Welcome back to Portland
I think you'll be impressed with how the jetport has evolved. I just flew out PWM-CLT-PHX a few days ago, and the new renovations really make the terminal a great experience.
Thank you! I'm looking forward to checking it out; I've been watching (and rooting for) the airport from afar and it's been fun to see the progress that's been made.
I think they've done a good job at both capturing local demand and bringing in visitors.
I would agree with this. I have always been of the opinion that flights to PWM are equally as much (if not more) about the origin and its demand. As good of a job as PWM has done to curtail leakage to other airports, the PWM-originating market will never be as large as those at DEN/RDU/MCO/etc. I think that, in addition to finding markets where PWM passengers are trying to go, it's as (if not more) important to find more populous metro areas where there is sufficient demand to PWM.
It seems like they also played a big role in pushing B6 into seasonal service.
Probably true. Interestingly enough I remember B6 being at PWM with its A320 back around 09/10; I imagine building up the Focus City operation at BOS took some resources away from PWM. It would be a shame to see B6 go, but I will always appreciate B6 for being the first "legit" post-2000s LCC (aka not going bankrupt like Independence Air) at PWM. I remember many carriers having monopolies on PWM routes before B6 came in, and the fares being sky-high even for shorter routes, and B6 seemed to be the first to curtail that. Then came FL which gave way to WN, and then obviously (ULCC) F9, but it all seemed to start with B6.
I was skeptical that RDU would work, but it seems like it was successful enough to come back this year (still 3 x weekly) DEN-PWM is of course coming back this spring-summer with daily frequencies. It also seems the Portland - Florida flights are doing quite well, as I pointed out earlier, F9 handled more origin pax out of Portland in the fall and early winter than they did in the summer, and PWM-MCO has gone year round with some flights being on 321's. Florida has always been one of the most popular destinations for travelers out of PWM, so that's not surprising.
All good news.
RDU was the one that seemed like a "hit and hope" but evidently it has done well enough.
DEN I was excited to see PWM get something truly "west of the Mississippi," but didn't think it would last. (FWIW, former PWM destination MSP is located on the west bank of said river, but I think there's a clear difference between that and DEN.)
MCO I actually did have some optimism for. Even with a small population I still felt that PWM was underserved on Florida routes, so it's great to see those doing well. And I saw that they added TPA and RSW?! RSW in particular surprised me, as I remember back in 2001 (while living in Maine) flying BOS-BWI-RSW and RSW-DCA-BOS on US...I'm not sure if there were even BOS-RSW nonstops, although there could well have been.
I wish WN would do SOMETHING new at Portland, but they are upgauging a lot of the BWI flights (737's for 738's) and have gone from 3 to 4 x daily PWM-BWI during the slower months.
Yeah, I'm with you — I believe someone opined that it's likely down to aircraft availability, and I am starting to think that may be it. Would be nice to see something else besides BWI and the weekend MCO and MDW service, but I imagine that won't change soon. The good news is that evidently BWI has done well enough as they have increased the # of flights and the size of the aircraft (albeit still 737s).