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CIDFlyer
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Delta at PNS and VPS

Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:17 pm

With the amazing growth that both of these airports have experienced with the emergence of the Florida panhandle as the newest hot tourist destination (Spirit adding PNS, Southwest adding cities at PNS and adding VPS as a new city, American upgrading the mainline on most flights to PNS and most at VPS as well not to forget Allegiants huge focus city at VPS), Delta still only operates flights to ATL for both cities granted on multiple daily mainline and is the market leader. But for how long? All of the other legacies offer multiple destinations as well as the LCCs. Why hasn’t Delta tried adding MSP and/or DTW from these cities? Before the merger Northwest had flights to PNS from MSP and weekends to DTW. Is Delta content with ATL from these cities or will they eventually expand their horizons?
Last edited by CIDFlyer on Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
 
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Polot
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:25 pm

There is no need with the ATL mega hub right next door and no competitors on the listed routes.

DL is now a smaller carrier. That means fewer hub overflying flights as DL bolsters their hubs with clear defined spheres of influence. Smaller Southeast cities is ATL’s role.
 
jplatts
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:21 am

CIDFlyer wrote:
Why hasn’t Delta tried adding MSP and/or DTW from these cities? Before the merger Northwest had flights to PNS from MSP and weekends to DTW. Is Delta content with ATL from these cities or will they eventually expand their horizons?


NK adding PNS-DTW/MSP nonstop service might be a possibility with NK already serving PNS nonstop from CMH, IND, MCI, and STL in the Midwest.

DL adding PNS-DTW/MSP nonstop service might be a possibility as DL now has to worry about NK possibly adding these two routes with NK recently entering PNS and serving PNS nonstop from other Midwestern cities whereas DL didn't have to worry about a competitor adding DTW-PNS nonstop service prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DL would also be able to offer 1-stop connecting service to PNS from some destinations in the Midwest, Northwest, and Canadian Prairies that don't have nonstop service to ATL if DL adds PNS-DTW/MSP nonstop service.
 
jplatts
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:33 am

I had also mentioned the possibility of DL re-adding CVG-PNS nonstop service with (a) UA having recently added CVG-PNS nonstop service, (b) DL being much bigger than UA in both markets, and (c) DL planning on re-adding some other nonstop routes out of CVG as demand recovers.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:39 am

There is little interest from MSP residents in FL panhandle service. If you are going to fly, it might as well be to the warmer parts of Florida and if you want a cheap trip, MSP already has service to GPT and HRL
 
FlyPNS1
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:06 am

DL isn’t even the market leader in PNS or VPS. AA is now bigger in both markets…plus right now in the summer WN is bigger at PNS and G4 is bigger at VPS.

That said, I don’t think DL is interested in chasing all the leisure traffic and will stick to ATL. DL is offering a Saturday only LGA-PNS, but not counting on much else.
 
freakyrat
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:46 am

FlyPNS1 wrote:
DL isn’t even the market leader in PNS or VPS. AA is now bigger in both markets…plus right now in the summer WN is bigger at PNS and G4 is bigger at VPS.

That said, I don’t think DL is interested in chasing all the leisure traffic and will stick to ATL. DL is offering a Saturday only LGA-PNS, but not counting on much else.


I remember when I was stationed at Hurlburt Field in 1970-71 and our only carrier at VPS was Southern to ATL. They operated from a little terminal just to the right of the approach end of Rwy30 off of 2nd street.
 
CIDFlyer
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:20 am

usflyer msp wrote:
There is little interest from MSP residents in FL panhandle service. If you are going to fly, it might as well be to the warmer parts of Florida and if you want a cheap trip, MSP already has service to GPT and HRL
. Wouldn’t be geared just for MSP but for the region as a whole. Many markets in the upper Midwest don’t have an ATL flight. NW ran daily year round flights from MSP to PNS in the mid 2000s. As someone who’s folks have wintered in this area for. 23 years and I’ve visited every year and have seen the growth there are lots of Minnesota license plates as well as Wisconsin. Allegiant runs Saint Cloud to VPS in the summer so there is definitely some market there
Last edited by CIDFlyer on Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
CIDFlyer
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:22 am

FlyPNS1 wrote:
DL isn’t even the market leader in PNS or VPS. AA is now bigger in both markets…plus right now in the summer WN is bigger at PNS and G4 is bigger at VPS.

That said, I don’t think DL is interested in chasing all the leisure traffic and will stick to ATL. DL is offering a Saturday only LGA-PNS, but not counting on much else.


I was wondering if AA had overtaken DL. DFW is all mainline and then there’s also the multiple flights to CLT and also MIA, DCA, ORD seasonal and PHL. It just seems like DL could add a little more connectivity more than anything this has been a long time bread and butter market for them.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 3:00 am

CIDFlyer wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
There is little interest from MSP residents in FL panhandle service. If you are going to fly, it might as well be to the warmer parts of Florida and if you want a cheap trip, MSP already has service to GPT and HRL
. Wouldn’t be geared just for MSP but for the region as a whole. Many markets in the upper Midwest don’t have an ATL flight. NW ran daily year round flights from MSP to PNS in the mid 2000s. As someone who’s folks have wintered in this area for. 23 years and I’ve visited every year and have seen the growth there are lots of Minnesota license plates as well as Wisconsin. Allegiant runs Saint Cloud to VPS in the summer so there is definitely some market there


The problem is that north of, say, Saint Louis, the demand to the Panhandle drops off a cliff. I grew up in Chicago and knew literally no one who vacationed in the Panhandle.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 3:07 am

Cubsrule wrote:
CIDFlyer wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
There is little interest from MSP residents in FL panhandle service. If you are going to fly, it might as well be to the warmer parts of Florida and if you want a cheap trip, MSP already has service to GPT and HRL
. Wouldn’t be geared just for MSP but for the region as a whole. Many markets in the upper Midwest don’t have an ATL flight. NW ran daily year round flights from MSP to PNS in the mid 2000s. As someone who’s folks have wintered in this area for. 23 years and I’ve visited every year and have seen the growth there are lots of Minnesota license plates as well as Wisconsin. Allegiant runs Saint Cloud to VPS in the summer so there is definitely some market there


The problem is that north of, say, Saint Louis, the demand to the Panhandle drops off a cliff. I grew up in Chicago and knew literally no one who vacationed in the Panhandle.


Right, the panhandle was initially popular because it was less than a days drive from most of the South and lower portions of the Midwest. It is mainly a summer beach destination while most people in the upper Midwest are interested in visiting Florida in the winter. I will also add G4 recently ended STC-VPS early because of VPS congestion but I think it is pretty good assumption that they cut the worst performing flights.
 
TW870
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 4:08 am

CIDFlyer wrote:
FlyPNS1 wrote:
DL isn’t even the market leader in PNS or VPS. AA is now bigger in both markets…plus right now in the summer WN is bigger at PNS and G4 is bigger at VPS.

That said, I don’t think DL is interested in chasing all the leisure traffic and will stick to ATL. DL is offering a Saturday only LGA-PNS, but not counting on much else.


I was wondering if AA had overtaken DL. DFW is all mainline and then there’s also the multiple flights to CLT and also MIA, DCA, ORD seasonal and PHL. It just seems like DL could add a little more connectivity more than anything this has been a long time bread and butter market for them.


I think the whole issue is the positioning of hubs for the legacy carriers. Delta has excellent economics through Atlanta from both stations. VPS is 2x717, 4x320, and 1x321. PNS is mostly 739s and 321s for eight daily flights. Their other hubs are smaller and much further away and don't serve that many markets without ATL service. I just don't see a relatively long thin route on MSP-PNS or MSP-VPS on a 717 or a CR9 being added just to allow 1-stop service from Escanaba or Bemidji or one of the few stations with no ATL service. American has the advantage of a second close, strong hub in CLT, and another hub in the closest east coast mega-city to the panhandle (DCA). United basically does nothing in either station because it has no nearby strong hub to offer a frequent, efficient schedule. They don't even fly IAD-VPS, for example, and only serve VPS with RJs from IAH and a single RJ from ORD.
 
evank516
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 5:37 am

What’s the point? ATL is almost an all access pass for DL travelers at these two out stations. ATL will get all of them where they need to go.
 
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spinotter
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 5:46 am

Polot wrote:
There is no need with the ATL mega hub right next door and no competitors on the listed routes.

DL is now a smaller carrier. That means fewer hub overflying flights as DL bolsters their hubs with clear defined spheres of influence. Smaller Southeast cities is ATL’s role.


Interesting comment about DL now being a smaller carrier. When (if ever) can we foresee Delta getting back to the same number of flights and RPM's as before the pandemic, at least for its domestic network? Will some of the route reductions (such as MSP to PNS) be permanent?
 
FlyPNS1
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:44 am

Cubsrule wrote:

The problem is that north of, say, Saint Louis, the demand to the Panhandle drops off a cliff. I grew up in Chicago and knew literally no one who vacationed in the Panhandle.


That was definitely true 20 years ago, but certainly changing. This summer PNS has three flights a day to the Chicago area (on UA/AA/WN) and on some peak days (like Saturdays), the number jumps to five flights a day. G4 also seems to be finding a niche with some more northern markets with routes like OMA-VPS, DSM-VPS and GRR-VPS.

Obviously, I don't think DL wants most of this leisure traffic hence they just funnel people through ATL. It works for DL. The only catch is that DL does start to lose some of the business traffic to markets like PNS, when other carriers like AA offer routes like DCA-PNS nonstop and DL forces a connection through ATL.
 
jplatts
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 11:47 am

MSP actually had stronger demand to the Florida Panhandle in Q1 2019 than DTW did.

Here were the PDEW's to PNS/VPS/ECP from MSP and DTW in Q1 2019:
MSP-PNS - 59
MSP-VPS - 41
MSP-ECP - 37

DTW-PNS - 39
DTW-VPS - 17
DTW-ECP - 22

MSP can likely support nonstop service to PNS on DL on a regional jet, an A220-100, or a 717 with the amount of demand that is there to PNS to MSP. DL would also have some connecting traffic in addition to O&D to support nonstop service to PNS from MSP.
 
kavok
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:53 pm

I agree with the earlier posters that the Panhandle just isn’t a big enough draw to the Upper Midwest for DL to justify nonstops to MSP/DTW. There isn’t much business travel, and the leisure travel that does exist is very low yielding (even for leisure), which is not the market DL is going for.

People in DTW/MSP who are willing to spend the money to fly to Florida are mostly not choosing the Pandhandle. The Panhandle is not reliably warm enough in Jan/Feb/Mar for a beach vacation, and hence DTW/MSP pax will head further south if they fly.

The summer tourism in the panhandle tends to be people within a day drive and the “beat the heat, go to the beach” traffic from the South and lower Midwest… and not so much from DTW/MSP whose locals tend to vacation elsewhere in the summer months. Point being, DL having a bunch of flights to ATL is probably the better option then a long/thin route to DTW/MSP for bottom barrel leisure fares. The rest can drive or take G4.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:15 pm

FlyPNS1 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

The problem is that north of, say, Saint Louis, the demand to the Panhandle drops off a cliff. I grew up in Chicago and knew literally no one who vacationed in the Panhandle.


That was definitely true 20 years ago, but certainly changing. This summer PNS has three flights a day to the Chicago area (on UA/AA/WN) and on some peak days (like Saturdays), the number jumps to five flights a day. G4 also seems to be finding a niche with some more northern markets with routes like OMA-VPS, DSM-VPS and GRR-VPS.

Obviously, I don't think DL wants most of this leisure traffic hence they just funnel people through ATL. It works for DL. The only catch is that DL does start to lose some of the business traffic to markets like PNS, when other carriers like AA offer routes like DCA-PNS nonstop and DL forces a connection through ATL.


Isn't Delta's bigger problem with business traffic in a place like PNS the fact that AA's network is so much better because AA has hubs to both the east and the west? It seems like if I were a business traveler in PNS I'd prefer AA because the travel time to places like DEN and LAX is so much lower.
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TW870
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:50 pm

jplatts wrote:
MSP actually had stronger demand to the Florida Panhandle in Q1 2019 than DTW did.

Here were the PDEW's to PNS/VPS/ECP from MSP and DTW in Q1 2019:
MSP-PNS - 59
MSP-VPS - 41
MSP-ECP - 37

DTW-PNS - 39
DTW-VPS - 17
DTW-ECP - 22

MSP can likely support nonstop service to PNS on DL on a regional jet, an A220-100, or a 717 with the amount of demand that is there to PNS to MSP. DL would also have some connecting traffic in addition to O&D to support nonstop service to PNS from MSP.


Overall I think you and others are correct that the panhandle is a growth market for midwestern travelers, as VPS, PNS, and ECP are offering great new options for people who have gotten priced out of south Florida. I live in Minneapolis, and anecdotally know more people who go to Destin than further south. The issue, though, is that as the airline grows its operation, there are many uses for A220s, 717s, and large RJs. Given how close the panhandle is to Atlanta, and how efficient the Atlanta-panhandle operation is, I am skeptical that they would put any of those airplanes on a relatively long block time route like MSP-PNS when they could use those hours to beef up other business routes that could use more service. Remember, much of the LaGuardia business operation is still only about 2/3 of the size as it was in 2019. If those routes continue to recover like they are, I think you are going to see lots of A220 and CR9 block hours going onto LGA-Texas, LGA-midwest business markets, etc.
 
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tjwgrr
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:55 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
The problem is that north of, say, Saint Louis, the demand to the Panhandle drops off a cliff. I grew up in Chicago and knew literally no one who vacationed in the Panhandle.


Redneck Riviera.... I have some co-workers that drive with their families from Michigan to Gulf Shores every April. I guess they enjoy the 60 degree "tropical" weather. LOL.
Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
 
ScottB
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:32 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
Isn't Delta's bigger problem with business traffic in a place like PNS the fact that AA's network is so much better because AA has hubs to both the east and the west? It seems like if I were a business traveler in PNS I'd prefer AA because the travel time to places like DEN and LAX is so much lower.


I don't think that helps AA vs. DL as much as you think. The shortest PNS-DFW-DEN trip time is just a bit under five hours, and the shortest PNS-ATL-DEN option is 15 minutes longer. PNS-ATL has slightly better frequency and it's all mainline so you're likely to get a better, more reliable product. And a lot of business travel tends to stay within a given region; if you need to go from PNS to MEM or CHS, ATL is gonna be your best option.
 
EBiafore99
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:41 pm

Just because a market is experiencing passenger growth doesn't necessarily mean an airline should increase service. You have to look at the kind of growth in the market. In this case, the growth is leisure traffic. Furthermore, as stated, Allegiant has a focus city at VPS, which means low cost leisure traffic.

That's a combination that is tough for legacy airlines to compete with. I think DL has made it clear that its focus is on profitability over market share (albeit some exceptions). My guess is its flights to ATL serve customers who are willing to pay DL fares so the route is profitable.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 3:54 pm

ScottB wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Isn't Delta's bigger problem with business traffic in a place like PNS the fact that AA's network is so much better because AA has hubs to both the east and the west? It seems like if I were a business traveler in PNS I'd prefer AA because the travel time to places like DEN and LAX is so much lower.


I don't think that helps AA vs. DL as much as you think. The shortest PNS-DFW-DEN trip time is just a bit under five hours, and the shortest PNS-ATL-DEN option is 15 minutes longer. PNS-ATL has slightly better frequency and it's all mainline so you're likely to get a better, more reliable product. And a lot of business travel tends to stay within a given region; if you need to go from PNS to MEM or CHS, ATL is gonna be your best option.


It ends up being a matter of preference.
AA and DL have different philosophies on serving secondary SE cities. AA goes for breadth - using less frequent smaller aircraft but having service to several hubs while DL goes for depth - using large aircraft frequently but funneling everything through ATL.
 
jplatts
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 4:10 pm

EBiafore99 wrote:
That's a combination that is tough for legacy airlines to compete with. I think DL has made it clear that its focus is on profitability over market share (albeit some exceptions). My guess is its flights to ATL serve customers who are willing to pay DL fares so the route is profitable.


In addition to DL serving ATL nonstop from ATL, WN has recently added PNS-ATL nonstop service, but FL served ATL nonstop from PNS prior to the WN-FL merger.
 
ScottB
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 4:11 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
AA and DL have different philosophies on serving secondary SE cities. AA goes for breadth - using less frequent smaller aircraft but having service to several hubs while DL goes for depth - using large aircraft frequently but funneling everything through ATL.


That's just an artifact of how AA reached its present form where the largest hubs of the carriers which merged were DFW and CLT. DL ended up with a hub at MEM when it merged with NW but ultimately decided to close the hub, even though it offered somewhat less circuity when going west -- and of course they actually had a hub at DFW until the mid-aughts.

The ATL hub is large and strong enough that this strategy works very well for Delta -- there aren't a lot of city-pair markets they don't offer via ATL which AA can offer via either DFW or CLT (I'm thinking things like PNS-MAF). They gain a ton of efficiency by being able to operate mainline and the business customers benefit from the product consistency.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 4:30 pm

ScottB wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
AA and DL have different philosophies on serving secondary SE cities. AA goes for breadth - using less frequent smaller aircraft but having service to several hubs while DL goes for depth - using large aircraft frequently but funneling everything through ATL.


That's just an artifact of how AA reached its present form where the largest hubs of the carriers which merged were DFW and CLT. DL ended up with a hub at MEM when it merged with NW but ultimately decided to close the hub, even though it offered somewhat less circuity when going west -- and of course they actually had a hub at DFW until the mid-aughts.

The ATL hub is large and strong enough that this strategy works very well for Delta -- there aren't a lot of city-pair markets they don't offer via ATL which AA can offer via either DFW or CLT (I'm thinking things like PNS-MAF). They gain a ton of efficiency by being able to operate mainline and the business customers benefit from the product consistency.


I don't know if I would agree with this philosophy being an artifact of the merger. Many of these routes, like PHLPNS and DCAVPS were added well after the merger. I think it was a conscious business decision on AA's part - they could have just upgauged CLT flights.
 
ScottB
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 5:29 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
Many of these routes, like PHLPNS and DCAVPS were added well after the merger. I think it was a conscious business decision on AA's part - they could have just upgauged CLT flights.


DCA-PNS was around before the merger, as was DCA-VPS. They might have dropped DCA-VPS for a while to show the "consequences" of being forced to give up slots at DCA as a merger condition, but it was a route that pre-dated the merger.
 
WidebodyPTV
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Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:06 pm

Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:42 pm

kavok wrote:
I agree with the earlier posters that the Panhandle just isn’t a big enough draw to the Upper Midwest for DL to justify nonstops to MSP/DTW. There isn’t much business travel, and the leisure travel that does exist is very low yielding (even for leisure), which is not the market DL is going for.

People in DTW/MSP who are willing to spend the money to fly to Florida are mostly not choosing the Pandhandle. The Panhandle is not reliably warm enough in Jan/Feb/Mar for a beach vacation, and hence DTW/MSP pax will head further south if they fly.

The summer tourism in the panhandle tends to be people within a day drive and the “beat the heat, go to the beach” traffic from the South and lower Midwest… and not so much from DTW/MSP whose locals tend to vacation elsewhere in the summer months. Point being, DL having a bunch of flights to ATL is probably the better option then a long/thin route to DTW/MSP for bottom barrel leisure fares. The rest can drive or take G4.


In 2019, the WSJ ran a good article discussing how the nation's travel surge (lead by Millennials and Gen Z) was causing people to seek out non-traditional destinations ... including places like Cleveland and Detroit. The Panhandle has long been a regional / Spring Break destination, but that's been changing in this era. Direct air service will nearly always yield significant gains between two markets. The Panhandle is a much cheaper place to visit than elsewhere in Florida -- no doubt the availability of service would attract local passengers from DTW, MSP, etc. That doesn't mean there's bigger opportunities for DL, NK, etc. But I wouldn't write such service off.
 
ATLgaUSA
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 9:09 pm

tjwgrr wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
The problem is that north of, say, Saint Louis, the demand to the Panhandle drops off a cliff. I grew up in Chicago and knew literally no one who vacationed in the Panhandle.


Redneck Riviera.... I have some co-workers that drive with their families from Michigan to Gulf Shores every April. I guess they enjoy the 60 degree "tropical" weather. LOL.

It's very rare for it to be 60 degrees in Gulf Shores in April.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 9:45 pm

ATLgaUSA wrote:
tjwgrr wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
The problem is that north of, say, Saint Louis, the demand to the Panhandle drops off a cliff. I grew up in Chicago and knew literally no one who vacationed in the Panhandle.


Redneck Riviera.... I have some co-workers that drive with their families from Michigan to Gulf Shores every April. I guess they enjoy the 60 degree "tropical" weather. LOL.

It's very rare for it to be 60 degrees in Gulf Shores in April.


You’re missing the point. The Panhandle is at a latitude where “beach weather” is not guaranteed outside of summer. That doesn’t make them bad beaches (I go to Amelia Island most years in March), but it does change the demand pattern.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
ATLgaUSA
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Thu Jul 22, 2021 9:49 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
ATLgaUSA wrote:
tjwgrr wrote:

Redneck Riviera.... I have some co-workers that drive with their families from Michigan to Gulf Shores every April. I guess they enjoy the 60 degree "tropical" weather. LOL.

It's very rare for it to be 60 degrees in Gulf Shores in April.


You’re missing the point. The Panhandle is at a latitude where “beach weather” is not guaranteed outside of summer. That doesn’t make them bad beaches (I go to Amelia Island most years in March), but it does change the demand pattern.

No, I'm not missing the point. I was just replying to an uninformed comment. I'm well aware that the majority of the leisure traffic on the panhandle and Gulf Coast is highly seasonal.
 
WidebodyPTV
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Fri Jul 23, 2021 1:27 am

Cubsrule wrote:
The problem is that north of, say, Saint Louis, the demand to the Panhandle drops off a cliff. I grew up in Chicago and knew literally no one who vacationed in the Panhandle.


Wow, I'm surprised. In Metro Detroit, the Panhandle was a very popular "poor man's"*** spring break destination for mostly high school (and some college) students. There was oodles of charter busses, but Greyhound was arguably the most popular form of transit. Seasonal, weekly NK service would fit nicely.

The national popularity of Gulf Beach destinations has definitely increased in recent years. Biloxi has long been one of my favorite places to visit - a decade ago, most everybody visiting there was from Houston. Today, I frequently run into people from Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, etc.

***before anybody gets offended, no vacation is inexpensive and the true "poor man's" spring break destination is the tanning booths at Planet Fitness.
 
777Mech
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Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:02 am

ScottB wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Isn't Delta's bigger problem with business traffic in a place like PNS the fact that AA's network is so much better because AA has hubs to both the east and the west? It seems like if I were a business traveler in PNS I'd prefer AA because the travel time to places like DEN and LAX is so much lower.


I don't think that helps AA vs. DL as much as you think. The shortest PNS-DFW-DEN trip time is just a bit under five hours, and the shortest PNS-ATL-DEN option is 15 minutes longer. PNS-ATL has slightly better frequency and it's all mainline so you're likely to get a better, more reliable product. And a lot of business travel tends to stay within a given region; if you need to go from PNS to MEM or CHS, ATL is gonna be your best option.


I can't imagine there are a ton of business travelers ex-PNS and VPS. There are a ton of military and VFR, but as far as business folks sitting up from, it's got to be minimal.
 
Lootess
Posts: 668
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 6:15 am

Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Fri Jul 23, 2021 5:50 am

There is definitely business traffic on PNS-ATL route from military contractors and engineering sector as well. I used to take that flight and it wasn't always getting upgraded on the 757. You have to consider this area covers East Alabama up to Mobile, and of course MOB is Airbus factory.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15158
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Fri Jul 23, 2021 11:40 am

Lootess wrote:
There is definitely business traffic on PNS-ATL route from military contractors and engineering sector as well. I used to take that flight and it wasn't always getting upgraded on the 757. You have to consider this area covers East Alabama up to Mobile, and of course MOB is Airbus factory.


My personal experience is that it covers Mobile. Between MOB’s location and the higher level of service at PNS, we use PNS a lot when we have business in Mobile. Depending on traffic (and I realize that’s a big “depending”), the drive time difference to downtown Mobile can be as little as 20 minutes.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
FlyPNS1
Posts: 5545
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:12 am

Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Fri Jul 23, 2021 12:52 pm

Pre-COVID the PNS airport management claimed that 45% of PNS traffic was business. Not sure how accurate that claim is but certainly PNS has a decent business presence.
 
mikesbucky
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:17 am

Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Fri Jul 23, 2021 3:03 pm

777Mech wrote:
ScottB wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Isn't Delta's bigger problem with business traffic in a place like PNS the fact that AA's network is so much better because AA has hubs to both the east and the west? It seems like if I were a business traveler in PNS I'd prefer AA because the travel time to places like DEN and LAX is so much lower.


I don't think that helps AA vs. DL as much as you think. The shortest PNS-DFW-DEN trip time is just a bit under five hours, and the shortest PNS-ATL-DEN option is 15 minutes longer. PNS-ATL has slightly better frequency and it's all mainline so you're likely to get a better, more reliable product. And a lot of business travel tends to stay within a given region; if you need to go from PNS to MEM or CHS, ATL is gonna be your best option.


I can't imagine there are a ton of business travelers ex-PNS and VPS. There are a ton of military and VFR, but as far as business folks sitting up from, it's got to be minimal.



Understandable assumption, but incorrect. VPS is a testing base for Air Force Material Command. As such, just about every defense contractor in the US (Boeing, LockMart, NG, Jacobs, BAE Systems, etc) has a local office here filled with high priced contractors. Those contractors are frequently making trips to their company HQs and to bases around to world to discuss changes in systems to the using communities, to conduct tests and to gather requirements data. I'm not saying business traffic at VPS out paces leisure, just that it's far from minimal and the area definitely punches above its weight class.
 
Lootess
Posts: 668
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 6:15 am

Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Fri Jul 23, 2021 5:11 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
Lootess wrote:
There is definitely business traffic on PNS-ATL route from military contractors and engineering sector as well. I used to take that flight and it wasn't always getting upgraded on the 757. You have to consider this area covers East Alabama up to Mobile, and of course MOB is Airbus factory.


My personal experience is that it covers Mobile. Between MOB’s location and the higher level of service at PNS, we use PNS a lot when we have business in Mobile. Depending on traffic (and I realize that’s a big “depending”), the drive time difference to downtown Mobile can be as little as 20 minutes.


Yep, ATL-PNS and driving to Mobile is rather common over ATL-MOB because Delta only has CR2 service there with much less frequency and fare differences for that matter, The service to PNS is aplenty and allows all sorts of connections. the drive to Mobile isn't that long when there isn't highway patrol sleeping under the bridges. Certainly must count the Mobile and Airbus FAL factor.
 
southsky
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2005 4:07 am

Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Fri Jul 23, 2021 8:32 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
Lootess wrote:
the drive time difference to downtown Mobile can be as little as 20 minutes.


This is true, but this will certainly change with the move from MOB to BFM. Anyways, MOB's DL CR9 and CR2 service to ATL pales in comparison to PNS's 321 and 739 service to be sure, though
 
kavok
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 10:12 pm

Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:24 am

Simple question: If DL has a spare frame they can use on a DTW/MSP-Florida routing… would it be more profitable for DL to add another frequency on DTW/MSP to MCO/TPA/FLL/MIA … or to start service to PNS/VPS? Judging by what DL charges on their existing DTW/MSP-Florida routes in the winter, I have a hard time believing PNS/VPS could generate more $ comparatively.
 
KCaviator
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:00 pm

Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:23 pm

Demand for the panhandle is significant south of a line from Kansas City to Cincinnati. North of that, like previously mentioned, no one really cares. The stretch of beach between Panama City and Destin is especially popular with Nashvillians, including high-profile ones. Many country artists have homes along there.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 9602
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Delta at PNS and VPS

Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:51 pm

kavok wrote:
Simple question: If DL has a spare frame they can use on a DTW/MSP-Florida routing… would it be more profitable for DL to add another frequency on DTW/MSP to MCO/TPA/FLL/MIA … or to start service to PNS/VPS?


And that's the way DL is going to frame it. Not just MCO/TPA/FLL/MIA... but every other conceivable route from MSP in the available time period.

The argument that Spirit and Southwest are adding service so DL should, too, seems rather unfamiliar with the yield effects of low cost carriers. ULCCs may boost passenger numbers (making airport authorities and hoteliers happy), and they may lower fares (real competition is good for that), but the arrival doesn't help full-service carriers make money.

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