Are Numbers Negative?
If you ask questions or want things to change to make the airport better, you are not being negative! Case in point, look at Amercan Airlines.
American's initial announcement to have one turn starting at 8:00 AM leaving Philadelphia made no sense for a myriad of reasons. Nobody said nothing, in fact everyone cheered.
We even listed all the reasons this made no sense on this blog and actually urged Massport to not accept this flight as proposed, people told us to be quiet. Thankfully we did not listen.
You would be very surprised to know who reached out to us and told to shut up!!! Very surprised...
In the end American not only changed the times of this flight to what we recommended (RON), but added a mid-day turn. Were we being negative??? Or did we make constructive criticisms that Massport and American listened to and made changes to help Worcester Airport thrive??
Flash forward to today, here are some numbers that we are looking at. Sorry if these will be perceived as negative by some??? We would rather leave the "poms poms' with the cheerleaders and look at the numbers as business people.
JetBlue ORH March numbers are in and are down from 86.66% to 85.48% from last year. Is a 1.18% drop horrible? No it is not.
At the same time do not forget that in 2017 our load was 77.88%, 3.53% decrease from 2016. Literally, we can not remember when a month this year beat a month from the prior year. The fact is that these Florida are not only not trending up, but are going down.
This is not a good image/perception for Worcester Airport.
Again we ask, if we moved away from the morning flights due to fog, why are we not going back to morning flights now that we have CAT III?? We are convinced that we would consistently see loads in the 90% range, if we made this change.
We also heard the numbers for June to JFK are weak. Very weak!! Right now we are not even hitting 50%, that is not good. JetBlue is not going to pull the plug after two, three or 12 months. If we stay a this level long term, they surely will. Do we pretend all is good and break out the "pom poms" as some would recommend???
Truth is that there is no reason these flights should not to be at 80% or more. Again here are 4 quick fixes that we have recommended:
1) Mechanic on duty in the mechanic for the morning flight, not 45 minutes away.
2) Keep CAT "in service" all the time.
3) Try to get an earlier arrival time at night
4) MARKETING: currrently there is none. The #WhyIFlyORH hashtag campaign is nothing short of painful. Please change it to "ORH to JFK and the world".
We apologize in advance to those who will consider this to be "negative", but we post these criticisms to hopefully see changes to make this flight an asset for JetBlue, not a liability to keep Massport happy.
Post your comment
commented on 2018-06-14 17:45:26
Airlines focus on yield more than load factor. A slight drop in load factor can easily be overcome by an increase in revenue seat mile. Unless you have that number, you can't comment effectively on trends.
commented on 2018-06-14 17:48:10
Staley That is a very good point... Our point is that Massport needs to be high loads and increasing loads on these flights in Worcester to entice more airlines to come to Worcester... Getting JetBlue to change their times to the morning would increase loads and we do not see how it would not increase JetBlue's bottom line, if they kept the pricing the same.
commented on 2018-06-14 20:55:15
Bill, it's scary that you can figure this out while all the so called experts at Massport can't. I have a friend who is a mid-level manager at Logan. He told me that it's common knowledge that Massport sends it's malcontents and employees with poor job performance to Worcester Airport to tread water until they retire.
commented on 2018-06-15 05:24:56
Business Traveler. There was some tough sledding at the beginning but things are much better. Far from a 50/50 proposition. We see the major problem right now being the complete lack of advertising by Massport, City of Worcester and JetBlue.
commented on 2018-06-15 05:40:20
You nailed it yet again with your statements and ideas to increase sales... I would rather fly out of ORH any day over driving to BOS, paying to park, standing in a security check for 30+ mins and dealing with thousands of ppl. But I have to be completely honest, with jet blue flights to MCO the times just don’t work or make any sense for the majority of travelers. If I were to choose ORH over surrounding airports I would actually be either paying more (because I would have to get a hotel an extra night) or I would be losing out on a full vacation day. That being said the flight times NEED to revert back to the times we had before we change due to fog... We have a fully operational CAT III system now, there is NO excuse. Also, I have said it before and I’m sure I will say it again... MARKETING, MARKETING, MARKETING!!! The marketing campaign needs to be more the 1 billboard on 290; I tested my theory last week and I asked 5 random ppl I work with if they knew that ORH has daily flights to JFK. 3 out of 5 ppl had no idea. That is 60%. When I asked about the American Airlines daily flights to PHL only 1 person out of that same group of 5 knew about it (80%). I understand that it’s only 5 ppl but these individuals are professionals working in downtown Worcester, if they don’t know how do we expect surrounding communities to know? The fact of the matter is, we are losing business to surrounding airports like PVD, BDL, BOS and sadly even MHT. Manchester is another story in itself... there is no reason that they are so much busier then ORH, I know it’s like beating a dead horse but could it be the advertising??? Or is it the fact that they were able to pull off the “Manchester - Boston Regional Airport” name? Downtown Manchester is 54 Miles away from Boston, Downtown Worcester is 47 Miles away from Boston... why are we not capitalizing off of being so close to Boston? We are literally given another state our business... mind boggling! The fact of the matter is... flight times and marketing/advertising are directly impacting load factors at Worcester Airport.
commented on 2018-06-15 04:15:16
If MassPort wants the JetBlue JFK flight to succeed, that flight needs to actually take off nearly every day. Making it a 50-50 proposition that your trip will get cancelled is a self-fulfilling prophesy that they will have to pull that flight.
commented on 2018-06-15 04:22:16
Bill keep posting your insights I think you have the airport moving in the right direction. Too many times in many forums in Worcester conversation is suppressed.
commented on 2018-06-15 05:47:22
Yeah I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out two flights a day that have dropped almost 7 percent in two years definitely don’t have the highest yield. Bill can atleast presume with confidence especially now that fuel prices are higher now than they were 2 years ago when flights were at 84 percent.
commented on 2018-06-15 05:51:22
Bill, John Gianxxxxxxxx is absolutely right. Keep doing what you're doing to promote Worcester airport. Our passenger numbers from central MA have never looked better. Sincerely, Your friends at TF Green!!!!
commented on 2018-06-15 07:12:58
If you want morning flights to Florida, you have to choose between two options for the inbound leg. It's either going to be an end of the day RON flight, or it's going to be an early morning flight from Florida. The former comes with the attendant delays and cancellations that make end of the day flights the least reliable in the system. The latter requires giving up a vacation day in Florida. To Joe B: Manchester has been in decline for a while, but it succeeds because its catchment area includes a population that is closer to MHT than to any other airport (the population north and west of MHT) and it has direct highway access. Worcester's catchment area has competing airports in all directions, and those airports, with far greater flight options, are closer than ORH once you get about 10 miles away from ORH. ORH can succeed without direct highway access, but it will always be a struggle to get folks to follow city streets to the airport, and that will disqualify a considerable percentage of potential customers.