We Can Turn This Around Easily
First storm this past Thursday and JetBlue to Fort Lauderdale cancelled, America's Philadelphia flights were cancelled, then followed by American to Philadelphia the next morning also being cancelled. Was this storm really that bad, especially Thursday?.
Sidebar: A friend of mine was flying into Worcester on the American flight on Thursday, but it was cancelled and American put him on flight to Boston. "Don Simpson" can say were are complainers, but the facts are Boston was taking flights and sending them out while ORH could not. Those are facts, not fake news!
Massport taking over Worcester Airport is the best thing that could have happened to the airport, investing over $147 million since taking ownership on July 1, 2010. But we have to ask ourselves, after 8 years and $147 million are we happy with the results?
JetBlue continues to do well with their flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando with loads consistently over 80%, maybe even pushing 90% during the winter months. Although JFK has gotten better, loads still are under 50%.
American started off well with sales hovering around 80% according to our calculations, but sales seemed to have dropped off considerably and do not look that strong going forward. Their planes not being CAT III equipped and their pilots not being CAT II certified has not help resulting in diversions and cancellations. Hopefully their fleet of pilots can get CAT II certified soon and sales will improve!
Update: American going forward looks to be in same range as JetBlue to JFK in the 50% range.
That leaves Delta, which we feel will struggle with their choice of Detroit over Atlanta. Add this all up and we will be looking at 7 flights per day (including Delta), which we feel will average around 60%. Seems like a lot of money to spend for 7 flights and below average loads?
What is the problem? There are several operational problems, like a mechanic not being on duty and only being required to be get here within 45 minutes, and some scheduling ones; for example, we need a 2nd turn to JFK during the day. The biggest problem, however, has been the marketing of Worcester Airport.
1) We have two major airlines flying out of Worcester and another coming soon, other then the occasional full page JetBlue ad in the Telegram, which nobody reads, can anyone tell us any other marketing they have seen from these airlines about their flights from ORH?
2) You have to question Massport investing over $147 million dollars and their marketing effort seems to only include the the hashing #WhyIFlyORH on Twitter? Maybe they should add a couple million to their investment into a marketing campaign to get a return on the other $147 million that they have invested?
3) Lastly the City of Worcester. Have you seen any advertising of our airport on say, for example, billboard on Route 290??
We feel 8 plus years into ownership by Massport that we should have 20 flights per day all averaging over 80% loads especially with CAT III landing equipment, easy location to access (yes it is easy)and $42 per week parking. Until we people become aware of the flight options out of Worcester Airport, we will contionue to struggle and have below average results providing no real relief to Boston.
Can someone please call Denis Leary to help us turn this around so we do not suck??!!!
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commented on 2018-11-18 10:51:19
Give them a break. It was snowing heavily. What do expect them to do go through with the flight and take a chance of sliding off the runway. It isn’t just ORH that gets snow.. I am an Uber driver and I was picking people up Logan that were delayed do to the weather and Logan didn’t as much snow as Worcester did.
commented on 2018-11-18 11:37:00
Dan, that is your opinion and I do not disagree really. Thursday was hard so I’m not referring to that specifically but I personally would just like ORH to operate normally in less than ideal circumstances. Driving Uber in a blizzard huh? Interesting. Do you disagree with anything else bill said? Because it’s pretty spot on.
commented on 2018-11-18 14:25:05
As I have mentioned before, when you do little marketing you can only rely on word of mouth. Unfortunately, people are more prone to comment on negative experiences than positive ones. It's likely that these passengers on the cancelled flights will share their bad experiences with friends, family members and co-workers. I work part-time on weekends at the largest hotel/ convention center in the Metro-West area. About 99% of our guests are using Logan. When I mention that using ORH might be more convenient, they tell me they didn't know that ORH had commercial service. This all reflects on the incompetence of Mr. Davis and his team of misfits that manage our airport. Unless there is some kind of shake up of management at ORH, I worry that things will go South even more.
commented on 2018-11-18 16:47:47
It’s just beating a dead horse at this point. JFK isnt doing well, we are getting people reaching out to us confirming Philly is bombing. I just want to know what exactly is the strategy moving forward because Detroit isn’t going to solve anything. We have a very large sample size with JFK now and there is legitimately no reason at the moment to believe anything is going to change. They’re either going to run a flight forever with 40 percent loads or cancel it altogether without ever giving it a fair chance.
commented on 2018-11-18 19:55:54
I have seen an ad for Worcester on 290! It was a while ago, but I think it was a Massport add not a JetBlue ad. The lack of Cat II ILS pilots by Piedmont is somewhat inexcusable (how do you run a commercial airline without having pilots certified to land in fog?), and hopefully these recent cancellations light a fire under them. Hopefully Thanksgiving week goes smoothly.
commented on 2018-11-18 22:18:40
I drive buses around Worcester and when I talk about ORH, some pax's say they never knew we have commercial service at the Arpt .
commented on 2018-11-19 10:55:32
American flights to/from Philly on Thursday were a result of weather in Philly, not ORH. A slew of cancellations were ongoing in Philly since the weather was below minimums for the RJs in PHL after the snow/winter weather moved in. And since FLL made it in, I’d venture to say that that outbound cancellation was mechanical.
commented on 2018-11-19 15:52:16
A friend of the blog was flying in on Thursday and American informed him directly Worcester was the problem. He got into Boston the same day.