FlyPeoria
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PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:26 pm

Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria Int'l Airport posted a 10% increase in passengers in June 2014. The 59,373 passengers handled that month is 10% higher than June 2013. See link to press release below.

https://flypia.com/news.php?i=21

I've compiled yearly passenger stats for PIA since 2003. I must note that 2003 was a down year but to illustrate PIA's growth, traffic was 62 percent higher in 2013.

2003 – 368,835
2004 – 452,448
2005 – 520,034
2006 – 483,575
2007 – 543,619
2008 – 564,988
2009 – 493,856
2010 – 511,513
2011 – 513,573
2012 – 580,530
2013 – 592,101

I hope this is a sign that PIA can get larger regional jets over the next 5 years or so without suffering too much loss of frequency.
 
FWAERJ
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:16 pm

Quoting FlyPeoria (Thread starter):
I hope this is a sign that PIA can get larger regional jets over the next 5 years or so without suffering too much loss of frequency.

I know that it's in a different state (though still in the Midwest), but FWA saw a similar number of pax compared to PIA in 2013. Like PIA, FWA's numbers for 2013 were similar to a high last seen in the 2007-2008 timeframe.

We aren't worrying about losing much frequency with larger aircraft: DL's FWA-ATL service is now getting upgraded to CR9s on one ATL flight, with more ATL flights to be upgraded, and has been boosted to 4x daily (1 CR9, 3 CR2). As Eagle bases more two-class RJs at DFW (MQ has moved some from ORD and DFW is rumored to be the CP Eagle base), I expect that to follow in short order.

And of course, both PIA and FWA have G4 to many of the same cities.
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FlyPeoria
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:25 pm

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 1):
I know that it's in a different state (though still in the Midwest), but FWA saw a similar number of pax compared to PIA in 2013. Like PIA, FWA's numbers for 2013 were similar to a high last seen in the 2007-2008 timeframe.

We aren't worrying about losing much frequency with larger aircraft: DL's FWA-ATL service is now getting upgraded to CR9s on one ATL flight, with more ATL flights to be upgraded, and has been boosted to 4x daily (1 CR9, 3 CR2). As Eagle bases more two-class RJs at DFW (MQ has moved some from ORD and DFW is rumored to be the CP Eagle base), I expect that to follow in short order.

And of course, both PIA and FWA have G4 to many of the same cities.

Without G4, PIA would not be generating the kind of traffic that it has. We celebrated G4's 10 years of service on 3/4/14. Hopefully, PIA (not BMI) will get AA/US service to CLT.
 
kcrwflyer
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:34 pm

Quoting FlyPeoria (Thread starter):
I hope this is a sign that PIA can get larger regional jets over the next 5 years or so without suffering too much loss of frequency.

If all of the growth is G4, that doesn't mean anything to the other airlines, but PIA has 8 ORD flights so surely you can have 6 on larger metal.. and so on and so on.
 
billreid
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:18 pm

Interesting starting a thread for a "10 percent growth airport" that is dominated by 50 seat aircraft and seasonal charters.

Peoria is saddled with inherent problems. The town is absolutely dominated by CAT. As goes CAT, so goes the community. Yet so many of their employees depart from CHI airports where airfares are 30% cheaper.

The competitive airport BMI, thirty miles down the road creates a platform for silly competition that doesn't help either. And the lack of retail at PIA is a shame in a brand new terminal.

PIA has benefitted from G4 service but that will level off with the demand for warm weather holidays having its limitations in a city of 300K people. There is little PIA can do to grow outside of organic growth.
Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
 
FlyPeoria
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:51 am

Quoting billreid (Reply 4):
Interesting starting a thread for a "10 percent growth airport" that is dominated by 50 seat aircraft and seasonal charters.

Peoria is saddled with inherent problems. The town is absolutely dominated by CAT. As goes CAT, so goes the community. Yet so many of their employees depart from CHI airports where airfares are 30% cheaper.

The competitive airport BMI, thirty miles down the road creates a platform for silly competition that doesn't help either. And the lack of retail at PIA is a shame in a brand new terminal.

PIA has benefitted from G4 service but that will level off with the demand for warm weather holidays having its limitations in a city of 300K people. There is little PIA can do to grow outside of organic growth.

PIA's director did tell the local newspaper that "The four airlines at PIA...consistently have maintained or increased seats for Peoria flights in the past year," so some growth is non-G4. What I meant was that PIA wouldn't be sniffing at 600K if not for them. Without G4, we'd have well under 500K a year.

Caterpillar's biz travel contribution might be far greater if not for the severe downturn in mining equipment sales, though construction equipment sales and travel generated by new plants in Texas and Georgia might have made up for this a bit. PIA officials are trying to get more people to use PIA than ORD. They appear to be succeeding.

[Edited 2014-07-21 17:52:35]

[Edited 2014-07-21 18:36:19]

[Edited 2014-07-21 18:36:42]
 
mattya9
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:55 am

Good numbers for PIA in 2013! I've always found it funny how PIA and BMI trade the top spot for total pax every 5-7 years; now it's PIA's turn to be at the top for a few years again. Makes me curious, will this trend continue? Or is PIA on top for a longer spell this time around? With all the mergers I don't think it looks good for BMI because, obviously, they only have so many airlines left to try and lure in (the same goes for PIA but they seem to be doing just fine). It can't be said enough, losing AirTran devistated BMI and they're having a hard time recovering. I hope they do though because it'll ignite the rivalry between them and PIA again.  

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billreid
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:40 am

FLYPEORIA thanks. I mean no negativity but reality is that there is only so much demand within a community of Peoria's size. Swings in demand will occur, however for Peoria to really grow the Authority would need to go outside the box and become innovative in their approach to increasing air-service. Unfortunately PIA is foolishly wasting its time trying to compete with BMI rather than trying to be a regional leader.

There was talk of being aggressive and going after growth but both management and the airport board would need to be innovative, without risk there is limited reward. Competing with BMI and MLI renders no really different results, G4 is offering the same flights from MLI as from PIA and F9 serves BMI. At the end of the day equilibrium exists at all three airports with the airlines charging the same fares across the smaller communities versus lower fares from ORD, MDW, STL.
Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
 
jetlanta
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:56 am

Quoting billreid (Reply 7):
Unfortunately PIA is foolishly wasting its time trying to compete with BMI rather than trying to be a regional leader.

How so? What would you suggest they do? I'm curious.
 
FlyPeoria
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:43 am

Quoting billreid (Reply 7):
FLYPEORIA thanks. I mean no negativity but reality is that there is only so much demand within a community of Peoria's size. Swings in demand will occur, however for Peoria to really grow the Authority would need to go outside the box and become innovative in their approach to increasing air-service. Unfortunately PIA is foolishly wasting its time trying to compete with BMI rather than trying to be a regional leader.

There was talk of being aggressive and going after growth but both management and the airport board would need to be innovative, without risk there is limited reward. Competing with BMI and MLI renders no really different results, G4 is offering the same flights from MLI as from PIA and F9 serves BMI. At the end of the day equilibrium exists at all three airports with the airlines charging the same fares across the smaller communities versus lower fares from ORD, MDW, STL.

Um...PIA is showing strength, even when its biggest employer has suffered a major decline in one of its areas of business. I'm not sure what else can be done other than offer incentives to persuade G4 to drop BMI-SFB and start PIA-SFB. This seems unlikely as F9 is transitioning BMI-MCO (and BMI-DEN) to seasonal operation. This, of course, gives G4 the market to itself for part of the year.

[Edited 2014-07-22 21:44:37]

[Edited 2014-07-22 21:45:30]
 
mattya9
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:31 am

Quoting jetlanta (Reply 8):

I'm also curious as to what they should do?

Quoting FlyPeoria (Reply 9):

They're showing strength, yes, but as billreid said there's only so much demand in the Central Illinois area. On another note, having worked at both airports, I can tell you the majority of the people that fly in and out of Central Illinois will go with the cheapest ticket regardless if it's PIA, MLI, or BMI. All you have to do is look at what happened at BMI to prove that point; FL leaves taking with it their cheap flights and passengers start looking for cheaper alternatives (PIA, ORD, MDW, STL, IND, etc). And with that being said, I've always wondered if G4 will pull a FedEx and leave PIA for BMI to 'centralize' their operations for logistical reasons. Makes sense to me but then again what do I know?  



OPS 5
"You can do anything once."
 
billreid
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:40 pm

What they should do is determine what is best for them and forget what BMI does. Airports do not compete for passengers, ever. Airlines compete for passengers all the time. Regardless of what an airport does the passengers are driven by availability and pricing of the airline product. Airports worrying about what occurs at other airports is counter-productive as it is the airlines that control pricing, seats and flight times. The airports need to focus on what they can control, not what they can't. Unfortunately, many airports are confused with who the passenger is a customer to. The passenger is not the airports customer, it is the airline customer. To prove this, ask how many passengers would got to PIA if there were no flights? Answer is obvious. It is therefore the airports function to improve the platform for the airlines to do business. As the airlines are interested in profits then the airport should work to improve airline cost structure at their facility to facilitate more flights. In PIA's case if the airlines are hugely profitable they will add more capacity, larger planes and more destinations. Therefore, growth is a function of aligning with airline success.

When looking at different airports we generally base our ticket purchase decision on pricing and availability.
While working at a airport elsewhere in the nation the CEO was sure that we were losing passengers because they simply never checked our flights. I suggested we survey the community and ask which airport the respondent was using with a battery of different questions. We had about 3200 responses and the consumer stated overwhelmingly that they did look at multiple airports. (of course they do the web makes that very very easy) The few that did not look simply chose to fly from the nearest airport regardless of cost. What was clear: Consumers always will chose the closest airport for departure and the closest airport to the destination if Quality of Service and pricing is equal. In this case people would go to the other airports for pricing and better connections or non-stops. In effect better Quality of Service.

PIA is the same there is NO WAY any airport will convince the consumer where to fly from, they already know there is an airport and the consumer will look at different flight options based on what the airline sells not what the airport say.

I lived in Peoria for a period of time and heard from the community that they didn't care about competition between the airports and the people in the government and industry had grown significantly tired of the war of words in the media being fueled by the airports.

A smart strategy is focusing on keeping its airlines happy.

Both PIA and BMI offer free parking. MLI does not. MLI also is the largest of the three and loses no business by charging for parking. If PIA wanted to bring in more traffic then they would charge for parking and lower the CPE which is listed at $3.20 as filed under FAA form 127. They could find other sources of revenue and lower the cost to all carriers to close to cost free operations. The end result would be more profitable airlines and more seats and flights.

At the end of the conversation PIA needs to work on Quality of Service. This means keeping the airlines happy through lower Cost per Enplanement and feeding happy passengers to their system.

[Edited 2014-07-23 06:59:55]
Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
 
billreid
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:10 pm

BTW sorry for the slow reply. But I kept on getting a error message saying try again later last night. Not sure why??

PIA needs to improve parking, and charge a nominal similar to what is charged to people downtown when parking there.

PIA needs to increase revenues from Retail, Food & Beverage. The situation around retail is bad, last I looked no shop was available. PIA needs to fix this.

PIA needs to support the Airline frequent fliers as best possible. The premium parking lot and club is an insult to airline frequent fliers. There a Million Milers that can't get into the empty room. Improving Quality of Service at PIA for high travel Frequent Fliers would give reason for passengers to stay local. (This is a case of the Airport confusing who owns the customer)

PIA needs to look at new sources of revenue to be used to attract more flights.

In short they need a long term vision, and that vision is not asking what BMI is doing today?
Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
 
IADLHR
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:00 pm

Quoting billreid (Reply 7):
FLYPEORIA thanks. I mean no negativity but reality is that there is only so much demand within a community of Peoria's size. Swings in demand will occur, however for Peoria to really grow the Authority would need to go outside the box and become innovative in their approach to increasing air-service. Unfortunately PIA is foolishly wasting its time trying to compete with BMI rather than trying to be a regional leader.

There was talk of being aggressive and going after growth but both management and the airport board would need to be innovative, without risk there is limited reward. Competing with BMI and MLI renders no really different results, G4 is offering the same flights from MLI as from PIA and F9 serves BMI. At the end of the day equilibrium exists at all three airports with the airlines charging the same fares across the smaller communities versus lower fares from ORD, MDW, STL.

Peoria needs outside the box thinking in many different ways and places to make it something approaching a vibrant, diversified community with good schools and thats for starters. But that is a story for another day. Meanwhile back at the airport. One think that makes me wonder is if the new terminal is drawing some people who also used to fly out of ORD. Speaking for myself, I have heard a number of people that used to drive to ORD because they did not like the old terminal as it was too dreary and I agree 100%. It was quite awhile before any food could be purchased behind security.That was a real bummer if you had a flight that was delayed. At some point in time they added a food stand behind security but that was awhile after 9-11.

Also, Peoria Charter used to have several buses a day from Bradley to MDW. I used to take it quite often as leaving Peoria on business my next appointment was in the South Loop and the Orange Line from MDW was really convenient. There were always some people on that bus that were going to MDW to fly to various places. Ther bus schedule has changed and doesnt go to MDW as often. In addition they sometimes use s van instead of a bus. That would be a major bummer.

So if PIA has succeeded in picking off a few from BMI and MDW on a daily basis it is easy to see how the figures can start adding up. Also with the improved hotel situation in downtown Peoria that just be helping the situation too. I just think it is a confluence of a lot of small things that is helping the situation.

Quoting billreid (Reply 12):
PIA needs to support the Airline frequent fliers as best possible. The premium parking lot and club is an insult to airline frequent fliers. There a Million Milers that can't get into the empty room. Improving Quality of Service at PIA for high travel Frequent Fliers would give reason for passengers to stay local. (This is a case of the Airport confusing who owns the customer)

PIA needs to look at new sources of revenue to be used to attract more flights.

In short they need a long term vision, and that vision is not asking what BMI is doing today?

Totally agree. I know of a few very frequent flyers that hang in there with PIA but are frustrated with a lack of some of the amenities that are found elsewhere in similar sized cities.
 
FlyPeoria
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:41 pm

Billreid and IADLHR, you both have excellent suggestions, and I suspect PIA officials are aware of at least some of these issues. I'm sure there are reasons why they linger, such as with facilities for frequent fliers and also the lack of a gift shop (which closed at the end of 2012).

Most of PIA's recent success in building passenger traffic is due to FL's withdrawal from BMI. I expect this trend will continue in the near future at least. DL is reducing DTW-PIA from 3x to 2x weekdays and DTW-BMI from 2x to 1x weekdays around the start of September, but F9 has converted BMI-DEN/MCO to seasonal (DEN ends after 1-6-15, not sure when it resumes). Same thing happened to RFD-DEN before service ended. Perhaps F9 needs that 319 for its CLE or IAD focus cities?
 
mattya9
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:11 am

Quoting IADLHR (Reply 13):

I'm curious, what do other other similar sized airports offer frequent fliers? I just think it would be hard to offer anything too substantial because they just don't have the FF pax to make it worth while, and/or the airport doesn't have the money to invest in something like that. I'm going with the latter.

OPS 5
"You can do anything once."
 
IADLHR
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:02 pm

Quoting mattya9 (Reply 15):
Quoting IADLHR (Reply 13):

I'm curious, what do other other similar sized airports offer frequent fliers? I just think it would be hard to offer anything too substantial because they just don't have the FF pax to make it worth while, and/or the airport doesn't have the money to invest in something like that. I'm going with the latter.

PIA might not have the base of FF flyers but there seem to be a number of FFs that travel to Peoria for CAT and various other cos. at least that is my observation from many trips to PIA.

My schedule is vastly different than it once was and traveling to PIA. From the last few years I have been getting there via ground travel from either Chicago or Springfield on the same trip. I have not flown into or out of the new terminal. However, in the old terminal there was a really nice lounge/club for use for a $50 annual fee. However, it was not really advertised and I more or less stumbled onto the fact and joined. However, the process seemed to be a bit akward as you mailed in a check and they mailed you a card which you had to return to them if you dropped your membership. In some places the membership was complimentary if you were a premium FF. Certainly the process was far less cumbersome.

Is this lounge even in the new terminal? If it is thats good but have a discussion about opening it to the airlines premium FFs.

I dont k now if it is really the airports fault or not but PIA is the ONLY airport I have ever been to in the world, seriously, where cabs were never available outside the terminal. I say this because there have been a couple of times where my flight was significantly delayed and I had a rental car reservation. The plane arrived hours later and the rental car closed too and I ended up calling a cab, It all took longer as the cab had to drive and it was already close to 2AM. Not a pretty picture. I know for an absolute fact that has happened to other FFs too. In addition, there have been cases where people, for various reasons, were "stranded" at PIA while they waited for a cab too.

Another issue that is not the airports fault but the reality is that PIA is also the only airport I have been to that doesnt have a motel close by. In PIA the nearest hotel is downtown. The drive out to PIA to catch a very early morning flight could be rather intimidating as some of the drive is not exactly though the best parts of Peoria. I know for an absolute fact that has caused some female business travelers to use Bloomington rather than PIA if other factors are all equal.

In some medium size airports there are small areas in the parking lots set aside for FFs. However, I believe most of the Ffs that transit PIA are from outside PIA so that may not be such an issue in PIA as they are dropping off rental cars.

Like I said in my original post, I think it is a confluence of small things that add up to the increased numbers at PIA and likewise it is a series of small things that add up to a,sometimes,frustrating experience by FFs at PIA. it gets t more frustrating because not all the issues are under the control of PIA management.
 
billreid
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:38 pm

Quoting IADLHR (Reply 13):
Totally agree. I know of a few very frequent flyers that hang in there with PIA but are frustrated with a lack of some of the amenities that are found elsewhere in similar sized cities.

I heard there was a suggestion made to allow FF's to have access to the lounge which they charge a membership fee for. I believe the Authority shot it down because it wanted to preserve the revenues from Premium parking.
As a Delta Million Miler and PM, I am somewhat insulted by the arrogance of PIA not to support its travellers, but instead chose for trying to charge for the lounge. In short the terminal is wonderful and new, but the Retail, Food and Beverage is a flaming disaster. The lounge situation is a flaming disaster. And working with the FF's is more than a flaming disaster. It appears the PIA actions they want those who fly frequently to use other airports.

Quoting mattya9 (Reply 15):
I'm curious, what do other other similar sized airports offer frequent fliers? I just think it would be hard to offer anything too substantial because they just don't have the FF pax to make it worth while, and/or the airport doesn't have the money to invest in something like that. I'm going with the latter.

Reality is there are a strong number of FF's in the PIA/BMI region. Those pax come from CAT, Mitsubishi, and State Farm in Bloomington. Additionally, there are a lot of contractors who fly in frequently to Peoria to meet with CAT. Beyond this Bradley creates flow as well.
About 12-15% of DL, UA, AA pax have status that use PIA. Those pax make up about 25% of PIA mainline traffic. The existing lounge which is quite nice serves about 2 people a day. About 100-150 FFs don't get access, what a shame.
Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
 
mattya9
Posts: 142
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RE: PIA (Peoria, Ill.) Traffic Up 10% In June!

Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:26 am

Quoting billreid (Reply 17):
Quoting IADLHR (Reply 16):

What it boils down to is how much $$$ BMI and PIA (along with other small, regional airports) are willing to put into these lounges. Having worked at both airports, I can tell you their "VIP Lounges" aren't high priority, not to mention these airports don't exactly have the money lying around to invest much into these lounges. If these lounges were opened up to any FF with status it would cost the airport more money than what they would get out of the FF's in terms of PFC's, etc to help pay for the drinks, snacks, furniture, and other items these FF would expect in these lounges.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a nice lounge at any airport, any size. I hold status on DL and have been to a couple of their lounges and had pleasant experiences. However, going back to my original point, small airports just can't afford it and, if they did have extra money lying around, outfitting and keeping a VIP lounge stocked isn't high on the to-do list.

OPS 5
"You can do anything once."

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