Flight Blog


Our neighbors in central Missouri are enjoying their new service to Memphis. The Columbia Tribune reports:


"A month after more than 100 hopeful onlookers gathered at Columbia Regional Airport on Aug. 19 to celebrate Mesaba Airlines’ first flight from Columbia to Memphis, much of the fanfare is gone, but one thing remains: passengers, and more of them than the airport has had in awhile. During its first 30 days of service, Mesaba took 1,097 passengers to Memphis, which beats the previous carrier’s monthly passenger average by 220 percent."


Mesaba uses the Saab 340 on the route. It's a prop driven plane that's typically configured to hold 37 passengers. It will be interesting to see how long this service will last — particularly in light of the weak economy, high fuel prices, and the generally poor health of the Essential Air Service program.

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Sep 02 2008 Bye-Bye Cincinnati BY adminTAGS Northwest


The holiday weekend is over and here we are facing the unknown of what fall brings us and the airline industry. Most industry analysts expect a grim season.


Sunday marked the end of our Delta service to Cincinnati. So for the next seven weeks we'll have 11 destinations instead of 12.  On October 23 Allegiant begins its new service to Phoenix-Mesa. Assuming nothing else changes, that will put us back to 12 destinations.


Without a doubt, the biggest unknown we face is the merger of Delta and Northwest Airlines. Will the merged carrier maintain the four destinations that Delta and Northwest currently provide us? Our best guess is no. If there's a glimmer of hope out there it's the price of oil. This morning a barrel of oil was going for $105. That's the lowest price since April. I tend to be an optimist, but I'm not taking any bets on a continuing slide in oil prices.

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Aug 08 2008 Branson Speculation BY adminTAGS General


Mike wants answers about the airport being built in Taney County, south of Branson:


"If we are already loosing service to one city what does this mean next May when the new Branson airport opens for SGF? SGF officials have been down playing the success of the new Branson airport, but who has the real facts? They are expecting to serve 350-400,000 passengers in the first year. If vacation travel becomes a strong base for them, what if the larger carriers at SGF decide to service just on community? I read the link to the post regarding United airlines in how they are pulling out of over served markets and markets within "close" proximity. They could pull out and we would only be stuck with Allegiant and American eagle on turboprop service to St. Louis. Does SGF even have a plan for the worst case scenario?"


Mike! You’ve got a bunch of questions and thoughts there—hardly know where to start. Let’s start with one of the last things you said: "we’ll be stuck with American Eagle on turboprop service to St. Louis.” Wrong. The St. Louis service is on a jet.


You ask, “If we are already losing service to one city what does this mean next May when the new Branson airport opens for SGF?”


I have no idea—that airport isn’t finished and it apparently doesn’t have service. It’s hard to react to something that doesn’t exist.


You ask, “Who has the real facts?” What facts? You seem to suggest that the large airlines will put out of the Springfield-Branson Airport and set-up shop in Taney County. That isn’t going to happen.


You ask if we have a plan “for the worst case scenario?” What scenario is that? Losing all service because of an airport in Taney County? That’s a worst case fantasy.

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Aug 07 2008 Phoenix ! ! ! ! ! BY adminTAGS Allegiant


It was just a couple of weeks ago that we had to give the community the bad news about losing Delta service to Cincinnati at the end of August. Now we have good news…


It was our pleasure this morning to announce that Allegiant Air is adding a new destination from the Springfield-Branson National Airport: Phoenix.


Non-stop flights begin October 22 with two flights a week on Wednesday and Saturday. With this addition, Allegiant now provides our airport with four destination cities: Las Vegas, Orlando, Tampa…and now…Phoenix.


This is very, very good news…especially in light of what’s happening to communities across the country, as airlines reduce and cut service. The addition of this new service…on a low-cost airline…tells us that our air market is far from being down and out. Allegiant began flying from here three years ago…providing low-cost fares to just one place: Las Vegas By the end of its first full month of operation in Springfield…that was in May of 2005…it flew about 14-hundred passengers.


Fast forward to May of this year—Allegiant flew 6,300 passengers from Springfield. Allegiant has grown from being our smallest airline, when measured by passengers, to being our fourth largest. In the process of providing low-cost fares, the airline has helped our community by raising customer awareness—more and more people are discovering that sometimes you can fly from Springfield for less than Tulsa, Kansas City, or St. Louis.


We are certainly not immune to the problems facing the airline business, but today’s announcement of new service is further proof of the strength of our community and the strength of our airport. Read the Allegiant press release here.

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Aug 04 2008 Laptop Seizure BY adminTAGS TSA


Flying overseas soon? If so, you need to read a story in the Washington Post concerning laptop computers and other digital devices...


"Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop computer or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed."


The story continues...


""They're [ Department of Homeland Security ] saying they can rifle through all the information in a traveler's laptop without having a smidgen of evidence that the traveler is breaking the law," said Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology. Notably, he said, the policies "don't establish any criteria for whose computer can be searched."" Read more here.

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