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"Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 4:44 am
by LoneStarMike
Has anyone been following this story out of Rockford, IL?

Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Airport Asks for $10 Donations for Airline Service
WTVO-Channel 17 ABC, Rockford (IL)

complete article

Tuesday, June 3, 2003
Why Isn't the Airport Using Reserve Fund To Bring in Passenger Service?
WTVO ABC Channel 17 - Rockford (IL)

complete article

The above article mentions that as of June 3, they had collected $64,000.

Friday, June 6, 2003
Editorial
I'm on board airport's effort to get passenger service here
The Rockford (IL) Register Star

complete article

Friday, June 13, 2003
Campaign nears End, Airport Dir. Breathes Easier
WTVO-TV 17 ABC, IL

complete article

So today was the day they were supposed to announce if they had raised enough money. Has anyone heard whether or not they actually did and any guesses as to who the two "mystery airlines" might be?

LoneStarMike


RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 4:52 am
by MSYtristar
I could see Allegiant starting LAS nonstops three days a week perhaps. They seem to target under-utilized (or non-utilized) markets.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 5:11 am
by LoneStarMike
Well, I guess we may find out soon enough. There was a brief mention on the ABC affiliate's website that said "Airport Director Bob O'Brien told WTVO this morning that over $260,000 has been raised, and they are still counting checks from this weekend's mail.  A final total will be announced sometime later this afternoon."

I hadn't thought about Allegiant to LAS, but that makes sense. I wonder if the other airline that might fly to MCO could be Spirit?

LoneStarMike


RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 5:17 am
by LV
Actually I was going to guess Airtran to MCO....between the large presence at MKE, the inroads at MDW and that the 717 is the biggest pax plane flying into BMI this would help them make even more inroads in the Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin market.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 7:03 am
by SegmentKing
Bob O'Brien is a really great guy, and airport manager. He did a lot to bring traffic into Springfield IL on his turf (NW Airlink and ATA Connection).

-n

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 10:06 am
by FATFlyer
Allegiant would be one possibility since Rockford seems to match their model. But I noticed that the last article said
"O'Brien says he's talking to 2 airlines. Both low-fare carriers would fly non-stop to Orlando and/or Las Vegas. Airline A would start flying in late August. Airline B would start flying mid Fall. Both would offer one-way fares of $59."

Either the wording is poor or its an airline with a presence in both cities. I don't see G4 starting a flight to MCO.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 10:49 am
by FATFlyer
ooops,

Just reread my post and realized I used the wrong article. Another one said one airline would operate both routes.

I did do some checking and found another article that mentioned:
"O’Brien declined to identify the airline, but he said it would offer nonstop passenger service in 165-seat jets starting in October. Service would start with four flights a week to Las Vegas, and then two flights a week to Orlando would be added in 45 days."

http://www.rrstar.com/business/economy/20030528-5900.shtml

Allegiant currently uses 161 seat MD-83s on its scheduled service. Might be close enough to 165.



RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 2:58 pm
by cloudy
Bob O'Brien is a really great guy, and airport manager. He did a lot to bring traffic into Springfield IL on his turf (NW Airlink and ATA Connection).

-----

In SPI:
NW has pulled out. ATA is still here.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 11:24 pm
by FlyPNS1
http://www.rrstar.com/business/economy/20030617-8650.shtml

According to this article, Rockford was talking to a carrier in Atlanta. Although Airtran is not headquartered in ATL, I would have to think it was Airtran.

I can't really see DL flying from Rockford to MCO or LAS. If DL provided service to RFD(?), I would think it would be with RJ's to either CVG or ATL. DL has recently gotten into the travel bank business as both the CVG-ACY route has a bank and the upcoming BOS-YFC will have a travel bank.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 11:29 pm
by FlyPNS1
Here's another article:

http://www.rrstar.com/business/economy/20030617-8652.shtml

Sounds like PanAm is interested in flying the RFD-SFB route and probably Allegiant on the LAS route. Two other carriers are also mentioned...probably Airtran and DL.

Honestly, I wouldn't trust PanAm as they haven't proven very reliable in the Midwest. See the failures at Gary and Belleville. Allegiant seems to be a little bit more reliable and smarter about picking new destinations.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 1:41 am
by fxra
OK, if you look at the clues its not so hard to figure one of them out. AIrline 'A" is located in Atlanta and wants to fly B-727 RFD-SFB.

There are 4 airlines with headquarters in the Atlanta metro area. 5 if you count one who's hub is here. Two of them have B-727 on certificate. One of those just sent the last one to the desert. Leaves one left.

Any guesses?

ON the other hand, I have no idea who they've tapped to fly DC-9's RFD-LAS. I can;t think of any one who still ops DC-9s besides NW and FL, and neither really make sense.

later
me

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 1:57 am
by FATFlyer
Note the article says they "met" in Atlanta, not that the airline is based or operates from there.

The other clues look like this:
two airlines want to begin serving Rockford with flights to Orlando, and later Las Vegas. O’Brien also revealed that he has talked with two additional airlines interested in Rockford.

“A third airline wants to serve Las Vegas but not Orlando, and a fourth wants to serve tourist destinations such as Cancun,” he said. Neither O’Brien nor airport board chairman Nick Ancona will reveal the name of the airlines; O’Brien called the top two suitors “A” and “B.”

Airline A would fly one flight daily, except Tuesdays, to Orlando on Boeing 727s, which seat 168 people. Airline B would fly one flight Friday through Monday on DC-9s, which seat 110 people, O’Brien said.

Las Vegas service would start from 90 to 120 days after Orlando service.


The DC-9 to Orlando piece sounds like it could be Spirit, which many still think of as operating DC-9s not MD-80 series. They also currently fly to LAS.

The third airline with only LAS service is probably Allegiant .

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 2:00 am
by ORD Boy 2
This is from the rockford register star
Business: Economy
AirTran, Delta carriers likely suitors for service

By ADAM LOWENSTEIN‚ Rockford Register Star
>> Click here for more about Adam

ROCKFORD — Greater Rockford Airport Executive Director Bob O’Brien recently flew to Atlanta, Ga., to talk with executives from an airline that wants to serve the Rockford area.

O’Brien declined to identify the airline, but an Internet search turns up two airlines with Atlanta ties: Delta Air Lines and AirTran Airways. Both are positioning themselves as low-fare carriers.

In April, Delta launched a low-fare carrier called Song, targeting business and leisure travelers with direct, nonstop service along the Eastern seaboard, plus Las Vegas and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

By October, Song is expected to offer 144 daily flights on Boeing 757 aircraft.

Most one-way fares are expected to start at $79 and top out at $299. The airline is trying to entice bargain travelers with features such as completely automated booking-to-ticket process and fares that do not require a Saturday-night stay.

Delta was founded in 1924 in Macon, Ga., as the world’s first crop-dusting service. It was a passenger airline pioneer, offering such service starting in 1929. Since then, it has grown into the No. 3 U.S. airline, behind United Airlines and American Airlines.

AirTran started in 1992 as ValuJet. Then based in Atlanta, the airline offered three dozen flights to Florida destinations.

In May 1996, a ValuJet flight crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board. The company was shut down for nearly four months after a federal investigation. A new CEO and $19 one-way flights attempted to lure passengers back when the airline started again in September 1996.

In 1997, ValuJet acquired Airways Corp. and changed its name to AirTran. The company undertook an advertising blitz and moved its headquarters to Orlando, Fla. Two years later, AirTran began using Boeing 717 regional jets.

AirTran serves Chicago’s Midway Airport. A July flight from Chicago to Orlando, Fla., staying Thursday to Sunday, was $79 each way, according to the airline’s online reservation service Monday.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 12:34 pm
by travatl
I'm willing to bet $100 that AirTran will NOT serve Rockford, IL this year, or next. Payable to the individual who started this post. Positively POSITIVE it won't happen....

Travis

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 2:40 pm
by mrlineguy
I'd have to agree with Travis on this one...from all indications the idea has been thrown around...but NOTHING more than that.

Regards,

Kevin
AirTran CSA/RAMP
MDW

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 2:48 pm
by Guest
The DC-9 to Orlando piece sounds like it could be Spirit, which many still think of as operating DC-9s not MD-80 series. They also currently fly to LAS.

Spirit retired their DC-9.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 3:37 pm
by LoneStarMike
What about Southeast Airlines? I forgot about them. They operate 165 seat MD-80's and 110 seat DC-9's.

LoneStarMike


RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 11:01 pm
by srbmod
It's got to be TransMeridian Airlines. It definitely won't be AirTran, because RFD would draw pax from MDW and potentially MLI and MKE.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 2:22 am
by FATFlyer
Pete, that's what I was saying but many people still think of Spirit as a DC-9 operator. They haven't kept up. Same thing happens with Allegiant, many people don't realize that it has it's certificate and is no longer just a scheduled charter. Many also don't know that Allegiant also got rid of its DC-9s.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 2:35 am
by Guest
FATFlyer,

NK operates ORD-MCO and ORD-LAS... they're making money, so I can't imagine why they'd switch to Rockford...

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 4:14 am
by LV
I'm sticking by my orginal thought of Allegiant to Vegas even if they say the service is going to be with a DC-9....and here's why.

Mainstream journalists are not aviation geeks like us. Probably during the interview the airport director mentioned what kind of aircraft it will be (MD-8x for Allegiant). The reporter said they had never heard of that aircraft before so the airport director says "It's like the planes Northwest flies". Reporter goes back to the paper or station and forgets what the Airport director said but remembers something about NWA and lo and behold we end up with DC-9 in the story.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 4:57 am
by deltairlines
Southeast sounds like a safe bet for the SFB service. Southeast is primarily avoiding major airports and going for the smaller airports. I am sure that it won't be AirTran or Delta, since I would imagine both would have bigger fish to fry. If NW is not even at Rockland, then I doubt DL or AirTran would be the first there.

Jeff

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:29 am
by Theiler
I'm with Srbmod.. If it's an Atlanta-based 727 operator, it's TransMeridian. They are commencing SFB-SYR flights in the near future.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:10 am
by fxra
TransMeridian starts SYR-SFB-SJU services on 27 June and according to a press realse around the office has sold somewhere over 11,000 tickets. Haven't heard naything about a RFD service, but it wouldn't surprise me. But as we are the only atlanta based airline with B727's operatng, it kinda falls in place.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 3:25 am
by UAL Bagsmasher
TransMeridian is the mystery carrier. It is in today's Rockford paper. They will fly B727's RFD-SFB, and B757's RFD-LAS beginning in the end of August. Introductory fares are $69 an $89 respectively.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 4:11 am
by SegmentKing
Radixx is sending some folks up to Syracuse tomorrow for their start of services, just to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Radixx is aggressively pursuing additional airlines and they're biting, considering the paperless operations of Radixx Air.

Transmeridien is really going in a good direction!

-n

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 5:12 am
by UAL Bagsmasher
Does anyone know if TransMeridian will be staffing RFD, or will they let the local FBO handle everything like they already do for charters?

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 7:30 am
by flyboy7974
what a joke, can we say ch11, did they not just try with interstate jet to fly swf-abe-las and swf-abe-lax, and that is almost belly up, friends said in la they would leave pax stranded all the time, cancellations for no reasons at all, and being charter, tickets were not valid on other airlines. somebody needs to shut them down before they do this in rockford

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 7:44 am
by fxra
Interstate Jet was completely different thant these services. I-jet chartered TranMeridian airplanes on a ACMI basis to operate. I-Jet sold the tickets and was responsible for the customer service end of the operation, not TransMeridian.

As for stranded pax, i don;t know why they woulda been stranded. Delayed significantly once maybe, but not stranded, at least not at the fault of TMA.

And if you read the article, it says a reliable source pointed out as TransMeridian. No offical announcement. And I defintely don;t see chapter 11 (or at least i really really hope not)

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 8:58 am
by MAH4546
The DC-9 to Orlando piece sounds like it could be Spirit, which many still think of as operating DC-9s not MD-80 series. They also currently fly to LAS.

I doubt it's Spirit. Thier DC9s are gone now (they still might have one as a spare), and they would start DTW and/or FLL, not MCO.

RE: "Mystery" Airline(s) May Serve Rockford, IL?

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 12:00 pm
by FATFlyer
MAH4546,

I thought I explained a few posts below that quote that I was referring to the many others who don't keep up on airlines. For example, I know many people still think of FAT as being mainly 19 seat prop aircraft. Far from the reality since none still operate here. But people still have that opinion.