Brief synoposis covering some of the facts of this, including some things which were in the OP's links (which some appear not to have seen.)
--PenAir is already operating in Boston with a handful of EAS markets they were awarded last year.
--The partnership with Alaska Airlines is long-standing based on their operations in the state of Alaska. It's nothing established for nor intended to benefit the operation in New England.
--PenAIr does not code share with Alaska on their Boston flights.
--Because PenAir's operating is focused on Boston, if they're going to fly the classic business schedule it essentially needs to be based on Boston, not in Islip. Both the morning and evening round trip operates BOS
, not ISP
. Were it to be "based" in Islip and fly ISP
with an early-morning flight, then the plane would sit idle in ISP
all day until the evening ISP
flight. That essentially strands a crew and an aircraft in ISP
all day until the evening flight. If they're committed to a classic business schedule as they have published, basing the place and crew in ISP
is a non-starter until/unless a more complex and frequent operation comes to pass.
--This service is "subsidized" with incentives and initial marketing money, but not with revenue guarantees, travel banks or similar loss-covering provisions. These sorts of incentives and marketing stipends are very
common at airports large and small for specific new services. So while it is definitely a subsidy of sorts, it's not out of the ordinary and definitely does not ensure profits for PenAir.
I'm definiltey hopeful the service succeeds and demonstrates a niche exists for turpoprop service in targeted markets. The days when 6x/day 200-mile hops with 19-seat props were commonplace and profitable are long gone. But I do think there are many city pairs with perhaps 5-7 hour drives where enough travelers (esp business travelers) are willing to pay fares high enough to support nonstop turboprop service. My biggest concern...both about BOS
and about similar services I propose...is that they face real dificulty if they operate without a frequent flyer tie-in. The real road warriors you need to chose your nonstop flights are often additcted to FF
programs. Even if they're Delta junkies and you can only offer them United miles, they probably have a lesser-used United account to at least earn something. But if those travelers can't earn useful credits, many won't make the change from their current means of travel, whatever that may be.