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gegtim
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Empty Gates At GEG

Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:03 am

Since Southwest recently trimmed it's flights at GEG "A" Concourse now has three vacant gates out of the five. United has cut flights and with the Delta/Northwest merger there are three vacant gates at "B" Concourse. Is there any market for these gates? We used to have Allegro airlines fly to Cancun during winter with MD-80's and what they called a Super 727. They did well with filling those planes up. North American Airlines with their B-757 and Hawaiian airlines with B-767 aircraft flew to Oahu during winter with poor results (not at the same time during the same years). No one wanted to fly non-stop from GEG - HNL even with people driving over from Western Montana and North Idaho. What airline, if any, would be interested in these available gates?
 
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:51 am

Don't forget that one of the jet bridge gates on Concourse C is technically free and another one is used by Frontier by their lease is month-to-month. Alaska is down to 1 RON and from what I was told is no longer solely leasing 32, only 31. Just two years ago AS had 3 RON.

Delta does use B4 when it has a second RON from SLC - giving DL 3 aircraft at 3 gates. And United...can't even figure them out. They have hardly anything to the east of Denver except for the one 6:00am flight. The mid-afternoon DEN doesn't connect to hardly anywhere east of the Mississippi. Stunned UA can't justify one ORD flight.

Southwest still does RON 4 aircraft and they use 15 and 16 in addition to 11 and 13 but I believe 1 RON ends after the SEA service goes away.

I agree the airport has tons of space. It makes my argument that building the new terminal technically for Alaska/Horizon was stupid, when the airport board could've merely added a few more gates to one of the original concourses and widened them. There are also 8 check-in positions available in the main terminal and 4 in the new terminal.
 
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:34 am

I thought AS/QX were jumping in to take back what WN is giving up?
 
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:08 am

We had been looking at Spokane area for retirement but all I've talked to say the city is "dying". What are the stats on that? Homes don't seem to have come down much but could all this be why there is so much empty space. Simply not enough pax?
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ASMD11
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:13 am

Quoting n7371f (Reply 1):
I agree the airport has tons of space. It makes my argument that building the new terminal technically for Alaska/Horizon was stupid, when the airport board could've merely added a few more gates to one of the original concourses and widened them. There are also 8 check-in positions available in the main terminal and 4 in the new terminal.

There are actually only 5 check in positions in the main terminal and only two in the new terminal now. F9 has 4 in the new terminal now and with DL moving to the old NW counter space their small counter remains empty. But in the main terminal all of the gates, except one, are currently leased, UA still holds their lease on Gate B5 and Delta still has an active lease on B4, while WN still has active leases on A11, 12, 13, and 15 leaving A14 completely free. I don't know if this will change when the leases are renegotiated but that won't be until 2013, and GEG is not known for letting airlines out of leases early. Another airline could sublet the unused gates from UA or WN I suppose, but B5 does not have a jetway currently and shares one with B3. In the new terminal with only two check in positions and one gate available for lease at C31 it could really only support operations with an RJ simply due to the lack of counter space to efficiently check in anything lager, but lease rates in the new terminal are so much higher than in the main terminal I don't know if it would be feasible.

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 2):
I thought AS/QX were jumping in to take back what WN is giving up?

Yes, but just two flights a day, neither of them will RON and they are on Q400s, so they will be able to use existing gate space on the lower C concourse that is empty during the time of day the flights will be.

Edited: Grammar mistake.

[Edited 2011-11-18 22:14:10]
 
SurfandSnow
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:35 am

Quoting gegtim (Thread starter):
Since Southwest recently trimmed it's flights at GEG "A" Concourse now has three vacant gates out of the five.

Interesting that WN has their own concourse at GEG - wishful thinking on the airport's part, it would seem.

In all honesty I'd say GEG should be counting its blessings that it has WN at all... GEG was added to their network because of the Morris Air acquisition and may very well have never been added on Southwest's own accord. IMHO, GEG managed to get WN at the perfect time: the booming mid-90s period (which was great for the whole country, but especially the western states). By the early 2000s WN's growth efforts had shifted to the Eastern half of the country (Florida, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic), and by the mid-2000s they were mostly just going into major primary airports and markets (i.e. DEN, MKE, MSP, BOS, LGA, PHL). WN has now reached a point at which it feels it has more or less reached its growth potential in the continental U.S., and has now set its sights on overwater (Hawaii, Puerto Rico, maybe Alaska) and international markets. Bottom line - GEG was was extremely lucky to get WN when it did, and would probably have never made the cut after about 1998 or so once the tech bubble issues became apparent.

In any case, I seem to remember a pretty consistent service schedule consisting of just SEA, PDX, BOI, SLC, and OAK. WN has rather recently added nonstop service to LAS, PHX, and DEN: these are all great destinations in their own right, but perhaps more importantly, they offer vastly superior connectivity to the rest of the WN network.

WN's service to SLC has since ended, but DL still serves that market with a great schedule (operated by a mix of mainline and large 2-class RJs). WN will soon be ending service to SEA, but AS will continue to fly the route on a shuttle schedule (operated by a mix of mainline and Q400s). On both routes WN offered inferior frequency against carriers that benefited from vastly superior connectivity beyond their major hubs, not to mention a great deal of local loyalty in the markets themselves. Naturally, it made sense for WN to shift service to markets where it is much stronger, even when that means butting heads against US (to PHX), F9 (to DEN), and UA (to DEN).

Given that WN has expanded nonstop options from GEG, I'm just not sure what all the fuss is about. They've cut some things, but added others that are even better. The only other market they could conceivably add would be MDW, but seeing as how UA can't even pull off daily year round flights to its massive ORD hub (on a 70 seat jet, mind you) prospects don't seem too good for that one. Like UA, WN probably much prefers to connect everyone to/from GEG through DEN instead of Chicago  .

Quoting gegtim (Thread starter):
United has cut flights and with the Delta/Northwest merger there are three vacant gates at "B" Concourse.

Well, UA cut its flights to their dwindling SEA focus city/gateway but added service to SFO, which is a vastly superior Western option with easy one-stop access to Hawaii, Australia, and many SoCal markets. Before, all of these would have required a double-connection through SEA, or severe backtracking through DEN.

As for UA's ORD flight, at least UA tried to bring it back. They haven't ever attempted to resume the ORD-SJC service that they cut along with ORD-GEG. I'm not sure how they used to fill a daily mainline flight for all those years and now a plane half the size is only working seasonally, but the route must have been pretty marginal if it was on the chopping block the minute the recession ensued. I guess this is the reality of high oil prices.

Oh and be thankful that UA is still offering mainline on the crowded route to DEN! Whilst mainline is all but gone on some pretty big routes from DEN to places like Texas, it still heads to GEG.

As for DL, they knocked WN off the route to SLC and appear to be holding strong to MSP too. Funny how MSP runs multiple times daily on mainline but ORD is such a challenge. I would imagine MSP and ORD have similar O&D to GEG and handle similar connecting flows. In both cases the operator has a Rockies hub handling other traffic flows, although UA's DEN hub certainly offers more options than DL's at SLC.

Concourse B also hosts US Airways, which maintains mainline down to PHX. Given that we are starting to see those awful YV CR9s heading all the way up to Alberta, GEG is lucky not to be getting any!

As for Concourse C, I really don't see the need for it at all. Surely F9 and AS/QX could be squeezed into A/B without much trouble. At GEG, I have only flown in and out of A/B, but I assume it's much nicer (with more space, food/retail options, and other services for pax) than C? Back when QX had the whole focus city thing going on, I'm sure they needed the room and flexibility that C offered. But now everything is gone, except service to hubs at SEA and PDX.

Quoting gegtim (Thread starter):
We used to have Allegro airlines fly to Cancun during winter with MD-80's and what they called a Super 727. They did well with filling those planes up. North American Airlines with their B-757 and Hawaiian airlines with B-767 aircraft flew to Oahu during winter with poor results (not at the same time during the same years). No one wanted to fly non-stop from GEG - HNL even with people driving over from Western Montana and North Idaho. What airline, if any, would be interested in these available gates?

CUN and Hawaii seem like perfect jobs for G4, if they ever get ETOPS certified and/or the ability to go international.

Realistically though, GEG needs to be focused on two things: Chicago and Los Angeles. Both have been served in the recent past, although LAX service was sporadic at best. WN seems to be doing pretty well flying further afield from GEG these days, maybe they would be willing to give MDW a shot (I doubt they would do LAX since they don't serve it nonstop from anywhere in the Pacific Northwest). As for LAX, it seems like a perfect mission for UAX, although it might work for DL given its strength in the GEG market. If Eagle's new LAX-BOI is doing well, they could very well be willing to try LAX-GEG next.

Beyond CHI and LAX, about the only other plausible things I can think of would be DL to DTW and/or ATL (probably a very low frequency seasonal service) or AC "Express" up to Canada. To me, GEG already seems to be an exceptionally well served market for its size.
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mariner
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:01 am

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 5):
Given that WN has expanded nonstop options from GEG, I'm just not sure what all the fuss is about.

Is there a fuss? I thought the OP was asking a very reasonable question about the vacated gates:

Quoting gegtim (Thread starter):
Is there any market for these gates?

I'd have been interested in the answers.

mariner

[Edited 2011-11-19 02:03:42]
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:09 am

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 5):
Interesting that WN has their own concourse at GEG - wishful thinking on the airport's part, it would seem.

The concourse is only 5 gates...not an unreasonably high amount for a WN operation.
 
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gegtim
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:25 am

Quoting mariner (Reply 6):
Is there a fuss? I thought the OP was asking a very reasonable question about the vacated gates:

Thank you for your support, Mariner. Anyone flying to the US from New Zealand probably enters at LAX and maybe SFO. I would entertain this crazy idea. Let's say once each week you would also have a choice of flying into GEG. The airport now has an 11,000' runway, obviously plenty of gate space and a new(er) quite large customs facility that was built for the Vancouver winter Olympics. Where it lacks in hydrant refueling, there is enough truck refueling to turn a B747, or whatever type of widebody back to SFO or LAX. Feature this: After a long, long transpacific flight you can land at GEG and if your PAX or a RON crew, clear customs much faster than the larger airports and be in downtown Spokane in ten minutes. GEG is by no means a cowtown, as a ABX pilot once referred to it as; it has plenty of hotels, restaurants, shopping and golf. During winter you can be skiing 49 Degrees North in 45 minutes. But my point is an exhausted traveler can at least get to a hotel room for a decent meal and some much needed rest very quickly. Just a crazy idea.
 
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:20 am

Quoting gegtim (Reply 8):
I would entertain this crazy idea. Let's say once each week you would also have a choice of flying into GEG.

I'm probably not the best person to ask because I've flown into some very unusual and out of the way airports in my time. I go out of my way to choose alternate airports.  

Realistically, I think the idea of transcontinental flights, especially trans-Pacific, using GEG on any regular basis is not likely. It simply doesn't have the population base to support them.

For international flights, what is more likely - to me - is that is that an airline like Allegiant might consider GEG when it eventually starts flying to Mexico - maybe only one or two weekly, and maybe only seasonal, but they fly from many smaller cities to the resort destinations.

I'm also a wee bitty surprised that there is no cross-border airline service to Canada. I would have thought GEG could support service to YVR, at least, and, again maybe only in summer, I would have thought a few flights to YYJ (Victoria Island) would work. They would almost certainly rely on feed, but there'd be some of that from the cities already served, such as DEN.

LAX would add to that, and I think the most important thing is to get the GEG-LAX flights back - I'm surprised they went away - and I believe the airport got a good grant in the SCASD awards to restore that service.

So - fingers crossed.

mariner

[Edited 2011-11-19 21:28:37]
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YYZAMS
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:08 am

I remember when Delta flew mainline from SLC and ATL to GEG.
Not the skrimpy RJs. I guess with all the vacancy security must be a breeze to get through, eh?

on a side note: I will be flying to GEG on an RJ from SFO. Will there be a jet bridge or will have to walk the tarmac?

Cheers
 
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gegtim
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:12 am

Quoting mariner (Reply 9):
I'm also a wee bitty surprised that there is no cross-border airline service to Canada.

This has been attempted with no success. Between 1992 and 2001 Northwest, United and Air Canada tried GEG - YVR flights. Both NWA & UAL would arrive in the early evening from MSP and DEN respectively with 727-200's and then RON at YVR. They would return around 0630 the next morning. Air Canada was the last victim with a DeHavilland -200. There was just no ridership. GEG's marketing folks are now, as we speak, trying to get the GEG-LAX flights back. It's just tough to sell. When United stopped the GEG - SFO service with 737-300 they said they were losing money. At that time I was manager of the tank farm at GEG. There were three flights per day X 7 and every single one was sold out year round. Fuelers would tell me that aircraft commanders were ordering mail off of the aircraft for extra fuel. My fuels contact at SFO answered my inquiry by telling me that United invests 40% of their profits on fuel and because these were "United Express" 737-300's they were charging SWA fares to compete. After United discontinued this route all of the aircraft were transferred to BOI - SFO routes.
 
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gegtim
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:17 am

Quoting YYZAMS (Reply 10):
on a side note: I will be flying to GEG on an RJ from SFO. Will there be a jet bridge or will have to walk the tarmac?

YYZAMS: You should be on a jetway. GEG modified a couple of those gates several years ago to squat down more for the RJ's. Only the dedicated Horizon gates at Term "C" are walkers. Not too bad on a Q400 because they board forward and aft. But the RJ 700's, which I understand are being sold off by Horizon, are slow to board. Guess HZN wants the all Q400 fleet.
 
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ASMD11
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:24 am

Quoting YYZAMS (Reply 10):

on a side note: I will be flying to GEG on an RJ from SFO. Will there be a jet bridge or will have to walk the tarmac?

If it's UA you are going to have to walk outside, they board and deplane all of their RJ flights from B9 on the lower level.
 
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mariner
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:32 am

Quoting gegtim (Reply 11):
This has been attempted with no success. Between 1992 and 2001 Northwest, United and Air Canada tried GEG - YVR flights. Both NWA & UAL would arrive in the early evening from MSP and DEN respectively with 727-200's and then RON at YVR. They would return around 0630 the next morning. Air Canada was the last victim with a DeHavilland -200. There was just no ridership.

I don't think pure GEG-YVR flights would work. As I said:

Quoting mariner (Reply 9):
They would almost certainly rely on feed, but there'd be some of that from the cities already served, such as DEN.

But if stuff like that doesn't work, then I don't know what the answer is.

mariner
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:55 am

Quoting mariner (Reply 9):
I would have thought GEG could support service to YVR, at least

I believe Frontier Mk ! did that back in the 80's IINM. DEN-GEG-YVR.

Back when Horizon put most/all of their Montana flights through GEG, it was like a mini-hub. Once they started overlfying Spokane, though, the amount of feed that they (QX) could get for a transborder flight would seem to have been small. As to who else could provide a one-stop sort of option over GEG, I'm not sure who. I suppose anyone willing to try it, but I'd think the best option might be ORD-GEG-YVR or something like that.

Quoting mariner (Reply 9):
I would have thought a few flights to YYJ (Victoria Island) would work

I know people go to Victoria - I've been there myself - but I always wonder who (outside of the pacific northwest) even knows about it? Maybe more than I'm aware of?  

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mariner
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:09 am

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 15):
I know people go to Victoria - I've been there myself - but I always wonder who (outside of the pacific northwest) even knows about it? Maybe more than I'm aware of?  

I've been there.  

I never know who knows about places, or how they know. It always surprises me that YXY - Whitehorse, Canada - gets seasonal widebody service from FRA but no service at all from the US.

mariner
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Viscount724
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:17 pm

Quoting mariner (Reply 9):
I'm also a wee bitty surprised that there is no cross-border airline service to Canada. I would have thought GEG could support service to YVR, at least, and, again maybe only in summer, I would have thought a few flights to YYJ (Victoria Island) would work. They would almost certainly rely on feed, but there'd be some of that from the cities already served, such as DEN.

There's just no demand. When NW started service to YVR it was via GEG as that was the only way they could get traffic rights to YVR. Before transborder deregulation secondary cities like GEG had a more liberal regime. Once NW obtained DTW/MSP-YVR nonstop rights they quickly dropped the GEG stop.

The original Frontier also did the same thing, operating YVR-GEG-DEN since they could obtain those rights but not YVR-DEN nonstop. That didn't last long.

The same applied to West Coast/Air West/Hughes Airwest on YYC-GEG although that lasted longer. AC tried YYC-GEG using Jazz but that was very quickly dropped due lack of demand. I believe AC Jazz may also have briefly operated YVR-GEG but can't remember.
 
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gegtim
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:35 pm

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 15):
Back when Horizon put most/all of their Montana flights through GEG, it was like a mini-hub.

Back when Big Sky was subsidised to fly between GEG and Moses Lake there would be three Metros on the ground at the same time; usually around the noon hour. Those flights were short lived. Then Big Sky tried GEG to Olympia to keep PAX from having to fly to SEA and then drive down. Many days these flights were canceled either because of fog at Olympia, or the lack of a deicer truck at that airport.
 
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mariner
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:35 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
There's just no demand. When NW started service to YVR it was via GEG as that was the only way they could get traffic rights to YVR.
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
The original Frontier also did the same thing, operating YVR-GEG-DEN since they could obtain those rights but not YVR-DEN nonstop. That didn't last long.

Correct me if I'm wrong - but wasn't that before the LCC's? I recall considerable scepticism - here - that Allegiant could make BLI work, despite its proximity to the border. But:

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 15):
Back when Horizon put most/all of their Montana flights through GEG, it was like a mini-hub.

I doubt anyone will go for a mini-hub there now, but, especially in these days of high fuel prices, it is easy enough to imagine a few connecting flights through there, if only seasonally, given its geographic position.

Beyond that, I don't know what it is.

mariner
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Viscount724
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:42 pm

Quoting mariner (Reply 19):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
There's just no demand. When NW started service to YVR it was via GEG as that was the only way they could get traffic rights to YVR.
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
The original Frontier also did the same thing, operating YVR-GEG-DEN since they could obtain those rights but not YVR-DEN nonstop. That didn't last long.

Correct me if I'm wrong - but wasn't that before the LCC's? I recall considerable scepticism - here - that Allegiant could make BLI work, despite its proximity to the border.

Yes that was pre-LCC. You can't compare GEG with BLI. BLI is 40 miles from Canada's 3rd largest city. GEG is a very long drive from any sizable Canadian population centers (e.g. at least 7 or 8 hours from YYC, 6 or 7 hrs from YVR, and even 5 hours from smaller Canadian cities like Kelowna.)
 
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mariner
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RE: Empty Gates At GEG

Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:47 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 20):
Yes that was pre-LCC. You can't compare GEG with BLI. BLI is 40 miles from Canada's 3rd largest city.

Surely not comparing. Simply giving an example of how LCC's do it differently.

When pre-Republic Frontier was flying DEN-YVR, there was considerable discussion about routing a couple of the flights through GEG.

mariner
aeternum nauta

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