here for previous news reports
NEWS BLOG - LATEST
April 23 - April 29, 2012
Airline mergers don't bode well for airports like JWA -
The paint is barely dry on the repainted planes of the
United-Continental merger, and another pair of big airlines seems
headed for a hook-up.
US Airways pulled an end run around American Airlines management this
month, coming to agreement with the bankrupt airline's pilot, flight
attendant and mechanics unions on contracts if the airlines combine.
Mergers that are good for corporate headquarters are usually bad news
for airports like John Wayne. As a secondary airport on most airline
route maps, it's a place airlines historically look to cut
destinations. After the Delta-Northwest merger was finalized in 2010,
Delta ended the nonstop service between Orange County and Detroit it
inherited from Northwest
The United-Continental merger is fresh, but the "new" United announced
last week that it will end nonstop service between John Wayne Airport
and Honolulu. That was a route it inherited from Continental. United
had already pulled out of O.C.-Maui service this year. I'm keeping my
eye on the nonstop service to Newark, N.J., another Continental
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, any cutbacks in service at John Wayne
Airport were often replaced by new routes or new airlines. Capacity
caps kept a sometimes long line of new airlines on a waiting list.
Those who were already in could count on the limits to keep fares high,
and the booming economic climate meant a large percentage were business
travelers who would pay for higher-priced last-minute tickets. The
Orange County Board of Supervisors would occasionally turn down
airlines' request for a place at John Wayne Airport.
As late as spring 2009, there were four airlines on the waiting list.
Then came the recession. Today there is one – Horizon Air. A
spokeswoman said it has no plans to start service.
United ending O.C.- Honolulu service April 30 -
United Airlines said Wednesday that it is ending service between Orange
County and Honolulu. The last flight will be next Monday. "We weren't
seeing the demand we anticipated and the financial performance we
needed," said Rahsaan Johnson, a United spokesman in Chicago.
Johnson said United would actually run six special round trips in June
that were heavily booked: June 7, 9, 13, 14, 19 and 27. Passengers with
tickets on other dates should contact United for rebooking or refunds.
The end of service comes as United is finishing its merger with
Continental. The new airline, called United, has a heavy flight
schedule to the islands out of nearby Los Angeles International Airport.
United ended JWA service to Maui on Jan. 2. It moved the Honolulu
flights to evenings in both directions. The flights had operated on an
ever-changing schedule, with daily flights during the summer, spring
break and winter holidays, lighter service in the spring and often no
service at all during the non-holiday autumn and winter months.
Hawaii flights had been popular under Aloha Airlines, which by early
2008 offered flights to Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. The
service stopped abruptly when Aloha declared bankruptcy in April 2008
and went out of business. Aloha said the flights from Orange County had
been profitable and the bankruptcy was caused by "predatory pricing" on
inter-island routes by upstart airline go!
Though Alaska Airlines stepped in to gobble up Aloha routes from cities
like Oakland and San Diego, it stayed away from Orange County. Alaska
even flies non-stop to Honolulu from Bellingham, Wash., with a
population of 81,070.
Orange County, with over three million residents, now has no non-stop
service to Hawaii.
Bob Hope Airport ad plan gets poor review - LA
Bob Hope Airport commissioners this week waved off a planned print and
online ad campaign while keying in on the message they most want to get
across: Whatever your L.A. destination, fly Burbank.
Members of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Monday
were skeptical of the concept because of what commissioners feel is a
emphasis on the convenience of Burbank's airport.
A combination of newspaper advertisement and online ads were scheduled
to start in early May and end in July, said Steven Forsythe, chief
FFE Group Communication Partners, the firm consulting on the campaign.
Website Editor: Officials at
LA/Ontario Airport have complained bitterly about the lack of
advertising for their airport by Los Angeles decision makers. In Orange
County, there appears to be limited interest in attracting more
travelers; negotiations are beginning to extend John Wayne
Airport's passenger caps beyond their expiration in 2015.
April 16 - April 22, 2012
Bob Hope Airport seeks to add 'Burbank' to name -
Officials say the temporary name change will help travelers know the
Bob Hope Airport will soon be known as Burbank Bob Hope Airport as part
of a new summer ad campaign to drive more passengers to the regional
airfield during its peak travel time of the year.
The temporary name change comes as officials respond to airline
concerns about the lack of a city identifier in the name of the
airport, said John Hatanaka, the airport's senior deputy executive
Website Editor: Orange
County temporarily toyed with the sensible idea of linking John Wayne
Airport with its location but did not pursue the proposal.
More runway warning lights will be added at LAX to increase
safety - LA Times
Federal and local officials announced Monday that more runway warning
lights will be added at Los Angeles International Airport to help
prevent aircraft from unsafely entering active runways and taxiways.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, an earlier
installation of lights greatly reduced the number of runway incursions
at LAX, which had the most runway safety violations in the nation from
1999 to 2007. LAX completed the project’s first phase in June 2009,
when lights were installed along a runway and eight taxiways that were
deemed to have the highest risk for aircraft accidents.
April 9 - April 15, 2012
Statistics show Ontario airport shouldn't fail -
Riverside Press Enterprise
Lots of information was thrown at the Assembly Select Committee on
Inland Empire Transportation Issues when it met at the former Norton
Air Force Base on Thursday.
Speakers were limited to a few minutes each, so some of the statistics
flew by awfully fast. Here are a few highlights:
Passenger volumes at Ontario International Airport (ONT) have sunk to
1987 levels, although the population served by the airport has grown by
That, Ontario Councilman Alan Wapner said, just doesn't make sense.
Budget airlines like Spirit, Allegiant and Virgin America - which
normally operate out of secondary airports like ONT - chose LAX instead
of ONT when initiating service in recent years.
The number of passengers at ONT is not expected to rebound to 6.4
million (the pre-9/11 level) until 2030, while at LAX, the numbers are
expected to top their legal limit of 78 million by 2018 and overflow to
108.6 million by 2030.
Los Angeles World Airports officials like to blame ONT's problems on
changes in the airline industry. And it's true airlines are
consolidating and cutting back on flights at secondary airports to
reduce empty seats.
That doesn't explain why ONT lost 33 percent of its passengers while
Bob Hope lost only 9.4 percent - and John Wayne actually grew 11
percent, Palm Springs 18 percent and Long Beach 388 percent.
It also doesn't explain why passenger traffic at LAX is rebounding
while ONT continues to lose. The city of Los Angeles operates both.
Confidential JWA negotiations "progressing satisfactorily"
Newport Beach City Manager
David Kiff recently told the city's Aviation Committee that the
confidential negotiations with the county to extend the settlement
agreement were "progressing satisfactorily."
The agreement expires on December 31, 2015. Any agreement, and
particularly any pact to increase the number of flights and passengers
served by the recently expanded airport would probably involve the time
consuming preparation of an environmental impact report.
It was reported that two meetings had been held between the county,
city and two Newport Beach citizens groups. To the best of our
knowledge, the airlines, FAA and flying public have been excluded from
the discussions that are conducted under the cover of confidentiality
LAX's Bradley Terminal project cost heads skyward -
Officials say the modernization budget has grown from $1.4
billion to nearly $2 billion, mostly because of changes to the original
The cost of expanding a key terminal at the center of Los Angeles
International Airport's modernization plan has increased from about
$1.4 billion to almost $2 billion.
But airport officials say the overall $4.1-billion modernization
program, as well as the now more-expensive Tom Bradley International
Terminal, are still on schedule and within budget because of a built-in
contingency fund and cost savings achieved on other projects in the
The improvements, designed to restore the airport's reputation as the
premier international gateway on the West Coast, include wider
taxiways, new escalators and elevators, remodeled passenger facilities
and a rebuilt central utility plant to provide heating and air
conditioning throughout the terminal complex.
At the Bradley, about a million square feet will be added and 18 gates
will be built, six more than the facility now has.
Airport officials say the first of the current projects should be
completed in September, when a gate designed to accommodate Airbus
A380s, the largest passenger plane in service, is scheduled to open on
the north side of the Bradley.
April 2 - April 8, 2012
Market forces are at play at regional airports -
Some days, the terminals at L.A./Ontario International Airport can be
as quiet as a ghost town.
The number of passengers using the airport — about 40 miles east of
downtown Los Angeles — dropped to about 4.4 million in 2011 from 6.8
million passengers in 2007, according to federal statistics. In
January, passenger traffic again dropped 7.4%, compared with the same
month in 2011.
Passenger numbers also dropped, although less dramatically, at Bob Hope
Airport in Burbank and John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.
In contrast, Long Beach Airport, about 20 miles south of L.A.,
continued to boom, serving more than 3 million passengers last year, a
7% increase over 2007, with growth continuing in 2012.
What's to blame for the differences in passenger numbers among small
airports in the same region? Click
for more. . .
Regional air travel up 5% through February
Air passenger travel for the six
airports in the SCAG region was up by 5.3 percent for the first two
months of 2012 compared to 2011.
The pace was led by Los Angeles International and Long Beach
airports. Palm Springs International also saw a pickup in
John Wayne traffic was down slightly and both Bob Hope and Ontario
experienced down periods. See details in the reports below.
Passenger numbers fall at Bob Hope Airport -
Passenger and parking revenue figures at Bob Hope Airport continued
their downward glide in February as the airfield moves forward with
some uncertainty after the loss of American Airlines.
The airport handled 309,259 passengers in February, a 1.7% drop from
314,259 passengers during the same period last year, according to a
report released Monday to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport
The number was slightly below what was budgeted, said Dan Feger, the
airport's executive director.
The fact that the passenger tally was so close to the budgeted
projection was surprising because of American's departure in February,
Feger said, adding that the unexpected loss of an airline wasn't
factored into the budget when it was drafted.
American had accounted for about 7.5% of passenger traffic at Bob Hope
So far this year, 642,789 passengers have traveled through the Bob Hope
Airport since January, a nearly 2% drop from the 655,610 passengers
handled during the same period in 2011.
LGB Traffic Increases by 11.1 Percent -
Long Beach News
According to a report released by Los Angeles Worlds Airports the Long
Beach Airport (LGB) has seen a [February] traffic increase of 11.1%,
one of the
highest in the state.
Meanwhile, ONT saw a drop of 5.8% while LAX saw a rise of 8.2%. Several
reasons explain the fluctuations, with one of the top reasons being
airline mergers, where more airlines are shifting their business to
larger hubs like LAX and avoiding medium hubs like ONT.
Many claim that LGB's success lies in its devout partnership with Jet
Blue Airlines, which accounts for a large portion of the airport's
traffic. Meanwhile, ONT faces an uphill battle where low-cost flights
account for more than half of its base traffic. The airliners that
provide these flights -- specifically Southwest Airlines -- have begun
to cancel flights in ONT and move into larger markets.
Factoring in seating at L.A./Ontario International Airport -
The Redlands Daily Facts
As traffic continues to decline at L.A./Ontario International Airport,
a forecast shows monthly seat departures out of the medium-hub facility
Departing seats at ONT compared to the same month in 2011 will continue
to decline through October, according to the Official Airline Guide, an
on the travel industry.
There will be 25,000 less seats departing from ONT in April compared to
April 2011, a 9.8 percent decline.
Also, a 8.9 percent decline is expected in May while June and July will
experience dips in the 7 percent range, according to the forecast.
The Official Airline Guide can be used as a gauge of how much air
service is available at ONT.
As the number of seats decrease, there is a natural fall off in
passenger traffic because there are fewer seats to book.