DOT passenger numbers are for sure going to favor STL-MWA since that has been the only route operated.
Hard to have MWA-BNA pax numbers when that hasn't been a flight in the past, plus as you have mentioned before why not just drive instead of fly therefore connecting pax would pretty much be nonexistent.
Well, that's fair to say, Hahaha. Hard to argue that when that is the only information we have regarding DOT.
I don't think they are operating to BNA to be the final destination, but to offer connection opportunities. BNA has more non-stop destinations than STL and a much larger presence of ULCC operators adding even greater options for self connecting pax. BNA has been in a growth spurt lately while STL is just kind chugging along. The future could be bright here.
Give this route a chance. Just because a few people in and around Marion don't want to be IN Nashville does not yet prove this market will not work (as much as an EAS market works) for people connecting through BNA.
No, it was mentioned from the beginning BNA was intended to be another connecting option for MWA for connecting opportunities. Locally, that's why they were trying to get the community to vote Cape Air to STL and BNA. So if weather goes bad in STL, they can be re routed to BNA, but this will ONLY work when you have a connecting itinerary on the same ticket.
What happens (rhetorical I am not expecting you to actually answer it), when MWA-STL cancels due to MX. Passenger has a flight out of STL on Southwest. Cape Air, if they honor the ticket would be changing the destination from STL to BNA, but would Southwest honor a STL-XXX ticket and switch it BNA-XXX because Cape Air rebooked them?
You mentioned the ULCC in BNA compared to STL, that's true, but Cape Air does not interline with them. So I am struggling to understand the benefit of paying $70 dollars each way MWA-BNA, buy another ticket on an ULCC out of BNA, and connect onward, when the same $70 (SkyWest and Cape Air both publicly stated $70 dollars MWA-ORD or MWA-BNA) can fly you to Chicago, a large city in its own right, plus everything BNA offers and more.
It's a lot of open ended questions, and I will be very curious to see how MWA-BNA-XXX will function with only two flights a day.
I'll agree ORD would have seemed like a winner, but at 3x the length of a STL flight along with the costs and complexities of operating at ORD must not have looked good. After all, if you are Cape Air you want a lot of seats in and out of these EAS cities, so tying up one plane for such a long time on one round trip would start to cut into that model.
Cape Air was never going to offer MWA-ORD, it was only MWA-STL (6 Daily), or MWA-STL/BNA. (4 and 2 Daily respectively)
SkyWest was the one offering MWA-ORD-XXX under the United Brand with 2 Daily Flights.
Mind you all, and I want to make sure no one is confused, I am not arguing why BNA was chosen along with STL, I am trying to understand, using the arguments for BNA...more ULCC, more non stops, more destinations...ORD clearly was the winner over BNA using those arguments. It boggled my mind that MWA selected STL/BNA instead of ORD. Cest La Vie...I am from Carbondale and used Cape Air MWA-STL all the time, as I live in Chicago. However, diminishing the frequencies to STL, will make it harder for me to travel ORD-STL-MWA, verses ORD-BNA-MWA. I just fly ORD-CGI on UA/OO now, it's 45 min from my hometown versus MWA being 10-15min.
My mistake. I thought we were talking about SkyWest.
Oh! I got you! Yes, SkyWest has a MX Hub in BNA, but Cape Air is the one that bid to fly MWA-BNA and MWA-STL, SkyWest only bid to fly MWA-ORD under the United brand, just questioning why the local folks chose BNA over ORD when ORD offers more then STL and BNA combined!