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KarlB737
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Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:40 pm

The fairly new Branson Airport continues to struggle to retain airlines. With plenty of service available at the Springfield/Branson Airport nearby is this airport going to make it or is something wrong that there that requires some new thinking. What would any of you that live in that area of the Ozarks recommend be done.

Courtesy: USA Today

Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2016/12/27/missouris-new-branson-airport-struggling-keep-fliers/95868254/
 
lavalampluva
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:07 pm

Seems like every year someone drops out and someone moves in.
Remind me to send a thank you note to Mr. Boeing.
 
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enilria
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:10 pm

I think the team there has done a good job. It's just that the market is not that large, is seasonal, and can't really support two airports. At that point it's really which airport is going to win and it's always hard for the newer airport.
 
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knope2001
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:28 pm

Branson simply isn't a flying sort of vacation destination. Its core market is within a day's drive in any direction, and much beyond that its draw falls off dramatically.

I doubt too much of Springfield's volume comes from the existence of Branson. Having BKG go from WN + F9 to spotty seasonal public charters over the course of a few years has taken competition out of SGF's broad service area, of course. But the Springfield area is growing nicely and with our without a big regional tourist destination an hour down the road it would be posting good numbers.
 
777PHX
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:36 pm

Yeah, exactly. No one is spending a day in airplanes and airports to come to Branson. The majority of the people it appeals to live within driving distance of it.
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:43 am

Branson is heavily marketed as a drive-to destination from Dallas, Oklahoma City and other major nearby cities but not as a fly-to destination from further out large cities.
 
globalcabotage
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:48 am

As mentioned above, not a bad drive from DFW (and MCI, STL, LIT, TUL - all in Branson's target market). Houston and Chicago could be targeted, but SGF is close and has decent fares.
 
KentB27
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:08 am

Why would anyone fly into Branson when KMCI, KTUL, KLIT, and KSTL are each within a few hours drive of Branson? By the time you factor in the additional cost and airport and flying time to get to Branson, it's really not worth it.
 
alggag
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:08 am

I took an overnight trip on WN when they were still there and I felt bad for them as it was a cozy but tiny airport and it was obvious that they (the airport people) were really trying to make it work. It's a shame though as I think building a new airport for such a niche destination when SGF is already there to serve what little fly in traffic exists seems like a total waste of resources and effort.
 
dc10lover
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:54 am

Airports have competition - not just airlines.
Why endure the nightmare and congestion of LAX when BUR, LGB, ONT & SNA is so much easier to fly in and out of. Same with OAK & SJC when it comes to SFO.
 
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BN727227Ultra
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:10 pm

I'm sure the existence of XNA isn't helping, either. DL is putting a 319 in there from ATL.
 
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piedmontf284000
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:29 pm

Why does SGF get to label itself as Springfield-Branson National Airport? Shouldn't the leaders of Branson ask that the name 'Branson' be removed from the name thereby giving their own airport more marketing potential and those that have zero clue (like myself) that Branson and Springfield are so close together would chose BKG over SGF if Branson was their final destination.

That or how about BKG relabeling themselves as Southwest Missouri Airport thus giving them more bites at the apple from people who are heading to Joplin, Springfield, Branson or even Fayetteville.
 
usflyer123
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:36 pm

Allegiant seems like the perfect airline for BKG but they are pretty based up in SGF. BKG is truly a waste of money...
for most people the sky is the limit. for those who love aviation, the sky is home...
 
usflyer123
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:38 pm

piedmontf284000 wrote:
Why does SGF get to label itself as Springfield-Branson National Airport? Shouldn't the leaders of Branson ask that the name 'Branson' be removed from the name thereby giving their own airport more marketing potential and those that have zero clue (like myself) that Branson and Springfield are so close together would chose BKG over SGF if Branson was their final destination.

That or how about BKG relabeling themselves as Southwest Missouri Airport thus giving them more bites at the apple from people who are heading to Joplin, Springfield, Branson or even Fayetteville.


Why would SGF agree to that? They will lose potential customers.
Sorry about the double posts.
for most people the sky is the limit. for those who love aviation, the sky is home...
 
TUSDawg23
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:47 pm

Who thought it was a good idea for Branson, a town of 10K people, to get their own commercial airport in the first place? Did anyone actually do their homework to see how many people come to the town outside of the state of MO? the airlines that started their I'm sure had some nice subsidies going and then pulled the plug as soon as they could.

The whole "If you build it they will come" strategy has clearly not worked here. BKG averages 20/ops per day according to airnav. I feel bad for that poor lone air traffic controller in the tower who struggles not to fall asleep on his shifts.
 
michman
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:54 pm

TUSDawg23 wrote:
Who thought it was a good idea for Branson, a town of 10K people, to get their own commercial airport in the first place? Did anyone actually do their homework to see how many people come to the town outside of the state of MO? the airlines that started their I'm sure had some nice subsidies going and then pulled the plug as soon as they could.

The whole "If you build it they will come" strategy has clearly not worked here. BKG averages 20/ops per day according to airnav. I feel bad for that poor lone air traffic controller in the tower who struggles not to fall asleep on his shifts.


Obviously not the brightest idea in retrospect. But fortunately, the entire airport was privately financed, so the taxpayer and regular flyers are not getting fleeced for it. Compare to boondoggle upgrades at places like MBS and SBN which were largely financed by FAA dollars coming out of your pocket (taxpayers and US 7.5% domestic excise tax and $4.00 US segment tax), I don't mind it a bit.
 
mtnwest1979
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:27 pm

Location, location, location. That is what I think doomed this project from get-go.
Too small market with non-flying people that make up most of travelers. Airport on winding small road SE of town. Just as easy to get to SGF and relative plethora of flights.
Also with the nice, new terminal that they got in SGF in 2009, there is really no reason not to go thru there if one really wants to visit the area.
When Branson Airlines and their DHC-7s couldn't make flights work ( although they served very driveable places) and they served PLK, which is right by town, that should have been a clue that likelihood of success would be very limited IMO.
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
dc10lover
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:28 pm

Isn't Branson KBBG?
Why endure the nightmare and congestion of LAX when BUR, LGB, ONT & SNA is so much easier to fly in and out of. Same with OAK & SJC when it comes to SFO.
 
Aliqiout
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:15 pm

KentB27 wrote:
Why would anyone fly into Branson when KMCI, KTUL, KLIT, and KSTL are each within a few hours drive of Branson? By the time you factor in the additional cost and airport and flying time to get to Branson, it's really not worth it.

Why would anyone drive a few hours at the end or beginning of a plane trip of they can help it? A much more significant factor is SGF.
 
cvgComair
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:24 pm

BN727227Ultra wrote:
I'm sure the existence of XNA isn't helping, either. DL is putting a 319 in there from ATL.


I would think this has a huge effect on the region, the airport caries far above its weight for the city size (Yes, I know Walmart is there). Just looking, the airport has flights to CLT, ORD, DFW, LAX, LGA, DCA, ATL, CVG, MSP, DEN, IAH, EWR, SFO, LAS, and SFB. Thats a lot of flights, and I imagine its hard for other carriers to justify adding more flights at BKG and even SGF.

Look at the Delta hubs served at each airport for example:

XNA: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–LGA
SGF: Atlanta
BKG: None
 
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vatveng
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:50 pm

dc10lover wrote:
Isn't Branson KBBG?


Yes, the ICAO code is KBBG, but the IATA and FAA code is BKG.
 
AirstairFear
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:56 pm

vatveng wrote:
the IATA and FAA code is BKG.


The IATA code is BKG, yes, but the FAA LID is BBG.
 
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atypical
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:40 pm

One of the airport's big problems it that it has identity issues. At least to some pilots.
 
freakyrat
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:58 pm

michman wrote:
TUSDawg23 wrote:
Who thought it was a good idea for Branson, a town of 10K people, to get their own commercial airport in the first place? Did anyone actually do their homework to see how many people come to the town outside of the state of MO? the airlines that started their I'm sure had some nice subsidies going and then pulled the plug as soon as they could.

The whole "If you build it they will come" strategy has clearly not worked here. BKG averages 20/ops per day according to airnav. I feel bad for that poor lone air traffic controller in the tower who struggles not to fall asleep on his shifts.


Obviously not the brightest idea in retrospect. But fortunately, the entire airport was privately financed, so the taxpayer and regular flyers are not getting fleeced for it. Compare to boondoggle upgrades at places like MBS and SBN which were largely financed by FAA dollars coming out of your pocket (taxpayers and US 7.5% domestic excise tax and $4.00 US segment tax), I don't mind it a bit.


And we are not done doing upgrades at SBN and they are not boondoggles. SBN has in the works a project to level and stregthen the main ramp so they can utilize gates 5 and 6 for the Delta Airbusses during football season With the upgraded ramp United could also utilize larger jets at their gates 7 and 8. SBN also finished an improved and enlarged GA ramp on the North side of the airport and the paperwork is almost completed to open the U. S. Customs GA facility with the completed commercial FIS to follow. There are some problems I had with the new concourse as the previous administration could have built it another half floor up and built a new parking ramp before they opened it but that is all water under the bridge. Delta is also upguaging aircraft at SBN in the third qtr of 2017 and a SBN-JFK flight is in the works. SBN isn't struggling to keep fliers either. Now getting back to the subject of Branson. Airtran was one of the first large airlines that served Branson and Southwest sort of took over it for a while after the merger. I got to fly on a flight from MDW to DAL that stopped at Branson and the flight was pretty full. Now granted it was summer.
Last edited by freakyrat on Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
freakyrat
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:03 am

The Branson airport is big enough now for corporate jets where PLK wasn't but there is an almost new competing GA airport Branson West to take that busines away from the commercial airport.
 
FWAERJ
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:48 am

freakyrat wrote:
michman wrote:
TUSDawg23 wrote:
Who thought it was a good idea for Branson, a town of 10K people, to get their own commercial airport in the first place? Did anyone actually do their homework to see how many people come to the town outside of the state of MO? the airlines that started their I'm sure had some nice subsidies going and then pulled the plug as soon as they could.

The whole "If you build it they will come" strategy has clearly not worked here. BKG averages 20/ops per day according to airnav. I feel bad for that poor lone air traffic controller in the tower who struggles not to fall asleep on his shifts.


Obviously not the brightest idea in retrospect. But fortunately, the entire airport was privately financed, so the taxpayer and regular flyers are not getting fleeced for it. Compare to boondoggle upgrades at places like MBS and SBN which were largely financed by FAA dollars coming out of your pocket (taxpayers and US 7.5% domestic excise tax and $4.00 US segment tax), I don't mind it a bit.


And we are not done doing upgrades at SBN and they are not boondoggles. SBN has in the works a project to level and stregthen the main ramp so they can utilize gates 5 and 6 for the Delta Airbusses during football season With the upgraded ramp United could also utilize larger jets at their gates 7 and 8. SBN also finished an improved and enlarged GA ramp on the North side of the airport and the paperwork is almost completed to open the U. S. Customs GA facility with the completed commercial FIS to follow. There are some problems I had with the new concourse as the previous administration could have built it another half floor up and built a new parking ramp before they opened it but that is all water under the bridge. Delta is also upguaging aircraft at SBN in the third qtr of 2017 and a SBN-JFK flight is in the works. SBN isn't struggling to keep fliers either. Now getting back to the subject of Branson. Airtran was one of the first large airlines that served Branson and Southwest sort of took over it for a while after the merger. I got to fly on a flight from MDW to DAL that stopped at Branson and the flight was pretty full. Now granted it was summer.


As freakyrat said, the SBN upgrades were not boondoggles. SBN has long been a solid airport in terms of pax numbers and for many years second only to IND in pax numbers in Indiana. Only recently did FWA become the second-busiest, and even then, the two airports don't compete except in Warsaw (home to both Zimmer Biomet and J&J subsidiary DePuy Synthes, the two largest orthopedic manufacturers in the world). However, the old A gates/C holdroom design was not set up at all for a post-9/11 world, particularly with G4's growth and during Notre Dame football season. The new concourse fixes that, and provided other simple upgrades like family restrooms and hot food post-security that brought SBN to par with other similar airports. And the later addition of the FIS is in line with other smaller communities - granted, I don't see flights to Europe like the SJCAA does, but weekly CUN, MBJ, and NAS charters are extremely realistic for a market the size of SBN and make perfect sense.

BKG, on the other hand, was a boondoggle. Just because no tax dollars were/are used doesn't mean that the business consortium that runs BKG hasn't taken massive losses on the project and is having to cross-subsidize BKG losses (which I'm sure are substantial) with hotel and show profits. The idea of an XNA alternative didn't make sense, either. Even though XNA is busy and has high fares save for G4, it has Walmart in its backyard that provides the high-yield pax that airlines crave and plenty of room to grow. And with SGF just up the road, the Branson community could have provided money for expanded service from there at a far lower cost.
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KentB27
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:03 am

Aliqiout wrote:
KentB27 wrote:
Why would anyone fly into Branson when KMCI, KTUL, KLIT, and KSTL are each within a few hours drive of Branson? By the time you factor in the additional cost and airport and flying time to get to Branson, it's really not worth it.

Why would anyone drive a few hours at the end or beginning of a plane trip of they can help it? A much more significant factor is SGF.


True, but the other problem with Branson is that the vast majority of their market is people who already live in the region and are within a day's drive and wouldn't even fly into Branson at all.
 
KentB27
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:04 am

Aliqiout wrote:
KentB27 wrote:
Why would anyone fly into Branson when KMCI, KTUL, KLIT, and KSTL are each within a few hours drive of Branson? By the time you factor in the additional cost and airport and flying time to get to Branson, it's really not worth it.

Why would anyone drive a few hours at the end or beginning of a plane trip of they can help it? A much more significant factor is SGF.


True, but the other problem with Branson is that the vast majority of their market is people who already live in the region and are within a day's drive and wouldn't even fly into Branson at all.
 
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usdcaguy
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:20 am

cvgComair wrote:
BN727227Ultra wrote:
I'm sure the existence of XNA isn't helping, either. DL is putting a 319 in there from ATL.


I would think this has a huge effect on the region, the airport caries far above its weight for the city size (Yes, I know Walmart is there). Just looking, the airport has flights to CLT, ORD, DFW, LAX, LGA, DCA, ATL, CVG, MSP, DEN, IAH, EWR, SFO, LAS, and SFB. Thats a lot of flights, and I imagine its hard for other carriers to justify adding more flights at BKG and even SGF.

Look at the Delta hubs served at each airport for example:

XNA: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–LGA
SGF: Atlanta
BKG: None


XNA wouldn't have half those cities if it weren't for Everyday Low Prices, but yes, it's astounding how much service they have. I'm also surprised at the lack of a DL nonstop to MSP out of SGF, as it's almost a straight shot north. Poor BKG. They just don't offer the US3 much in terms of sheer numbers. However, if you look at AA's service to places like LAW, SWO and JLN, it's possible to imagine 1-2 flights a day to BKG out of DFW.
 
wilcal
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Re: Missouri's New Branson Airport Struggling To Keep Fliers

Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:59 am

globalcabotage wrote:
As mentioned above, not a bad drive from DFW (and MCI, STL, LIT, TUL - all in Branson's target market). [b]Houston[/b] and Chicago could be targeted, but SGF is close and has decent fares.


They actually have targeted the Houston market a bit. They've brought in some journalists to write about it and there have been some subsidized flights from both IAH and from Hobby. Flights were never cheap enough for me to fly for the hell of it since I'm not exactly in Branson's target demographics.

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