Could the convenience, larger choice of flights and airlines, etc. at IND eventually "kill off" FWA air traffic?
This year I've found it more convenient, more affordable, etc. to fly nonstop on WN to IND than fly via connections to FWA (even though FWA is my old hometown to which I travel to visit family), with no fees on WN vs. the fee-happy majors and the comfy 737s of WN into IND compared to the cramped "Barbie jets" of the airlines that go to FWA. Even with the rental car I get from IND to drive to FWA and back, the flights I've taken to IND are still a bit cheaper than those going to FWA. Read my experiences in the "Indianapolis Aviation" thread and you'll see what I mean.
If enough travellers choose IND over FWA for their flights (for those going into or out of FW/northeast Indiana), could that lead to IND "killing" FWA? And, if there eventually comes the opportunity to go nonstop IND-London, instead of flying from FWA-xxx-London, could that also drive a nail into FWA's coffin? Or will FWA continue to hold its own as the tri-state regional airport? What would affect the viability of continuing and future FWA air service, as long as it remains an RJ-only airport?
Ten years ago, when FWA had only 35% of the market, the air service director at FWA was actually pondering that question hard. Two-thirds of that other 65% chose IND even though IND did zero advertising in Fort Wayne.
Today, FWA has half of the local market. Two-thirds of that other half still chooses IND. FWA traffic was at record levels in 2016 and should break that record again in 2017. The biggest holes from FWA are LAS and DEN, in that order, and the FWACAA is working with G4 to fix the former and UA for the latter.
To sum it up, FWA's share has gone up 15 share points while IND's has gone down ten share points. I mainly see converting others as a WN loyalty issue, not an RJ or nonstop issue. WN has very loyal customers in this market and in most other cities where they do and don't operate. People will go out of their way to fly WN.
G4 serves both airports and if FWA is an option, they'll choose it unless it's the very rare instance where IND is far cheaper. Most people in Fort Wayne that drive for a ULCC do it for NK out of DTW or ORD.
And finally, re: IND-LHR: Most people that want a nonstop flight to Europe here drive to ORD or DTW today. All IND-LHR would do is get the BA and AA loyalists from ORD to choose IND instead.
B721/722/731/732/733/735/73G/738/739/742/752/753/762/763, A300/319/320, DC-9/10, MD-82/83/88/90, ERJ-140/145, CRJ-200/700, Q200, SF340, AS350