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  #141  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2012, 12:34 AM
isangpogi isangpogi is offline
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Originally Posted by BoiseAirport View Post
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.
Interesting... I don't know much about the Pilatus aircraft flown by SeaPort, I'll take your word for it and the eventual failure that it was the wrong plane for the route. Another pitfall was the fact that SeaPort had ground operations at both Idaho Falls and Boise just for this one route. SeaPort recently pulled out of its namesake Seattle-Portland route as well, showing the EMB 120s of United and the Q400s of Alaska were a better fit there too.

Clearly, there is not enough demand for several Q400s per day going back and forth from Boise to Idaho Falls. Like you said, in order for the route to be profitable, there needs to be a decent amount of frequency at a price that makes sense. Maybe 3x daily, once in the morning, once at midday and once again in the evening would be a good fit. This would be a total of 90 seats per day in each direction, slightly more than one Q400 but with the advantage of more frequent service.

After I submitted my previous post, it occurred to me that Delta and Alaska have a partnership. Perhaps if Delta were to serve BOI-IDA on EMB 120's this would allow passengers the option of connecting in Boise to Seattle and Portland on Alaska. As it is now, Idaho Falls to Seattle/Portland passengers have to first head south to Salt Lake City in order to connect to these Northwest Destinations. I would assume that Delta has more of a frequent flyer base in Idaho Falls than United given IF's proximity to the SLC hub, and strong regional ties to Salt Lake. Also, if BOI-IDA was working and profitable on EMB 120's perhaps Delta would be willing to try flying Pocatello to Boise on a more limited basis, as they already have operations at PIH to SLC.

As I look over flight schedules at IDA from United and Delta, I'm seeing that only Delta has an all-day schedule of flights. United only serves Denver in the morning and at midday, and has only a morning flight to San Fransisco. This would be a factor in profitability and fare cost if United had to extend its hours of operation at Idaho Falls. Both United and Delta are strongly hub-oriented airlines. The route would have to perform well in order to justify a non-hub route.

BoiseAirport, or anyone else, do you know how the operating costs of an Embraer 120 compare to a Q400? I would assume that per seat, it would be more expensive because the cost is shared among so many fewer passengers. I did a couple of dummy bookings on United and Alaska, and found that United successfully matches Alaska's fares until the departure date is within a couple of weeks, then it tends to be more to fly United.
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  #142  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2012, 8:23 PM
boi2socal boi2socal is offline
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Skywest is cutting many of their turboprop routes. So while the idea of flying BOIIDA is nice, it won't be done by SkyWest (United/Delta).
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  #143  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2012, 9:49 PM
ATLonthebrain ATLonthebrain is offline
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Yes, the days of the E120 plying U.S. routes are numbered..what's most unfortunate is that there isn't a true replacement aircraft in the 30-37 seat turboprop category.

For those in Boise, perhaps you saw the Boeing 787 cruising overhead this afternoon. It paid us an unexpected, but most welcome, visit! What an amazingly cool looking plane.
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  #144  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2012, 12:39 AM
isangpogi isangpogi is offline
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Originally Posted by ATLonthebrain View Post
Yes, the days of the E120 plying U.S. routes are numbered..what's most unfortunate is that there isn't a true replacement aircraft in the 30-37 seat turboprop category.

For those in Boise, perhaps you saw the Boeing 787 cruising overhead this afternoon. It paid us an unexpected, but most welcome, visit! What an amazingly cool looking plane.
I wonder if rising fuel costs and the high cost of operating the smallest regional jets will result in an extended lifetime for the E120, maybe even an updated replacement of about the same size.

I saw the 787, I recognized it and after looking at flight aware I confirmed my suspicion... Wish they would announce where it was going, I would have loved to have watched it take off and land...
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  #145  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2012, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ATLonthebrain View Post
Yes, the days of the E120 plying U.S. routes are numbered..what's most unfortunate is that there isn't a true replacement aircraft in the 30-37 seat turboprop category.

For those in Boise, perhaps you saw the Boeing 787 cruising overhead this afternoon. It paid us an unexpected, but most welcome, visit! What an amazingly cool looking plane.
I agree that it's a shame there's no replacement 30 seater turboprop for the E-120. The Q400 and new ATRs actually aren't bad replacements considering that the operating costs aren't a great deal higher than the E-120, and you have about 40 extra seats you can sell, which is why Horizon replaced the Q200 with them. But an advanced 30-37 seater turboprop with modern engines and a newer, more fuel-efficient design would be even better.

I think whenever the economy really picks up again, there'll be enough demand for Alaska/Horizon to restart twice-daily service to Idaho Falls and perhaps a second daily Lewiston flight. If we see a boom in air travel like we saw in 2005-2007 again, the potential is there for even more than that.

Sadly I missed the 787.
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  #146  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2012, 7:14 AM
boi2socal boi2socal is offline
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I think Horizon would need more planes. They've been adding intra-California recently. Alaska Air Group is very conservative with growth, I just don't see much Intra-Idaho service coming back. Just my opinion. It would be great to see a mini hub again, but I'm doubtful. Horizon use to be a true regional carrier. Now they're pretty much only a feeder for Alaska. For awhile I heard rumors Boise would just be PDX and SEA. But a few of the non-hub routes remain, so that is a good thing.

I was looking at trips this summer and it appears the 757 will serve Boise all summer from SLC. That's fun.
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  #147  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2012, 1:59 PM
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I think Horizon would need more planes. They've been adding intra-California recently. Alaska Air Group is very conservative with growth, I just don't see much Intra-Idaho service coming back. Just my opinion. It would be great to see a mini hub again, but I'm doubtful. Horizon use to be a true regional carrier. Now they're pretty much only a feeder for Alaska. For awhile I heard rumors Boise would just be PDX and SEA. But a few of the non-hub routes remain, so that is a good thing.

I was looking at trips this summer and it appears the 757 will serve Boise all summer from SLC. That's fun.
They would but I predict we're going to hear an announcement within the next year that Horizon will acquire more Q400s.

I definitely think that we'll eventually see a solid return of intra-Idaho service similar to what we saw in the late 90s in terms of number of flights. The demand is proven to work with the right idea at the right time. Nobody has the right equipment at low enough costs to effectively compete with the car at the moment, but in the future? A lot can change in 10 years. The more that Boise and Idaho grows, both in population and economy, the greater the demand will grow. To me it's only a question of who, with what, and when. It may be next year, 5-10 years away or more, it may not be Horizon, SkyWest, but perhaps a new upstart airline. But I am confident that eventually we'll see the return of a strong intra-Idaho/Mountain West network out of Boise again.
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  #148  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2012, 2:23 PM
ATLonthebrain ATLonthebrain is offline
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Originally Posted by BoiseAirport View Post
I agree that it's a shame there's no replacement 30 seater turboprop for the E-120. The Q400 and new ATRs actually aren't bad replacements considering that the operating costs aren't a great deal higher than the E-120, and you have about 40 extra seats you can sell, which is why Horizon replaced the Q200 with them. But an advanced 30-37 seater turboprop with modern engines and a newer, more fuel-efficient design would be even better.

I think whenever the economy really picks up again, there'll be enough demand for Alaska/Horizon to restart twice-daily service to Idaho Falls and perhaps a second daily Lewiston flight. If we see a boom in air travel like we saw in 2005-2007 again, the potential is there for even more than that.

Sadly I missed the 787.
The decision by QX to go with the Q400 & CR7 also sealed the fate of quite a few routes which the airline knew would not be able to support a plane twice the size of the one they were using in most markets at the time. That is the sad part in all of this and, sure enough, routes began to be axed with the introduction of the then 70-seat, now 76-seat, Q400.

There is interest in serving intra-state routes from BOI, and with an apprpriately sized aircraft, but the question is whether the interest will result in an announcement of service. If LWS didn't have SEA on each end of the flight, it probably wouldn't exist, plus the fact QX charges pretty solid fares for those who need to fly between here & there.

The growth seen in the middle part of the last decade isn't likely to reoccur anytime soon, but steady growth will add demand for air travel and slowly, airlines will begin to restore capacity. Fuel, though, is going to play a significant role in that decision, too. It isn't just whether the market can support more service, but is it willing to pay the corresponding fares to utilize it and make it profitable.
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  #149  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2012, 5:21 PM
ATLonthebrain ATLonthebrain is offline
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  #150  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2012, 5:22 PM
ATLonthebrain ATLonthebrain is offline
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Originally Posted by BoiseAirport View Post
Minor news:

US Airways is adding a third daily flight starting in July on Boise to Phoenix. Flight will depart Boise at 8:45pm and arrive in Phoenix at 9:47pm connecting with red-eye departures to the Eastern US.

I was pleasantly surprised to see this change considering the schedule on this route has remained almost exactly the same for around 6 years.
The 3rd US flight to PHX actually begins in late May, just before Memorial Day Weekend. It is somewhat sporadic at 3-4 days per week but is expected to build to 5-6 days by peak summer (July). The extra seats will be needed this summer thanks to the various airlines which have reduced capacity or altogether discontinued BOI service this year. Demand will be similar to last year but capacity will be very tight. This will probably lead to airlines realizing they cut too deeply here and restoring some capacity for summer 2013. Doesn't help for 2012, though.
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  #151  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2012, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ATLonthebrain View Post
The decision by QX to go with the Q400 & CR7 also sealed the fate of quite a few routes which the airline knew would not be able to support a plane twice the size of the one they were using in most markets at the time. That is the sad part in all of this and, sure enough, routes began to be axed with the introduction of the then 70-seat, now 76-seat, Q400.

There is interest in serving intra-state routes from BOI, and with an apprpriately sized aircraft, but the question is whether the interest will result in an announcement of service. If LWS didn't have SEA on each end of the flight, it probably wouldn't exist, plus the fact QX charges pretty solid fares for those who need to fly between here & there.

The growth seen in the middle part of the last decade isn't likely to reoccur anytime soon, but steady growth will add demand for air travel and slowly, airlines will begin to restore capacity. Fuel, though, is going to play a significant role in that decision, too. It isn't just whether the market can support more service, but is it willing to pay the corresponding fares to utilize it and make it profitable.
Yeah, as someone who has deep family ties to QX, few are more sad to see them deviate away from their roots in the Pacific Northwest than me. Just the nature of the industry nowadays. I'm curious if the airline showing interest is Silver Airways (formerly Gulfstream). While they're not a true Big Sky replacement, they seem to be filling in that niche market that's been left unserved.

Here's a pretty interesting article you might enjoy reading about the major cutbacks we've seen, from the perspective of business leaders in the community.

http://stateimpact.npr.org/idaho/201...t-air-service/
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  #152  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2012, 7:02 PM
isangpogi isangpogi is offline
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The Ada County Highway District maintains a "road wizard" column which shows up weekly in the Statesman and is archived on http://www.achdidaho.org/Departments/PR/RoadWizard. Recently I was reviewing past articles and found this interesting one:


Dear Road Wizard: I was recently having a conversation with someone who said you can only make a left turn on a red light when you are on a one-way street, turning into a one-way street. The Idaho Driver’s Manual states on page 2-1: “When turning left into a one-way street, you may turn left after stopping (for a steady red light) and yielding to cross traffic except where posted otherwise.” I can’t find anything that says you are required to be on a one-way street. An example would be driving eastbound on River Street and turning left onto Capitol Boulevard. When Capitol has a green light, you get a red ball (not an arrow) and are on a two-way street going into a one-way street. Is it legal to turn after stopping and yielding to cross traffic and pedestrians?

[Response:]Yes, in Idaho you can make a left turn on a red light into a one-way street from a two-way street (and from one-way streets).

But this type of turn can only be done when the left-turn signal is a red circular signal. You aren’t allowed to make a left turn on a red when the signal is a red arrow – or if a sign prohibits it.

The red-arrow can be another source of confusion. The Idaho Driver’s Manual section you mention only refers to a “steady red light.” But Idaho Code (which the driver’s manual is based on) specifically states that you can’t turn on any red arrow, left or right. However, many people don’t realize that.

Because you have a red circular signal at your left on River Street at Capitol, you are legally allowed to make that left on a red. Oh, the freedom!

(http://www.achdidaho.org/Departments...s.aspx?MID=274)

After further research, I found Idaho is one of only five states which allow left turns like this. Since reading the article, I've been apprehensive to try the maneuver myself out of fear that I'll get ticketed by an unknowing officer. Of course the ticket would be dismissed but that would mean the hassle of appearing in court...
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  #153  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2012, 7:44 PM
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Interesting NPR article about Boise flight cuts

Saw this in the State impact section of NPR and wanted to pass it along:
http://stateimpact.npr.org/idaho/201...-a-turnaround/
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  #154  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2012, 11:29 PM
boi2socal boi2socal is offline
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Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think the recent cuts, while not good, are perhaps having their impact exaggerated. Only Boise-Reno and Boise-Idaho Falls are completely gone in the last couple years. United still serves LAX, Alaska to Seattle, Delta to Salt Lake, etc. Passengers counts appear to still be declining, and unfortunately, that doesn't look good for more service. Airlines are trimming everywhere.
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  #155  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2012, 2:04 AM
City Of Trees City Of Trees is offline
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Originally Posted by isangpogi View Post
The Ada County Highway District maintains a "road wizard" column which shows up weekly in the Statesman and is archived on http://www.achdidaho.org/Departments/PR/RoadWizard. Recently I was reviewing past articles and found this interesting one:


Dear Road Wizard: I was recently having a conversation with someone who said you can only make a left turn on a red light when you are on a one-way street, turning into a one-way street. The Idaho Driver’s Manual states on page 2-1: “When turning left into a one-way street, you may turn left after stopping (for a steady red light) and yielding to cross traffic except where posted otherwise.” I can’t find anything that says you are required to be on a one-way street. An example would be driving eastbound on River Street and turning left onto Capitol Boulevard. When Capitol has a green light, you get a red ball (not an arrow) and are on a two-way street going into a one-way street. Is it legal to turn after stopping and yielding to cross traffic and pedestrians?

[Response:]Yes, in Idaho you can make a left turn on a red light into a one-way street from a two-way street (and from one-way streets).

But this type of turn can only be done when the left-turn signal is a red circular signal. You aren’t allowed to make a left turn on a red when the signal is a red arrow – or if a sign prohibits it.

The red-arrow can be another source of confusion. The Idaho Driver’s Manual section you mention only refers to a “steady red light.” But Idaho Code (which the driver’s manual is based on) specifically states that you can’t turn on any red arrow, left or right. However, many people don’t realize that.

Because you have a red circular signal at your left on River Street at Capitol, you are legally allowed to make that left on a red. Oh, the freedom!

(http://www.achdidaho.org/Departments...s.aspx?MID=274)

After further research, I found Idaho is one of only five states which allow left turns like this. Since reading the article, I've been apprehensive to try the maneuver myself out of fear that I'll get ticketed by an unknowing officer. Of course the ticket would be dismissed but that would mean the hassle of appearing in court...
I believe the five states are all three of the Northwest states, Alaska, and one in the Midwest--maybe Michigan?

And I've made these turns for quite some time. Another possible location to do this would be on a few certain freeway ramps.
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  #156  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2012, 4:37 PM
isangpogi isangpogi is offline
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I believe the five states are all three of the Northwest states, Alaska, and one in the Midwest--maybe Michigan?

And I've made these turns for quite some time. Another possible location to do this would be on a few certain freeway ramps.
Wow.... You're right on... Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Michigan. Only in Washington are freeway ramps specifically mentioned and permitted under the law, but one could argue that since a freeway ramp is a one-way street it falls under the law here in Idaho. See 3B for the exact wording of the Idaho statute: http://legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/...SECT49-802.htm
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  #157  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 4:20 AM
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Keep your chin up folks, great news coming.
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  #158  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 7:13 AM
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I'm assuming this is Alaska news. Hopefully, soon. :p
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  #159  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 7:55 AM
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I don't know, I just have a source I greatly trust telling me that good news is coming... I have a strong idea of what it is, but I don't know for certain. Sorry for the tease, I don't want to say who or what it involves. I just want to say there is reason to be optimistic about the future.
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  #160  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2012, 2:43 AM
isangpogi isangpogi is offline
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Originally Posted by BoiseAirport View Post
I don't know, I just have a source I greatly trust telling me that good news is coming... I have a strong idea of what it is, but I don't know for certain. Sorry for the tease, I don't want to say who or what it involves. I just want to say there is reason to be optimistic about the future.
Any idea of how long till the great news surfaces??

Can I make guesses? Maybe Spirit beginning service to Las Vegas, although I've yet to hear anyone enjoying their flights on Spirit, only "enduring" them. Possibly Horizon service to Reno or Salt Lake? Southwest has been in the habit recently of announcing new service but I kind of doubt they would restart a route so soon after ending them, and I don't see any new routes that make much sense. Or maybe Alaska/Horizon is turning Boise into a Q400 hub. Flights will come in and go out every few minutes to and from exotic destinations like Idaho Falls, Spokane, Montana, and Tri-Cities. Is someone going to start flying to Hawaii? Not sure though if the Boise market could support very regular Hawaii service.

Or.... United has determined that fog delays and labor costs at SFO are unsustainable. They are moving their entire operation to Boise, with service to Asia, Europe, Central and South America in addition to flights all over the US and Canada...

Last edited by isangpogi; Apr 4, 2012 at 4:09 AM.
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