PacificWest wrote:MFR (along with LMT) get 500k each to expand air service...
https://www.kdrv.com/content/news/Local ... 20621.html
MFR Airport Director:
"We're looking at bigger cities like Dallas and Chicago that on paper make a lot of sense for us but it's still a little difficult for the airlines to pull the plug because they have other major cities that they could be putting this equipment in," added Brienza. "[The grant is] dangling the carrot out there."
Brienza said the airport is looking to add more cities to its flight list and more airlines.
He said the grant will allow the Medford Airport to pay those airlines if that service to a specific city doesn't make as much money as planned.
"We're hoping not to spend a dime of it but it's really nice to have it in our own back pocket to present to them when they are considering possibly two cities similar in size and which city they are going to go to. We can say we have this money for you to mitigate your risk,"
Given that RDM already has a flight to ORD with fewer annual pax, I think it's likely that UA jumps on this....
The ROAR grant for $500k to recruit service to LMT makes sense. LMT is, in fact, a rural destination. Much more rural than MFR. That airport needs a strong carrier to jump on that route and offer real onward connections. From what I've read, OO/UA would be the one to do it with a CR2 to SFO.
So it makes me wonder why MFR is getting grant money. How are they more deserving of money than EUG, RDM, or hell, even SLE? MFR is a solid metro area in Oregon and I wouldn't consider it much of a rural location when you have n/s service to SEA, PDX, SLC, DEN, SFO, LAX, PHX, and LAS. The airport has also seen consistent growth for the last couple of years mainly from United. I suspect if United saw a case for a n/s to ORD from MFR, they would very likely do it, and they probably looked at EUG, RDM, and MFR at the same time and it made more sense to do EUG and RDM first.
If I'm not mistaken, EUG and RDM both received the new ORD route without subsidy of any kind (besides maybe revenue guarantee from the local community?).
I think MFR is amply served for a community it's size, and is doing rather well. I think the $500k should be used on RURAL airports that have limited to no air service whatsoever like LMT, ONP, AST, PDT, and SLE in that order.