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Richmond International Airport


eandslee

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AirTran's fares to Atlanta and Philadelphia are expected to add 300,000 passenger boardings in the first year of service. With an equal number of new arrivals, the airport's passenger base is expected to jump from 2.6 million to 3.2 million by next June.

I think those numbers are reeeaaal fluffy. The passenger count will surely increase, but an increase of 600,000 or roughly 23% in only a year is doubtful.

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I think those numbers are reeeaaal fluffy. The passenger count will surely increase, but an increase of 600,000 or roughly 23% in only a year is doubtful.

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I don't know though, because after Delta restructured their fares, there was a significant (record breaking) increase in passengers even before the announcement of Airtran. With Airtran in the market, further lower price, it is expected to be a major boost to the airport's numbers. Not to mention studies showed that Richmond lost over a million potential passengers every year because of its high flight costs...they went to NN/Norfolk or D.C./Baltimore to fly.

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I really hope that after seeing AirTran's success, that Jet Blue and/or Southwest will begin service at RIC. Jet Blue's CEO said he intended to begin service in Richmond by the time Warner leaves office early next year. Southwest had planned to come to Richmond a few years back, but then 9/11 happened. If we could attract one or both to Richmond, I think it would be a boon for the entire area. Plus if prices were low enough, I wouldnt have to fly out of Dulles whenever I go somewhere!

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JetBlue would be a great fit for Richmond, I think - especially given Richmond's sizeable coporate presence.

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Another record breaking month for RIC! Air traffic was up 16% in march over last march at Richmond (3 times the national average). To top it off, AirTran hasn't started its service yet. I can't imagine what will happen then :thumbsup:

"AIRLINES: Airport's lazy days might be numbered with growth

CHIP JONES

POINT OF VIEW

May 2, 2005

Looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to airport traffic. If you drop by Richmond International at midday, you might find a slow, fairly leisurely pace -- the aviation equivalent of a Faulkner novel.

But if you fly out first thing in the morning, you might find the pace has picked up to something by the Beat poets -- fast and bustling and energized.

The airport bustles in spurts because it's part of the airlines' continuing hub and spoke system -- sending flights to large hub airports such as Atlanta and Charlotte, where passengers can make connections to fly on to their ultimate destinations.

But those molasses middays could become a thing of the past if the airport continues its growth spurt.

Consider this: March marked the fourth consecutive month of record passenger traffic at Richmond International, with an all-time record for the month of 236,872 passengers. That marked a 16 percent increase from last March, which was about triple the national average reported by the Air Transport Association.

The highest previous mark for March was in 2001 -- before the industry downturn after the terrorist attacks that year -- when 228,854 passengers flew in or out of Richmond.

Delta Air Lines was the local market-share leader this March, with 29.7 percent of the total, followed by US Airways at 29.1 percent. The third-place airline, American, had 14.5 percent of the Richmond market....

....But the biggest factor in the Richmond airport's growth equation still hasn't landed: AirTran Airways. With the Orlando, Fla.-based airline set to bring its low-fare service to Richmond on June 23, officials are bracing for a major growth spurt just as the airport is undergoing construction of a $46.8 million terminal.

Plans are under way to help passengers find their way through the construction zone, which could get interesting this summer.

To build the new terminal, the baggage-claim area must be moved from the north end of the airport to some vacant space on the south end -- just past the new AirTran counters."

The whole article

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  • 3 weeks later...

You may not think, at first, that this is good news for Richmond, but it is. When US Airways and America West Airlines merge, it means that Richmond should get direct flights to new destinations like Pheonix, AZ and Las Vegas, NV! Here's an article from MSNBC that talks about the merger (not so much about Richmond, but it more than like will happen).

US Airways, America West to merge

New airline to retain US Airways name

Gene J. Puskar / AP

US Airways and America West will join forces.

CNBC

The Associated Press

Updated: 11:10 a.m. ET May 20, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. - US Airways and America West, two struggling airlines that serve opposite sides of the country, are billing their proposed merger as a buffer against the new era of low-cost rivals, high fuel costs and a flood of cheap fares.

advertisement

If the combination gets government, shareholder and labor approvals, the new company would become the nation

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You may not think, at first, that this is good news for Richmond, but it is.  When US Airways and America West Airlines merge, it means that Richmond should get direct flights to new destinations like Pheonix, AZ and Las Vegas, NV!  Here's an article from MSNBC that talks about the merger (not so much about Richmond, but it more than like will happen).

The full Article

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I saw those mentioned as possible new non-stop destinations from Richmond on the news tonight (nbc12 I believe). As long as US Airways can stay afloat, compete with the discounters, and provide new destinations at the same time...it's definitely good news for RIC.

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Last Christmas, on my annual trip, I drove out to the airport and noted that the 2-level road at the terminal was almost complete, but I saw no construction activity at the terminal building itself. Have subsequently heard that work is progressing, but I'm wondering if perhaps the finished product will look different than the renderings we saw.

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good question. The RIC expansion website has been down for some time. Maybe there is someone we can contact to inquire about the design. I really liked the renderings over on RCW. From what I hear, I think work is starting soon or has already begun on the terminal itself....

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Richmond.com says today that Airport Expansion Leads to Changes. Check this out, Eric. Maybe you or Coupe could post the story here, because I don't know how.

There's lots of information about what's going on out there.

Also, it says Jet Blue may be flying in and out of RIC by this time next year. :):mellow::)

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Wow! you're right burt, what a fantastic article! Some key excerpts:

Airport Expansion Leads to Changes

JetBlue could be next low-fare carrier to land at RIC

Tom Lappas

Henrico Citizen

Friday, May 27, 2005

Commuters traveling to or from Richmond International Airport (RIC) can expect some changes during the next month, as the airport's $50-million terminal expansion project progresses.

The expansion ultimately will give the airport a modern two-story terminal with a corresponding two-level road (one level for departures, the other for arrivals). It also will bring new restaurants and an expanded security checkpoint. Completion is anticipated by spring of 2007...............

...More Airlines Coming to Town?

The changes are part of a makeover that Mathiasen and local officials hope will make RIC a more attractive airport

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Sorry, guys. I've been away for a couple days because of work, but YEAH! I love this article on the airport! It is absolutely great news! I almost jumped out of my seat reading it! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that both, Jet Blue and Southwest, show up soon at RIC. Then I think we'd have a good, close to world class airport! Thanks for posting the article!

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eric I know youll love this article.....It even more great news about RIC. This year has been incredible for the airport:

AIRPORT: Discount fares just one bargain anticipated at RIC

CHIP JONES

POINT OF VIEW

Jun 6, 2005

It could be a year for bargains in and around Richmond International Airport......

........Addressing the Capital Region Airport Commission, Mathiasen said, "This next fiscal year will be a very exciting year" in terms of discounts -- and not just for air fares. But the biggest news is on the fare front.

On June 23, AirTran Airways will start service from Richmond to Atlanta, Philadelphia and Boston -- a development that already has driven down air fares and is expected to bring long-needed competitive pricing to Richmond's airport.

AirTran's lowest round-trip fare offering of $158, plus fees and taxes, to Atlanta is expected to keep rival Delta's fares in line; the same is expected for several other airlines serving the Philadelphia-Boston markets.

The second bargain Mathiasen mentioned involves parking. Starting July 1, rates in three economy lots -- A, B, and C will drop by $1 a day, to $6.

The reduction was in anticipation of an expected surge in passenger volume, as the airport expects to serve 600,000 additional customers over the next year.

The $10 daily rate at the garages in front of the terminal won't change. The 14 percent reduction at the three other lots is expected to cost the airport $200,000 in revenue next fiscal year.

Officials are hoping that the increase in passenger volume will make up for the price cut.

The third discount the airport anticipates is still a few more months away: The opening of a Wawa station on South Airport Drive near the facility's main entrance.

This could spark some price competition in the area, Mathiasen said.

Lori Bruce, public relations manager for Wawa Inc., said the convenience store retailer is working on getting final approval for its site plan from Henrico. Once it gets all the right permits, she said, construction should start within two months.

"It would be one of our gateway sites to Richmond, which is exciting," she said, noting the close proximity to the airport and Interstate 64........

..........The six-acre property at 500 S. Airport Drive could see other commercial or retail development, but nothing has been decided, airport officials said.

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I flew in and out of Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood last week, and that is one busy airport, especially in light of Miami International being only 30 miles away and West Palm Beach only 60 miles north.

Thus, the arguement that RIC is too close to big hubs in the DC and HR areas to compete makes no sense to me.

I'm sure I read some years ago that a proposed runway extension at RIC which could handle the biggest jets was vetoed by someone who at that time had the power to do so.

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Yeah, I had heard a number of years ago, that the airport was considering extending one of the runways, but I never heard what became of that. Thanks burt, for letting me know what happened with that. It is disappointing to hear that the runway extension was voted down. I really think that Richmond can hand the "big" jets and with all of the people in and around Richmond, especially north of Richmond, RIC could be a very plausible alternative airport for Northern Virginia and just Virginia as a whole because of its central location. I agree with you, Burt, just because there are big airports north of Richmond in DC, doesn't mean that RIC cannot flourish. I believe that there is a huge demand for air travel in Central Virginia, I just think that everyone has been flocking to the DC area because of the outrageous prices and the limited airlines that fly in and out of the area. If airlines really look at what Richmond has going for it, as far as air travel possibilities are concerned, the sky is the limit...REALLY! I really hope that Jet Blue lands in Richmond with in the year and I also hope Southwest will follow suit. If RIC can do that, our airport will see a huge change and will grow leaps and bounds. It would also be nice to get a few international flights in and out of RIC, which would provide a great alternative to going to DC to fly internationally. I really believe there is a market for this type of air travel in Central Virginia, it just hasn't been tapped yet because everyone assumes it's "best" to go to DC. If RIC offered international flights, I envision even more people flying in and out of RIC. I could go on and on, but it suffices me to say that Richmond International Airport has great potential, people/airlines just need to give it a chance!

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I read the article also...this seemed promising:

"So far it is booking very similarly to our newest market, Charlotte, which also has a strong business base, and we are extremely pleased with how that market is performing," said AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver. "Before we start flying planes into the market it is always tough to get an accurate sense of how it will perform, but so far Richmond is performing in line with our projections.".....

.......Airport spokesman Troy Bell said, "We don't have specific numbers, but AirTran looks at a 'build rate'" for new markets. "And the build rate for Richmond service has outpaced their system average."

whole article

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