Has anyone heard of the new airline Air Choice One? If so is it good, are they doing well?
they fly Cessna caravans routing them St.Louis,Mo-Decatur,Il-Chicago O’Hare and St.Louis-Burlington,Ia-O’hare. tail nos n732md and n1983x.
also they fly a piper navajo twice daily ( tail no n45038 ) between St.Louis and Kirksville,Mo til mid September when CapeAir takes over this EAS route
I saw one come into Burlington. (KBRL) It only had two passengers onboard
BRL and DEC are two of the worst EAS markets in the country due to the fact that BRL is less than 90 minuts from MLI which has superior service and DEC is only an hour from CMI and SPI which have network carrier service to ORD and DTW and a little over an hour to BMI which has extensive service including Airtran.
These metro regions, despite having decent populations as far as EAS markets go, simply cannot sustain service because they experience far too much leakage to surrounding airports.
Every service option imaginable has been tried at these airports and nothing has worked for multiple contract periods since the 80’s.
The KBRL “terminal” only has one ticket counter/check-in counter.
It’s a good way to connect to big airports, such as KORD, in order to get on a main airline. Without the 90 minute drive to MLI or the 1 hour drive to CID.
At TWE we flew both of these routes from STL in the Junkstream. Both did decent. It was a 19 seat a/c and we averaged 11 or 12 ish at some points. not great, but we were getting EAS so they were doing pretty good.
That said, the major problem with these type of operations that, like you say they don’t have major network connection. When we were flying to STL we were codesharing with TWA which at the time had a huge STL presence. You could buy TWA tickets, check your bags on TW or OALs. To most, they didn’t even realize weren’t technically TWA.
about 3 years ago Big Sky came in to SPI to serve MDW. I was at Chicago Express when they flew here and we were part of ATA. We brought LCC to SPI which was really cool stealing pax from BMI and PIA for a change. MDW was wicked popular so the assumption was Big Sky would do well. Even without a code share it was thought the state travel would do it. It didn’t though and I don’t think we topped 50% load factor.
You’ve gotta have that codeshare where you’re buying airfare from SPI- whereever instead of SPI-MDW and then on from there. Plus the ability to check their bags all the way through is a must. I know this is a whole other can of worms but Lakes suffered the same problem from STL as they didn’t get the codeshare with AA. (of course AA is water under the bridge in STL)
That said, I don’t know if this is a possibilty for Weber. I haven’t seen the fares. If they can make it work, more power to them.