Not Just For Worcester, But Massachusetts
Couple times last week, we bumped into people who commented that FlyORH must be very happy now that Worcester Airport is such a success? If Worcester Airport was doing great, we would be very happy.
We are far from doing great.
Even when Worcester Airport did not have any flights, we felt better about it knowing that there was potential here just waiting to be tapped into. The problem was the City of Worcester did not belong in the airport business. As result, we urged the City of Worcester to get out of the airport business for years , which they did when they sold ORH to Massport in 2012.
Since taking ownership, Massport has invested over $130 milllion into things like CAT III, which was our biggest problem not an access road, something we never would have been able to do. The sale to Massport not only saved the taxpayers from covering the annual operating losses (millions per year), but we have had over 130 million dollars invested into the airport which has cost the taxpayers nothing!!
People rave about the PawSox deal, but think about it. The taxpayers are the ones putting up over 100 million for the PawSox deal and have all the risk, while we have not invested one penny of our monies into Worcester Airport. Selling the airport has been a great deal for the Worcester taxpayers.
In November of 2013, one year after taking ownership, Massport was able to bring in JetBlue with daily service to Orlando (MCO) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL). At that time, if you asked us where we would be today over 5 years later, we would have predicted:
1) 15 - 20 flights per day with JetBlue
2) at least two turns per day to JFK
3) mulitple flights to MCO and FLO
4) 10 direct flights to other destinations.
5) 1.3 to 1.5 million passengers per year with JetBlue
On the other hand, if you had told me us November of 2013, that in March of 2019 we would still have the one flight to MCO and FLL with an afternoon flight on the Embraer 190 and only one new flight to JFK depating at 6:00AM coming back at 11L45PM? We would not have believed you!!!
This is incredibly disappointing!!!! Over 5 years as owner and over 130 million dollars of tax-payer monies invested and this is all we have to date??? We are not happy at all with the progess at Worcester Airport and please do not tell us about American and Delta.
American initially annouced a 8:00 AM departure with a 9:30 AM return to their hub in Philadelphia. Do you really think American took this flight seriously with this initial annoucement??
Thankfully they changed that and have a very good schedule with two turns per day. Their pilots, however, not being CAT II certified or their planes not being able to advantage of our CAT III landing system has caused too many diversions or outright cancellations..
Yes, we have Delta coming this summer. Why this was announced a year ago and what happened to the 2nd turn? One turn to Detroit will not be a success and offers us very little that we do not have right now. Maybe if it was Atlanta twice per day?
We have had little to no progress in the commerical passenger service development at Worcester Airport, since the initial announcement by JetBlue to start daily service to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando in November of 2013. We are convinced here that Massport does not:
1) take Worcester Airport seriously
2) ever see us as truly being a reliever airport for Logan.
The airlines that are here are here as a favor to Massport, not as a business decision that makes sense to their bottom line. Don't believe us?? When is the last time have you seen any advertising by Jetblue, American or Delta regarding their services from Worcester Airport?
3 thing we can do to turn this around?
Other then the hashtag #WhyIFlyORH on Twitter, we have not plan.
Spend over $130 million on an asset and then spend nothing on marketing? One of the biggest problems with Worcester Airport right now is in fact our image!!
We need to start a marketing plan and spend a couple million per year to let people know Worcester Airport exists. Hire a spokesperson like Worcester native Denis Leary? Maybe if these airlines saw us spending money to market our airport, they would spend money to market their flights.
We need to put a full court press to get this new airline being started by Dave Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue. This airline will look to fly from uncrowded secondary airports. Does anything say more uncrowded and secondary more then Worcester Airport?
Moxy could be like what Jetblue has been for Boston. Lets not make the same mistake we made with SouthWest 25 years ago! Put the full court press on now for Moxy flights that are scheduled to start next year.
Next CEO of Massport
If we get another "Boston" guy appointed as next CEO, Worcester will continue to flounder and provide no relief to Boston/Logan. We need to have someone, who believes there is a world West of Route 128 and that Worcester can actually be a reliever airport for Boston.
Holden native John Pranckevicius is not only that "someone", but is the most qualified person for the job, read bio below!
Imagine if we had 15-20 flights per day from JetBlue today? Not only would this be great for Worcester, but it would be great for people flying out of Boston diverting traffic to their other airport?
Lets change Massport from Bostonport to Massport and have the next CEO of Massport be someone who understands there is a world West of Route 128.
John Pranckevicius Bio from Massport site
John Pranckevicius, was appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director on November 16, 2018. He joined the Authority in May 2007 as the Authority’s Director of Administration and Finance/Secretary-Treasurer. As Acting CEO, he oversees the 1,290-person agency that operates Boston Logan International Airport, Hanscom Field, Worcester Regional Airport, the Port of Boston’s Conley Container Terminal and Flynn Cruiseport Boston, and manages real estate holdings in South Boston, East Boston and Charlestown. In his 11 years as a senior executive at the agency, Mr. Pranckevicius has played a significant role in advancing the Authority’s transportation and economic development missions. He was a major contributor to the development of Massport’s Strategic Plan, which focused on increasing international flights and reconfiguring the domestic terminals to manage growth at Logan Airport, as well as dredging Boston Harbor and modernizing Conley Terminal to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the Port of Boston. His financial acumen and negotiation skills were instrumental in advancing more than 3 million square feet of private development including the Omni Hotel, Waterside Place, Gables Seaport and Parcel K. Under Mr. Pranckevicius’ leadership, Massport’s bond ratings were raised to Aa2, one of the highest airport ratings in the country.
Prior to joining the Authority, he served as the Chief Financial Officer for the City of Worcester, Massachusetts. As the Worcester CFO, he was responsible for all facets of a $530 million operating budget consisting of 5,000 employees, two Public Utility Systems, and Parking Structures with over 3,500 spaces under management, and the development of a rolling 5-year $500 million Capital Improvement Plan. He previously served as the Budget Director for the City of Worcester and was responsible for developing the City’s $500 million annual operating budget, working directly with executive management and departments to analyze and review revenue and expenditure trends, new program recommendations, and the evaluation of organizational fee structures.
Mr. Pranckevicius is licensed in the Commonwealth as a Certified Public Accountant, and holds a B.A. degree and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Maine and an M.S. in Accountancy from Bentley University. He has served on a number of boards including the East Boston Foundation (2007), Massachusetts Retirement System Board Member-Ex officio (2007), Massachusetts Retirement Benefit Trust Committee – Chairperson (2009), Worcester Regional Research Bureau (2010), and Worcester Credit Union (2014).
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commented on 2019-03-10 08:42:21
Massport didn't fund the whole upgrades at ORH. The new taxi-way and improvements to the existing ones received a considerable amount of grants from the feds. The new fire/ rescue station was funded completely from the feds. The new apron upgrade also got paid for with federal grants. The third jetway construction under way is going to be fully funded by the feds. I also believe that the Cat III landing system is being maintained by the feds. The terminal we have now was designed to handle up to 800,000 passengers a year so it would need a significant expansion to accommodate the number of passengers you suggest. I just don't see ORH getting above the 8-10 daily flight number. I know some of you guys think ORH is going to be comparable to the T.F Green and Manchester level, but it's never going to happen. If we get a couple of discount carriers to other Southern destinations, I really don't see the need for any additional flights. At that point we will be able to get anywhere domestically and internationally from ORH. It's good to dream, but thinking JB is going to operate at the 10-15 daily flight level out of ORH is just plain laughable.
commented on 2019-03-11 20:25:22
Don't get me wrong CS I don't think we should be comparable to Providence or BDL - just better than what we are dealing with now. I would be okay with a handful of Florida cities, 2-3 reliable connector service (we currently have zero) and some mix of cargo/GA. Prankevicious would be possibly our knight in shining armor if not give ORH it's best chance at success.