United727
Topic Author
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RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:11 am

48 hours ago, Rockford Chicago International Airport scrambled to assist its passengers due to the abrupt shut down of DirectAir and its incapacitating blow to hundreds of passengers who planned their spring break vacations to RSW with this now defunct carrier. RFD went over and beyond the call of duty and arranged replacement service with another airline, namely Vision Airlines, in a little less than 48 hours. This service is pending DOT approval, which is expected sometime tomorrow afternoon. Their service will also be an incredible upgrade from the B734's, which Direct was chartering, to Vision's B767 (200 pax) WB service beginning as early as next week.

Supposedly there is one other smaller airport that has arranged similar service, but I have never heard of arranging such service in 48 hours. My hats off to Mike Dunn, Airport Exec. Dir. for going well over and above the call of duty as the airport was not responsible for the airlines delinquency and shutdown. Additionally, seeking out Vision's assistance for reasonable fares and the significant equipment upgrade as a bonus.
 
steex
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:15 am

SPI is also turning to Vision to replace Direct Air, they have a statement on the airport's homepage.

http://www.flyspi.com/

[Edited 2012-03-15 17:15:24]
 
KarlB737
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:48 am

Quoting United727 (Thread starter):
RFD went over and beyond the call of duty and arranged replacement service with another airline, namely Vision Airlines,

This kind of action is reflective of effective leadership of a regional airport. RFD management consistently acquire what they need with action. It is because of this leadership and agressiveness that has got them more airline service than most people expected for this regional airport.

Courtesy: WREX-TV

RFD Announces Solution For Direct Air Cancellations

http://www.wrex.com/story/17170807/r...lution-for-direct-air-cancelations
 
United727
Topic Author
Posts: 351
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:58 am

DIRECT AIR UPDATE


As you probably know by know by now, RFD has entered into an agreement with a carrier, Vision Airlines, top provide non-stop service between Rockford and Ft. Myers, Florida (not Punta Gorda) beginning this Monday 3/19. Flights will occur once a day on each Monday and Friday beginning 3/19 through April 30th. Upon final approval from the Federal Department of Transportation tomorrow morning, Vision Airlines at www.VisionAirlines.com will be able to take reservations for these flights.

I apologize to the passengers scheduled to fly tomorrow, Friday 3/16 for not being able to get this deal in place in order to assist you. Finding an airline, negotiating, and getting DOT approval, created a situation where we just couldn't get it done in time for Friday.

If RFD sees a demand, greater than the seats scheduled for these flights we will add additional flights. Because of federal regulations I am unable to share with you the specific fares tonight that will be charged, until the DOT/FAA gives us final approval tomorrow morning which we have been assured will happen. That being said I can tell you that the round trip fares will be below $300.00 and the one way fare will be below $150.00.

Please understand that in order to keep these fares down in an attempt to help out our flyers and customers, RFD will be exposed to costs for operating these flights. Our board and the staff here have all agreed that this is the right thing to do under the circumstances. And we are proud to be able to offer some assistance and relief to those stranded as a result of this very unfortunate situation. Again, we're very sorry that we are not able to assist everyone in each of their individual circumstance.

I want you to know that out of seventeen (17) airports served by Direct Air to the best of our knowledge only RFD and Springfield, Illinois have come up with this type of option offering alternative flights. RFD received official notice from Direct Air at 12:52pm on Tuesday, March 13. In 52 hours RFD found a carrier, negotiated a deal, and got to a point where we are now able to offer service and relief for our customers. I'm very proud of the RFD Board and our Staff in the way that they have responded to our customer's crisis and emergency. Finally I need to thank the folks at Vision Airlines for their quick response to our needs and the Federal DOT and the Staff there for the assistance in helping to expedite the process. We wish you all well, on behalf of the RFD Board and Staff we thank you for your patience and support of RFD.

Mike Dunn
RFD Director
 
usxguy
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:05 am

Why does Vision need DOT approval? they are a SCHEDULED part 121 airline....
xx
 
sunking737
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:04 am

Quoting usxguy (Reply 4):
Why does Vision need DOT approval? they are a SCHEDULED part 121 airline....

DOT Part 380 Public Charter Operations is what Direct Air was operating under.
Just an MSPAVGEEK
 
OB1504
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:37 am

SPI is also working with Vision to transport passengers to and from RSW, so will the flights be combined as RFD-SPI-RSW or SPI-RFD-RSW to make the best use of the additional capacity of the 767-200?
 
JA
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:40 am

Quoting usxguy (Reply 4):
Why does Vision need DOT approval? they are a SCHEDULED part 121 airline....

It appears that RFD has bought the entire plane.
 
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tjwgrr
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:11 pm

Quoting United727 (Reply 3):
DIRECT AIR UPDATE

Mike Dunn
RFD Director


---------------------------------------

Kudos! Great job Mike and RFD staff!
Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
 
flyinryan99
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:17 pm

Quoting JA (Reply 7):
It appears that RFD has bought the entire plane.

I wonder if they will have the passengers purchase tickets for a set price and cover the losses then and then just allow anyone to book even if they hadn't already booked? Way to go RFD and thinking outside of the box. Those passengers will definitely be back because they have an airport that actually cares...
 
JA
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:52 pm

Quoting flyinryan99 (Reply 9):
I wonder if they will have the passengers purchase tickets for a set price and cover the losses then and then just allow anyone to book even if they hadn't already booked?

Looks like it. At $150/one way, the plane will have to be 80% full to make it, but it seems that SPI is also kicking in money.
 
KarlB737
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:23 pm

More details on the RFD deal:

Courtesy: Business Rockford

Vision Airlines Agrees To Fly To Fort Myers From Rockford

"The decision will not come without a cost. Under the worst-case scenario, the airport would be on the hook for $55,000 per round trip — $770,000 in total. Dunn said the airport estimates it will cost it around $125,000 for all flights to Fort Myers.

“We’re not going to escape without a large bill on this,” said Dunn."

"But the association between an airline and an airport is strong, and Direct Air’s woes could make Rockford passengers decide to fly from a different airport. That would make it more difficult to increase passenger traffic, a board goal."

http://business-news.thestreet.com/r...s-agrees-fly-fort-myers-rockford/1
 
mli717fan
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:34 pm

It's probably too short of notice for them right now, but I wouldn't be surprised if G4 ended up taking on this route. They've been pretty successful at RFD and they have a focus city in PGD. It does seem G4 has been mostly concentrating on short flights to PGD (and MYR) with the exception of GRR. I wonder why that is.
 
United727
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:04 pm

Maybe someone else can chime in on this one, but it seemed odd, even with their recent DOD financial woes, that Ryan International (which is located at RFD) didn't step forward to operate the same way Vision plans to. They have plenty of free'd up B767's right now....Any thoughts??
 
flyinryan99
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:23 am

Quoting United727 (Reply 13):

Probably because Ryan International doesn't have a reservation system in place. They picked Vision because they do. Think about it - still need to book and process passengers. Is Ryan capable of that? I'm not sure..That's just my thought...  
 
flyboi4life
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:22 am

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 6):
SPI is also working with Vision to transport passengers to and from RSW, so will the flights be combined as RFD-SPI-RSW or SPI-RFD-RSW to make the best use of the additional capacity of the 767-200?

From what I've heard from my friends at V2 was that Direct Air had contracted V2 to fly their 767-200 (200seats) from PGD-RFD/SPI/IAG. All separartely. I guess the demand is there.
The sky is my limit
 
BluYonder
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:15 am

I can certainly see RFD wanting to replace its link with Southwest Florida. But I am surprised that SPI must have felt that RSW service was more desired by the community thus less risky than underwriting service to LAL. Under normal circumstances, I would think Central Florida is a bigger drawl than Southwest Florida. I wonder if that is a reflection of the appeal of LAL...or the lack of?
 
sunking737
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:38 am

LAL does not have any jetways. Just a rack of stairs pushed up to plane. Not a stair truck. Easy to push a wheel chair up. LAL has only had jet service since June 2011.
Just an MSPAVGEEK
 
flyboi4life
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RE: RFD Arranges Replacement Service For DirectAir

Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:22 pm

Quoting BluYonder (Reply 16):
But I am surprised that SPI must have felt that RSW service was more desired

PGD doesn't have the equipment to handle a 767. Direct Air was trying to rush training and getting loads and especially stairs for a 767. Hence why the service was restored to RSW instead
The sky is my limit