Air Azul (Kentucky)

New airline starts 12-27 with limited service from Somerset, KY to Nashville, TN using Metroliners. … 85425.html

Awesome, as many rocks as I may get thrown at me for saying this, I love seeing 19 seaters getting back in the mix, especially a Metro, or J31.

I know these are small markets, so the frequency may be limited, but back in the last few decades, my local airport had 30-40 departures a day. Every one wanted “JETS”. Now we have “JETS”, and 6 departures a day. So now, instead of being able to connect at the hub every several hour or so, there’s 3 or 4 hour layovers.
Again, I know this is probably not the scenario of Somerset KY, but that too, how’s an Embraer going to do in Somerset KY connecting to a non hub of Nashville. I saw several cities in the area here lose service when the regionals moved away from 19 and 30 seat a/c to ATR’s and RJs. While the J31’s and Metros may not be “JETS” (although I beg to differ on that one too) , it’s bringing small otherwise unserved communities back to the route map.
Hopefully it works out.

I’ll catch some of those rocks for you! We’ve seen the same reduction in service here with the introduction of bigger planes. I’d like to see more Beech 1900D’s in use.

Yeah as much of a J31 fan as I am (just because they’re so hated by most, and I never had to fly one) the 1900 would be the one to use !
I’m guessing the Q400 probably did the same thing to YKM, where you had D328’s before, now you’ve got nearly double capacity on the Dash 8. It’s great for the reputation of the turbo prop but still does reduce the schedule.

This won’t last more than 2 years.

There is no way the passengers can book through to any flights once they get to BNA since nobody codeshares with them. They would have to make two separate bookings, claim their bags, etc.

It’s also less than a 2 hr drive from Somerset to LEX which has superior options (not many less than BNA). I know they were thinking "oh, we’ll give these passengers access to the WN operation at BNA, but once you pay the fare for the Somerset-BNA segment there really isn’t an cost advantage anymore.

Also, 19 seaters have awful CASM, even with fuel down so low.

This same outfit proposed to fly out of KPBX in far SE KY. The story then that there was enough GOV. subsidy available for them to survive with empty planes.
Anyone have an idea how this works?

Yes, small airports are eligible for funding through the Essential Air Servie program from the federal government. The feds pay a flat amount for the route and different carriers bid to serve the city, the government then chooses the qualified bidder that they feel makes the best proposal.

Some marginal businessmen think that running an airline is easier and less expensive than it really is and think that they can run their “airline” for less than the amount of the subsidy.

You can’t.

You can find information on this basically wasteful program at the DOT’s Essential Air Service Program page.

It seems like there could be a demand for this air service for strictly O&D (origin and destination) passengers if they market it to the right people. There’s a lot of people in the entertainment industry in Nashville that has a lot of money. These are people that could have a lakeside house in Somerset for the weekend.

I am hearing that things are already beginning to fall apart with this deal in Somerset. They have already lost two pilots and a mechanic because they didn’t get paid. CHecking the departures here on FlightAware shows they aren’t flying as often as they have scheduled. I’ve heard the Airport Board members are resigning so they won’t be around when it flops.

Air Azul is still operating on Part 135 so they don’t even pull into the terminal at BNA. You have to take a shuttle from the FBO over to the terminal and then check in.

Didn’t Piedmont Airlines fly into LOZ for many years - maybe even into the 1980’s?


Here are some of the flights (I think):

To Nashville:

From Nashville:

Locair “Locair” (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

LEX is in a totally different class of airports when it comes to destinations. BNA offers superior choices over a smaller, less important national airport. To even compare LEX to BNA is a joke in itself. Take a look at the destinations served via nonstop and onestop from BNA and they look at Lexington and you’ll see what I mean here. The two don’t even belong in the same sentence.

As for this flight, I have seen it arrive at BNA and I have seen a number of people getting off it. Seems to be doing fairly well considering.

I would imagine it’s all based on O&D and not people trying to connect to somewhere, but if a connection is what they desire…well…

Yes it most certainly is in a different class :open_mouth:

LEX has service to:


That’s a pretty stout destination list in my opinion for the size of the community.

Additional destinations that BNA has:

However, most of those are operated by WN and aren’t operated with much frequency.

LEX has TWO mainline flights a day if you count G4’s Orlando flight. TWO. Everything else is either CRJ or prop. There’s huge difference in an airport that serves barely 1 million and one that serves almost 10 million.

Most destinations on WN are served at least twice a day and as far as the legacy’s are concerned, they have a bunch of departures from here. Especially AA who has right at 17 dailies. LEX is actually weak for a metro of 600,000 people to be honest. Doubtful it will ever get much with CVG and SDF both just an hour or so away too. To be honest, they are lucky to have what they have up there. Nashville is a Focus City for WN so there is always going to be a bunch of non-hub destinations from here because of that and the massive O&D traffic this airport has. Something LEX doesn’t have and probably never will.

I just don’t see any way you can substantiate your claim that LEX is on par with BNA. I would really love to see you prove that bold claim. It’s like saying EVV is on par with BNA. Just not possible. Maybe if Nashville shrunk by a few hundred thousand people…

I didn’t say that it’s on par, I said that for many passengers, BNA is no better at getting them to their destination than LEX (for example, passengers going to places like ABQ, SNA, PWM, LHR, or NRT)

Almost every single flight out of BNA to a hub is timed with a flight to either a non served domestic destination via non-stop from BNA or to an international destination. I would say the demand for international travel is a little bit higher in Nashville than Lexington. With that brings a higher amount of “chances” to connect to more international destinations.

For example, Nashville has non-stop or one-stop service to these cities:

ALB Albany (US) NY
ABQ Albuquerque
AMS Amsterdam
ATL Atlanta
AUS Austin
BFL Bakersfield
BWI Baltimore
BTR Baton Rouge
BHM Birmingham (US)
BOS Boston
BUR Burbank
BTV Burlington (US) VT
CUN Cancun
CLT Charlotte
MDW Chicago
ORD Chicago
CVG Cincinnati
CLE Cleveland
COS Colorado Springs
CMH Columbus (US) OH
CRP Corpus Christi
CUR Curacao
DFW Dallas/Fort Worth
DEN Denver
DTW Detroit
DLH Duluth/Superior
ELP El Paso
FLL Fort Lauderdale
GTF Great Falls
GDL Guadalajara
BDL Hartford
HOU Houston
IAH Houston
IND Indianapolis
ZIH Ixtapa/Zihatanejo
JAX Jacksonville (US) FL
OAJ Jacksonville (US) NC
MCI Kansas City
LAN Lansing
LAS Las Vegas
ISP Long Island Macarthur
LAX Los Angeles
SDF Louisville
LBB Lubbock
MSN Madison
MHT Manchester (US)
MLB Melbourne (US)
MEM Memphis
TLC Mexico City
MIA Miami
MAF Midland/Odessa
MKE Milwaukee
MSP Minneapolis/St. Paul
MOT Minot
MOB Mobile
MTY Monterrey
YUL Montreal
MSY New Orleans
EWR New York
JFK New York
LGA New York
ORF Norfolk
OAK Oakland
OKC Oklahoma City
OMA Omaha
ONT Ontario
MCO Orlando
PHL Philadelphia
PHX Phoenix
PIT Pittsburgh
PVD Providence
RDU Raleigh/Durham
RNO Reno
SMF Sacramento
SLC Salt Lake City
SAT San Antonio (US)
SAN San Diego
SFO San Francisco
SJC San Jose (US)
SRQ Sarasota/Bradenton
SEA Seattle
FSD Sioux Falls
STL St. Louis (US)
SYR Syracuse
TPA Tampa
NRT Tokyo
YYZ Toronto
TUS Tucson
DCA Washington
IAD Washington

I doubt LEX can compete with that.

Bottom line is that LEX serves it’s purpose and does it well. But if people had a choice between the two, the choice would clearly be BNA. That’s one reason you see Louisville doing so well for a city it’s size. Call it the “Southwest Effect”.

PBI West Palm Beach

Here are some recent shots I got of Air Azul waiting at BNA for their evening return leg to Somerset. I talked with the crew and they said they seat 9 persons in the Metro and also carry cargo between BNA and SME. They said service has been going fine and that they are actually carrying quite a few passengers. Most are O&D passengers as well. While ones that use BNA to connect in have to purchase tickets again and clear security, rates out of BNA are competitve and the new security setup is a walk in the park with waits a thing of the past almost. Eitherway, here you go…

More can be seen by following the link above!

Interesting that the a/c is in a sort of “combi” configuration.