Economy tough on airlines, airports – Tulsa Travel

Posted: April 8, 2012 in Airlines, Aviation & Airports (General News), USA
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Read this full great report from Don Stewart of Tulsa World here….

These are the worst of times for the airline industry – with so few good times in recent years that airlines and airports feel fortunate to be holding the line, industry officials say.

Among the hardest-hit medium-sized markets is Tulsa International Airport, which had 92 flights and 9,428 seats a day in 2001.

Among the hardest-hit medium-sized markets is Tulsa International Airport, which had 92 flights and 9,428 seats a day in 2001

In this market, airlines and airports must be creative, they say.

High fuel prices, a weak economy and a sluggish travel market have reduced the industry to a shadow of what it was a dozen years ago, executives said. To survive, airlines have cut flights, parked their least fuel-efficient aircraft and exited markets that weren’t profitable.

Some smaller airports have been left holding the proverbial bag, without any commercial airline service, industry analysts say.

During the past decade, Tulsa had nonstop service to Albuquerque, Austin, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Ontario (Calif.), San Antonio and San Diego - but no longer.

During the past decade, Tulsa had nonstop service to Albuquerque, Austin, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Ontario (Calif.), San Antonio and San Diego - but no longer

Among the hardest-hit medium-sized markets is Tulsa International Airport, which had 92 flights and 9,428 seats a day in 2001. In 2012, Tulsa International has 64 flights a day, down 30 percent from 2001, and 5,914 seats a day, a 37 percent decrease.

“Airlines were operating with overcapacity before 9/11,” said Alexis Higgins, Tulsa deputy airports director of marketing. “And the industry as a whole has been operating in the red for a long time. Airline profit margins are 2 percent. They are operating on a shoestring.”

Higgins said the recession pressured airlines to examine their flight schedules and determine which flights are most profitable.

“If they’re not selling tickets at a high enough fare to make a profit, they will take that plane and put it in another market,” she said.

Downsizing trend

During the past decade, Tulsa had nonstop service to Albuquerque, Austin, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Ontario (Calif.), San Antonio and San Diego – but no longer.

Airports across the country have experienced similar losses of service, sometimes due to insufficient traffic, others because appropriately sized aircraft for the market weren’t available, industry executives said.

Read the full story at Tulsa World….


D.R. Stewart 918-581-8451
By D.R. STEWART World Staff Writer


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