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Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 11:23 PM
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AnthonyHarding AnthonyHarding is offline
Dare Mighty Things
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 2,248
Originally Posted by isangpogi View Post
Ah... Some positive news out of BOI! Great to hear BA! Good to hear Delta is increasing service to MSP and US is adding service to PHX. Just waiting to hear now who is going to pick up LAX service where American Eagle left off...

Anyone know what happened with Alaska's Idaho Falls service? Someone on the Idaho Falls thread seemed to indicate knowledge that the route was in fact profitable but they pulled out anyway . I tried to follow up but my question went unnoticed. I think it's a shame that the only intra-idaho service is Boise to Lewiston. I understand not having Sun Valley service, but it would be nice to have an affordable air option to the other side of the state. Sea Port was far too expensive to be sustainable at ~$350 r/t!

United flies between Seattle and Portland 8x daily on Embraer 120 Brasilia props which seat thirty. They might be able to make BOI-IDA work a couple times a day. They already have a presence at both airports so they wouldn't be dedicating staff solely to the route like Sea Port and Horizon did. Also, pax from Idaho Falls could continue from Boise on to San Francisco or Los Angeles or Phoenix on partner US Airways. For SEA-PDX service United charges as low as about $160 r/t. I would think they could make BOI-IDA work for not much more...

Delta has the same equipment used for routes like SLC-Sun Valley and SLC-West Yellowstone. Delta already has a presence at both airports as well but connecting to Delta destinations in Boise wouldn't make much sense since Delta only flies back to the east from here to SLC and MSP.

Anyway, just bouncing some thoughts around... If Alaska's Q400s were too big for the route then maybe EMB 120's could be a good fit...
I totally agree that the E-120 is probably the perfect sized aircraft for the route. Horizon for years used to operate 3-5x daily Dash-8 Q200 flights between Boise and Lewiston, Sun Valley, Idaho Falls, Lewiston and Twin Falls each. And there was two huge reasons that operation was profitable: fuel was low, and there was high frequency so it became far more convenient to fly rather than drive.

Contrary to what some folks think in Idaho Falls, the route was just not profitable in its final years of operation. The problem is that for this route to be attractive to the business customer and effectively compete with the car, it needs frequency -- at least 2-3x daily. Fuel is just too high right now for that to be feasible. SeaPort couldn't make it work because they were using entirely the wrong airplane for the mission. Horizon really did all they could to stimulate demand but one flight just wasn't enough and there was just too much risk and not enough reward in trying to stimulate demand through frequency, with fuel being the price it was and numerous other circumstances.
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