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tichydev
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Contour Airlines News and Discussion

Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:10 pm

Surprised there isn't a thread dedicated to LF/VTE. Anyone hear any rumblings of new EAS markets or resuming at risk service?

Former Contour managed fleet pilot here. Great company! They have allot of potential. Id love to see them adding some more east coast flying and beef up their current bases.
 
Jshank83
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:15 pm

They are losing their TBN-STL route. Didn't re-bid it.

I also assume the IND routes that never started are dead at this point.
 
tichydev
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:27 pm

Jshank83 wrote:
They are losing their TBN-STL route. Didn't re-bid it.

I also assume the IND routes that never started are dead at this point.


I'd give IND a year to get back in the cards once business travel picks back up. Contour was looking at IND for quite a while before they made the move. I doubt STL would be in the cards without the TBN connection but BNA-IND has potential. Sad to see the sole STL route go though but Skywest should do well there. TBN-STL was a short/hard route on a jet.
 
Jshank83
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:38 pm

tichydev wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
They are losing their TBN-STL route. Didn't re-bid it.

I also assume the IND routes that never started are dead at this point.


I'd give IND a year to get back in the cards once business travel picks back up. Contour was looking at IND for quite a while before they made the move. I doubt STL would be in the cards without the TBN connection but BNA-IND has potential. Sad to see the sole STL route go though but Skywest should do well there. TBN-STL was a short/hard route on a jet.


I personally think if BNA-IND happens that WN picks it up and then Contour will see its passengers go to WN instead. Same thing as WN was going to run STL-IND shortly after the announcement. But we'll see.
 
TexasAirCorp
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:39 pm

Any news on the resumption of SBA ops? Seemed like a great little operation, Santa Barbara is a beautiful town with a lot of air service potential.
 
MO11
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:03 pm

Jshank83 wrote:
They are losing their TBN-STL route. Didn't re-bid it.


It can't bid it. It has to be operated as AEAS for which a grant is requested by the community (as opposed to a subsidy paid to an airline). TBN is on the fence for maintaining EAS.

Greenville, MS has requested an AEAS grant, for which LF would provide service.
 
Wingtips56
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:34 pm

LF has added back its second OAK-CEC-OAK run 3x weekly for the season, on top of its year 'round daily. The daily is AEAS subsidized, but the extra flight is at risk. That ran in 2019 but not in 2020 with Covid. Glad to see it back.

It would be great to have it continue on or connect at OAK to SBA or elsewhere like it did before. Better yet, add one CEC-SMF (for personal reasons as well as...) where it could serve O/D to the state capital as well as connect to AA. Since AA pulled out of OAK (again), the LF-AA interline agreement is unserved.
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:07 am

Wingtips56 wrote:
LF has added back its second OAK-CEC-OAK run 3x weekly for the season, on top of its year 'round daily. The daily is AEAS subsidized, but the extra flight is at risk. That ran in 2019 but not in 2020 with Covid. Glad to see it back.

It would be great to have it continue on or connect at OAK to SBA or elsewhere like it did before. Better yet, add one CEC-SMF (for personal reasons as well as...) where it could serve O/D to the state capital as well as connect to AA. Since AA pulled out of OAK (again), the LF-AA interline agreement is unserved.


With WN in the OAK-SBA and SBA-LAS market, it wouldn't be surprising to see LF move their ops from SBA to either SBP or SMX. If they go back to flying non-EAS routes, I don't think they would go head-to-head with WN.

I've flown LF twice...OAK-CEC RT and OAK-SBA RT. They were one of my favorite small airlines. I hope they do re-enter to non-EAS flying soon.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:20 am

From what I have been told, the Indy routes are on hold until next year. MKE-IND may replace STL, and makes a whole lot more sense. Downside for Contour: Sterling may be "Encouraged" to bid for it as well, MANY long-time Indy connections involved, the names are all well-known to the Authority Board..
 
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johnboy
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Jun 18, 2021 2:08 am

Was at Crescent City airport a couple of weeks ago and thought it was a sharp-looking livery. Also had a rando person speak about how much she liked the service from OAK, as we were talking about Crescent City. . Gotta catch it up there sometime.
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:48 am

johnboy wrote:
Was at Crescent City airport a couple of weeks ago and thought it was a sharp-looking livery. Also had a rando person speak about how much she liked the service from OAK, as we were talking about Crescent City. . Gotta catch it up there sometime.


Flights are reasonably priced...at least when I flew the route. But having a seat-pitch of 36 or so inches is really nice on an E-135.
 
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knope2001
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Jun 18, 2021 2:49 pm

One challenge for Contour's Indy service is that RJ slack in BNA and STL were a big part of the picture, but with the loss of the aEAS contract in Fort Leonard Wood that part is gone The IND plans were not only supported by extra capacity from the TBN-STL RJ, but part of what gave the IND operation a better shot is that aEAS subsidy for Tupelo and Fort Leonard Wood were to a great extent paying for the cost of those two aircraft and for the costs of the Contour stations in BNA and STL. Using those same RJ's to fly a few IND trips during their downtime meant those flights would be much less expensive than "setting up shop from scratch" where the entire cost of the aircraft, crews, station, etc. needed to be covered by the revenue form the route(s). Again, Contour wasn't only relying on this -- the IND and PIT stations were to be new and one aircraft was planned to serve the Indy market which was not supported by aEAS funds. But losing TBN-STL pulls a leg out from under the stool

Perhaps equally or more important is how business travel recovers in general. But Indianapolis was in a unique position for Contour because two of their aEAS markets were good potential markets from IND. Now BNA will be but STL no longer will.
 
tichydev
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:10 am

FlyingElvii wrote:
From what I have been told, the Indy routes are on hold until next year. MKE-IND may replace STL, and makes a whole lot more sense. Downside for Contour: Sterling may be "Encouraged" to bid for it as well, MANY long-time Indy connections involved, the names are all well-known to the Authority Board..


Connecting IND with MKE and PIT have always made sense and had corporate funding behind them. Remember: Contour operated for Onejet and essentially introduced the E135 to them only for Onejet to screw LF over when they stopped paying and, decided to “buy” Ultimate Air. If anyone has the edge and recent experience to bring those routes back effectively it’s Contour. As I and others suggested, I give it a year for them to revisit IND. It was on their radar for a long time!
 
Ishrion
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:30 am

DFW
 
wedgetail737
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:00 pm

I still think Contour has opportunities up and down the West Coast, even if WN is flying some of their old routes.
 
tichydev
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:37 pm

Ishrion wrote:
DFW


GLH would be nice opportunity to add DFW. 1x day DFW and 1-2x day BNA. Anyone have the details on the AEAS bid there?
 
Delta28L
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:40 pm

tichydev wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
DFW


GLH would be nice opportunity to add DFW. 1x day DFW and 1-2x day BNA. Anyone have the details on the AEAS bid there?


Boutique is flying the route to DFW and BNA right now
 
tichydev
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:03 pm

Contour resuming plans for IND (minus STL as predicted) on October 12th. BNA, MKE and PIT
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Wed Jul 28, 2021 10:09 pm

I think a stronger alignment with a legacy would help, with AA the obvious choice in IND. I know they interline already, but this is of limited value here. A codeshare or ff partnership would be better, and mutually beneficial.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Jul 30, 2021 1:05 am

BangersAndMash wrote:
I think a stronger alignment with a legacy would help, with AA the obvious choice in IND. I know they interline already, but this is of limited value here. A codeshare or ff partnership would be better, and mutually beneficial.

They have an American Connection” agreement in place, but it needs to be more formal and better marketed.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Jul 30, 2021 1:08 am

knope2001 wrote:
One challenge for Contour's Indy service is that RJ slack in BNA and STL were a big part of the picture, but with the loss of the aEAS contract in Fort Leonard Wood that part is gone The IND plans were not only supported by extra capacity from the TBN-STL RJ, but part of what gave the IND operation a better shot is that aEAS subsidy for Tupelo and Fort Leonard Wood were to a great extent paying for the cost of those two aircraft and for the costs of the Contour stations in BNA and STL. Using those same RJ's to fly a few IND trips during their downtime meant those flights would be much less expensive than "setting up shop from scratch" where the entire cost of the aircraft, crews, station, etc. needed to be covered by the revenue form the route(s). Again, Contour wasn't only relying on this -- the IND and PIT stations were to be new and one aircraft was planned to serve the Indy market which was not supported by aEAS funds. But losing TBN-STL pulls a leg out from under the stool

Perhaps equally or more important is how business travel recovers in general. But Indianapolis was in a unique position for Contour because two of their aEAS markets were good potential markets from IND. Now BNA will be but STL no longer will.

The way the routings look for the IND contract, I’d bet that the PKB-CLT EAS to CLT plays a part in it. Very short hop from PKB to PIT.
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Jul 30, 2021 8:09 am

FlyingElvii wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:
I think a stronger alignment with a legacy would help, with AA the obvious choice in IND. I know they interline already, but this is of limited value here. A codeshare or ff partnership would be better, and mutually beneficial.

They have an American Connection” agreement in place, but it needs to be more formal and better marketed.


Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought you couldn't earn AAdvantage miles on Contour. That would be a major boost.

I remember part of the problem was that Contour's IT platform has also historically been very basic and they weren't able to sell American flights on their own site. I believe they were looking at an upgrade, but not sure if that's been done.
 
F27500
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Jul 30, 2021 2:40 pm

The name always sounded funny to me. Contour sounds more like the name of a birth control device of some sort.
 
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southwest1675
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:29 pm

BNA-MCN
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Sat Jul 31, 2021 9:40 am

Looks like they've been successful in landing the GLH EAS contract from Boutique.

https://www.pressregister.com/communities-local-news-politics-press-releases-state-top-stories/thompson-announces-funds-charter?page=1#sthash.OITEoPkp.dpbs

Likely DFW/BNA like before, although I suppose we could see ATL replace BNA. The community seemed keen on that at some stage. The AA interline will help make BNA more attractive though.
 
RJNUT
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:29 am

BangersAndMash wrote:
Looks like they've been successful in landing the GLH EAS contract from Boutique.

https://www.pressregister.com/communities-local-news-politics-press-releases-state-top-stories/thompson-announces-funds-charter?page=1#sthash.OITEoPkp.dpbs

Likely DFW/BNA like before, although I suppose we could see ATL replace BNA. The community seemed keen on that at some stage. The AA interline will help make BNA more attractive though.

..or CLT to connect to AA's network there. but often community preference choices dont always align with logic in these instances.
 
sprxUSA
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:58 pm

Lol that is such a great headline on that story.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Sat Jul 31, 2021 1:32 pm

BangersAndMash wrote:
Looks like they've been successful in landing the GLH EAS contract from Boutique.

https://www.pressregister.com/communities-local-news-politics-press-releases-state-top-stories/thompson-announces-funds-charter?page=1#sthash.OITEoPkp.dpbs

Likely DFW/BNA like before, although I suppose we could see ATL replace BNA. The community seemed keen on that at some stage. The AA interline will help make BNA more attractive though.

Not sure they will replace BNA, as much as add CLT. I can easily see 2x DFW, 1xCLT, originating and terminating in BNA. 1 aircraft, two crews.

Greenville has a nice little terminal, if dated, on a really big, quiet airport, that used to see a LOT more service than it does now, including an AA maint center, that later became an Eagle maint center. Boutique actually carries a decent amount of through traffic BNA-DFW, done it myself a few times.
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Sat Jul 31, 2021 1:54 pm

RJNUT wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:
Looks like they've been successful in landing the GLH EAS contract from Boutique.

https://www.pressregister.com/communities-local-news-politics-press-releases-state-top-stories/thompson-announces-funds-charter?page=1#sthash.OITEoPkp.dpbs

Likely DFW/BNA like before, although I suppose we could see ATL replace BNA. The community seemed keen on that at some stage. The AA interline will help make BNA more attractive though.

..or CLT to connect to AA's network there. but often community preference choices dont always align with logic in these instances.


True.

CLT didn't appear to be in consideration, only ATL. The wording seems to suggest they'll stick to the existing service pattern though. We'll find out soon enough.

The community went out of their way to get Contour so I suppose they will at least listen to what LF has to say. And they have a good track record out of Tupelo, which is to BNA only.
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Mon Aug 16, 2021 5:10 pm

It's now official. Contour will take over from Boutique in Greenville MS from October 1. Service will be to DFW and BNA, as before.

https://www.ddtonline.com/local-news-top-stories/greenville-airport-expected-soar-contour-airlines#sthash.7y5J51zS.dpbs

Hopefully they can replicate their success at Tupelo.
 
tichydev
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:31 pm

BangersAndMash wrote:
It's now official. Contour will take over from Boutique in Greenville MS from October 1. Service will be to DFW and BNA, as before.

https://www.ddtonline.com/local-news-top-stories/greenville-airport-expected-soar-contour-airlines#sthash.7y5J51zS.dpbs

Hopefully they can replicate their success at Tupelo.


With their name in MS and BNA as well as their AA codeshare at DFW this has potential to be a homerun and a jumping off point for more service out of DFW. Remember in 2019 Clovis NM voted for Contour service to DFW however, they were Thwarted by the FAA who gave them Denver Air Connection to DEN (a far less popular market for CVN according to surveys). CVN is a big DOD (USAF) market which Contour has a strong advantage in being a DOD charter operator for decades. Yes, Denver Air is providing a very similar and successful operation. CVN still wound up with a good operation, but I still find it astonishing the FAA didn't give the contract to Contour given the clear community preference. Using DFW as a connecting point to their west coast network will likely be a priority for Contour... Whenever the west coast network inevitably begins expanding again.

Contour will almost certainly pursue westbound markets from DFW and should have a pretty good advantage to gaining more markets between DFW and BNA when this succeeds.
 
RJNUT
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:46 pm

i believe they have offered TUP the option to DFW as well if they want it rather than all BNA, so this would , operationally, benefit LF as well.
 
MO11
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Wed Aug 18, 2021 9:43 pm

tichydev wrote:

With their name in MS and BNA as well as their AA codeshare at DFW this has potential to be a homerun and a jumping off point for more service out of DFW.


Contour has an interline agreement with AA. It does not code-share.

tichydev wrote:
Remember in 2019 Clovis NM voted for Contour service to DFW however, they were Thwarted by the FAA who gave them Denver Air Connection to DEN (a far less popular market for CVN according to surveys). CVN is a big DOD (USAF) market which Contour has a strong advantage in being a DOD charter operator for decades. Yes, Denver Air is providing a very similar and successful operation. CVN still wound up with a good operation, but I still find it astonishing the FAA didn't give the contract to Contour given the clear community preference. Using DFW as a connecting point to their west coast network will likely be a priority for Contour


The FAA does not administer the EAS program. Remember that Contour operates as a public charter. An EAS route can only be operated as a public charter when the community requests funding through the AEAS program. Clovis did this, however the DOT noted that it normally doesn't approve AEAS requests when there are qualifying EAS bids on the table.
 
Jshank83
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Aug 19, 2021 4:00 pm

Adding GSP-BNA. Interesting add.

https://gspairport.com/contour-airlines ... nashville/

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) to Nashville, TN (BNA) beginning November 17, 2021. GSP will be the first airport in South Carolina to offer scheduled Contour Airlines service. Contour Airlines will offer the only nonstop service from the Upstate region to Music City.

The new service will operate five times each week, excluding Tuesdays and Saturdays.
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Aug 19, 2021 7:06 pm

Jshank83 wrote:
Adding GSP-BNA. Interesting add.

https://gspairport.com/contour-airlines ... nashville/

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) to Nashville, TN (BNA) beginning November 17, 2021. GSP will be the first airport in South Carolina to offer scheduled Contour Airlines service. Contour Airlines will offer the only nonstop service from the Upstate region to Music City.

The new service will operate five times each week, excluding Tuesdays and Saturdays.


Interesting add indeed. They're growing a nice little operation out of BNA.
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Aug 19, 2021 7:15 pm

MO11 wrote:
tichydev wrote:

With their name in MS and BNA as well as their AA codeshare at DFW this has potential to be a homerun and a jumping off point for more service out of DFW.


Contour has an interline agreement with AA. It does not code-share.


That's what I thought as well. I've read somewhere that LF's website is so basic, it doesn't have the functionality for codeshares. Heck, it doesn't even allow interlines! I believe you can't book an AA flight on LF's website at present (at least that was the case), although it's something that's supposed to get addressed.

What would be more useful IMO would be a frequent flyer partnership. Being able to earn AAdvantage miles on LF would be a real game changer and would help attract AA flyers.
 
Jshank83
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Aug 19, 2021 7:26 pm

BangersAndMash wrote:
MO11 wrote:
tichydev wrote:

With their name in MS and BNA as well as their AA codeshare at DFW this has potential to be a homerun and a jumping off point for more service out of DFW.


Contour has an interline agreement with AA. It does not code-share.


That's what I thought as well. I've read somewhere that LF's website is so basic, it doesn't have the functionality for codeshares. Heck, it doesn't even allow interlines! I believe you can't book an AA flight on LF's website at present (at least that was the case), although it's something that's supposed to get addressed.

What would be more useful IMO would be a frequent flyer partnership. Being able to earn AAdvantage miles on LF would be a real game changer and would help attract AA flyers.


You can book on AA’s site but not LF’s site. I would be nice if you could on either but AA is probably the better of the two options at least.
 
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stl07
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Aug 19, 2021 8:18 pm

Jshank83 wrote:
Adding GSP-BNA. Interesting add.

https://gspairport.com/contour-airlines ... nashville/

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) to Nashville, TN (BNA) beginning November 17, 2021. GSP will be the first airport in South Carolina to offer scheduled Contour Airlines service. Contour Airlines will offer the only nonstop service from the Upstate region to Music City.

The new service will operate five times each week, excluding Tuesdays and Saturdays.

That's a good add, one that will not spark a WN pushback
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Aug 19, 2021 8:21 pm

stl07 wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
Adding GSP-BNA. Interesting add.

https://gspairport.com/contour-airlines ... nashville/

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) to Nashville, TN (BNA) beginning November 17, 2021. GSP will be the first airport in South Carolina to offer scheduled Contour Airlines service. Contour Airlines will offer the only nonstop service from the Upstate region to Music City.

The new service will operate five times each week, excluding Tuesdays and Saturdays.

That's a good add, one that will not spark a WN pushback


Not pushback necessarily, but if WN decides at some point that they want to get some local traffic on the segments ex-GSP, BNA would make sense from a network perspective. I don't know when or if that will happen.
 
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stl07
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:37 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
stl07 wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
Adding GSP-BNA. Interesting add.

https://gspairport.com/contour-airlines ... nashville/

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) to Nashville, TN (BNA) beginning November 17, 2021. GSP will be the first airport in South Carolina to offer scheduled Contour Airlines service. Contour Airlines will offer the only nonstop service from the Upstate region to Music City.

The new service will operate five times each week, excluding Tuesdays and Saturdays.

That's a good add, one that will not spark a WN pushback


Not pushback necessarily, but if WN decides at some point that they want to get some local traffic on the segments ex-GSP, BNA would make sense from a network perspective. I don't know when or if that will happen.

I'm sure it might come eventually, but Contour had issues with WN earlier when they launched a route btwn STL-IND which has good WN feed on both sides and WN immediately launched the route themselves. I think that GSP won't face the same issues
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:28 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
stl07 wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:
Adding GSP-BNA. Interesting add.

https://gspairport.com/contour-airlines ... nashville/

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) to Nashville, TN (BNA) beginning November 17, 2021. GSP will be the first airport in South Carolina to offer scheduled Contour Airlines service. Contour Airlines will offer the only nonstop service from the Upstate region to Music City.

The new service will operate five times each week, excluding Tuesdays and Saturdays.

That's a good add, one that will not spark a WN pushback


Not pushback necessarily, but if WN decides at some point that they want to get some local traffic on the segments ex-GSP, BNA would make sense from a network perspective. I don't know when or if that will happen.


It'll be interesting to see what WN does, for sure. BNA is the future for WN in the Southeast so I wouldn't rule out service to GSP. And that sure makes it a strange place for LF to grow. Especially given their poor integration with a legacy, which would offer a counterweight to WN. They have the interline with AA, but that's a weak form of partnership. It's not going to save them if WN decides to jump in. But maybe GSP-GLH/TUP is a thing ;) I guess we'll see how it all shakes out.
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Aug 20, 2021 5:41 pm

tichydev wrote:
Using DFW as a connecting point to their west coast network will likely be a priority for Contour... Whenever the west coast network inevitably begins expanding again. Contour will almost certainly pursue westbound markets from DFW and should have a pretty good advantage to gaining more markets between DFW and BNA when this succeeds.


Do you think the West Coast network will come back? Some of these markets have changed a lot in the past year and a half. I'm thinking SBA for example, which was one of their largest stations. WN has moved in and is serving most of the routes that LF did (they serve OAK and LAS, and could just as easily jump into SMF). Whereas this WN flying is profitable and they stay in the market long term is an open question, but at the moment, I don't see LF returning.

Where do you see them fly out of DFW? AA has that pretty much covered. And the EAS opportunities are relatively limited: CVN, CNM, SVC, CEZ, PRC, SOW. I don't think I'm missing a lot. The AEAS model means they also need to convince the communities first, and the FAA prefers EAS if there's a bidder (CVN is a case in point).

Beyond that, there are a few additional things they could try:
- FMN (had service before to DEN, although not right now)
- TSM (although Taos Air has that pretty much covered and already serves DAL)
They already fly from PGA to PHX (EAS, and to LAS unsubsidised for a while pre-Covid). They could offer DFW as well, I guess.

OO would be a formidable competitor for most Western markets though, EAS or otherwise. I feel there are more opportunities out East. Those short-ish, close in destinations where flying through a hub is wasteful time-wise (like IND-PIT/MKE). Could they try and wrestle MSL away from Boutique? They managed to get TUP to primary commercial airport status year after year. That's worth $1M a year in Feds money. That's no small change for small airports. If they can manage the same at GLH, they could go for the hat trick. They'd have a great story to tell.
 
RJNUT
Posts: 2039
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 1:58 am

Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Aug 20, 2021 6:24 pm

I'd like to see them spilt off PKB and BKW but there seems no urgency to do so into CLT. Id also like to see MBL-ORD but they have already tried the AEAS program into that market using Public Charter into MDW with ZERO connectivity. They also seem content up there with their new Cape Air service for now.
 
TexasAirCorp
Posts: 345
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2021 5:24 pm

Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:35 pm

RJNUT wrote:
I'd like to see them spilt off PKB and BKW but there seems no urgency to do so into CLT. Id also like to see MBL-ORD but they have already tried the AEAS program into that market using Public Charter into MDW with ZERO connectivity. They also seem content up there with their new Cape Air service for now.


Contour never directly served MBL, for a while their old JS31 aircraft were chartered by a virtual airline called ‘North Country Sky’ who held the AEAS contract. When the JS31s were retired, the carrier started chartering aircraft from Ultimate Air Shuttle instead.
 
TexasAirCorp
Posts: 345
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2021 5:24 pm

Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:40 pm

BangersAndMash wrote:
Could they try and wrestle MSL away from Boutique? They managed to get TUP to primary commercial airport status year after year. That's worth $1M a year in Feds money. That's no small change for small airports. If they can manage the same at GLH, they could go for the hat trick. They'd have a great story to tell.


I think they could wrestle quite a few key markets from Boutique. Most EAS airports would do anything to upgrade from tiny prop to jet service, plus Boutique has gained itself a pretty poor reputation in recent years for reliability. They could easily gain support from any airport, and I reckon they may be able to convince the government that a jet service is more beneficial in markets with clear demand, especially if they plan to provide service to an AA hub.
 
BangersAndMash
Posts: 848
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 5:21 pm

Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Sat Aug 21, 2021 4:16 pm

TexasAirCorp wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:
Could they try and wrestle MSL away from Boutique? They managed to get TUP to primary commercial airport status year after year. That's worth $1M a year in Feds money. That's no small change for small airports. If they can manage the same at GLH, they could go for the hat trick. They'd have a great story to tell.


I think they could wrestle quite a few key markets from Boutique. Most EAS airports would do anything to upgrade from tiny prop to jet service, plus Boutique has gained itself a pretty poor reputation in recent years for reliability. They could easily gain support from any airport, and I reckon they may be able to convince the government that a jet service is more beneficial in markets with clear demand, especially if they plan to provide service to an AA hub.


I get the attractiveness of jet service, but there's the FAA to contend with on subsidised routes. Their main objective is keeping cost down and they see competitive bidding as a key way to do that. So they're not keen on AEAS arrangements if there is an alternative. LF found that out the hard way in Clovis. They got the contract lined up and the community was massively keen, but the FAA still gave it to Denver Air Connection instead.

As they put it: "typically... public charter service are approved when there is a lack of other viable air service options that meet basic EAS requirements and/or the community’s needs."

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/85898-colorados-key-lime-air-wins-clovis-eas-route

And of course, unsubsidised routes need to support themselves. Not easy to do with the economics of a small aircraft.
 
tichydev
Topic Author
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:33 am

Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Sun Aug 22, 2021 11:27 pm

TexasAirCorp wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:
Could they try and wrestle MSL away from Boutique? They managed to get TUP to primary commercial airport status year after year. That's worth $1M a year in Feds money. That's no small change for small airports. If they can manage the same at GLH, they could go for the hat trick. They'd have a great story to tell.


I think they could wrestle quite a few key markets from Boutique. Most EAS airports would do anything to upgrade from tiny prop to jet service, plus Boutique has gained itself a pretty poor reputation in recent years for reliability. They could easily gain support from any airport, and I reckon they may be able to convince the government that a jet service is more beneficial in markets with clear demand, especially if they plan to provide service to an AA hub.



Contour tried pretty hard to get MSL last time the bid came up. I believe the community and board was nearly split on the vote. It wouldn’t be surprising given they’re finally realizing some growth at BNA. Boutique is losing markets fast. They just lost Ironwood from MSP to Key Lime when the community essentially called for a recall after 2 different incidents on that route including the infamous door Incident… MSL should be an easy shoe in for them with Tupelo and Greenville. There is an undoubtable historical and music connection between MSL and BNA that seemed to pay off with TUP. I feel like MSL to CLT could do very well too instead of ATL.

Contour has a way of making EAS markets work without a major hub connection. MCN-BWI has been wildly successful based mostly on o&d travel.

As for the west coast, it’s only a matter of time and finding the right markets.
 
BangersAndMash
Posts: 848
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 5:21 pm

Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Mon Aug 23, 2021 8:02 pm

tichydev wrote:
TexasAirCorp wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:
Could they try and wrestle MSL away from Boutique? They managed to get TUP to primary commercial airport status year after year. That's worth $1M a year in Feds money. That's no small change for small airports. If they can manage the same at GLH, they could go for the hat trick. They'd have a great story to tell.


I think they could wrestle quite a few key markets from Boutique. Most EAS airports would do anything to upgrade from tiny prop to jet service, plus Boutique has gained itself a pretty poor reputation in recent years for reliability. They could easily gain support from any airport, and I reckon they may be able to convince the government that a jet service is more beneficial in markets with clear demand, especially if they plan to provide service to an AA hub.



Contour tried pretty hard to get MSL last time the bid came up. I believe the community and board was nearly split on the vote. It wouldn’t be surprising given they’re finally realizing some growth at BNA. Boutique is losing markets fast. They just lost Ironwood from MSP to Key Lime when the community essentially called for a recall after 2 different incidents on that route including the infamous door Incident… MSL should be an easy shoe in for them with Tupelo and Greenville. There is an undoubtable historical and music connection between MSL and BNA that seemed to pay off with TUP. I feel like MSL to CLT could do very well too instead of ATL.

Contour has a way of making EAS markets work without a major hub connection. MCN-BWI has been wildly successful based mostly on o&d travel.

As for the west coast, it’s only a matter of time and finding the right markets.


TUP has certainly proved to be a little golden nugget. The local economy is humming along nicely, the population is growing, and it's the closest commercial airport to Oxford/The University of Mississippi, another healthy part of the state, so long-term prospects are pretty healthy there. GLH will be a little more challenging. Both the town and MSA are loosing population. But it's got tourism potential. Hopefully they can harness some leisure traffic to fill their planes.

MSL is up for renewal from Feb. 28, 2022 so we should find out pretty soon if Contour is gunning for it. Boutique has had a lot of churning route-wise (with ATL, BNA being served intermittently, and now PNS - although this seems to be an overused Boutique trick, starting routes close to contract renewal they have no intention to serve long-term), we'll see if that hurts them.

BNA, while not a major hub, is also turning into a more attractive transfer point, with AA giving access to a lot of desirable cities on the East Coast, Midwest, and Texas (12 year-round destinations + Tampa coming in November + Orlando seasonally at the last count). And of course, LF will be adding IND and GSP on its own metal to that.

Out West, WN's load factors at SBA have been pretty poor (in the low to mid-50s to OAK/LAS) so far. Looks like the 737 may be too much lift for that market so a return of Contour is not out of the question.

PS: I was under the impression they're getting some corporate support for the MCN-BWI link. At least, they used too. That probably helps quite a bit.
 
wedgetail737
Posts: 6202
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2003 8:44 am

Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Mon Aug 23, 2021 8:08 pm

BangersAndMash wrote:
tichydev wrote:
TexasAirCorp wrote:

I think they could wrestle quite a few key markets from Boutique. Most EAS airports would do anything to upgrade from tiny prop to jet service, plus Boutique has gained itself a pretty poor reputation in recent years for reliability. They could easily gain support from any airport, and I reckon they may be able to convince the government that a jet service is more beneficial in markets with clear demand, especially if they plan to provide service to an AA hub.



Contour tried pretty hard to get MSL last time the bid came up. I believe the community and board was nearly split on the vote. It wouldn’t be surprising given they’re finally realizing some growth at BNA. Boutique is losing markets fast. They just lost Ironwood from MSP to Key Lime when the community essentially called for a recall after 2 different incidents on that route including the infamous door Incident… MSL should be an easy shoe in for them with Tupelo and Greenville. There is an undoubtable historical and music connection between MSL and BNA that seemed to pay off with TUP. I feel like MSL to CLT could do very well too instead of ATL.

Contour has a way of making EAS markets work without a major hub connection. MCN-BWI has been wildly successful based mostly on o&d travel.

As for the west coast, it’s only a matter of time and finding the right markets.


TUP has certainly proved to be a little golden nugget. The local economy is humming along nicely, the population is growing, and it's the closest commercial airport to Oxford/The University of Mississippi, another healthy part of the state, so long-term prospects are pretty healthy there. GLH will be a little more challenging. Both the town and MSA are loosing population. But it's got tourism potential. Hopefully they can harness some leisure traffic to fill their planes.

MSL is up for renewal from Feb. 28, 2022 so we should find out pretty soon if Contour is gunning for it. Boutique has had a lot of churning route-wise (with ATL, BNA being served intermittently, and now PNS - although this seems to be an overused Boutique trick, starting routes close to contract renewal they have no intention to serve long-term), we'll see if that hurts them.

BNA, while not a major hub, is also turning into a more attractive transfer point, with AA giving access to a lot of desirable cities on the East Coast, Midwest, and Texas (12 year-round destinations + Tampa coming in November + Orlando seasonally at the last count). And of course, LF will be adding IND and GSP on its own metal to that.

Out West, WN's load factors at SBA have been pretty poor (in the low to mid-50s to OAK/LAS) so far. Looks like the 737 may be too much lift for that market so a return of Contour is not out of the question.

PS: I was under the impression they're getting some corporate support for the MCN-BWI link. At least, they used too. That probably helps quite a bit.


I think LF will wait until WN if/when they decide to leave SBA before re-entering the market. Alternatively, LF could set up shop at SMX or SBP.
 
tichydev
Topic Author
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:33 am

Re: Contour Airlines Routes and Predictions

Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:52 pm

wedgetail737 wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:
tichydev wrote:


Contour tried pretty hard to get MSL last time the bid came up. I believe the community and board was nearly split on the vote. It wouldn’t be surprising given they’re finally realizing some growth at BNA. Boutique is losing markets fast. They just lost Ironwood from MSP to Key Lime when the community essentially called for a recall after 2 different incidents on that route including the infamous door Incident… MSL should be an easy shoe in for them with Tupelo and Greenville. There is an undoubtable historical and music connection between MSL and BNA that seemed to pay off with TUP. I feel like MSL to CLT could do very well too instead of ATL.

Contour has a way of making EAS markets work without a major hub connection. MCN-BWI has been wildly successful based mostly on o&d travel.

As for the west coast, it’s only a matter of time and finding the right markets.


TUP has certainly proved to be a little golden nugget. The local economy is humming along nicely, the population is growing, and it's the closest commercial airport to Oxford/The University of Mississippi, another healthy part of the state, so long-term prospects are pretty healthy there. GLH will be a little more challenging. Both the town and MSA are loosing population. But it's got tourism potential. Hopefully they can harness some leisure traffic to fill their planes.

MSL is up for renewal from Feb. 28, 2022 so we should find out pretty soon if Contour is gunning for it. Boutique has had a lot of churning route-wise (with ATL, BNA being served intermittently, and now PNS - although this seems to be an overused Boutique trick, starting routes close to contract renewal they have no intention to serve long-term), we'll see if that hurts them.

BNA, while not a major hub, is also turning into a more attractive transfer point, with AA giving access to a lot of desirable cities on the East Coast, Midwest, and Texas (12 year-round destinations + Tampa coming in November + Orlando seasonally at the last count). And of course, LF will be adding IND and GSP on its own metal to that.

Out West, WN's load factors at SBA have been pretty poor (in the low to mid-50s to OAK/LAS) so far. Looks like the 737 may be too much lift for that market so a return of Contour is not out of the question.

PS: I was under the impression they're getting some corporate support for the MCN-BWI link. At least, they used too. That probably helps quite a bit.


I think LF will wait until WN if/when they decide to leave SBA before re-entering the market. Alternatively, LF could set up shop at SMX or SBP.


Agreed, while WN may have the ability to push them out of markets quickly they have the advantage in the long run of waiting it out. Whatever doesn't fill a 737 can still fill an E35 once maybe even twice daily. It would be interesting to see them take this approach to markets other airlines hit and abandoned like Avelo. if STS-LAS doesnt work I could see that being an easy ERJ play for them. But, as others said they also have JSX to contend with out there. (Although there is something to be said for the visibility and trust of operating secure out of the main terminals... the public often doesn't understand/ trust carriers outside of the norm like pseudo private air travel).

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