Queso
Topic Author
Posts: 3109
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:28 pm

New Service At MAF!

Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:08 pm

New Mexico Airlines has announced new service into MAF beginning December 1, 2007.

www.flynma.com

Inaugural service will be two round-trips daily to Hobbs, New Mexico (HOB).

Looks like a round-trip Y base fare on a Cessna 208 will cost $122 for a 31 minute flight (takes about 2 hours to drive).

From Hobbs, there will be connecting service to other New Mexico Airlines cities such as CNM, ABQ, and ELP.

Excerpt from: http://www.newswest9.com/Global/story.asp?S=7416874&nav=menu505_2

"New Mexico Airlines officials say this new extension won't just connect Midland to New Mexico, it will connect New Mexico to West Texas.

"One of them said they like Midland, they come to Midland, fly out of Midland to go westbound or eastbound on the aircraft that we have here. So they unanimously voted on coming to Midland. It was neat to know that those people releate to Midland and Midland International Airport," Marv Esterly with New Mexico Airlines said."


This will be good news for the people of Southeastern New Mexico who have been having to drive to MAF to take flights on AA, CO and WN. And since WN discontinued direct service between MAF and ELP last month there will now be another alternative.

Welcome, and best of luck to New Mexico Airlines on lucrative and long-lasting business flying into MAF!
 
wedgetail737
Posts: 5098
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RE: New Service At MAF!

Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:11 pm

Looks like Air New Mexico is an extension of Pacific Wings of Hawaii. Interesting.
 
BooDog
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:44 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:19 pm

Is there anything else known about this new airline? I was checking out their website, and I noticed they only serve four cities so far, but they've already announced their next eight expansion cities. Also, they depend heavily on flights that are approximately 100 miles in length. I don't see this strategy working in states like New Mexico and Texas, where driving 100 miles is "routine."
B1B - best looking aircraft ever.
 
Queso
Topic Author
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RE: New Service At MAF!

Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:32 pm



Quoting BooDog (Reply 2):
Also, they depend heavily on flights that are approximately 100 miles in length. I don't see this strategy working in states like New Mexico and Texas, where driving 100 miles is "routine."

I wonder about that too. My trip to work every morning is 30 miles. Can't blame them for trying though! Maybe they are counting on the strong economy we have here (in MAF) right now because of the high oil prices to give them a lot of business traveller connections to the bigger airlines.

I don't know if it's still running or not, but there used to be a van service called "Concho Coach" that ran from SJT to MAF, which is about the same distance as CNM to MAF. I know it would be MUCH cheaper to operate the van than a 208. But looking at the service map and knowing that WN, AA and CO serve ABQ as well as MAF, it makes more sense to run flights from CNM and HOB to MAF (or even LBB) instead of ABQ.

With 9 seats (100% load factor, doubtfully optimistic) and a base fare of $122 R/T, is $1098 even enough to sustain a route with a 208?
 
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:44 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 3):
there used to be a van service called "Concho Coach" that ran from SJT to MAF

According to MAF's website:
"Concho Coach Shuttle provides service to Midland, Odessa, Sterling City, Garden City and San Angelo."

Quoting Queso (Reply 3):
My trip to work every morning is 30 miles.

You living in Midland or Odessa are working in the other, or is your job out of town?.....btw, off topic, I see Permian is kicking butt and taking names.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Queso
Topic Author
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RE: New Service At MAF!

Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:34 pm



Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 4):
According to MAF's website:
"Concho Coach Shuttle provides service to Midland, Odessa, Sterling City, Garden City and San Angelo."

Duh!  hypnotized  I guess I should have looked that up!

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 4):
You living in Midland or Odessa are working in the other, or is your job out of town?

Yep, live in far west Odessa, work in Midland.

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 4):
I see Permian is kicking butt and taking names.

Yeah, they made USAToday's Top 25! We'll see where they end up when they win State! The economy around here is booming with the price of oil up, Permian is winning again, and we just got a new airline in MAF! It just doesn't get any better than this!
 
AA 737-800
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RE: New Service At MAF!

Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:53 pm

Looking at their proposed route map I am kinda having a hard time imagining how many of these routes will be successful. I can see how they will probably do pretty well filling 9 seats moving people in and around New Mexico through ABQ, and I could even seen their flights to Taos, Santa Fe, and Ruidoso doing well with the mountain/skiing crowd. Yet I look at the MAF flight and the proposed Lubbock flights to Hobbs and being a Lubbock person cannot really imagine what purpose this route serves with both of these airports already having non-stops to ABQ on WN. It seems like flights to underserved isolated cities like Clovis or other touristy places like Angel Fire would make alot more sense. While I am certainly a big fan of new service to Lubbock, I cannot see too many people in Lubbock lining up to get on a 9 seat aircraft to fly to Hobbs unless there are easy connections to Ruidoso.
Civil engineering isn't about making things perfect...just better.
 
ssides
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RE: New Service At MAF!

Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:14 am



Quoting AA 737-800 (Reply 6):
Yet I look at the MAF flight and the proposed Lubbock flights to Hobbs and being a Lubbock person cannot really imagine what purpose this route serves with both of these airports already having non-stops to ABQ on WN. It seems like flights to underserved isolated cities like Clovis or other touristy places like Angel Fire would make alot more sense. While I am certainly a big fan of new service to Lubbock, I cannot see too many people in Lubbock lining up to get on a 9 seat aircraft to fly to Hobbs unless there are easy connections to Ruidoso.

I think the connections to Ruidoso are what NMA is expecting here. Virtually no one is going to pay that much money to fly MAF-HOB or LBB-HOB. However, the connections to places like the ski areas should be very simple -- there won't be a change of plane involved, the way I understand it, and it should be pretty easy on a 9-seater plane.

That being said, I am still skeptical of the service, too.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
AA 737-800
Posts: 177
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RE: New Service At MAF!

Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:42 am

Another routing that they have that really confuses me is that their only flight to Taos stops in Santa Fe. I just cannot imagine that there will be a larger amount of people traveling between those two towns, but that there could be significant traffic between Albuquerque and each. Therefore any passenger that only wants to fly to Santa Fe will likely mean an empty seat on ward to Taos, and it seems that every empty seat out of nine seats will hurt quite a bit. I think they could do well with non-stops from Albuquerque to all the ski/mountain towns and non-stops from the larger west Texas towns to the more popular ski towns. With all that said I hope they succeed, but it does seem that they might have a little to learn about the way things work in New Mexico/West Texas.
Civil engineering isn't about making things perfect...just better.
 
BooDog
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:44 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:22 pm

I agree. To get anywhere on this airline, you're gonna do a lot of hopping. it seems to me it would be simpler to hub and spoke at ABQ; add cities like AMA and ABI in Texas, Maybe TUS and Pueblo.

I can see them doing well on flights from Texas to NM ski towns. But how the heck are they gonna survive the summer months?
B1B - best looking aircraft ever.
 
bennett123
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RE: New Service At MAF!

Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:36 pm

How long before take off do you need to get to the airport in the US.
 
AA 737-800
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 6:26 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:47 pm



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 10):
How long before take off do you need to get to the airport in the US.

It is typically and hour to two hours at the bigger airports, but at these smaller airports that New Mexico Air would be operating from you could probably get by pretty easily with 30 to 45 minutes.

Quoting BooDog (Reply 9):
I can see them doing well on flights from Texas to NM ski towns. But how the heck are they gonna survive the summer months?

That's another thing I have thought about. I know that most of those areas are relatively popular destinations for hiking and camping during the summer, but there are certainly times when hardly anyone will be visiting. Perhaps they should consider highly seasonal rotations to the ski destinations.
Civil engineering isn't about making things perfect...just better.
 
Queso
Topic Author
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RE: New Service At MAF!

Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:01 pm



Quoting AA 737-800 (Reply 11):
It is typically and hour to two hours at the bigger airports, but at these smaller airports that New Mexico Air would be operating from you could probably get by pretty easily with 30 to 45 minutes.

You can arrive at MAF 30 minutes before departure time and have no problem making it through security as long as a full WN and a full CO flights aren't ahead of you. Even then, 30 would probably be adequate.

AA 737-800, looks like we're neighbors. Send me an IM if your going to be in the MAF area and maybe we can get a cup of coffee.

I might take one of the MAF-HOB flights just for the fun of it. Would anybody be interested in a trip report?
 
bennett123
Posts: 9200
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:01 pm

So the time advantage is 60 to 75 Mins by Air and 120 Mins by Road.

Flight times and punctuality will clearly be crucial.
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:34 pm



Quoting AA 737-800 (Reply 8):
I think they could do well with non-stops from Albuquerque to all the ski/mountain towns and non-stops from the larger west Texas towns to the more popular ski towns. With all that said I hope they succeed, but it does seem that they might have a little to learn about the way things work in New Mexico/West Texas.

I would assume that the stops on that service are primarily due to lack of aircraft. I believe NMA only has one or two planes, and having nonstops to both Taos and Santa Fe would require an additional aircraft. That's probably the reason now.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
AA 737-800
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Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 6:26 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:33 pm



Quoting Ssides (Reply 14):
I would assume that the stops on that service are primarily due to lack of aircraft. I believe NMA only has one or two planes, and having nonstops to both Taos and Santa Fe would require an additional aircraft. That's probably the reason now.

That makes perfect sense, but it seems that a continuing flight between two similar towns on such a small aircraft would not be a profitable venture. It seems that it would be smarter to choose one non-stop or the other, and try to make perhaps fewer but fuller flights rather than choose continuing flights that seem to be destined to have inherently empty seats just simply to serve more locations.
Civil engineering isn't about making things perfect...just better.
 
Queso
Topic Author
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RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:03 pm

A little bit more info. Looks like New Mexico Airlines are not counting on the MAF leg to be a stand-alone route, they are planning expansion from there. I heard on the radio this morning they are planning direct flights to SJT and ABI, and also a non-stop to ELP.
 
PavlovsDog
Posts: 552
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:28 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:05 pm



Quoting Queso (Thread starter):
"One of them said they like Midland, they come to Midland, fly out of Midland to go westbound or eastbound on the aircraft that we have here. So they unanimously voted on coming to Midland. It was neat to know that those people releate to Midland and Midland International Airport," Marv Esterly with New Mexico Airlines said."

It isn't often you see the word neat in print anymore. It sure is swell to see these fine people in their quaint towns getting air service. Whether they'll be commercially viable is another issue. Best of luck to them.
 
ssides
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:25 pm



Quoting PavlovsDog (Reply 17):
I heard on the radio this morning they are planning direct flights to SJT and ABI, and also a non-stop to ELP.

SJT and ABI? I find that doubtful, but interesting. That could only happen if they get more aircraft, though.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
Queso
Topic Author
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RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:27 pm

Local newspaper article: http://www.oaoa.com/news/airline_10836___article.html/midland_new.html

I'll say this, if optimism is what will make an airline succeed, then Greg Kahlstorf will be the next Herb Kelleher!
 
AA 737-800
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RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:07 pm

I love the quote about how they think flying around West Texas and New Mexico "desert jumping" will be the same as "island jumping" in Hawaii. I am afraid they may be underestimating the willingness of people in that part of the world to drive long distances through the "desert". The more I read and see from this airline the more I don't see it lasting at all. Sure the model works between islands where driving is inpossible, but with security and the stigma of smaller-single engine planes this all just seems like one hell of a pipe dream that is growing much faster than it probably should be.
Civil engineering isn't about making things perfect...just better.
 
n5014k
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:19 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:16 pm

This reminds me of the operators that blanketed the US in the 1970's and 80's before the major airlines adopted the model that Allegheny started wtih Allegheny Commuter. The commuters ("third level carriers") and ran most of them out of business as scheduled operators. New Mexico had a couple of these that I recall. Most of them served these same cities. Zia Airlines comes to mind. West Texas had a few too, like Permian and Eagle (both of which had cool color schemes, as it happened). I flew on dozens of them and I always enjoyed them. (Once I was coming into BWI and was the only passenger on a Cessna 402. The captain asked the co-pilot if he'd like to take over the landing and the co-pilot excitedly said. "REALLY???")

My hunch is that New Mexico Airlines is counting on a couple of things to keep yields high. First, connect the small towns to the rest of the world and vice versa. Point to point routes between Lubbock and Carlsbad won't get you very far. Second, they will provide an alternative to driving with gas prices at $3/gallon. I recognize that driving 100 miles is doable, and in Texas its normal, but the round trip is 200 miles and that starts to get old after a while if you travel for business frequently.

I recall advertising from Metro Airlines back in the 70's and 80's that promoted joint fares with most major airlines at DFW and IAH. A round trip ticket from IAH to, say, MEM might be $200. The fare from VCT to MEM via IAH might be something like $225, so flying Metro only cost you 25 bucks or so. That's just what it cost the passenger...presumably Metro's share of the $225 was more than that.

I assume that New Mexico Airlines will have to provide great connections in ABQ, MAF, ELP (in a few months) and LBB (whenever that begins). Maybe they can carry some cargo too. Any EAS money in this?

It concerns be that, by the sound of the previous posts, they may be tempted to expand too fast. Lots of airlines have bitten the dust because of this.

This is a fascinating business, commuter airlines. Imre Quastler has written good books about two of them: Air Midwest and Swift Aire. If you can find them on E-Bay you might want to scarf them up.

Anyway, good luck to them, but with the US public's attitude toward props and the cost of doing business today I think they have a tough row to hoe.
 
mtnwest1979
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:23 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:34 pm

As for the ABQ-SAF-TNM route. They might find it more economical to fly say 3 ABQ-SAF pax along with say 2 ABQ-TNM pax together for total of 5 out of ABQ as opposed to 2 separate flights with only 3 and 2. I bet that if they consistently get high loads, and extra planes, they will break up the flight into two.
I have a hard time thinking a Caravan airline will succeed. Although they are in Hawaii. But I keep going back to Rio Grande Air, etc. I wonder how Mesa's Caravan routes did when they had them.
I hope they do well because I love the smaller airlines and the indy ones,too.
Anyway, do NMA flights operate thru security, or not like RGA didn't, PenAir and ERA in ANC, etc?
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
Queso
Topic Author
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RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:44 pm



Quoting N5014K (Reply 21):
Any EAS money in this?

Yes, from the article I posted the link to in Reply 19,

"New Mexico Airlines is a division of Pacific Wings Airlines. Started in 1974, Pacific Wings was awarded an Essential Air Service contract to serve Hobbs and Carlsbad, N.M., and began flights there July 1."

I don't know how these other routes figure into the money they get from the EAS contract, but at least the company is getting a cash inflow from that subsidy. Their existing service might be more profitable than the EAS contract was calculated for and that might be where they are getting the capital for the expansion.

I still wonder how they can make lease (or purchase) payments and maintenance on the metal, pay the pilot, pay the ticket agent, pay the insurance, pay the taxes, and pay the Jet-A for what is essentially an hour of air time for $1098 with all the seats filled. They'd have to be counting on that EAS money. Or maybe I am just being overly simplistic. Armchair CEO, anyone?  Wink
 
mtnwest1979
Posts: 2211
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:23 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:57 pm

Well, they kept saying how they have been able to wean some of the Hawaii stops off the EAS, so maybe they are going to have profit in HI pay for any losses in NM for awhile until when ( or if) profits arise in NM. They must know what they are doing, I guess.
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
PanAm747
Posts: 4713
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:46 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:16 pm



Quote:
From Hobbs, there will be connecting service to other New Mexico Airlines cities such as CNM, ABQ, and ELP.

Not to nitpick, but I have to point out that El Paso is in Texas...

As for Pacific Wings running the service, I'd lay money in Vegas that once the EAS subsidy runs out, so will the company...as in "out of town".

A Cessna 208 roundtrip flight from MAF to Hobbs, NM? Assuming the standard 13 seats, that's 26 seats per day to fill. Is there really that much business traffic between the two cities?

I wish them luck, but I highly doubt this will last.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
Queso
Topic Author
Posts: 3109
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:28 pm

RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:26 pm



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 25):
Not to nitpick, but I have to point out that El Paso is in Texas

Correct. Note emphasis:

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 25):
Quote:
From Hobbs, there will be connecting service to other New Mexico Airlines cities such as CNM, ABQ, and ELP.

They are not saying "other New Mexico cities", they are saying ""other New Mexico ARILINES cities". Just a clarification.

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 25):
A Cessna 208 roundtrip flight from MAF to Hobbs, NM? Assuming the standard 13 seats, that's 26 seats per day to fill. Is there really that much business traffic between the two cities?

As noted above and in the article I linked to in Reply 19, these birds will have 9 passenger seats, so that's 18 seats a day R/T. At a base fare of $122 (from their website), that is $1098 per R/T, which is a flying time of 1:02 (not to mention taxiing, which is minimal).

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 25):
I wish them luck, but I highly doubt this will last.

Agreed. I hope I'm wrong.
 
mtnwest1979
Posts: 2211
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:23 am

RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:31 pm

[quote=PanAm747,reply=25]As for Pacific Wings running the service, I'd lay money in Vegas that once the EAS subsidy runs out, so will the company...as in "out of town".

Hopefully they will last the at least two years that they will receive the $$. Then just keep rebidding I suppose.

I have a hard time thinking a 9 pax airline will last too long. We'll see.
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
Queso
Topic Author
Posts: 3109
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:28 pm

RE: New Service At MAF!

Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:44 pm



Quoting Queso (Reply 23):
I still wonder how they can make lease (or purchase) payments and maintenance on the metal, pay the pilot, pay the ticket agent, pay the insurance, pay the taxes, and pay the Jet-A for what is essentially an hour of air time for $1098 with all the seats filled.

A little more about the economics. According to http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/economics/fuel_monitor/price_analysis.htm , the current average price of Jet-A is about $2.80 a gallon. Several sources I checked show that a Cessna 208 uses about 47 GPH at cruise, so you can figure roughly 120-150 gallons used per round trip with wind and startup and taxi time so just fuel alone is going to cost $336-$420. What are these pilots going to be expected to make, about $30 an hour? So that's nearly $500 for a round trip before all the other expenses. Maybe they are going to make a few bucks per trip but I still don't see anybody getting rich on this deal.

Anyone, please feel free to dispute or expand on my figures.

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