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47 minutes ago, eandslee said:

Just FYI regarding the new Southwest Airlines flights between RIC and MDW (Chicago):  Originally planned as one daily flight per day to and from the two cities, I'm actually observing two flights per day for the past week (at least that's when I really started to notice it).  The exception to this is on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which are the two slowest air travel days during a normal week (only one flight per day).  This is very encouraging indeed!

Furthermore, I got word that United Airlines will be flying two flights per day between RIC and Denver (DEN) this summer (at the very least...maybe longer/permanent depending on demand - start date unknown, but soon).  Southwest Airlines just started service between RIC and DEN this past Sunday and appears to be doing very well.  This should pull the prices down per flight to the Mile High City.  In addition, I think Denver is slowly moving to the top as one of the most popular destinations from RIC.  Who would have thought this would be the case several years ago when the route first started?  Wow! 

With the additional SW flights, Chicago is also rising even higher in rank as the most popular destination from RIC (with American Airlines, United, and now SW Airlines flying to the Windy City from RIC).  By comparison, Atlanta and Charlotte are the two most traveled destinations from RIC right now.  Cities in the NE used to be in the top 10 (pre Covid), but have not done very well since the pandemic began due to the very slow return of business travel.  Not sure if they still rank in the top 10 destinations.

The LAX and LAS flights on JetBlue appear to be doing pretty well with passenger loads.  Also, most of the flights, as of late, appear to be red-eye flights too (not sure if that is the reason for better passenger loads or if it is because the pandemic is ending).  Could LAX and LAS be the next two most popular cities to fly to from RIC?  Time will tell, but I'm encouraged by the passenger loads lately.  In all honesty, I was really worried a few months ago.  RIC seems to be going in a nice, upward trajectory with regard to passengers served just based off of my observations.  Official numbers always come out (for the prior month) the last Tuesday of each month.  This month we'll see how April was with passenger numbers.  All indications are that it will show, at least, a gradual increase.  The question is...by how much?  Stay tuned for more!

This is really great news! I'm glad to see competition for Denver AND Chicago - wow - to have three airlines providing daily service to the Windy City is fantastic! All of this looks very promising for RIC.

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15 minutes ago, flack4ric said:

Passenger traffic essentially doubled from February to April. Official stats are released at the monthly meeting of the Capital Region Airport Commission, typically the last Tuesday of the month (except December).

Thanks for stopping by Flack4ric!  Good to hear the doubling of passenger numbers from Feb to Apr!  Hope the trend continues!

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4 hours ago, eandslee said:

Folks, looks like RIC is likely getting a new airline - Breeze Airways!  Breeze is a new airline about to start operations and the first flight route was announced yesterday - TPA - CHS (Tampa to Charleston).  Richmond appears to be a destination city according to the links below.  Official first day for Breeze is any day now.  They are waiting for FAA approval, which was supposed to happen a few weeks ago.  Also looks like RIC will NOT be a focus city (darn it!).  Instead, it looks like the focus cities might be TPA (Tampa), MCO (Orlando), and ISP (Islip, NY).   At any rate, this is good news for Richmond and travelers as this airline focuses on flying to underserved airports.  So, we could see routes like RIC - JAX or RIC to PIT, etc.  It'll be interesting to see how this actually plays out.

Here's a link to Breeze Airways Carrier Certificate announcement (mentions Richmond):

https://www.flightglobal.com/strategy/faa-grants-breeze-airways-air-carrier-certificate/143758.article

Here's a link to cities that have been approved for Breeze to operate in (RIC is on the list):

https://www.patreon.com/posts/51263492

I've also read accounts of job advertisements out for new positions at RIC relating to a new airline.  This is all great and exciting news!!!

To this point, no announcement of potential routes I take it?

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9 hours ago, I miss RVA said:

To this point, no announcement of potential routes I take it?

Not yet. Breeze has been mum until Friday when they announced their first flight; however, you can deduce some possible routes by looking at the list of approved airports.  A real list of routes should be released any day now. 

Edited by eandslee
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2 hours ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

Direct to SFO one day would be huge. 

My family would fly the heck out of that route. My wife used to live in Oakland and still has friends in the Bay Area, and I’ve got a slew of extended family in San Jose.

Two summers ago, we did a California trip from Dulles. We would’ve loved a direct RIC to SFO flight!

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18 minutes ago, DowntownCoruscant said:

My family would fly the heck out of that route. My wife used to live in Oakland and still has friends in the Bay Area, and I’ve got a slew of extended family in San Jose.

Two summers ago, we did a California trip from Dulles. We would’ve loved a direct RIC to SFO flight!

I can see an airline taking the risk to fly direct to SFO if the LAX and LAS flights on JetBlue do well.  As of late, those flights appear to be, at least, about 65% full for the most frequent flights to LAS and the twice weekly flights to LAX appear to be virtually full each flight (at least 90% full anyway).  This is very good news. I would suspect even better passenger numbers on those flights as more pandemic restrictions are lifted. I think people are wanting to get out and travel after being in isolation for over a year!  

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1 hour ago, eandslee said:

Breeze Airways has plans to make an announcement early tomorrow morning.  Hopefully, we’ll see RIC on its list of initial destinations.  If not, RIC will likely be a follow-on destination pretty soon. 
 

http://flybreeze.com

Fingers and toes crossed!! I SO hope we're on their primary destination list. I would absolutely hate to be on the follow-up list. (that would suck on so many levels...)

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Maybe someone can provide some insight into this: WHY was ORF chosen over RIC as a focus airport? Was not RIC actually handling MORE passengers prior to the pandemic than ORF? AND - RIC had just expanded the north concourse.

What's missing in this equation?

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21 minutes ago, I miss RVA said:

Maybe someone can provide some insight into this: WHY was ORF chosen over RIC as a focus airport? Was not RIC actually handling MORE passengers prior to the pandemic than ORF? AND - RIC had just expanded the north concourse.

What's missing in this equation?

I read somewhere they chose ORF because has 40 potential routes if i find the link will add it

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1 hour ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

I see Norfolk making sense given the more transient and tourism nature of the market, but I also know little about air travel. 

I was thinking the large military presence down on the coast. Hard to say though. From a sheer passenger volume standpoint - I believe RIC was outpacing ORF pre-pandemic, and had been doing so for a while.

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1 hour ago, I miss RVA said:

I was thinking the large military presence down on the coast. Hard to say though. From a sheer passenger volume standpoint - I believe RIC was outpacing ORF pre-pandemic, and had been doing so for a while.

This is true.  The advantage I see for RIC is it’s central location and can easily tap into markets on all sides of Richmond and beyond, whereas ORF is at the end of “cul de sac” so to speak. Also, RIC has the ability to expand physically (RIC just completed the A Concourse expansion too)...ORF is land locked.  I really don’t understand why Breeze would choose ORF over RIC.  I’ve heard a couple different reasons why ORF got the Breeze hub, but none of them make sense to me - from better destinations (what?!?) to the shipping industry and people having the skills for the maintenance facility there (what, what??!!).  Not sure I “buy” either one of these reasons/theories.  Personally, I think Breeze messed this one up, but who knows...maybe it will still work out for them. 

Edited by eandslee
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I can certainly see how Tidewater would have more  qualified people to work maintenance.   Oceana and Langley are there and there are two airports. 
 

RIC ‘s strength may be considered a weakness too.  Richmond is centrally located....so it’s easier to get to other airports (and Richmond isn’t nearly the tourist destination that Tidewater is). If you want to get to Williamsburg or VA Beach from Columbus OH, you aren’t going to fly to Washington then drive the three hours.  Driving from Washington seems much more doable if your destination is Richmond though. If Richmond is your destination, you have options.  Norfolk? Not so much. 

Edited by Brent114
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On 5/26/2021 at 4:23 PM, I miss RVA said:

I'm curious how many routes RIC has...

By my count, RIC serves 27 destination airports (for flying passengers) to include 2 destinations that are currently paused (Houston and Minneapolis - to restart this summer) and the two new airports that will be served by Breeze Airways (Charleston, SC and New Orleans beginning in July).  When talking about routes, that's something slightly different because multiple airlines that serve RIC will fly to the same destination airport (for example, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, both fly to Denver (DEN) = 2 routes to the same airport served by two airlines).  I didn't count this kind of scenario.  27 is the number of the unique destinations served by the airport.

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4 hours ago, eandslee said:

By my count, RIC serves 27 destination airports (for flying passengers) to include 2 destinations that are currently paused (Houston and Minneapolis - to restart this summer) and the two new airports that will be served by Breeze Airways (Charleston, SC and New Orleans beginning in July).  When talking about routes, that's something slightly different because multiple airlines that serve RIC will fly to the same destination airport (for example, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, both fly to Denver (DEN) = 2 routes to the same airport served by two airlines).  I didn't count this kind of scenario.  27 is the number of the unique destinations served by the airport.

Thank you, my friend! Yes - the way you calculated it - looking at unique destination airports, regardless of how many competing airlines serve that route - is exactly the question I was asking.  I'd be curious to see the list of 40 destinations that connect to ORF and see where the differences are (if 40 is, indeed, correct). 

Now here's something to ponder: you would think that if RIC has 13 fewer destinations than ORF yet is monthly & annually still outpacing ORF in terms of passenger volume (which was the case prior to the pandemic) - then that SHOULD open up RIC to potentially more destinations/routes, no? If we are outpacing Norfolk with fewer destination cities, then what is the stumbling block to getting more direct routes? Not necessarily in direct competition with ORF (although I would think that would be inevitable) - and more routes and more competition (between airlines) of course would help lower costs. One would think that RIC's central location would be an advantage to draw passengers who don't want the long schlep to either D.C. or Norfolk. And again - RIC is quite expandable from a physical standpoint - whereas ORF is not.

In your opinion (since you do follow this quite closely) - what's the missing link?

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