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AndoAv8R
Posts: 214
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:29 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Sat May 14, 2022 7:44 pm

Does anyone know why boutique is constantly flying the pattern at Greeley-weld country airport/KGXY in northern Colorado? I'd assume training but they are up there a lot
 
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Frontier14
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Sun May 15, 2022 12:32 am

AndoAv8R wrote:
Does anyone know why boutique is constantly flying the pattern at Greeley-weld country airport/KGXY in northern Colorado? I'd assume training but they are up there a lot


KGXY is where Boutique's maintenance contractor is located. It was super convenient when they had a significant number of the EAS routes at DEN.

Frontier 14
 
SYRAVGEEK
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Sun May 15, 2022 2:40 pm

Does anyone know what aircraft COOL Air plans on using? I’ve heard 50 seaters, but do we know what type?
 
Dominion301
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Sun May 15, 2022 5:38 pm

JBo wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:


Ouch.

I mean, I wasn't expecting much given the current state of the industry, but I have a feeling this will be the death knell for passenger airline service at MKG.

At one time, MKG was a convenient alternative to GRR when they had frequent service to MKE and DTW, and GRR was still mostly served by smaller regional aircraft — but between GRR's growth, industry consolidation, and the shift away from smaller regional aircraft, MKG doesn't really offer a whole lot of advantage anymore. Only the budget-conscious and/or the die-hard MKG travelers are going to choose a 9-seat Caravan over driving to GRR and hopping aboard a CRJ, E-jet, or mainline aircraft.

MKG's best hope for growth, as an airport, is to find a way to attract the "back-end" of the industry: manufacturing, support, etc. The airfield itself has a ton of potential for growth, and I'd like to think the location does as well, but not for airline service.


I have only been to Muskegon once back in the mid-90s but I distinctly remember a billboard in the city proudly advertising four airlines serving MKG, namely NW, ME, AA & UA.
 
MO11
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Sun May 15, 2022 7:35 pm

SYRAVGEEK wrote:
Does anyone know what aircraft COOL Air plans on using? I’ve heard 50 seaters, but do we know what type?


I don't think COOL Air knows. It's not an airline entity, and the EAS application is materially deficient. If it were to apply for airline authority tomorrow (with all appropriate management positions filled), it would be a year before receiving DOT approval, more for FAA.
 
32andBelow
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Sun May 15, 2022 8:08 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
Honestly, I think the answer to EAS in the current crewing crisis facing specifically regional airlines, the lack of new built aircraft with efficiencies to serve these and other factors is for the Federal Government to tie slotting at high demand/high revenue airports to service at the EAS cities. If a Legacy3 wants that slot bad enough, then ensuring service at the EAS is the price of doing business. Otherwise, EAS is a really hard problem.

I disagree. In general These types of airlines absolutely cannot afford new build airplanes.
 
maps4ltd
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 4:48 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Sun May 15, 2022 9:41 pm

32andBelow wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
Honestly, I think the answer to EAS in the current crewing crisis facing specifically regional airlines, the lack of new built aircraft with efficiencies to serve these and other factors is for the Federal Government to tie slotting at high demand/high revenue airports to service at the EAS cities. If a Legacy3 wants that slot bad enough, then ensuring service at the EAS is the price of doing business. Otherwise, EAS is a really hard problem.

I disagree. In general These types of airlines absolutely cannot afford new build airplanes.

Do bear in mind, though, that some of these companies have new aircraft on order. Southern has their Tecnam order, Cape has new-build Tecnams flowing in and an order for 75 electric planes, etc.
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 4:18 pm

Looks like DVL is happy to accept service reductions from OO from 12 to 7 weekly.

Interesting conditions attached:
- limited to 3 months, potentially extendable
- increase in landing fees to compensate for lost revenue for the airport
- tweaks to the pricing algorithm to essentially introduce a price cap

https://www.regulations.gov/docket/DOT-OST-1997-2785/document?postedDateFrom=2022-05-16&postedDateTo=2022-05-16

I wonder if OO is on board with that.
 
32andBelow
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 5:29 pm

maps4ltd wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
Honestly, I think the answer to EAS in the current crewing crisis facing specifically regional airlines, the lack of new built aircraft with efficiencies to serve these and other factors is for the Federal Government to tie slotting at high demand/high revenue airports to service at the EAS cities. If a Legacy3 wants that slot bad enough, then ensuring service at the EAS is the price of doing business. Otherwise, EAS is a really hard problem.

I disagree. In general These types of airlines absolutely cannot afford new build airplanes.

Do bear in mind, though, that some of these companies have new aircraft on order. Southern has their Tecnam order, Cape has new-build Tecnams flowing in and an order for 75 electric planes, etc.

Let me rephrase. Some can afford 9 seat airplanes. But I doubt many could afford to buy a new fleet of 30 seats Saab 340/atr type airplanes. The ATR42 is available and you don’t see anyone but silver buying them.

Also kind of off topic. But the p212 is very slow. Like much slower than a pc12. That surprised me.
 
flyoregon
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 5:47 pm

SYRAVGEEK wrote:
Does anyone know what aircraft COOL Air plans on using? I’ve heard 50 seaters, but do we know what type?


Is there a website for COOL Air or a thread somewhere talking about COOL Air? This is the first time I've heard of it.
 
Bigant0408
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 5:48 pm

MO11 wrote:
SYRAVGEEK wrote:
Does anyone know what aircraft COOL Air plans on using? I’ve heard 50 seaters, but do we know what type?


I don't think COOL Air knows. It's not an airline entity, and the EAS application is materially deficient. If it were to apply for airline authority tomorrow (with all appropriate management positions filled), it would be a year before receiving DOT approval, more for FAA.


I came across that document and I was like what the heck is COOL Air. Will be curious if any of this comes to life
 
gdavis003
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 6:11 pm

Bigant0408 wrote:
MO11 wrote:
SYRAVGEEK wrote:
Does anyone know what aircraft COOL Air plans on using? I’ve heard 50 seaters, but do we know what type?


I don't think COOL Air knows. It's not an airline entity, and the EAS application is materially deficient. If it were to apply for airline authority tomorrow (with all appropriate management positions filled), it would be a year before receiving DOT approval, more for FAA.


I came across that document and I was like what the heck is COOL Air. Will be curious if any of this comes to life


The president’s email is listed @hotmail.com. It seems like this is purely wishful thinking. No website, no info on the supposed president, I give this a 0% chance
 
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JBo
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 6:20 pm

Dominion301 wrote:
JBo wrote:
Jshank83 wrote:


Ouch.

I mean, I wasn't expecting much given the current state of the industry, but I have a feeling this will be the death knell for passenger airline service at MKG.

At one time, MKG was a convenient alternative to GRR when they had frequent service to MKE and DTW, and GRR was still mostly served by smaller regional aircraft — but between GRR's growth, industry consolidation, and the shift away from smaller regional aircraft, MKG doesn't really offer a whole lot of advantage anymore. Only the budget-conscious and/or the die-hard MKG travelers are going to choose a 9-seat Caravan over driving to GRR and hopping aboard a CRJ, E-jet, or mainline aircraft.

MKG's best hope for growth, as an airport, is to find a way to attract the "back-end" of the industry: manufacturing, support, etc. The airfield itself has a ton of potential for growth, and I'd like to think the location does as well, but not for airline service.


I have only been to Muskegon once back in the mid-90s but I distinctly remember a billboard in the city proudly advertising four airlines serving MKG, namely NW, ME, AA & UA.


There was only a very brief overlap of service between AA and UA. Eagle pulled out around 1996, and Great Lakes replaced them flying under their own name to MDW. I think they coexisted at MKG for only a few months. Then in 1997 or so, ZK upgraded their service to the UAX banner flying to ORD until 2002 when their relationship with UA was downgraded to a codeshare flying under their own name. ZK left MKG in 2003 when they phased out the ORD hub.

That left YX to MKE and Mesaba/NW/DL to DTW. YX left MKG in 2008, leaving Mesaba as the sole carrier. In 2009 XJ petitioned the DOT to place MKG and a handful of other cities where they were the sole carrier under EAS. That's when SkyWest entered the picture, placing a bid that was roughly half of what XJ wanted.

Once upon a time, MKG profitably supported three regional carriers to Detroit, Milwaukee, and Chicago, but those times have changed.
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 9:40 pm

It seems a proposal from Boutique Air has been received for Victoria TX. I don't believe it's been reported yet. The only proposal for that market, by the look of it.

25x weekly to IAH and 3x weekly to DFW on PC12

https://www.regulations.gov/docket/DOT-OST-2005-20454/document?postedDateFrom=2022-05-16&postedDateTo=2022-05-16
Last edited by BangersAndMash on Mon May 16, 2022 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 9:46 pm

2 proposals (Boutique and Southern) for Scottsbluff.

Boutique: PC12 to DEN 28x weekly
Southern: Cessna 208 to DEN 24/30/36x weekly

https://www.regulations.gov/docket/DOT-OST-2003-14535/document?postedDateFrom=2022-05-16&postedDateTo=2022-05-16
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 9:55 pm

There's even some love for Mason City! Boutique and Southern again.

Boutique: PC12 to MSP 24x weekly
Southern: Cessna 208 17x weekly to MSP and 7x weekly to ORD

https://www.regulations.gov/docket/DOT-OST-2001-10684/document?postedDateFrom=2022-05-16&postedDateTo=2022-05-16
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 10:02 pm

A couple of proposals received for Pueblo from Boutique and Southern.

Boutique: PC12 to DEN 28x weekly
Southern: PC12 or King Air 200 to DEN 24/30x weekly

https://www.regulations.gov/docket/DOT-OST-1999-6589/document?postedDateFrom=2022-05-16&postedDateTo=2022-05-16
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 10:11 pm

Proposals are in as well for Meridian. The usual suspects Boutique and Southern.

Boutique: PC12 to MSY 30x weekly
Southern: Cessna 208 to ATL 24/30/36x weekly

https://www.regulations.gov/docket/DOT-OST-2008-0112/document?postedDateFrom=2022-05-16&postedDateTo=2022-05-16
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 10:18 pm

Proposals for Jamestown by the same 2 carriers (aka Boutique and Southern).

Boutique: PC12 to MSP 24x weekly
Southern: Cessna 208 to MSP 24x weekly

https://www.regulations.gov/docket/DOT-OST-1997-2785/document?postedDateFrom=2022-05-16&postedDateTo=2022-05-16
 
BangersAndMash
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 10:29 pm

The markets that seem to have not attracted any proposals at this stage:

Joplin
Sioux City
Houghton
Liberal
Devils Lake

The first 2 are definitely a surprise as they are among the biggest of the lot pax wise. Maybe Boutique and Southern thought DAC was going for them so what's the point trying? They would be natural candidates for jet service to be fair. They had service to both DEN and ORD on 50 seaters with OO.
 
SyracuseAvGeek
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 10:45 pm

BangersAndMash wrote:
The markets that seem to have not attracted any proposals at this stage:

Joplin
Sioux City
Houghton
Liberal
Devils Lake

The first 2 are definitely a surprise as they are among the biggest of the lot pax wise. Maybe Boutique and Southern thought DAC was going for them so what's the point trying? They would be natural candidates for jet service to be fair. They had service to both DEN and ORD on 50 seaters with OO.


I have a feeling some of them will get proposals. On Friday and today they were posting stuff regarding EAS service every 20 or 30mins until the office closed around five-ish Eastern time. Even today the last thing I posted was right around 5:00 PM EST. I’m going to give them one, maybe two more days to post the remainder of those cities proposals.

If some of them still don’t have any proposals by Thursday morning, then we can assume they probably won’t get any.
 
sprxUSA
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Mon May 16, 2022 11:37 pm

EDT
 
32andBelow
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 12:33 am

Did we cover ravn Alaska bidding Kearny and north platte?

It’s interesting because they are the owner of Northern Pacific. They are adding 1 more iron to the fire
 
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theAviationGeek
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 3:19 am

32andBelow wrote:
Did we cover ravn Alaska bidding Kearny and north platte?

It’s interesting because they are the owner of Northern Pacific. They are adding 1 more iron to the fire


Yes.
Jshank83 wrote:
Here is an interesting one
Kearney, NE
RAVN Alaska!!! to DEN on a Dash 8-300
Boutique
DAC

North Platte also on the RAVN bid
https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... -1715-0163
 
32andBelow
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 3:25 am

theAviationGeek wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Did we cover ravn Alaska bidding Kearny and north platte?

It’s interesting because they are the owner of Northern Pacific. They are adding 1 more iron to the fire


Yes.
Jshank83 wrote:
Here is an interesting one
Kearney, NE
RAVN Alaska!!! to DEN on a Dash 8-300
Boutique
DAC

North Platte also on the RAVN bid
https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... -1715-0163

They currently only have 1 -300 and are having trouble staffing the Alaska operation
 
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knope2001
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 4:10 am

It's really quite a spectacle, and not in a good way. Here's an example.

Boutique's bid for Altoona:

https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... 11446-0289

21,632 Annual Seats
21,630 Annual Passengers

They project that they will sell every seat month after month except for two the entire year.



And they need to sell virtually every seat day after day because with a a two-year subsidy of $8,654,608 they must carry 21,630 passengers each year (43,260 over two years) for a $199.85 per-passenger subsidy. Over $200 Altoona loses EAS eligibility.

It's not just Altoona and it's not just Boutique. The bulk of Southern proposals come out to just under $200 per passenger and the projected load factors from market to market vary widely from under 50% to low 80's. To be fair this is not completely new -- sometimes EAS proposals for marginal cities on the bubble like Jonesboro have sort of "backed into" a projected passenger count to cover the subsidy at just under $200 per passenger. They often have come with a warning from the DoT that they need to be committed to achieve that traffic level to continue eligibility. But this principal now seems applied to some markets which have proven they can post substantial traffic numbers. We seem destined to see several markets demand killed and in danger of losing EAS eligibility after paying some very expensive subsidies.

At least so far I haven't noticed any Southern proposals with the wrong city mentioned in text and/or on a map, something I've seen on some others. Several of Boutique's have the wrong map at minimum.

There is a bid for Sioux City from Boutique and it's a similar beauty.

https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... -0131-0138

26,208 Annual Seats
26,000 Annual Passengers

At only 99.2% load factor Sioux City can afford as many as four empty seats per week (two each way). However at 10,496,728 subsidy (for two years) they actually exceed the $200 cap at $201.34....slightly under cap in year one but over cap enough in year two to overage just over the cap. Another bid destined to exceed the max and make SUX ineligible. Of course the DoT is super-slow kick anybody off but at some point they go. In 2019 SUX put 93,385 passengers into 126,058 seats. Even last year (2021) with the pandemic traffic recovery far less along that today, SUX saw over 61k passengers. This EAS proposal would be a drop of about 58% to fill every one of Boutique's seats.

On top of the painful economics and questionable projections in some bids, I struggle to see how Boutique or even Southern will pull this off if the get even a fair fraction of their bids. It's not just pilots but the ability to spin up an operation large and far-flung enough to get several new markets running in short order and keep it operating -- that's pilots but also mechanics and purchasing and schedulers and dispatchers and ground crew and trainers and facilities people, etc. It's a heavy lift for anybody.
 
BangersAndMash
Posts: 849
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 5:21 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 7:23 am

knope2001 wrote:
It's really quite a spectacle, and not in a good way. Here's an example.

Boutique's bid for Altoona:

https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... 11446-0289

21,632 Annual Seats
21,630 Annual Passengers

They project that they will sell every seat month after month except for two the entire year.



And they need to sell virtually every seat day after day because with a a two-year subsidy of $8,654,608 they must carry 21,630 passengers each year (43,260 over two years) for a $199.85 per-passenger subsidy. Over $200 Altoona loses EAS eligibility.

It's not just Altoona and it's not just Boutique. The bulk of Southern proposals come out to just under $200 per passenger and the projected load factors from market to market vary widely from under 50% to low 80's. To be fair this is not completely new -- sometimes EAS proposals for marginal cities on the bubble like Jonesboro have sort of "backed into" a projected passenger count to cover the subsidy at just under $200 per passenger. They often have come with a warning from the DoT that they need to be committed to achieve that traffic level to continue eligibility. But this principal now seems applied to some markets which have proven they can post substantial traffic numbers. We seem destined to see several markets demand killed and in danger of losing EAS eligibility after paying some very expensive subsidies.

At least so far I haven't noticed any Southern proposals with the wrong city mentioned in text and/or on a map, something I've seen on some others. Several of Boutique's have the wrong map at minimum.

There is a bid for Sioux City from Boutique and it's a similar beauty.

https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... -0131-0138

26,208 Annual Seats
26,000 Annual Passengers

At only 99.2% load factor Sioux City can afford as many as four empty seats per week (two each way). However at 10,496,728 subsidy (for two years) they actually exceed the $200 cap at $201.34....slightly under cap in year one but over cap enough in year two to overage just over the cap. Another bid destined to exceed the max and make SUX ineligible. Of course the DoT is super-slow kick anybody off but at some point they go. In 2019 SUX put 93,385 passengers into 126,058 seats. Even last year (2021) with the pandemic traffic recovery far less along that today, SUX saw over 61k passengers. This EAS proposal would be a drop of about 58% to fill every one of Boutique's seats.

On top of the painful economics and questionable projections in some bids, I struggle to see how Boutique or even Southern will pull this off if the get even a fair fraction of their bids. It's not just pilots but the ability to spin up an operation large and far-flung enough to get several new markets running in short order and keep it operating -- that's pilots but also mechanics and purchasing and schedulers and dispatchers and ground crew and trainers and facilities people, etc. It's a heavy lift for anybody.


It's not really a new problem though, right? A lot of the markets served with small turboprops struggle with the $200 cap at the best of times.

It was one of Contour's main selling point at Greenville and Muscle Shoals. Both markets had persistent trouble with the cap during Boutique's tenure and had been issued several warnings and waivers in the past.

And that's the biggest irony. In most cases, it's not a demand problem, it's a capacity problem.

The Muscle Shoals AEAS grant proposal is a very interesting read. It's really well written for starters, and full of interesting data. By using bigger aircraft at Greenville, they brought the subsidy down to about $155 in their first month of operations, and they anticipated that figure to go down further as Contour would become better established and grow the market. And that's not a flash in the pan. Contour had similar success in other markets like Tupelo, Macon, or Beckley/Parkersburg with that metric.

Heck, for all its faults, OO has been a godsend for the markets it serves in that respect. SUX is a case in point as you showed.

Given the disruption, I'd expect DOT to issue waivers for this year, but yeah, it's going to bring a lot of worry for the people in charge in these markets.

On a related matter, I'm very surprised we aren't seeing more from DAC. Salina is the only place where they bid this time round (not counting Alamosa since the bidding had already started when OO gave notice). I would have thought they'd go for a market like SUX. It clearly can support jet service, and I'm pretty sure they'd be welcomed with open arms there. Staffing issues? If so, Southern and Contour seem to be the only ones immune right now.
 
WA707atMSP
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 2:00 pm

Jshank83 wrote:
A couple proposals posted.

Denver Air bid Salina
https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... 11376-0214

Boutique and Southern bid Fort Dodge to MSP
https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... 10682-0264

Side comment. MKL-MEM is being added by Southern. Sunday only in summer. I think it is connecting on to Destin.


When Air Choice One had FOD, they had some flights to STL in addition to serving MSP. I'm a little surprised Southern isn't doing this, too.
 
SyracuseAvGeek
Posts: 802
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:37 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 2:48 pm

BangersAndMash wrote:
knope2001 wrote:

On a related matter, I'm very surprised we aren't seeing more from DAC. Salina is the only place where they bid this time round (not counting Alamosa since the bidding had already started when OO gave notice). I would have thought they'd go for a market like SUX. It clearly can support jet service, and I'm pretty sure they'd be welcomed with open arms there. Staffing issues? If so, Southern and Contour seem to be the only ones immune right now.


DAC is also bidding for Kearney, but I do agree that it is surprising they didn’t bid for more. On the other hand Contour bid a lot more than I thought they would.

It would be really fun to see RAVN Alaska get some of the contracts in Nebraska. Their proposal is half the cost of DAC and Boutique in Kearney. They are the second cheapest in North Platte with SAE being cheapest and BTQ once again being the most expensive option.
 
drdisque
Posts: 1616
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:57 am

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 2:54 pm

BangersAndMash wrote:
knope2001 wrote:
It's really quite a spectacle, and not in a good way. Here's an example.

Boutique's bid for Altoona:

https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... 11446-0289

21,632 Annual Seats
21,630 Annual Passengers

They project that they will sell every seat month after month except for two the entire year.



And they need to sell virtually every seat day after day because with a a two-year subsidy of $8,654,608 they must carry 21,630 passengers each year (43,260 over two years) for a $199.85 per-passenger subsidy. Over $200 Altoona loses EAS eligibility.

It's not just Altoona and it's not just Boutique. The bulk of Southern proposals come out to just under $200 per passenger and the projected load factors from market to market vary widely from under 50% to low 80's. To be fair this is not completely new -- sometimes EAS proposals for marginal cities on the bubble like Jonesboro have sort of "backed into" a projected passenger count to cover the subsidy at just under $200 per passenger. They often have come with a warning from the DoT that they need to be committed to achieve that traffic level to continue eligibility. But this principal now seems applied to some markets which have proven they can post substantial traffic numbers. We seem destined to see several markets demand killed and in danger of losing EAS eligibility after paying some very expensive subsidies.

At least so far I haven't noticed any Southern proposals with the wrong city mentioned in text and/or on a map, something I've seen on some others. Several of Boutique's have the wrong map at minimum.

There is a bid for Sioux City from Boutique and it's a similar beauty.

https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... -0131-0138

26,208 Annual Seats
26,000 Annual Passengers

At only 99.2% load factor Sioux City can afford as many as four empty seats per week (two each way). However at 10,496,728 subsidy (for two years) they actually exceed the $200 cap at $201.34....slightly under cap in year one but over cap enough in year two to overage just over the cap. Another bid destined to exceed the max and make SUX ineligible. Of course the DoT is super-slow kick anybody off but at some point they go. In 2019 SUX put 93,385 passengers into 126,058 seats. Even last year (2021) with the pandemic traffic recovery far less along that today, SUX saw over 61k passengers. This EAS proposal would be a drop of about 58% to fill every one of Boutique's seats.

On top of the painful economics and questionable projections in some bids, I struggle to see how Boutique or even Southern will pull this off if the get even a fair fraction of their bids. It's not just pilots but the ability to spin up an operation large and far-flung enough to get several new markets running in short order and keep it operating -- that's pilots but also mechanics and purchasing and schedulers and dispatchers and ground crew and trainers and facilities people, etc. It's a heavy lift for anybody.


It's not really a new problem though, right? A lot of the markets served with small turboprops struggle with the $200 cap at the best of times.

It was one of Contour's main selling point at Greenville and Muscle Shoals. Both markets had persistent trouble with the cap during Boutique's tenure and had been issued several warnings and waivers in the past.

And that's the biggest irony. In most cases, it's not a demand problem, it's a capacity problem.

The Muscle Shoals AEAS grant proposal is a very interesting read. It's really well written for starters, and full of interesting data. By using bigger aircraft at Greenville, they brought the subsidy down to about $155 in their first month of operations, and they anticipated that figure to go down further as Contour would become better established and grow the market. And that's not a flash in the pan. Contour had similar success in other markets like Tupelo, Macon, or Beckley/Parkersburg with that metric.

Heck, for all its faults, OO has been a godsend for the markets it serves in that respect. SUX is a case in point as you showed.

Given the disruption, I'd expect DOT to issue waivers for this year, but yeah, it's going to bring a lot of worry for the people in charge in these markets.

On a related matter, I'm very surprised we aren't seeing more from DAC. Salina is the only place where they bid this time round (not counting Alamosa since the bidding had already started when OO gave notice). I would have thought they'd go for a market like SUX. It clearly can support jet service, and I'm pretty sure they'd be welcomed with open arms there. Staffing issues? If so, Southern and Contour seem to be the only ones immune right now.


If I remember correctly, DAC operates their 328Jet and ERJ's Part 121 so they're in the same pilot shortage situation as everyone else on those. The only aircraft they operate EAS with that's Part 135 is the Metroliner with 9 seats. It's a pretty thirsty aircraft so it's probably hard to get a proposal under the $200 cap with the Metro unless it's a very short flight or they think they can get a pretty strong fare.
 
32andBelow
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 4:50 pm

SyracuseAvGeek wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:
knope2001 wrote:

On a related matter, I'm very surprised we aren't seeing more from DAC. Salina is the only place where they bid this time round (not counting Alamosa since the bidding had already started when OO gave notice). I would have thought they'd go for a market like SUX. It clearly can support jet service, and I'm pretty sure they'd be welcomed with open arms there. Staffing issues? If so, Southern and Contour seem to be the only ones immune right now.


DAC is also bidding for Kearney, but I do agree that it is surprising they didn’t bid for more. On the other hand Contour bid a lot more than I thought they would.

It would be really fun to see RAVN Alaska get some of the contracts in Nebraska. Their proposal is half the cost of DAC and Boutique in Kearney. They are the second cheapest in North Platte with SAE being cheapest and BTQ once again being the most expensive option.

It would just be penair again with even less codeshares and interlines
 
BangersAndMash
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Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 5:21 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 4:57 pm

SyracuseAvGeek wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:
knope2001 wrote:

On a related matter, I'm very surprised we aren't seeing more from DAC. Salina is the only place where they bid this time round (not counting Alamosa since the bidding had already started when OO gave notice). I would have thought they'd go for a market like SUX. It clearly can support jet service, and I'm pretty sure they'd be welcomed with open arms there. Staffing issues? If so, Southern and Contour seem to be the only ones immune right now.


DAC is also bidding for Kearney, but I do agree that it is surprising they didn’t bid for more. On the other hand Contour bid a lot more than I thought they would.

It would be really fun to see RAVN Alaska get some of the contracts in Nebraska. Their proposal is half the cost of DAC and Boutique in Kearney. They are the second cheapest in North Platte with SAE being cheapest and BTQ once again being the most expensive option.


I missed Kearney indeed! :oops:

Contour is at the upper end of my expectations, but I'm not overly surprised. It was a golden opportunity for them to consolidate in a few key hubs they already serve. With OO out of the picture, the only other player that could possibly challenge them is DAC, and the 2 are relatively complementary from a geographic standpoint, with Contour strong in the South and Eastern seaboard, while DAC is more focused on the Midwest and Rockies.

Ravn is certainly an interesting proposition, although DAC should have the upper hand in Kearney at least with jets. I'm also mindful of 32andBelow's comment, who knows the Alaska market well, mentioning up-thread that they're having staffing issues there. Not an encouraging sign!
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 11299
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 5:12 pm

knope2001 wrote:
It's really quite a spectacle, and not in a good way. Here's an example.

Boutique's bid for Altoona:

https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... 11446-0289

21,632 Annual Seats
21,630 Annual Passengers

They project that they will sell every seat month after month except for two the entire year.



And they need to sell virtually every seat day after day because with a a two-year subsidy of $8,654,608 they must carry 21,630 passengers each year (43,260 over two years) for a $199.85 per-passenger subsidy. Over $200 Altoona loses EAS eligibility.


Thanks for your deep-dive on this, knope2001. This kind of bid really is a shameless grab of public funds. Analysts evaluating the bid can see the reality isn't going to comply with the spirit of the law.

Want a job at the DOT, knope? You could do great work!
 
User avatar
knope2001
Posts: 3158
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:54 am

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 5:51 pm

BangersAndMash wrote:
knope2001 wrote:
It's really quite a spectacle, and not in a good way. Here's an example.

Boutique's bid for Altoona:

https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... 11446-0289

21,632 Annual Seats
21,630 Annual Passengers

They project that they will sell every seat month after month except for two the entire year.



And they need to sell virtually every seat day after day because with a a two-year subsidy of $8,654,608 they must carry 21,630 passengers each year (43,260 over two years) for a $199.85 per-passenger subsidy. Over $200 Altoona loses EAS eligibility.

It's not just Altoona and it's not just Boutique. The bulk of Southern proposals come out to just under $200 per passenger and the projected load factors from market to market vary widely from under 50% to low 80's. To be fair this is not completely new -- sometimes EAS proposals for marginal cities on the bubble like Jonesboro have sort of "backed into" a projected passenger count to cover the subsidy at just under $200 per passenger. They often have come with a warning from the DoT that they need to be committed to achieve that traffic level to continue eligibility. But this principal now seems applied to some markets which have proven they can post substantial traffic numbers. We seem destined to see several markets demand killed and in danger of losing EAS eligibility after paying some very expensive subsidies.

At least so far I haven't noticed any Southern proposals with the wrong city mentioned in text and/or on a map, something I've seen on some others. Several of Boutique's have the wrong map at minimum.

There is a bid for Sioux City from Boutique and it's a similar beauty.

https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... -0131-0138

26,208 Annual Seats
26,000 Annual Passengers

At only 99.2% load factor Sioux City can afford as many as four empty seats per week (two each way). However at 10,496,728 subsidy (for two years) they actually exceed the $200 cap at $201.34....slightly under cap in year one but over cap enough in year two to overage just over the cap. Another bid destined to exceed the max and make SUX ineligible. Of course the DoT is super-slow kick anybody off but at some point they go. In 2019 SUX put 93,385 passengers into 126,058 seats. Even last year (2021) with the pandemic traffic recovery far less along that today, SUX saw over 61k passengers. This EAS proposal would be a drop of about 58% to fill every one of Boutique's seats.

On top of the painful economics and questionable projections in some bids, I struggle to see how Boutique or even Southern will pull this off if the get even a fair fraction of their bids. It's not just pilots but the ability to spin up an operation large and far-flung enough to get several new markets running in short order and keep it operating -- that's pilots but also mechanics and purchasing and schedulers and dispatchers and ground crew and trainers and facilities people, etc. It's a heavy lift for anybody.


It's not really a new problem though, right? A lot of the markets served with small turboprops struggle with the $200 cap at the best of times.

It was one of Contour's main selling point at Greenville and Muscle Shoals. Both markets had persistent trouble with the cap during Boutique's tenure and had been issued several warnings and waivers in the past.

And that's the biggest irony. In most cases, it's not a demand problem, it's a capacity problem.


Definitely so. The $200 cap certainly isn't a new problem but it had largely been in marginal markets -- places like McCook, Jonesboro, Dubois where even a 737 to a nearby hub might not grow the market very much. Now we're seeing airports which serve perhaps 100-150+ passengers per day getting only a few dozen seats per day, and instead of per-passengers subsidy being largely in the $50-$150 range it will be precariously close to the $200 cap. I don't doubt that the DoT will take the "warn-and-waiver" approach rather than quickly kick these cities out of EAS. But the process is turning strong EAS markets to marginal ones and make them easy to target politically. It definitely is a capacity problem -- you're right on the money. BangersAndMash. It's funny that occasionally voices pop up complaining about places like Eau Claire getting a Cadillac CRJ with subsidy dollars when an 8-seat prop is adequate. What they don't realize is that per-passenger subsidy is usually far lower on the RJ, and outright total subsidy cost is often similar or lower on the RJ because the fewer trips operated offsets the mile-per-mile cost advantage of the small twin. "Capacity problem" is right. Not that long ago when a bid would come out the DoT would say things like "based on historical traffic levels eligible bids should offer service patterns including 2/day with 46+ seat aircraft, 3/day with 30+ seat aircraft or 5x/day with 15+ seat aircraft" sorts of guidance. Most of these Southern and Boutique bids are simply what can they do with one aircraft, not what does the market need. But alternatives are few.

Honestly I would like to see the DoT reject some of the most blatantly inadequate ones and open up rebidding in the hope of more creativity from DAC, Skywest, Contour or whomever. I suppose you can't hold in Skywest forever, but perhaps relieved of many of their markets OO would be willing to continue several at 10 or 11 trips per week with DoT and community blessing.

MIflyer12 wrote:
Want a job at the DOT, knope? You could do great work!


LOL thanks -- when I've worked in the industry in the past it took a great deal of the fun out of it for me. As it is I just don't find the time and energy to participate as actively here as I'd like (and did in the past) and a job at the DoT would make that even worse. :-)
 
User avatar
william
Posts: 3974
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 5:59 pm

BangersAndMash wrote:
It seems a proposal from Boutique Air has been received for Victoria TX. I don't believe it's been reported yet. The only proposal for that market, by the look of it.

25x weekly to IAH and 3x weekly to DFW on PC12

https://www.regulations.gov/docket/DOT-OST-2005-20454/document?postedDateFrom=2022-05-16&postedDateTo=2022-05-16


AA Eagle does not serve Victoria?
 
SyracuseAvGeek
Posts: 802
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 6:15 pm

william wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:
It seems a proposal from Boutique Air has been received for Victoria TX. I don't believe it's been reported yet. The only proposal for that market, by the look of it.

25x weekly to IAH and 3x weekly to DFW on PC12

https://www.regulations.gov/docket/DOT-OST-2005-20454/document?postedDateFrom=2022-05-16&postedDateTo=2022-05-16


AA Eagle does not serve Victoria?


Correct, AA doesn’t service Victoria. However I am surprised that they haven’t bid for Victoria given the airlines big presence in Texas.

Boutique has a very unusual bid for Victoria. They are proposing 25x weekly to IAH and 3x weekly to DFW. That’s not even daily, very odd considering their success on the route prior to SkyWest taking it the first time.
 
BangersAndMash
Posts: 849
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 5:21 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 6:38 pm

william wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:
It seems a proposal from Boutique Air has been received for Victoria TX. I don't believe it's been reported yet. The only proposal for that market, by the look of it.

25x weekly to IAH and 3x weekly to DFW on PC12

https://www.regulations.gov/docket/DOT-OST-2005-20454/document?postedDateFrom=2022-05-16&postedDateTo=2022-05-16


AA Eagle does not serve Victoria?


Not for some time. The contract was most recently with OO flying as United Express to IAH. Before that, it was with Boutique with a mix of service to IAH and DFW (a bit less lopsided than their latest proposal though).
 
SoCalPilot
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:37 am

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 8:52 pm

32andBelow wrote:
theAviationGeek wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Did we cover ravn Alaska bidding Kearny and north platte?

It’s interesting because they are the owner of Northern Pacific. They are adding 1 more iron to the fire


Yes.
Jshank83 wrote:
Here is an interesting one
Kearney, NE
RAVN Alaska!!! to DEN on a Dash 8-300
Boutique
DAC

North Platte also on the RAVN bid
https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... -1715-0163

They currently only have 1 -300 and are having trouble staffing the Alaska operation

Oh God, this again? Did they not learn from PenAir?
 
AndoAv8R
Posts: 214
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:29 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 9:32 pm

I take it Skywest flying the CR2 to Scottsbluff isn't working out?
 
BangersAndMash
Posts: 849
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 5:21 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Tue May 17, 2022 11:43 pm

AndoAv8R wrote:
I take it Skywest flying the CR2 to Scottsbluff isn't working out?


It's down to lack of staffing. That's the official explanation anyway.

Scottsbluff should be able to support jet service given current pax levels. The problem is finding a carrier with the right equipment, enough pilots, and the willingness to serve the market. Pretty much everybody's hurting right now, the small carriers particularly so.
 
Bigant0408
Posts: 890
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Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Wed May 18, 2022 7:24 pm

For the "airline" Cool Air there proposal for service to Johnstown, PA was jettisoned as they are not federally authorized for consideration. So that was quick

Article is about the airport overall 3/4 proposals
https://www.tribdem.com/news/johnstown- ... 8f560.html
 
User avatar
usxguy
Posts: 2104
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:28 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Thu May 19, 2022 1:22 am

Southern is also NOW merging with Surf Air and going public, that's definitely going to change things. A lot. Apparently they are ordering a bunch of Caravan 208Ex's as well.
 
MO11
Posts: 2140
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:07 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Thu May 19, 2022 1:53 am

usxguy wrote:
Southern is also NOW merging with Surf Air and going public, that's definitely going to change things. A lot. Apparently they are ordering a bunch of Caravan 208Ex's as well.


Other way around. Surf Air Mobility went public through a SPAC, and acquired Southern Airways. Last year Surf Air acquired Ampaire, which was testing hybrid-electric technology on a Skymaster, which it plans now to certify on a Caravan. The SPAC funding will be used for development of the hybrid Caravan.

Bottom line, Surf Air gains operating certificates that it currently doesn't have.
 
atrude777
Posts: 4663
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Thu May 19, 2022 4:57 pm

https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local ... 5d3b3.html

SIOUX CITY -- Sioux Gateway Airport Board of Trustees concluded Thursday that fewer commercial flights with a larger regional jet is a better alternative than more frequent service with smaller turboprop jets.

The board voted unanimously to recommend the U.S. Department of Transportation allow the airport's incumbent carrier, SkyWest Airlines, to reduce its minimum weekly flights from 12 to 7 and still qualify for federal subsidies under the Essential Air Service program

"We have a great relationship with SkyWest. They're doing a wonderful job," board chair Joe Kruse said after the meeting. "We elected to keep them here because they are better than the alternative."


Alex
 
sprxUSA
Posts: 820
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:17 am

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Thu May 19, 2022 5:24 pm

LOL, turboprop jets.....
 
BangersAndMash
Posts: 849
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 5:21 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Thu May 19, 2022 7:46 pm

atrude777 wrote:
https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/sioux-gateway-airport-board-votes-for-incumbent-skywest-airlines-over-proposal-from-boutique-air/article_55cbc07c-9f9c-5dbc-a2a2-ed6d7be5d3b3.html

SIOUX CITY -- Sioux Gateway Airport Board of Trustees concluded Thursday that fewer commercial flights with a larger regional jet is a better alternative than more frequent service with smaller turboprop jets.

The board voted unanimously to recommend the U.S. Department of Transportation allow the airport's incumbent carrier, SkyWest Airlines, to reduce its minimum weekly flights from 12 to 7 and still qualify for federal subsidies under the Essential Air Service program

"We have a great relationship with SkyWest. They're doing a wonderful job," board chair Joe Kruse said after the meeting. "We elected to keep them here because they are better than the alternative."


Alex


Uh, what alternative?! They got no bids!

Someone's forgotten to take their medication again? :roll:
 
atrude777
Posts: 4663
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Thu May 19, 2022 8:34 pm

BangersAndMash wrote:
atrude777 wrote:
https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/sioux-gateway-airport-board-votes-for-incumbent-skywest-airlines-over-proposal-from-boutique-air/article_55cbc07c-9f9c-5dbc-a2a2-ed6d7be5d3b3.html

SIOUX CITY -- Sioux Gateway Airport Board of Trustees concluded Thursday that fewer commercial flights with a larger regional jet is a better alternative than more frequent service with smaller turboprop jets.

The board voted unanimously to recommend the U.S. Department of Transportation allow the airport's incumbent carrier, SkyWest Airlines, to reduce its minimum weekly flights from 12 to 7 and still qualify for federal subsidies under the Essential Air Service program

"We have a great relationship with SkyWest. They're doing a wonderful job," board chair Joe Kruse said after the meeting. "We elected to keep them here because they are better than the alternative."


Alex


Uh, what alternative?! They got no bids!

Someone's forgotten to take their medication again? :roll:


Boutique Bid for SUX

https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... -0131-0138

Alex
 
BangersAndMash
Posts: 849
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 5:21 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Thu May 19, 2022 10:53 pm

atrude777 wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:
atrude777 wrote:
https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/sioux-gateway-airport-board-votes-for-incumbent-skywest-airlines-over-proposal-from-boutique-air/article_55cbc07c-9f9c-5dbc-a2a2-ed6d7be5d3b3.html

SIOUX CITY -- Sioux Gateway Airport Board of Trustees concluded Thursday that fewer commercial flights with a larger regional jet is a better alternative than more frequent service with smaller turboprop jets.

The board voted unanimously to recommend the U.S. Department of Transportation allow the airport's incumbent carrier, SkyWest Airlines, to reduce its minimum weekly flights from 12 to 7 and still qualify for federal subsidies under the Essential Air Service program

"We have a great relationship with SkyWest. They're doing a wonderful job," board chair Joe Kruse said after the meeting. "We elected to keep them here because they are better than the alternative."


Alex


Uh, what alternative?! They got no bids!

Someone's forgotten to take their medication again? :roll:


Boutique Bid for SUX

https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... -0131-0138

Alex


I was looking under the Sioux City docket. They haven't filed it there (yet? although it's dated 3 days ago; how long can it take?). DOT seem a little out of the loop. :?

Oh well, Boutique, or sub-standard service with OO. Not a pleasant choice for sure.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 6284
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Fri May 20, 2022 12:07 am

BangersAndMash wrote:
atrude777 wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:

Uh, what alternative?! They got no bids!

Someone's forgotten to take their medication again? :roll:


Boutique Bid for SUX

https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... -0131-0138

Alex


I was looking under the Sioux City docket. They haven't filed it there (yet? although it's dated 3 days ago; how long can it take?). DOT seem a little out of the loop. :?

Oh well, Boutique, or sub-standard service with OO. Not a pleasant choice for sure.

How is one daily jet service a big brand that offers connections and a code shares sub standard? The future of EAS might be 5-7 flights a week to a major hub. I think it’s either that or twice daily triangle routings when 2 cities are close together.
 
joeblow10
Posts: 738
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:58 pm

Re: United States Essential Air Service (EAS) Thread

Fri May 20, 2022 12:45 am

32andBelow wrote:
BangersAndMash wrote:
atrude777 wrote:


I was looking under the Sioux City docket. They haven't filed it there (yet? although it's dated 3 days ago; how long can it take?). DOT seem a little out of the loop. :?

Oh well, Boutique, or sub-standard service with OO. Not a pleasant choice for sure.

How is one daily jet service a big brand that offers connections and a code shares sub standard? The future of EAS might be 5-7 flights a week to a major hub. I think it’s either that or twice daily triangle routings when 2 cities are close together.


Agreed. If anything, I think these communities should be clamoring for the opportunity at once daily jet service over 2-3x daily prop service on a 9-19 seater. I have nothing against props, but there is undoubtedly a certain public stigma against them that certainly makes serving the community harder from the start
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