Topic Author
Posts: 3921
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

Vanguard And Western New York

Fri Dec 15, 2000 3:55 pm

Dear All,

Looks like Western New York is about to lose a major low-fare carrier. Vanguard has run a 3-4 daily bank of flights from Buffalo Niagara to Chicago Midway since early 1999. According to the Buffalo News the flights were running about 90 percent full in the summer (very good) and 60 percent full (mediocre-poor) in winter. The average BUF-Chicago fare dropped from an average $220 on UA and AA before Vanguard's arrival, to $58 after. Let's hear it for airfare justice in Western New York!

Vanguard, however, just decided to close its little Chicago Midway hub and concentrate operations at its home-base Kansas City hub. So Buffalo Niagara will now have two daily flights to Kansas City instead, as of January 7. Vanguard says they had trouble getting enough gates at MDW, but MDW is being expanded (that's why they moved the terminal building across Cicero Avenue, to open more gate space). They're two small to maintain two hubs, no shame there, and decided to concentrate on their hometown where they're not going up against ATA and WN hubs.

I predict that Vanguard will leave Buffalo within a year. Chicago is a major route from Western New York, a great O&D destination to anchor the Vanguard flights. Connections at MCI will be similar to what they were at MDW (DFW, LAX, MSY, DEN, MSP and now AUS). But a small low-fare carrier like that needs connecting traffic to maintain a medium-size spoke like BUF.

Too bad. Now Rochester and Buffalo both need to get on the horn to ATA. WN says they've arrived in BUF too recently to consider adding MDW flights (now have BWI, LAX, PHX, MCO).

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)

RE: Vanguard And Western New York

Fri Dec 15, 2000 5:03 pm

Jim, I would love to see that Shuttle America start bringing those Dash8s further east say..ROC, SYR, ITH...

Any word on how they're doing in BUF with their service to Hanscom, Trenton, and Hartford?

Posts: 847
Joined: Sat May 20, 2000 10:07 am

RE: Vanguard And Western New York

Fri Dec 15, 2000 10:34 pm

Hopefully Vanguard will stick around but losing nonstop service to MDW definitely hurts. They held fares in check to the windy city. WNY business travelers won't travel through MCI to get to Chicago.

Another painful loss in January are 4 daily nonstops to LGA on Delta. Delta lost some slots in the lottery and they are yanking the BUF service.

TWAneed..: I don't have the numbers at my fingertips but ShuttleAmerica does very well out of BUF. I believe it's their #1 city. Back when they were the only lowfare operator out of BUF, people swarmed to them and now they still have a loyal following. I think they cut back on the number of daily flights in their overall system but they are more efficient because of it. I flew with them a couple times when they served Wilmington, Del.
Topic Author
Posts: 3921
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Vanguard And Western New York

Sat Dec 16, 2000 6:21 pm

American Trans Air would be a great addition to Western New York, if ROC and/ or BUF can get them. ATA has a good-sized hub at MDW, bigger than Vanguard's was. Both airport authorities should be aggressively courting ATA, who are committed, as far as I can tell, to MDW.

Glad to hear that Shuttle America does well at BUF, Dan. And yes, Russ, it would be great to get those Dash 8's further east. Even I can be persuaded to ride a prop plane if the fare's good. :+)

Regarding Delta's axing of LGA-Upstate New York flights: Sen. Schumer and Sen. Pantsuit, and Reps. Tom Reynolds, Louise Slaughter, Jim Walsh, Gerry Solomon, Amo Houghton, etc all ought to write a shared letter to Leo Mullin expressing their displeasure at this action. They should also inform Mullin that this action will be remembered the next time Delta wants something from Congress.

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)

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