Milwaukee was one of the cities Mr. Fitzgerald — and others in the region — targeted for nonstop service after he took office in January. He has vowed to work to bring more service to Pittsburgh International, which has lost hundreds of flights over the last decade as a result of US Airways cutbacks.
But now Delta is trying something never tried: operating hubs at two New York airports, LaGuardia and Kennedy, a dozen miles apart. The carrier said Friday that by summer, it will build its LaGuardia operations into a hub providing 264 daily departures to more than 60 cities. They include competitors’ hubs in Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Houston, and Miami; key destinations in upstate New York; and small cities such as Wilmington, N.C.
The move represents Delta’s effort to use 132 LaGuardia slots, just acquired in a trade with US Airways(LCC) , to establish itself as the primary airline in the world’s biggest travel market. The slots will enable it to add 100 flights and 26 destinations.
Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) is doing well and traffic is up. With the price of fuel, many airlines are looking at the cost-effectiveness of their 50 passenger regional jet fleets. With todays fuel prices it has become more cost-effective to fly larger planes. Fortunately, HIA is equipped to handle larger planes.
There are 1.8 million people within an hour of HIA which makes this a sizable market. Because of this, many carriers flying into the HIA will simply start using larger planes.
Delta has seen at 50 percent increase in traffic on their DFW to HIA route due to the Marcellus Shale gas industry. Harrisburg is the hub of Pennsylvania’s state government and home to large companies like Hershey, which use air travel for business.
Airport officials are stating American Airlines bankruptcy filing will not impact travelers flying out of HIA. What American Airlines decides to do with its regional airlines will determine what the future holds for HIA, not the bankruptcy filing.
Smaller market airport like State College and Venango Regional will most likely be under scrutiny by airlines as they decide whether flying from these locations remains cost-effective. Can these smaller markets generate enough passengers to fill 70 – 100 seat planes? Time will tell.
Air travel is improving! Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) is projecting a 14% increase in passengers over last Christmas. Last month traffic was up 12% over November 2009 and year-to-date the airport has seen 7.3% increase in passengers.
Full body scans and pat-downs had no impact on air travel over Thanksgiving.
This may be a sign that the economy is getting a little better? Gulfstream International Airlines, a Florida based carrier is looking at restoring nonstop service between Harrisburg International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport starting the first quarter of 2010. US Airways discontinued nonstop service between these two cities in September 2008.
Gulfstream is very anxious to restore service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and has been trying for months to make this happen. Lower fuel costs and working with the airport on fee reductions is making this possible.
Gulfstream is also looking at providing service to DuBois, PA, Columbus, OH and Indianapolis, IN.