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Pittsburgh gets more SW is JetBlue next?

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http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05005/437595.stm

Its been rumored for about a year now, looks like they've made the commitment, Hooters Air has started service as well as I-Air and NW Commuter has picked up the USAirways gates at surburban Palmer Airport.

Luftansa is also rumored to be nearing a Frankfurt direct flight soon.

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Now the total impact is weighed:

Analysis: Lower fares, but probably fewer jobs

Thursday, January 06, 2005

By Steve Massey

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

Southwest's push into Pennsylvania's second-largest market could be the death knell for Pittsburgh's dominant carrier, an outcome that would wipe out more than 6,000 local jobs. Even if Southwest were to arrive with full jets blazing -- a doubtful scenario -- it would do so with a skeleton crew, much as it has everywhere it flies.

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Who says Pennsylvania can't compete, SW is now expanding in Pittsburgh to none other then Philadelphia! This only 20 some days into flying into Pittsburgh!

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05144/509231.stm

"Southwest adds fifth Philadelphia flight

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

By Mark Belko, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

Southwest Airlines is less than a month into its operations at Pittsburgh International Airport and already it's planning to expand -- it plans to add a fifth daily nonstop flight to Philadelphia starting Sept. 14. . . .

"It is obvious that there's a demand on that route between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It's highly sought after and obviously people are responding to lower fares," said JoAnn Jenny, Allegheny County Airport Authority spokeswoman. . . . "

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Who says Pennsylvania can't compete, SW is now expanding in Pittsburgh to none other then Philadelphia!  This only 20 some days into flying into Pittsburgh! 

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05144/509231.stm

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What do you think the impact will be if US Airways goes low cost as they say they will? It'll be interesting since then PA's dominant carrier will be an LCC. That on top of Southwest, Independence, Airtran, Frontier, and ATA servicing PA.

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From looking at prices in general it seems very cheap and easy to get out of Pittsburgh, thats nice, and appealing to me because I like Pittsburgh and I like to travel. Hopefully it will appeal to other people the same way.

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MHD thats an excellent point.

. . . and now JETBLUE?

b018-jetblue-0704n.jpg

This just in the Pittsburgh Airport Authority is stating that it is very close to finalizing a deal for JETBLUE service from Pittsburgh to its JFK hub and possibly other direct connections . . . the deal even if finalized would take at least 6 months to ramp up service (so fall/winter of 2005 or early spring 2006). But this is VERY good news for Pittsburgh!

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05147/511213.stm

Airport director expects Jet Blue to arrive

Friday, May 27, 2005

By Dan Fitzpatrick, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

Pittsburgh International Airport chief Kent George believes there is a "very, very strong possibility" that low-fare upstart JetBlue Airways will start service from Pittsburgh late this year or early next spring.

The fast-growing 5-year-old airline, one of the industry's few profitable carriers, most likely would fly to its home base of New York, where it has space at John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports, the Allegheny County Airport Authority executive director said yesterday during a taping of KDKA-TV's Sunday Business Page, which airs Sunday at 8:30 a.m.

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Update! Now Southwest has 19 daily flights to six ciities, this only four months from its initial flight from Pittsburgh!

20050818southwest_flights.gif

This comment in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette took the cake:

Kelly, the Southwest CEO, said the new service is a result of the high demand in Pittsburgh -- demand that went beyond his expectations. "We were all hopeful Pittsburgh would do well," he said.

But, "It has done better than I ever dreamed."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05230/555566.stm

All the flights will be "on-line" by mid-November, most even sooner. Although the airline says its done with any further 2005 expansion, it is looking hard at more cities and flights for 2006. Southwest is already the #3 carrier but will soon become the 2nd largest with the new flights. Southwests rapid expansion should be a great invite for the JetBlues and transatlantic flight possiblities. With SW growing roots at PIT and VictoryAir taking flight with the airport as it's home hub this is probably the best turnaround one could expect.

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LCC service is all well and good. But we have to get flights to Europe back ASAP. Apparently none of the European carriers have enough confidence in our market right now. So our best hope is that we would be the one stop on a Pheonix-PIT-Germany or Vegas-PIT-Germany on the new US Airways.

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Southwest's rapid expansion will only go to prove to those European and Domestic Trans-Atlantic carriers that Pittsburgh is fertile ground for flights both in and out of the continent. Pittsburgh could become one of the hottest markets for airtravel very soon. I am paraphrasing an earlier article by the PG quoting an expert. Hopefully things will only get better very soon. :) Oh and the changeover to 60 and 22/30 and 279 all to Interstate 376 will only help the cargo side of things :)

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LCC service is all well and good.  But we have to get flights to Europe back ASAP.  Apparently none of the European carriers have enough confidence in our market right now.  So our best hope is that we would be the one stop on a Pheonix-PIT-Germany or Vegas-PIT-Germany on the new US Airways.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

One stop service is disfavored in the post-9/11 world because of all the security hassles.

I think the best bet for European service from PIT is PIT-FRA (Frankfurt) because of Bayer. These international carriers rely on business passengers for their profit.

It is kind of interesting that PIT is now without any European service for the first time since the 70's. TWA used to serve PIT-London on an L-1101, then British Airways served that with a 747 - later downgraded to a 767. Then US Airways took over with a 767 and expanded European service with routes to Frankfurt and Paris and there was talk about KLM and ANA coming to PIT. Now its no service.

I think the best bet is for Lufthansa to start PIT-FRA. The trouble is that Lufthansa is using all its long haul planes on other routes. I don't think they have a plane to spare and ocne they do get planes they're mroe liekly to use them on emerging markets like India.

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Urban that is some great insight. Was PIT really without European flights in the 1970s? Being that we were the 6th largest media market in 1980 and really still a world power (similar to what a Dallas or Atlanta is today), I would have thought that PIT had trans-Atlantic flights from the 50's to just recently (in the 1980's and 1990's though diminished as one of the "big 10 metros" USAir and their partnership with BA had us still flying to Europe). I have looked for historic records of direct trans-Atlantic or central/south American flights from Pittsburgh, never could find any though the flyPittsburgh website it very useful in current flight data.

Pittsburgh being one of the top 10 metros from the 30s to the early 1980s should have really had some great International direct destinations, I do remember the opening paragraph on the 1965 or 66 National Geographic Story on Pittsburgh relating how the author just arrived at PIT from Mexico City, I realize the airline industry was highly regulated, weren't some routes even the "property" of some carriers? Even so I would think Pittsburgh had some great direct trans-Atlantic and Pan-American (to Latin America) flights back a few decades ago. I'd be interested in some old flight schs. from the 60s and 70s if anyone has them.

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I think the best bet is for Lufthansa to start PIT-FRA. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Airport authority has been nagging Lufthansa for a while now. It looks like its just a no go in general. I think they need to talk to some other "Star Alliance" partners about starting up key serive. Ex: BMI service to London or United to Frankfurt or Munich. I don't see why no one sees us a US transfer hub for Star Alliance. We're less crowded and more transfer freindly than Chicago, and more geographicaly strategic than Philly, it makes perfect sence that all the European traffic that is eventualy destined for points west of the Alleghenies to run through Pittsburgh.

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Too, these things do take time (it took years to woo SW, and now SW can't get enough of Pittsburgh) Luftansa I know has been coaxed not only by the Airport and the regional leaders but last I heard there has been a petition going around that area businesses and law firms are "promising" ridership with them if they come to PIT.

Beyond Bayer, US Steel has major operations just east of Germany, Heinz has major operations both in Germany, Russia and England, Mellon Financial has major operations in the UK and Germany, the Law Firms and Medical Centers all have major clients both in Europe and the Middle East, so I do think that very soon PIT will have non-stop service to Europe. ;)

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Urban that is some great insight.  Was PIT really without European flights in the 1970s?

Until the TWA flight to London that started in the 70's, PIT had no flights to Europe. Also, until US Airways started a flight to Frankfurt in 1990, London was the only European destination served from PIT (first by TWA, then by British Airways, and then by US Airways).

Being that we were the 6th largest media market in 1980 and really still a world power (similar to what a Dallas or Atlanta is today), I would have thought that PIT had trans-Atlantic flights from the 50's to just recently (in the 1980's and 1990's though diminished as one of the "big 10 metros" USAir and their partnership with BA had us still flying to Europe). 

Was Pittsburgh really the 6th largest media market in 1980? The US Census Bureau has the metro area at 13th in 1980 and 11th in 1970. It was roguhly equal to DFW/Houston/Atlanta but nowhere near 6th largest. Now I know that media market is different from metro market but they roughly correlate.

Pittsburgh being one of the top 10 metros from the 30s to the early 1980s should have really had some great International direct destinations, I do remember the opening paragraph on the 1965 or 66 National Geographic Story on Pittsburgh relating how the author just arrived at PIT from Mexico City, I realize the airline industry was highly regulated, weren't some routes even the "property" of some carriers?  Even so I would think Pittsburgh had some great direct trans-Atlantic and Pan-American (to Latin America) flights back a few decades ago.  I'd be interested in some old flight schs. from the 60s and 70s if anyone has them.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There were no flights from PIT to anywhere outside the country (even Canada, I believe) until the 1970's. There weren't even customs facilities until then. It was around 1980, I believe, that the airport added "international" to its name to reflect the new flights to Canada and London. Keep in mind that, before deregualtion, routes were severely limited. There were only a handful of cities that had international service. Even Atlanta didn't have intercontinental service until the 70's.

The greatest extent of international flights from PIT has been to Europe (London, Paris, Frankfurt), Canada, Mexico (Cancun), and a few places in the Carribean. No foreign carrier other than Air Canada and British Airways has ever operated on a scheduled basis into PIT.

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Urban, can't tell you how much I appreciate your expertise on this, I have always been a big fan of area history and there is some lacking about PIT. Never knew about the whole TWA trans-atlantic connection in the 70's--though I have heard that an aviation first was achieved by TWA at Pittsburgh back in the 60's or so, so I knew TWA had us as a major city. I do recall that Eastern Airlines was big at Pittsburgh before they went bankrupt (my grandad flew with them into Florida regularly and they had a kicka** client club at PIT).

The question you asked about Pittsburgh being the 6th largest media market in 1980 I saw that somewhere and will try to find it for you, a while back I attempted to get the listings of the largest media markets historically to no avail.

Being that the industry was heavily regulated prior to the early 80's (or was it late 70's?) I can see how despite being a major market Pittsburgh could still have not had lots of International flights. I would encourage everyone to read the opening paragraph of the 1965 National Geographic where the author of the piece "Pittsburgh Pattern for Progress" lands in Pittsburgh from Mexico City. To not have any canadian or mexican flights prior to the late 70s early 80s seems just to weird to me (that is when Pittsburgh was #3 for corporate HQ in the world and a top 10 media market, not the almost small town it is now). If there was any major web resource on this (not a general history but one of direct destination history) that would be awesome.

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Being that the industry was heavily regulated prior to the early 80's (or was it late 70's?) I can see how despite being a major market Pittsburgh could still have not had lots of International flights.  I would encourage everyone to read the opening paragraph of the 1965 National Geographic where the author of the piece "Pittsburgh Pattern for Progress" lands in Pittsburgh from Mexico City.  To not have any canadian or mexican flights prior to the late 70s early 80s seems just to weird to me (that is when Pittsburgh was #3 for corporate HQ in the world and a top 10 media market, not the almost small town it is now).  If there was any major web resource on this (not a general history but one of direct destination history) that would be awesome.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

TWA was the largest presence at PIT before US Air took over. However, they didn't fly non-stop to Mexico City from PIT in the 60's.

http://www.airchive.com/Timetables%20and%2...d/TWmap6307.jpg

Neither did Eastern.

http://www.airchive.com/Timetables%20and%2...005/EAmap65.jpg

I'm sure the magazine was jsut trying to be concise. The author likely transferred through some other city but didn't feel that worth mentioning.

The greatest point in international avaiation from PIT was in the 90's when PIT ahd flights to London, Paris, and Frankfurt.

I think the only Mexican destination ever served non-stop on a scheduled basis from PIT is Cancun. Its not surprising that there weren't more since Mexico was mostly a leisure market from the US until NAFTA.

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The Airport authority has been nagging Lufthansa for a while now.  It looks like its just a no go in general.  I think they need to talk to some other "Star Alliance" partners about starting up key serive.  Ex: BMI service to London or United to Frankfurt or Munich.  I don't see why no one sees us a US transfer hub for Star Alliance.  We're less crowded and more transfer freindly than Chicago, and more geographicaly strategic than Philly, it makes perfect sence that all the European traffic that is eventualy destined for points west of the Alleghenies to run through Pittsburgh.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Here's a thread in an aviation forum about the possibility of Lufthansa (LH) serving PIT from Frankfurt (FRA).

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/gener...d.main/2288612/

Basically, it doesn't look good.

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http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stor...22/daily28.html

XY is adding full service flights for (as far as I know) the first time. They they have opperated "Skyway Connect" service to Mill. for some time. This is a big win for Pittsburgh International because it is one of the largest cities we lost non-stop service to when US Airways pulled their hub out.

Other than Europe (as we've already talked about) other big cities we have lost non-stop service to are San Diego and Seattle, it'd be nice to see them picked up also.

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A small bit of good news:

Independence Air (apparently still up and kicking) is upgrading their service from PIT to IAD. Existing service is on their fleet of Regional Jets (50 cramped seats). Under their restructured plan they will begin serving the route with much bigger and nicer A319's. PIT has been very good to Independence, I just wish AirTran would realize the market for Pittsburgh-D.C. is there and pick up a PIT-DCA Route to compete with the monopoly USAir still has.

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That is great news on Independence, there is definitely a need for airservice between us and DC (the federal money with CMU and Pitt and the Tech and Robotics industry, the 4 major law firms that are making the 'burgh a center for legal activity, and of course the union and congressional delegations, AFLCIO is based in DC but has a large presence in Pittsburgh).

Something else I have found that is lending credance to Pittsburgh as a two airport market (NW flies there and USAir did until just recently), the Arnold Palmer airport in Westmoreland County, is getting some upgrades from the state:

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XY is adding full service flights for (as far as I know) the first time.

= = = = = =

Update!

Midwest Airlines is adding flights to Pgh.

Non-stop service with it's Kansas City hub is coming soon!

why don't you just ignore me and all my good information I break exactly 2 months to the day before you do pghusa

:P

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