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LRguy21

Update.......Little Rock National Airport.

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Are there still plans for direct flights from LIT to international destinations, such as Mexico most likely?  There have been rumors about them for years, and I was wondering what the status on this is.  The slight decline in traffic over the past few years probably did nothing to help our cause, but the even more recent traffic increases (even though they are small) have me feeling optimistic.

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12 hours ago, Walls99 said:

Are there still plans for direct flights from LIT to international destinations, such as Mexico most likely?  There have been rumors about them for years, and I was wondering what the status on this is.  The slight decline in traffic over the past few years probably did nothing to help our cause, but the even more recent traffic increases (even though they are small) have me feeling optimistic.

As far as I know those plans have been tabled for a long time and I don't see it happening when you factor all the airline mergers and reduction in available passenger seating industry wide, as well as the year over year passenger activity decreases at LIT.  Airlines are also moving away from small and medium sized airports and pushing everyone through their major HUBs more and more.

Reading through the LIT financial statements doesn't leave one feeling overly optimistic about new routes especially international.  Now having said that, you never know, if the demand is there then it could happen, the LIT board and management is always pursuing new routes they just have to prove the demand out of LIT is there.

Edited by Gentileking

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Has anyone been through LIT recently?  Just curious how the concourse/gate renovations are coming along, I know they started back in October.

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3 hours ago, Gentileking said:

Has anyone been through LIT recently?  Just curious how the concourse/gate renovations are coming along, I know they started back in October.

I'll let you know Wednesday...making a quick day trip to Dallas and back on business.

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43 minutes ago, SangreRaVen said:

Per KATV: Chick-fil-A and Chili's are set to open in the airport in Q1 2018, also Starbucks, Great American Bagel and Burger King will all be remodeled as well as two new unamed retail locations will be added. 

 

http://katv.com/news/local/new-restaurants-planned-for-little-rock-airport

 

-R

Great additions!

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11 hours ago, SangreRaVen said:

Per KATV: Chick-fil-A and Chili's are set to open in the airport in Q1 2018, also Starbucks, Great American Bagel and Burger King will all be remodeled as well as two new unamed retail locations will be added. 

 

http://katv.com/news/local/new-restaurants-planned-for-little-rock-airport

 

-R

With the additions, Quiznos and Quachita Landing are going away. Whole Hog at the food court is going away as well but it will be served at the River Bend restaurant pre security.

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GLO Airline has filed for bankruptcy according to Arkansas Business. They hope to continue flying in the near future but let's see if that happens.

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I'm predicting that LIT's Vegas nonstop via Southwest may be in trouble. I imagine there's still a bit of bleed from Memphis on that flight but this end most of it:

http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2017/05/04/mem-getting-more-nonstop-flights-to-las-vegas.html

Frontier is opening a base there and I think this route will be successful and go daily sooner than later. They have had smashing success on their Denver flights from MEM, upgrading to an A321 to service it.

Southwest is in a bit of change right now, retiring older planes as new ones comes in, not affording much domestic route growth, just playing with frequencies but that will change and I see them adding MEM/DEN as it looks like low hanging fruit to steal from Frontier. They could easily switch LIT for MEM using the same plane as well even if it is one of their no plane change stops to a larger destination for other passengers.

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2 hours ago, TRB said:

I'm predicting that LIT's Vegas nonstop via Southwest may be in trouble. I imagine there's still a bit of bleed from Memphis on that flight but this end most of it:

http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2017/05/04/mem-getting-more-nonstop-flights-to-las-vegas.html

Frontier is opening a base there and I think this route will be successful and go daily sooner than later. They have had smashing success on their Denver flights from MEM, upgrading to an A321 to service it.

Southwest is in a bit of change right now, retiring older planes as new ones comes in, not affording much domestic route growth, just playing with frequencies but that will change and I see them adding MEM/DEN as it looks like low hanging fruit to steal from Frontier. They could easily switch LIT for MEM using the same plane as well even if it is one of their no plane change stops to a larger destination for other passengers.

I don't claim to be an expert on this, but if there were significant demand for MEM-LAS, it will certainly be LESS now that Frontier has opted to add it.

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Southwest can easily add that flight and 'steal' the Frontier passengers.  That Frontier flight to Denver has had one of the best load factors out of Memphis, it's why Frontier put a 220 seater on it, the largest passenger jet servicing Memphis, Southwest could take all that away tommorrow. Simply the power of the brand at play. Most would take a 119 dollar fare on Southwest over any 60 dollar fare on Frontier just on reputation and baggage allowances. Southwest switched to their new booking system today, I expect lots of scheduling tweaks and an increase in less than daily flying. The O&D in Memphis is growing, thales had over 13,000 more enplanements this March over last March. When Southwest adds flights/destinations there, and they will, it will come at LIT's expense. They shut Jackson MS down as New Orleans and Memphis grow.

I suspect by 2019 Southwest will be running at least 9 destinations out of Memphis. Any more than that and they start flirting with focus city status. Hell, American has a flight to every hub except LA. Someone is going to join Delta and the token Allegiant  nonstops on that. It will lower those fares.  Memphis is bidding out the complete redo of B concourse right now.  Quarter of a billion dollar project. As leasure travel options grow, you can bet it effects Little Rock as Memphis fares continue to drop.

Edited by TRB

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15 hours ago, TRB said:

Southwest can easily add that flight and 'steal' the Frontier passengers.  That Frontier flight to Denver has had one of the best load factors out of Memphis, it's why Frontier put a 220 seater on it, the largest passenger jet servicing Memphis, Southwest could take all that away tommorrow. Simply the power of the brand at play. Most would take a 119 dollar fare on Southwest over any 60 dollar fare on Frontier just on reputation and baggage allowances. Southwest switched to their new booking system today, I expect lots of scheduling tweaks and an increase in less than daily flying. The O&D in Memphis is growing, thales had over 13,000 more enplanements this March over last March. When Southwest adds flights/destinations there, and they will, it will come at LIT's expense. They shut Jackson MS down as New Orleans and Memphis grow.

I suspect by 2019 Southwest will be running at least 9 destinations out of Memphis. Any more than that and they start flirting with focus city status. Hell, American has a flight to every hub except LA. Someone is going to join Delta and the token Allegiant  nonstops on that. It will lower those fares.  Memphis is bidding out the complete redo of B concourse right now.  Quarter of a billion dollar project. As leasure travel options grow, you can bet it effects Little Rock as Memphis fares continue to drop.

There have been lots of compounding factors impacting LIT the past 4-5 years, all negative, and including MEM losing its hub status.  That being said, boardings are UP at LIT so far this year, and they were up more than 6% in March and almost 3% for the year.  MEM is so close to LIT, or at least LIT's collection area (market) that it has an impact.  That being said, JAN (Jackson) is not a good comparison.  It's a significantly smaller market than LIT - literally half the boardings.

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23 hours ago, Architect said:

There have been lots of compounding factors impacting LIT the past 4-5 years, all negative, and including MEM losing its hub status.  That being said, boardings are UP at LIT so far this year, and they were up more than 6% in March and almost 3% for the year.  MEM is so close to LIT, or at least LIT's collection area (market) that it has an impact.  That being said, JAN (Jackson) is not a good comparison.  It's a significantly smaller market than LIT - literally half the boardings.

XNA outclasses JAN.  Not a good comparison at all.

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On 5/7/2017 at 4:04 PM, Architect said:

There have been lots of compounding factors impacting LIT the past 4-5 years, all negative, and including MEM losing its hub status.  That being said, boardings are UP at LIT so far this year, and they were up more than 6% in March and almost 3% for the year.  MEM is so close to LIT, or at least LIT's collection area (market) that it has an impact.  That being said, JAN (Jackson) is not a good comparison.  It's a significantly smaller market than LIT - literally half the boardings.

Is it kosher if I quote myself...ha?!  Anyway, LIT is fortunate that there is NOT a large population base between Little Rock and Memphis, otherwise the impact would be much greater.

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Looks like Southwest draws down the Phoenix flight in Jan and it disappears in Feb. I feel this is a reduction to bolster the LAS flights with the potential of any loss the LAS flight might have from the loss of any passengers from Memphis now that Frontier is flying direct to LAS from MEM at low cost prices. Just my opinion. 

Southwest saw 10,000 more passengers in MEM over just last year yet has not yet offered a direct from there past Texas. It's coming and it'll be Denver, Phoenix or Las Vegas. But... they have to get through the retiring of all the 737-300 classics and get the new737Max in.

Edited by TRB

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2 hours ago, TRB said:

Looks like Southwest draws down the Phoenix flight in Jan and it disappears in Feb. I feel this is a reduction to bolster the LAS flights with the potential of any loss the LAS flight might have from the loss of any passengers from Memphis now that Frontier is flying direct to LAS from MEM at low cost prices. Just my opinion. 

Southwest saw 10,000 more passengers in MEM over just last year yet has not yet offered a direct from there past Texas. It's coming and it'll be Denver, Phoenix or Las Vegas. But... they have to get through the retiring of all the 737-300 classics and get the new737Max in.

Very regrettable.  Is SWA still offering LIT-LAS?

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29 minutes ago, Architect said:

Very regrettable.  Is SWA still offering LIT-LAS?

As of now, it lives. Iike I said, my opinion is that LAS get better fares and the cut of Phoenix is to bolster any loss the LAS flight might have from folks now flying out MEM instead of coming to LIT. There were, and may be still be, 50 dollar one ways on Frontier's new MEM/LAS flights. One could feasibility fly Frontier from Memphis to Las Vegas round trip for what Southwest wants for or less than one way if they are flexible with dates.

If and when Southwest gets the old planes parked and the new planes coming in and they possibly add flights out of MEM, if they add DEN for example, United will match,  making it more attractive to price United out of Memphis. We see this with United when comparing XNA to Tulsa. It is way cheaper out of Tulsa to Denver than XNA due to Southwest flying it as well. Little Rock's Big 3 flights could be effected by a resurgence of MEM as an O&D focused airport.

 

I have no doubt if Southwest wants to knock Frontier off of Denver and Las Vegas from Memphis, it will be short work. And..It may come at the cost of more LIT service. 

Southwest dumped Dayton when they decided to move in to CVG. Just food for thought.

 

The good news is that LIT was up 4.5% May 16 to May 17 for Southwest. 

Edited by TRB

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29 minutes ago, TRB said:

As of now, it lives. Iike I said, my opinion is that LAS get better fares and the cut of Phoenix is to bolster any loss the LAS flight might have from folks now flying out MEM instead of coming to LIT. There were, and may be still be, 50 dollar one ways on Frontier's new MEM/LAS flights. One could feasibility fly Frontier from Memphis to Las Vegas round trip for what Southwest wants for or less than one way if they are flexible with dates.

If and when Southwest gets the old planes parked and the new planes coming in and they possibly add flights out of MEM, if they add DEN for example, United will match,  making it more attractive to price United out of Memphis. We see this with United when comparing XNA to Tulsa. It is way cheaper out of Tulsa to Denver than XNA due to Southwest flying it as well. Little Rock's Big 3 flights could be effected by a resurgence of MEM as an O&D focused airport.

 

I have no doubt if Southwest wants to knock Frontier off of Denver and Las Vegas from Memphis, it will be short work. And..It may come at the cost of more LIT service. 

Southwest dumped Dayton when they decided to move in to CVG. Just food for thought.

 

The good news is that LIT was up 4.5% May 16 to May 17 for Southwest. 

Yeah, the MEM thing is definitely causing some headaches...glad to note that SWA traffic is up at LIT, which should influence future service decisions, but by dropping a destination and not back-filling it, by default their numbers will be down.

I don't see Dayton being a good comparison though.  First, CVG is much closer...Dayton is literally 45 miles from Cincinnati, and was likely originally opened to service the CVG market, as has been their trend to poach from "secondary" facilities.  Second, CVG is a MUCH larger airport/service than MEM.  Unless the Little Rock market just collapsed (and I can't see that happening, as Little Rock continues to grow, unlike a lot of mid-tier cities, including Memphis for that matter), I just can't see SWA ever abandoning this market.

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2 hours ago, Architect said:

Yeah, the MEM thing is definitely causing some headaches...glad to note that SWA traffic is up at LIT, which should influence future service decisions, but by dropping a destination and not back-filling it, by default their numbers will be down.

I don't see Dayton being a good comparison though.  First, CVG is much closer...Dayton is literally 45 miles from Cincinnati, and was likely originally opened to service the CVG market, as has been their trend to poach from "secondary" facilities.  Second, CVG is a MUCH larger airport/service than MEM.  Unless the Little Rock market just collapsed (and I can't see that happening, as Little Rock continues to grow, unlike a lot of mid-tier cities, including Memphis for that matter), I just can't see SWA ever abandoning this market.

For years Southwest picked off Memphis O&D via Little Rock, Nashville, and Jackson. There's that old story you'll hear about Southwest looking into the West Memphis airport but was shot down by Little Rock. Remember a little more than a decade ago Memphis, not Nashville was the big dog city in Tennesee. It was American's pull out of Nashville that opened it up for Southwest and now look at BNA. Southwest's growth help fuel and benefitted Nashville's growth. You talk down about Memphis growth but look outside to NEA and North Miss which is firmly now in MEM's catchment area.

With the Phoenix loss, LIT is down to Dallas, St. Louis and Las Vegas. I can see it shirking to two. Southwest is Clearly sends folks to Memphis for Florida destinations with sometimes up to three dailies to Orlando in peak times and Tampa. I can certainly see them adding Ft. Lauderdale once the new international terminal for Southwest is done for all the new Caribbean routes and O&D just to South Fla. 

As for Memphis, that place just has the feeling it'seems about to boom. St. Jude with it's plans for the Pinch and what's happening around the South Bluff.

 

If Memphis got off it's butt and redeveloped  Mud Island as a weekend getaway type destination with an Aquarium,  a small number of rides, revamp of the River Museum and Amp. Ti go along with that damn fine Zoo. They'd be cooking with Cisco.

The obvious thing, yet most expensive and less likely,  is to build a right sized Liberty Bowl replacement  with a retractable roof stadium (50,000ish) along Beale and Union as part of a new convention complex.  The Commercial Appeal is selling off down there now. It would offer a venue to host major acts as part of Memphis in May Beale Street Music Fest like NO does with the Fairgrounds. 

I just hope with Southwest down to three destinations they don'the pull the plug entirely. Let's face it, only LAS can be seen as more of a destination as opposed to just a feeder route to their focus hubs like Dallas and StL.

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3 minutes ago, TRB said:

For years Southwest picked off Memphis O&D via Little Rock, Nashville, and Jackson. There's that old story you'll hear about Southwest looking into the West Memphis airport but was shot down by Little Rock. Remember a little more than a decade ago Memphis, not Nashville was the big dog city in Tennesee. It was American's pull out of Nashville that opened it up for Southwest and now look at BNA. Southwest's growth help fuel and benefitted Nashville's growth. You talk down about Memphis growth but look outside to NEA and North Miss which is firmly now in MEM's catchment area.

With the Phoenix loss, LIT is down to Dallas, St. Louis and Las Vegas. I can see it shirking to two. Southwest is Clearly sends folks to Memphis for Florida destinations with sometimes up to three dailies to Orlando in peak times and Tampa. I can certainly see them adding Ft. Lauderdale once the new international terminal for Southwest is done for all the new Caribbean routes and O&D just to South Fla. 

As for Memphis, that place just has the feeling it'seems about to boom. St. Jude with it's plans for the Pinch and what's happening around the South Bluff.

 

If Memphis got off it's butt and redeveloped  Mud Island as a weekend getaway type destination with an Aquarium,  a small number of rides, revamp of the River Museum and Amp. Ti go along with that damn fine Zoo. They'd be cooking with Cisco.

The obvious thing, yet most expensive and less likely,  is to build a right sized Liberty Bowl replacement  with a retractable roof stadium (50,000ish) along Beale and Union as part of a new convention complex.  The Commercial Appeal is selling off down there now. It would offer a venue to host major acts as part of Memphis in May Beale Street Music Fest like NO does with the Fairgrounds. 

I just hope with Southwest down to three destinations they don'the pull the plug entirely. Let's face it, only LAS can be seen as more of a destination as opposed to just a feeder route to their focus hubs like Dallas and StL.

My point about catchment area is that people from Jonesboro/NEA were never coming to LIT anyway.  

Memphis has potential, but I was merely speaking to actuals...2010-2016 MSA growth for Memphis (including the areas you reference) was only 1.36% (or 18,000), whereas Little Rock was 4.98% (34,865).  Twice as many people have been added to Little Rock as Memphis the past six years.  I don't wish ill-will on any city.  I'm just pointing out that Little Rock continues to grow, which will only help traffic and demand over time.

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On 7/18/2017 at 10:01 PM, vbfl85 said:

Frontier is returning to Little Rock with non-stop service to Denver. Service will resume in April 2018. 

http://katv.com/news/local/frontier-airlines-making-return-to-clinton-national-airport

 

Wow...this is EXCELLENT news!  Interesting in light of renewed competition with Frontier in Memphis.

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19 hours ago, Walls99 said:

Glad to see their return!

I have yet to see anything on frequency, I'm betting 3 to 4 times weekly. This could provide an easily backdoor connection to cheap TATL flights out of Denver  now that Norwegian is setting up shop with London and Paris flights.

The downside is that it will pressure Southwest )if they are successful) with increased competition on connections in the west via LAS and Dallas now that Phoenix is going away. Maybe they kinda knew this was coming and that's why Phoenix got shut down just before this starts. The Las Vegas flight will be pressured with Frontier's Memphis nonstop to Vegas and now connections via Denver.

 

Edited by TRB

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