it, everything except Big Sky, which I don't quite have time to play with. I'm sure there are some minor innacuracies above, or something that I missed, so please fill us in on what's new with aviation in Montana.
Good goes around!
 
airbusaddict
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:31 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:12 am

Hows Big Sky doing at MDW? Isnt that EAS service? Im not surprised by this but why havent they expanded east instead of west?
Finally F9! FSD-DEN 7-4-2011
 
floridaflyboy
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:52 am

Quoting Airbusaddict (Reply 1):
Hows Big Sky doing at MDW? Isnt that EAS service? Im not surprised by this but why havent they expanded east instead of west?

Actually, the MDW thing didn't work out so well for them. They dumped that entire operation a couple months back. Now, their big thing is, of course, the DL connection thing out of BOS. As for East vs. West, Big Sky is a very fickle company. They seem to go east one day, west another. They had service into the Dakotas, but then dropped it. They also had a fair bit of service in Washington, but that's gone as well. At one time, they had a mini-hub of sorts at DFW with a bunch of southern service, but of course, that's gone as well. They will also be starting 1 or 2 (I forget if they got both) routes at CVG later in the year. I would say these won't last long, but they are branding them as Delta Connection (at risk flying, of course), so they may last a little longer.

[Edited 2007-09-29 21:00:02]
Good goes around!
 
stapleton
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:57 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:31 am

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Thread starter):
so please fill us in on what's new with aviation in Montana

Great Information! A couple more adds for you:

Northwest - MSO will have a 3rd E75 for the Christmas season, BZN will have a daily 3rd Airbus to MSP from Mid February through early April and a Sunday only DTW flight during the same period.

United - BZN will have Saturday only CR7 service to SFO from December 15th through the end of March

Delta - The 3 weekly flights to ATL from BZN are during the Christmas holiday and are a mix of 737-800 and 757 aircraft and then will be Saturday only through the rest of the ski season. (Delta's December schedule is not yet finalized so there will likely be some changes in the next few weeks.
 
ytib
Posts: 375
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:22 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:01 pm

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Thread starter):
BIL: 2 Daily to DEN, Both DH4 operated by Lynx (Of course, once Lynx gets flying)

This has been served by JetExpress with CR7's for a few years. It will at some point switch to Lynx and the DH4.
 
floridaflyboy
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:42 pm

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 3):

Thanks for the adds, Stapleton! Good to hear BZN will be seeing the 757 once again this christmas. Also, good to see a 3rd E175 for MSO for the season.

Quoting Ytib (Reply 4):
This has been served by JetExpress with CR7's for a few years. It will at some point switch to Lynx and the DH4.

Yep, I know. I've flown on it many a time. It's been a very good route for F9 during the peak season. It could be good for them in the off-peak, too if they'd get the scheduling right!
Good goes around!
 
shanderawx
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:34 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:03 pm

I remember flying Great Falls-Billings-Fargo-MSP on a puddle juimper with NW Orient many years ago.
Do such flights no longer exist?
 
floridaflyboy
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:32 pm

Quoting Shanderawx (Reply 6):
I remember flying Great Falls-Billings-Fargo-MSP on a puddle juimper with NW Orient many years ago.
Do such flights no longer exist?

Aah, the old Montana point-to-point. No, that whole system was discontinued in favor of non-stops to all the Montana cities. However, you do find an occasional one. For example, up until about 3 years ago, NW served HLN with a MSP-BIL-HLN, and up until last year, they did some similar stuff with great falls and Kalispell where they flew MSP-GTF-FCA-GTF-MSP. This winter, however, they opted to go airlink instead, putting Pinnacle into GTF and FCA (they've already been serving HLN), and Compass into MSO. BIL and BZN are big enough markets to warrant mainline year-round.
Good goes around!
 
stapleton
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:57 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:49 am

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Thread starter):
Northwest:

BIL: 2 Daily to MSP, one A319, one A320. They will also have a third flight on a DC-9 thrown in there for Christmas

It appears that NW has downgraded the DC-9 over Christmas to a Pinnacle CRJ.
 
floridaflyboy
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:58 pm

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 8):
It appears that NW has downgraded the DC-9 over Christmas to a Pinnacle CRJ.

Yeah, I noticed that. Wouldn't be surprised to see it changed back, though. They seem to run three mainline every christmas, as loads are VERY good for NW in particular that time of year at BIL.
Good goes around!
 
stapleton
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:57 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:39 pm

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 9):
Wouldn't be surprised to see it changed back, though

It appears the Christmas schedule is nearly final so I don't think it will be back. There has also been quite a bit of talk about Compass in Billings similar to MSO. Makes sense to increase the frequency to compete with UA through DEN. Unfortunately, that could mean losing some mainline service.
 
floridaflyboy
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:45 pm

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 10):
It appears the Christmas schedule is nearly final so I don't think it will be back. There has also been quite a bit of talk about Compass in Billings similar to MSO. Makes sense to increase the frequency to compete with UA through DEN. Unfortunately, that could mean losing some mainline service.

Yeah, I don't see that happening. Knowing some folks at NW very well, their ideas on it are that BIL loads are very good, and yields are very good. I would imagine we could see a mix, but I don't think you'll ever see BIL or BZN lose mainline NW at all, just like you'll never see BIL without mainline UA. What will be interesting will be to see whether at some point UA upgrades BZN to mainline. I think it's a very real possibility during the peak season.
Good goes around!
 
KingAir200
Posts: 668
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 1:37 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:22 pm

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Thread starter):
FCA: 2 Daily to MSP, both Airlink CRJ's on Pinnacle

That's gotta be a fun ride. I can't wait until the winter when they have to start taking ski bags and boot bags out for those skiing at Big Mountain... I mean Whitefish Mountain...
 
floridaflyboy
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:43 pm

Quoting KingAir200 (Reply 12):
That's gotta be a fun ride. I can't wait until the winter when they have to start taking ski bags and boot bags out for those skiing at Big Mountain... I mean Whitefish Mountain...

Yeah, no kidding. I was really surprised to see FCA downgraded that far. I initially figured that they'd go Compass or at least XJ with the CR9 for FCA. It would seem more appropriate with ski season up there.
Good goes around!
 
stapleton
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:57 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:24 pm

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 13):
It would seem more appropriate with ski season up there.

Big Mountain has not yet attracted the numbers of US skiers to really impact the traffic at FCA. Over the years, they marketed to Canada with resonable success but have struggled in on the US side. (With the Canadian dollar strong, they will probably have a really great year this year.) So in terms of seats (with United now in the market) the CRJ is probably more reasonable. The difficult part is the CRJ performance on that long of a stage length with winter weather contingency requirements. I agree the CR9 would be much better in performance but might be too many seats.

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 11):
What will be interesting will be to see whether at some point UA upgrades BZN to mainline.

You are on to something there. In August, United Express in BZN outboarded United mainline in BIL by over 3,400 passengers. United Express in Billings came in at just over 4,300 so there was only a net difference of about 900 passengers. The one difference is that the BZN market has the year round Chicago that is doing exceptionally well and makes it a bit more difficult to choose adding mainline to DEN or additional Express frequencies to ORD.
 
copaair737
Posts: 3571
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 5:00 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:22 pm

Are the UAX SFO-BIL flights coming back in the summer?


-Copa
Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C, and Cocaine
 
floridaflyboy
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:17 am

Quoting Copaair737 (Reply 15):
Are the UAX SFO-BIL flights coming back in the summer?


-Copa

No confirmation on it yet, but I would imagine that they will come back to both BZN and BIL. The route did very well on both fronts. Wouldn't be surprised to see an increase in frequency, and possibly a MSO-SFO, although MSO hasn't developed for UA as nicely as BZN has.
Good goes around!
 
KingAir200
Posts: 668
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 1:37 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:01 am

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 14):
The difficult part is the CRJ performance on that long of a stage length with winter weather contingency requirements.

That is what I was thinking about. Pack a bunch of bags, ski bags, boot bags, planeside bags, a lot of gas; it could be interesting.
 
stapleton
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:57 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:09 pm

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 13):
I initially figured that they'd go Compass or at least XJ with the CR9 for FCA.

It appears that you are going to be partially correct. FCA gets an XJ CR9 on one of the two flights to MSP from December 19th through January 6th. This is 122 seats less than what NW had last year from FCA - MSP over Christmas but with the additional 100 seats from United Express and some additional seats from Delta Connection, FCA should at least see a small increase in total seats for the period.
 
floridaflyboy
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Sun Oct 21, 2007 1:41 am

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 18):
It appears that you are going to be partially correct. FCA gets an XJ CR9 on one of the two flights to MSP from December 19th through January 6th. This is 122 seats less than what NW had last year from FCA - MSP over Christmas but with the additional 100 seats from United Express and some additional seats from Delta Connection, FCA should at least see a small increase in total seats for the period.

That's awesome, and I agree, the market is a little more saturated this year. On a side note, UA is doing extremely well at FCA from everything I've heard from the officials at FCA. That's going to be Montana's biggest up-and-coming market right there!
Good goes around!
 
Cessna172RG
Posts: 642
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2000 8:31 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:26 am

Anyone seen the Big Sky Logojet with the big "Skoal" logo plastered on the side?
Save the whales...for dinner!!!
 
stapleton
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:57 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:56 pm

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 19):
That's going to be Montana's biggest up-and-coming market right there!

Might be a bit quick to say this. NW just posted their January schedule and it shows only one CR9 to MSP per day. Currently it returns to two CRJs in the middle of February. NW enplanements in September at FCA were down sharply. Overall enplanements at FCA were up with the addition of United though. But anytime an airline goes to one flight per day, it makes the long term viability more questionable. (Just look at what happend with F9 in FAT).

Also, NW replaced the two E175 is MSO with a single A319 until February as well. Fortunately, this is equivilant to what they had last year.

It will also be interesting to watch what happens in HLN. They are going after UA with their small community air service grant. Questionable if NW will stay in HLN with the CRJ if UA starts service.

What does all this mean? Win some, you lose some. Every community needs to be aware that when you go after new service, it could and often does affect the current service. Hopefully at the end of the day, the market supports the new service without drastic affect on the current.
 
PDXLVR
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 3:12 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Sun Oct 21, 2007 5:54 pm

Wow, who knew Montana could have a thread of its own?  Smile Thanks for all the great info. I'd like to hear a little bit more about Big Ski Air if anyone has more info then has been posted so far. I'm up near HVR and use them on occasion, although I usually end up driving to GTF to save a little $$.

What, HVR doesn't get a tool tip? No respect I tell ya.
I left my heart in PDX
 
floridaflyboy
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:29 am

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 21):
Might be a bit quick to say this. NW just posted their January schedule and it shows only one CR9 to MSP per day. Currently it returns to two CRJs in the middle of February. NW enplanements in September at FCA were down sharply. Overall enplanements at FCA were up with the addition of United though. But anytime an airline goes to one flight per day, it makes the long term viability more questionable. (Just look at what happend with F9 in FAT).

More what I'm saying is that FCA is the market in Montana that will likely see the most remarkable growth in the coming years. The Flathead valley is growing extremely fast and Flathead County is already the second most populous county in Montana. Plus, with the addition of so many more luxury lake homes in that area, the demand for a premium product and yields in general will be better like it is in BZN.

Quoting PDXLVR (Reply 22):
Wow, who knew Montana could have a thread of its own? Thanks for all the great info. I'd like to hear a little bit more about Big Ski Air if anyone has more info then has been posted so far. I'm up near HVR and use them on occasion, although I usually end up driving to GTF to save a little $$.

You'd be surprised how many a.netters have a vested interest in Montana aviation. For such a small state, it's quite a few with Stapleton and myself likely having the most information on the topic. I will look into GQ's schedule here in Montana and post it since you're interested.
Good goes around!
 
teo747
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 2:44 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:29 pm

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 11):
What will be interesting will be to see whether at some point UA upgrades BZN to mainline. I think it's a very real possibility during the peak season.

I was just doing some flight searching for next summer on united.com, and it is showing DEN-BZN and vice-versa with one daily 735 along with three daily CRJ flights. The dates I have been searching are in late June and early July, but I don't have time right now to figure out exactly when the (scheduled) mainine service begins or ends. Will be nice to see another type of mainline aircraft back at BZN if it actually happens...

Edit: OK, so I'll be a little late for work but who cares about that! united.com shows the daily DEN-BZN 735 flight as beginning on Feb. 13, 2008, ending sometime in March or April and then starting up again in June.

[Edited 2007-11-07 07:32:38]

[Edited 2007-11-07 07:34:16]
 
GQfluffy
Posts: 3072
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:25 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:36 am

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 8):
It appears that NW has downgraded the DC-9 over Christmas to a Pinnacle CRJ.

BIL hasn't seen a DC-9 in over a year. We get stuck with A319s. Rats. I love to hear those JT9's...but I suppose I'll just have to live with the FX 722's.

As far as GQ goes, I no longer work there, which that in itself makes my life much easier. There's a thing called morale, and around the BIL station, along with most of the network itself, doesn't exist. As far as I'm concerned, the president is more focused about getting the whole thing moved to BOS and CVG than he is getting GQ profitable (laughable at best, but still almost doable) in Montana.

So, I don't know much about the "goings-on" anymore, other than they/we are supposedly getting an evening flight back to the west out of BIL into HLN and MSO (possibly RON in BOI). Essentially this is bringing back GQ 2587 for those of you who remember that flight. That is about a year too late, but hey, we're good at screwing up things that may actually have loads and make profits.

Quoting Cessna172RG (Reply 20):
Anyone seen the Big Sky Logojet with the big "Skoal" logo plastered on the side?

You mean that aircraft? If so, yes. It was actually in BIL for all but a day, IIRC. Other than that, I have no idea what you're talking about, but then again, as I said, I'm not working up there anymore.

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 16):
No confirmation on it yet, but I would imagine that they will come back to both BZN and BIL.

No final word from UA, but the agents in BIL were very confident in it's return. What I'd like to see is a BIL-ATL like DL did in BZN. The thing is, DL isn't in BIL, only OO. Is DL still in BZN?
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
copaair737
Posts: 3571
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 5:00 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:03 am

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 25):
Is DL still in BZN?

With the exception of the ATL flight, No. I think that BIL could make a go out of an ATL flight. Maybe you'll see it this upcoming summer season.

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 25):
No final word from UA, but the agents in BIL were very confident in it's return.

I'd like to see it back albeit at a higher frequency. Loads seemed pretty good from what I saw.
Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C, and Cocaine
 
stapleton
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:57 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:28 pm

Quoting Copaair737 (Reply 26):
With the exception of the ATL flight, No.

Delta mainline staff are in BZN, they handle the above wing and then contract out the below wing operations. The DL mainline staff in BZN handles the SkyWest flights whereas in Billings, it would be SkyWest handling DL if they put in an ATL flight (which I doubt).
 
GQfluffy
Posts: 3072
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:25 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:47 pm

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 25):
Quoting Cessna172RG (Reply 20):
Anyone seen the Big Sky Logojet with the big "Skoal" logo plastered on the side?

You mean that aircraft? If so, yes. It was actually in BIL for all but a day, IIRC. Other than that, I have no idea what you're talking about, but then again, as I said, I'm not working up there anymore.

I see I somehow screwed up the picture...

This picture is what I was talking about.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Joseph A. Del Guidice



Now, is this the same aircraft?
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
UA_727
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2001 7:53 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:08 am

GQFluffy - A shame to hear that you're not part of "TeamBIL" anymore... (the all-airline team, that is...). Since I've moved to TUL, I've been counting on you to keep me updated on the happ's in BIL (and come to think of it, I haven't seen you around these parts much...)  Sad Think you might try UA, DL, and/or QX???

Miss BIL a lot - what a beautiful city, and *great* airline community!!  Smile

Best of luck!!

-UA-

 Wink  Wink
"AW - I'm on Board..."
 
ATAIndy
Posts: 622
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 11:05 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:57 pm



Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 2):
They will also be starting 1 or 2 (I forget if they got both) routes at CVG later in the year.

Wasn't HUF one of those routes?

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 10):
There has also been quite a bit of talk about Compass in Billings similar to MSO.

I'd hope so, it seems surprising to me that there are only two NW flights from BIL to MSP. Didn't it used to be four or five? That route is always packed in the summer when I fly it.
Boiler up! - Next flights: IND-MIA, MIA-IND
 
stapleton
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:57 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:56 pm

The most recent NW schedule change shows some interesting changes in GTF, FCA and MSO for NW over the next few months:

MSO - MSP
20Dec - 06Jan (3 E175)
07Jan - 13Feb (1 A319)
14Feb - Indefinite (2 E175)

FCA - MSP
20Dec - 06Jan (1 CRJ, 1 CR9)
07Jan - 13Feb (1 CR9)
14Feb - 07Apr (1 A319)
08Apr - 05Jun (2 CRJ)
06 Jun - Indefinite (2 E175)

GTF - MSP
20Dec - 05Jun (2 CRJ)
06Jun - Indefinite (2 E175)
 
floridaflyboy
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Wed Nov 14, 2007 5:39 pm



Quoting ATAIndy (Reply 30):
Wasn't HUF one of those routes?

The three routes from CVG are Cape Girardeau, MO (CGI), Owensboro, KY (OWB), and Jackson, TN (MKL). They start this month.

Quoting ATAIndy (Reply 30):
I'd hope so, it seems surprising to me that there are only two NW flights from BIL to MSP. Didn't it used to be four or five? That route is always packed in the summer when I fly it.

NW's MSP-BIL fluctuates a lot. It's low is two during the winter, and its high is four most summers. Then it's 3 in the spring and fall. However, last summer, they kept it at three all summer except a weekend Pinnacle flight. But, last summer was also the first summer where it was all A320/A319 instead of a mix of Airbus/DC-9, or of course before that when it was all DC-9s.

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 27):
Delta mainline staff are in BZN, they handle the above wing and then contract out the below wing operations. The DL mainline staff in BZN handles the SkyWest flights whereas in Billings, it would be SkyWest handling DL if they put in an ATL flight (which I doubt).

Although I agree that a BIL-ATL won't happen in the near future, there is no doubt in my mind that it will happen someday. And, as for SkyWest handling the flights, Delta did an FCA-ATL over the past summer, and FCA is a SkyWest station still, so it is definitely doable. BZN keeps the DL mainline employees because their ATL flight is essentially year-round (even though there are a few holes). Also, I definitely see SLC-BZN and SLC-BIL going back to a mix of mainline/SkyWest ala Boise and Spokane in the not too distant future (probably a few years).

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 25):
As far as I'm concerned, the president is more focused about getting the whole thing moved to BOS and CVG than he is getting GQ profitable (laughable at best, but still almost doable) in Montana.

Unfortunately, that's very true. Deleuw is a quack. Ever since he came onboard, it's hard to tell if he's running the company or if the company is running him. Too bad they didn't promote Craig Denney straight up into that position after Champney left. If they had, he might still be at the company (he was definitely the good guy up at HQ), and the company might actually be concentrating on making something out of their western network.
Good goes around!
 
stapleton
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:57 am

RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:04 pm



Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 32):
Although I agree that a BIL-ATL won't happen in the near future, there is no doubt in my mind that it will happen someday.

The big reason Delta does BZN-ATL is because 17.8% of Bozeman's passengers are going to the Southeast and Midsouth regions of the country whereas at Billings, the percentage is only 11.5%. This is also the reason why BZN has the year round daily non-stop to ORD with 31.6% of Bozeman's passengers going to the Midwest and Northeast regions with only 19.% of the Billings passengers going to the same regions. The regions where Billings is stronger are the Southcentral (Oil), Southwest (Allegiant to Las Vegas and Phoenix-Mesa) and Northwest (Horizon to Portland). The information above comes from the Montana Air Service: Opportunities and Challenges report done by the Montana Department of Transportation. It is a bit out of date (Published 2/07) but it does give some indications of air service patterns. http://www.mdt.mt.gov/research/docs/...proj/airchallenge/final_report.pdf

It is an interesting read for anyone into Montana air service.
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:12 pm



Quoting Stapleton (Reply 33):

I've read the report and it's definitely full of excellent information. The reason that a BIL-ATL will happen long-term is because of the growth and size of the city itself. As I said, it will be a ways down the road because as you mentioned, the market to the southeast is a much smaller percent. But, eventually, I see the numbers being high enough, and the international traffic that connects over ATL being high enough to warrant a several-weekly seasonal service ala Kalispell. But, I definitely don't dispute your analysis of the markets from BIL and BZN. BIL is definitely strong to the south central region due to the oil business. I could see potential in the distant future for CO BIL-IAH, or AA BIL-DFW, but of course, again, purely speculation, and purely long-term.
Good goes around!
 
stapleton
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RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:32 pm

I agree on either the AA or CO possibilities for Billings. CO might have a leg up since they at least have some Montana knowledge as well as the SkyTeam alliance cross-feed. AA seems to pretty much ignore Montana. I do think that BIL-ORD will happen on a year round basis much sooner than even a seasonal BIL - ATL will. I hope you are right in mainline DL coming back to BIL and BZN to SLC but part of the problem there is that BZN and BIL are bi-directional through SLC with them needing connections to both west and east whereas GEG and BOI are much more single directional to the east. What this means is that in order to put on a mainline flight, they would likely reduce frequency and then lose connectivity to flights either east bound or west bound. In the past, their mainline flights mostly focused on their westbound strength with 1 hours connections to the west and 2+ hour connections to the east. Now they split the flights into two RJs and now have 1 hour connections both directions. Years ago when DL owned Montana, the old way worked but now with United so strong and Frontier up and coming, they have much more competition for that all important business traveler who wants the quickest possible flight with many options.
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:39 pm



Quoting Stapleton (Reply 35):

Totally agree. CO seems the logical choice for a BIL-Texas. I also agree about BIL-ORD going year-round. That market has matured nicely for UA. I also think we'll see the SFO-BZN go to a CR7 instead of a CRJ this year, and both BIL-SFO and BZN-SFO increase in frequency this year assuming they come back. I could also see them trying an MSO-SFO saturday service on the CRJ. I also think it's possible that we may see FCA-ORD increase in frequency (Maybe 5-6 weekly) this summer. I had never thought of the connectivity issues at SLC with the east/west thing and the frequencies. It definitely makes a lot of sense considering BIL/BZN location relative to SLC. I have heard from a regional manager for DL that they are "re-evaluating" BIL and BZN as possibilities for mainline SLC, but of course, we all know not to believe anything until it's loaded into the schedule. And it's hard to know how seriously they're considering it, or if they just kicked it around in a meeting one day.
Good goes around!
 
stapleton
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RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:53 pm

I also hear that Helena is working with United on the Small Community Air Service Grant. It will be interesting to see if United adds this service. It is amazing to see an airport with under 100K boardings and service by Big Sky, Horizon, Delta Connection and Northwest Jetlink having a good chance to also get United Express. It could only happen in Montana. I know Grand Forks and Minot would love to have the service Helena has.
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:00 pm

That is true that HLN is working with UA under that grant. I also agree that it's a quite well-served airport. I could see UA going for it and adding maybe one or two daily CRJs to DEN at best. I just wonder how well the market would do. I would sure hate to see UA add that service and then drop it as soon as the subsidy ends. However, UA seems to be a little more careful than that with route selection, from my observations.
Good goes around!
 
stapleton
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RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:10 pm



Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 38):
I just wonder how well the market would do. I would sure hate to see UA add that service and then drop it as soon as the subsidy ends.

I know what you mean. I could see NW leaving the market if United begins service. Could be half a million spent just to change the airline scenery.
 
ATAIndy
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RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:20 pm



Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 32):
But, last summer was also the first summer where it was all A320/A319 instead of a mix of Airbus/DC-9, or of course before that when it was all DC-9s.

Ah, I didn't take into account the Airbuses being larger aircraft, that makes sense.

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 32):
The three routes from CVG are Cape Girardeau, MO (CGI), Owensboro, KY (OWB), and Jackson, TN (MKL). They start this month.

I hadn't heard anything about that in awhile because I haven't been on a.net in a while. I was hoping to see HUF get service again. Oh well...

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 33):
The big reason Delta does BZN-ATL is because 17.8% of Bozeman's passengers are going to the Southeast and Midsouth regions of the country whereas at Billings, the percentage is only 11.5%. This is also the reason why BZN has the year round daily non-stop to ORD with 31.6% of Bozeman's passengers going to the Midwest and Northeast regions with only 19.% of the Billings passengers going to the same regions.

If you combine the BIL percentages to the Southeast and Midwest, BIL should be able to pull of ATL. ATL could then provide connections to all of the Southeast and the southern portions of the Midwest. I live in the Midwest and I always go NW IND-MSP-BIL. The only other option would be IND-DEN-BIL on F9. I don't think other passengers or myself would be opposed to something like IND-ATL-BIL if it gave us another option. But, this is just for IND, not the countless other airports around ATL.
Boiler up! - Next flights: IND-MIA, MIA-IND
 
stapleton
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RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:17 pm



Quoting ATAIndy (Reply 40):
If you combine the BIL percentages to the Southeast and Midwest, BIL should be able to pull of ATL. ATL could then provide connections to all of the Southeast and the southern portions of the Midwest. I live in the Midwest and I always go NW IND-MSP-BIL. The only other option would be IND-DEN-BIL on F9. I don't think other passengers or myself would be opposed to something like IND-ATL-BIL if it gave us another option. But, this is just for IND, not the countless other airports around ATL.

While the passenger might not mind flying IND-ATL-BIL, Delta would have to weigh whether or not they want to actually sell that ticket. It is 1953 miles to fly IND-ATL-BIL, 1429 miles to fly IND-DEN-BIL and 1247 miles to fly IND-MSP-BIL. Based on a $200 one-way ticket, DL would get $.10 per mile, UA would get $.14 per mile and NW $.16 per mile. Obviously DL is at a disadvantage here. So, yes, DL could fill a BIL-ATL flight if they got passengers from the Midwest as well but that doesn't mean they would make money doing it.
 
copaair737
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RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:39 am

I'd think that CO could make BIL work, probably starting with an XJet ERJ, then moving up. I'd like to see American Eagle make it a go as well, though I feel both are a ways away.

What about an LAX flight to BIL or BZN? Could UA Express make a go of that this upcoming summer?
Also, is US going to make a return to the Montana market soon?

[Edited 2007-11-14 16:40:19]
Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C, and Cocaine
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:51 am



Quoting Copaair737 (Reply 42):
What about an LAX flight to BIL or BZN? Could UA Express make a go of that this upcoming summer?
Also, is US going to make a return to the Montana market soon?

QX used to do a BZN-LAX flight during ski season with a CR7. It hasn't been back the past couple years, though. I think it could work down the road when that market matures a little bit. BZN would be a better candidate for LAX than BIL at least short-term, but I think both are potential long-term. SFO is great for both and performed very well. As for US, their service to both BIL and FCA was quite successful. However, with G4 on the BIL-IWA route now, that might deter them a little bit, but again, when HP left BIL, they said it was likely a temporary end to service, although they made no indication of a timeline as to when they might come back, as they really have none. As for FCA, their yields were supposedly through the roof on the PHX route, and their loads were excellent. However, their schedules clashed with NW with whom they shared a gate which supposedly affected their decision not to come back this past summer. However, I would have thought they would just adjust their schedule if the route was as profitable as FCA claims it to be. But, I think you'll see US back in both BIL and FCA in the future, and possibly BZN.
Good goes around!
 
ATAIndy
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RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:46 am



Quoting Copaair737 (Reply 42):
I'd think that CO could make BIL work, probably starting with an XJet ERJ, then moving up. I'd like to see American Eagle make it a go as well, though I feel both are a ways away.

I could certainly see CO coming to BIL, American Eagle, not as likely, IMHO.

Quoting Stapleton (Reply 41):
So, yes, DL could fill a BIL-ATL flight if they got passengers from the Midwest as well but that doesn't mean they would make money doing it.

Well true, but I was just trying to show that a flight could work. Honestly, I hadn't really taken into account the revenue aspect.
Boiler up! - Next flights: IND-MIA, MIA-IND
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: Montana Aviation Thread 2!

Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:45 pm



Quoting ATAIndy (Reply 44):
I could certainly see CO coming to BIL, American Eagle, not as likely, IMHO.

I agree that CO definitely makes more sense. For one, as Stapleton said, CO has served Montana before in the past, whereas AA has never touched Montana with a ten foot pole. Also, Houston is a somewhat more complementary city for BIL. It also still offers decent connections to Florida and the Southeast as well as the lower midwest without too much backtracking.
Good goes around!

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