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Old May 5th, 2009, 03:06 AM   #221
k25150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micrip View Post
Jet Blue has already fired a shot across Southwest's bow with a full page ad in Fridays Sun. Said you should fly them to avoid the "cattle call", among other things.
Hilarious. I like SW but that seating process is a pain. Just watching these people asking others what number they are is too much. Like it makes a difference. Once the business buyers get their seats it really doesn't matter any more.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 07:36 AM   #222
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It's all about getting that "A" boarding pass. Whenever I fly them, I am at the computer 24 hours before the flight. Works every time!!
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Old May 5th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #223
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Yup but the people who buy the business tickets get first choice of seats. I think they are A 1-10. Some of them get the front row or bulkhead. And if it's a continuation flight, some people are already on board.

Funniest thing is first time SW flyers who think A48 or B30 is their seat number and they tell the attendant they can't find their seat. I've seen that a few times.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 02:48 PM   #224
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http://www.baltimoresun.com/travel/b...0,478347.story

No recession at AirTran Airways
Profitable airline looks to expanding service at BWI

By a Baltimore Sun staff writer
May 7, 2009



AirTran Airways did extensive cost-cutting ahead of other airlines and has rebounded from last year's heavy losses. (AP photo / June 9, 2008)

The rest of the world may be in a recession, but it doesn't seem like it at AirTran Airways.

The Florida-based airline recently posted its best-ever profit after heavy losses last year and is expanding service by 13 flights to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, where it is the second-largest discount carrier. The airline, which turned a first-quarter profit, expects to remain profitable through the rest of the year.

This all comes as people are spending less on travel because of the weak economy and other airlines are losing money, including Southwest Airlines, AirTran's biggest competitor at BWI.

AirTran executives said their good fortune is the result of heavy cost-cutting last year as it anticipated the slowdown in the economy well ahead of other airlines. Southwest and other airlines are just now looking at ways to make their businesses leaner.

"We were the first to step up and face the issue," said Bob Fornaro, the airline's chairman, chief executive officer and president.

"We sized up the situation and we were the first to take action. We took the steps and it has put us in a better position than our competition."

The airline furloughed pilots last year, discontinued unprofitable flights and offered leave to flight attendants. It also halted an aggressive expansion plan and opened up a new stream of revenue by charging extra for "ancillary" items that were once free, such as extra baggage and upgrades to business class.

AirTran also paid a penalty to get out of contracts that had it locked into paying higher fuel prices.

It has paid off so far this year with AirTran becoming one of just two of the top 10 airlines that posted a profit. Discount airline JetBlue, which recently announced it was launching service at BWI, also saw profits, as did discounter Allegiant Air, which has flights from Harrisburg, Pa., and Washington Dulles International Airport.

AirTran's load factor, which measures how full its planes are, rose to 76.3 percent in the first quarter, compared with 75.3 percent a year ago.

AirTran has been able to bring back employees and is beefing up flights at BWI as it works to turn it into a stronger hub and better position the airline to serve the Mid-Atlantic. It is adding flights to Dallas-Fort Worth, Seattle and Los Angeles, bringing its total flights at BWI from 45 to 58. It is also expanding services to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Atlanta, cities it already serves. Some of the new flights are seasonal.

AirTran started serving BWI in 2001 when US Airways got rid of some of its gates at the airport.

"We are in the middle of a very deep recession, but part of our focus on Baltimore is because of the way it fits in our company," said Fornaro, who explained that BWI Marshall is an important hub for the airline.

In general, discounters are faring better than more expensive airlines because they haven't been hit as hard by the decline in business travel and are benefiting from people looking for cheaper flights.

Discounters also weren't hurt as badly by the decline in international travel.

"The low-cost guys are domestic only, so they're not getting hit as hard in the Atlantic, trans-Atlantic, Pacific and Europe," said Vaughn Cordle, chief analyst at AirlineForecasts, a research firm in Washington.

Cordle said AirTran has also been helped because its labor costs are lower since it pays its workers less across the board.

Meanwhile, Southwest hasn't seen the benefits of being the country's largest discount airline and instead watched its first-quarter profit decline more steeply than it expected as traffic declined because of the economy, especially among business travelers. It also has higher labor costs than the other discount airlines and was paying high fuel costs.

Southwest, which has 161 flights at BWI, has responded with plans to cut capital spending through 2010 by $1.4 billion by retiring some planes earlier than expected and delaying aircraft deliveries, among other things.

The airline is also offering voluntary buyouts to its 35,000 workers and has frozen hiring and executive pay. Southwest is also looking at adding Internet service to its planes as a way to raise revenue.

"Given the economic environment and the recession, we're not surprised to see declines," Southwest spokeswoman Wendy Eichinger said. "We're looking at all ways to return to profitability."

Eichinger wouldn't say whether Southwest was worried that its competitors that are performing better would take some of its market share.

"The benefit right now for customers is there are a lot of low-fare services like ours," Eichinger said. "In an economy like this, low fares are the name of the game. We'll still be able to offer those fares."

AirTran also isn't totally immune to the sluggish economy. It is cutting capacity by 3 percent to 4 percent this year and revenues are weak, declining 9 percent in the first quarter, because fewer people are buying tickets. It doesn't expect to add capacity until 2011.

AirTran took a risk by charging fees for services that were once free, but said it has contributed greatly to its profits. Fornaro said the backlash from travelers has been minimal and that most like to have the choice of what they pay for, rather than having the cost factored into the cost of everyone's airline ticket.

Fornaro said the company is enjoying its success, but added that catching up to Southwest isn't necessarily a goal for the airline. Instead, he said, the company is striving for high quality, high service and competitive prices.

"If we stick to that, then we can grow," he said.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #225
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Please. Add. International. Flights.

In other news, some neat video of a military charter DC-10 stuck on Runway 33L (I think) when its tire blew upon landing: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/loc...4512.htmlstory
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Old May 8th, 2009, 10:51 PM   #226
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March 2009 Stats Up

March 2009
Passenger/Cargo Statistics for BWI are up at www.bwiairport.com now
http://www.bwiairport.com/files/asse...9.pdf#zoom=100

Total Commercial Passengers: 1,706,830 (-7.5%)
Total International Passengers: 33,994 (-24.3%)

March was still a rough month and continues the monthly year-on-year losing streak. It begs the question when passenger numbers will finally start ticking up again. Based on some April numbers being reported by the airlines, at least in other countries, we might start seeing some traffic return finally.

I believe another factor in this March's drop is the fact that Easter fell in April again, as opposed to 2008 when it was in March. That sometimes causes a bump in passenger numbers to fall in different months. This factor probably played into the drop in international numbers as well. Another thing to keep in mind is that March 2008 was a month in which North American Airlines was still transporting passengers at BWI (and I think they count as international passengers). We lost that chunk of passengers for March 2009.

International Statistics

Again, international numbers look terrible this March, and I'm attributing a lot of it to the Easter holiday shift to April this year.

Air Canada - 3,889 (-23.9%)
Air Jamaica - 5,413 (-42.4%)
British Airways - 7,262 (-25.1%) 61% load factor
The BA flight also had a slight uptick in cargo over March '08, an uptick of 5.2%.
USA 3000 - 6,535 (-50.5%)
(I think USA 3000's drop in %age could be attributed to cut flights to Florida, although I can't be sure. If that's the case, then the %age drop is not representative of a drop in international numbers)

Market Share

At BWI

Southwest dominated the BWI market share at 54.01%, with AirTran following at 14.49%.

Regionally
Here's some good news.

BWI
Total: 1,706,830 (-7.5%)
Market Share: 33.7% (+.4% over March '08's 33.3%)

Dulles
Total: 1,889,288 (-10.2%)
Market Share: 37.3% (-.6% from 37.9%)

Reagan
Total: 1,462,494 (-8.5%)
Market Share: 28.9% (+.1% from 28.8%)

Basically, we didn't do as badly as everyone else! We also had a major increase in Cargo market share as well (although a drop in mail market share).

Some things to look forward to
Our summer seasonal flights may start to get reflected in April and May numbers when they're released, including the Cancun flight that went daily in April. (The daily status of that flight is in doubt right now and I think it's weekends-only for the summer.)

Also I'll be adding myself to BWI's international totals this summer for the first time since 2007. Every little bit helps I suppose.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 12:55 AM   #227
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AirTran's Cancun flight from BWI is showing up 3x a week during July. (SuWeSa)

The other day I also saw one of the AirTran LA flights being extended into December.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 04:39 PM   #228
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As expected, it looks like Delta is bowing out of the BWI-BOS route.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 04:14 AM   #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itus View Post
March 2009
Passenger/Cargo Statistics for BWI are up at www.bwiairport.com now
http://www.bwiairport.com/files/asse...9.pdf#zoom=100

Total Commercial Passengers: 1,706,830 (-7.5%)
Total International Passengers: 33,994 (-24.3%)

March was still a rough month and continues the monthly year-on-year losing streak. It begs the question when passenger numbers will finally start ticking up again. Based on some April numbers being reported by the airlines, at least in other countries, we might start seeing some traffic return finally.

I believe another factor in this March's drop is the fact that Easter fell in April again, as opposed to 2008 when it was in March. That sometimes causes a bump in passenger numbers to fall in different months. This factor probably played into the drop in international numbers as well. Another thing to keep in mind is that March 2008 was a month in which North American Airlines was still transporting passengers at BWI (and I think they count as international passengers). We lost that chunk of passengers for March 2009.

International Statistics

Again, international numbers look terrible this March, and I'm attributing a lot of it to the Easter holiday shift to April this year.

Air Canada - 3,889 (-23.9%)
Air Jamaica - 5,413 (-42.4%)
British Airways - 7,262 (-25.1%) 61% load factor
The BA flight also had a slight uptick in cargo over March '08, an uptick of 5.2%.
USA 3000 - 6,535 (-50.5%)
(I think USA 3000's drop in %age could be attributed to cut flights to Florida, although I can't be sure. If that's the case, then the %age drop is not representative of a drop in international numbers)

Market Share

At BWI

Southwest dominated the BWI market share at 54.01%, with AirTran following at 14.49%.

Regionally
Here's some good news.

BWI
Total: 1,706,830 (-7.5%)
Market Share: 33.7% (+.4% over March '08's 33.3%)

Dulles
Total: 1,889,288 (-10.2%)
Market Share: 37.3% (-.6% from 37.9%)

Reagan
Total: 1,462,494 (-8.5%)
Market Share: 28.9% (+.1% from 28.8%)

Basically, we didn't do as badly as everyone else! We also had a major increase in Cargo market share as well (although a drop in mail market share).

Some things to look forward to
Our summer seasonal flights may start to get reflected in April and May numbers when they're released, including the Cancun flight that went daily in April. (The daily status of that flight is in doubt right now and I think it's weekends-only for the summer.)

Also I'll be adding myself to BWI's international totals this summer for the first time since 2007. Every little bit helps I suppose.

Great news! I still think BWI is competitive considering the external forces against Baltimore, D.C.s regional bias and misguided perception.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #230
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Don't expect a Delta expansion anytime soon at BWI. They did away with their sky cap service. The lines inside are so long that people are missing flights everyday. This happened to me on Mon and the people at the NW counter (where I had to go to get re-booked) told me this happens everyday over at Delta.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 09:37 PM   #231
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April 2009 Highlights

Total Commercial Passengers: 1,792,838 (+3.6% over April 2008)
Total International Passengers: 36,627 (-7.5%)

British Airways: 9,290 (+6.0%); Load Factor: ~80.6%
British Airways (freight): 320,751 (-25.3%)
Air Jamaica: 7,948 (+1.8%)

Southwest: 959,021 (+2.5%)
AirTran: 265,643 (+29.1%)

Airport Market Share
Southwest (53.49%)
AirTran (14.82%)
Delta (7.14%)
US Airways (6.20%)

Regional Market Share
BWI
Total Commercial Passengers: 1,792,838 (+3.6%)
Market Share: 33.7% (up from 32.4% in April 2008)

Dulles
Total Commercial Passengers: 1,957,379 (-2.5%)
Market Share: 36.8% (from 37.6%)

Reagan
Total Commercial Passengers: 1,569,613 (-2.0%)
Market Share: 29.5% (from 30.0%)

-----
While the April Easter did cause a bump in numbers, as expected, it still didn't help Dulles or Reagan too much. BWI was the only airport of the three that saw an increase in passenger numbers, boosted mainly by the low-fare carriers (AirTran/Southwest). AirTran did add some new services this year that are being reflected somewhat in the numbers.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:24 AM   #232
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When was the last time a year-to-year increase was posted? These numbers are encouraging, even with the shift of Easter.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #233
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that's true. it's always a good thing. I don't remember the last time we had an increase. Even better is the shift in market share!
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Old June 9th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #234
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Hopefully the additional AirTran and Jet Blue flights will add to BWI's market share.

Itus, do you have any idea what SW's market share is at Phila. Airport? I don't hear much about them at Philly. Seems like USAir still dominates there.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k25150 View Post
Hopefully the additional AirTran and Jet Blue flights will add to BWI's market share.

Itus, do you have any idea what SW's market share is at Phila. Airport? I don't hear much about them at Philly. Seems like USAir still dominates there.
According to the website http://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1, Southwest had a 14.69% market share at PHL for the 12 months leading up to February 2009.

In comparison, US Airways (excluding its affiliates, I think) handled 34.68% of the traffic during the same period, according to that site. If that number excludes US's affiliates then the total number is considerably greater when the US Airways Express traffic is added in. This article: http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2009...-philadelphia/ says that number was about 64% in 2008.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 03:42 PM   #236
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I would have thought UsAir would have been closer to the 64%. The 14% for SW is a good number. They are probably taking some NE. MD, SE PA and DE business from BWI.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #237
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Aer Lingus to cut key US routes
Aer Lingus said it will cut seat capacity on its winter long-haul services by about 25 per cent compared with 2008.

Services from Dublin to Washington and San Francisco will be suspended from October 25th, while flights from Shannon Chicago will be suspended from September 1st., the airline said today.

The airline said average long fares were down 19 per cent in the first quarter due to weak economic conditions and weak consumer confidence on both sides of the Atlantic.

It said the four weekly direct flights between Shannon and New York remains under close review. The changes, reported in this morning’s Irish Timesare likely to prove controversial, particularly in the tourism sector in the Shannon region which is reliant on visitors from North America.

Lobby groups in the west of Ireland are also likely to be fearful of the potential negative impact on investment by US companies in the region if direct links between the two countries are diminished.

The cuts will take effect in late October and run until March and any recommencement will be subject to review.

US carrier Delta Airlines yesterday said it was pulling its scheduled transatlantic services from Shannon from October. However, the Continental Airlines route to Newark, outside New York, will continue.

Ryanair has also reduced its short-haul services at Shannon in response to a decline in consumer demand.

The decisions are part of a wide-ranging by the airline to reduce costs in a year when it is expected to record losses of more than €100 million. As part of the plan staff will be offered unpaid leave.

In May, Aer Lingus carried just 90,000 passengers on its transatlantic services compared with 114,000 in the same month of 2008 – a decline of 21 per cent.

Aer Lingus said it will base an extra aircraft at Gatwick for the winter and which will result in an increase in flights to bucharest, Eindhoven, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Vilnius and Warsaw.

Fine Gael Limerick East deputy Kieran O’Donnell said this was the second time the Minister for Transport had failed to use the 25 per cent Government shareholding in Aer Lingus to safeguard key flights.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 03:11 PM   #238
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Contrast the above to:
(Old Baltimore Sun excerpts)

Buoyed by its early success, Irish air carrier Aer Lingus said yesterday that it will increase service to Baltimore-Washington International Airport at a faster pace than originally anticipated, giving state transportation officials a boost in their bid to attract more international passengers to the city.

The government-owned airline began service to BWI on Sept. 6, offering three flights per week to two airports in Ireland - Shannon Airport and Dublin Airport. That will increase to five flights per week beginning in April, followed by daily flights by May 29. That puts the airline slightly ahead of its original plans and makes Baltimore one of its fastest launches in North America.

"The last new route [Aer Lingus] launched was to Los Angeles. I would think Baltimore's growth is faster," said Sandy Gardiner, a public relations consultant for Aer Lingus. The airline started with three flights per week in Los Angeles and increased to daily service one year later.

Aer Lingus says it received 21,000 bookings for its Baltimore service in the first month, with about two-thirds of those passengers originating in Baltimore and the rest in Ireland. On average, its planes leave Baltimore about 80 percent full.

"That's pretty respectable," said BWI spokesman Ron Grubb. Jack Foley, vice president of Aer Lingus' North American unit, said in a recent interview that the airline would need to fill about 75 percent of its seats to be successful in this market.

Area travel agents say demand was good for the flights early on, but travel to Europe tends to slow as fall approaches. Some say Aer Lingus' success in Baltimore won't really be known until next summer, when travel to Europe picks up again.

"I think there will be very good demand for it next summer," said Steve Taylor of Carlson Wagonlit Travel/Taylor Travel.

Aer Lingus and Ghana Airways, which began flying to BWI in July, are the first international carriers in a decade to launch new service to Baltimore. State transportation officials hope both will succeed so that other international carriers will see the value of flying out of Baltimore.

Opened in 1997, the airport's $140 million international terminal so far has done little to speed the growth of international traffic at BWI.

Though the airport has been breaking passenger records in recent months, international passenger traffic has remained essentially flat, increasing 0.2 percent in August compared with August 1999.
(Baltimore Sun - October 17, 2000)

--------------

International travelers reached an all-time high and Irish carrier Aer Lingus turned in its busiest month so far.

Aer Lingus served 13,331 passengers in June, up from 8,759 in May, and was the busiest international commercial carrier at BWI for the first time since initiating service between Ireland and the Baltimore- Washington region last summer.
(Baltimore Sun - August 20, 2001)

Aer Lingus finds BWI most profitable U.S. base

BWI was the most profitable U.S. gateway for Aer Lingus last month, exceeding New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, airport officials said.

Aer Lingus, the Irish airline, will celebrate its one-year anniversary at BWI with a private event Sept. 13 in the International Pier.

Aer Lingus initiated service with three flights a week last summer. It has since increased its flights to five days a week and offers daily service to Ireland.

(Baltimore Sun - August 27, 2001)
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Old June 12th, 2009, 03:17 PM   #239
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and there's more from the news archive:

(from BNet, November 3, 2000)
"When we first announced our plans for service out of BWI, we got a lot of feedback from people who were telling us not to go to Baltimore because nobody without a hub there can make it. They told us 'don't start your service there because you can't make... Ireland is a summer destination.' Well, I'm delighted with the results we've seen so far. Even with just six or seven weeks under our belt, our load factors are well above where we hoped they would be. The business traffic as well as the leisure traffic have held strong not only for the fall, but certainly look good going into winter," he said.

In truth, Aer Lingus' Baltimore operation "is ahead of just about every one of our other gateways, in terms of bookings," Foley said. The numbers coming out of BWI have enabled the carrier to finalize plans for acquiring a new aircraft, expected to enter the fleet in May 2001. "This will be our eighth aircraft," Foley said. "And with the move to take Baltimore to daily service, it will give us more capacity."

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...0/ai_66682456/
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 08:10 PM   #240
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 1:17pm EDT | Modified: Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 1:27pm
Southwest to begin BWI-to-Milwaukee service
Baltimore Business Journal - by Ryan Sharrow Staff

Southwest Airlines will soon begin boarding from Baltimore to Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.

The discount carrier will fly three nonstop flights daily from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to the Midwest destination. The service from BWI is part of a bigger strategy Dallas-based Southwest (NYSE: LUV) unveiled Tuesday, saying it would begin operating 12 daily nonstop flights to Milwaukee beginning Nov. 1.

Tickets purchased before June 26 start at $35 each way and will then escalate to between $49 to $99.

Southwest will also begin service to Milwaukee from Las Vegas, Kansas City, Mo.; Phoenix and Tampa Bay, Fla.

The move by Southwest, the dominant carrier at BWI, will beef up its competition with AirTran Airways (NYSE: AAI), another discount carrier that already serves Milwaukee.

http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore...2/daily20.html
-----
Air Tran (FL) flies 3x daily to MKE from BWI. There's a decent amount of talk on the forums about whether FL will hang in there, considering that FL has retreated from Southwest encroachment on its routes in the past. With FL holding its ground in BOS and with a sizeable operation in MKE, FL might be more protective of this particular route now...
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