BSK 738 at Worcester Regional

Does anyone know the purpose of the BSK 738 flight into Worcester Regional yesterday? It came in early morning from CVG (BSK 519) and departed shortly thereafter to MIA (BSK 639). It looks like either a charter to ORH that originated at CVG, or one that originated at ORH and went to MIA. I couldn’t match it with any of the local sports team’s schedules.

Flights in question:

You shouldn’t assume they are sports charters because Miami Air does a lot more than just sports charters. This could have been a charter to fly people to the land of sunshine from the dregs of winter.

JUST to add to what dami said, it may be a charter for people going on a cruise, the first segment being the ferry flight to pick everyone up.

Just for the record it is a nice sunshine filled day here in Tampa…I’d guess the same for Miami! 8)

Thanks for the suggestions that it was a leisure charter. You have to understand that ORH does not get much airline traffic, and I’m not aware of any leisure charters being offered, except for an occasional Atlantic City junket. With the exception of the Thursday, Saturday and Sunday Direct Air Airbus flights, a plane of this sort usually has an obvious connection to the sports schedule of one of our college sports teams, most notably Holy Cross basketball, which occasionaly hosts a team that charters in.

I would have thought ORH had more charters because it would be cheaper for the airline to fly there rather than BOS (the two are fairly close (<100 miles) to each other, right?).

Worcester had regularly scheduled stuff a few years ago… It just didn’t fly… lol… I did see some Virgin America flights out of there for FLA with 56XX flight numbers… more charters perhaps?

The Virgin America flights are Direct Air service to Orlando (via SFB) and Fort Myers (via PGD). They run Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays in each direction on A-320’s.

ORH has a long and checkered history with scheduled air service that started in the 40’s and 50’s with Northeast and Mohawk. (How did anyone conceive of a flight from Worcester to Keene?) Northeast became Delta, and they stayed until deregulation. In the mid-80’s the airport was revived by great service from Piedmont, which did very well until the USAir acquisition and the elimination of the BWI hub. Since then, the airport has at times had as many as four scheduled carriers, including Delta (ASA), United Express (ACA), American Eagle, Continental (mainline and express), Northwest, Skybus and Allegiant. ORH made a big push for Southwest service back when they were plotting strategy to make a ring around the Boston market. Had there been a highway connection to ORH, I am convinced that Southwest would have added ORH to MHT and PVD to completely encapsulate eastern New England traffic. ORH would certainly be a different place today had that happened.

The demographics support a lot of service, but the lack of highway access makes BOS, PVD, BDL and MHT comparable driving alternatives for many passengers who live more than 15 miles from the ORH. Massport has gradually taken a greater role in managing the airport, and if it can circumvent the local politics, it can turn ORH into a very nice alternative for the central part of the state. It won’t become PVD or even MHT, but it can support three or four carriers flying 50-100 seat jets three times a day to their nearest hubs. In the post-9/11 world, with staggering fuel costs and a flagging economy, airlines are not interested in this kind of market right now, but the day will come, and Massport should be doing all it can right now to get a highway connection built before it does.

The regional (“local service” in the parlance of the day) and the major national airlines had lots of short distance flights. In just about all cases, it was because the airline was required to serve those cities by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) on flights between two other cities. An airline may have been awarded a route between, say , Phoenix and Los Angeles. However, it was not allowed to serve that route nonstop - it had to make stops in Yuma and El Centro.

Many of you on this forum are too young to realize just how much the airlines were regulated by the CAB. Among other things, they regulated the routes, the aircraft an airline could use, and the fares. About the only thing they didn’t regulated heavily was the on-board service. Hence, the airlines differentiated themselves by their on-board services.

Perhaps I’m nitpicking but Northeast did not becaome Delta. Rather, Delta purchased them.

At one time, Norhtwest and Northeast were thinking about merging. I’ve always thought that would have made a great merger as far as their routes were concerned. Northwest’s domestic routes flew mainly from Washington/Oregon along the northern states to the eastern seaboard, with some routes going from the upper Midwest to Florida. Northeast flew just along the eastern seaboard with one route from Florida (FLL? MIA?) to Los Angeles. One of the reasons the merger didn’t go through is that the merged airline would not have been allowed by the CAB to keep the Florida/Los Angeles route.

As odd as the BSK 738 at ORH might have been earlier this week, this morning’s activity is even stranger. Between 5 and 7 am, three BSK 738’s arrived at ORH, two from St. Louis (KSUS) and one from PIT. They then departed between 6:30 and 8:30 am, all destined for MIA. That’s way too much capacity for any type of charter service that ORH might support. Anyone out there familiar with what’s happening with BSK, and why they are suddenly so attracted to a small airport in Central Massachusetts?

Miami Air flies 737’s in and out of SUS for the St. Louis Blues. That is what they do 98% of the time, although I have seen a few charters out of Spirit, but , but it is pretty rare… .

Military charters, perhaps?

I ended up calling Miami Air and asked them why they would have a virtual fleet of 738’s on the ground at a small airport in Central Massachusetts. I learned that they had been contracted for a New England to Miami charter, and that these four plus three more into Boston were all for the same group. Always nice to see that kind of traffic at ORH. It’s a great little airport with lots of potential.

What a concept! Actually call the source! :smiley:

Thanks for the information.