Airport Enplanement Forecasts On-Line

We are excited to announce that Airports:USA®, the only independent enplanement forecasts accomplished entirely in the private sector, will soon be available as an option for Aviation DataMiner subscribers.

Updated monthly, Airports:USA® delivers ten year forecasts for 146 of the nation’s largest airports, comprising more than 90% of all traffic.

Unlike FAA forecasts, which still pursue obsolete assumptions that air passenger traffic is result of economic factors, the Airports:USA® approach includes analyses of airline strategies, fleets and tactical trends.

The new system will be on-line December 15, 2018. Further information will be sent shortly to our subscribers.


Traffic YTD – Up 5.4%

Airports:USA traffic data indicates that the nation is on track for @ 5.2% – 5.8% growth in 2018.

The difference from the past is that many airports are seeing wild swings, as ULCCs literally come and go.

Some of this momentum will slow in the last months of the year. Fourth quarter appears to project a bit slower growth – @ 4.6%

Traverse City Moves Up To Michigan #3

Congratulations to our long time partner, Cherry Capital Airport.

Setting an enplanement record in July, TVC has moved up to be the third busiest passenger airport in Michigan.

BGI China Expertise

On May 9, Ithaca was added to the distinguished list of clients who have drawn upon the expertise of Boyd Group International and its partner China Ni Hao.

We delivered a comprehensive China-Welcome & Outreach program to civic leaders, specifically tailored to the core educational foundation of the local economy of the region. Today, BGI’s Airports:China forecasts that Central New York generates over 59,000 local Chinese O&D.

Ithaca joins clients Raleigh-DurhamSpokane, Las Vegas and New Orleanswho in just the last year have come to BGI for its expertise in the dynamic and growing China-US market. Every program is carefully related to the specific realities and objectives of the client.

Unlike other entities that claim to provide “China ready” programs, ours focus on building outreach, not just accommodation. Our assistance is developing digital presence in China, including presence on WeChat, Baidu and other channels is unrivaled.

Remember, Chinese visitation and investment is an opportunity for every  US community. Contact us for more information.

June 25, 2018

Accessing China Business  & Air Access –

It’s An Economic Opportunity For Airports of All Sizes

It’s the next tsunami of business and growth – China.

Regardless of current (and often inaccurate) media stories about a “trade war.”

When the dust settles, the economic relations between China and the US will be stronger than ever. Both countries need each other, but China needs the US market, big-time.

You can take it to ‘Vegas and make book on it. The future growth sector will be coming from China, and it will affect airports across the USA – with or without nonstop flights. New flow traffic channels are developing and the attractiveness of US airports and adjacent property as investment is not being missed as Chinese companies look to expand globally.

… Over 20 million leisure visitors over the next five years, with an average “spend” of over $6,000 each… billions in new investment in US industries, real estate, and new business ventures. And it is aimed at the entire US, not just major cities.

The massive evolution of the Chinese airline and air transportation systems represent huge potential for new China-US flights – and increased connectivity between Chinese commercial centers and secondary US airports.

… As the China air transportation system evolves, plan on seeing a lot of B-registered airliners from several Chinese cities operated by airlines that most folks have yet to hear of, feeding new traffic via alliance partners to points across the USA.

… When the new Daxing mega-airport opens next year in Beijing, the ripple effects will uncork new air access from China… a factor that will represent now-unseen opportunities for US gateways and for connecting/flow traffic to and from secondary US airports.

Getting Your Airport & Community To The Front of The Competition

Boyd Group International and its China Ni Hao team are working with a number of communities and airports in developing aggressive and effective programs to both prepare and to reach out to the Chinese market, as well as to explore air service opportunities.

Large airports and small, too.

Your Competition Is Mired In “Traditional” Approaches. Get Ahead of Them. The traditional trade missions, surrogate marketing offices in Beijing, and an expensive eye-candy Brand USA™ website are no longer enough to cut it competitively.

Communities and their local airports need to go beyond these, and aggressively become China-Welcome™ to underscore these traditional channels, and demonstrate that they have respect and preparation for this new business. Innovation in outreach and positioning will make the difference.

In this area, Boyd Group International has more expertise in the emerging China aviation market than any other consultant.

We’re the only US firm that’s engaged in in-depth research and forecasting of the China opportunity.

– We are unique in that we are focused on trends and major shifts affecting the exploding Chinese air transportation system.

– We’re the only firm that delivers intensive on-site China Symposiums – events that deliver to the client data, forecasts and China business intelligence that other consultants would need to try to research and then would charge the client tens of thousands of dollars for their education on the subject.

That’s because for them, China is an ad-hoc sideline, not a focus of their work.

Join Us At The International Aviation Forecast Summit – And Jump Ahead.

The IAFS™ is the #1 aviation forecast event. And that means that the China opportunity is part of the agenda. In fact, the China-focused segments deliver more actionable data and information than is available anywhere else. Period.

The Airports:China Summit Session – Facts & Forecasts

At the IAFS, full Summit, we present the latest Airports:China™ forecast of traffic and trends. This is business intelligence that is specific to airports and communities that want to enhance their China outreach.

Where the China-US traffic will expand in the next 3 years… Based on known and expected fleet and strategy shifts at Chinese airlines… and our expertise in forecasting the China-US market.

Crafting A Viable Strategy – Why simply seeking “a flight to China” is the wrong way to start, and the reasons why… Matter of fact, a comparison of daily departures from major Chinese airline operations and those at US carriers’ connecting hubs tells the story regarding how to approach gaining China access – one we’ll be explaining at the Airports:China session.

The Evolution of the China air transportation system. We’ll review what BGI has identified as the “Mianyang dynamic” – anticipating and targeting where China-US traffic will be in the future, as China’s economic structure changes. It does portend changes that affect the shifting future China-US air access trends…

Data & Futurist Forecasting – Why reliance on DOT international O&D and T-100 data is not recommended, and how to develop alternatives.

– Forecast: US Airports With Highest Potential For China Access, 2019-2021. Exclusive! As part of the Airports:China forecast, we’ll be outlining the US airports that have the strongest potential for China nonstop flights subsequent to the opening of the new Daxing mega-airport in Beijing.

We’ll discuss the criteria and the dynamics of gaining China air service in this new environment.

Workshop: The China Opportunity – Strategies For Communities and Airports.

If you can get to Denver a little early, one part of the optional pre-Summit Workshop programs includes a session that will deliver exciting business intelligence for airports working to craft their China outreach program

This exciting session will explore:

How to identify and “size” the specific China opportunity.

Cost effective and non-intrusive ways of implementing wayfinding at your airport and community.

How airports and communities can develop cost-effective digital positioning – in China and in the US.

The pitfalls to absolutely avoid – and some aren’t that obvious, either.

Air China And The #1 US Airline To China Are Participating, Too.

Our good friend and colleague, Dr. Chi Zhi-Hang, VP – North America of Air China, will also be presenting a session at the IAFS™ on his company’s view of the China-US Market.

Plus, we’re excited to announce that United Airlines – the #1 US-China carrier – is now a Platinum Sponsor of the IAFS™ and its president, Scott Kirby will be discussing this and other strategic areas.

If you haven’t registered yet, just click here and reserve your space. Early registration rates end on June 30.

So, ! And will see you in Denver August 19-21!


After The Webinar, Let’s Talk

The Aviation Insight Series will deliver a monthly, interactive webinar on emerging trends in aviation. These showcase the futurist perspectives that we deliver to our clients, across the spectrum of the industry. Feel free to contact us after the webinar with any follow-up questions or input. We would be honored to talk with you!

Aviation DataFlash

1Q 2016 Data: Fasten Your Air Access Seat Belts

The New Metric For Air Access Planning – Traditional ASD Ignores It.

Run with us for a couple of minutes. This will go where other “quarterly reports” are in the dark.

It also once again shows how traditional “air service development” programs are missing the key drivers of airline planning decisions.

Let’s look again at the basic passenger numbers…

What do we see? On the surface:

The number of passengers was up 7.1 percent, but the average passenger trip – which is a driver of RPMs – was essentially flat, at 0.2%. So, passengers weren’t flying longer trips. Just more passengers with generally the same length of haul.

But do notice that the average ticket yield (the most fundamental metric to gauge consumer costs of flying) was down,  5.7%. This latter statistic has the wolves on Wall Street all in a dither… airlines aren’t getting what they did last year per seat mile tossed into the sky, so  they must be adding capacity willy-nilly.

Sloppy conclusion, based on ignorance.

So, next…

Let’s mix in the airline statistics for the first quarter.

Using Aviation DataMiner, here’s where we find the fundamental reasons for the changes in yield amid growth in traffic. We looked at the ten major carriers – which on this table includes G4 and HA.

The growth in RPMs – 6.8% – is consistent with the 7% increase in raw passengers, and the 7% increase in ASMs produced. Load factor pretty much stayed the same. This means that, mostly, the extra seats had tushies in them.

Hint: The Machinery Is Changing – Therefore, So Will  Airline Planning

But it’s the numbers under Seats Per Departure that tell the current and future story.

Some of the monkey-hear, monkey-repeat, web-dwelling “financial experts” see an increase in capacity and launch into condemning the “lack of seat discipline” at major US airlines.

It’s another reason that stuffing your money into a Sealy Posturpedic is probably safer than listening to a lot of these financial-world “advisors,” many of whom wouldn’t know an ASM from an ATM.

The real impact for professional  airport planners is in the fundamental airline strategy changes that are evolving due to fleet changes.

Note that raw flight departures were up only 2.2%, but the average number of seats per departure (i.e., size of airliner) was up 3.2%.

Result: more seats to sell per flight, and even with sophisticated revenue management programs, there will be downward pressure on overall fare yields. It’s “just” an average of four seats, but the fact is that it’s still 3.2% more seats per departure.

The expansion of some ULCCs, such as Frontier, has some effect. But the main dynamic going forward is the result of fleet plan changes. that the average seats per departure will go up as 50-seaters (and ultimately, some 70-seaters) are pulled from fleets.

This important airline factor is absent from traditional “air service development” programs, which generally assume that just (supposed and sometimes ginned-up) traffic data is all that’s needed to get more service.

It’s planning based on an airline structure that no longer exists. That CSeries at Delta will have not only new traffic requirements, but its presence at airport A can and will affect consumer decisions at airports B and C in the region.

Fleet Forecasting – A BGI Strength

In the future, it will be critical to factor in to any air service planning the changes that will be emerging in airline fleets – this will fundamentally change how carriers make market decisions.

It doesn’t take an MBA from Wharton to figure out that when average size aircraft goes up, the ability of smaller markets to support air service goes down.

The question is, how much insight do you have in regard to the future fleet imperatives at key airline systems? Retirements, additions, airline-specific fleet renewal programs.

Just one example: AA is rapidly retiring its MD-80s. Delta is apparently holding on to their MD-88s, with few retirements over the past year. Another example: Frontier is moving A-319s out of its system replacing them with larger units… it’s this expertise BGI brings to its airport planning client.

Regardless of any other aspects, 50-seat jets are going to be retired – a forecast we alone made, well before the process started, and when the majority of analysts were predicting near-endless demand for these machines.

United: One Example of Future Fleet Evolution. At Boyd Group International, we keep close watch of airline fleet strategies. It’s our business. We’re noting the recent events at United – where the CEO has indicated they’ll be looking at all areas of their feed system. Then factor in the recent order for 737-700s to “replace” lift leased in from outside operators. Just last week, it appears that UA has shifted at least three of these orders to -800s.

Point: United will have a different fleet and different traffic objectives. Delta’s acquisition of 717s, and CSeries aircraft point in the same direction. More seats per departure are in the cards.

The simplistic solution suggestion from the consultant Peanut Gallery that a reduction in frequency will do the trick is nonsense. Flight frequency is critical to consumer support – without, they’re hitting the road to another airport, where even with a 90-minute drive, the total travel time is less than shoehorning an itinerary to fit the two flights left at the local airport.

Fleet Changes Will Be The #1 Factor In Air Access Planning

In air access planning, the fleet strategies of carrier systems is critical. Only Boyd Group International brings airline fleet and demand trends to the table with our clients.

These issues are the reason airport and aviation planners are joining us at the 21st annual Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit, September 18-20 in  Reno/Tahoe.

Not only will the airline executives making these strategic decisions be there, but the fleet forecasts presented by all of the major manufacturers – Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier and Mitsubishi – as well as Boyd Group International, will deliver additional insight regarding what will be pulling up to Gate 6 in the future.

It will be information and planning intelligence airport planners will need in the months ahead.

Click here to register for the IAFS™ … and don’t forget the optional pre-Summit workshops on Sunday afternoon, September 18. It includes a special “Patton On Air Service Planning” event that will be fun, and valuable, too.



Southwest Airlines Top 20 Denver Markets

Despite the Wall Street lore, Southwest is now a full network carrier, and the 4th quarter 2015 data at Denver shows it clearly.

This is part of a wider route performance report that our clients in the financial and labor sectors find highly valuable.

Here we review only the local and flow traffic data.

Today, almost 37% of the WN passengers at Denver are now flow traffic. This is not only in “barbell” markets such as SLC-DEN and BNA-DEN, where there are connection banks at each end, but also in highlighted markets such as MSP-DEN, SMF-DEN and PDX-DEN, where nearly half or more of the passengers on the routing are flow traffic over Denver.

The report is highly truncated.  Our subscribers to have access to additional market metrics in this single report, such as full yield analyses (local and thru) and cost per ASM/RPM data.

Revenue/ASM Minus Cost/ASM Is Not “Profitability”  There are a wide range of other factors that determine strategic “profitablilty” for an airline. The variance between the costs per ASM and the revenues are also indicated in the full DataMiner report, but we do not label this as “profitability,” as that involves a range of other factors available only to the airline itself.

While some consultants purport to have programs that can compare airline profitability between markets, we’d note that short of hacking into the carriers’ IT systems, these are just amateur spreadsheet programs.

Top 50 US O&D Airports – Full Year 2015

These reports show strictly the domestic O&D generated at the airport. Keep in mind that this metric is stimulated at hubsite airports due to the high levels of hub-supported capacity.

Note the secondary rankings… we include the rank by cost of travel per mile at each airport, as well as the average gross OW fare, including federal fees and taxes.

These are important factors – and ones that the media often mis-reports out of sheer ignorance of the subject matter. Raw BTS rankings of “fares” are actually average ticket spend, which is affected by geographical location of the city, as well as economic and demographic factors.

The cost per mile is one metric to compare airports, but it is affected again by geographic location and the mix of traffic that the market generates – long haul v short haul.

For more information on the Analytical Firepower available from Aviation DataMiner™ and™ click here and get ahead of the competition.

Going, Gone: The All-Business Class Model

Open Skies – (the airline of that name, not the concept) was another attempt at an independent, all-business class, trans-Atlantic brand.

It’s gone as of this September.

It joins MaxJet, L’Avion and Silverjet on the bucket list of poor market understanding.

These airlines were all based on the assumption that offering a “bargain” premium product would poach business travel from major incumbents, as well as entice the some of the inhabitants of their economy cabins to switch and move up to a classier product.

The fly in this marketing elixir is that the folks in business/first on trans-Atlantic markets tend to be brand-tethered due to corporate deals and FF loyalty. As a group, they aren’t going to switch – and, didn’t.

As for the supposed great unwashed trapped in 17-inch wide seats in the back of the airplane, these premium-product attempts all failed to recognize that it’s not a curtainbetween economy and business class on major carriers.

It’s a financial DMZ.

People book economy class because they don’t want to spend one Euro more to get to Paris, let alone a couple hundred, just to have a wider seat, a meal with fancy names they can’t pronounce, and some free hooch.