Flight Blog

 

Allegiant received federal approval this week to operate Boeing 757s. The airline first announced its intention to use 757s in March 2010. At that time Allegiant said it intended to use the planes for the sole purpose of flying to Hawaii. Plans change and now Allegiant says it will use the seven-fives for some domestic trips. The airline still plans on flying to Hawaii, but before that can happen it has to get federal certification to fly the planes over the ocean. Making the seven five plunge is a huge step forward for Allegiant, the small, low-cost airline that specializes in providing service between small cities and major vacation destinations (Allegiant provides our service to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Orlando and Tampa/St. Petersburg).

Why a huge step? Because it’s the first time the airline has broken with it’s business model of using MD-80 jets. MD-80s are long out of production and can be purchased for a song and dance. Using them is is one of the ways Allegiant has kept it’s operational expenses and fares so low. The 757 is a larger plane, more expensive to buy or lease, and a more expensive to operate. So why buy them? Simply put, because the MD-80 doesn’t have the range to get to Hawaii. Read the Allegiant 757 press release here.

 

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Jun 20 2011 Liberty Belle BY adminTAGS History

 

A piece of aviation history burned up last week in an Illinois cornfield. The Liberty Belle was a restored World War II bomber that visited our airport in August of last year. Below are some photographs of the plane during its Springfield visit. Read about the emergency landing and fire from the Chicago Tribune.
 

Liberty Belle at Springfield-Branson National Airport.

 

Art Deco design with Varga inspired emininity

Art Deco design with Varga inspired femininity.

 

 

 

When you get up close and personal with this aircraft you realize why it was the Flying Fortress: four .50 caliber machine guns protrude from the nose. The plane has a total of 13 machine guns, each capable of firing 13 rounds per second.

Four .50 caliber machine guns protruded from the nose.

 

Aerodynamic beauty.

Aerodynamic beauty.

 

.50 waist gun

.50 caliber waist gun.

 

Seen from the rear

Seen from the rear.

 

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Jun 17 2011 Status of Delta in Springfield? BY adminTAGS Delta

 

Tim writes with a question: "Are there any plans to bring back flights from Springfield to Detroit or Minneapolis?  Also, I am having more difficulty planning trips for a timely arrival beginning in August.  Please tell me Delta is not cutting back flights to/from Memphis or Atlanta. Further, are there any plans to add New York City?"

Delta tells us that it’s extremely unlikely that flights to Detroit and Minneapolis will return to Springfield. From the airline’s point-of-view, there wasn’t enough demand. There is the remote chance that Minneapolis could return in the future as seasonal service (spring through late summer). But two things would have to happen first: 1) there would have to be a marked upturn in the economy, and 2) the price of fuel would have to go way down.

As for Memphis, we believe that service will continue because it is making money for the airline. That being said, Delta is paring back its hub operations in Memphis, so there’s always the chance that the airline could reduce or eliminate the service.

Atlanta is safe and sound. The SGF-ATL route is a money maker and Delta added an Atlanta flight on June 9, so we now have four a day.

New York City is not in the cards in the foreseeable future. It’s more profitable for the airlines to connect an Springfield passenger to New York through a hub, such as Chicago O'Hare.

 

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As a whole, American journalism has a huge bias against the airline industry. Think about it. Remember the last story you saw or read about airline fees? Was the airline side of the story told? Almost certainly not. From the media perspective airlines wear a black hat and passengers wear a white hat. So it was a big surprise today to read a story told from the airlines' point-of-view...

"To fly someone from New York to Los Angeles and back, airlines spend close to $330 these days -- just on fuel. That's a 48 percent increase from last year and the main reason vacationers face record costs to fly this summer." Read the rest of the story from Bloomberg Business Week.

 

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