The is the start of my work on the airline industry. I’m starting a spreadsheet to setup some example scenarios. Boston-to-La, LA-to-Hawaii, etc. But for now I’m in the “fact-finding” stage and wanted to layout some links to stuff as refernce points.
NYT story from May 21st, 2008 (thanks Doom)
excerpts from article:
Financially strapped airlines are cutting service, and nearly 30 cities across the United States have seen their scheduled service disappear in the last year, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Over the same period, more than 400 airports, in cities large and small, have seen flight cuts. Over all, the number of scheduled flights in the United States dropped 3 percent in May, or 22,900 fewer flights than in May 2007, according to the Official Airline Guide.
And the service cuts are far from over, as jet fuel prices rise, airlines shut down and companies consider mergers, like the Delta-Northwest deal.
“Everybody expects frequent, convenient, high-quality service with great connectivity to the rest of the world,” Mr. Mann said. But given the steep rise in fuel prices, which are up 84.5 percent from a year ago, airlines have to make difficult choices on service.
Fewer passengers are expected to fly this summer, traditionally the peak season for air travel — partly because of the soft economy, of course, but the difficulty of traveling may also be a factor.
The Air Transport Association, an industry trade group, predicts 211.5 million people will fly between June 1 and Aug. 31, down more than 2 million passengers from last year’s record of 213.5 million.
Flights seem to be disappearing by the day.
The Essential Air Service Program
The Essential Air Service program was created in 1978, when the airline industry was deregulated, to ensure that communities in rural and remote areas would be linked to the nation’s air system.
Under the program, the government provides subsidies of about $100 million a year to the airlines, resulting in service to 102 communities.
But the subsidies have not risen fast enough to cover the jump in jet fuel costs, and passengers have resisted paying higher prices for plane tickets, prompting carriers to pull out of a number of cities, including Hagerstown.
The airport offers three flights a day on a nine-seat Cessna to Boston, via Cape Air, as well as three flights a week to North Carolina on Myrtle Beach DirectAir and four weekly flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando on Allegiant, a low-fare carrier.
Plattsburgh had a daily flight to Albany under CommutAir, a commuter carrier linked to Continental Airlines that operated 19-seat aircraft. But CommutAir discontinued service to Plattsburgh last year, before the airport moved to its new location.
Cape Air service is provided under an Essential Air Service contract that gives Cape Air with a subsidy of $650 a flight, or about $73 a passenger for a trip that costs $94 one-way, said Christopher D. Kreig, the airport’s manager.