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smflyer
Posts: 303
Joined: Tue May 01, 2018 4:44 pm

Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:11 am

flyfresno wrote:
smflyer wrote:
irishpower wrote:
I realize this is still probably years away (if at all) but will SMF ever see direct service to Asia/Europe? If so where and which airline is most likely?

I know the proximity to OAK,SFO and SJC hinder the chances but what are the chances? Will SMF have to extend a runway to make it happen?

Thoughts?


The proximity of SF Bay Area is definitely a hinderance to seeing transatlantic or transpacific service, but other major hinderances to consider is the lack of multinational companies with a large presence in Sacramento (other than Intel?), and the lack of SMF being seen as tourist destination. Large international airlines like British, Air France, Lufthansa chase yield more than market demand. So even though SMF may have enough demand to fill up the economy section of a 777 to Europe daily, it may not have enough demand to fill the business class section of wide body aircraft that typically fill up more than half of the available square footage of aircraft. The other downside of SMF is that the market has very little international draw as a destination. Others may point to Napa/Tahoe/Yosemite as draws to the region, but those places are already serviceable from the SFO market and SMF has no advantage over that regard other than maybe less traffic to your destination. But if you are coming to Northern California on vacation, why wouldn't you want to start your trip in world class San Francisco and then move outwards? Additionally, SFO is also well served with international carriers meaning prices are generally competitive in economy class so having a full fare to SMF vs discounted SFO ticket available would make more travelers drawn to SFO.

I think SMF will get trans-at/pac flights in the future, but I dont see it happening anytime in the near future, I would predict sometime later in this decade.


I think the best chance SMF has is the sort of service we've seen in places like OAK & SWF and/or STL & CLE: ULC carriers like Norwegian and WOW (and carriers like that will be back eventually) that serve mostly leisure passengers and are looking for mid-major cities that don't have transoceanic flights (like STL and CLE) and/or reliever airports to a region.


Problem with these WOWs and Norwegian types of carriers is that their business model doesn't seem to work. I can't count the number of these so called long haul low cost carriers that have gone under in Europe. Widebody aircraft are very expensive, they cost more per available square foot of seating room compared to A320/737 types. The other thing is fuel cost is a huge component of per trip cost for a long haul route. There is only so much you can cut costs on things like labor and airport fees, you can't cut the significant fuel cost on these flights. So you need passengers that will pay for the plane and will pay for the fuel to get there. Unfortunately long haul low cost hasn't figured that out..at least yet.

Over the next decade, it is likely narrow body aircraft will take over east coast to Europe flying as those A321neo LR/XLRs are grossly cheaper to operate than wide bodies and carriers will favor these over time. This should free up wide body capacity to be used on longer routes and thus a European network carrier may begin service. Of the large European carriers, I see British Airways as a potential first at SMF. They have the smaller 788 available and their London hub is on the west most part of Europe making it great for connecting to the rest of Europe. I would think Gatwick would be well suited for the SMF market due to its low cost compared to Heathrow.
 
flyfresno
Posts: 1291
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 6:18 am

Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:17 pm

smflyer wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
smflyer wrote:

The proximity of SF Bay Area is definitely a hinderance to seeing transatlantic or transpacific service, but other major hinderances to consider is the lack of multinational companies with a large presence in Sacramento (other than Intel?), and the lack of SMF being seen as tourist destination. Large international airlines like British, Air France, Lufthansa chase yield more than market demand. So even though SMF may have enough demand to fill up the economy section of a 777 to Europe daily, it may not have enough demand to fill the business class section of wide body aircraft that typically fill up more than half of the available square footage of aircraft. The other downside of SMF is that the market has very little international draw as a destination. Others may point to Napa/Tahoe/Yosemite as draws to the region, but those places are already serviceable from the SFO market and SMF has no advantage over that regard other than maybe less traffic to your destination. But if you are coming to Northern California on vacation, why wouldn't you want to start your trip in world class San Francisco and then move outwards? Additionally, SFO is also well served with international carriers meaning prices are generally competitive in economy class so having a full fare to SMF vs discounted SFO ticket available would make more travelers drawn to SFO.

I think SMF will get trans-at/pac flights in the future, but I dont see it happening anytime in the near future, I would predict sometime later in this decade.


I think the best chance SMF has is the sort of service we've seen in places like OAK & SWF and/or STL & CLE: ULC carriers like Norwegian and WOW (and carriers like that will be back eventually) that serve mostly leisure passengers and are looking for mid-major cities that don't have transoceanic flights (like STL and CLE) and/or reliever airports to a region.


Problem with these WOWs and Norwegian types of carriers is that their business model doesn't seem to work. I can't count the number of these so called long haul low cost carriers that have gone under in Europe. Widebody aircraft are very expensive, they cost more per available square foot of seating room compared to A320/737 types. The other thing is fuel cost is a huge component of per trip cost for a long haul route. There is only so much you can cut costs on things like labor and airport fees, you can't cut the significant fuel cost on these flights. So you need passengers that will pay for the plane and will pay for the fuel to get there. Unfortunately long haul low cost hasn't figured that out..at least yet.

Over the next decade, it is likely narrow body aircraft will take over east coast to Europe flying as those A321neo LR/XLRs are grossly cheaper to operate than wide bodies and carriers will favor these over time. This should free up wide body capacity to be used on longer routes and thus a European network carrier may begin service. Of the large European carriers, I see British Airways as a potential first at SMF. They have the smaller 788 available and their London hub is on the west most part of Europe making it great for connecting to the rest of Europe. I would think Gatwick would be well suited for the SMF market due to its low cost compared to Heathrow.


I think BA will be difficult to land without some sort of revenue guarantee, either from the city or local businesses. The only real reason OAK got flights to LGW was Norwegian, and that didn't last long. IND-CDG might be a good comparison as well, but that route has a revenue guarantee if I'm not mistaken. ULCs might not be desirable, but they would be a start to at least to test the waters. I'm not sure how well a 321XLR would do to KEF in terms of performance, but that seems like the type of route that's right up SMF's alley in terms of its first transatlantic route...
 
smflyer
Posts: 303
Joined: Tue May 01, 2018 4:44 pm

Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:50 pm

flyfresno wrote:
smflyer wrote:
flyfresno wrote:

I think the best chance SMF has is the sort of service we've seen in places like OAK & SWF and/or STL & CLE: ULC carriers like Norwegian and WOW (and carriers like that will be back eventually) that serve mostly leisure passengers and are looking for mid-major cities that don't have transoceanic flights (like STL and CLE) and/or reliever airports to a region.


Problem with these WOWs and Norwegian types of carriers is that their business model doesn't seem to work. I can't count the number of these so called long haul low cost carriers that have gone under in Europe. Widebody aircraft are very expensive, they cost more per available square foot of seating room compared to A320/737 types. The other thing is fuel cost is a huge component of per trip cost for a long haul route. There is only so much you can cut costs on things like labor and airport fees, you can't cut the significant fuel cost on these flights. So you need passengers that will pay for the plane and will pay for the fuel to get there. Unfortunately long haul low cost hasn't figured that out..at least yet.

Over the next decade, it is likely narrow body aircraft will take over east coast to Europe flying as those A321neo LR/XLRs are grossly cheaper to operate than wide bodies and carriers will favor these over time. This should free up wide body capacity to be used on longer routes and thus a European network carrier may begin service. Of the large European carriers, I see British Airways as a potential first at SMF. They have the smaller 788 available and their London hub is on the west most part of Europe making it great for connecting to the rest of Europe. I would think Gatwick would be well suited for the SMF market due to its low cost compared to Heathrow.


I think BA will be difficult to land without some sort of revenue guarantee, either from the city or local businesses. The only real reason OAK got flights to LGW was Norwegian, and that didn't last long. IND-CDG might be a good comparison as well, but that route has a revenue guarantee if I'm not mistaken. ULCs might not be desirable, but they would be a start to at least to test the waters. I'm not sure how well a 321XLR would do to KEF in terms of performance, but that seems like the type of route that's right up SMF's alley in terms of its first transatlantic route...


I just don't see the ULCCs starting up service across the atlantic in the near or mid-term future. Their success requires a good economy, cheaper fares relative to their legacy competitors, and fine tuning pricing and costs to turn a profit. The A321XLR does work on a SMF-KEF type of route, but the problem with the route is that there isn't very much demand for KEF as a destination from SMF. This mean the rest of Europe where most passengers are destined still requires that 1 stop, in KEF. To most people buying a ticket to say Rome, there's no advantage to having a connection in KEF vs any of the major American hubs as you are still required to spend whatever hours on the ground for your connection. Given a small price difference or no price difference between a ULCC or a legacy, most people would opt for the legacy carrier just from brand recognition. The other thing is a lot of Americans have milage accounts or status with the legacies so that would drive those traveller to stay on the legacy carriers or their intl partners. This mean the ULCCs have to scrape the bottom of the barrel with significantly discounted pricing. Just look at PIT as an example pre-covid, an airport with a significantly smaller market by passenger volume compared to SMF. They had service from WOW to KEF, DL to AMS, and BA to LHR. WOW was first to fall, and DL and BA didn't retract in the market until COVID hit them. If I remember correctly, BA even planned to increase frequency or capacity on the route's success. But again, I don't think SMF and PIT can be compared apples to apples since the economy in both markets is significantly different. SMF market has quite a bit more government related demand rather than corporate demand. This is why you see quite a bit of frequencies intra-california as WN was inching towards 14x daily to SAN pre-covid.

Additionally none of the KEF carriers have XLRs on order, Iceland air is committed to the 737max which doesn't have the range and WOW air doesn't have XLRs, neither are they in business?
 
flyfresno
Posts: 1291
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 6:18 am

Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Feb 13, 2021 4:07 pm

smflyer wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
smflyer wrote:

Problem with these WOWs and Norwegian types of carriers is that their business model doesn't seem to work. I can't count the number of these so called long haul low cost carriers that have gone under in Europe. Widebody aircraft are very expensive, they cost more per available square foot of seating room compared to A320/737 types. The other thing is fuel cost is a huge component of per trip cost for a long haul route. There is only so much you can cut costs on things like labor and airport fees, you can't cut the significant fuel cost on these flights. So you need passengers that will pay for the plane and will pay for the fuel to get there. Unfortunately long haul low cost hasn't figured that out..at least yet.

Over the next decade, it is likely narrow body aircraft will take over east coast to Europe flying as those A321neo LR/XLRs are grossly cheaper to operate than wide bodies and carriers will favor these over time. This should free up wide body capacity to be used on longer routes and thus a European network carrier may begin service. Of the large European carriers, I see British Airways as a potential first at SMF. They have the smaller 788 available and their London hub is on the west most part of Europe making it great for connecting to the rest of Europe. I would think Gatwick would be well suited for the SMF market due to its low cost compared to Heathrow.


I think BA will be difficult to land without some sort of revenue guarantee, either from the city or local businesses. The only real reason OAK got flights to LGW was Norwegian, and that didn't last long. IND-CDG might be a good comparison as well, but that route has a revenue guarantee if I'm not mistaken. ULCs might not be desirable, but they would be a start to at least to test the waters. I'm not sure how well a 321XLR would do to KEF in terms of performance, but that seems like the type of route that's right up SMF's alley in terms of its first transatlantic route...


I just don't see the ULCCs starting up service across the atlantic in the near or mid-term future. Their success requires a good economy, cheaper fares relative to their legacy competitors, and fine tuning pricing and costs to turn a profit. The A321XLR does work on a SMF-KEF type of route, but the problem with the route is that there isn't very much demand for KEF as a destination from SMF. This mean the rest of Europe where most passengers are destined still requires that 1 stop, in KEF. To most people buying a ticket to say Rome, there's no advantage to having a connection in KEF vs any of the major American hubs as you are still required to spend whatever hours on the ground for your connection. Given a small price difference or no price difference between a ULCC or a legacy, most people would opt for the legacy carrier just from brand recognition. The other thing is a lot of Americans have milage accounts or status with the legacies so that would drive those traveller to stay on the legacy carriers or their intl partners. This mean the ULCCs have to scrape the bottom of the barrel with significantly discounted pricing. Just look at PIT as an example pre-covid, an airport with a significantly smaller market by passenger volume compared to SMF. They had service from WOW to KEF, DL to AMS, and BA to LHR. WOW was first to fall, and DL and BA didn't retract in the market until COVID hit them. If I remember correctly, BA even planned to increase frequency or capacity on the route's success. But again, I don't think SMF and PIT can be compared apples to apples since the economy in both markets is significantly different. SMF market has quite a bit more government related demand rather than corporate demand. This is why you see quite a bit of frequencies intra-california as WN was inching towards 14x daily to SAN pre-covid.

Additionally none of the KEF carriers have XLRs on order, Iceland air is committed to the 737max which doesn't have the range and WOW air doesn't have XLRs, neither are they in business?


I don't disagree with most of what you say, and I think SMF is a ways off from transoceanic service. My point was that the most likely scenario for it to happen (at least within the next decade) would be a new (or rebirth of a) ULC, probably on 321s. To your point about people connecting in the US, yes, business travelers would likely do that anyway with any ULC (even if they flew direct to LGW or FRA or another major city), but KEF would presumably offer some destinations that don't have transatlantic service themselves, and ULC passengers probably don't care anyway. I didn't realize PIT ever had AMS service on DL...I knew DL flew to LHR on a 757 a while ago, but had no idea they had AMS.
 
smflyer
Posts: 303
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Feb 13, 2021 6:31 pm

flyfresno wrote:
smflyer wrote:
flyfresno wrote:

I think BA will be difficult to land without some sort of revenue guarantee, either from the city or local businesses. The only real reason OAK got flights to LGW was Norwegian, and that didn't last long. IND-CDG might be a good comparison as well, but that route has a revenue guarantee if I'm not mistaken. ULCs might not be desirable, but they would be a start to at least to test the waters. I'm not sure how well a 321XLR would do to KEF in terms of performance, but that seems like the type of route that's right up SMF's alley in terms of its first transatlantic route...


I just don't see the ULCCs starting up service across the atlantic in the near or mid-term future. Their success requires a good economy, cheaper fares relative to their legacy competitors, and fine tuning pricing and costs to turn a profit. The A321XLR does work on a SMF-KEF type of route, but the problem with the route is that there isn't very much demand for KEF as a destination from SMF. This mean the rest of Europe where most passengers are destined still requires that 1 stop, in KEF. To most people buying a ticket to say Rome, there's no advantage to having a connection in KEF vs any of the major American hubs as you are still required to spend whatever hours on the ground for your connection. Given a small price difference or no price difference between a ULCC or a legacy, most people would opt for the legacy carrier just from brand recognition. The other thing is a lot of Americans have milage accounts or status with the legacies so that would drive those traveller to stay on the legacy carriers or their intl partners. This mean the ULCCs have to scrape the bottom of the barrel with significantly discounted pricing. Just look at PIT as an example pre-covid, an airport with a significantly smaller market by passenger volume compared to SMF. They had service from WOW to KEF, DL to AMS, and BA to LHR. WOW was first to fall, and DL and BA didn't retract in the market until COVID hit them. If I remember correctly, BA even planned to increase frequency or capacity on the route's success. But again, I don't think SMF and PIT can be compared apples to apples since the economy in both markets is significantly different. SMF market has quite a bit more government related demand rather than corporate demand. This is why you see quite a bit of frequencies intra-california as WN was inching towards 14x daily to SAN pre-covid.

Additionally none of the KEF carriers have XLRs on order, Iceland air is committed to the 737max which doesn't have the range and WOW air doesn't have XLRs, neither are they in business?


I don't disagree with most of what you say, and I think SMF is a ways off from transoceanic service. My point was that the most likely scenario for it to happen (at least within the next decade) would be a new (or rebirth of a) ULC, probably on 321s. To your point about people connecting in the US, yes, business travelers would likely do that anyway with any ULC (even if they flew direct to LGW or FRA or another major city), but KEF would presumably offer some destinations that don't have transatlantic service themselves, and ULC passengers probably don't care anyway. I didn't realize PIT ever had AMS service on DL...I knew DL flew to LHR on a 757 a while ago, but had no idea they had AMS.


Whoops, I meant to say DL flew to CDG from PIT. Not AMS, sorry.
 
flyfresno
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Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 6:18 am

Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:35 pm

smflyer wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
smflyer wrote:

I just don't see the ULCCs starting up service across the atlantic in the near or mid-term future. Their success requires a good economy, cheaper fares relative to their legacy competitors, and fine tuning pricing and costs to turn a profit. The A321XLR does work on a SMF-KEF type of route, but the problem with the route is that there isn't very much demand for KEF as a destination from SMF. This mean the rest of Europe where most passengers are destined still requires that 1 stop, in KEF. To most people buying a ticket to say Rome, there's no advantage to having a connection in KEF vs any of the major American hubs as you are still required to spend whatever hours on the ground for your connection. Given a small price difference or no price difference between a ULCC or a legacy, most people would opt for the legacy carrier just from brand recognition. The other thing is a lot of Americans have milage accounts or status with the legacies so that would drive those traveller to stay on the legacy carriers or their intl partners. This mean the ULCCs have to scrape the bottom of the barrel with significantly discounted pricing. Just look at PIT as an example pre-covid, an airport with a significantly smaller market by passenger volume compared to SMF. They had service from WOW to KEF, DL to AMS, and BA to LHR. WOW was first to fall, and DL and BA didn't retract in the market until COVID hit them. If I remember correctly, BA even planned to increase frequency or capacity on the route's success. But again, I don't think SMF and PIT can be compared apples to apples since the economy in both markets is significantly different. SMF market has quite a bit more government related demand rather than corporate demand. This is why you see quite a bit of frequencies intra-california as WN was inching towards 14x daily to SAN pre-covid.

Additionally none of the KEF carriers have XLRs on order, Iceland air is committed to the 737max which doesn't have the range and WOW air doesn't have XLRs, neither are they in business?


I don't disagree with most of what you say, and I think SMF is a ways off from transoceanic service. My point was that the most likely scenario for it to happen (at least within the next decade) would be a new (or rebirth of a) ULC, probably on 321s. To your point about people connecting in the US, yes, business travelers would likely do that anyway with any ULC (even if they flew direct to LGW or FRA or another major city), but KEF would presumably offer some destinations that don't have transatlantic service themselves, and ULC passengers probably don't care anyway. I didn't realize PIT ever had AMS service on DL...I knew DL flew to LHR on a 757 a while ago, but had no idea they had AMS.


Whoops, I meant to say DL flew to CDG from PIT. Not AMS, sorry.


Haha now that you say CDG, I think I was wrong about DL flying to LHR and was confusing that with BA's service. So appears we were both wrong.
 
Indy
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Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:37 pm

Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sun Feb 14, 2021 7:22 am

flyfresno wrote:
I think BA will be difficult to land without some sort of revenue guarantee, either from the city or local businesses. The only real reason OAK got flights to LGW was Norwegian, and that didn't last long. IND-CDG might be a good comparison as well, but that route has a revenue guarantee if I'm not mistaken. ULCs might not be desirable, but they would be a start to at least to test the waters. I'm not sure how well a 321XLR would do to KEF in terms of performance, but that seems like the type of route that's right up SMF's alley in terms of its first transatlantic route...


IND paid a performance bonus. The more seats DL sold the more they earned. This was basically the opposite of a revenue guarantee. It worked very well. The route was so successful that DL burned through the money long before the timeframe was up.
IND to RDU to OKC in 18 months. This is what my life has become.
 
flyfresno
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sun Feb 14, 2021 3:21 pm

Indy wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
I think BA will be difficult to land without some sort of revenue guarantee, either from the city or local businesses. The only real reason OAK got flights to LGW was Norwegian, and that didn't last long. IND-CDG might be a good comparison as well, but that route has a revenue guarantee if I'm not mistaken. ULCs might not be desirable, but they would be a start to at least to test the waters. I'm not sure how well a 321XLR would do to KEF in terms of performance, but that seems like the type of route that's right up SMF's alley in terms of its first transatlantic route...


IND paid a performance bonus. The more seats DL sold the more they earned. This was basically the opposite of a revenue guarantee. It worked very well. The route was so successful that DL burned through the money long before the timeframe was up.


Ok, my mistake, but the state still technically subsidized the flights at least to some extent. Would Delta have started the service without the incentives?
 
User avatar
SANFan
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:40 pm

With the release of the newest revision of the April 4 AS sked last night, it's great to see that SMF-SAN is still on it! Three daily r/t with departures from SMF at 7:30a, 12:10p & 4:40p and returns leaving SAN at 9:45a, 2:20p & 9:10p looks like a pretty nicely timed and spread out schedule. (There is supposedly a 4th r/t to be added in May... if everything holds together.

I'm very happy at AS's decision to re-enter this important market and provide some much-needed competition to you-know-who, along with some first class seats for those who want them! I also like to see the continuing evidence that this suggests that the intra-CA market is finally recovering.

bb
 
smflyer
Posts: 303
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:42 pm

SANFan wrote:
With the release of the newest revision of the April 4 AS sked last night, it's great to see that SMF-SAN is still on it! Three daily r/t with departures from SMF at 7:30a, 12:10p & 4:40p and returns leaving SAN at 9:45a, 2:20p & 9:10p looks like a pretty nicely timed and spread out schedule. (There is supposedly a 4th r/t to be added in May... if everything holds together.

I'm very happy at AS's decision to re-enter this important market and provide some much-needed competition to you-know-who, along with some first class seats for those who want them! I also like to see the continuing evidence that this suggests that the intra-CA market is finally recovering.

bb


I too am excited AS is coming back on this route, last thing you want on a busy route like this is a monopoly. I used to travel SMF-LAS quite often a few years ago pre-NK/F9 days when WN had the monopoly on the route $300-350rt was the norm. NK and F9 have brought much needed competition to the route, unfortunately I dont' fly down to LAS that often anymore, but great for anyone else who is.
 
williaminsd
Posts: 399
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:49 pm

SANFan wrote:
With the release of the newest revision of the April 4 AS sked last night, it's great to see that SMF-SAN is still on it! Three daily r/t with departures from SMF at 7:30a, 12:10p & 4:40p and returns leaving SAN at 9:45a, 2:20p & 9:10p looks like a pretty nicely timed and spread out schedule. (There is supposedly a 4th r/t to be added in May... if everything holds together.

I'm very happy at AS's decision to re-enter this important market and provide some much-needed competition to you-know-who, along with some first class seats for those who want them! I also like to see the continuing evidence that this suggests that the intra-CA market is finally recovering.

bb


Yes... VERY happy to see SMF-SAN is still on for AS. I was notified by email that my itinerary had changed for the first SAN-SMF flight on April 4, and was relived to see it was simply moved from 11:00a to 9:45a, and not eliminated. Also glad to see I am no longer the only person booked on the flight! I'm also booked on what appears to be the first return to SAN at 12:10p the same day. I have another flight to SMF later in the month as well, so yeah: delighted this has returned and am proving it with my wallet.

My last SAN-SMF on Southwest is March 4. I absolutely LUV Southwest just fine, and have always had a good experience with them, but at 6', 230 lbs, I am one of those SANfan mentions who prefer the front cabin on the E175s if I can get it.

I realize this is still probably years away (if at all) but will SMF ever see direct service to Asia/Europe?


As far as this conversation, I was told repeatedly, albeit by a team no longer at SMF, that the targeted date for non-stop service to Europe was 2021/2022 and that the last discussions were with BA to London, probably Gatwick, but that LHR was not off the table.

Now grain-of-salt time, these were the same people who told me SMF was engaged in "serious" discussions with Aer Lingus re non-stop to Dublin several years ago. I have since been told by others that those were merely conversations that didn't really approach anything resembling the "serious" stage, so who knows.

I am dubious if the ULCC model would work at SMF. There've been several attempts to make it work at Oakland for the leisure market to San Francisco area. If that's the target for ULCC, and if it can't work to Oakland, have to think it's a tough sell for SMF. But these are unique times so I guess nothing can be rejected outright.

Increasingly in California, if you want to do business here, you have to deal with the state. No matter where you fall on that economic argument, doing business in California means you talk to the tech giants in SF, the entertainment moguls in LA, the financial titans in each, and the government "leaders" in Sacramento.

That bodes well for international traffic to SMF.

I'm an optimist by nature, and all things considered, I'd argue that the COVID impact on international travel to SMF will not be as acute as it is elsewhere. Still devastating of course, but a quicker rebound (from an admittedly pretty low base). I'll say SMF sees its first service to Europe in 2024/25, delaying by 3-4 years what we would have seen sans COVID. Asia? 2025. This year I'll be happy to get Vancouver back!

One thing I know for sure is that for years SMF just keeps surprising the nay-sayers and frankly, it even surprises us optimists...
In the land of lies, telling the truth is a crime...
 
smflyer
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:26 pm

Jetcentric wrote:
Howdy!
Do any SMF’ers know what the purpose of the sub-gate that you can see on Google Maps at Gate B6?

I would assume that’s for a small prop operator, but I know Boutique parks at B8.

Thanks!


I forgot to note that Boutique is now actually operating out of B22, shared with Frontier. I believe they were operating out of B8 earlier last year during the pandemic, so you are still correct.
 
Indy
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:38 am

flyfresno wrote:
Indy wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
I think BA will be difficult to land without some sort of revenue guarantee, either from the city or local businesses. The only real reason OAK got flights to LGW was Norwegian, and that didn't last long. IND-CDG might be a good comparison as well, but that route has a revenue guarantee if I'm not mistaken. ULCs might not be desirable, but they would be a start to at least to test the waters. I'm not sure how well a 321XLR would do to KEF in terms of performance, but that seems like the type of route that's right up SMF's alley in terms of its first transatlantic route...


IND paid a performance bonus. The more seats DL sold the more they earned. This was basically the opposite of a revenue guarantee. It worked very well. The route was so successful that DL burned through the money long before the timeframe was up.


Ok, my mistake, but the state still technically subsidized the flights at least to some extent. Would Delta have started the service without the incentives?


You know how it is with airlines. Why start it on your own when you can get handouts.
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williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:40 pm

smflyer wrote:
Whats up with AS operating 5x daily 739s to SEA? Isn't that their normal non-COVID frequency and capacity on this route? Are they dumping seats on this route to keep WN and DL at bay? Or is demand to SEA suddenly surging? (doubt that)


And that's just the start... AS' present schedule, as noted up thread, shows 8x/day to Seattle starting in June with a mix of 737s and E175s. I think that's the most AS has ever flown on the segment. Subject to change of course, as all schedules are these days, but that's what's loaded at present.

Throughout this pandemic, SEA has consistently been the #1 destination (by flight count) from SMF averaging 60-70 flights/week for the last several months.

Btw - Both Delta and Southwest are currently showing 4x/day in June as well. So at present, total flights loaded for SMF-SEA this summer is an astounding 16x/day.
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williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:53 pm

sprxUSA wrote:
I doubt WN will have anywhere near 80 flights/day in summer. Have to wait until they put in the realistic sched as opposed to the optimistic sched they have in the system now.


https://www.swamedia.com/pages/city-fact-sheets

Money line: Current Service
As of Feb 04, 2021, Southwest will offer up to 80 departures a day to 22 cities:
Baltimore, Boise, Burbank, Chicago (Midway), Dallas (Love Field), Denver, Honolulu,
Houston (Hobby), Kahului (Maui), Las Vegas, Long Beach, CA, Los Angeles (LAX), Ontario,
Phoenix, Portland (PDX), Salt Lake City, San Diego, Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, Orange
County/Santa Ana, Seattle, Spokane, St. Louis.

Looks like SMF just might make it! :lol:
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williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:31 pm

Well the January numbers for SMF are in and it’s pretty brutal…

352,484 pax: down nearly 65% from 2020, which was just over 990,000.

The last time SMF recorded a lower monthly count was February 1993, or five years before Terminal “A” opened. Total count that year was >5.32 million.

SMF hasn’t recorded a monthly pax count of fewer than even 600,000 in nearly 18 years, February 2003.

Looking a little deeper into the numbers…

Contour, Sun Country, and Air Canada have not resumed ops at SMF representing a loss of about 6900 pax.

Of the airlines that operated in January, JetBlue took the biggest hit with a drop of nearly 94%. This makes sense given the mess that NYC remains. In February JetBlue increased service from 2x/week to 4x/week, so maybe we’ll see some improvement there.

Other grim hits were to Alaska, off nearly 90%, and Hawaiian, off nearly 70%. Southwest, by far SMF’s largest carrier, was off by nearly 70%.

Bright spots, if you want to call them that, include Delta and American, off about 45% and 47% respectively.

For as much grief as I give Boutique’s scheduling to MCE, it was the only airline that showed an increase in pax, with enplanements significantly higher than deplanements, which tells me that the connections returning to Merced are far more convenient than going out. Still don’t know why they aren’t in Terminal “A.” Maybe instead of American and United (I think Boutique has agreements with both. I know they did with United.), most of their connecting traffic is with the late-night flights from Mexico.

Speaking of international traffic, it was down 31%, or nearly 10,000 pax. SMF’s two, big international guns, Volaris and AeroMexico, account for over 6700 of that loss.

Interestingly, deplanements are far greater than enplanements with a difference of over 4000. Not sure if that is COVID-related or the typical pattern.

Freight continues its remarkable growth at SMF. January was up a whopping 54.3% over 2020. That’s on top of the robust 21.8% growth for all of 2020, 7.5% in 2019, and 61.7% in 2018.

In three years, freight processing at SMF is up a phenomenal 114,772,101 pounds (to 263.6 million), or 77%!

Note that Mather (UPS hub) was up 7.5% in 2020 to nearly 178 million pounds, bringing the two, regional freight airports to a combined >440,000,000 pounds. Mather was up over 53% in January.

But that’s about it for good news. To get to 8,000,000 this year (about the same as 2001), SMF has to average nearly 700,000/month for rest of year. February is likely to show a similar decline from 2020, and if it does that increases the required monthly total for 8 mil to nearly 730k/month.

That’s going to be tough…

630,000/mo. - March through December - gets us to 7,000,000, an increase of just over 1.4 million, or >25%, for the year.

That's probably more realistic, and 25% growth in 2021 is still outstanding...
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FATFlyer
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:33 pm

williaminsd wrote:

Speaking of international traffic, it was down 31%, or nearly 10,000 pax. SMF’s two, big international guns, Volaris and AeroMexico, account for over 6700 of that loss.

Interestingly, deplanements are far greater than enplanements with a difference of over 4000. Not sure if that is COVID-related or the typical pattern. ..


I believe that is a typical Mexico VFR/leisure pattern. It is one of the patterns also seen with international traffic at FAT.

If you look at December 2020, it is likely that SMF saw higher international enplanements than deplanements.

Typically many fly south and stay for several weeks during the holidays/school breaks to spend time with family and friends (or for holiday tourism) in Mexico. They then return in January as schools reopen or employers start getting busier.
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williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:58 pm

FATFlyer wrote:
williaminsd wrote:

Speaking of international traffic, it was down 31%, or nearly 10,000 pax. SMF’s two, big international guns, Volaris and AeroMexico, account for over 6700 of that loss.

Interestingly, deplanements are far greater than enplanements with a difference of over 4000. Not sure if that is COVID-related or the typical pattern. ..


I believe that is a typical Mexico VFR/leisure pattern. It is one of the patterns also seen with international traffic at FAT.

If you look at December 2020, it is likely that SMF saw higher international enplanements than deplanements.

Typically many fly south and stay for several weeks during the holidays/school breaks to spend time with family and friends (or for holiday tourism) in Mexico. They then return in January as schools reopen or employers start getting busier.


Hey FATFlyer. Thanks for the insight! I was trying to think of a COVID connection but couldn't. This makes perfect sense.
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smflyer
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:15 pm

I'm hoping we see a significant jump in passenger counts starting in the March/April timeframe. As more and more people start getting vaccinated, more people are going to start traveling despite not everything being opened up. Starting summer, I'm betting airfare prices are going to return to normal and towards the end of the year is when we may start seeing significant enough demand to start seeing above average airfares on high demand leisure routes. I'm thinking SMF-HNL/OGG/CUN/LAS will be very successful.
 
williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:46 pm

Going into March it’s clear that we have bottomed out for the year in February and are starting the slow climb back (and maybe not that slow...).

SMF reflects the statewide trend gaining over 15 flights/week in the last 10 days and remains the 4th busiest airport in California.

On 3/7, Southwest alone adds 3x/day to SAN (six total), 1x/day to ONT (four total), 1x/day to LAX (four total), 1x/day to PHX (five total), 1x/day to GEG (one total), 1x/day BOI (one total), HOU goes daily shortly thereafter.

That’s over 60 additional flights per week and would push SMF to better than 680 weekly, the 2nd highest weekly total since the pandemic began to impact schedules last March.

Fares look solid too as SMF-STL on Southwest’s daily nonstop are $653 one-way in business select; to HOU is $669!

Here’s the Flightradar ops rundown for the coming week.

Today – (January) (September) (August) (July) (June)

LAX – 3198 (3090) (2660) (2839) (2712) (1831)
PHX – 2645 (2498) (2191) (2249)
LAS – 1957 (1781) (1879) (2227) (2096) (1224)
SFO – 1585 (1520) (1656) (1729) (1715) (1073)
SAN – 851 (794) (798) (1050) (1011) (583)
SMF – 621* (611) (582) (640) (670) (502) *lowest in February was 605
OAK – 554 (525) (518) (558) (644) (412)
SJC – 524 (538) (497) (575) (675) (507)
SNA – 522 (489) (410) (498) (499) (339)
PSP – 335 (332)
ONT – 334 (296) (281) (312) (311) (271)
RNO – 297 (285) (259) (298) (238) (158)
BUR – 191 (182) (245) (269) (295) (194)
FAT – 188 (168) (143) (145) (106)
LGB – 150 (150) (139) (93) (128) (77)
SBA – 83 (87) (82) (81) (67) (48)
MRY – 59 (46) (60) (57) (46) (42)
BFL – 44 (42) (37) (40) (42) (28)

SJC is the only large airport showing a drop in flights and has fallen to 6th busiest airport in California behind OAK and two ahead of SNA.

Long way to go before matching 2019's record totals (a long way), but I don't think there's any doubt that significant gains are coming in the next several months.
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williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:54 pm

Some observations re SMF after reading enilria’s OAG report this morning:

But first the good news from Flightradar24. As expected, SMF flight count is already up by 12 weekly flights in just two days. Count now is 633.

Bad news from the report is that April shows some retreating.

Looks like B6 is cutting JFK to 2x/week, Sun/Fri. Not a surprise given the absolutely mismanaged disaster NYC still is, but disappointing nonetheless. For now, daily service returns May 6. We’ll see… This also impacts Cancun service as it is cut to 2x/week during April, returning to 3x/week (M/W/Sa) May 10.

Some of the March gains from Southwest get a haircut.

SAN loses a flight for 5x/day. ONT drops to 3x/day. Same with LAX. HOU and DAL appear to go 3x/weekly. BWI has been pushed back to May from April as well.

That’s 20-30 flights a week gone in April, which is a pretty good haircut…

I don’t know if these losses are made up elsewhere, but I had hoped SMF would be in the 700/week range in April. That might be difficult now…

Good news is LAS stays strong and remains @ 6x/day (up from 4x now). No cuts to GEG and BOI.

The May load from today shows BUR up to 5x/day (2x now), LAX @ 6x/day, ONT @ 6x and SAN @ 8x. If those hold, they alone are an additional 12/day or 84/week.

Gets you over 700 pretty quickly, but “if” is the key term, and with California not being too far behind NY in the mismanaged disaster category, that “if” starts looking pretty strong…
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williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Mar 05, 2021 2:17 pm

I also posted this in COVID and SAN threads...

Anecdotal - but quick trip to SMF yesterday. As most people know, Southwest is not blocking middle seats. SAN-SMF on a 700 looked to have about 15 seats empty. Next to our gate flight for Vegas was leaving. Agent made announcement that flight was 100% full and if that made any passengers "uncomfortable," please come to counter for "alternative" arrangements. Didn't see anybody do it. Also, only F&B open was Peet's Coffee in the early morning and line went halfway around the infamous "banjo" concourse.

Return flight left at 3:00 on an 800. About the same load, but bigger plane obviously. Most striking difference was nearly all F&B in Concourse "B" was open and packed including the two full service, sit-down restaurants, L15 and the Esquire Grill.

Hard for me to remember just how bustling airports were pre-lockdown, but SMF sure seemed busy...

Next week I am off to PHX again and my first trip to SFO in 2021. Last time I was at SFO it was depressingly grim. Looking forward to see if like SMF, SFO is showing signs of life.
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AC4500
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:25 pm

williaminsd wrote:
smflyer wrote:
Whats up with AS operating 5x daily 739s to SEA? Isn't that their normal non-COVID frequency and capacity on this route? Are they dumping seats on this route to keep WN and DL at bay? Or is demand to SEA suddenly surging? (doubt that)


And that's just the start... AS' present schedule, as noted up thread, shows 8x/day to Seattle starting in June with a mix of 737s and E175s. I think that's the most AS has ever flown on the segment. Subject to change of course, as all schedules are these days, but that's what's loaded at present.

Throughout this pandemic, SEA has consistently been the #1 destination (by flight count) from SMF averaging 60-70 flights/week for the last several months.

Btw - Both Delta and Southwest are currently showing 4x/day in June as well. So at present, total flights loaded for SMF-SEA this summer is an astounding 16x/day.

As a whole, SEA has way too much capacity on most of their routes. IDK if it's because of the port of Seattle's "use it or loose it" gate assignment policies (although this policy may be voided at the current moment), or if there are other factors at play, but the amount of daily flights that both AS and DL have on most of their SEA routes is kind of ridiculous to be honest. There's no way that demand is recovering faster in Seattle than in other major west coast cities like Sacramento, Portland and San Diego. I guess that topic is for another thread, though...

How many daily SEA-SMF flights were AS & DL operating pre-COVID?
 
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:54 am

UA is resuming SMF-IAD on March 29th.
 
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:12 am

AC4500 wrote:
williaminsd wrote:
smflyer wrote:
Whats up with AS operating 5x daily 739s to SEA? Isn't that their normal non-COVID frequency and capacity on this route? Are they dumping seats on this route to keep WN and DL at bay? Or is demand to SEA suddenly surging? (doubt that)


And that's just the start... AS' present schedule, as noted up thread, shows 8x/day to Seattle starting in June with a mix of 737s and E175s. I think that's the most AS has ever flown on the segment. Subject to change of course, as all schedules are these days, but that's what's loaded at present.

Throughout this pandemic, SEA has consistently been the #1 destination (by flight count) from SMF averaging 60-70 flights/week for the last several months.

Btw - Both Delta and Southwest are currently showing 4x/day in June as well. So at present, total flights loaded for SMF-SEA this summer is an astounding 16x/day.

As a whole, SEA has way too much capacity on most of their routes. IDK if it's because of the port of Seattle's "use it or loose it" gate assignment policies (although this policy may be voided at the current moment), or if there are other factors at play, but the amount of daily flights that both AS and DL have on most of their SEA routes is kind of ridiculous to be honest. There's no way that demand is recovering faster in Seattle than in other major west coast cities like Sacramento, Portland and San Diego. I guess that topic is for another thread, though...

How many daily SEA-SMF flights were AS & DL operating pre-COVID?


pre-covid SMF-SEA service was running around 15x flights daily in the summer schedule. 6x AS with a mix of 739s/E175, 5x DL E175 with plans to up gauge to A221, 4x WN mix of 737/8. It appears AS is operating at a capacity higher than pre-covid currently as they had at least 1x frequency daily that was E175. Currently they are 6x daily 739s on weekdays.
 
williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Mar 06, 2021 4:07 pm

I don’t know if these losses are made up elsewhere, but I had hoped SMF would be in the 700/week range in April. That might be difficult now…


Quick note... Flightradar weekly count is at 662 today. SEA remains the #1 market at 68 flights.

Getting to 700 only requires about 5x more a day.


UA is resuming SMF-IAD on March 29th.


There's one. And this is one I had been dubious about returning anytime soon. I'd have been happy with a June return, so late March is fantastic. Fares on 3/29 look pretty pre-COVID too starting at $251 OW for the morning flight. Seat map shows of the 12 seats in First on the 737-700, eight are taken. Not bad...

SMF's huge jump to 662 keeps it the 4th busiest airport in California, but SJC and OAK also enjoyed strong gains at 597 and 619 respectively.
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AC4500
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:33 pm

Also, UA is sustaining 2x daily on SMF-IAH and increasing SMF-ORD to 2x daily. It's surprising that AA still hasn't resumed this route yet.
 
williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:02 pm

AC4500 wrote:
Also, UA is sustaining 2x daily on SMF-IAH and increasing SMF-ORD to 2x daily. It's surprising that AA still hasn't resumed this route yet.


That second United flight to ORD starts 4/1. That's two down, three to go!

AA historically struggles a bit on SMF-ORD. That might be because UA enjoys such a large FF base in the Sacramento area. Doesn't mean it can't happen, but it might help explain the delay in resumption.

BTW - my hometown airport of SAN is closing in on 1000 flights on Flightradar @ 963. Spectacularly up by more than a 100 from a week ago including the return of service to Tokyo on JL. RNO also shows a huge gain with the highest weekly count since the lockdown started (by far) @ 352.
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williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:30 pm

Quick note... Flightradar weekly count is at 662 today. SEA remains the #1 market at 68 flights.


SMF gains another 13 flights and sits at 675 today. That's a gain of 70 flights/week, or 10/day, in less than a month. SEA remains #1 market at 70.

SJC cracks 600 at 615 (SEA #1 market at 74). OAK at 632 (LAS #1 at 61). SAN at 981 (#1 market again SEA at 78).

I am headed for SFO today and the AS seat map shows two seats open on the 76-seat E175. It could not be more clear that California airports are roaring back (to coin a phrase) in March...
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flyfresno
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:00 pm

williaminsd wrote:
AC4500 wrote:
Also, UA is sustaining 2x daily on SMF-IAH and increasing SMF-ORD to 2x daily. It's surprising that AA still hasn't resumed this route yet.


That second United flight to ORD starts 4/1. That's two down, three to go!

AA historically struggles a bit on SMF-ORD. That might be because UA enjoys such a large FF base in the Sacramento area. Doesn't mean it can't happen, but it might help explain the delay in resumption.

BTW - my hometown airport of SAN is closing in on 1000 flights on Flightradar @ 963. Spectacularly up by more than a 100 from a week ago including the return of service to Tokyo on JL. RNO also shows a huge gain with the highest weekly count since the lockdown started (by far) @ 352.


Complete opposite in FAT, where AA is the dominate player and likely will do well to ORD.
 
williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:41 pm

flyfresno wrote:
williaminsd wrote:
AC4500 wrote:
Also, UA is sustaining 2x daily on SMF-IAH and increasing SMF-ORD to 2x daily. It's surprising that AA still hasn't resumed this route yet.


That second United flight to ORD starts 4/1. That's two down, three to go!

AA historically struggles a bit on SMF-ORD. That might be because UA enjoys such a large FF base in the Sacramento area. Doesn't mean it can't happen, but it might help explain the delay in resumption.

BTW - my hometown airport of SAN is closing in on 1000 flights on Flightradar @ 963. Spectacularly up by more than a 100 from a week ago including the return of service to Tokyo on JL. RNO also shows a huge gain with the highest weekly count since the lockdown started (by far) @ 352.


Complete opposite in FAT, where AA is the dominate player and likely will do well to ORD.


Why do you think that is?

United has a long tradition in Sacramento going back to the 40s and for many of those years it was the only option if you wanted to travel on what many considered "The Big Three" back then (Untied, TWA, American) or fly east on the same airline. It was also the first choice for thousands of Sacramento area residents for that dream vacation in Hawaii up until (maybe) the 90s. These undoubtedly play a role in the large FF base as generations grew up flying the friendly skies.

I would have thought something similar at FAT given United's long presence there.

What do you think accounts for American's dominance at FAT? (And so not to talk too much FAT on the SMF thread, perhaps you can answer there if so inclined.)
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williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:32 pm

Noticed that today, LCC Frontier Airlines has four departures out of SMF to four cities: Denver, Las Vegas, Ontario and Phoenix. I think this is the most ever by Frontier.

There was a time when many thought the LCC model couldn't work at SMF because of high fees. Great job by SMF management to bring fees back in line with most California cities and enabling the LCCs to flourish.
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flyfresno
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:44 pm

williaminsd wrote:
flyfresno wrote:
williaminsd wrote:

That second United flight to ORD starts 4/1. That's two down, three to go!

AA historically struggles a bit on SMF-ORD. That might be because UA enjoys such a large FF base in the Sacramento area. Doesn't mean it can't happen, but it might help explain the delay in resumption.

BTW - my hometown airport of SAN is closing in on 1000 flights on Flightradar @ 963. Spectacularly up by more than a 100 from a week ago including the return of service to Tokyo on JL. RNO also shows a huge gain with the highest weekly count since the lockdown started (by far) @ 352.


Complete opposite in FAT, where AA is the dominate player and likely will do well to ORD.


Why do you think that is?

United has a long tradition in Sacramento going back to the 40s and for many of those years it was the only option if you wanted to travel on what many considered "The Big Three" back then (Untied, TWA, American) or fly east on the same airline. It was also the first choice for thousands of Sacramento area residents for that dream vacation in Hawaii up until (maybe) the 90s. These undoubtedly play a role in the large FF base as generations grew up flying the friendly skies.

I would have thought something similar at FAT given United's long presence there.

What do you think accounts for American's dominance at FAT? (And so not to talk too much FAT on the SMF thread, perhaps you can answer there if so inclined.)


I think the discussion involves both, in a way. United mainline completely left Fresno for a long period (they left sometime in the 90's), and for almost 10 years, UA express only had small turboprop service to SFO, LAX, and a couple other random CA cities (like SNA). SMF, by contrast, had mainline service to ORD and DEN for that whole period, adding other cities along the way (both through the merger with CO, which added SMF to IAH and eventually EWR, as well as through expansion). FAT finally got DEN back on UA express RJs, but it wasn't until UA's SFO mainline RON experiment a few years ago (which included both FAT and SMF) that mainline UA returned to FAT. Also, FAT never had mainline CO service (not the modern-day version of CO at least).

By contrast, FAT had AA mainline for the whole period, adding more DFW service along the way (while FAT never had as much service as SMF, AA's FAT service in the 90's and 2000's before the merger with US was much closer to SMF's AA service). HP was also big in FAT, with mainline service off and on to both LAS and PHX (again, much closer to SMF's HP service). When the US and AA merged, you basically had the two largest carriers at FAT at the time joining (UA was close and definitely at least #3, but I'm pretty sure they were below both of the others). At SMF, HP and AA were definitely not top-2, and I'm not even sure if either was even #3 at the time of the merger (I'm also not sure where DL was; I know they have grown a lot at SMF since then).
 
williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:59 pm

flyfresno wrote:
williaminsd wrote:
flyfresno wrote:

Complete opposite in FAT, where AA is the dominate player and likely will do well to ORD.


Why do you think that is?

United has a long tradition in Sacramento going back to the 40s and for many of those years it was the only option if you wanted to travel on what many considered "The Big Three" back then (Untied, TWA, American) or fly east on the same airline. It was also the first choice for thousands of Sacramento area residents for that dream vacation in Hawaii up until (maybe) the 90s. These undoubtedly play a role in the large FF base as generations grew up flying the friendly skies.

I would have thought something similar at FAT given United's long presence there.

What do you think accounts for American's dominance at FAT? (And so not to talk too much FAT on the SMF thread, perhaps you can answer there if so inclined.)


I think the discussion involves both, in a way. United mainline completely left Fresno for a long period (they left sometime in the 90's), and for almost 10 years, UA express only had small turboprop service to SFO, LAX, and a couple other random CA cities (like SNA). SMF, by contrast, had mainline service to ORD and DEN for that whole period, adding other cities along the way (both through the merger with CO, which added SMF to IAH and eventually EWR, as well as through expansion). FAT finally got DEN back on UA express RJs, but it wasn't until UA's SFO mainline RON experiment a few years ago (which included both FAT and SMF) that mainline UA returned to FAT. Also, FAT never had mainline CO service (not the modern-day version of CO at least).

By contrast, FAT had AA mainline for the whole period, adding DFW service along the way (while FAT never had as much service as SMF, AA's FAT service in the 90's and 2000's before the merger with US was much closer to SMF's AA service). HP was also big in FAT, with mainline service off and on to both LAS and PHX (again, much closer to SMF's HP service). When the US and AA merged, you basically had the two largest carriers at FAT at the time joining (UA was close and definitely at least #3, but I'm pretty sure they were below both of the others). At SMF, HP and AA were definitely not top-2, and I'm not even sure if either was even #3 at the time of the merger (I'm also not sure where DL was; I know they have grown a lot at SMF since then).


Thank you and I have a much better understanding of the dynamics.

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flyfresno
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:24 pm

williaminsd wrote:
Noticed that today, LCC Frontier Airlines has four departures out of SMF to four cities: Denver, Las Vegas, Ontario and Phoenix. I think this is the most ever by Frontier.

There was a time when many thought the LCC model couldn't work at SMF because of high fees. Great job by SMF management to bring fees back in line with most California cities and enabling the LCCs to flourish.


Is this because the "critical mass" of flights is high enough (or was before 2020) that they didn't need the higher fees to make the same $$$ for the bond payments towards the new terminal, or are they falling short and taking the loss in favor of the extra airlines/flights?
 
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SANFan
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:00 pm

williaminsd wrote:
Noticed that today, LCC Frontier Airlines has four departures out of SMF to four cities: Denver, Las Vegas, Ontario and Phoenix. I think this is the most ever by Frontier.

There was a time when many thought the LCC model couldn't work at SMF because of high fees. Great job by SMF management to bring fees back in line with most California cities and enabling the LCCs to flourish.

William, as I'm sure you're aware, F9 service (routes. weekly departures) are about as level and predictable as the Batman coaster at Magic Mountain! So don't get too attached to the number of routes or flights! I've given up even trying to keep track of what they do, to where, and how often, in SAN with routes starting and stopping, some magically reappearing at some point, others running for a few months then disappearing permanently.

Maybe SMF will be different and will be able to hang on to F9's offerings for periods measured in years rather than in weeks or maybe months. That would be great.

I'm happy to see SMF doing well in the recovery period and hope the numbers keep improving for you folks! And I'm most happy to see AS still on course to get your flights to SAN still on course to start next month and expand the following month!

Have a terrific 2021 at Sacramento Int'l!

bb
 
williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:37 pm

SANFan wrote:
williaminsd wrote:
Noticed that today, LCC Frontier Airlines has four departures out of SMF to four cities: Denver, Las Vegas, Ontario and Phoenix. I think this is the most ever by Frontier.

There was a time when many thought the LCC model couldn't work at SMF because of high fees. Great job by SMF management to bring fees back in line with most California cities and enabling the LCCs to flourish.

William, as I'm sure you're aware, F9 service (routes. weekly departures) are about as level and predictable as the Batman coaster at Magic Mountain! So don't get too attached to the number of routes or flights! I've given up even trying to keep track of what they do, to where, and how often, in SAN with routes starting and stopping, some magically reappearing at some point, others running for a few months then disappearing permanently.

Maybe SMF will be different and will be able to hang on to F9's offerings for periods measured in years rather than in weeks or maybe months. That would be great.

I'm happy to see SMF doing well in the recovery period and hope the numbers keep improving for you folks! And I'm most happy to see AS still on course to get your flights to SAN still on course to start next month and expand the following month!

Have a terrific 2021 at Sacramento Int'l!

bb


Thanks bb. Even more exciting to me is my recent experience at my favorite terminal. T2-E at SAN was as close to "normal" as I have seen in a year, and I have been traveling again regularly since May 2020. It was really a pleasure seeing happy faces at an airport again. SMF Concourse B was similar last week, but not quite the energy.

While Frontier's records has been... let's say "mixed," my point is that for years, LCCs weren't even considering SMF, and now they appear to be thriving. We'll see how it goes. Please note that Spirit Airlines joins the new-service party next month with a flight to SNA to compliment the existing service to LAS.

In April, SMF-LAS will be up to 9x/day on three airlines (Occasionally already at 8x/day in March). Not bad...

Is this because the "critical mass" of flights is high enough (or was before 2020) that they didn't need the higher fees to make the same $$$ for the bond payments towards the new terminal, or are they falling short and taking the loss in favor of the extra airlines/flights?


Couldn't tell ya... but the $11-$12 range puts it squarely in the middle for larger California airports, and the bond is being fully serviced. That is outstanding work by the airport team and is obviously paying-off.
In the land of lies, telling the truth is a crime...
 
dolphinflyer
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Wed Mar 10, 2021 7:27 pm

Today Alaska Airlines published schedules including a second daily nonstop flight between SMF and BOI, beginning June 17, 2021. With the additional flight, AS is also upgauging both flights to E75 a/c. Excellent morning/evening departure times from both stations. Great add by AS to the SMF flight portfolio!
 
smflyer
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Mar 11, 2021 5:28 am

dolphinflyer wrote:
Today Alaska Airlines published schedules including a second daily nonstop flight between SMF and BOI, beginning June 17, 2021. With the additional flight, AS is also upgauging both flights to E75 a/c. Excellent morning/evening departure times from both stations. Great add by AS to the SMF flight portfolio!


I can't remember, but has AS always had BOI service 1x daily? Good to see BOI continue to add routes in the burgeoning tech region.

I wonder if AS will ever start service to GEG and go head to head with WN.

I also wonder if some of the SMF frequent flier base will move over to AA/AS, they do have quite the destination list now out of SMF: SEA, PDX, SAN, BOI, LAX, PHX, DFW, ORD, CLT. Still pales in comparison to WN's network in SMF, but definitely a lot more destinations compared to DL/UA. AA was the largest legacy carrier by passenger volume post-merger in 2015 up until early 2019 when I think DL surpassed them for the first time, so they definitely could very well catch more ff base going forward in the future.
 
Wneast
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Mar 11, 2021 5:32 am

smflyer wrote:
dolphinflyer wrote:
Today Alaska Airlines published schedules including a second daily nonstop flight between SMF and BOI, beginning June 17, 2021. With the additional flight, AS is also upgauging both flights to E75 a/c. Excellent morning/evening departure times from both stations. Great add by AS to the SMF flight portfolio!


I can't remember, but has AS always had BOI service 1x daily? Good to see BOI continue to add routes in the burgeoning tech region.

I wonder if AS will ever start service to GEG and go head to head with WN.

I also wonder if some of the SMF frequent flier base will move over to AA/AS, they do have quite the destination list now out of SMF: SEA, PDX, SAN, BOI, LAX, PHX, DFW, ORD, CLT. Still pales in comparison to WN's network in SMF, but definitely a lot more destinations compared to DL/UA. AA was the largest legacy carrier by passenger volume post-merger in 2015 up until early 2019 when I think DL surpassed them for the first time, so they definitely could very well catch more ff base going forward in the future.

I wonder if southwest will respond with another flight to BOI maybe not since there two flights equal one southwest but maybe ?
 
Wingtips56
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:18 am

I saw this in the Oregon page:

Morelia – Sacramento eff 24JUN20 2 weekly A320neo
Y4360 MLM2110 – 2350SMF 32N 36
Y4361 SMF0105 – 0715MLM 32N 47

SEA and PDX also get 2xweekly Morelia flights.

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... june-2020/
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines (Retired). Flight Memory: 181 airports, 92 airlines, 78 a/c types, 403 routes, 58 countries (by air), 6 continents. 1,119,414 passenger miles.

Home airport : CEC
 
williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:02 pm

Wingtips56 wrote:
I saw this in the Oregon page:

Morelia – Sacramento eff 24JUN20 2 weekly A320neo
Y4360 MLM2110 – 2350SMF 32N 36
Y4361 SMF0105 – 0715MLM 32N 47

SEA and PDX also get 2xweekly Morelia flights.

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... june-2020/


So that makes six destinations in Mexico from SMF, assuming the others hold. Absolutely outstanding news and further evidence that this summer promises to be big for air travel (no, not "2019" big, but much bigger than we had any reason to hope for a few months ago).

Now if Canada could just get their act together and we can get the daily to Vancouver back.

Today Alaska Airlines published schedules including a second daily nonstop flight between SMF and BOI, beginning June 17, 2021. With the additional flight, AS is also upgauging both flights to E75 a/c. Excellent morning/evening departure times from both stations. Great add by AS to the SMF flight portfolio!


What I like about this is the scheduling. It's absolutely business oriented and suggests growing confidence in the return of business travel. Going with the E175, with its front cabin (unavailable on the Q400), also suggests confidence in a growing business sector.

I think it also shows the differences between "business" travel and "corporate" travel. Much of the returning "business" travel is more entrepreneurial and those passengers are less afraid to return to the skies. "Corporate" I think is more tied to the trade show/convention market and that sector appears dead through 2021.

Also note that the resumed SMF-SAN service by AS, particularly when it gets to 4x/day, is perfectly timed for business travel each way.

These are all great signs.

Btw - SMF smashed through the 700 Flightradar weekly count yesterday at 716. That ties it with OAK, which made a HUGE jump from just a couple weeks ago. Remember that Flightradar includes cargo flights in it's count and the FedEx operation at OAK is massive.
Last edited by williaminsd on Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
In the land of lies, telling the truth is a crime...
 
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BA744PHX
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:06 pm

williaminsd wrote:
Wingtips56 wrote:
I saw this in the Oregon page:

Morelia – Sacramento eff 24JUN20 2 weekly A320neo
Y4360 MLM2110 – 2350SMF 32N 36
Y4361 SMF0105 – 0715MLM 32N 47

SEA and PDX also get 2xweekly Morelia flights.

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... june-2020/


So that makes six destinations in Mexico from SMF, assuming the others hold. Absolutely outstanding news and further evidence that this summer promises to be big for air travel (no, not "2019" big, but much bigger than we had any reason to hope for a few months ago).



The article your mentioned is from March 2020 a year old right now, and Y4 SMF-MLM is not bookable either
 
williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:12 pm

BA744PHX wrote:
williaminsd wrote:
Wingtips56 wrote:
I saw this in the Oregon page:

Morelia – Sacramento eff 24JUN20 2 weekly A320neo
Y4360 MLM2110 – 2350SMF 32N 36
Y4361 SMF0105 – 0715MLM 32N 47

SEA and PDX also get 2xweekly Morelia flights.

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... june-2020/


So that makes six destinations in Mexico from SMF, assuming the others hold. Absolutely outstanding news and further evidence that this summer promises to be big for air travel (no, not "2019" big, but much bigger than we had any reason to hope for a few months ago).



The article your mentioned is from March 2020 a year old right now, and Y4 SMF-MLM is not bookable either


Well sh*t...
In the land of lies, telling the truth is a crime...
 
Wingtips56
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Mar 12, 2021 1:21 am

williaminsd wrote:
BA744PHX wrote:
williaminsd wrote:

So that makes six destinations in Mexico from SMF, assuming the others hold. Absolutely outstanding news and further evidence that this summer promises to be big for air travel (no, not "2019" big, but much bigger than we had any reason to hope for a few months ago).



The article your mentioned is from March 2020 a year old right now, and Y4 SMF-MLM is not bookable either


Well sh*t...

Oh, so it is. Drat. Shows me not to knick info from those Oregonians!
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines (Retired). Flight Memory: 181 airports, 92 airlines, 78 a/c types, 403 routes, 58 countries (by air), 6 continents. 1,119,414 passenger miles.

Home airport : CEC
 
smflyer
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:57 pm

I was about to say wasn't Morelia already pre-existing service since last year and we already had 6 destinations in Mexico with CUN being the latest.
 
williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:33 pm

Flightradar daily departure count reached a record for 2021 yesterday with 134 scheduled departures @ SMF. That is also the highest number of scheduled departures since March of last year.

Typically Friday is the busiest day at SMF with Sunday the slowest. Some Sunday totals have dipped to the low 80s/High 70s in the last several months, so will be interesting to see the count for tomorrow as that may give some insight into how deep this March rebound at SMF is.

The lowest total over the last month was on 2/21, a Sunday, with 88 scheduled flights.

One bit of disconcerting news... MEX has dropped off the route map for SMF completely for the next week leaving SMF with just four Mexican destinations, Guadalajara, Leon, Cabo and Cancun.

I don't recall if the SMF-MEX was always seasonal when it was introduced last November, but let's hope this is just temporary.
In the land of lies, telling the truth is a crime...
 
smflyer
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:04 pm

williaminsd wrote:
Flightradar daily departure count reached a record for 2021 yesterday with 134 scheduled departures @ SMF. That is also the highest number of scheduled departures since March of last year.

Typically Friday is the busiest day at SMF with Sunday the slowest. Some Sunday totals have dipped to the low 80s/High 70s in the last several months, so will be interesting to see the count for tomorrow as that may give some insight into how deep this March rebound at SMF is.

The lowest total over the last month was on 2/21, a Sunday, with 88 scheduled flights.

One bit of disconcerting news... MEX has dropped off the route map for SMF completely for the next week leaving SMF with just four Mexican destinations, Guadalajara, Leon, Cabo and Cancun.

I don't recall if the SMF-MEX was always seasonal when it was introduced last November, but let's hope this is just temporary.


Had a trip out of SMF last week and the airport definitely poppin' with passengers at least in the morning when I departed. I've been watching the seat maps for UA flights since it shows filled seats on actively flying planes and some of the departures as of yesterday and today have been full or nearly full. Although thats still a bit anecdotal, I hope its a good sign of things going forward.
 
dolphinflyer
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:43 pm

The airport processed over 11,500 TSA Throughput yesterday - the highest figure in over a year!

Also, JetBlue's inaugural flight departed this morning for Cancun and went out over 85% full. The route is a winner and off to a great start!

Finally, preliminary figures show that February traffic stats outshine January stats - a first in recent history, esp. considering that Feb has 3 less days than Jan. Overall, things are looking up at SMF!!!
 
williaminsd
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Re: Sacramento (SMF) Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Mar 13, 2021 6:39 pm

dolphinflyer wrote:
The airport processed over 11,500 TSA Throughput yesterday - the highest figure in over a year!

Also, JetBlue's inaugural flight departed this morning for Cancun and went out over 85% full. The route is a winner and off to a great start!

Finally, preliminary figures show that February traffic stats outshine January stats - a first in recent history, esp. considering that Feb has 3 less days than Jan. Overall, things are looking up at SMF!!!


That is OUSTSTANDING news on all fronts 'dolphin.

So cool to see "Cancun" on the SMF departures board.

I have two flights scheduled for SMF in April so far. Might have to adjust one so I can see a Cancun flight off...
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