Your Most Pressing TVC Questions Answered
Every year when TVC announces the summer schedule with all the great opportunities to travel throughout the world we still receive questions inquiring why we don’t have…So I thought this would be a great time to answer the top three questions.
Why don’t we have this level of service on a year around schedule?
It’s all about supply and demand. Our population during the winter months is a lot lower than in the summer months. In fact, passenger traffic in the month of January is just over 22,000 while our July passenger count is just over 73,000; representing nearly 3.3 times more traffic in the summer. Our population in our region has the same fluctuation so the airlines provide the seats that our population/passengers demand. We see schedule adjustments when the airlines know of increased number of passengers traveling on a certain day like Interlochen Arts Academy or a large conference coming to our region.
How do we solve this? We must focus, as a region, on business development. Opportunities to attract the business traveler have major influence on the airlines to add more flights. Promotion of our region as a good place to do business as well as being a nationally recognized destination is critical to our continued growth.
Why don’t we have a low cost carrier like Allegiant, Southwest, Frontier, or Spirit?
Cherry Capital Airport meets continually with these carriers. We would love for them to provide service! Cherry Capital Airport presents our community assets and opportunities to the airlines However, our community currently does not meet their business models. In fact, many of the low cost carriers are only focused on larger cities where large hubs used to be like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. These carriers at one time did focus on smaller communities but they can achieve a larger return on investment on their aircraft from a larger community. The other reason is population. The airlines current business models work on high volume of passenger traffic, without consistent population it is difficult to achieve return on investment. Many of these carriers talk about a million people in the metro area, we have about sixteen thousand.
How do we solve this?
TVC meets annually with all of these carriers. The Airport Commission will continue to provide incentives for attracting these carriers (within the scope of Federal Regulation). As these airlines business models change, TVC will be ready to meet and accommodate theirs needs!
Why don’t we have direct service to Florida?
Florida traffic from our region does not currently produce enough passengers to have direct service on a daily pattern. We have discussed less than daily service with several carriers, however, the carriers that typically fly direct indicate passenger traffic needs to be greater than we have currently per day. We need to be able to put 160 people on a plane to Florida and we average about 17 to 20. That is why connecting over a major hub is very important to our traffic.
How do we solve this?
We continue to meet with the airlines and promote or peak travel times to Florida. The Airport communicates this information to assist the airlines to meet our demand. We will continually ask for larger aircraft during our spring break rush.
A community’s greatest asset for air service is the number of passengers that use it. Traveling to another community for air service means that is where your air service is located. If you want air service to grow at TVC then you must fly from TVC. All three carriers have been improving service at TVC over the last five years. Delta has improved service by adding larger mainline aircraft, more routes to MSP, LGA, and ATL, on top of its’ daily service to DTW. United has increased many of their flights to be the larger 66 to 76 seat two class regional jets and adding service to EWR and DEN on top of their daily service to ORD. American has added service to DFW along with their daily service to ORD. As we have seen with added seats and inventory we have more reduced fares. Since 2011 we have increased passengers but those passengers continue to grow from out of state. We need our local traveler to make TVC their home town airport. The local traveler has not changed very much over the last thirty years. It is time to look at TVC as your local airport and fly from nearby. Driving to other airports is costly and once you add all the costs you will find that in most cases you pay more than flying from TVC.