This Week’s Featured Link
American adds a 3rd route from Philly operated by a bus – TPG
Apparently I need to expand my Cirium searches to include ground transport. Had I done that, I’d have known that American was already adding a third route to its burgeoning Landline network. This 1.5 hour bus is definitely way faster than taking a horse and buggy to the heart of Amish country. Southern Airways Express flies to Lancaster today since it’s an Essential Air Service market, but people may like the American option better because of the connectivity it provides.
Tweet of the Week
Two for the Road
US’s Breeze Airways eyes Providence, RI base with support – ch-aviation
Poor, neglected Rhode Island may have some good news. Or maybe not.
IndiGo appoints Pieter Elbers as CEO – India Today
It’s no secret that there’s been tension between KLM and Air France under their joint ownership structure. We also knew Pieter Elbers would be leaving as the head of KLM, but what we didn’t know is that he would resurface with IndiGo. That’s a really interesting place to be, though if he hated the bureaucracy at Air France/KLM, just wait until he gets to India.
CHS local here chiming in to say that MCO-CHS route has always been a dud. Two leisure-heavy destinations without much VFR traffic that are less than a 6 hour drive apart? I’ve seen half a dozen carriers try and fail on this route over the past few decades (oh Independence Air…) and I’m shocked anyone* was willing to try it again… not to mention compete on it.
Breeze might have been better off letting Avelo fly it, but I suspect this was more about squeezing Avelo out of CHS… not just on that route. Wouldn’t be shocked if Breeze pulls the plug soon now too.
*Silver kinda makes it work twice a week because of their through-traffic to the Keys & Bahamas.
Thanks for the local perspective on that.
I didn’t realize until you brought it up just how close CHS and MCO are. I know traffic on I-95 can be a chore (along nearly any point on its length, from Maine to Florida), but to your point, it’s awfully tough for a flight to compete with a 6-hour drive on a leisure route, even with current gas prices.
Given ground transportation and time in the airports on both ends, the flight might save people 2ish hours at most compared to driving, and presumably most people traveling to MCO are taking the family, so the cost of driving would be spread out over 3+ people, compared to plane tickets… I don’t mind long-ish car trips, so I’m a little biased, but I agree with your assessment, sounds like it would be hard to make the numbers work on that route for consumers who do the math for flying vs driving, unless air fares are absolutely dirt cheap.
Yep – I’d also add that very weak public transit in each city combined with weak VFR means most folks would have to rent a car on either end and that more than wipes out the savings of a cheap flight.
Regarding the idea of using a bus in place of an aircraft, I get the idea – it’s cheaper and perhaps more palatable to some. However, it is a service that is vulnerable to the whims of traffic congestion and, similarly, weather conditions. Traffic in the Philadelphia area can be pretty bad at times and this is definitely true when you’re talking about heading to PHL airport. At least in a 50 seat RJ, you can fly during a light (1″-2″) snow day with little issue while it’s Armageddon on Philly freeways. Yes, for a northerly city, they handle snow surprisingly badly there. But even an average rush hour can add an hour to a normal drive from LAN or ABE to PHL. Not trying to crap all over this bus idea, as it does have it’s merits – but it also has some potential issues as well.
Perhaps they should just build that extra hour into the schedule? There must be data available on what drive duration works 95% of the days.
Bus service in lieu of air service. Bingo, the pilot shortages and aircraft problems solved. Competitive advantage gained.
This sounds nice. I have only 99 questions how this can pass muster, what with DOT’s aviation regulations, DOT’s bus regulations, State and local rules, TSA’s rules and regulation, TSA’s ability to staff, American’s ability to staff and manage, airport ability to manage, bus company ability to survive in this high-price gas situation, EAS, Amtrak, etc., etc,
If this is workable, why wouldn’t every airline be doing it? But. let’s see!
Breeze just made a crew base in Hartford. Are they really looking to put one in Providence or is this just a play to get some subsidies? Providence and Hartford already have a little bit of overlap.
The idea of substituting bus service for regional air service makes a lot of sense in many cases. America West had bus service to Scottsdale, Arizona at one point early in its history. Intermodal connections are sorely lacking in this country. I’m not suggesting adding intermodal connections for the sake of adding them, but I do think you’ll see more and more of them as the number of 50-seat aircraft shrinks. Among other services, Brightline’s new link to the Orlando Airport will be interesting to watch.