Flight Blog

Nov 22 2008 Air Service Seminar BY adminTAGS How the Airport Works


How much air service will our airport lose in 2009? Aviation consultant Michael Boyd says we're "really not going to be hit too hard." He thinks air service cuts have leveled off. That was just one of many issues addressed earlier this week when Boyd spoke at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. More than 100 people showed up for the air service seminar last Wednesday.


As co-founder of The Boyd Group, an aviation research and analysis firm, Boyd is one of the best known and most sought-after aviation speakers in the country. He’s also a frequent commentator for the major networks, CNN, CNBC, FOX, MSNBC, as well as newspapers and industry publications.


Rather than provide a text transcript of his remarks, we thought Boyd could speak for himself. Please click on the links below to hear the seminar. Each link will open in a new window.




– State of the Aviation Industry


– It's a Whole New World!


– What's Going to Happen In Aviation Next Year?


– What Will Happen to Air Service in Springfield Next Year?


– Question from the audience: will airlines drop the hub system?


– Question from the audience: do you know much about the airport in Branson?


– Question from the audience: if the Branson Airport gets a low cost airline, would it impact Allegiant Air in Springfield?


– Hear the entire presentation unedited.


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"A severe downturn could be just the opportunity the airline sector needs to clean up its act once and for all, said Robert Crandall, the former chief executive of AMR Corp.'s American Airlines and a veteran of the industry, on Tuesday."


That's the lede in a story from MarketWatch.


Crandall is quoted, "The events allowed for a needed capacity reductions that wouldn't have happened otherwise." The key word in all this is "opportunity." Now that the airlines have been forced to reduce capacity (number of available seats), will they resist the temptation to add more once economic recovery begins? This, you see, is the heart of the matter. Until very recently there was a huge supply of seats. This resulted in cheap fares—so cheap that the airlines really weren't making enough money to stay healthy.


Now that they've cut supply, they should be able to keep fares high. But if history is any guide, some airline will start doing so well that it will think, "Hey, if we add more seats we can make more money." Problem is, other airlines will follow: supply goes up; fares go down; airline bottom line suffers.


Read the rest of the MarketWatch story here.

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Oct 29 2008 Need Flight Info? Just Google It... BY adminTAGS Misc.


Here's a handy-dandy tip for getting flight arrival and departure information: Google it.


Suppose you want to know when American Airlines flight 3381 will arrive in Springfield from Dallas. Go to Google and type in "American 3381." Hit return and there it is—the estimated arrival and departure times at the very top of the search list.


Wow...who knew...?

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Oct 06 2008 Sun Country Files Chapter 11 BY adminTAGS Airlines


Sun Country Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection today. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that a cash shortage caused the problem and that the airline will continue flying.


Sun Country is a small low-cost airline that connects about ten U.S. cities with the Caribbean and Mexico.

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A few of you might have read a letter printed earlier this week in the Springfield News-Leader. It was on the front page of the Voices section and bore the headline, “Flight intolerably bungled by TSA, airline, airport.”


It was a discouraging story told by airport customer Crystal Bell. She tells of her evening arrival at the airport only to find that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had closed the security check point — despite the fact that her flight had yet to leave.


Besides sending the letter to the paper, Ms. Bell also sent a copy to the airport. The day after we received it, Gary Cyr, airport director of aviation, called her and offered apologies. But in the same breath he also said, “Please know that if I had any control over this it would not have happened.”


That quote probably sums up the airport’s predicament best. As I’ve said many times in this blog, the airport is a landlord. We own the terminal and the other capital infrastructure. We rent space to the airlines. We do not, and cannot, control the way they do business. Our TSA relationship works the same way.


In the case of the closed check point (and this wasn’t the first time it had happened) there was a breakdown in communication between the airline and the TSA. While the airport does not control these two entities, we do have some influence. We’ve talked to both organizations about the problem and we’ll continue to do so.

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