Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland Hopkins Airport’

Amtrak Reinstates Suspended Trains, Southwest Airlines Back to Near Normal Operations

December 31, 2022

Amtrak was back to normal on Friday with all trains that had been suspended in the past week back to their normal schedules.

For the first time in more than a week the Empire Builder departed Chicago en route to its West Coast terminals of Seattle and Portland. No service suspensions were posted on the Amtrak website.

The suspensions began four days before Christmas as a massive winter storm that brought subzero temperatures and heavy snow raced across the country, hitting the upper Midwest and western New York State particularly hard.

The same storm disrupted airline travel during the Christmas weekend but Southwest Airlines had particular difficulty coping with the storm and its aftermath.

The carrier cancelled approximately 5,800 flights between Dec. 22 and 29. On Friday Southwest operated most of its flights with the website Flightaware.com reporting that just 43 Southwest flights had been cancelled by 6 p.m. EST.

On a typical day Southwest operates 3,900 flights. Flightaware said that nationwide, airlines cancelled just 153 flights on Friday, which was the lowest number since before the winter storm arrived just before the Christmas weekend.

Most Southwest flights scheduled to operate this past week from Cleveland Hopkins Airport were cancelled.

Every Southwest flight out of Hopkins on Monday was scrapped and only a handful of flights operated Tuesday through Thursday.

Most Southwest flight from Cleveland operate to Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Nashville, Atlanta and Baltimore.

Some Southwest passengers from Cleveland were told the soonest they could be accommodated would be Saturday.

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.

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.

Hopkins Master Plan Awaits FAA Approval

October 1, 2022

The master plan for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is awaiting approval of the Federal Aviation Administration.

The plan proposes a $2 billion overhaul of the airport’s facilities, which Dennis Kramer, interim director of port control, described as 70 percent reconstruction and 30 percent renovation.

The focus of the work will be to increase the number of parking spots, and provide additional ticketing and security screening space.

About 98 percent of the users of Hopkins begin or end their journey at the airport, meaning that connecting airline traffic is minimal.

Officials said the roadways around the airport will be redesigned to include an elevated connecting road tied directly to Interstate 71 in order to eliminate airport traffic on Ohio Route 237.

To create additional parking some existing structures will be razed, including the vacant former Sheraton Hotel in front of the airport terminal.

Also slated to be demolished is Concourse D, which will make way for an expanded Concourse E.

The projects will be funded by airport user fees, including fees paid by airlines that serve Hopkins.

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.

Hopkins Scores Low Among Medium Airports

September 24, 2022

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport recently scored the dubious distinction of being rated the third worst medium-sized airport for traveler satisfaction.

The survey was conducted by consulting firm J.D. Power and rated airports in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh the top two respectively.

A medium-sized airport is defined as handling 4.5 million to 9.9 million passengers annually.

Ranking below Hopkins were Hollywood Burbank Airport in California and Kahului Airport in Hawaii. There are 18 medium-sized airports in the United States.

The J.D. Power survey queried travelers on such factors as terminal facilities, baggage claim, and food and beverage options.

The consulting firm noted in announcing its results that overall customer satisfaction declined in 2022 amid airline staff shortages, flight cancellations, fare hikes, and lack of suitable parking at airports.

Michael Taylor of J.D. Power said travelers groused about crowded airport terminals and rising prices for everything from jet fuel to a bottle of water at an airport newsstand.

More than half of the respondents (58 percent) described airport terminals as severely or moderately crowded. A quarter said they avoided food and beverage purchases because of the expense.

Despite its ranking third from the bottom, Taylor told The Plain Dealer that Hopkins was one of the few airports to see an improvement in its scores from 2021 to 2022 with its score improving from 772 to 780 out of a possible 1,000 points.

In the past year Hopkins officials have overseen improvements in security screening and airport access.

The Plain Dealer report said Hopkins has increasingly ranked below its medium-sized peers in recent years on traveler satisfaction scores.

In the mega airports category of more than 32 million passengers a year, Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Francisco and Detroit airports were the top three with the bottom three being Los Angeles, Chicago O’Hare and Newark.

In the large airport category (10 million to 32.9 million passengers annually), Tampa, John Wayne (California) and Dallas Love were the top three, while Kansas City, Honolulu and Philadelphia were the bottom three.

Cleared to Land

July 21, 2022

One of fringe benefits of railfanning in Olmsted Falls is that it can also be a great place to watch aircraft landing or departing from nearby Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Depending on wind direction, some planes make their final approach right over the former Lake Shore & Michigan Southern station that is now owned by the Cuyahoga Valley & West Shore Model Railroad Club.

These two images were made on May 3, 2007. It just happened that the club was having an operating session that night and thus the depot lights were on. Both images are time exposure, hence the streak of light from the landing lights of the aircraft. Each image was scanned from a slide.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

Report Says Air Travelers Favoring Hopkins

June 8, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes to air travel including a preference by Northeast Ohio air travelers to use Cleveland Hopkins Airport rather than Akron-Canton Airport, a report by WOIO-TV said.

The report attributed that trend to, in part, lack of air travel options at CAK.

Some air service that was lost at Akron-Canton during the pandemic has yet to return.

This includes Delta Air Line service to Atlanta, United Express flights to Houston, and American Eagle flights to New York LaGuardia and Chicago O’Hare airports.

United Express last spring ceased flying from CAK to Washington Dulles and Spirit Airlines is suspending service to Akron-Canton this month until November.

Some of those losses have been offset by such gains as Breeze Airways coming to Akron-Canton a year ago and Allegiant Air returning last March.

Both of those carriers offer low fare but less than daily flights to leisure travel destinations, many of which are in Florida.

Of course even before the pandemic Hopkins was by far the dominant airport in Northeast Ohio with 78 percent of the business.

The WOIO report did not say what percentage of the market Hopkins has now, writing only that, “a big chunk of travelers who once chose to fly out of Akron-Canton and other smaller airports in the area are now coming to Cleveland.”

At one time Youngstown had commercial flights but those ended in January 2018. Scheduled air service at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport also ended during the pandemic and has not yet returned.

Cleveland’s Director of port control Robert Kennedy, who also serves as the director of Hopkins, said traffic at Hopkins is almost back to 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

During the summer travel season between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Hopkins expects to handle 2.8 million travelers. Last summer it saw 2.3 million travelers during the summer travel season.

Kennedy expects some increases in flights at both Hopkins and Akron-Canton once airlines and the Transportation Security Administration are able to hire additional workers.

As for more travelers seeming to prefer flying out of Hopkins, Kennedy said, that market has shifted and is “responding well to the flights and the carriers and the destinations” that Hopkins has.

“As soon as the resource issue is resolved we think we’ll see more flights,” Kennedy said.