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OCR for page 95
Establishing and Validating ASD Goals 97 Gaining additional service from incumbent carriers may mean increased access to major inter- national gateway airports. Some of those hubs, such as Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Newark Liberty and Washington Dulles, support large amounts of domestic traffic as well. The major carriers there operate several banks of connecting flights to key large- and medium-sized metropolitan areas throughout the day. However, international operations tend to cluster at cer- tain times of the day. Moreover, Asia-Pacific arrival and departure times differ from European and South American times. Therefore, access to various "connecting banks" can be a key goal for small communities. What other goals support ASD? Opening a new station or expanded operation in a small community involves a significant amount of financial risk for an air carrier. An airport with a competitive structure of rates and charges and realistic capital improvement plans will be attractive to an air carrier that deems the airport attractive based on traffic trends and forecasts. If a small community has not illustrated CASE STUDY Competing airports in central Illinois provide different connections to the world. Peoria, Springfield, Bloomington-Normal, Champaign- sensitivity. For instance, airports that have connec- Urbana, and Decatur are within 50 driving miles of tions to Dallas/Fort Worth and Atlanta on American each other (Figure 7.a). Local business and leisure and Delta, respectively, have good connections to travelers may choose to fly from different airports Latin America. Airports with good access to Chicago based on their particular destinations and price and Detroit have good connections to both Europe Figure 7.a. Map of central Illinois airports. (continued on next page)
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98 Passenger Air Service Development Techniques CASE STUDY (Continued). and Asia. In addition, access to different connecting Travelers also have access to low-fare options at hubs or international gateway airports also means Bloomington-Normal (AirTran Airways) and Peoria different connections for the major global marketing (Allegiant Air). AirTran maintains a broad network alliances--Star Alliance, oneworld, and SkyTeam out of its Atlanta hub to points throughout the (Table 7.a). United States. Table 7.a. Central Illinois region and its access to global networks. Destination or Airport Carrier Gateway Airport Beyond access to: Chicago O'Hare American Eagle Europe, Asia, Latin America Dallas Fort Worth Delta Connection Atlanta Europe, Latin America Bloomington-Normal Atlanta AirTran Domestic U.S. (low-fare) Orlando Northwest Airlink Detroit Europe, Asia Chicago O'Hare American Eagle Europe, Asia, Latin America Champaign/Urbana Dallas Fort Worth Northwest Airlink Detroit Europe, Asia Decatur American Eagle St. Louis U.S. Domestic Chicago O'Hare American Eagle Europe, Asia, Latin America Dallas/Fort Worth Delta Connection Atlanta Europe, Latin America, Asia Allegiant Las Vegas Peoria Detroit Northwest Airlink Europe, Asia Minneapolis/St. Paul Chicago O'Hare United Express Europe, Asia, Latin America Denver American Eagle Chicago O'Hare Europe, Asia Springfield United Express Chicago O'Hare Europe, Asia, Latin America Source: Official Airline Guide, December 2008. that it can effectively manage its costs and maintain transparency among all carriers, then airport costs could become a final hurdle to starting new service. Realistic budget control--translated to competitive rates and charges--should be a major goal for any small community working on air service. Every small com- Air carriers want an airport that is going to be an active partner in ensuring that service is sus- munity's air service tainable in a small community. That is not to say that an air carrier may seek incentives that are not being offered to other carriers, but that the airport's goal should be to mitigate risk where development needed while ensuring that federal regulations are met. program needs to A plan to develop the inbound and outbound markets will also demonstrate to the air carrier include realistic partner that the airport is willing not only to support service introduction, but also to work to budget controls-- develop the service during potential highs and lows of seasonality, operational issues, and com- petitive fare threats from other air carriers. A well-targeted marketing plan for a new service at and competitive the small community will also ease the minds of an air carrier seeking to introduce a new brand rates and charges. into the region.