Monday Insight – April 4, 2022

Enplanement Demand Watch

On Inertia For Now, But Airlines Are Taking Few Chances

Between staff shortages, fuel spikes and inflation, the US airline industry is likely once again in full metal jacket planning mode – if they ever were actually out of it from the Wuhan/CCP pandemic. These folks are not going to get blind-sided.

BGI’s Airports:USA® forecast system will be watching these planning shifts in the coming weeks. We have looked at the top 15 growth airports, 2025 v 2019, as forecast in early February, and would suggest that there are six bellwether markets to watch after Labor Day as national demand indicators.

If the economy falters in regard to discretionary income, or consumer confidence continues to go down, these are markets that may not be in the top 15 next year.

There are no past experiences that combined higher fuel costs, national inflation and staffing shortages as change factors in an air transportation industry that had been literally booming. Plus, there is uncertainty regarding the pecking order of leisure travel in the discretionary-spend pecking order. It may be less vulnerable than other options


Keeping Rural America Communication-Connected

“Commercial Air Service” In Some Cases Isn’t A Part of The Future

The latest Aviation Unscripted video does a final deep dive into the festering issue of small communities being confused between “commercial service” and “air service access.”

The SkyWest/UAX deletion of service at 29 EAS points was just the latest in almost 50 small community hub feed markets being yanked by network carrier systems. The proximate cause is attributed to a pilot shortage, but the truth is there are far more fundamental drivers that are being ignored, to the detriment of the communities involved.

Economic planning demands understanding economics in the first place. For communities, airports, aviation planners, rural economists and investment firms, we’d suggest investing ten minutes and logging on to the latest Aviation Unscripted video. No punches pulled, and we have three decades of planning experience and respect from the airline industry to back us up.

The short ten-minute presentation does indeed trample on a lot of accepted and obsolete planning norms. But one can only wonder how much money has been spent – and now more will be spent – on projects to regain air service that is fundamentally impossible to recapture.

Click here to take a look. And if you’re interested in weekly updates on issues other consultants hide from, join us as a subscriber to get notified of new Unscripteds.

Planning For The Future… Join us! We’d also point out that Boyd Group International and its colleague partners are ready to assist communities in ascertaining future direction for their local and regional airport assets. This certainly includes analysis of air service access options, and when indicated, development of aggressive appropriate programs.

But we also review the current and future role of each airport in the context of the future, and assist in developing wider exploration of the economic potential in the national and global aviation industry.

Give us a call or drop us an e-mail and let’s talk.


Boyd+Swelbar Unvarnished This Thursday…

The gloves are off. The formalities side-stepped… with all that’s going on, this week’s Boyd+Swelbar Unvarnished video may cross a whole lot of red lines. Take a 20-minute break this Thursday and cross them with us.

The program is free-form and uncharted. Some of the issues we are considering to dive into…

Airports:USA Enplanement Forecast Updates. The real unknown is after Labor Day. Most summer travel is in the farebox already. We’ll touch on where traffic may expand, and where it’s most vulnerable to higher fuel costs, the pilot shortage, and inflation. Don’t miss this.

Small Jets: Is There A Life After Network Carriers? We’ll be diving into the situation regarding the over 700 – yes, 700+ – fifty seat jets now “stored” and out of service. To be sure, most of these are pretty much run-out as well as stripped for parts when they reach the sunny climes of the desert. But there could be alternative applications for some of these machines.

The “aha!” model is of interest. Just not for a couple hundred airplanes. From historical and embarrassing experience, ExpressJet – parent of aha! – tried independent point-to-point service and found it a generator of red ink. Then there’s the moribund “all-inclusive” upscale vacation sector that isn’t going anywhere, so that’s not an option. But business/executive applications are growing. There may be other applications that we mere mortals have missed. On-demand logistics? More JetX type applications?

Latest Updates On Emerging Airline Strategies. Wow! New international service! Or, maybe not. On one hand, fun expansion announcements, and later some daunting pull-down announcements. Some of the “emergency” CCP-Covid survival markets, like United’s leisure point-to-point routes, getting cut. The Breeze model, right when JetBlue is yanking similar long-haul nonstops?

Aviation People of The Week. We’ll be naming some names regarding events over the past several weeks, along with some prognostications for airline strategies, consumer shifts, and what we see in the post-Labor Day demand picture.

Take out 20 minutes this Thursday… it will be well worth your time. We tackle important, critical aviation issues other consultants scurry away from.

Log in here to our channel and take a look. We are gratified at the viewer levels, not only on but on all access points.

(We are primarily on v YouTube for the reason that as we explore and discuss what may be sensitive issues, we do not want to be censored in any way. YouTube will allow near-terrorists free discussion, but arbitrarily shut down posts that they unilaterally feel are politically incorrect. We will be touching on a range of issues that YouTube might feel so.)