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  #181  
Old Posted May 5, 2012, 8:13 PM
boi2socal boi2socal is offline
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Originally Posted by isangpogi View Post
I certainly didn't take your points to be picking on BOI. I love the opportunity to learn and see things from perspectives other than my own. I'm glad this forum is here, what other place is there for us to exchange predictions on the future of Boise Airport?

I did a little looking into how BOI compares to other airports. I looked at cities with metro populations close to the same size as Boise. To begin with:

Boise
Metro Population 627,664, ranked 85th (2011)
Passenger Enplanements in 2010: 1,406,750
Served by Alaska, Delta, Southwest, United, US Airways
Furthest Destination: United to Chicago, 1450 miles

Des Moines, IA
Metro Population 580,255, ranked 88th (2011)
Passenger Enplanements in 2010: 898,840
Served by AirTran, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United, US Airways
Furthest Destination: Allegiant to Los Angeles, 1400 miles

Colorado Springs, CO
Metro Population 660,319, ranked 81st (2011)
Passenger Enplanements in 2010: 877,367
Served by Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier (as Focus City), United
Furthest Destination: United to Washington-Dulles, 1500 miles

For a city the size of Boise, we are served remarkably well. What's easy to notice is that Boise has much higher levels of traffic than the comparables. As I browsed the information on the aiports, I found most cities Boise's size are served primarily by regional airlines like Delta Connection, United Express and so on.

The cities with enplanement rates most similar to Boise's are Tulsa, OK and Birmingham, AL (1.3 and 1.4 mil respectively). Tulsa has a metro population of 946,962 and Birmingham is 1,132,264.

My point is that we're in a great position to attract more air service. I agree with Boi2SoCal in that I doubt we will land a new airline. What I am banking on is that BOI will at least attract new destinations by airlines already serving Boise. Alaska just make the decision to base crew members here, so that's a sign that at very least they will maintain the status quo. Options for expansion would be Alaska by SkyWest service to LAX on a regional jet and mainline 737 service to SEA.

If anyone's interested, here's where I found the data: http://www.faa.gov/airports/planning...ats/passenger/
I would love to see Alaska back on BOI-LAX, or even Delta. Southwest did cancel Reno in the past and brought it back. So I wouldn't say those routes are done forever.
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  #182  
Old Posted May 5, 2012, 11:26 PM
isangpogi isangpogi is offline
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Originally Posted by boi2socal View Post
I would love to see Alaska back on BOI-LAX, or even Delta. Southwest did cancel Reno in the past and brought it back. So I wouldn't say those routes are done forever.
Interesting, I wasn't aware Southwest had cancelled Reno in the past... I really think Alaska's Q400s would be a perfect fit for the route. I'm sure an airline will soon bite at the chance to serve BOI-LAX. From the comments of others, the American service was well utilized.

JetBlue has never served Boise. I thought maybe they would look at running Boise to Long Beach but they are at their limit of operations which is set by the local government. Seems they'll likely cool it for awhile on expanding West Coast service until they get the limit lifted or build a hub elsewhere...
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  #183  
Old Posted May 6, 2012, 12:15 AM
boi2socal boi2socal is offline
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Originally Posted by isangpogi View Post
Interesting, I wasn't aware Southwest had cancelled Reno in the past... I really think Alaska's Q400s would be a perfect fit for the route. I'm sure an airline will soon bite at the chance to serve BOI-LAX. From the comments of others, the American service was well utilized.

JetBlue has never served Boise. I thought maybe they would look at running Boise to Long Beach but they are at their limit of operations which is set by the local government. Seems they'll likely cool it for awhile on expanding West Coast service until they get the limit lifted or build a hub elsewhere...
JetBlue hasn't done much expansion on the West Coast. They're really focused on the East Coast. I really don't think Boise will get service to another LA Area airport for a long time. I could see San Diego given another try in a few years. Alaska may be able to make it work better now since they are doing Hawaii and Mexico out of there now.
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  #184  
Old Posted May 9, 2012, 4:53 PM
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Boise Chamber of Commerce to hold a summit on air service


May 9th, 2012
Read More: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/0...e-to-hold.html

Quote:
The Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce will hold a summit Tuesday, May 15, on the future of air service in Idaho.

The chamber is planning to push for re-establishing Boise-area routes that airlines have cut and possibly creating new ones.

The summit is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Boise Centre.

The keynote speaker will be aviation futurist Michael Boyd, president of the Evergreen, Colo.-based consulting firm Boyd Group International.
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  #185  
Old Posted May 9, 2012, 11:36 PM
isangpogi isangpogi is offline
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Originally Posted by BoiseAirport View Post
Boise Chamber of Commerce to hold a summit on air service


May 9th, 2012
Read More: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/0...e-to-hold.html
Wow I wish I didn't have to work... I'd love to attend and give a run-down here on what is discussed... What can the Chamber of Commerce do at this point to attract more air service? Beg and plead??
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  #186  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 8:20 PM
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Dang, that's too bad you can't go isangpogi. I'll definitely be attending, I'd love to meet some other SSPers there if anyone else is interested.
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  #187  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 8:35 PM
boi2socal boi2socal is offline
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Originally Posted by isangpogi View Post
Wow I wish I didn't have to work... I'd love to attend and give a run-down here on what is discussed... What can the Chamber of Commerce do at this point to attract more air service? Beg and plead??
Many resort communities offer subsidies to airlines. I guess they could offer fee waivers or discounts as well. But the other airlines would probably want in. Haha
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  #188  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 9:13 PM
ATLonthebrain ATLonthebrain is offline
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I'll definitely be attending. Should be interesting and looking forward to the presentations. Hope there's a strong turnout.

The Chamber can act as a conduit to garner monetary support from the business community to use in air service development efforts. However, those efforts must be closely coordinated with and spearheaded by the Airport itself, not another entity. Airlines don't like to have multiple points of contact within a single community. The Airport is the natural source for an airline to directly interact with.

Begging and pleading will get us absolutely nowhere as a community. The efforts, which are ongoing and have been for some time, must be targeted and based on service which Boise and its community can actually support. Some might believe we can support all of the service which was operating in 2007, the peak year for passenger traffic here. I'd argue that we can probably only support 1/3 of the difference in seats offered then vs now. The local economy still is nowhere near where it was in 2007, and that continues to have a major influence on the propensity of people's decision to travel by air. BOI didn't lose 550K passengers because airlines reduced capacity. It was the other way around..and that's what it seems many in this community still don't understand or are unwilling to accept. It's the disappearance of passengers which caused most of the seat & flight reductions. That is, with the exception of Horizon, which was cutting service pretty heavily before most of the passenger activity decline occurred.
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  #189  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ATLonthebrain View Post
I'll definitely be attending. Should be interesting and looking forward to the presentations. Hope there's a strong turnout.
Great! I hope to see you there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLonthebrain View Post
The Chamber can act as a conduit to garner monetary support from the business community to use in air service development efforts. However, those efforts must be closely coordinated with and spearheaded by the Airport itself, not another entity. Airlines don't like to have multiple points of contact within a single community. The Airport is the natural source for an airline to directly interact with.

Begging and pleading will get us absolutely nowhere as a community. The efforts, which are ongoing and have been for some time, must be targeted and based on service which Boise and its community can actually support. Some might believe we can support all of the service which was operating in 2007, the peak year for passenger traffic here. I'd argue that we can probably only support 1/3 of the difference in seats offered then vs now. The local economy still is nowhere near where it was in 2007, and that continues to have a major influence on the propensity of people's decision to travel by air. BOI didn't lose 550K passengers because airlines reduced capacity. It was the other way around..and that's what it seems many in this community still don't understand or are unwilling to accept. It's the disappearance of passengers which caused most of the seat & flight reductions. That is, with the exception of Horizon, which was cutting service pretty heavily before most of the passenger activity decline occurred.
I agree. If anything, I'd even argue 1/3 is slightly too much for what the market can handle right now. As you said in an earlier post, the problem was that we had it good for so long thanks to low fuel costs, a relatively good local economy and high competition everything now just sucks in comparison, but it's probably closer to what the market can sustainably handle. I also have a hunch it's just a natural trait of the market here in Boise -- people in Southwest Idaho are generally conservative and probably don't have the same propensity to travel when the economy is down and money is tight that more liberal areas might have. Especially since Boise and Idaho isn't a bad place to be in -- it's not like anywhere in the Midwest that experiences brutal winters and unpleasantly humid summers that you just need to get out of there for vacation from time to time.

The question I'm really curious to hear tackled from business leaders in the summit is, what potential new service is most crucial to the local economy? A second daily San Jose/Sacramento flight? Re-establishing a link to Idaho Falls or Reno? Actually speaking of that, I think Silver Airways with low-cost Beech 1900s would be a perfect fit to Boise-Idaho Falls, perhaps even a Boise-Bozeman/Billings market.

Here would be my wishlist of service over the next few years:

AS/QX:
Boise-San Jose - 2nd daily flight
Boise-Sacramento - 2nd daily flight
Boise-Spokane - 1-2 daily flights
Boise-Reno-Los Angeles - 2 daily flights
Boise-Seattle: replace 3 QX flights with AS 737s
Boise-Portland: replace 2 QX flights with 1 AS 737

3M (Silver):
Boise-Idaho Falls - 3 daily flights (I know it seems a bit high, but I think frequency is required to effectively compete with car traffic on this route)
Boise-Bozeman - 1 daily flight
Boise-Billings - 1 daily flight
Boise-Pendleton or Pasco - 1 daily flight

UA:
Boise-Denver: Consolidate RJs, add a flight and make it 4x mainline total
Boise-San Francisco: replace 2 CR7s with 1 A319
Boise-Washington Dulles: this one's a stretch but maybe a seasonal 319

WS:
Boise-Vancouver or Calgary - 1 daily flight with their new Q400s (haha I know, dream on...)
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  #190  
Old Posted May 10, 2012, 10:56 PM
ATLonthebrain ATLonthebrain is offline
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The 1/3 is a best case scenario for 2013, BoiseAirport. It could be absorbed, but would be dependent upon which markets get additional seat capacity or whether there are new markets added to the nonstop service mix. I think much of what you have on your Wish List is possible over the next 18-months. But, the local economy has to keep doing its part and improving with bringing good paying jobs back to the market, reducing the unemployment rate below 7%. And, more locals who have been sitting tight and holding off on that vacation (by air) need to take it already. Trust me, I understand apprehension to spending on leisure travel but, when there is too much of it, combined with less business travel, the result is basically what we see as our reality today. Airlines aren't here to cater to us as individuals. So, less demand has yielded less capacity. Yes, ticket prices are higher, but that's not just because airlines want to charge us more. It truly is based almost entirely on the high price of fuel today and the volatility of it going forward. Still, I have traveled more this year than last through the first 4-months so, I'm doing my part. Are you (question to the valley's residents & visitors!)?
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  #191  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 3:24 AM
isangpogi isangpogi is offline
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BoiseAirport, I like your wishlist...

AS/QX:
Boise-San Jose - 2nd daily flight
Boise-Sacramento - 2nd daily flight
Boise-Spokane - 1-2 daily flights
Boise-Reno-Los Angeles - 2 daily flights
Boise-Seattle: replace 3 QX flights with AS 737s
Boise-Portland: replace 2 QX flights with 1 AS 737

All seem very realistic. It is nice having the frequency that comes with Q400s over 737s, but they are just so cramped and I'm only 5'10"! Your BOI-RNO-LAX idea is intriguing, but I think at least one more direct LAX flight could be supported out of BOI. If QX flew BOI to RNO, then a passenger could take advantage of the AA/QX codeshare and connect on to LAX. I think this would also be too long for comfort on a Q400: an hour to RNO, at least 30 mins on the ground then another hour and a half down to LAX.

3M (Silver):
Boise-Idaho Falls - 3 daily flights (I know it seems a bit high, but I think frequency is required to effectively compete with car traffic on this route)
Boise-Bozeman - 1 daily flight
Boise-Billings - 1 daily flight
Boise-Pendleton or Pasco - 1 daily flight

My question here is what will Silver do different from SeaPort when they flew BOI-IDA? They would absolutely need to bring the cost down to be successful. $79-$99 one way, nonrefundable, advance purchase would be a good price point, but could that cover costs? Of course many business travelers will pay full-fare. Interesting that you mention Pasco, last time I flew to SEA I was seated next to a guy flying there. He had to fly an hour and a half to Seattle, wait two hours there, then catch a quick flight to tri-cities. "It would have been faster to drive," I said. He shrugged his shoulders and said since his company was paying, he'd prefer not to be in the driver's seat.

UA:
Boise-Denver: Consolidate RJs, add a flight and make it 4x mainline total
Boise-San Francisco: replace 2 CR7s with 1 A319
Boise-Washington Dulles: this one's a stretch but maybe a seasonal 319

The flights out of San Francisco are so often delayed and cancelled that they might as well consolidate 2 RJs to an A319. I've seen several times that two flights land from SFO within the hour when they were supposed to be separated by a couple of hours... I would be interested to see if east-coast service would be viable from BOI. Another option would be to Newark. Before either of those happen though I would guess UA would try service to the Houston hub.

WS:
Boise-Vancouver or Calgary - 1 daily flight with their new Q400s (haha I know, dream on...)

I thought the same thing, WestJet has a huge hole in their route map in the NW. Since passengers could be pre-cleared in Calgary they wouldn't need to go through nonexistent customs here. I doubt there's much demand between the two cities though...

Let us know though what you learn at the meeting. I'm glad we have a proactive chamber of commerce and am dying to know what the plan is to increase air service. As the most isolated city in the US of Boise's size, we really need good air service to stay competitive with well paying jobs.
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  #192  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 3:18 PM
Cottonwood Cottonwood is offline
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http://cyclepub.com/boise/





http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/bw-...nt?oid=2648877

BW Bike Issue: The Drinking Cycle
A new way to pub crawl

by Josh Gross @TheJoshGross

After spending the last few years in Boise flipping houses, Mike Thomas went to visit friends in Bend, Ore., and found an unusual business opportunity cruising the streets: Cycle Pub.

Thomas knew he had to bring it back to Boise.

"Boise and Bend are very similar culturally and seeing the marriage of craft beer--which is up and coming in Boise--and bicycling, which is already established in Boise, just made sense," Thomas said. "Additionally, Boise is much flatter than Bend, so I thought it would be much more workable."

What is Cycle Pub? Call it a limo for the green movement, or a Rube Goldberg-esque way to make the several block jaunt between downtown bars more whimsical. But in straight terms, Cycle Pub is a 14-seat, pedal-powered bar that Boiseans can rent to facilitate their downtown pub crawl. It is the size of a large cargo van and looks like a beach cantina on wheels. You may have seen it out on a few test runs late in 2011, but Cycle Pub Boise officially launched in April.
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  #193  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 5:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ATLonthebrain View Post
The 1/3 is a best case scenario for 2013, BoiseAirport. It could be absorbed, but would be dependent upon which markets get additional seat capacity or whether there are new markets added to the nonstop service mix. I think much of what you have on your Wish List is possible over the next 18-months. But, the local economy has to keep doing its part and improving with bringing good paying jobs back to the market, reducing the unemployment rate below 7%. And, more locals who have been sitting tight and holding off on that vacation (by air) need to take it already. Trust me, I understand apprehension to spending on leisure travel but, when there is too much of it, combined with less business travel, the result is basically what we see as our reality today. Airlines aren't here to cater to us as individuals. So, less demand has yielded less capacity. Yes, ticket prices are higher, but that's not just because airlines want to charge us more. It truly is based almost entirely on the high price of fuel today and the volatility of it going forward. Still, I have traveled more this year than last through the first 4-months so, I'm doing my part. Are you (question to the valley's residents & visitors!)?
Well said. While I don't travel near as much as I used to, the travel I used to do was non-rev whereas since last year I've been paying for my tickets so in that regard I've been more valuable as a traveler.

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Originally Posted by isangpogi View Post
All seem very realistic. It is nice having the frequency that comes with Q400s over 737s, but they are just so cramped and I'm only 5'10"! Your BOI-RNO-LAX idea is intriguing, but I think at least one more direct LAX flight could be supported out of BOI. If QX flew BOI to RNO, then a passenger could take advantage of the AA/QX codeshare and connect on to LAX. I think this would also be too long for comfort on a Q400: an hour to RNO, at least 30 mins on the ground then another hour and a half down to LAX.
Perhaps 2x daily BOI-RNO-LAX-RNO-BOI, and 1x daily GEG-BOI-LAX-BOI-GEG would fare better. The good thing about the stop in Reno is that while you might lose a little traffic who want a nonstop, you consolidate the market that goes to both Reno and Los Angeles into two flights, and I think a Q400 is the perfect-size aircraft for the market right now. You'd probably want to start with that, and if it's successful then add a GEG (who doesn't have any service whatsoever to LAX)-BOI-LAX flight, either on QX or OO with their CRJ-700s.

While the flight would still be longer than a nonstop, it would be shorter than any of the one-stop competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isangpogi View Post
My question here is what will Silver do different from SeaPort when they flew BOI-IDA? They would absolutely need to bring the cost down to be successful. $79-$99 one way, nonrefundable, advance purchase would be a good price point, but could that cover costs? Of course many business travelers will pay full-fare. Interesting that you mention Pasco, last time I flew to SEA I was seated next to a guy flying there. He had to fly an hour and a half to Seattle, wait two hours there, then catch a quick flight to tri-cities. "It would have been faster to drive," I said. He shrugged his shoulders and said since his company was paying, he'd prefer not to be in the driver's seat.
Here's my take: the biggest problem with SeaPort's service was that they were using entirely the wrong aircraft for the market. I think Silver would be successful where SeaPort wasn't because the Beech 1900 has a lower CASM than the new Pilatus aircraft that SeaPort was flying. This would allow Silver to profitably charge much more attractive fares than what SeaPort was offering.

ATLonthebrain might have access to data that I don't have, so he could verify or correct me if I'm wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isangpogi View Post
The flights out of San Francisco are so often delayed and cancelled that they might as well consolidate 2 RJs to an A319. I've seen several times that two flights land from SFO within the hour when they were supposed to be separated by a couple of hours... I would be interested to see if east-coast service would be viable from BOI. Another option would be to Newark. Before either of those happen though I would guess UA would try service to the Houston hub.
The thing about any east-coast service is that it's all very unattractive when fuel is as high as it is. The only shot we have for another east-coast link is Washington, D.C. due to the political and business traffic which might result in high enough yields to make it work. I do disagree with Boyd's comment that Boise will never see nonstop New York service, but I would say depending on the economy it's probably at least 5 years out.
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  #194  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 5:38 PM
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http://cyclepub.com/boise/





http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/bw-...nt?oid=2648877

BW Bike Issue: The Drinking Cycle
A new way to pub crawl

by Josh Gross @TheJoshGross

After spending the last few years in Boise flipping houses, Mike Thomas went to visit friends in Bend, Ore., and found an unusual business opportunity cruising the streets: Cycle Pub.

Thomas knew he had to bring it back to Boise.

"Boise and Bend are very similar culturally and seeing the marriage of craft beer--which is up and coming in Boise--and bicycling, which is already established in Boise, just made sense," Thomas said. "Additionally, Boise is much flatter than Bend, so I thought it would be much more workable."

What is Cycle Pub? Call it a limo for the green movement, or a Rube Goldberg-esque way to make the several block jaunt between downtown bars more whimsical. But in straight terms, Cycle Pub is a 14-seat, pedal-powered bar that Boiseans can rent to facilitate their downtown pub crawl. It is the size of a large cargo van and looks like a beach cantina on wheels. You may have seen it out on a few test runs late in 2011, but Cycle Pub Boise officially launched in April.
That is AWESOME! This would be a perfect environment for an SSP meet.. rolling around downtown drinking craft beer on a Saturday, what could be better?
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  #195  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 6:54 PM
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I have a hard time imagining much travel between Boise and Canada. Especially on WestJet. Air Canada could offer connections to Asia and even Australia out of Vancouver. So I would think that to be more likely, if any service to Canada by anyone is to be a reality.

I also disagree that Boise will never see NYC service. It may be a few years out, but if Boise can get service to Atlanta, I'm sure New York could work as well.
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  #196  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 7:21 PM
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I have a hard time imagining much travel between Boise and Canada. Especially on WestJet. Air Canada could offer connections to Asia and even Australia out of Vancouver. So I would think that to be more likely, if any service to Canada by anyone is to be a reality.

I also disagree that Boise will never see NYC service. It may be a few years out, but if Boise can get service to Atlanta, I'm sure New York could work as well.
There isn't much travel at all between Boise and Canada. US-Canada travel demand is far less than most people would think. Even Salt Lake City, with the Delta hub, only has 2x CR7s/CR9s each to Vancouver and Calgary during the peak season and that's it. Which is why I said "haha, dream on..." To say it's something far off would be an understatement, unless somehow US-Canada demand skyrockets.
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  #197  
Old Posted May 11, 2012, 10:58 PM
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I know we all want Boise to Idaho Falls service, me included, but it's a difficult case to make. Here's why: The culture in Idaho Falls is much more aligned to Salt Lake and Utah than it is to Boise and the rest of Idaho. There is some government travel and a little bit of business travel, but would that be enough to sustain air service? To give an example of the culture in IF, Utah Ave is a major thoroughfare linking the retailers on 17th street to Downtown, I-15 and US-20. Idaho Ave, on the other hand, is a residential side street. I feel like we are trying to link two sections of the state who each want to pretend the other doesn't exist.

45 minutes south and even closer to Salt Lake, Pocatello is more closely tied to Boise than IF is because of Simplot and Idaho State University. Pocatello's lower LDS presence I'm sure plays a part in this as well. I feel one could make an easier argument for Pocatello to Boise air service, but then Pocatello is only a three hour drive from Boise.

Here's what I'm getting at: The only way BOI-IDA service will ever work again is if Idaho Falls passengers could connect in Boise to other cities. Even then, it's a difficult case to make because Idaho Falls passengers can connect though Delta's huge SLC hub. It's an even harder case to make when many E. Idaho air passengers are just driving to SLC and catching a plane there.

So a legacy carrier doesn't make much sense because of Delta's huge presence just over the border at SLC. Boise will never be able to compete with that. A few months ago, I suggested that a Delta Connection or United Express Embraer turboprop could work out but it seems those are being phased out. Legacies are shedding even their smaller Regional Jets because they are too expensive to run.

A tiny regional outfit has been tried but their cost per seat is high, and they are serving a very small group of people who must fly, not drive between Idaho Falls and Boise. A regional outfit also would not be able to provide customers with opportunities to connect onward. If they did work out a code-sharing agreement with a legacy, they would be facing the same problem that any other carrier would: Why connect through Boise when it's more convenient to connect through SLC?

So finally, this brings us to low-cost carriers. BOI-IDA wouldn't fit Allegiant's business model of shuttling weekenders from small towns to epicenters of tourism. The route would need daily service to appeal to that small demographic. Spirit would have to enter both markets and running a thin route like BOI-IDA wouldn't fit into their model either.

So what about Southwest? They can make thin routes like BOI-GEG work twice a day, would it be too far of a stretch to serve BOI-IDA? It could work into their point-to-point system to reopen BOI-SLC on Southwest. They could fly BOI-IDA-SLC. Between BOI and IDA pax going to SLC this could work. This would be great for both Boise and Idaho Falls passengers, giving Delta some much needed competition after milking the SLC-Idaho market. I wouldn't mind sitting on the ground in Idaho Falls for 30 mins if it saved me $$ over flying Delta nonstop. The route also allows Idaho Falls passengers to connect further in either SLC or Boise, depending on scheduling. Connection options would be key to reopening BOI-IDA since it doesn't seem there is enough local demand to fill a plane.

Southwest's BOI-SLC flights performed well while they were still going, add in some BOI-IDA passengers, and plenty of IDA-SLC traffic and I think this could really work. Southwest would even get leisure travelers on these flights, something that was cost-prohibitive with SeaPort. Southwest would also be bringing back 737 service to Idaho Falls, absent since Delta went to only RJ's between there and SLC.

Last edited by isangpogi; May 11, 2012 at 11:16 PM.
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  #198  
Old Posted May 14, 2012, 12:48 AM
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What a bummer. I'm not going to be able to make it to the Air Service Summit. It sold out a lot faster than I thought, should've bought tickets when I had the chance.

ATLonthebrain, fill us in on how it goes?
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Old Posted May 14, 2012, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by isangpogi View Post
I know we all want Boise to Idaho Falls service, me included, but it's a difficult case to make. Here's why: The culture in Idaho Falls is much more aligned to Salt Lake and Utah than it is to Boise and the rest of Idaho. There is some government travel and a little bit of business travel, but would that be enough to sustain air service? To give an example of the culture in IF, Utah Ave is a major thoroughfare linking the retailers on 17th street to Downtown, I-15 and US-20. Idaho Ave, on the other hand, is a residential side street. I feel like we are trying to link two sections of the state who each want to pretend the other doesn't exist.

45 minutes south and even closer to Salt Lake, Pocatello is more closely tied to Boise than IF is because of Simplot and Idaho State University. Pocatello's lower LDS presence I'm sure plays a part in this as well. I feel one could make an easier argument for Pocatello to Boise air service, but then Pocatello is only a three hour drive from Boise.

Here's what I'm getting at: The only way BOI-IDA service will ever work again is if Idaho Falls passengers could connect in Boise to other cities. Even then, it's a difficult case to make because Idaho Falls passengers can connect though Delta's huge SLC hub. It's an even harder case to make when many E. Idaho air passengers are just driving to SLC and catching a plane there.

So a legacy carrier doesn't make much sense because of Delta's huge presence just over the border at SLC. Boise will never be able to compete with that. A few months ago, I suggested that a Delta Connection or United Express Embraer turboprop could work out but it seems those are being phased out. Legacies are shedding even their smaller Regional Jets because they are too expensive to run.

A tiny regional outfit has been tried but their cost per seat is high, and they are serving a very small group of people who must fly, not drive between Idaho Falls and Boise. A regional outfit also would not be able to provide customers with opportunities to connect onward. If they did work out a code-sharing agreement with a legacy, they would be facing the same problem that any other carrier would: Why connect through Boise when it's more convenient to connect through SLC?

So finally, this brings us to low-cost carriers. BOI-IDA wouldn't fit Allegiant's business model of shuttling weekenders from small towns to epicenters of tourism. The route would need daily service to appeal to that small demographic. Spirit would have to enter both markets and running a thin route like BOI-IDA wouldn't fit into their model either.

So what about Southwest? They can make thin routes like BOI-GEG work twice a day, would it be too far of a stretch to serve BOI-IDA? It could work into their point-to-point system to reopen BOI-SLC on Southwest. They could fly BOI-IDA-SLC. Between BOI and IDA pax going to SLC this could work. This would be great for both Boise and Idaho Falls passengers, giving Delta some much needed competition after milking the SLC-Idaho market. I wouldn't mind sitting on the ground in Idaho Falls for 30 mins if it saved me $$ over flying Delta nonstop. The route also allows Idaho Falls passengers to connect further in either SLC or Boise, depending on scheduling. Connection options would be key to reopening BOI-IDA since it doesn't seem there is enough local demand to fill a plane.

Southwest's BOI-SLC flights performed well while they were still going, add in some BOI-IDA passengers, and plenty of IDA-SLC traffic and I think this could really work. Southwest would even get leisure travelers on these flights, something that was cost-prohibitive with SeaPort. Southwest would also be bringing back 737 service to Idaho Falls, absent since Delta went to only RJ's between there and SLC.
Southwest won't serve BOI-IDA for numerous reasons. One, it's way outside their business model - when they enter markets, they do it with at least 8x flights per day or more to various destinations, and IDA is just too small of a market for them to consider right now. Also, a 137-seater 737 is WAY too large for the market. A Beech 1900 only carries 19 people, and right now it's debatable whether even that is too large for the market to support.

I understand where you're coming from. I do agree that a BOI-IDA-SLC routing would work, but I still think the Beech 1900 or a plane of equivalent size is the perfect aircraft for it. While I do agree that Idaho Falls' culture is more tied to SLC than it is to BOI, if you look at the load factors that QX used to run on the route, the raw passenger and cargo numbers is probably enough to make a Beech 1900 profitable, moreso than Pocatello. If not now, then in a few years when the economy improves.
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Old Posted May 14, 2012, 4:26 AM
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Southwest won't serve BOI-IDA for numerous reasons. One, it's way outside their business model - when they enter markets, they do it with at least 8x flights per day or more to various destinations, and IDA is just too small of a market for them to consider right now. Also, a 137-seater 737 is WAY too large for the market. A Beech 1900 only carries 19 people, and right now it's debatable whether even that is too large for the market to support.

I understand where you're coming from. I do agree that a BOI-IDA-SLC routing would work, but I still think the Beech 1900 or a plane of equivalent size is the perfect aircraft for it. While I do agree that Idaho Falls' culture is more tied to SLC than it is to BOI, if you look at the load factors that QX used to run on the route, the raw passenger and cargo numbers is probably enough to make a Beech 1900 profitable, moreso than Pocatello. If not now, then in a few years when the economy improves.
Haha... Ya, this was just my hour-long thought process written out... I initially started writing a post on why IDA-BOI would never work. Started whittling away at the airlines that would never serve the route and ended up with the idea of WN. My first thought was the 737 would be too big, but if many of the passengers were BOI-SLC bound, with some turnover at IDA, the 737 might work. I looked for small markets served by WN and found a few being converted from AirTran, what I didn't take into account is what you pointed out: Southwest doesn't go into markets looking to only do a couple flights a day.

When I was thinking this through, I figured Pocatelloans would be willing to drive up to IDA to catch a WN flight if the price is right. Add in Rigby, Rexburg and Blackfoot plus tourist travel going to Sun Valley, Yellowstone and Jackson Hole and suddenly the idea seemed to make more and more sense. None of those areas are served by a LCC. Right now, the options to get to Yellowstone are to fly into SLC then rent a car for the balance of the trip. It's pretty expensive to make the extra connection into Jackson, Idaho Falls, or one of the Yellowstone-area airports. There would certainly be demand from West Coasters going to Yellowstone and looking to save money over flying DL into SLC. They could route through Boise and on to Idaho Falls and drive from there. But even with all these factors, Southwest would never fill 8 737s a day...

I'm still gonna stick to my guns though and say that BOI-IDA will only work in a situation where Idaho Falls passengers can use Boise as a connecting airport, there's just not enough demand to only fly between the two cities. OR, the route would work when done in some kind of couplet, like SLC-IDA-BOI or IDA-BOI-SEA or PDX.

Does Delta do routes where aircraft make stops and continue to another destination? I know it's not ideal because this only strengthens DL's monopoly on SLC-bound flights from Idaho, but they could run a couple of flights through Idaho Falls and on to Boise on RJs. Kind of like how AS flies BOI-LWS-SEA, people use the flight to get from Boise to Seattle and put up with the stop in LWS because the timing makes better sense to their schedule.
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