Airport Business

DEC 2017 - JAN 2018

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AIRLINE SERVICE 30 airportbusiness December 2017/January 2018 By Benét Wilson An International Appeal For Non-Hub Airports Non-hub airports across the U.S. are gaining international flights thanks to new carriers and overlooked benefits. Kevin Schorr is a vice president and partner at Campbell-Hill Aviation Group, an air service consultancy. His firm regularly works with airport clients to boost domestic and international flights. "The economic benefit of international flights far surpasses the benefits of domestic services. We see lot of demand from non-hub airports to international destinations that sometimes go overlooked because domestic carriers prefer to operate that traffic over an existing hub because it's less risky," said Schorr. There's also pressure in local communities from stakeholders and political representatives for their airports to pursue international service whether or not it makes sense," said Schorr. "This comes as we're seeing airlines embracing international routes that wouldn't have normally stood out as new opportunities to a casual observer." There are reasons why more airlines are bypassing traditional international hubs, said Schorr. "In some cases, like JFK, airports are full during the times that airlines want to operate. It's not uncommon for airlines to be turned away because there are no gates or slots," he explained. "In some cases, bilateral agreement routes are full. A carrier might want to fly between the U.S. and Beijing or Shanghai, but they end up looking at secondary cities like Xian or Chengdu." The industry is also seeing newer carriers with significantly low-cost bases and willing to take a risk flying out of a non-hub airport, said Schorr. GROWING INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS One of those airports is Oakland International, which has service from low-cost Norwegian and Mexico's Volaris among its international flights. It also has service from Azores Air, British Airways and Southwest Airlines despite being only 30 miles away from San Francisco International Airport. Oakland currently has flights to Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Copenhagen, London Gatwick — served by both British Airways and Norwegian — Barcelona, Oslo, Stockholm, Guadalajara, Mexico City and Azores Island. Most of the European flights are operated by Norwegian. Keonnis Taylor, senior marketing and com- munications representative for the airport, said Oakland presented itself as an airport for those looking for entry into the Bay Area. "Given Oakland's geographical location and operational reliability, it was very palatable for an airline like Norwegian to enter," she said. "In making the London case to British Airways when Norwegian already had service, we showed that most of that city's passengers live in the East Bay, which is an attractive geographical location." BA already had service out of San Francisco and San Jose, said Taylor. "So the Oakland flight made them a player in the region." Kevin Dillon is the CEO and executive direc- tor of the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA), which manages Hartford's Bradley International Airport. The region is home to Fortune 500 com- panies including United Technologies, Aetna and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. Bradley's Dublin flight on Aer Lingus started in September 2016 and put the city on the map, H a r t s f i e l d- J a c k s o n . L o s A n g e l e s International. Chicago O'Hare. JFK International. Washington Dulles International. These and other large air- ports carry the lion's share of passengers flying from the United States to interna- tional destinations. But an increasing number non-hub U.S. airports are working with their communities to con- nect with the global air transportation system, includ- ing Hartford, Connecticut, San Diego and Oakland. Volaris is one example of a low-cost airline growing its business at airports across the U.S. Oakland International Airport

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