Airport speed dating

23-Feb-2018 23:36

Some airlines go into the dates prowling for incentives.Advertising and marketing supports, multiyear user-fee abatements, profit margin pledges, and minimum revenue guarantees are among the more common lures.Sweeteners are no answer, however, if a flight doesn’t perform suitably, says Dave Harvey, Southwest’s managing director of business development.Gone are the days when a route might take as long as three years to find its groove and mature: “At the end of the day, we look at everything as having to work on its own, long term,” Harvey says during a meeting with Lansing airport officials.

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Boston is a long flight, nearly four hours, which requires a heavy commitment of “aircraft utilization.” That’s the duration a Southwest 737 spends flying, stealing time on the plane from network planners and boosting the airline’s financial risk.

Today, anything beyond six months is a long time to test a route—typically, an airline will pull out quickly if the numbers are considered subpar.

In certain cases, airlines have announced a new route but canceled it before the carrier even began flying it, because of weak sales and other data seen between the service announcement and the launch, says Seth Quillin, a Southwest network planner.

If Nashville or San Antonio must hustle like mad for air service, and both do, where does that leave a town like Lansing, Mich.?

“I’m at the mercy of these airlines,” says Sheri Taylor, program manager for air service development at the Wyoming Department of Transportation, which coordinates among 10 state airports.

Boston is a long flight, nearly four hours, which requires a heavy commitment of “aircraft utilization.” That’s the duration a Southwest 737 spends flying, stealing time on the plane from network planners and boosting the airline’s financial risk.

Today, anything beyond six months is a long time to test a route—typically, an airline will pull out quickly if the numbers are considered subpar.

In certain cases, airlines have announced a new route but canceled it before the carrier even began flying it, because of weak sales and other data seen between the service announcement and the launch, says Seth Quillin, a Southwest network planner.

If Nashville or San Antonio must hustle like mad for air service, and both do, where does that leave a town like Lansing, Mich.?

“I’m at the mercy of these airlines,” says Sheri Taylor, program manager for air service development at the Wyoming Department of Transportation, which coordinates among 10 state airports.

Harvey urges Pratte and his colleagues to celebrate the Kansas City win publicly and work to make it financially successful, as a means to lobby for Boston service in the future.