Impact of Branson Airport

 

Steve blogs with these thoughts on our airport's fantastic passenger numbers in May:

 

..."do you seriously believe that your new terminal, advertising campaign and lower fares by the airlines to fill seats, maybe this one a little, had anything to do with your increase. You know exactly what did it. Competition from the Branson Airport and their low fares are driving down your prices in the region. Why don’t you just admit that? The opening of the Branson Airport is now helping you so why don’t you embrace it."

 

I understand your point-of-view Steve, but that's not the way we see it. If fares were cheaper only in Springfield, then we would think the Branson airport had something to do with it. But that's not what's happening. The airlines have generally cut fares across the country in reaction to reduced advance sales caused by the recession. We don't expect to see the Springfield airlines react to what's going on in Branson unless they think the Branson airlines are affecting their advance sales. It will take at least two or three financial quarters for the Springfield airlines to get a handle on that. Here's how that process will work...

 

Branson passenger numbers will be tracked by the federal government.  As those numbers come out the Springfield airlines will look at them and try to figure out if the numbers are big enough to have any meaningful impact on their passenger numbers in Springfield.

 

As for the insinuation that the Springfield-Branson National Airport is afraid to admit that the Branson airport is forcing competition, nothing is further from the truth. In public meetings, and in print, we have repeatedly said that competition is the best thing that could happen. If the Branson airport brings down ticket prices in Springfield that's a good thing. But as it stands right now, it's too early to tell if that's happening.

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