MFEFlyer
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Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow...

Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:19 am

Hey guys I wanted your opinion on what airports will likely grow in the next decade or so in South Texas.....

Not including SAT and airports near by.....This thread includes airports in deep South Texas such as The Rio Grande Valley, Laredo to Corpus Christi, and down south.

And I mean :"growth", as in expansion, terms of passengers, airlines, cargo, terminal etc...
Valley Approach.....
 
drerx7
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:27 am

I think MFE and HRL will grow. HRL because S. Padre is getting more and more national exposure as an alternative Spring Break vacation destination. I'm sure that charters will start flying in ala Daytona or Cancun.
Third Coast born, means I'm Texas raised
 
ssides
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:45 am

The drawback for the Valley area is twofold.

First, air traffic is spread out among three different airports (MFE, HRL, and BRO). If there were a single airport for the entire region, I could easily see AA mainline service to DFW and maybe RJ or mainline service to ORD and/or MIA, CO mainline service to IAH and maybe EWR, DL service to ATL, NW service to MEM, and UA service to DEN, along with maybe a Mexican carrier. However with three airports competing with one another, I don't think you'll see much expansion beyond the three airlines that serve the area.

Second, Texans are fiercely loyal frequent flyers. Most aviation experts would tell you that the three healthiest major carriers are WN, AA, and CO. These carriers have built their success on the backbone of loyal frequent flyers in the Lone Star state, and it will be very hard for a carrier such as UA to come in and take passengers. NW and DL will probably stay away, because they can get SkyTeam feed from CO (in fact, didn't NW serve MFE a few years ago, but pulled out quickly?)
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
MFEFlyer
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:00 am

Yea, NW (pinnacle) pulled out back in January because the lack of intrest, and the loads, I mean, who flies to MEM from the Rio Grande Valley. But MFE is in for a suprise.
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drerx7
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:25 am

I was glad and surprised when CO started sending 757s down to MFE--hopefully those return.
Third Coast born, means I'm Texas raised
 
ssides
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:46 am

Quoting MFEFlyer (Reply 3):
But MFE is in for a suprise.

Care to elaborate?

Don't tell me Air France is starting service ...
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
NikonDFW
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:03 am

AA's DFW-MFE flights have always done good. In the winter months, the snowbird traffic from the upper midwest is really strong, AA's flights are always oversold. I know a seasonal ORD-MFE MD-80 would do good, a RJ or two would work, but the problem is every passanger leaving MFE has a box or two of fresh citrus fruit,which would overload a RJ quickly.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:04 am

Quoting MFEFlyer (Reply 3):
I mean, who flies to MEM from the Rio Grande Valley.

That's not the point. The point is connecting passengers to Northwest's network. They weren't able to create a strong market.
a.
 
MFEFlyer
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:19 am

Who knows? Air France might just fly to MFE. NO, there's and expansion going on as of now, how I know, because I do live in McAllen, hence, right near the airport. They're extending the runway, and adding a parallel runway for cargo aircraft, adding four more gates, which will lure more airlines.....Who know's maybe flights to ORD,ATL,SFB, Even CDG via Airfrance! bigmouth 
Valley Approach.....
 
Lumberton
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:27 am

Quoting MFEFlyer (Thread starter):
Corpus Christi

IMHO, I'm not sure there is a lot of growth potential for Corpus Christi in the near term. They've been trying to develop it as a tourist destination for years. The recent Base Realignment and Closure Commission is closing a major military base in Ingleside, which won't help matters. Corpus is one of those "terminal" destinations. It's not a hub or an transit point to another destination.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
MFEFlyer
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:45 am

I think that BRO has no potential. I know that BRO was trying to bring in G4 to share some flights with MFE, my guess 2 flights from MFE, and 2 to BRO from LAS> Also a couple of years ago, they tried to bring in DL. I see no point in BRO, only in spring break, but usually HRL, and even a little of MFE get the spring breakers' flights. Mostly HRL. BRO only has 5 daily flights to IAH with Continental Express. I'm not too sure about the loads, my guess is they're about 70-80% full. So, I'd say BRO, is out of the picture for expansion.
Valley Approach.....
 
stirling
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:33 am

And exactly how much in-bound traffic is destined for the beaches?

From what I remember, is not South Texas a "drive-to" destination? I've known many people who've been to South Padre....but in their cars...the area is too spread out, and the truly budget conscious; after adding a rental car into the mix; will opt to drive; even with gas prices soaring; some habits are hard to break.

Does the area really want to be the next Daytona?
And what to do the other 51 weeks of the year when it is not Spring Break?

Quoting Ssides (Reply 2):
First, air traffic is spread out among three different airports

Excellent point.
The closest two to each other (HRL, BRO) are just 26 miles apart.
The furthest apart of the two (MFE, BRO) are just 54 miles apart.

Quoting Ssides (Reply 2):
However with three airports competing with one another, I don't think you'll see much expansion beyond the three airlines that serve the area.

And this is the unfortunate truth.
A regional airport authority, concentrating efforts on just one of the airports, is the only thing that will produce tangible results in relation to improved air links. Civic egos need to be set aside, so that airline service can improve for all citizens of the region.
Harlingen makes the most sense to be the region's airport; central to population; ease of access to oceanside destinations; but in reality, the leaders of MFE and BRO would never allow that to happen. Hell, I've been waiting for the Cameron County/Port Isabel airport to throw it's hat into the ring...since they are in fact the closest airport to the beaches.
Is Matamoras served by anyone? That technically makes it 4 airports if so.
Too many airports!
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thomasphoto60
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:36 am

Quoting MFEFlyer (Reply 10):
I'd say BRO, is out of the picture for expansion.

I agree. BRO has as far as I remember, seemed to have had difficulty attracting and keeping carriers. I recall numerous times when we would fly BN to BRO from MSP in the 70s visiting relatives who had a beach house on SPI (South Padre Island), changing planes at DAL (later DFW) and occasionally IAH, the planes (721s and 722s) were fairly empty for the most part. Later TX and Transtar tried BRO with mediocre results as I recall.

That said, I have always found it odd that BRO never had more success, given it's geography to Mexico and SPI, the two big tourist draws. Yet, MFE in comparison which is much further away from SPI (South Padre Island) has over the years become the gateway airport to the Valley. Checking all 3 airport's web sites, it would seem that MFE has gone further in upgrading it's facilities, compared to those of HRL and BRO and aggressively gone after carriers. I too would agree that MFE probably has a brighter future than HRL and BRO, at this point anyways.

http://www.mcallenairport.com/
http://www.flybrownsville.com/
http://www.iflyharlingen.com/


Thomas

[Edited 2005-08-29 23:58:24]
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
LifelinerOne
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:44 am

Crawford has attracted a lot people lately...  Wink

Cheers!  wave 
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MFEFlyer
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:48 am

Yes Matamoros is served by Aeromexico, and some other cheap airline, and stirling, you maybe right, you forgot to mention REX(Reynos) across the border of McAllen, so techniclly,there's 5 airports in the area including border of Tamaulipas, MX.

And stirling, I do disagree about HRL being the main airport, yes it has the name of Valley International Airport(VIA), and it's close to South Padre Island, but it's not the regions main airport, the regions main and business airport is MFE. Just because SWA flies out of HRL, that's HRL's business. Continental Express are mediocre on there loads, and Sun Country is only seasonal. Maybe in terms of Cargo, yes it is, because HRL does have quite a few Cargo carriers.

Another point is Thats why BRO is Calles Brownsville/SouthPadre International Airport, the real gate way to the "oceanside" is BRO

And thomasphoto.....I totally agree with you.

[Edited 2005-08-29 23:52:30] and also thomas, if you go to HRL's website, you'll be able to check out all 3 aiports passenger loads.

[Edited 2005-08-29 23:55:13]
Valley Approach.....
 
MFEFlyer
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:58 am

Here is the link for july alone, on pax that enplaned and deplaned
http://www.iflyharlingen.com/via/airport/stats/pdf/July2005Report.pdf
Valley Approach.....
 
drerx7
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:35 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 11):
From what I remember, is not South Texas a "drive-to" destination? I've known many people who've been to South Padre....but in their cars...the area is too spread out, and the truly budget conscious; after adding a rental car into the mix; will opt to drive; even with gas prices soaring; some habits are hard to break.

For the most part its true--but its starting to change--remember SY use to send in the occasional DC10.
Third Coast born, means I'm Texas raised
 
Lumberton
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:52 am

MFEFlyer, great topic! What about LRD? I have an emotional attachment to Laredo as I used to live there in the early 70's. Back then there was the "international" airport, and the US Air Force Base. I know that the airport moved to the former base when it closed. Since then the area has experienced explosive growth. I would have thought that it was ideally situated to be a significant, if somewhat minor, transcontinental hub between the various countries of the Americas. Any thoughts?
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
MFEFlyer
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:05 am

Well about LRD, I understand that city is growing rapidly aswell. Growth for LRD at the moment, in my opinion would probably be a steady airport. I know continental express, and american eagle, and some mexican airline lure LRD. I know that CO is going to take out LRD-MEX service soon. And I know that it's a small airport, well the terminal consisting of 4 gates as well. Any more info guys about LRD?
Valley Approach.....
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 9:58 am

I was doing some work in Laredo back in '88', where I shot this pic during some downtime
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Thomas Millard

. I remember LRD being back then, basically a dump, but checking out their web site http://www.cityoflaredo.com/airport/ and it would seem that they have done some major renovation work. I would be curious to see some additional pics from LRD. Perhaps when I get back to Houston in Oct, I'll make a trip down that way. I would love to snap a pic of the Azteca bird.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
MAH4546
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 10:00 am

Quoting MFEFlyer (Reply 18):
I know that CO is going to take out LRD-MEX service soon.

This has not been confirmed.

Quoting MFEFlyer (Reply 18):
some mexican airline lure LRD.

That would be Mexico's largest airline, AeroMexico.
a.
 
stirling
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 10:16 am

Quoting MFEFlyer (Reply 14):
And stirling, I do disagree about HRL being the main airport, yes it has the name of Valley International Airport(VIA), and it's close to South Padre Island

You might have misunderstood...I "suggested" HRL become the areas airport due to it's more central location, that is all.
And WN's service there had nothing to do with my suggestion.

Quoting Thomasphoto60 (Reply 12):
BRO has as far as I remember, seemed to have had difficulty attracting and keeping carriers. I recall numerous times when we would fly BN to BRO from MSP in the 70s

And the Great Silver Fleet: Eastern Airlines before that....HOU-CRP-BRO....truncated at CRP by the time the 70's rolled around.

Quoting MFEFlyer (Reply 14):
Yes Matamoros is served by Aeromexico, and some other cheap airline, and stirling, you maybe right, you forgot to mention REX(Reynos) across the border of McAllen, so techniclly,there's 5 airports in the area including border of Tamaulipas, MX.

My goodness, I forgot about that one!
The Rio Grande Valley must have the most airports per capita than anyplace in North America!
5 airports fighting over passengers isn't doing anyone a bit of good!
Imagine what one airport could do! Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 million passengers a year....minimum.
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Chugach
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:53 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 9):
IMHO, I'm not sure there is a lot of growth potential for Corpus Christi in the near term. They've been trying to develop it as a tourist destination for years. The recent Base Realignment and Closure Commission is closing a major military base in Ingleside, which won't help matters. Corpus is one of those "terminal" destinations. It's not a hub or an transit point to another destination.

I would agree with this. The new terminal at CRP is quite nice, though--definitely an upgrade from the old one. Does CO still send in one mainline flight a day to supplement the RJ's?

I'm heading down to Corpus for a couple days in October for some family stuff. Should be a nice change from the sleet in Anchorage Big grin
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RogerThat
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:00 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 11):
A regional airport authority, concentrating efforts on just one of the airports, is the only thing that will produce tangible results in relation to improved air links. Civic egos need to be set aside, so that airline service can improve for all citizens of the region.

Perhaps a congressman will introduce a bill restricting flights from the other 2 airports to the states abutting Texas. All the airlines x-WN will move to the unrestricted airport. Who knows, maybe some carrier will build a hub down in the Rio Grande Valley Regional Airport at the airport where Southwest is not.
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:08 am

Does anyone remember Ozark's shortlived BRO-DFW-STL service?

IIRC they pulled out of BRO before the TWA buyout. 13 years later TWA starts a MFE-AUS-STL run, giving the Valley another shot at STL service.

I guess the WN stronghold at HRL and the beyond flights out of HOU pretty much kill that market.
Next up: STL-OAK-RNO-LAS-ICT-STL
 
kanebear
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:03 am

Quoting Chugach (Reply 22):
Quoting Lumberton (Reply 9):
IMHO, I'm not sure there is a lot of growth potential for Corpus Christi in the near term. They've been trying to develop it as a tourist destination for years. The recent Base Realignment and Closure Commission is closing a major military base in Ingleside, which won't help matters. Corpus is one of those "terminal" destinations. It's not a hub or an transit point to another destination.

I would agree with this. The new terminal at CRP is quite nice, though--definitely an upgrade from the old one. Does CO still send in one mainline flight a day to supplement the RJ's?

I'm heading down to Corpus for a couple days in October for some family stuff. Should be a nice change from the sleet in Anchorage

For the near term, I don't see a whole lot of expansion out of CRP. In speaking to folks who know, our loads are good however the yields are only fair. We do have quite a few projects in the works that should greatly increase the value of the area to tourists. As a resident, anything that brings growth is a GOOD thing. CRP has stagnated for a looong time. Bring on the beachfront casinos! (Yes, still illegal... for now) IMO at some point CRP WILL boom. It's got the last pristine beachfront in the country that's largely undeveloped with good weather throughout most of the year. IMO the only problem will be the heat. Our average temperature is about 5 degrees higher than Miami. That's a big difference. We shall see.

As for CO, no the mainline flight is gone. I'm not sure when it left. That flight was a promise from Gordon Bethune and the folks at CO who worked with a group of business leaders here in town to keep jet service back when AA and CO dropped CRP as a mainline destination. Unlike AMA, we refused to pay AA for the privilege of keeping jet service (they wanted $1 million a year IIRC) so that was that. For a while, WN and the CO mainline flights were the only jet aircraft we got, the rest were SF3s and ATRs. CO varied between one and two mainline flights a day.

Say what you want about props, I was never happier than the day that getting on board an unairconditioned prop in 105 degree heat was something I didn't have to do anymore. Nothing was worse after 35 hours of flying/transit than climbing on board that beast and sweating your ass off.

Quoting RogerThat (Reply 23):
Perhaps a congressman will introduce a bill restricting flights from the other 2 airports to the states abutting Texas. All the airlines x-WN will move to the unrestricted airport. Who knows, maybe some carrier will build a hub down in the Rio Grande Valley Regional Airport at the airport where Southwest is not.

I understand the reference but think you're comparing apples to oranges. DFW obviously didn't need WN to thrive. DAL isn't hampering DFW and IMO while I'm sure DFW would greatly appreciate the revenue WN would bring, moving WN to DFW wouldn't generate traffic to new destinations DFW doesn't already have.

In the Valley, it's a different story. You have duplication of services (CoEx to HRL and BRO, etc etc) and less frequency than you would have to one facility. It's very clear that what 3 airports can't do alone, they could do together. CO and AA mainline still exist at MFE and consolidating the three valley airports to one central location (IMO it should be somewhere equidistant to each current facility) would enable them to not only drive all traffic through one common point and thereby justify improved facilities but also generate more traffic to attract more carriers and allow for service to more destinations.
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 5:24 am

Quoting Kanebear (Reply 25):
CRP has stagnated for a looong time. Bring on the beachfront casinos! (Yes, still illegal... for now) IMO at some point CRP WILL boom. It's got the last pristine beachfront in the country that's largely undeveloped with good weather throughout most of the year. IMO the only problem will be the heat. Our average temperature is about 5 degrees higher than Miami. That's a big difference. We shall see.

Why Corpus Christi never took off as a major tourist destination has always baffled me. I make CRP at least 3 times a year and I really like the town. I even interviewed for a photographers position at the 'Caller Times' a few years back, sadly, I lost out to another shooter. Still, I would have loved the opportunity to live there if only for a short time. Until the city's leaders decide to buckle down and really market Corpus both nationally and internationally, it will remain Texas's best kept secret. Which in hindsight may not be a bad thing. As for casino gambleing, well, frankly I am not a huge supporter of this, at least with the way promoters market the ideal. But that's another topic for another forum.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
MFEFlyer
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:06 am

In my opinion, 3 Airports in the Rio Grande Valley is pointless. McAllen-Harlingen-Brownsville are the 3 largest city in the valley. And thats excluding Matamoros, and Reynosa's Airports. In my opinion they need to join and stop competing with one another. Thats all the valley is, compition among airports. One airline chooses one city and the other 2 start B******* and wining. (excuse my language) This instance happened when G4 came to MFE. They actually went to HRL first but chose MFE. Then BRO wanted action too and so and so on. We need a strong and reliable airport con-joint. Maybe even a Hub to destinations in South America, North Aerica etc...We need a huge International Airport. The only international place the valley really goes to is MEX, from MFE.
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coa747
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RE: Airports In South Texas That Will Likely Grow.

Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:42 am

Corpus is slowly coming around. The much talked about arena was finally built the baseball stadium is up and running. Development on the island is taking off. The big issue facing the city as far as growth of the airport and passenger numbers is the number of people who still drive to SAT to catch flights because of the expense. While this number has declined in recent years it is still a block to growth at CRP. But as ASA's Atlanta flight should show the potential is there. Corpus has much better opportunities in my opinion because it isn't competing for traffic like the airports in the valley. I have family in Corpus and lived in Houston for 7 years and I never once drove to Corpus from Houston. Why drive 4 1/2 hours from the north side of Houston when you could take a 45 minute flight. By the way Continental still does have mainline jets service to Corpus. My dad flew outbound on the 737-500 flight on his way to Albuquerque three weeks ago. I myself have flown on it often as well although it has dwindled in the post 9-11 era. MY guess is Southwest could do well with an MSY or MCO service out of Corpus and LAS is very popular. ATA tried this and it failed but only because the local travel agents wouldn't get on board.

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