Posts Tagged ‘airline service in Northeast Ohio’

Hopkins Raising Parking Fees, CAK CEO Says Airport Has Lowest Fares in Northeast Ohio

December 31, 2022

The new year will bring higher parking rates at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

New rates that become effective Jan. 1 will see charges increase by $2 to $1 per day for vehicles parked over a 24-hour period.

The new rates will be Smart Garage: $22 (originally $20); Red Lot: $20 (originally $19); Blue Lot: $20 (originally $19); Orange Lot: $17 (originally $16); and Brown Lot: $14 (originally $13)

In other Northeast Ohio airport news, the head of the Akron-Canton Airport said recently that the airport located near Green between its namesake cities now features the lowest average fares in the region.

CEO Ren Camacho said it was part of a transformation of the airport that has played out over the past three years.

Camacho lauded the loyalty of local businesses using the airport and said the addition of low fare carriers Allegiant Air and Breeze Airways within the past two years has helped to keep fares lower.

He noted that as recently as 2019 Akron-Canton had some of the highest average air fares in Northeast Ohio.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic also has transformed the flight offerings from Akron-Canton.

The airport has lost direct service to Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, Washington Dulles Airport, and Houston.

It also has lost Spirit Airlines, which in early summer suspended its flights from CAK with plans to resume them in November. But as that month approached Spirit said it wasn’t returning to Akron-Canton.

Both Breeze and Allegiant offer less-than-daily service, much of it oriented to Florida with flights also serving Las Vegas; Charleston, South Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee. Some routes are seasonal.

Daily service has shrunk to flights to Chicago O’Hare Airport by United Express; Charlotte, North Carolina, by American Eagle; and Reagan Washington National Airport by American Eagle.

Breeze to Launch CAK-Orlando Route in March

October 20, 2022

Breeze Airways said this week it will launch twice-weekly service between Akron-Canton Airport and Orlando International Airport next March.

The flights will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing CAK at 10:20 a.m. and returning at 3:35 p.m.

The announcement came a week after Spirit Airlines said it would not resume service to Akron-Canton in November has it had earlier indicated it would.

Until Spirit suspended service to CAK last June, it had flow to Orlando year around with those flights operating daily during some times of the year.

Allegiant Air this fall launched service from Akron-Canton to Orlando-Sanford Airport, which is located about 30 miles north of Orlando. Those flights do not operate daily.

CAK President Ren Camacho said Orlando is the top destination for leisure travelers using the airport.

Breeze also has routes from Akron-Canton to Tampa and West Palm Beach in Florida, Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans and Charleston, South Carolina. It briefly flew from CAK to Hartford, Connecticut.

None of those flights operate daily and some of those destinations are seasonal. The low fare carrier began service to Akron-Canton in June 2021.

Spirit Will Not resume CAK Flights

October 14, 2022

Spirit Airlines will not resume service to the Akron-Canton Airport next month.

The low fare carrier had suspended service to the airport in June, saying at the time that it would resume those flights in November.

The Plain Dealer reported that an airport official had initially said Spirit was “postponing” its resumption of service until next May.

Later that same official acknowledged that the service suspension is permanent.

Spirit had flown year-round to Orlando and offered seasonal service to Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida.

The loss of Spirit is the latest in a series of airline service losses that Akron-Canton Airport has suffered in recent years, with many of those rooted in air service restructuring prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic that began in spring 2020.

Spirit began serving Akron-Canton in 2016. Last year Spirit handled 81,500 passengers at Akron-Canton, which was about 20 percent of the airport’s total.

In June 2021, a start-up airline, Breeze Airways, began service at CAK, followed by the return of Allegiant Air last March.

Allegiant had served Akron-Canton earlier but pulled its flights out in 2017 favor of concentrating its service at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. That same year Southwest Airlines also ended service to Akron-Canton in favor of focusing on its service to Cleveland and Columbus.

Last January Allegiant ended its Cleveland flights in favor of resuming Northeast Ohio service at CAK.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Akron-Canton has lost air service to Atlanta, New York, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington Dulles Airport.

American Eagle, which operates regional jet flights for American Airlines, also has suspended its flights to Chicago O’Hare.

Current service at Akron-Canton is provided by American Eagle to Charlotte, North Carolina, and Washington Reagan National Airport; and by United Express to Chicago O’Hare.

Breeze and Allegiant operate less than daily service, most of it focused on points in Florida and the Southeast.

Allegiant last week launched nonstop service from Akron-Canton to Orlando Sanford International Airport while Breeze recently began service to Las Vegas.

Price of International Air Route From Cleveland to Ireland Will Actually be Nearly $12M

October 12, 2022

The price of landing air service from Cleveland Hopkins Airport to Europe has turned out to be far higher than local officials had initially indicated.

The Plain Dealer reported that a document on the website of the City of Cleveland contained details of the financial package offered to Aer Lingus to launch four-day-a-week service to Dublin starting next May.

City, county and state government agencies agreed to offer the Irish airline nearly $12 million in revenue guarantees for the service for up to three years.

Most of that money is coming from JobsOhio, a private economic development agency of the state that is funded by liquor sales.

The local contributions toward the service are $825,000 from the county, $600,000 from the city, $600,000 from the Greater Cleveland Partnership, $275,000 from Destination Cleveland and $100,000 from Team NEO. JobsOhio, is contributing $9.4 million.

The funding is not a direct subsidy to Aer Lingus but is funding being made available to get the service started.

It will be paid if the flight fails to meet certain monthly performance goals. It can also be used to pay for such things as marketing of the service.

The newspaper’s story said that providing revenue guarantees has become a standard practice among cities seeking expanded air service, in particular international air service.

“It’s almost a part of doing business,” Megan Ryerson, a professor of transportation at the University of Pennsylvania told The Plain Dealer. “It may not make or break a deal, but it can really facilitate one.”

The Aer Lingus service will be the first direct scheduled flights between Cleveland and Europe since service to Iceland ended in 2018.

Cleveland-Dublin Air Service to Start May 19

October 1, 2022

Officials announced this week that non-stop air service between Cleveland and Dublin by Aer Lingus will launch on May 19.

The service was made possible after Cleveland City Council approved legislation providing a $600,000 revenue guarantee for the service. Additional revenue guarantees are expected to come from Cuyahoga County and the local business community.

An announcement made by airline and airport officials said the aircraft to be used on the route will have 16 business class seats with luxury dining and beds, and 168 economy class seats with complimentary meals and drinks. All passengers will have access to WiFi and in-flight entertainment.

It will be the first direct service between Cleveland and Europe since flights to Iceland ended in October 2018.

Officials said Dublin offers connections to various points in continental Europe.

Aer Lingus said introductory fares of $459 will be offered between May 19 and June 15. Seats must be booked by Oct. 19 to receive that fare.

Officials said 320 passengers depart Cleveland each day for destinations in Europe.

Cleveland Could Get Air Service to Ireland

September 24, 2022

Non-stop airline service to Europe may return to Cleveland Hopkins Airport next year if local officials agree to a financial package.

The Plain Dealer reported on Friday that Aer Lingus is poised to launch flights between Cleveland and Dublin four times a week as early as next May.

It would be the first direct service from Hopkins to Europe since Icelandair and WOW Air ended service to Reykjaveik in 2018.

The Cleveland City Council is reportedly ready to vote on a $600,000 incentive package that would last two years.

That would be part of a larger package totaling between $2 million to $2.9 million that is being assembled by the economic development agency Team NEO.

Other contributions are expected to come from Cuyahoga County and various local businesses.

The funding would not be grants but instead would be revenue guarantees design to help a carrier pay for the costs of starting a new route. Federal law prohibits direct subsidy payments for air service.

The Plain Dealer reported noted that in 2019 Aer Lingus considered offering flights between Cleveland and Dublin, but the local business community could not agree on funding incentives for the service.

Restarting direct service from Cleveland to Europe has been a top priority for Hopkins officials for years.

Before the Iceland service ended in 2018, Continental Airline flew between Cleveland and London and for one summer between Cleveland and Paris. The last of those services, Cleveland-London, ended in 2009.

Hopkins has daily international service to Toronto by an Air Canada contract carrier and various less-than-daily services operate from Cleveland to Cancun, Mexico.

In 2020, JobsOhio, established a program to help the state’s airports attract new air service.

One result of those efforts was the coming  of Breeze Airways to Akron-Canton Airport last year.

JobsOhio and Team NEO also created a package to entice Alaska Airlines to begin service from Cleveland to Seattle this year.

That service includes one daily flight with a second summer season flight expected to launch next year.

Breeze Drops CAK-Hartford Flights

August 1, 2022

Akron-Canton Airport has continued to lose flights as result of industry staffing issues.

Breeze Airways last month ended its service from CAK to Hartford, Connecticut, a month after it began

An airline spokesman cited workforce issues. “We’ve had to make some schedule adjustments given crew constraints,” said Gareth Edmondson-Jones.

Breeze, which began flying to Akron-Canton in June 2021, began the twice-weekly Hartford flights on June 3 and ended them on July 1. It has planned to end the service in early September.

The low-fare carrier flies from Akron-Canton to six destinations, although none of those flights operate daily and some are seasonal.

Akron-Canton has suffered a spate of service cuts and suspensions this year. American Eagle stopped flying to Philadelphia, United Express ended service to Washington Dulles Airport last March and Spirit Airlines suspended all service to CAK in early summer.

However, new flights are expected to begin at Akron-Canton later this year. Breeze said it plans to begin flying to Las Vegas in October and Spirit has indicated it will restore service to Orlando in November.

Allegiant Air said it will begin service to Orlando-Sanford Airport in early October and to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport in November.

Lisa Dalpiaz, vice president of marketing and air service development with the Akron-Canton Airport, told The Plain Dealer that Hartford flights could return next summer. “Bookings were increasing and awareness was spreading for that route, so I could imagine it coming back next season,” she said.

Allegiant to Add 2 Florida Routes from CAK

May 9, 2022

Allegiant Air will add two Florida destinations from the Akron-Canton Airport this fall.

Starting Oct. 6, Allegiant will fly twice a week between CAK and Orlando Sanford Airport, located 20 miles northeast of Orlando.

Those flights could pick up some of the slack being left by Spirit Airlines’ plans to suspend service between Akron-Canton and Orlando International Airport in June.

Akron-Canton officials have said Orlando is the top destination of passengers from CAK.

Allegiant also plans to launch twice-a-week service between Akron-Canton and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport on Nov. 19.

The new routes will give Allegiant six destinations from Akron-Canton. Others include the Florida cities of Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Punta Gorda. Allegiant also flies from Akron-Canton to Savannah-Hilton Head, Georgia.

Spirit has said it plans to resume serving Akron-Canton in November.

Spirit to Suspend Flights at Akron-Canton Airport

April 28, 2022

Spirit Airlines will cease serving Akron-Canton Airport on June 5, but the discount fare carrier insists the move is temporary.

In announcing the service suspension, an airline spokesman said the move is in response to a pilot shortage and other operation issues that are prompting it to reduce service across its system.

Also affected will be Cleveland Hopkins Airport, which will see some new Spirit flights even as flights on other routes are suspended.

Spirit, which has served Akron-Canton since 2016, flies year around from CAK to Orlando, Florida, and offers seasonal service to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida.

In Cleveland, Spirit plans on June 5 to resume serving Dallas-Fort Worth with daily service while adding a second daily flight to Myrtle Beach.

Spirit will suspend its Cleveland flights to Cancun and New Orleans.

The airline spokesman told The Plain Dealer that the airline wants to avoid a situation such as happened earlier this month when it had to cancel hundreds of flights due to staffing, weather and operational issues.

That left thousands of travelers stranded during a busy spring break travel period.

Other carrier are facing the same issues and have announced flight cuts to avoid having to cancel large numbers of flights due to operating issues.

The Plain Dealer report noted that airlines have been surprised at how quickly air travel has bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic doldrums.

Lisa Dalpiaz, vice president of marketing and air service development at Akron-Canton, told The Plain Dealer she is cautiously optimistic Spirit will return in November as it said it would.

“The Akron-Canton market has performed well in the past,” she said. “We’ve been told that these routes have worked.”

Spirit is the only airline flying from CAK to Orlando, which Dalpiaz said is the top destination for travelers from the airport.

Merger Could Affect NE Ohio Airport

April 17, 2022

Officials at Cleveland Hopkins Airport are taking a wait and see approach to an effort by JetBlue Aiways to take over Spirit Airlines.

Spirit is also being sought by Frontier Airlines and two companies announced plans two months ago to merge subject to regulatory approval.

JetBlue has made a $3.6 billion unsolicited offer to buy Spirit, which is known for low fares but also cramped seats and numerous fees.

All three carriers fly out of Hopkins but JetBlue has a small presence there, accounting for just 2 percent of the commercial passenger traffic from Hopkins last year.

By contrast Spirit and Frontier are the fourth and sixth largest carriers at Hopkins in terms of traffic.

A combined Spirit and Frontier would eclipse United Airlines, which generates the most traffic from Hopkins.

JetBlue, which began serving Hopkins in 2015, flies from Cleveland to Boston and Fort Lauderdale, but plans to drop flights to the latter on May 1. However, JetBlue expects to reinstate the route in October.

Spirit also has flights from Akron-Canton Airport to Orlando with seasonal service to Tampa and Fort Myers in Floridam and to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Neither Frontier nor JetBlue fly to CAK, although Frontier once did.

From Hopkins, Spirit serves 11 destinations while Frontier flies to 13.

Industry observers noted that JetBlue and Spirit have many differences in practice and philosophy.

Whereas JetBlue offers a higher-quality product that includes more legroom, more entertainment options, complimentary snacks and beverages, and higher fares, Spirit offers basic transportation for low fares but with fees for many services.

Hopkins director Robert Kennedy told The Plain Dealer he expected the airport to feel more of an economic effect from a Frontier-Spirit merger than a JetBlue-Spirit combination.

“It could produce a larger concentration of flights and possibly lead to other destinations for us,” Kennedy said about a Frontier-Spirit merger.

He also said a combined Spirit-Frontier might establish a crew base or maintenance facility at Hopkins.