Aviation Update July 2014

Don’t read this if you’re looking for good news for airline passengers. A friend of the blog compiled the following links which show that no matter how bad it gets, there’s always room for worse.

1.  You’ve noticed the carriers imposing more and more fees along with the regular airline fares? Try 1200% in the past seven years, like from $2.4 B in fees in 2007 to $31.5 B in 2013.  More carriers are counted in the later figures but the fees are all coming from the same source: you. 60% of these fees are from the sale of frequent flyer points, 25% for baggage fees, the rest from such services as early boarding and extra-leg-room seating fees. Here, courtesy of Yahoo Finance is a full accounting.

2. I’m sure you’ve heard by now that TSA is also raising its fees. The current fee is $2.50 for non stop and $5 for a connecting flight. The new rate is $5.60 per flight with any connecting longer than four hours counting as a separate flight. That may not sound like much but it adds up, especially when you miss your connection due to delays  leaving  ACV and end up with a ten-hour layover at O’Hare. Here is an account from USA Today.

3. The impact of the war in Ukraine and its spinoffs will be enormous and it is probably too early to assess. The route changes resulting from the war are coming at a time when fuel prices are at an all-time high. When the carriers are squeezed, guess who they’ll pass the increase onto?  The Hindu Business Line newsletter carried an analysis but the link is no longer available. Time moves quickly in the Middle East. 

LOCAL UPDATE: The  Airport Advisory committee did not have its meeting as scheduled yesterday for lack of a quorum but Emily Jacobs reported that there was “some” interest in serving ACV demonstrated by other carriers at the confab in Edmonton. Someone reported that Santa Rosa is improving its runways in anticipation of DIRECT FLIGHTS TO HAWAII.  Wouldn’t  that be great? Yes, it would.  

4 thoughts on “Aviation Update July 2014

  1. As of October 2013, the average age of the Allegiant Air fleet is 22.3 years.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegiant_Air – cite_note-40

    Criticism of workers’ right to organize

    Allegiant’s chairman and CEO, Maurice J. Gallagher Jr., has been critical of the unionization of airline employees and has stated that “Unionization is one of those things that clogs the arteries and makes you less quick and not as nimble as you need to be on top of your game…

    Criticism of the business model

    Some airport officials have criticized Allegiant for shutting down routes or leaving markets quickly if they are not immediately profitable.

    The Viva Aerobus fleet consists of the following aircraft, with an average age of 22.4 years (as of August 2013).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivaaerobus.com#Fleet

    Alaska Airlines has an all-Boeing 737 fleet with an average age of 9.7 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Airlines#Current_fleet

    Years ago I stood under one of these old (22+ years on average with Allegiant and VivaAerobus) B737, and it is not a pretty picture. Hundreds of hydraulic fittings looking nasty. Alaska is buying new B737 aircraft fitted for over water flights. That would be my preference. However, it looks like Vivaaerobus is planning on updating their fleet. Must be a ton of Hispanics in Sonoma/Mendocino working the grapes if Guadalajara, Mexico is in the STS top three destinations. Migration!

  2. Humboldt County Airport Advisory Committee

    http://www.humboldtgov.org/169/Humboldt-County-Airport-Advisory-Committ

    Regular Meetings
    6 p.m.
    Fourth Tuesday of every month
    Prosperity Center
    520 E St.
    Eureka, CA 95501
    Agendas & Minutes
    Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
    Most Recent Agenda | View All Agendas and Minutes

    Members
    Kelly Deutermann, Lt., USCG, Chairperson
    At Large
    Richard Fenton, Secretary
    At Large
    Kyle Gabel
    At Large
    Chuck Goodwin, Vice Chairman
    District 4
    George Jutila
    District 2
    John McBeth
    District 1
    David Ravetti, Chairman
    At Large
    Alex Stillman
    District 3
    Justin Zabel
    District 5
    Purpose
    We are a committee, authorized by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, to advise the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors regarding aviation matters within the county.

    Public Input
    Anyone may submit comments in writing at anytime or in person during monthly meetings. To be included on the agenda and address the committee in person, submit your request and topic 10 days prior to the monthly meeting.

  3. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/1853328-181/sonoma-county-airport-expansion-expected

    STS seems determined to invoke that ancient curse, may you get what you think you want. In retrospect, you might want to fully promote what you have. Because they already lost a flight east to Lost Wages.

    per the Press Democrat: “In October, Stout met with a number of airline executives about adding service to Sonoma County. The most promising developments include a future United Airlines flight to Denver, which is a major hub for east coast connections, and American Airlines service to Phoenix, Stout said. Neither airlines have made commitments, though, he said.

    …including Allegiant Air to Las Vegas and Alaska Airlines to Maui.

    Viva Aerobus, a budget Mexican airline, is exploring direct service from Sonoma County to Guadalajara, Mexico, the third most popular destination for North Bay travelers.”

    Both Allegiant and Aerobus use older aircraft. If Alaska can make it off the ground on a 6K runway with a load of fuel for Maui…”

    The RJ Snoopy International specified for the Federal Grant cannot get off a 6K runway. Some of their airline recruitment goals sound familiar…American to Phoenix, UAL to Denver, so why not Delta to SLC? Oops.

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