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Thread: "Discount airlines drive Stewart fares DOWN" Article

  1. #1
    Senior Member Iberia A340-600's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    "Discount airlines drive Stewart fares DOWN" Article

    In the Poughkeepsie Journal's business section today:

    Interestingly enough I have one of my Skybus pictures in the article and I was very pleased to see it in the article, however it was credited as a "courtesy photo"

    Sunday, February 3, 2008
    Discount airlines drive Stewart fares DOWN
    Airport prices second-lowest in nation, report says

    By Craig Wolf
    Poughkeepsie Journal

    A report on air fares on America's 1,000 busiest routes shows Stewart International Airport with the second-lowest fares in the nation on an average fare-per-mile basis.

    The surprising data, contained in a report from the Office of Aviation Analysis at the U.S. Department of Transportation, is a major advance for Stewart, long known for the opposite: costly tickets.

    The data, which pertain to the second quarter of 2007, reflect the advent of low-fare carriers AirTran Airways and JetBlue Airways early that year. The future looks like more of the same, given the start-up at Stewart of Skybus Airlines, a new carrier that aims for rock-bottom fares.

    The survey found the "yield" - or cents per mile paid based on average fares - was 11.92 cents for three routes out of the New Windsor airport: Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Atlanta, Ga.

    California airport is lower

    The lowest such figure cited was for Long Beach, Calif., a secondary airport near Los Angeles, which posted 11.16 cents on average for 11 routes.

    The data show a big decline for Stewart prices versus its own level a year earlier, when the average was 17.22 cents per mile.

    JetBlue began flying at Stewart to Florida cities in December 2006. AirTran began Florida and Atlanta service in early 2007. Traffic soared and fares plunged. For example, fares to Orlando, Fla., fell 32.5 percent as passengers jumped 1,599 percent, the report said. Also, flights became nonstop.

    While the lowering of fares at Stewart over the last year is well known, the statistical ranking isn't.

    "That's a surprise," said Connor Haugh, of Poughkeepsie, who flies occasionally. "It must be because there's all low-cost airlines going out of there."

    While not all of the lines flying Stewart have a low-fare model, officials at Stewart did note last year that the coming of JetBlue and AirTran pulled down fares for the other carriers as well.

    The fare report is "real good news," said Charles North, president and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce in Poughkeepsie. "I know that competitiveness of the industry drives prices down, and Stewart is a natural to bring in business, and apparently, it's working."

    The latest line to start at Stewart is Skybus, based in Columbus, Ohio.

    Bill Diffenderffer, CEO of the airline, was asked Friday by the Poughkeepsie Journal how business was after the first month.

    "It's building, very acceptably. We have full confidence that it will work out," he said.

    Bus traffic from Beacon

    Skybus has caused a ballooning of bus traffic from Stewart across the Hudson River to Beacon as Columbus-area travelers use it to get to the Metro North Railroad station.

    "When they land at Stewart they're connecting to Metro North and going right into Grand Central," said Mary Anne Gallagher, marketing director for Leprechaun Lines, which provides the link under contract with the New York state Department of Transportation.

    The run serves local commuters and Stewart fliers, Gallagher said. The Newburgh Beacon Stewart Shuttle was "sort of the slow part of the service" until January.

    "Our ridership has kind of gone through the roof in the Stewart portion, which is a good thing. It is completely attributed to Skybus service starting," Gallagher said. Weekend service was added Jan. 26.

    Jack Martini, assistant airport manager for Stewart, told the Stewart Airport Commission Tuesday the bus link had only about 800 passengers in 2007 but jumped to 566 for January alone.

    "I'm speechless," said Mary Kay Vrba, tourism director for Dutchess County, who said it presents an opportunity for tourism development aiming at Midwesterners.

    "That area has been really good for us," Vrba said. "From what you're telling me, this is exciting news because it will just open up another mode of transportation. ... It would be great to put something into their hands about the Hudson Valley."

    Diffenderffer said the city-bound phenomenon stems from the airline promoting Stewart as a New York airport and explaining how to get there, including the bus link.

    "You're very soon going to be getting the same reaction from people in North Carolina, because that flight starts soon," he said. Service to Greensboro and the Winston-Salem and High Point area begins Feb. 25.

    In a separate report, issued this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation said airfares nationwide were down in 2007 by 0.8 percent.

    Average air fares in the third quarter of 2007 fell 0.8 percent from a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported.

    Despite the year-over-year drop, average air fares were up compared with the second quarter by 0.7 percent, the bureau's report said.

    Reach Craig Wolf at [email protected] or 845-437-4815

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Oceanside, NY

    Re: "Discount airlines drive Stewart fares DOWN" Article

    I am happy for that airport. I remember it cost 300+ to fly from DAB-SWF. Now it has gone down atleast maybe $50, if not more at times when FL advertises is regular system-wide fare sales bringing it down as low as $221!!
    In loving memory of Casey Edward Falconer
    May 16, 1992-May 9, 2012

  3. #3

    Re: "Discount airlines drive Stewart fares DOWN" Article

    You must feel very happy your picture was used. I have given numerous pictures to and they never made reference to mine. I took a picture of Travolta's plane from my American Eagle window shot, I never got credit.
    "We know why you fly"


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