August, 2019: State Of The Airport


JetBlue

Orlando and Fort Lauderdale continue to do well with loads over 80% on the 100 seat Embraer 190, which is being replaced.    If we ever switched this to a morning departure, we could easily fill the larger Airbus and increase passenger count 50%.    

Although this flight has done well, it is disappointing that we have not added another flight to these routes, a larger plane  or another Florida destination after 5 years.   

JFK continues to struggle with loads with approximately 40%.   Right now the spread between departure (6AM) and arrival (midnight) is simply too much.  Until we get a mid-day turn around, this flight will continue to struggle.

Basically status quo here, which is bad.

American

Mid-day turn to their hub in Philadelphia has done much better.  

Although we have heard loads are 80+, we think they are more in the 70% range.  Either way this flight has been improving alot, lets hope American takes this as a good sign and either adds a 2nd flight to Philadelphia or adds a direct flight to a leisure destination.

This has been a good development!!!

Delta

First month has been a good start to Detroit.   We are very worried, however, that when the schedule changes to a 6:30 PM landing in Detroit, this flight will tank.

We will see, but Detroit at 6:30PM????
Expect bad results from this schedule change.

United

We are still hearing that they are coming to Worcester with services to their hub in either Chicago or DC.

Feeling good about this.

Allegiant, Sun County & Frontier 

Very disappointed that we have not been able to attract any LCC (Low Cost Carriers) to come to Worcester with any direct flights to leisure destinations in ; for example, Florida, Myrtle Beach and Puerto Rico.


Really makes no sense and very disappointing.

Moxy Airlines

New airline that would be perfect for Worcester.   

Hearing nothing on this!!!


Footnotes

Misc comments on various things we have heard the last month coming out of ORH, as well as other misc. thoughts.

  • Delta has opened up the West Coast for Worcester Airport:  How does JetBlue to JFK and American to Philadelphia not open up the West Coast before this flight?
  • CAT  III has brought these airlines to Worcester Airport:   We agree that CAT III has been and will be great for ORH, but the planes that American and Delta are brought to ORH are not able to use our CAT III Landing System?   
  • Plane Loads:   Instead of guessing like we do, why doesn't Massport simply really release passenger counts so we know exactly what is working and not working??? Note the numbers we were able to get from Aviaiton.db.   Wow--JFk is bad (100 seat plane)  
  • Billboards on Route 290:    How difficult can this be to make happen???
  • $300,000 Marketing Campaign:   Have seen little from it...
  • Delta schedule change is good:   How can anyone really say that???
  • Success of Worcester:   This was reported many times this week in the press.  ORH has come a long way, but a "success" with 5 flights per day???   We are a long way from saying that we are a success.


Comments

Common Sense said…
I would be shocked if these discount carriers haven't been pitched hard by Massport. For whatever reason, they feel that using their assets at other airports would be more profitable. I don't see a scenario in which that changes anytime soon. The decent load figures on the Delta flight tells me that people are aware of this service (either through Massport's marketing campaign or word of mouth). How about putting an ad on the back of the property tax bills.
Dylan said…
In a recent interview Andy Davis pretty much outlined targeted future destinations that only Allegiant would cover. Have to hope this means they're trying to lure them back. They would be a good fit. Moxy would be as well. I know that Neeleman said "we won't be flying anywhere JetBlue does" in recent quotes but the only airport in New England that would include, literally, is Manchester and he was the one who avoided it like the plague back when he was still with JetBlue. Good sign for ORH and Moxy is JetBlue's apparent disinterest in expanding at ORH.
Bazi said…
Worcester Airport had an opportunity to become a true Logan relief airport back in the 80's when the state was looking for locations to build a second airport. I can't recall the years now---but Worcester airport was hitting its historical peak in terms of passengers with flights from several different carriers. The state was willing to foot the bill for an airport access road but all the NIMBY folks rallied to shut down any possibility of that happening. That essentially killed Worcester's best and perhaps only chance to develop a strong and viable regional and maybe even international airport. And honestly, the unjustified fears from airport neighbors that Worcester skies would be crowded with hundreds of planes per day was never going to be the reality even in the most aggressive growth scenario. Additionally--- the airport pre-existed many of the neighboring housing developments and had the right to grow and be successful. We all know Worcester Airport's sad history since then.

If Worcester continues to develop and prosper---demand will help to drive growth at the airport---but it will be painfully slow as it has been since Massport purchased it. Direct and Easy access from i-290 and/or even i-90 is essential. The current local road options are not and will NEVER be acceptable for most non-Worcester travelers. Both TF Green and Manchester Airports have built direct access roads from the highways and have generally flourished and grown since.

We need to learn from our past bad decisions. We need to welcome opportunities and not shut them down like the NIMBY folks did without even fully exploring, considering and positively influencing the development to make it acceptable for all parties involved. Today, an environmentally conscious and respectful access road solution can be worked out with collaboration and if the funding is ever made available again. It would also strongly demonstrate Massachusetts' commitment to bring travelers to Worcester airport. Category 3 ILS was an important add to make Worcester Airport more reliable given its geography---but airlines will not bring in larger planes that have the capability to leverage that technology if they will not be able to fill those planes.

Unless a concerted effort is made by the state of Massachusetts, the City of Worcester and Massport to transform Worcester into a true complementary airport to Logan---don't expect much. We will continue to see the symbolic "scrap" flights thrown our way by carriers to appease Massport as those airlines continue their drive to compete and add more flights at Logan. A few flights will keep getting added in Worcester, others will get dropped---and the cycle will keep repeating itself. We will wait and watch like salivating hungry dogs for a new flight to be announced and launched as we have been, and then ridiculously celebrate with water cannon salutes on the tarmac. Worcester airport needs the same aggressive development approach as the city administration has taken with downtown development over the last decade to be able to succeed. A "Go for it" attitude is essential to make our airport dreams a reality---for the benefit of our community and beyond. Let's continue to show the world what a great, dynamic, attractive, and prosperous city -- Worcester is.