Flight Blog

Aug 23 2007 Cheaper Fares in Tulsa BY sgf-adminTAGS Fares

 

A columnist for a Springfield paper writes today about the frustration of finding cheaper flights in Tulsa. I felt his pain, but I also got a good chuckle. His misperceptions about the airline business are understandable and commonplace.

 

In trying to understand why low-cost airline ExpressJet doesn't serve Springfield, he writes, “I saw the airport in Albuquerque and I saw the airport in Tulsa. I wasn’t impressed. They weren't that much bigger than the Springfield-Branson National Airport.” That’s not quite right. Here’s how the 2006 total passenger numbers stack up:

 

  • Albuquerque: 6,346,159
  • Tulsa: 3,163,475
  • Springfield-Branson: 862,611

The airports in Albuquerque and Tulsa are much, much bigger than Springfield-Branson. That’s why those airports have lured ExpressJet.

 

It’s also worth noting that ExpressJet is not a discount carrier running in the same league as Southwest, JetBlue, AirTran, etc. It’s a regional jet company that flys for other airlines. In April it started flying under its own name at cut rate prices. This news story from Reuters sums it up well. It will be interesting to see if the airline can hold on.


Aug 17 2007 Change the Airport Name? BY sgf-adminTAGS General

 

Michael says, "I know that Branson was added to the airport name for marketing purposes and to produce less confusion with other Springfields probably , but I've always thought the Branson name was a slap in the face to Springfield and surrounding communities.  Any thought of changing the name to Ozarks National or something of the like to drop the Branson name but avoid the Springfield confusion?"

 

I have a hard time imagining a time when we would drop "Branson" from the airport's name. As you say, it was added in the mid 1990s to help travel agents and customers figure out that there is an airport near Branson. Before the name change, travel agents would plug Branson into the computer and Kansas City and St. Louis would pop up as the nearest airports! I understand that still happens, but not nearly as much as it used to. Even if the Branson airport gets air service, there will still be Branson bound people flying through this airport. So, bottom line, I don't think it would make much business sense, or customer service sense, to drop Branson from the name.


Aug 15 2007 How Does the Airport Get New Service? BY sgf-adminTAGS General

 

Reggie wants to know, "Is the airport or other powers to be actively seeking new airlines and destinations for our airport. If so, is any of that going on now, and how does that work. In other words, are we trying to lure additional service airlines and/or locations to our city at this time, and can you comment on what exactly is being done."

 

Seeking new airlines and destinations is an on-going  process. Off the top of my head, I count at least eight airlines that we've talked to since the beginning of the year. When I say we "talked to them", here's what I mean: we've provided them with statistics and our rational for why they should provide new or additional service. We keep in touch. We treat these conversations like a business negotiation. Which is to say, we don't talk about them publicly.

 

Occasionally (and I'm talking about the industry as whole), an airline calls out of the blue and wants to start new service. That happened here earlier this year. The airline even went as far as signing a ground handling agreement with the airport. Then they bumped their start date. They bumped it again and again. Will they eventually start service? I have no idea (grumble, grumble).