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MSYtristar
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Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:57 am

I have always been a WN supporter over the years. I've had countless enjoyable flights on the airline. I am trying to figure out, however, if WN plans to keep building its MSY service following Katrina? To be honest, as of late, there is not much going on in WN land down here. Their concourse is basically deserted, since they are only using two of their eight gates. The ticket counter (which has 18 check in positions) is a ghost town for much of the day. And even though there is a huge billboard up on the airport access road proclaiming "We're with you, New Orleans, as you rebuild", I don't really see any signs that that is in fact happening.

Other airlines (namely DL/AA/UA/CO) have or will soon surpass WN in terms of daily flights from here, which would have been unheard of prior to the hurricane. With the airport seeing near record load factors and much improved yields, you would think that WN would have started up a few more key routes from the city...namely PHX, BWI, LAX, perhaps MDW, and more than five flights to HOU. CO will soon be back up to 12 dailies between MSY and IAH. They are doing what they can to become the clear market leader, and I suppose it's working.

Some airlines have not returned to MSY (HP/F9/YX/TA/AC), and frankly, a couple of those probably won't come back anytime soon, but it would not have anything to do with the market conditions here...it would have to do more with close minded management who have not done any research into this market following the hurricane. Some of those airlines have probably given up on MSY for good, and well, that's their loss.

All that being said, I would really like to see WN, who had a whopping 58 daily flights before the storm, really start taking MSY seriously again and beef up service to where it's needed the most. Or perhaps the reality is that WN is content on not being the #1 carrier from New Orleans any longer? If that's the case, so be it. It was a fun ride while it lasted.

Thoughts and opinions are welcomed.
 
Humberside
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:05 am

What MSY flights do they have at the moment?
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Tom in NO
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:26 am

Steve, later on this week I'll tell you the story, if I haven't already, of how I couldn't get a flight out of here on WN to LAX a couple of weeks back, (you know the reason behind the trip), so I had to drive to HOU to catch a plane. I'm still considering emailing a copy of my HOU parking garage receipt to the higher-up's at WN as documentation that we need vastly improved service from them.

And I agree with your comments on the billboard.

They're still my choice, and patience is a virtue, but it's wearing a little thin these days.

Quoting Humberside (Reply 1):
What MSY flights do they have at the moment?

5 to HOU, 2 each to DAL, BNA, MCO, and TPA

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Tbird
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:49 am

There could be a few reason why WN hasn't restored flights to pre-Katrina levels as of yet.

1. They'll lose money.
2. They redeployed a good number of 737s to other markets; remember a few months back WN announced a huge expansion in service from other markets? They may not have the planes to support MSY at this time.

I hardly feel WN just said "F" it to MSY, there are always business reasons behind a company's actions.
 
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casinterest
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:17 am

I think New Orleans is currently not able to support all of the WN flights.

Conventions are not occurring
Schools are closed (Public, Private, and College)
around 300,000 Plus people are not in the city.
Sporting events and other concerts have been cancled.
Tourism is still way below where it used to be.


The city is rebuilding, as will WN's flight plan into it.
I have noticed on their web site that they do not have schedules out past the 10th of January, so it appears they are looking and evaluating weekly on their status in New Orleans.
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DfwRevolution
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:23 am

Quoting MSYtristar (Thread starter):
And even though there is a huge billboard up on the airport access road proclaiming "We're with you, New Orleans, as you rebuild", I don't really see any signs that that is in fact happening.

WN can't return to pre-Katrina levels until New Orleans returns to pre-Katrina levels. They were one of the first airlines to return to MSY with mainline service so I don't think they are shining anyone, but you can't expect them to over-serve a market as a sign of solidarity.
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Tom in NO
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:33 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 5):
WN can't return to pre-Katrina levels until New Orleans returns to pre-Katrina levels.

The issue really isn't with returning to pre-Katrina levels, it's with providing service commisurate with what the market will currently bear. DL, CO, and NW are all close to resuming pre-Katrina levels. The only things holding them back are hotel rooms and some ramp lighting issues, both of which are close to being rectified.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 5):
They were one of the first airlines to return to MSY with mainline service

Actually, they came back in a little later on. NW, DL, CO, and AA had already resumed service.

I've spoken with any number of WN employees that have questioned the lack of service here.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
MSYtristar
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:28 am

Like Tom said, I have no illusions of WN building quickly back up to 58 flights a day from here. But they have been slower than several major carriers to respond to the demand, which is not something that can often be said of Southwest. Honestly, I thought they would get up to say 25 flights a day fairly quickly. Instead, it's been DL who has been announcing increased frequency from here pretty regularly, as well as UA/AA/CO like I mentioned previously.

I have nothing against WN and I will continue to fly them whenever I can, but, honestly, they could be doing a lot more at the present time.
 
jetblueatjfk
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:26 am

Yea I think they could easily add a good amount of flights with the planes they have now. A lot of the planes they had to go through MSY they just have those flights skip over MSY and go to the next so they can probably return a good amount of flights through that and then squeeze out some other flights. Also the more planes that come on the more room for expansion in MSY also. They will probably get back there some day but I think it could take about 2 years.

I know CO has added a good amount of flights back and B6 is going up to the 2nd Daily to JFK already. Also I think AA has added some more flights on too.

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FLAIRPORT
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:58 am

I think once the DEN expanision is complete, they will turn their attention back to MSY. We'll see what happens for Mardi Gras!
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travelin man
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:19 am

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 7):
I have nothing against WN and I will continue to fly them whenever I can, but, honestly, they could be doing a lot more at the present time.

Apparently they have found better uses for their assets (planes) than MSY. As FLAIRPORT indicated, they are opening DEN and need planes for that new market.

I understand your desire to get more service to MSY, but businesses are not charities, and if there are other markets that will provide greater return, it's their obligation to their shareholders to pursue those.

The fact is, WN IS serving MSY, so it is only a matter of time before WN grows the operation there. But, like rebuilding the rest of NO, it will take time. In the meantime, UA is going to begin its n/s to LAX soon!
 
MSYtristar
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:25 am

Quoting Travelin man (Reply 10):
understand your desire to get more service to MSY, but businesses are not charities, and if there are other markets that will provide greater return, it's their obligation to their shareholders to pursue those.

Well, I know how this industry works. And I wouldn't have even suggested this if I didn't know for a fact that there is room for more WN service here today. There is.

Sure, in this era down here, pateince is a must have. As is a willingness to jump in and do what it takes to get things moving again as quickly as possible. I know WN will crank things up here eventually. I'm just dissapointed by their (relatively) slow response as opposed to some of the big boys here.

But, life goes on.  Smile
 
travelin man
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:41 am

I don't think the limitation is the room for more service in MSY (I'm sure there is). But the limitation is WN's planes. In the wake of Katrina, they decided to go after DEN and are devoting considerable resources there right now. It doesn't seem like the other "big boys" are opening up significant new stations right now, so they probably have the capacity to ramp up MSY more quickly.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:42 am

Don't forget too that WN, like all other airlines, lost a lot of their support people at MSY as those employees lost their homes and cannot return to work in the region until they can get housing, even want to return. I would suggest that many airline/airport employees proabably moved long term or permenantly to other cities/airports so there will be staffing shortages at MSY for a while. This means they cannot ramp up to pre-Katrina services levels.
I would also add that they probably lost a lot of customer base for the forseeable future throughout the Katrina hit regions. Most demand now is for business and government needs, not tourism or originating residents business.
 
atmx2000
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:08 am

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 13):
Don't forget too that WN, like all other airlines, lost a lot of their support people at MSY as those employees lost their homes and cannot return to work in the region until they can get housing, even want to return. I would suggest that many airline/airport employees proabably moved long term or permenantly to other cities/airports so there will be staffing shortages at MSY for a while. This means they cannot ramp up to pre-Katrina services levels.
I would also add that they probably lost a lot of customer base for the forseeable future throughout the Katrina hit regions. Most demand now is for business and government needs, not tourism or originating residents business.

So where are those employees? Is WN using them to open up new stations?
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OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:17 am

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 14):
So where are those employees?

They're all over the system...
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skyyblue
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:06 am

The slow return may be for the better. As stated earlier, yields are good. The legacies are returning to pre-Katrina levels at a fast pace. MSY is still one of B6's most productive routes. I can't wait until a third daily to JFK is justified. It is known here at jetblue that they had big plans for MSY prior to katrina. Hopefully, with the E190 we'll see new service to Boston, Fort Lauderdale, and maybe out west to Oakland.
 
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:06 am

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Reply 16):
MSY is still one of B6's most productive routes. I can't wait until a third daily to JFK is justified.

Really? Is that proprietary, or is there a link?

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Reply 16):
Hopefully, with the E190 we'll see new service to Boston, Fort Lauderdale, and maybe out west to Oakland.

I'll agree with everything but Oakland. I would add MCO as a possibility.

Good luck to everyone in New Orleans. Have a happy Mardi Gras!

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FlyPNS1
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:54 pm

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 6):
DL, CO, and NW are all close to resuming pre-Katrina levels.

DL isn't even close to pre-Katrina levels. While the number of frequencies might be close, the capacity is far less.

MSY-ATL is running around 1200 seats instead of about 1800.
MSY-SLC (when it returns on Jan 31) will be 70 seats instead of 300.
MSY-CVG has 87 seats instead of 300-400.
MSY-MCO has 50 seats instead of 200.

MSY-DCA and MSY-LGA are new but only add about 120 seats which offsets the 100 seats lost on MSY-RDU. Not to mention MSY-LIT which was just about to start.

Overall, I would say DL is just a little over 50% of its pre-Katrina capacity. Certainly better than WN, but a ways to go. This is one case where the RJ's can make a difference as DL can restart routes with far less risk. WN will only restart if the route can fill a 737.

I tend to agree with others though that WN just has bigger things to tackle right now...like DEN and PHL. Not to mention that I think WN wants to be ready to add more flights quickly should DAL open up more.
 
MSYtristar
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:06 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 18):
DL isn't even close to pre-Katrina levels. While the number of frequencies might be close, the capacity is far less.

I'm pretty sure that Tom was referring to frequency not capacity.

Getting the number of daily flights up, regardless of the equipment, is a starting point. Once demand continues to increase, so will the size of the aircraft being flown here.
 
cloudy
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:12 am

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 19):
I'm pretty sure that Tom was referring to frequency not capacity.

Getting the number of daily flights up, regardless of the equipment, is a starting point. Once demand continues to increase, so will the size of the aircraft being flown here.

Unlike the legacies, Southwest does not have the option of having the same number of frequencies as before while keeping capacity down. They have only one kind of aircraft with a different size from the rest - the 737-500. They do not have many of these, they are spoken for elsewhere in the system, and they are not that much smaller anyway. This could be a large part of the reason the legacies have been able to restore frequencies while Southwest has not.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:22 am

Slight technical corrections/updates:

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 4):
Conventions are not occurring

Though they currently are not ongoing, some of the largest conventions in the nation are planned and will go on for MSY... starting with one for approx 20,000 teachers in April.

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 4):
Schools are closed (Public, Private, and College)

Most Parish schools are back to 84% or higher.

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 4):
around 300,000 Plus people are not in the city.

The city no... but the metro area is back to between 950K and 1.1M (out of a pre-Katrina 1.3M), according to Entergy's and the City's respective estimates.

The good thing about those numbers is that most of the outstanding count consists of extremely low-income types who're more than likely to remain in the likes of IAH/ATL.
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ScottB
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:40 am

Quoting MSYtristar (Thread starter):
All that being said, I would really like to see WN, who had a whopping 58 daily flights before the storm, really start taking MSY seriously again and beef up service to where it's needed the most.

Well, I think you are slowly getting your wish, but the ramp-up of Southwest service at MSY will probably continue to be measured:

Southwest Airlines Continues Ramp Up of New Orleans Service

Five new flights start March 17 for a total of eighteen, with three being added to HOU and one each to MCO & DAL. I doubt they'll build back to the pre-Katrina level of 58 in the near futre, but I would not be surprised to see Southwest up to 30+ daily departures by the end of the year. Actually, I'd imagine that the HOU-MSY route might even be stronger in the long term, given the number of folks who relocated to Houston but still have ties in the New Orleans area.
 
ejmmsu
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:05 am

I flew MEM-MSY and MSY-MEM on NW on Sunday, both on DC-9-30's, and both flights were almost full.
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N1120A
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:08 am

Quoting Tbird (Reply 3):
There could be a few reason why WN hasn't restored flights to pre-Katrina levels as of yet.

1. They'll lose money.

Not a chance given the traffic yields these days combined with the return of tourists

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 4):
Schools are closed (Public, Private, and College)

Wanna bet?

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 4):
around 300,000 Plus people are not in the city.

But the metro area is quickly growing back and you still have the regional pull from the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts and Baton Rouge, which is larger than it was before

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 4):
Sporting events and other concerts have been cancled

The city's two largest events, Mardi Gras and Jazzfest, are still happening and the Hornets will be playing games here soon. The Superdome will be open in November

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 4):
Tourism is still way below where it used to be.

And growing every day.

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 4):
The city is rebuilding

Which means business traffic and demand is WAY up
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Tom in NO
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:29 am

I've had this line from the movie "Midway" run through my mind many times about WN's slow response. The line was uttered by one of the Japanese navy commanders concerning Admiral Nagumo....."Suddenly the man who led us to a great victory at Pearl Harbor is choked by caution".

Referencing the article linked by ScottB above in reply #22, the following quote tells me that the higher-ups at Southwest are beginning to realize their shortcomings in resuming service here. Us locals, airport/airline employees included, have been saying all along how much WN was missing out on here. This quote is the first sign that someone is listening.

"We are behind in our efforts to rebuild our service, but we are committed to growing with the city as it rebounds," said Colleen Barrett, President of Southwest Airlines. "Rebuilding our service in New Orleans remains one of our top priorities."

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
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casinterest
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:21 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 24):
N1120A From France, joined Dec 2003, 8726 posts, RR: 75

N1120A
As respected as your user rating is, I still can't believe you wasted your time quoting my post line by line, to confirm everything I was saying about the here and now, to explain the future. We all know they are going to rebuild NO(At least till the next Hurricane smacks it, and these Hurricanes have hit a lot more often as of late). I said that NO is now where it needs to be now, to support previous traffic now.

Just ranting on what seems to be a useless post.
Where ever you go, there you are.
 
N1120A
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:48 am

Quoting CasInterest (Reply 26):
I still can't believe you wasted your time quoting my post line by line, to confirm everything I was saying about the here and now, to explain the future. We all know they are going to rebuild NO(At least till the next Hurricane smacks it, and these Hurricanes have hit a lot more often as of late). I said that NO is now where it needs to be now, to support previous traffic now.

I wasn't wasting time quoting your post, I was pointing out what actually is going on. There is still significant demand for flights into the New Orleans MSA by investors, contractors and returning residents (including me). Additionally MSY really is the main airport for a 3 state region and for Baton Rouge, which has roughly doubled in size. That is why I said and I quoted those lines because I wanted to point out why they are inaccurate
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MSYtristar
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:54 am

Well the extra HOU flights will be nice to have. CO will still have a considerable lead in the MSY-Houston market, however. One more flight to DAL and MCO are good things. Still, no sign of PHX/LAS/LAX/BWI as of yet, and that bothers me. Hopefully these service additions will become more frequent.
 
ScottB
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:19 am

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 28):
Still, no sign of PHX/LAS/LAX/BWI as of yet, and that bothers me. Hopefully these service additions will become more frequent.

I suspect that the limitations are twofold -- getting new 737's from Boeing and having other places where they would like to "connect the dots." All indications are that PHL, PIT, and DEN are doing extremely well for Southwest, and MDW has been a big focus for the company in the last 18 months as well. This announcement looks to be the equivalent of one aircraft (or so) coming online. I would expect that some of the longer flights (LAS, PHX, LAX, etc.) might take more time to come back.
 
MSYtristar
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:29 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 29):
would expect that some of the longer flights (LAS, PHX, LAX, etc.) might take more time to come back.

I threw those cities out there because service to the West from here in still somewhat lacking. PHX/LAS in particular are huge connectiung centers for WN obviously, and more cities can be reached from those places nonstop then from HOU.
 
ScottB
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:41 am

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 30):
PHX/LAS in particular are huge connectiung centers for WN obviously, and more cities can be reached from those places nonstop then from HOU.

Yup, I just think the biggest issue is available aircraft. I'd guess one PHX-MSY or LAS-MSY round-trip requires around 8 hours of aircraft time.
 
CentPIT
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:48 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 29):
All indications are that PHL, PIT, and DEN are doing extremely well for Southwest, and MDW has been a big focus for the company in the last 18 months as well.

I'm not sure about the other two; PIT might be doing well but they sure aren't adding service here in a hurry. When are more aircraft supposed to arrive because I am anticipating more PIT service this year.
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:13 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 24):
The Superdome will be open in November

September, they're saying now. All regular season homegames and some pre-season expected to be played there.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 27):
Additionally MSY really is the main airport for a 3 state region

True.
What's amazed me is that that's continued to be the case, despite BTR's growth and the relative lack of WN service here.... we're still basically the flagship a'port of the DeepDeepSouth.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 27):
and for Baton Rouge, which has roughly doubled in size.

the city has, but the metro area however has "only" gone from the high 700Ks to the low 900Ks, apprx.

I still however, don't think that South Louisiana will ever live up to its true economic and world-significance until the New Orleans and Baton Rouge MSAs merge (or become a binary system).
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N1120A
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:18 am

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 33):
September, they're saying now. All regular season homegames and some pre-season expected to be played there.

As you would say, Schweet

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 33):
the city has, but the metro area however has "only" gone from the high 700Ks to the low 900Ks, apprx.

Yeah, but that 200K people is just about what New Orleans needs to be back to normal.

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 33):
despite BTR's growth

Thing about BTR is that it is really not equiped to handle much more than it does right now. MSY actually has quite a good, efficient terminal for its needs and BTR really isn't so far away that it is such an inconvinience for people to drive here
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:15 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 34):
Yeah, but that 200K people is just about what New Orleans needs to be back to normal.

...is it?

Remember, many (if not the majority) of the bulk-displaced weren't exactly your suburbanite Ozzie&Harriet types.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 34):
and BTR really isn't so far away that it is such an inconvinience for people to drive here

Indeed, that and it's a straight shot with little typical obstruction.

Same for GPT/MOB/etc-MSY
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
N1120A
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:16 am

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 35):
Indeed, that and it's a straight shot with little typical obstruction.

Same for GPT/MOB/etc-MSY

Yep, and with the Twin Span open again, that makes it even easier.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Southwest In MSY: Bigger Fish To Fry?

Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:42 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 22):
Actually, I'd imagine that the HOU-MSY route might even be stronger in the long term, given the number of folks who relocated to Houston but still have ties in the New Orleans area.

...would indeed be pretty shweet to see our Pre-K thirty+ daily flights to Houston eventually be surpassed  Wink
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!

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Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

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Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos