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Losses at Smaller Airports Are Unlikely to Be Reversed Mar. 31, 2014

By JOE SHARKEY

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/business/efforts-by-smaller-airports-to-lure-new-service-largely-lost-causes.html?_r=0

AIR travel has a lot of new realities: On a cheap coach fare, if you want a seat that isn’t in the middle of a cramped row back by the toilets, you are probably going to have to pay extra. Your frequent flier mileage programs are losing value, especially at the lower elite levels. If you’re flying internationally, you’re probably flying an airline alliance and not a particular airline.

And most basically, if you live in a small or midsize city, your air service choices have been diminishing — and that is not going to change. If your local news outlets assure you that the city airport and municipal officials are spending money on studies to attract new air service, they are probably chasing ghosts.

Industry shake-up batters California's Ontario airport Mar. 31, 2014

By Skip Descant, The (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert Sun

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2014/03/30/air-industry-changes-batter-small-calif-airport/7085601/

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Long lines and crowds are the hallmarks of air travel these days. But not at Ontario International Airport in California.

Its two airy terminals, with curved roofs reminiscent of the leading edge of an airplane wing, are perpetually — and somewhat puzzlingly — uncrowded.

San Bernardino Airport hopes for international travelers Mar. 26, 2014

By Brian Watt KPCC

http://www.scpr.org/blogs/economy/2014/03/26/16181/san-bernardino-airport-hopes-for-international-tra/

It’s not every day that you get to walk into a brand new, empty airport terminal, but I got a recent tour of the San Bernardino International Airport.

Last month, San Bernardino officials showed off the airport's new international arrivals terminal. It represents the last phase of a $200 million effort to convert the former Norton Air Force Base into a regional airport that commercial airlines can use. The problem so far: commercial airlines haven't shown up to use it.

Smaller Airports Are Being Left Behind Mar. 24, 2014

By JOE SHARKEY NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/business/smaller-airports-are-being-left-behind.html

My son Chris is on a business trip in India this week, and his choice of how he got there from his home in Tucson underscores a reality in air service. More often these days, business travelers will choose to drive a few hours to a bigger airport because airline service is not as convenient at their local airport.

Airline Travelers, Your Future Will Look a Lot Like … Cleveland Feb. 4, 2014

By Brad Tuttle TIMEBusiness

http://business.time.com/2014/02/04/airline-travelers-your-future-will-look-a-lot-like-cleveland/

United Airlines announced it is dropping 60% of departures in Cleveland, which was once a major hub for Continental—back before Continental merged with United.

Airline mergers are formed in order to boost efficiency and profits. For fliers, however, the many mergers created in recent years have often hurt once-important travel hubs such as St. Louis, Memphis, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh. And it’s not merely locals served by these gateways who are affected. Across the board, the new world of airline travel is one of fewer flights, less convenience, higher fares, and, of course, a business model increasingly clogged with fees.

Cleveland's costly regional jets contributed to United Airlines' hub pullout Feb. 4, 2014

By Janet H. Cho, The Plain Dealer The Plain Dealer

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2014/02/clevelands_..._airlines_hub_pullout.html

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The high cost of operating regional flights and complying with new industry regulations helped push United Airlines to withdraw its hub from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, aviation experts say.

Jeff Smisek, chairman, president and chief executive of United Airlines, told United's 1,800 Cleveland employees in a letter dated Feb. 1 that "Our hub in Cleveland hasn't been profitable for over a decade, and has generated tens of millions of dollars of annual losses in recent years. We simply cannot continue to bear these losses."

Passenger numbers slip at Bob Hope Airport
Statistics show a 5.2% decrease last year, but a slight increase for December.
Feb. 4, 2014

By Tim Traeger, tim.traeger@latimes.com

http://www.burbankleader.com/news/tn-blr-passenger-numbers-slip-at-bob-hope-airport-20140204,0,3305258.story?track=rss

Bob Hope Airport saw a roughly 5.2% decline in passengers last year, however, officials were cautiously optimistic to see December numbers rise about 1.2%, according to the latest report.

The airport handled about 3.88 million passengers last year, down from slightly more than 4 million passengers in 2012, according to figures released Monday by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.

Back-seat Driver: At Sacramento airport: fancy new terminal, but fewer fliers Jan. 9, 2014

By TONY BIZJAK The Sacramento Bee

http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/09/6060408/at-sacramento-airport-fancy-new.html

Sacramento International Airport’s billion-dollar terminal has been a lightning rod for opinions. Some love it for its elegance. Others say it’s overkill. And some are just annoyed by that short-distance people-mover shuttle. One thing is definite – not enough passengers are showing up for the airport to pay the bill. The latest numbers, published last week, show passenger levels were down yet again in November, 4 percent lower than the previous year, continuing a several-year slide.

Modesto Airport pledge drive about to take off January 6, 2014

By Kevin Valine, The Modesto Bee

http://www.modbee.com/2014/01/06/3121900/modesto-airport-pledge-drive-about.html

Businesses and other air travelers soon will be asked to show their support for restarting passenger service with Los Angeles.

Modesto’s airport consultant is launching a drive Monday to collect pledges from companies, residents and others that they would spend $1 million on tickets for daily flights to and from Modesto and Los Angeles International airports.

The pledges are not binding, but they would demonstrate the region’s commitment to the service. Sixel Consulting Group – the city’s consultant – says it has an understanding with a major carrier that if it can collect the $1 million in pledges, the carrier will start the Los Angeles flights.

Can airports like BUR and ONT grow in ’14?
Probably not, one consultant says.
January 3, 2014

By Brian Sumers

Mike Boyd, the airline consultant we quoted recently criticizing Ontario city leaders for the outsize expectations for the airport, is out with his airline industry predictions for 2014. And just as he did with me, he pulls no punches.

A lot of his arguments have to do with just how much the U.S. airline industry has consolidated in the past eight years. There are now three major global network carriers (United, Delta and American) and one North America-only network airline (Southwest.) The other carriers, he says, are airlines with specific strategies. They are: Alaska, Frontier, Virgin America, Spirit and JetBlue.

Here are a few I found particularly interesting:

1. Smaller and midsize airports like Burbank, Long Beach and Ontario have little control over what airlines serve them. “In a consolidating airline system, a community’s needs are not a factor in airline planning decisions. And, by all means, programs to get “affordable air fares” are about as useful as picketing the local gas station to drop the price of regular,” he writes. As we have written before, Long Beach is in pretty good shape, mainly because Jetblue has made it a focus city. But Ontario and Burbank have seen traffic declines, and that probably won’t reverse in 2014.

2. Airlines are not growing. “With the stabilization and consolidation of the airline industry, the expansion of airline brands is essentially over. Fighting for share has been replaced by “turf control.” Major airlines are interested in building the bottom line, not necessarily (and often to the detriment of) adding new routes. Growth for the sake of more passengers is long gone.”

3. The golden era of frequent flier programs is over. ” When first implemented by major carriers in the early 1980s… the entire purpose was to get consumers to brand-switch, and become brand-focused in their travel choices. Back then , there were lots of brand choices. Not today. So, FF programs are being transformed into systems that measure the money the consumer spends, and in exchange the consumer earns “non-inconveniences” like early boarding and the ability to pre-select a seat in the extra-legroom section.

Want more from Boyd?

http://www.aviationplanning.com/Aviation%20Predictions%20-%202014.phtml

Air traffic slumps at John Wayne, Long Beach Dec. 30, 2013

By MARY ANN MILBOURN / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/wayne-595130-percent-year.html

November was a tough month for John Wayne Airport, which saw year-over-year passenger traffic drop for the first time since March 2012.

John Wayne and Long Beach airports saw less passenger traffic in November compared with a year ago, despite the usually busy Thanksgiving holiday.

LA MAGAZINE November 27, 2013

By Mark Lacter, LA MAGAZINE

View Article

Two weeks ago the magazine lost a dear friend, and L.A. a powerful voice, when Mark Lacter, our longtime business columnist, passed away after a stroke. Mark’s last column, which appears in this issue, reveals how the struggles of Ontario Airport say a lot about the cost of flying high in L.A. It was an honor to use the forum of the magazine to connect his words and wisdom to our readers. He is irreplaceable. Mark’s sudden death reminds us that life is fragile and that every day we all have much to be thankful for. Mary Melton Editor-in-Chief

In Response to Mr. John E. Brown’s Editorial Comments on Aircraft Diversions November 6, 2013

View Article

(Ontario, California – November 6, 2013) In response to Mr. John E. Brown’s editorial comments on aircraft diversions that occurred as a result of last Friday’s tragic shooting at LAX, it is important to correct his inaccurate portrayal of how the air transport system handles these events. Many aircraft diversion activities of this magnitude are made with little notice to airports, affected airlines, and last but not least to those passengers on aircraft being diverted. Ostensibly, Mr. Brown, who identified himself as “Ontario City Attorney” was authorized to offer such an editorial on the City’s behalf. That said, it is unfortunate that Mr. Brown put forth assertions that were incorrect and lacked a basic understanding of how these decisions are made and most importantly, who makes these decisions.

Why Were Planes Bound For LAX Diverted So Far Away? November 5, 2013

By John E. Brown’s Editorial, LA Daily News Opinion

View Article

Editor’s note: Ontario’s city attorney reacted to our editorial about LAX and security by noting a different issue: the diversion of so many flights and passengers to places like Denver and Atlanta instead of to other Southern California airports — such as L.A./Ontario International Airport.

I appreciated your editorial this morning regarding the recent tragic shutdown of LAX. I think we all applaud the heroic efforts of first responders on the scene to control a crime scene that had serious consequences for operations at one of the busiest airports in the world.

Bob Hope Airport numbers continue to fade
Officials blame reduced number of flights out of the beleaguered facility.
October 8, 2013

By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com

http://www.burbankleader.com/news/tn-blr-bob-hope-airport-numbers-continue-to-fade-20131008,0,3186857.story

Bob Hope Airport continued its summer slump as the number of passengers traveling through the airport slid by more than 7% in August.

The airport handled 336,361 passengers in July, an almost 7.3% decrease compared to 362,763 in August 2012, according to statistics released by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Monday.

The drop continues a summer-long decline in passenger numbers, with a decline of roughly 3.5% in June and 8.2% in July. That was preceded by slight increases in May and March.

California Inland Empire Still in Housing Tailspin September 13, 2013

By Nathaniel Popper, NY Times

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/california-inland-empire-still-in-housing-tailspin/?_r=0

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The one-story home that Scott and Summer Gieser just moved into is a far cry from the new two-story, four-bedroom house they owned before the great mortgage collapse.

Their sprawling house had termites and water damage when they bought it, but they counted themselves lucky. Given what has happened over the last five years, since the demise of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, it is a near miracle that the Giesers have a home at all. At times, they did not.

The couple personify the story of this region of desert scrub an hour east of Los Angeles, known as the Inland Empire. It is the tale of a soaring housing market, a hurtling crash and a recovery that has greatly lagged the rest of the country.

Numbers at Bob Hope Airport slide again
Biggest carrier announces flight cuts as passenger counts also fall off.
September 03, 2013

By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com

http://articles.burbankleader.com/2013-09-03/news/tn-blr-me-numbers-bob-hope-slide-again-20130903_1_southwest-airlines-bob-hope-airport-southwest-passengers

Bob Hope Airport officials are dealing with a double dose of bad news this week as the number of passengers using the airport slid by more than 8% in July and the airport's largest carrier announced that it will cut more than 40 flights at the Burbank airfield.

The airport handled 318,859 passengers in July, an 8.24% decrease compared to 347,501 in July 2012, according to statistics released by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Tuesday.

The drop continues a summertime slump, with a decline of roughly 3.5% in June. That was preceded by slight increases in May and March.

As the passenger numbers take a dive, the airport's largest carrier — Southwest Airlines — recently told airfield officials it will discontinue 42 round-trip flights from Burbank at the end of the month.

All destinations will be affected, according to an airport staff report.

Southwest representatives could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

U.S. Airlines Add Service as Profits Grow Rising Fuel Prices Threaten to Rein In Expansion Wall Street Journal August 22, 2013

By Jack Nicas

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323980604579028922722699670.html

As their profits increase, U.S. airlines are adding service again after years of deep cuts, but rising fuel prices continue to threaten the industry's ability to expand.

The U.S. airline industry plans to add service every quarter this year, after a full year of capacity reductions in 2012. In the fourth quarter, U.S. carriers are scheduled to offer 1.4% more seats, compared with a year earlier, according to Airlines for America, the U.S. industry's leading trade group.

The expansion comes as the industry continues to stabilize after a decade of financial tumult. U.S. airline profits rose by a third in the first half to $1.55 billion, compared with the first half of 2012, thanks in large part to a 5% drop in the price of fuel, the trade group said.

Up in the Air: How Second-Tier Cities Are Absorbing the Brunt of Airline Cuts August 14, 2013

By Jennifer N. Dienst

http://www.pcma.org/convene-content/convene-article/2013/08/03/up-in-the-air-how-second-tier-cities-are-absorbing-the-brunt-of-airline-cuts#.UguHVdLVCn9

Massive consolidation and rising fuel prices have resulted in fewer flights and higher fares at destinations across the country. Second-tier cities are absorbing the brunt of cuts in airline capacity and competition — and some of them are better off for it.

Passenger numbers dip at Bob Hope Airport August 6, 2013

By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com

http://www.burbankleader.com/the818now/tn-blr-me-passenger-numbers-dip-at-bob-hope-airport-20130806,0,5768875.story

The number of passengers traveling through Bob Hope Airport slid again in June after slight increases in May and March, and the airfield is facing additional challenges as Southwest — its largest carrier — plans to cut five Saturday flights this month.

ONTARIO: Fewer passengers at ONT, more at LAX July 28, 2013

Cassie MacDuff, Press Enterprise

http://blog.pe.com/2013/07/28/ontario-fewer-passengers-at-ont-more-at-lax/

Ontario officials will face challenges if the city gains control of ONT airport July 11, 2013

Brian Sumers Staff Writer

http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/ci_23643539/ontario-officials-will-face-challenges-if-city-gains

There's a cold war brewing between Los Angeles and Ontario. And it's all happening over an airport that is serving 3 million fewer passengers per year than it did six years ago.
Ontario politicians and business leaders insist their city must take control of L.A./Ontario International Airport, or the economic consequences for the area will be dire.
They've enlisted an impressive group of supporters, including chambers of commerce, members of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and newspaper editorial boards.

Metro Monitor June 2013

Alec Friedhoff and Siddharth Kulkarni

http://www.brookings.edu/research/interactives/metromonitor#M40140-amount-recovered-overall-nv

How severe was the Great Recession in your area? How strongly have you rebounded? And how much farther does your region have to go until it has fully recovered? MetroMonitor tracks the performance of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas on these questions, presenting data for four key indicators—jobs, unemployment, gross product, and home prices—over three time periods: the recession, the recovery, and the full course of the recession from the pre-recession period to most recent quarter. For each time period, we present rankings for each indicator (1 indicates the best performance, 100 the worst) as well as an “overall” ranking that reflects metro performance across the four indicators.

L.A./Ontario International Airport: An airline executive’s opinion July 2, 2013

Brian Sumers insidesocal.com

http://www.insidesocal.com/aviation/2013/07/02/l-a-ontario-international-airport-an-airline-executives-opinion

A couple of months ago, I visited US Airways headquarters in Phoenix. Last week, I published the first part of my interview with Andrew Nocella, senior vice president, marketing and planning, about his impressions of LAX.

Today, we shift our focus to L.A./Ontario International Airport. I asked Nocella why the airport has had difficulty attracting and retaining flights. The airport has lost about 3 million annual passengers since 2007. On most days, US Airways and its regional partners operate five flights between Ontario and Phoenix.

LAWA to launch ad campaign to draw travelers to ONT June 5, 2013

Liset Marquez, Staff Writerdailybulletin.com

http://www.dailybulletin.com

ONTARIO -- A Los Angeles World Airports official on Tuesday declined to comment on a lawsuit filed Monday by Ontario, but instead said her agency is gearing up to launch a new advertising campaign to attract travelers to LA/Ontario International Airport.

Ontario filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that LAWA has neglected and mismanaged the airport, and seeking to regain control of ONT. The 25-page complaint aims to dissolve the 1967 agreement that gave control of the airport to Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, LAWA officials said they haven't reviewed the lawsuit and would not be able to discuss its contents.

"It has been our hope that instead of a divisive relationship, we would have a partnership with the city of Ontario, to the benefit of all," said Maria Tesoro-Fermin, spokeswoman for LAWA.

Her agency is working on a new advertising campaign with the slogan, "Together, the sky's the limit. Fly ONT!" she said.

Garcetti should restart negotiations over ONT transfer: Opinion June 4, 2013

Los Angeles News Group opinion staffdailynews.com

http://www.dailynews.com

Eric Garcetti, the incoming Los Angeles mayor, should step in quickly once his term begins to restart negotiations over L.A./Ontario International Airport.

After bump, passenger numbers slide back at Bob Hope Airport June 4, 2013

By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com

http://www.burbankleader.com

A month after a surprising uptick in the number of passengers traveling through Bob Hope Airport, the tally in April dipped by roughly 2.4%.

Editorial: SB County Has Sued Enough Public Agencies May 16, 2013

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

http://www.dailybulletin.com/

It's difficult to get enthused about the County of San Bernardino joining any legal action against any fellow public agency. Even if it is in the cause of local control for the Ontario airport.

Local control of L.A./Ontario International Airport is the way to save the facility - which is so important to the Inland Empire's economy - from oblivion. Los Angeles World Airports, the agency of the city of Los Angeles that runs LAX and ONT, has let the local airport's fortunes decline so far and so fast that it looks almost deliberate - negligent, at the least.

Still, the prospect of this particular county taking legal action against yet another city is not a happy one. San Bernardino County has blown far too many taxpayer dollars on legal actions against cities and other taxpayer-funded entities. County residents are sick of transferring their hard-earned dollars to lawyers.

And the aim of this legal action is questionable in any case.

ONTARIO: MIT Study doesn’t Bode Well for Inland Airport May 15, 2013

Press Enterprise

http://blog.pe.com/

A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has bad news for Ontario International Airport.

Airlines are consolidating their service at major hubs and cutting back at small- and medium-sized airports like ONT, the MIT International Center for Air Transportation study says.

Pushed by rising fuel prices, airlines are focused on “capacity discipline”: flying fewer flights and making sure the planes are full.

Instead of adding flights to capture passengers from competitors, airlines are ratcheting down, said William Swelbar, one of the study’s authors.

Mid-size airports suffer biggest cuts in airline service May 13, 2013
Mid-size airports lost an average of 26.2% of their flights from 2007 to 2012 because of airline mergers, a deep recession and surging fuel prices, study says. Airline departures dropped 24.8% from 2007 to 2012 at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.

By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-travel-briefcase-20130513,0,42.story

Airline mergers, a deep recession and surging fuel prices have led to sharp cuts in airline service around the country. Hardest hit: medium-size airports.

Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, LA/Ontario International Airport and other mid-size airports lost an average of 26.2% of their flights from 2007to 2012, according to a new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology's International Center for Air Transportation.

The cuts are a result of airlines eliminating less-profitable routes and focusing on more popular, high-profit routes, the report said. Many airlines have also replaced multiple flights of small, 50-seat planes with one or two flights using larger, 76-seat planes, the report noted.

"The past six years have been challenging ones for domestic air service in the United States," according to the report by researchers Michael D. Wittman and William S. Swelbar. "Most airports have seen a reduction in scheduled domestic flights."

Large airports such as Los Angeles International Airport have lost 8.8% of their flights, while small airports such as Long Beach and Santa Barbara municipal airports lost 18.2% in the six-year period, the study found.

The biggest drop has been at mid-size airports such as Bob Hope Airport, where airline departures dropped 24.8% in the six-year period.

Bob Hope officials say they are trying to reverse the trend by holding down the cost for airlines to fly out of the airport. Those costs include landing fees and rental and leasing rates for airport facilities, said airport spokesman Victor Gill.

The airport also launched an incentive program in November to waive landing fees for all new flights to cities previously not served by the airport.

To draw more passengers, the airport is increasing its marketing efforts. For example, Gill said the airport recently signed a deal to make Bob Hope the official airport of the Rose Bowl for the next three years.

Smaller airports have fewer departures, seats as airlines shift focus toward profits May 10, 2013

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology study By Curtis Tate

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/05/10/3391437/smaller-airports-have-fewer-departures.html

WASHINGTON -- Medium and small hub airports across the country have fewer flights and fewer seats than they did five years ago, according to a study released this week, but it wasn’t a struggling economy that caused it, according to aviation experts.

The declines were mainly the result of higher fuel prices, industry consolidation and a new focus on profitability over market share, experts said. And though cities of all sizes consider their airports engines of economic growth, many will find it hard to keep the service they have, much less attract new airlines.

Debby McElroy, executive vice president of policy at the Airports Council International-North America, an industry group, said airlines have become risk-averse. Most major carriers have been through bankruptcy. They endured a major terrorist attack and a major recession. In recent years, they’ve begun to enjoy stability and profits. “Airlines are not adding a lot of new aircraft or new services,” she said. “That strategy has proved successful for them.”

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, departures at medium hub airports declined 26 percent from 2007 to 2012, and the number of seats declined 21 percent. Small hubs fared only slightly better; departures declined 18 percent and seats declined 13.5 percent.

The trend coincides with the deepest economic downturn in decades, a real estate-fueled crisis that pushed millions of Americans out of work and out of their homes. Air travel declined 9 percent from 2007 to 2009, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Though it’s rebounded since, airlines cut their domestic flights 13 percent from 2007 to 2012, according to the Department of Transportation’s inspector general.

One reason is the cost of fuel, which accounted for just 10 percent of airlines’ expenses in 2001, according to the department, but rose to 35 percent a decade later. “It’s not so much the economic downturn that caused this,” said Tom Reich, director of air service development at AvPORTS, a Dulles, Va., firm that owns, leases and manages airports and airport infrastructure. “It’s the price of fuel that’s made these shorter flights less economical.”

Shorter flights that served communities such as Fresno, Calif., saw a 25 percent decline in departures over the five-year period covered by the MIT study. Or Wichita, Kan., which saw a 26 percent drop, and Columbia, S.C., 27 percent. Boise, Idaho, lost almost 40 percent of its departures and Sarastota-Bradenton, Fla., 37 percent. “Those decreases in departures and seats are from regional jet retirements,” Reich said. “Airlines used to be more in love with the 50-seat (regional jet).”

Airlines still serve those communities with fewer planes, though at higher ticket prices that mostly business travelers are willing to pay. Leisure travelers and bargain seekers now drive to the nearest bigger hub, Reich said.

“The first leg that used to be the regional jet is now in a car,” he said.

Another factor for the decline has been industry consolidation. In the past five years, Delta and Northwest have merged, as have United and Continental. American and US Airways are awaiting approval for their merger. And even traditional low-cost carrier Southwest is integrating the operations of onetime rival AirTran. The result? The big carriers are more focused on their big hubs and especially on their international business.

Indeed, the MIT study showed growth in some of the bigger hubs. Departures in Charlotte, N.C., a hub for US Airways, increased almost 10 percent from 2007 to 2012, while the number of seats rose 12.5 percent. Miami, an international gateway for American, posted a 1 percent bump in departures and a nearly 6 percent increase in seats. “I have fewer aircraft, and I want to put those aircraft where they can make the most money,” McElroy said.

 

Airports see declines since 2007

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study found that the number of flights and seats available declined at U.S. airports from 2007 to 2012, particularly at medium and small hubs. Aviation experts say the declines were the result of higher fuel prices, industry consolidation and a struggling economy. Below, the changes at 16 U.S. airports.

Show: Total departures Available seats

Airport

 

Departures

Available seats

2007

2012

Change

2007

2012

Change

Size

Charlotte-Douglas International

CTL

222,248

243,814

+9.7%

20,750,436

23,350,859

+12.5%

large

Dallas/Fort Worth International

DFW

307,489

288,002

-6.3%

33,738,465

31,944,332

-5.3%

large

Miami International

MIA

80,157

81,031

+1.1%

10,678,342

11,302,646

+5.8%

large

All large hubs

 

5,398,392

4,922,130

-8.8%

589,139,232

546,587,032

-7.2%

 

Anchorage International

ANC

47,575

42,019

-11.7%

3,450,620

3,017,946

-12.5%

medium

Kansas City International

MCI

87,976

61,421

-30.2%

8,558,752

6,455,148

-24.6%

medium

Raleigh-Durham International

RDU

80,351

61,658

-23.3%

6,800,283

5,708,550

-16.1%

medium

Sacramento International

SMF

60,860

46,131

-24.2%

7,307,364

5,575,029

-23.7%

medium

All medium hubs

 

2,143,964

1,581,479

-26.2%

209,703,705

164,793,240

-21.4%

 

Bellingham Municipal International

BLI

4,134

4,976

20.4%

284,925

592,569

108%

small

Boise Air Terminal / Gowen Field

BOI

29,062

17,476

-39.9%

2,503,566

1,656,923

-33.8%

small

Columbia Metropolitan

CAE

16,569

11,977

-27.7%

891,579

684,202

-23.3%

small

Fresno Yosemite International

FAT

17,070

12,780

-25.1%

878,888

730,189

-16.9%

small

Gulfport-Biloxi International

GPT

8,330

6,287

-24.5%

588,088

412,286

-29.9%

small

Wichita Mid-Continent

ICT

16,366

12,107

-26.0%

1,169,547

961,353

-17.8%

small

Lexington Blue Grass

LEX

14,348

11,692

-18.5%

722,070

690,657

-4.4%

small

Myrtle Beach International

MYR

10,822

9,236

-14.7%

1,044,309

948,383

-9.2%

small

Sarasota-Bradenton International

SRQ

9,617

5,973

-37.9%

986,412

748,575

-24.1%

small

All small hubs

 

1,188,891

972,766

-18.2%

89,298,020

77,235,010

-13.5%

 

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

Leaner Airlines Mean Fewer Routes, Study Shows May 7, 2013

By Susan Carey & Jack Nicas - Wall Street Journal


Link to MIT Study, click here.

If you're having trouble finding flights to Memphis, Pittsburgh or a host of other cities, you're not alone.

A decade of restructuring in the U.S. airline industry has produced a sharp reduction in air service that is curtailing traveler choice and some local economies even as it improves the industry's health, new research shows.

The study, by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shows that from 2007 through last year, U.S. airlines cut the number of scheduled domestic flights by 14%. The number of seats offered fell by slightly less, as airlines pushed passengers onto bigger planes, says the study, which was prepared by MIT's International Center for Air Transportation and is expected to be made public Wednesday.

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Economic Decline Hurts El Paso Airport April 29, 2013

By Evan Mohl - El Paso Times, Texas

http://www.aviationpros.com/news/10930042/economic-decline-hurts-el-paso-airport

The El Paso International Airport is facing a decline in passenger traffic and additional cancellations of flights -- something that is causing growing concern among city leaders.

Tight economic times and ongoing challenges of airline companies have caused city officials and leaders to search for ways to maintain and increase the airport's flights and passenger traffic.

The airline industry's struggles with profitability, increasing fuel costs and mergers have drastically affected small and midsize airports that depend on airlines for business, said Brent Bowen, professor and head of aviation technology at Purdue University.

The El Paso airport, with a taxpayer-funded budget of about $48 million, is not immune.

The airport's traffic is down 15 percent since 2010, said Monica Lombrana, the city's director of aviation. Lombrana also said Southwest Airlines, which operates more than half of El Paso's daily flights, plans to stop its direct flight to San Diego in the near future.

The announcement comes a few months after the airline stopped its two nonstop flights to Albuquerque.

"It's a pretty stark situation for medium-sized airports," Bowen said. "And it has pretty much everything to do with the airline industry, which those airports have little or no control over."

L.A. official says legal claim undermines Ontario airport talks April 11, 2013

By Dan Weikel - LA Times

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-ontario-reaction-20130411,0,5447586.story

Los Angeles City Administrative Officer Miguel A. Santana said Thursday he was shocked by a legal claim filed by an Inland Empire group attempting to gain control of L.A./Ontario International Airport.

Santana, who has been moderating talks over a possible airport transfer, said he thought the parties were having productive discussions. The legal action, he said, could undermine further efforts to reach a deal.

“It violates the spirit of the negotiations,” Santana said. “We’ve spent a lot of time and resources to set up a fair process. I am not sure what is next given the legal claim. It’s hard to have meaningful discussions. They are essentially walking away from the table.”

2012 Air Cargo Excellence Survey: Emirates, Southwest Among Repeat Winners April 3, 2013

By Adina Solomon

http://www.aircargoworld.com/

Emirates, SkyCargo, Thai Airways and Southwest Airlines won Diamond Awards at Air Cargo World’s Air Cargo Excellence (ACE) awards ceremony held on March 14 at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha, Qatar. The three airlines won the top awards in their respective tonnage categories at the 9th annual ceremony.

In North America and Europe, the airports were divided by region and ranked in three size categories: airports with up to 399,999 tonnes of airfreight, airports with between 400,000 and 999,999 tonnes and airports with more than 1 million tonnes.

In North America going from least to most tonnes, LA/Ontario International Airport in Los Angeles, Toronto Pearson International Airport and Ted Stevens Anchorage International each won Diamond.

Where Have All the Business Travelers Gone? April 3, 2013

By Mike Fuentes/Bloomberg

http://www.bizjournals.com/

The business-travel world is shrinking. Literally. And not only because airlines are squeezing us into smaller and smaller seats.

Fewer of us are traveling than anyone once imagined, there are fewer flights than ever before and government-compiled statistics for the state of the commercial airline system in 2012 indicate that substantial growth isn't coming anytime soon.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which does a remarkably good job of delivering travel numbers in palatable bites, U.S. airlines carried 736.6 million passengers last year. Not only was that essentially flat compared to 2011—nationwide traffic increased just 0.8 percent—it's a far cry from the rosy predictions issued in 2000.

Experts then insisted that the nation would vault the one-billion-flyer mark by 2011. And they pegged annual growth rates between 3.6 and 5.5 percent. Or as a contemporaneous Reuters dispatch from March, 2000, called: "U.S. sees uninterrupted growth in air travel."

What's happened in the intervening baker's dozen of years to sour us on flying? Oil prices are a major factor.