Moxy Is Perfect Match For Worcester Airport
Nobody has been a bigger supporter of Worcester Airport then us at FlyORH. At the same time we have always been realists, not cheerleaders. The current state of Worcester Airport in one word is "disappointing". We expected much larger returns after more then 100 million, including 30 million for a CAT III system, has been invested into Worcester Airport.
Current State: Disappointing
JetBlue to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale
Now flying here more then 5 years, these two flights continue to do well, but we need to change the times to an early morning departure with late night return. If we did that sales would increase dramatically and JetBlue would bring in their bigger 150 seat Airbus, versus the current 100 seat Embraer. We estimate sales are in the 85-90% range.
JetBlue to JFK and American to Philadelphia
JetBlue needs a second flight and a mechanic on duty in the morning. Until then it will continue to flounder. Although American has two flights and a good schedule their planes can not take advantage of our CAT III system and their pilots are not CAT II certified, which results in too many cancellations or diversions As a result American, although starting off strong, now has also slipped. We estimate sales for these flights in the 45-55% range.
Delta to Detroit
Coming sometime next summer. We simply do not see this route have much success?? We estimate sales will be in the 45-55% range.
Future: We Need Some Moxy
Let’s flash back to the early 2000’s. A low-cost carrier is growing rapidly and looking to add the Boston area to their route map. This airline however is not interested in Logan - their business model is focused entirely on flying from secondary cities to their established hubs and point-to-point travel to leisure markets. Back in this time frame the “Big Dig” was at its peak wreaking havoc on Logan travelers daily and putting major emphasis on other area airports. The timing couldn’t have been better.
With Worcester being 1 hour from 5 major cities and 2 distinct metropolitan areas the interest was high. Back then the City of Worcester managed the airport and was not sure the investment would pan out. While airports across the country were being transformed one by one there was skepticism this success would translate at Worcester. All the expansions to meet capacity that would be required were ultimately denied and the airline ended up opening up shop in Providence, then shortly after Bradley and Manchester.
This airline was Southwest. Flash forward to the present day over a hundred flights per day wearing the trademarked Southwest Heart depart the Boston area, none of which from Worcester. Looking at Providence, Bradley and Manchester it is clear that the foundation of success is contingent on Southwest’s presence. Even with struggling Manchester which recently got skipped over by Frontier for Portsmouth (ouch!) they will always have consistent service as long as Southwest is there. In fact, their Tampa flight last year had the third highest load factor in Southwest’s entire system.
Why is this all relevant now? Well, Worcester may have a second chance at fate in the not too distant future. David Neeleman, co-founder and former CEO of JetBlue (as well as other very successful other present day airlines such as Canadian carrier WestJet and Brazil’s Azul), has been making noise in the aviation industry with his planned launch of an airline with a working title he calls “Moxy.” This past summer he reached an agreement with Airbus on 60 Airbus A220 aircraft and plans to start flying in 2020.
The entire purpose of Moxy is to fill a gap that has been widening over the past 10 years that has seen the industry shift focus away from secondary airports. Neeleman has mentioned that he is targeting airports with “little to zero competition,” and had in the past specifically mentioned Providence. While Providence is still a viable option over a year has passed since he made mention, and if you have been following local aviation Providence has seen a significant increase in competition in the past year alone. For example Southwest, Frontier, JetBlue and Allegiant all now fly to Florida from there throughout the day.
As we all know now Massport owns ORH now. We have a hard time believing that if they had been around in the early 2000’s Southwest would have been turned away. Neeleman already has a working relationship with Massport for years to grow JetBlue in Boston to make it our “hometown airline.” This can only help Massport to lure Moxy to Worcester.
As far as competition goes which seems to be Moxy’s primary focus, between now and the targeted launch date we don’t see much more down the pipeline coming in here. Recently JetBlue added capacity to Florida from all area airports except Worcester. Safe to say it would not take much for Moxy to come in and be the top dog. Worcester would be a perfect fit and would set up ORH for years of success!
Conde Nast Interview with Neeleman
"We’re just going to be more efficient. Today, people living in a lot of these small cities have to connect through hubs if they want to fly anywhere, and the cheapest fare is like $400 or $500. We can do it for $100 each way. We’ll get you there in an hour and a half instead of three-and-a-half hours. The reason is just the way their [the legacy airlines'] structure is set up today—they don’t have the nonstop service to those smaller markets, so they don’t really price for those customers...
One bad part of the interview; however:
What about JetBlue? What will it be like going up against your former airline—and one that you still have a stake in?
"I’m not going to fly anywhere they fly. JetBlue has five percent of the total market, and so that leaves 95 percent that they don’t fly. There’s plenty of room. I have a good relationship with them—I talk to Robin [Hayes, current CEO of JetBlue] all the time."
Lets hope that the three flights per day JetBlue has here now does not prevent them from looking at Worcester Airport.
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commented on 2018-12-25 07:38:57
I’m on your side now with the whole mechanic thing. I understand traffic doesn’t warrant it but people need to make their connections. With only one flight a day people can’t be waiting an hour for a mechanic to even show up. Wtf do they think is going to happen next time?? Boston traffic and lines at Logan suck but I’ll go there every time knowing I’m going to get where I need to go.
commented on 2018-12-25 07:39:24
Use Worcester a few times a year. I live in Florida and would like to see a direct flight from West Palm Beach. I now have to use Fort Lauderdale.
commented on 2018-12-25 08:40:16
Janet, we agree PBI would be a good destination and you may see it one day. Direct Air had a very strong PBI flight. JetBlue just isn’t interested in expanding ORH at the moment. In fact they added service from Boston, Hartford and Providence to West Palm not too long ago but Worcester got left out.
commented on 2018-12-25 11:47:45
The flip side of Worcester being one hour from five cities is that there are four major airports within one hour of Worcester. So far (over many years) ORH has not been able to get enough of the market share to be a true reliever for Logan. Have you guys seen any significant marketing for the AA flights?
commented on 2018-12-25 13:23:38
How we can not have a mechanic for all are commercial flight departures amazes us. As well the complete lack of a marketing plan for Worcester Airport. A lot of great things have happened at ORH, but we have no real business plan thus the lack of real returns. Again in one word "disappointing".
commented on 2018-12-26 11:23:37
If you go by the premise that JetBlue, AA and Delta just started service here to placate Massport (get their gates at Logan) it makes perfect sense. They’re just doing the bare minimum to keep their service somewhat afloat. If the Delta service to Detroit doesn't work (I think we can all agree it's DOA) then they can throw up their hands and tell Massport they gave it the college try. Let's hope the new year brings more marketing dollars from Massport and the airlines. The City just found $4 million in free cash. How about using a percentage of that for an effective marketing campaign for ORH.
commented on 2018-12-26 16:05:19
Common sense, we can not agree more. One thing is I think you’re giving too much credit to the airlines strategizing the flights specific to Worcester. The more time that goes on the more that we believe the only priority is making Massport just happy enough. Look at what JetBlue is doing - you can’t look at that and say they’re trying to maximize ORH. Unfortunately we think this means no matter how empty the flights are they will still be around. Look at what’s going on at Stewart in NY - same airport, almost IDENTICAL schedule (they have one more Philly flight and I’m sure our Detroit flights will be similar). None of that service has changed in years presumably because it’s enough to keep the PANYNJ suffice.
commented on 2019-01-01 09:27:28
Jet Blue competition at ORH for Moxy? By 2020 I'd be surprised if JetBlue continues to fly out of ORH, even to Florida. The reliability and schedules are just unacceptable, well, for me anyway. I just booked flights to FLL and 2 other places through BOS, direct. There were more than one option of flight times, one obviously aimed at business users, for each destination. JetBlue continues to add flights to destinations, with Las Vegas being an obvious example. They added mid-day options where they used to have either a red eye each way and an ,early morning each way. Worcester? Nothing.
commented on 2019-01-05 12:10:01
Putting a mechanic in orh wouldn't solve any Maintenance issues. Because a mechanic can't fix the plane without parts, which will come from Bos. And to pay at least 2 mechanics (need buy backs for certain jobs) for the 7 or 8 flights a day just isn't financially smart.
commented on 2019-01-15 18:39:09
I agree that we need a none stop flight to and from Palm Beach International Airport to Worcester Airport. We need to email JetBlue to get this service.I will also email Worcester Airport.