by Michael Lowrey
US Airways and American Airlines summer schedules are now more-or-less set, so it’s time for a comparison of this summer’s flight levels as compared to last summer’s service levels:
The big picture:
Thursday August 7, 2014: 670 flights with 71,027 seats
Thursday, June 18, 2015: 659 flights with 69,506 seats
US Airways added three domestic destinations plus a second London Heathrow flight right after the end of the 2014 peak summer season. How can we still be down 10 flights a day? The answer lies in cuts to the most exotic and least exotic destinations from Charlotte (international flights and flights to smaller cities throughout the Southeast).
New European flight added in September 2014: London Heathrow (2nd flight)
International routes eliminated: Brussels; Lisbon; Manchester, England; Ottawa; Rio de Janeiro; Sao Paulo plus the second (summer-seasonal) flight to Frankfurt.
Summer-seasonal international destination that’s now weekend only: Bermuda
The (only) new destination added in 2015: Albuquerque, NM — summer seasonal that runs from early June to mid-August
New destinations added in September or October 2014: Evansville, IN (3 flights a day); Ft. Wayne, IN (1); Grand Rapids, MI (2)
Domestic cities up a flight a day in 2015 compared to 2014: Austin, TX (4th flight); Detroit (8th); Manchester, NH (2nd); Memphis (7th); Pensacola, FL (4th); Providence, RI (5th); Tampa (9th) plus San Diego (3rd) in July and August only
Domestic destinations down two flight a day in 2015 compared to 2014: Dallas/Ft. Worth (down to 12 flights a day); Florence, SC (4); Hilton Head, SC (5)
Domestic cities down a flight a day: Chattanooga, TN (to 6 flights); Chicago O’Hare (10); Fayetteville, NC (6); Ft. Walton Beach, FL (3); Greenville, NC (4); Gulfport/Biloxi, MS (2); Huntington, WV (3); Indianapolis (8); Jacksonville, NC (7); Montgomery, AL (2); New Orleans (6); Savannah (8); Johnson City, TN (5)
The reduction in flights to regional destinations is not associated with a reduction in 50-seat regional jet or turbo-prop flying from CLT. Flights up aircraft seating 50 or less are actually up one in June 2015 compared to August 2014. Rather what we are seeing is fewer large regional jets flown to regional markets.