What have you read about HeartLand Airlines, the new startup trying to set up a Midwest Express-like operation at Dayton? A group of local businessmen has hired Piedmont's William Davis (or is it Howard--pls forgive my Alzheimer's) out of retirement, and has ordered four Boeing 717's. They are seeking to lease two more, from ILFC I think. Apparently their goal is to get $55 million in funding but they are far short at this point. HeartLand aims to start flying next spring.
The idea is to fly major routes that Piedmont had at their old DAY hub before US Airways got irked at the competition, bought PI out in 1987, and shut the hub down. EG New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc. The planes will be configured with 88 seats in an all-business class arrangement. Fares would be competitive with the oligopoly carriers' economy class. I haven't seen anything about fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies yet but wouldn't be surprised if they are offered. :+)
I'd like the idea very much if I lived in Dayton. But Dayton doesn't have near the population base from which Midwest Express can draw at Milwaukee. And MWX got established there before setting up sub-hubs at OMA and MCI. (I hear one is planned for DSM--is this true?) I'd give HeartLand a 60-70 percent chance of getting off the ground but about a 45 percent chance of survival.
What has everyone else heard about HeartLand?