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GSP International

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So, that's why Charleston has Airtran and GSP doesn't. Gotcha. :whistling: Oh and don't forget about the direct Miami service either: http://www.thestate.com/breakingbiz/story/879909.html Last time I flew US Airways out of GSP, my flight got cancelled three...yes three times in a row and they had to put me on Delta two days after I was originally supposed to leave.

I don't really know what your point is. I am not saying that US Airways out of GSP is perfect, but in my experience it is much better than out of CHS. I have flown out of both multiple times, and feel that I can provide a fair comparison. Have you? :whistling:

Charleston has AirTran because Charleston doesn't have any competition. People don't leave Charleston to fly out of another airport, especially now that Hooters Air no longer flies out of Myrtle Beach. In contrast, Air Tran is already at ATL and CLT, so the chances of them offering service to GSP (only to route all flights through ATL anyway) does not make good business sense. Apples and oranges.

What's interesting, though, is that the article earlier this year which stated that GSP is one of five most expensive airports in the country also had Charleston in that top five. And that is with AirTran. AirTran is a good addition to CHS, but flights still just route through ATL as they always have. Sometimes there can be some good deals, but I don't think AirTran offers the deals found on some other low-cost carriers (like Southwest).

If/when GSP gets Southwest, you will see GSP be the busiest airport in SC - just as it was a few years ago. It won't even be close.

Edited by Greenville

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Look into some facts man. The flights that there is demand for are a "cash cow". Not the airport. Big difference. Flights operate full at full margin. What similar sized cities have continued to see any significant new service during this recession. I would like to know. Seriously curious. Distortedlogic, please post links.

Just one of thousand of articles abou the cuts in capacity:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/articl...fAXiUQD99IBN3G1

As for at least 60% of Greenville's cuts, it was not due to Greenville, it was due to either airlines bankruptcy or airlines closing/shrinking hubs. Independence - 10 flights a day into GSP went bankrupt. Delta/Comair - 2 flights a day to Orlando and they closed the Orlando hub. USAirways - 3 flights a day to Pittsburgh and they closed the Pittsburgh hub. Delta Connection - 4 flights a day to Cincinnati now 2 a day as the Cincinnati hub is being downsized. Northwest - 3 flights a day to Memphis now 1 flight a day as with the Delta buyout, Memphis hub is deing downsized. That is about 19 flights right there.

Could GSP do better, yes. But GSP still does a pretty good job on all fronts, except price. We do need a lowcost carrier to lower cost, but be prepared for the bitter side effects of a low cost carrier. In many places when Southwest comes in, they take a dominant position and other airlines pull back flights, use smaller equipment, etc, etc. Low cost carriers aren't the nirvana some make them out to be.....unless cattle cars are your idea of nirvana.

-Wow gsupstate! Guess I got your goat a little. :D Allow me to clarify just a bit. For the cash cow part; what I mean is, if all of the flights are full even at expensive prices, it would seem a no-brainer to me to try and add some new ones. It doesn't make sense for the airlines to say; "Hey we are making great money at routes from this airport, but we aren't going to try any others, even though airport officials have been asking us to for years." It seems to me (I'm no expert, admittedly) that Allegiant has gotten it right. "Our flights have done well, so lets add more flights and more routes to make even more money."

-As for other airports getting new routes, I was mainly referring to the "coming soon" sections of websites like SW or Jetblue. Whenever I pull those sites up, they are always adding new routes, despite the economic woes.

-I realize that IA had a lot to do with the loss of GSPs flights, but if you just look at it for what it is; about a 40% reduction in flights in a 5 year period, it is a huge hit for any airport to take, especially one with limited flights to begin with.

-Yes I am sure that there would be negatives with a low fare carrier like SW. There are also obviously a lot of negatives for not having one. There are of course +s and -s with anything. In truth, I don't fly more than a couple of times a year as I have no business traveling needs. I am just a regular resident who would like to have a more affordable airport with more direct routes so that when I do fly, I can use the airport in my own backyard. And I see no real reason why GSP cannot become both more affordable and better connected. A low fare carrier won't solve everything of course, but it if pushes us in the right direction then I am all for it. Does this help some?

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Not sure how a new LCC like Southwest would cause more cutbacks. GSP is a gold mine right? ;)

G-man, do you comprehend? I have always said planes out of GSP leave full and that it is mostly business travelers, so the airlines have no reason to lower fares. Each plane full of people is a goldmine. Get it?

An RJ for Delta with 50 people at an average of 600.00 is 30K.

A Southwest 737 carrying 130 people at 159.00 average fare is 20K.

Which flight just made more money? Get it?

Airlines are not in business to lower fares and detest competition. Read up on the industry in one of you college classes. If Southwest enters, other airlines will simply scale back. Delta, American, Continental and other legacy carriers do not have cost structures to compete with LCC's. Do you understand any of this? Why do mom and pop shops close when Wal-Mart opens nearby? Cost structure.

Edited by gsupstate

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Ok, then why do the airlines keep cutting back at GSP? If the flights are full like you claim, why not add more flights or bring in bigger planes? If i'm an airline company that sees GSP as a goldmine, I am not going to cut back service. I am going to add service to get more money. They can charge the same price they've been charging or even raise prices. I see what you're saying but the problem is most people aren't going to pay the money to fly out of GSP. They are going to drive to Charlotte or Atlanta instead.

Edited by citylife

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An RJ for Delta with 50 people at an average of 600.00 is 30K.

A Southwest 737 carrying 130 people at 159.00 average fare is 20K.

Which flight just made more money? Get it?

Well said. Plus, that smaller flight out of GSP will have lower overhead because it's a smaller plane, with lower gas costs, a smaller crew, etc. It makes perfect sense from the airline's perspective.

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-Wow gsupstate! Guess I got your goat a little. :D

Not at all. I always put on my rose colored glasses when I see your post to cut down the glare of negativity. :lol:

You didn't post links to similar sized cities receiving significant additional air service? Didn't you say many places were getting additional flights. I'd love to see the links.

Look back at my post. I agree Southwest would help GSP, but Southwest will not be a magic tonic that some think it will be. It will have side effects.....some positive, but also some negative. Things aren't all negative at GSP though. I'm assuming you noticed that although there were flight reductions over the last 5 years (as has been nationally), GSP is also at an all time high for cities served nonstop. No loss of cities. GSP is extremely cost effective as regards long term parking. GSP is quick in and out. For a business traveler, GSP is a dream. For a tourist traveler, cost needs to come down, I get it.

Edited by gsupstate

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Look back at my post. I agree Southwest would help GSP, but Southwest will not be a magic tonic that some think it will be. It will side effects.....some positive, but also some negative. Things are all negative at GSP though. I'm assuming you noticed that although there were flight reductions over the last 5 years (as has been nationally), GSP is also at an all time high for cities served nonstop. No loss of cities. GSP is extremely cost effective as regards long term parking. GSP is quick in and out. For a business traveler, GSP is a dream. For a tourist traveler, cost needs to come down, I get it.

Oh I agree. Woah, did I just say that? :lol: GSP is a beautiful airport and is easy-in/easy-out. That's why it upsets me soo much that they have high costs. I want to be able to use the airport without having to pay an arm and a leg for a ticket. :)

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Ok, then why do the airlines keep cutting back at GSP? If the flights are full like you claim, why not add more flights or bring in bigger planes? If i'm an airline company that sees GSP as a goldmine, I am not going to cut back service. I am going to add service to get more money. They can charge the same price they've been charging or even raise prices. I see what you're saying but the problem is most people aren't going to pay the money to fly out of GSP. They are going to drive to Charlotte or Atlanta instead.

Look back a few post......19 of 30 flights lost over the last 5 years have had nothing to do with Greenville. It has been hub downsizing on the other end. Want to feel bad about an airport, try living in Cincinnati......a place that used to be Delta's 2nd major hub with close to 600 flights a day, now not even at 200 a day and knowing the hub is hanging on only by a thread.....or Memphis....or Pittsburgh with once 600 plus USAirways daily flights now less than 70.

Capacity needs are obviously being met for business travelers at the moment at GSP and of course tourist travel is low. This is where Southwest comes in. They'll recoup the tourist travel lost to CLT and ATL, but again, be prepared for negatives. Be prepared for them to run Allegiant out of town. Be prepared for grouchy business travelers when Delta makes cuts and business travelers are forced over to Southwest. Southwest operates on a Wal-Mart model......that is the best analogy I have. If we were a 5 million plus metro, Southwest's negative factors would be minimized. For smaller metros, Southwest's negative factors show more.

Edited by gsupstate

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Not at all. I always put on my rose colored glasses when I see your post to cut down the glare of negativity. :lol:

:lol: Actually I try to pick things apart sometimes, so I am sure that it comes across negatively some, though I hope not all the time.

I have no links for other airports, but I addressed what I meant in my last post. For the record, I agree with pretty much everything in the last paragraph of your post. And yes, I noted that no cities have been lost, which is certainly a plus. :thumbsup:

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Capacity needs are obviously being met for business travelers at the moment at GSP and of course tourist travel is low. This is where Southwest comes in. They'll recoup the tourist travel lost to CLT and ATL, but again, be prepared for negatives. Be prepared for them to run Allegiant out of town. Be prepared for grouchy business travelers when Delta makes cuts and business travelers are forced over to Southwest. Southwest operates on a Wal-Mart model......that is the best analogy I have. If we were a 5 million plus metro, Southwest's negative factors would be minimized. For smaller metros, Southwest's negative factors show more.

This is a good point. Now I am wondering about Raleigh. Their airport leadership was quoted as saying that Southwest did wonders for RDU, and has resulted in a huge increase in daily flights from their airport. I consider Greenville-Spartanburg and Raleigh to be similar metros, with both having a heavy business travel base. Both airports deal with potential competition from CLT. I realize that Raleigh is slightly larger than Greenville-Spartanburg, but not by much. I wonder if their airport's growth can truly be attributed to Southwest, or if it is more due to their population growth and economic advancements.

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:lol: Actually I try to pick things apart sometimes, so I am sure that it comes across negatively some, though I hope not all the time.

I hope you know I was teasing you. ;) I enjoy your post. You always have a unique perspective. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

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Capacity needs are obviously being met for business travelers at the moment at GSP and of course tourist travel is low. This is where Southwest comes in. They'll recoup the tourist travel lost to CLT and ATL, but again, be prepared for negatives. Be prepared for them to run Allegiant out of town. Be prepared for grouchy business travelers when Delta makes cuts and business travelers are forced over to Southwest. Southwest operates on a Wal-Mart model......that is the best analogy I have. If we were a 5 million plus metro, Southwest's negative factors would be minimized. For smaller metros, Southwest's negative factors show more.

How has this played out at RDU? I have read that SW has been hugely positive for RDU, and they offer several exclusive routes there.

(Greenville, you beat me to the question! )

I don't think we need assume that SW would run Allegiant out of town. They seem to have a good business modle and have already established a passenger base. And I hope that SW would offer some new routes and fill unmet needs for the most part. Florida destinations seem to be well met at this time. N'est pas?

Edited by distortedlogic

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This is a good point. Now I am wondering about Raleigh. Their airport leadership was quoted as saying that Southwest did wonders for RDU, and has resulted in a huge increase in daily flights from their airport. I consider Greenville-Spartanburg and Raleigh to be similar metros, with both having a heavy business travel base. Both airports deal with potential competition from CLT. I realize that Raleigh is slightly larger than Greenville-Spartanburg, but not by much. I wonder if their airport's growth can truly be attributed to Southwest, or if it is more due to their population growth and economic advancements.

True. I'd like to know the answer to that. I've heard many places refer to the "Southwest effect". That it always increases air traffic. It obviously increases non business travel greatly for the airport. I'd like to see market share and also real actual passenger numbers by airline at an airport before and after Southwest. I have trouble believing another airlines business would increase once Southwest enters. Also, I wonder how much of the increase could be attributed to the economic bubble the nation has lived in for the last several years. It will be interesting to see numbers for all airports and airlines at the end of 2009.

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I have trouble believing another airlines business would increase once Southwest enters.

One possible explanation could be that when SW enters, other airlines lower their fares in response (which is what we hope would happen anyway). This fare reduction prompts many "frequent flyers' with a particular airline to fly with that airline from this airport, rather than now driving to another. So people are jsut shuffling back to their home airport with the cheaper prices though they aren't necessarily flying SW. "Perhaps this is part of the SW effect?"

Edited by distortedlogic

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Go to this link for RDU passenger stat history:

http://www.rdu.com/aboutrdu/stats.htm

Look back in the late 80's / early 90's, RDU was around 9 million passengers a year....that was when American had a hub there. Once the hub was closed you see RDU dropped down to 5 or 6 million. Since that time they have come back to 8, 9, 10 million range.....not steady year over year growth....a bit sporadic, up one year, down the next and back up. Obviously Southwest had a big part in getting them back up in passenger numbers, but over that number of years, wouldn't much of this also be attributed simply to the booming growth of that metro area?

Southwest has a much greater number of flights out of RDU than they would have if they came to Greenville.

A better comparison for Greenville would Jackson, MS.....a metro with about 700K but with Vicksburg, Meridian and Hattiesburg close enough to add a catchment area of well over a million. Southwest started with 4 places served non-stop and still serves only those four places. Jackson's airport serves well under a million yearly, even with Southwest....much less than the 1.4 million GSP serves. Seems Southwest hasn't had much effect there.

My question.....does Southwest get credit and ride the coat-tails of a growing metro population? If there was a true Southwest effect, wouldn't it have worked in Jackson.......especially considering MS is one of the poorest states and cheap fares would be in high demand? :dontknow:

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Yeah, it is probably hard to know how much effect growth or SW had independently at RDU. It is probably a combination of having SW at a time when R/D has been booming that has led to the growth there. On the other hand though, I don't think of Jacksonville as being a boom town, so there would not be as much demand as for R/D. Perhaps Gville would fall somewhere in between these two scenarios?

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One possible explanation could be that when SW enters, other airlines lower their fares in response (which is what we hope would happen anyway). This fare reduction prompts many "frequent flyers' with a particular airline to fly with that airline from this airport, rather than now driving to another. So people are jsut shuffling back to their home airport with the cheaper prices though they aren't necessarily flying SW. "Perhaps this is part of the SW effect?"

Yes, agreed. That definitely happens. However, many airlines choose not to lower fares and instead exit a market or shrink their service in the market. Legacy carriers have trouble lowering fares due to their cost structure and many times choose to exit or reduce service. This is the negative part of the Southwest effect that gets swept under the rug. Again, for a 5 million plus metro there is less chance of that happening, for our size metro it is something to think about.

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Perhaps since GSP is primarily a business market they will be in a better position to reduce prices rather than service. We have been told that they have declined to reduce fares because they do not see a need. If true, that tells me that there is a bit of cushion (our business cash cow :) ) that they could play with. Hopefully the "need" to reduce fares would be met, and since prices are jacked up already, they would not need to reduce service. Then we could have our cake and eat it too! :w00t:

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Yeah, it is probably hard to know how much effect growth or SW had independently at RDU. It is probably a combination of having SW at a time when R/D has been booming that has led to the growth there. On the other hand though, I don't think of Jacksonville as being a boom town, so there would not be as much demand as for R/D. Perhaps Gville would fall somewhere in between these two scenarios?

Right. Jackson isn't a boom town, so shouldn't the Southwest effect really stand out and show up there? If there is a Southwest effect it should be able to stand on it's own and therefore you would see it in Jackson, IMO.

I do think Southwest would be good for GSP. I want to see GSP grow. Selfishly though, I do not want an airport full of kids and vacation families. Not to sound mean, but out of all my travels, I HATE having to fly to any Florida city because the plane is typically full of tourist. Once you've had Pepsi spilled on your shirt in flight and no time to change before your meeting or a kid barf on your brand new suede shoes (that truely happened to me :lol: )......well those kinds of things color your opinion. I guess I'm living in a bubble....happy that GSP is mostly business travelers. I guess I need to accept and desire change, right? :alc:

Perhaps since GSP is primarily a business market they will be in a better position to reduce prices rather than service. We have been told that they have declined to reduce fares because they do not see a need. If true, that tells me that there is a bit of cushion (our business cash cow :) ) that they could play with. Hopefully the "need" to reduce fares would be met, and since prices are jacked up already, they would not need to reduce service. Then we could have our cake and eat it too!

:thumbsup:

Edited by gsupstate

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Not to sound mean, but out of all my travels, I HATE having to fly to any Florida city because the plane is typically full of tourist. Once you've had Pepsi spilled on your shirt in flight and no time to change before your meeting or a kid barf on your brand new suede shoes (that truely happened to me :lol: )......well those kinds of things color your opinion.

:rofl:

Traveling to the family-friendly vacation destinations truly does bring one's opinion of humanity down a couple of notches, huh? :lol:

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:rofl:

Traveling to the family-friendly vacation destinations truly does bring one's opinion of humanity down a couple of notches, huh? :lol:

Yep. :lol: It also strengthens my respect for what my parents went through. :lol:

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I'm a little late in the game here tonight, but are we saying that Delta and US Air are "mom & pop" businesses? That seems a bit of stretch. Maybe when the big bully SW comes to town, the entire Delta plane will be empty so gsupstate can enjoy his drink all to himself. This is capitalism at its best, right?

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I'm a little late in the game here tonight, but are we saying that Delta and US Air are "mom & pop" businesses? That seems a bit of stretch. Maybe when the big bully SW comes to town, the entire Delta plane will be empty so gsupstate can enjoy his drink all to himself. This is capitalism at its best, right?

Sounds great to me! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

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