In the past few weeks, the air service announcements have been rolling into the airport. It’s not often that we get so many great additions to our flight schedule in such a short period of time. Now, the natural question to ask is what’s next.Right now, we have no non-stop daily service to the Los Angeles metropolitan area. And, before August, we didn’t have any true non-stop daily service to the west coast at all. By April 8, we’ll have three daily flights between RDU and the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas. The reason is that we’re continually laying the ground work.
It’s easy to forget that airlines, at their core, are companies looking to enhance revenues. Sometimes they pick new routes because they see a potential to make a profit on an underserved route. Other times, it is part of a new business model they are testing. Either way, our region wins with additional seats and service to get you where you want to travel.
As my colleague Teresa Damiano explained in an earlier post, it can take years to successfully lobby and land new air service. Most of the time this is how new service happens. That’s what’s happening with the new Los Angeles and Denver service. Both airlines’ flights are timed to be complimentary, meaning there are options for you as you choose your flight. And, with more than 400 people traveling to and from L.A. to RDU each day, there is demand for the flights.
The other way we gain new air service is the result of business decisions by air carriers. Though we are always communicating with airlines and making the business case for service to destinations, sometimes announcements can catch us by surprise, in a very pleasant way. That’s the case with new flight additions to St. Louis, Orlando, Tampa and Trenton. All destinations that make it easier for you to get to where you want to go.
As we look at the aviation industry as a whole and the forecasts for 2013, the announcements we’ve seen the past few weeks have been great, but not something likely to be repeated often in the coming year. The reason is simply that airlines are still operating in a recovering national economy.
In the New Year, you can expect us to continue to work hard to bring new and enhanced air service opportunities to RDU and our region.