Being smarter with smaller airports

I always thought this was the way to go with smaller airports – and by smaller I am talking about all of NB’s airports right now:

Flights between Portland and Nova Scotia will start next month, courtesy of Starlink Aviation. The airline will offer Portland-Nova Scotia flights twice a day, and will connect the Portland International Jetport and Halifax Stanfield International Airport. An 18-seat JetStream 31 turboprop will offer morning and afternoon Portland flights to Nova Scotia via Yarmouth Airport, reports The Portland Press Herald.  Jeffrey Monroe, development director at Yarmouth Airport, said the flights from Portland to Yarmouth are 40 minutes long and the flight from Yarmouth to Halifax will take just under one hour.

I thought the Open Skies agreement prohibited a U.S. airline from stopping in two Canadian cities? If this has changed it makes airports like Yarmouth mor competitive.  You can put turbo propin the air that lands in Yarmouth and then Halifax and get the demand you need.
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6 Responses to Being smarter with smaller airports

  1. mikel says:

    Short flights in small populated areas are notoriously short lived. In the summer that may make SOME sense, but whether the numbers are there will be interesting to see. And of course it doesn’t help NB any!
    I’d be surprised if there were significant traffic from any NB city to another maritime or northeast city to make it worthwhile.
    However, if readers missed it, Canada has changed its legislation which now lets ANY canadian city offer direct flights to Europe. Europe is a BIG place (marketwise), its unfortunate that no NB cities have really worked on their ‘twinning’ initiatives. Guelph is twinned with Torino, Italy and has seen significant tourism increases, and that has opened up the possibility of direct flights from Waterloo’s small regional airport all the way to Italy. But being twinned isn’t necessary, however, that marketing and promotion so often talked about here IS (so whether it would get done is a good question).

    But anybody who has ever dealt with a large airport knows the value of a small one, and international passengers are no different.

  2. Rob says:

    In planning our honeymoon next summer, a big hurdle my fiancee and I faced was the lack of transatlantic flights from Newfoundland. We’ll now be flying to Toronto from St John’s so we can get better deals. The worst part of this is knowing that the 2hrs from YYT to YYZ will be repeated on the next flight.

    Regarding the original story, how much passenger demand is there in Yarmouth for a direct flight to Portland?

  3. Limited passenger demand but that is the point. If you are flying direct from Yarmouth to Portland you need to fill up the plane. If you are just stopping in Yarmouth and going on to Halifax you just need enough demand to offset the grumbling of the other passengers who would have preferred to go direct.

  4. mikel says:

    You guys are out of the loop. There is TONS of summer traffic from Maine to Nova Scotia. Those two have very strong historical ties (the loyalist tradition isn’t as strong there). This is where ‘the cat’ runs all summer long, that high speed ferry that takes passengers from Maine to nova scotia in, I think, 3 hours. That is their main competition I would think, and IF there weren’t the passengers, then there wouldn’t be the ferry. I suspect Nova Scotia is looking at all those US tourists moving ever northward.

  5. Gary says:

    From a traffic and price perspective, it could better just to do the opposite. It may be more beneficial to close both Saint John and Fredericton airports and make a bigger one somewhere in between like on the base or just off of it. Imagine that our flight tickets and schedules to Toronto, Montreal, Boston would be much more reasonable by collaborating instead.

  6. Don Dennison says:

    @Gary

    Gary,
    It’s difficult to overcome the lost opportunity of decisions not taken in earlier decades, like a central airport. But if we don’t at least start planning for this type of rationalization, it will never happen.

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