Should Major US Airlines Fly To/From TTN?

I’ve been thinking lately, Frontier has made a lot of money with their flights in and out of Trenton-Mercer Airport in Trenton, NJ. I was wondering if major US airlines could make some profit and make traveling out of TTN a little easier with their express aircraft.

With Central New Jersey being heavily populated, Frontier is filling up their A319’s for cheap prices, and sometimes their flight times are a little inconvenient. Airlines like United Express, Delta Connection, and American Eagle could easily make money and make traveling out of Trenton less of a hassle with more convenient times and similar or slightly higher prices. If you think about it, you’d probably pay that extra $10 for the 4:30pm flight rather than the 9:30pm flight.

For example, United Express could fly their Dash 8’s to Dulles, and E145’s or CRJ-7’s to O’Hare. Delta Connection could fly CRJ-2’s and/or CRJ-7’s to Atlanta and Detroit. Maybe even American Eagle could fly E145’s and CRJ-7’s to Charlotte and O’Hare. Just one flight a day at reasonable times could get people on their planes, making them money.

With destinations like ATL, DTW, ORD, IAD, and CLT, the final destinations with a connection are virtually limitless.

Like I said before, Frontier has some odd flight times; flights from Charlotte to Trenton leave at 9:15pm and land at 10:48. For people like me, I’d be getting home at 11:30-11:45, which I wouldn’t be all for. For flights from Trenton to Fort Myers, FL, the flight leaves at 6:30am, which is a little early for some people (you know who you are) :slight_smile: This route is also once every three days, leaving selection to go to Fort Myers pretty limited. Raleigh to Trenton also lands late at night like the one from Charlotte…not fun. I suspect you’re getting the point.

And with runways that are 6006 and 4800 feet long, express aircraft will not have a problem getting into and out of Trenton, considering A319’s do it multiple times a day. I believe TTN is in the process of expanding their terminal and/or adding a jetway, but I may be wrong.

I’m not trying to hate on Frontier Airlines and their wonderful flights and service, but I think United, American, and Delta would all possibly want to make a few extra bucks with routes out of Trenton.

Let me know what you think, and if em anything here is incorrect, please correct me!

Here’s the three problems I could see with service into/out of Trenton: close proximity to 4 major airports and 2 majorly congested TRACONs, short travel times to at two of those 4 airports, and cannibalization of service.

When the company I worked for at the time sent me to the Marlton/Cherry Hill area for training, instead of flying me into PHL, which was undoubtedly closer, they flew me into EWR, which was a pain, only in the sense that I had to make the drive down, which sucked after getting in to EWR at 1am. But within 90 minutes, I was there. Chop that time in half to get to TTN. so that gets you a 45 minute drive time to EWR, with major national and international service.

On the other side of that, when they flew me into PHL, it was only 15 minutes drive to the same location. Another 25 minutes north of that, I was in Trenton again. So another 40 - 45 minutes drive got me to Trenton from PHL.

So for the passenger, while it may be advantageous to not have to drive so far to get to the airport, it isn’t a huge loss of time to get there. 35 minutes would get you to SMF from Folsom, California, or Fairfield, California, versus the 2 hours to drive into the bay, pay toll to cross one of the bridges, and the traffic congestion to get to either SFO, OAK, or SJC; similar to getting to LGA or JFK.

Second: the TRACONS. TTN would be slapped between N90 and the PHL TRACON, which is congested enough as is Trying to fit in growing service to that area may come into some major metering. Add in TEB to that mix, and it definitely will.

Finally, cannibalization. Outside of feeder service, any carrier with service to the 4 majors there (JFK, LGA, EWR, PHL) will have their service and capacity cannibalized by serving an airport like TTN, because of how close in proximity the fields are to eachother. If flights were serving destinations that the majors don’t have service to, that may be an advantage, but otherwise, due to how close they are, unless the carrier does NOT have flights to those airports, capacity would drop.


Been there, done that… Shuttle America did TTN to Hanscomb on Saab’s back in the day… Didn’t “fly…”

In 2006, Delta Connection tried TTN-ATL and TTN-BOS on CRJ-200’s. Even with cheap fuel and hundreds of CRJ’s (and crews for them) to spare, the routes hemorrhaged money. Only a ULCC can make that airport work.

I could see Spirit Airlines flying out of there since they also fly Airbus A320s and 319s. Allegiant could probably consider TTN as well so long as they flew their Airbuses; I think their MD-80s need a little more runway in some instances. But since Allegiant is planning to phase out their MD-80s and replace them with 319s/320s, they could be a strong candidate in the future since their business model includes utilizing secondary airports for cheaper fees. As for the legacy mainline carriers, TTN just won’t work for them.

You got your wish with Allegiant announcing service today!