Demand and disconnect


Reports are out saying that in a few weeks Delaware will be the only state that does not have major commercial airlines flying to an airport within its borders.

It happens when Frontier wraps up some remaining flights. And, turns out, Frontier leaving isnít the first time that Frontier leaving has left the state in this situation. This was also the case less than ten years ago when Frontier ended service at a different time. The airline tried to make a comeback a couple of years ago. Just hasnít worked out.

I want you to pause and consider that for a moment, without diving into research, investigating need or ticket demand or looking over flight options that never really got to what anyone would call daily service levels.

Delaware will be the only state that has no commercial flights in or out.

Rhode Island. They refer to the airport as Providence, but itís T.F. Green and actually sits in the city of Warwick. Southwest, Delta, American, and United provide a partial list of airlines using Green. Itís also technically an international airport, with seasonal flights to Canada offered using Air Canada. More than thirty destinations, including Los Angeles and Denver, are part of their nonstop flight offerings.

Thatís Rhode Island. Smallest state in the country. Logan not too far away in Boston, Massachusetts. Bradley not too far away just outside of Hartford, Connecticut. They have double-digit airlines using Green. Delaware is about to have zero.

Now, when you look at a map, a lot begins to seem much clearer. Washington, D.C., thatís pretty close. Maryland and Pennsylvania bring in the Baltimore and Philadelphia locations. And then you have the looming shadows created by New Jersey and even New York. Just a quick look and perhaps this isnít so surprising at all.

Which in turn shifts this into the realm of a wonderful example of supply and demand. You donít operate a large, commercial airportÖ never mind potentially as an international airportÖ if people are heading elsewhere for their flight needs. Rhode Island has the demand, has the airlines, and Green is there. Delaware, for the second time in a decade, not so much.

Many years agoÖ many, many, many years agoÖ I found out that the airport for Syracuse, New York, well, it just so happens to be the end of the line. In other words, the journey to Hancock is one where you wind up there because you are headed there. You do not accidentally wind up at Hancock and in Syracuse, say as a result of a layover and a connection. Basically, too far north and too far east to be a midpoint. Too cold and too seasonal to be top of the list on any travel destinations. Likely not many repositioning of the fleet advantages to incorporating it in more plans. You use Hancock because you are leaving Syracuse or going to Syracuse, end of thought.

(Except during the State Fair. The Great New York State Fair, a tradition like no other. Itís awesome.)
And yet, even as a place that has several only once or twice a week flight options, Syracuse manages to have multiple airlines using its runways. (Though not as many as Green, so, yeah.)

I wish Delaware luck. I sincerely hope that if needed, an airline gives them serious consideration, along with an honest and great effort in reestablishing service. But until that happens, you might want to learn the codes BWI, PVD and SYR.


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