Posts Tagged ‘Frontier Airlines’

New Airline Launches at CAK on Saturday

June 25, 2021

A new airline will launch service Saturday at Akron-Canton Airport.

Breeze Airways will commence Saturday-only service between Tampa and Akron-Canton.

The flights will operate with Embraer 195 regional jet equipment, arriving at CAK at 5:30 p.m. and departing at 6 p.m.

Tampa will be one of three cities that Breeze plans to serve from Akron-Canton.

Starting July 7, Breeze will begin service on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday to Charleston, South Carolina; and on July 15 it will inaugurate service to New Orleans on Thursday and Sunday.

The Charleston and New Orleans flights will use Embraer 190 regional jets. Breeze plans to add additional flights from Akron-Canton to New Orleans on Wednesdays during November and December.

Charleston flights are scheduled to arrive at CAK at 12:10 p.m. and depart at 12:40 p.m. New Orleans flights are scheduled to arrive at 10:55 a.m. and depart at 11:25 a.m.

Breeze is a startup carrier that began in late May and was founded by David Neeleman, who is a founder or co-founder of five airlines, including JetBlue.

Akron-Canton will be one of 16 airports being served by Breeze and the sixth to join the network.

Neeleman said 95 percent of Breeze routes currently lack non-stop airline service.

Based in Salt Lake City, Breeze is focusing on providing service from underserved airport to Charleston, New Orleans, Tampa, and Norfolk, Virginia.

Breeze is counting heavily on vacation travel although Neeleman said business travelers could become part of its market in the future.

“Our competition is the couch,” Neeleman said. There are opportunities for people to see new places.”

Neeleman believes high fares and lack of service have discouraged some people from traveling. Breeze hopes to counter that with low fares, destinations to which people want to travel, and kindness.

Breeze also will launch service from Columbus in July to Hartford, Connecticut; Norfolk; Charleston, New Orleans and Tampa.

Akron-Canton officials hope Breeze will enable the airport to bounce back from revenue and passenger losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa Dalpiaz, the airport vice president of marketing, said that in 2020 the airport lost $3 million.

Before the pandemic the airport was handling 2,300 passengers a day but that fell to a low of 60 passengers a day. It has since risen to 1,652 passengers per day.

Akron-Canton also been hindered by the loss of service by Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air. All three have elected to focus their Northeast Ohio flights at nearby Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Still serving Akron-Canton are Spirit Airlines with less than daily year-around flights to Orlando and seasonal flights to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida.

American Eagle flies to Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Washington (Reagan National) while United Express flies to Chicago (O’Hare) and Washington (Dulles). Flights to Houston and New York (LaGuardia) that were dropped during the pandemic have yet to return.

Also missing from Akron-Canton is Delta Air Lines, which suspended its flights to Atlanta in May 2020.

Dalpiaz said Delta dropped its flights to Akron-Canton because of the loss of business travel during the pandemic.

“It’s something that we’re not giving up hope on and we know that corporate travel will be back and so we’re keeping in contact with Delta,” she said.

Akron-Canton officials said they are working with area legislators and JobsOhio to provide local and state dollars to attract airline service.

Thus far local governments and organizations have pledged a collective $250,000 to be used to lure new or restored airline service at Akron-Canton. The state has offered additional support.

Airport officials said the coming of Breeze was a result of those efforts.

In an unrelated development, the Federal Aviation Administration recently awarded Ohio airports more than $2.2 million in economic relief from the COVID-19 pandemic through the Airport Coronavirus Relief Program.

The recipients were Cleveland-Hopkins International, $1.48 million; Columbus Regional Airport Authority, $893,548; James M Cox Dayton International, $181,143; Akron-Canton Regional, $87,307; Rickenbacker International, $32,951; and Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, $26,603.

Spirit Airlines also has announced that it will launch service between Cleveland and Miami on Nov. 17.

The carrier has not yet announced flight times for that service. Spirit also flies from Cleveland to the nearby Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, where it is the largest carrier.

The Cleveland-Miami route also is served by American and Frontier airlines.

Spirit said it will link Miami with 30 destinations, including 12 airports in the Caribbean and South America.

Ultimate Air Resumes Cleveland Flights

May 10, 2021

Northeast Ohio-based Ultimate Air Shuttle has resumed flights between Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland and Cincinnati Lunken Airport.

The carrier, which is based at Akron-Canton Airport resumed flying the route last month after suspending service in mid 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimate operates as an air charter carrier offering public charters.

In other airline news, Spirit Airlines has begun a route between Akron-Canton Airport and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The flights do not operate every day. Spirit also links CAK and Orlando and has winter and spring seasonal service to Tampa and Fort Myers.

At Cleveland Hopkins Airport, Frontier Airlines plans to start flying to Atlanta on June 11.

The quad-weekly flights will have plenty of competition as the route is also served by Delta, Southwest and Spirit airlines.

Frontier is currently flying from Cleveland to Orlando, Fort Myers, Tampa, Miami and Sarasota in Florida, plus Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Cancun.

Elsewhere in Ohio, airlines continue to resume flights suspended during the pandemic.

John Glenn Columbus airport has regained flights on American Eagle to New York LaGuardia Airport and to Boston on Delta Connection.

Spirit will begin service in early June from Columbus to Los Angeles and Pensacola, Florida, while Southwest Airlines will begin service to Myrtle Beach on June 6.

Cleveland Hopkins Airport Director Robert Kennedy said the airport is at 50 percent of the passenger traffic it had in 2019 but expressed optimism that summer travel will boost business.

Hopkins expects to handle between 5.2 million to 5.9 million passengers this year, well below the 10.5 million projected at the beginning of 2020, but better than the 4 million handled last year.

Akron-Canton Airport handled nearly 10,000 passengers during March, a 63 percent drop compared with March 2019, but well better than the 85.3 percent decline in June 2020 compared with June 2019.

Hopkins Users Give Wish List for Airport Improvements in Master Plan Revision Hearings

September 9, 2020

Users of Cleveland Hopkins Airport last week gave their wish lists of improvements they want to see at the airport.

Those include additional parking, improvements to the roadways into the airport, wider concourses, more use of public transportation to the airport, a better location for rental cars, fewer security checkpoints, and improvements to the U.S. Customs facilities.

Those were among the wishes expressed by those responding to the first public hearing to be held as part of the process of revising the airport’s master plan.

Some, all or none of those recommendations will ultimately be adopted and those that are accepted will take years to implement.

The airport has hired a Florida consulting firm to oversee the rewriting of the master plan.

Airport Director Robert Kennedy said during last week’s hearing that the future of the unused Concourse D remains unresolved.

It was built in 1999 for smaller aircraft that supported the hub operations of Continental Airlines.

But that hub was closed in 2014 when the Cleveland hub was shut down by United Airlines, which had acquired Continental in 2010.

Kennedy described Concourse D as a “distressed asset” because it was designed to accommodate smaller planes, many of which no longer use Hopkins.

The airport director said Cleveland is unlikely to become a hub airport again and officials said the downturn in international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic means that it is likely to be some time before Cleveland lands a nonstop flight to Europe.

The pandemic has depressed air traffic at Hopkins and officials said it may take at least three to four years to recover.

Hopkins handled 10 million passengers in 2019 but is expected to see far less than that this year. The consulting firm projects traffic will reach 11 million to 13 million by 2029.

In the meantime, the airport has begun work on a new ground transportation center located north of the terminal for passengers to board shuttle buses to off-site hotels and parking lots.

The facility will include covered seating areas, wider walking areas and be heated. It is expected to open in November.

In a related development, American Airlines said it will launch Saturday-only service between Cleveland and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on Nov. 7.

It will be the second time American has flown the route, having dropped it about four years ago. Frontier and Southwest also fly between the two cities.

American plans to operate a 160-seat Boeing 737-800 on the route and it aiming at leisure travelers with flights departing Cleveland at 10:45 a.m. and returning at 8:05 p.m.

Icelandair Now Serving Cleveland

May 17, 2018

Icelandair inaugurated service to Cleveland this week from Reykjavik-Keflavic Airport.

The first flight landed at 7 p.m. on Wednesday after a six-hour flight.

The carrier is using Boeing 737-MAX8 aircraft on the route.

Two fire tracks showered Flight 837 with a water cannon salute, a traditional greeting for an inaugural flight.

Earlier this Month WOW Air also began flying between Cleveland and Reykjavik.

Cleveland has been without nonstop air service to Europe since the former Continental Airlines discontinued flights to London in 2009.

Hopkins Airport is one of six that host both WOW and Icelandair. Neither carrier will fly the Cleveland-Reykjavik route daily. WOW has four flights a week while Icelandair flies five times a week.

In an unrelated development, Frontier Airlines will begin nonstop service between Cleveland and San Antonio on Aug. 13. Flights will operate on Mondays and Fridays.

Frontier said the route will be seasonal, but could operate year-route if ticket sales are strong enough. San Antonio will be Frontier’s 14th destination from Cleveland.

The carrier is offering an introductory fare starting at $59 one way for travel through Nov. 14 on Mondays only.

Flights will depart Hopkins Airport at 8:16 p.m. and arrive in San Antonio at 10:21 p.m. Return flights depart San Antonio at 3:25 p.m. and arrive in Cleveland at 7:31 p.m.

Frontier began service to Austin, Texas, last April. Nonstop service between Cleveland and San Antonio on Continental Airlines ended in 2008.

In addition to San Antonio and Austin, Frontier flies from Cleveland to Denver, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Orlando, Portland, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, Seattle, Tampa and Cancun, Mexico.

Frontier is also launching service to San Antonio from Columbus.

CAK Conducting National Search for CEO

May 5, 2018

Akron-Canton Airport has hired a headhunter to conduct a national search to find a new CEO.

Whoever is chosen will replace Rick McQueen, who plans to retire late this year.

The airport has hired ADK Consulting and Executive Search, a company it has used in the past to recruit managers.

The consulting firm has been talking with the airport board of trustees, reviewing past applications and assembling a community profile as part of its work.

If all goes according to plan, the applicants for the post will be narrowed to a handful of finalists by mid summer with interviews and visits to the region to begin shortly after that.

Airport officials hope to have a new CEO in position by fall who will work alongside McQueen for two or three months.

McQueen is retiring after working for the airport for 36 years. He began working there in 1982 as an accountant.

He replaced Fred Krum as airport CEO in 2009. Krum had retired after 33 years at Akron-Canton Airport, including 27 years as director.

The next airport CEO is expected to have 15 or more years of airport management experience as well as knowledge of federal, state and local laws, and Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

Officials said that whoever accepts the job might view it as a stepping stone to their next position or a forever job.

The new CEO will face the challenge of trying to reverse a downtown in boardings that has been prompted in large part by the loss of airline service at Akron-Canton and intensified competition for low-fare travelers from airlines that have ramped up their flight offerings at nearby Cleveland Hopkins Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport.

Passenger traffic at Akron-Canton fell to 1.26 million last year, a decline of 9.4 percent from the 1.40 million passengers who used the airport in 2016.

In the past two years Akron-Canton has lost Southwest Airlines and Allegiant Air. It earlier lost Frontier Airlines.

Allegiant moved its flights to Cleveland while Frontier and Southwest have been increasing their presence there.

Akron-Canton suffered another blow this year when Spirit Airlines trimmed its service to one route and ended flights to Las Vegas not long after they began.

Spirit continues to fly from Akron-Canton to Orlando once a day and plans to resume seasonal service to Fort Lauderdale and Tampa in the fall.

On the plus side, United Airlines plans to launch service in June from Akron-Canton to Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, flying one roundtrip a day with regional jet equipment under the United Express brand.

Akron-Canton, Youngstown Struggle to Attract Air Service in Competition with Cleveland, Pittsburgh

October 14, 2017


An Allegiant Air Airbus 320 lands at Cleveland Hopkins Airport last April. By early next year, Allegiant will have foresaken the Akron-Canton and Youngstown airports.

Shortly after learning that its last scheduled airline would be ending service in early January 2018, officials at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport hired a consultant to assess how the airport could regain commercial service.

The report by Mike Mooney of Voltaire Aviation was not promising. It will be a challenge for Youngstown to regain air service, although not impossible.

His report also carried ominous news for the Akron-Canton Airport, which has seen two airlines decamp to Cleveland in the past five years.

One of CAK’s current carriers, Spirit Airlines, has been posting load factors that are 8 load factor points under the Spirit system load factor for the period of November 2016 to May 2017.

Although Mooney did not draw any conclusions as to what that might mean for CAK, he did say the Akron-Canton and Youngstown airports are losing flights to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport as ultra low cost airlines Spirit, Allegiant and Frontier Airlines increase their presence in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Mooney said the profitability of the ultra low-cost business model has since 2012 changed the Pittsburgh-Youngstown-Akron-Cleveland air service market from a “backwater to full-scale [ultra-low-cost] battleground” with intense pricing competition.

Hopkins Airport today has the highest concentration of flights provided by the low-cost carriers of any non-destination airport in the county.

Mooney told Youngstown officials to be patient in looking for a replacement airline.

At the same time he said with the rising number of flights from Cleveland and Pittsburgh to resort areas of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, it will be difficult for Youngstown to attract another carrier to provide service to those points.

Allegiant now flies from Youngstown to the Orlando-Sanford Airport and to Clearwater International Airport in the Tampa Bay region. None of those flights operate daily.

Allegiant once offered flights from Youngstown to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Punta Gorda, Florida.

John Moliterno, executive director of the Western Reserve Port Authority, noted that Allegiant flights from Youngstown have had over 90 percent occupancy.

“We know what the numbers were. We had a very high percent occupancy on those flights. We had a very high percentage occupancy on flights that Allegiant canceled prior,” he said.

“Something has changed how they look at their business model. Something has changed in terms of how they operate and where they want to go,” Moliterno said.

Mooney suggested that the changes include declining load factors in, the loss of a low fare advantage, and decisions by carriers to focus on markets in larger cities that were once dominated by legacy airlines.

The first ultra low-cost carrier to serve the Pittsburgh-Youngstown-Cleveland-Akron region was Allegiant, which began flying into Youngstown in 2006.

Back then, Continental Airlines had a hub in Cleveland and Pittsburgh still has substantial service from USAirways, which had operated a hub there until 2004.

As recently as 2000, USAirways and its regional partners operated more than 500 daily flights from Pittsburgh to more than 110 destinations. By 2007, that had shrunk to 70 flights to 21 destinations.

Hub airports may offer travelers a wide number of non-stop flights to numerous destinations, but they also tend to have higher fares.

When Allegiant landed in Youngstown, the airport had been without commercial air service for more than three years.

At the same time, another low fare carrier, AirTran, was beginning to expand service from Akron-Canton to Florida. AirTran soon became CAK’s busiest carrier and eventually began service to New York and Boston.

Yet another low fare carrier, Frontier, offered flights from CAK to Denver.

Both airports benefited from the low fares offered by Allegiant, Frontier and AirTran. Many travelers from the Cleveland and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas began driving to the Youngstown and Akron-Canton airports to take advantage of them.

In the meantime, USAirways continued to cut flights in Pittsburgh and Continental merged with United Airlines, which in 2014 began phasing out its Cleveland hub. United reduced its 200 flights in Cleveland to 72 serving 20 destinations.

On the heels of these service cuts by the legacy carriers, the low fare carriers saw opportunity.

Frontier bolted from Akron-Canton in 2012 for Hopkins where it has since established a major presence.

AirTran was acquired by Southwest Airlines in 2014 and initially kept most flights out of CAK, flying to Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Orlando, Las Vegas and Tampa-St. Petersburg.

Southwest began pulling back from Akron-Canton in 2015, ending all service except to Atlanta. The last Southwest flight from Akron-Canton left this past June as Southwest deployed planes once serving CAK to new routes from Cleveland and Columbus, among other cities.

As Southwest was cutting service at CAK, Allegiant in May 2015 came into the airport located near Green with flights to Florida and the Southeast. Many of those flights were seasonal and none operated daily.

Then in November 2016, Spirit Airlines began flying to CAK, not long after Allegiant announced it was withdrawing from the airport in favor of service from Cleveland Hopkins to 10 destinations, which was more than the airline ever had from Akron-Canton.

Spirit continues to serve Akron-Canton, but with far fewer flights to fewer destinations than it offers from Hopkins. Spirit’s service from CAK is oriented to Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Myrtle Beach and Las Vegas.

Airline consultant Mooney told Youngstown officials that their airport has suffered from the changing strategies of the low-cost carriers in the Cleveland-Pittsburgh service market that will make it difficult to attract other carriers.

“Youngstown’s service just got overwhelmed by all three carriers competing with each other at Cleveland and Pittsburgh,” Mooney said.

This competition also has affected Akron-Canton although it continues to have a moderate level of service, much of it provided by regional carriers operating under the brand names of legacy carriers United, American and Delta.

This includes service to New York, Newark, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Delta operates three non-stop flights daily between CAK and Atlanta using MD88 mainline jets. All other flights use regional jet equipment.

Youngstown, though, has not enjoyed the level of service that Akron-Canton has had.

Aside from service by Allegiant, Youngstown is served by periodic public charters oriented to trips to casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and in Mississippi.

A service between Youngstown and Chicago O’Hare International Airport by Aerodynamics Inc. began July 1, 2016, but ended in late August of that year.

Mooney said neither Youngstown or Akron-Canton can draw on the nearby Cleveland and Pittsburgh metroplexes for passengers as they once did.

Youngstown’s best chance to land commercial air service after Allegiant leaves may lie with a regional carrier flying small planes and which does not have an operating agreement to fly under the brand name of a legacy carrier.

One such carrier might be Southern Airways. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Southern operates single-engine turboprops.

“We are going to talk to them all. We are going to try to bring another airline to this airport,” said Moliterno of the Western Reserve Port Authority, which operates the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

Although Moliterno said commercial service accounts for less than 10 percent of the airport’s overall business, an empty terminal creates a negative public perception.

“Which is the other reason it is very important for us to get that service back,” he said.

Cleveland Gains Flights at CAK’s Expense

January 7, 2017

As it turns out, Akron-Canton Airport’s loss will be Cleveland Hopkins Airport’s gain.

Cleveland HopkinsWhen Southwest operates to Akron-Canton for the final time on June 3, it will divert those flights to Hopkins the next day.

Southwest said on Thursday that it will launch on June 4 two Cleveland-Atlanta roundtrips and add an addition flight between Hopkins and St. Louis.

It will be Southwest’s first foray into the Cleveland-Atlanta market, which is also served by Delta Air Lines and Spirit Airlines. Southwest is the only carrier flying non-stop between Cleveland and St. Louis.

Southwest currently offers three roundtrips between Akron-Canton and Atlanta.

It is not the first time that Southwest has expanded in Ohio at the expense of Akron-Canton.

Flights that Southwest once operated between Akron-Canton and Boston were last year shifted to Columbus while a flight to Denver was shifted to Hopkins.

Also losing Southwest service will be Dayton, which will see its flights shifted to Cincinnati, which is currently not served by Southwest. Cincinnati will gain service to Baltimore and Chicago (Midway).

The route restructuring is part of a trend for Southwest to shift service away from small and mid-size airports in favor of hub markets in larger cities that analysts say offer more potential for profitability growth.

Dayton has seen Southwest play out the same script that has unfolded at Akron-Canton over the past year.

Southwest replaced AirTran at Dayton in August 2012 and once offered flights to Baltimore, Denver, Orlando, Tampa. But last year Southwest shifted its Dayton service to Chicago Midway Airport.

Dayton also lost Frontier Airlines in May 2013 and it later began service to Cincinnati. That mirrored what Frontier did in moving flights from Akron-Canton to Cleveland.

Some of the slack left by Frontier in Dayton was taken up by Allegiant Air in April 2016 when it began landing there.

Also providing service to Dayton are American, Delta, United Express and American Eagle.

The airport’s website notes that non-stop service is offered to 15 airports.

Frontier Announces 4 New Destinations From Cleveland; Ultimate Eyes Burke-New York Route

February 1, 2016

Frontier Airlines will add four new destinations from Cleveland on April 14-15 while public charter operator Ultimate Air Shuttle is planning to launch service between Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport and New York.

The new destinations from Cleveland for Frontier are Portland, Oregon; Los Angeles; San Francisco and Philadelphia.

Frontier AirlinesAll but Portland are currently served by existing carriers offering non-stop service from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Continental Airlines once linked Cleveland and Portland, and United had seasonal service between the two cities until it downgraded its hub operations in Cleveland in 2014.

Frontier’s flights to Portland will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Flights to Los Angeles also will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Service to San Francisco and Philadelphia will fly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Frontier said it would also restore in April flights from Cleveland to Atlanta, Denver, Raleigh-Durham, Seattle and Phoenix. The service to Phoenix will operate all year.

The re-entry to the Phoenix market by Frontier appears timed to coincide with plans by American Airlines to drop its Cleveland-Phoenix flights that month. Southwest Airlines also flies non-stop between Cleveland and Phoenix.

The expansion by Frontier will give it 14 non-stop destinations from Cleveland, the second most behind the 18 served by United.

Both United and Spirit airlines currently fly between Cleveland and Los Angeles. United also flies nonstop to San Francisco. American has Cleveland’s only nonstop flight to Philadelphia.

Frontier has added and dropped several destinations from Cleveland since entering the market several years ago.

Among the destinations Frontier has served and then discontinued are Dallas, New York, Chicago and Washington.

Frontier currently flies from Cleveland to Tampa, Orlando and Fort Myers in Florida; Las Vegas; and Cancun, Mexico.

An ultra low-cost airline, Frontier flights offer low fares but also minimal legroom and numerous add-on fees.

Founded in 1994 and based in Denver, Frontier once offered flights between Denver and Akron-Canton Airport. It has a fleet of 101 Airbus jets.

Ultimate air shuttleIn the meantime, Ultimate Air Shuttle is eyeing adding service between Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport and Morristown, New Jersey, which is part of the New York City metropolitan area.

Ultimate, which is based in North Canton, flies public charter flights Monday through Friday between Burke and Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport that are designed to appeal to business travelers.

The carrier recently offered a demonstration flight to a dozen passengers, including select news media members.

Flights would take about an hour and may begin this spring. Passengers bound for Manhattan would ride a shuttle bus that would cost extra.

Ultimate officials have said they also are studying providing public charter service between Burke and Chicago.

Southwest Plans More Flight Cuts at CAK

November 7, 2015

Just as Akron-Canton Airport was welcoming two new routes Southwest Airlines said it would end service to all but one destination next spring.

Starting next April 12, Southwest will cease flying from Akron-Canton to Orlando, Tampa and Las Vegas. Southwest will continue to fly between CAK and Atlanta.

“While this news is disappointing for us, we are glad that Southwest will continue to provide access to its low-fares and exceptional customer service via Atlanta,” said Rick McQueen, president and CEO at Akron-Canton, in a news release.

The news release noted that passengers can fly from Atlanta to 100 cities in the Southwest Airlines network. Southwest also said it would increase the number of flights between CAK and Atlanta from two to three.

Earlier this year, Southwest ended service between Akron-Canton and New York, Washington, Denver and Boston.

The pending end of service to Las Vegas is puzzling because the route had not yet started when the airlines said it was ending it. Southwest will have operated the CAK-Las Vegas route for a mere five months.

On the other hand, American Eagle on Nov. 5 launched daily non-stop service between CAK and New York’s LaGuardia airport, a route that Southwest had ended in early November.

Allegiant Air also launched new service between Akron-Canton and Punta Gorda Airport near Fort Myers, Florida. Southwest offers seasonal non-stop service between CAK and Fort Myers and those flights will, presumably, end for good next spring, too.

United Express began service in late October between Akron-Canton and Newark Liberty International Airport. American Eagle and United Express are regional affiliates of American Airlines and United Airlines respectively.

Punta Gorda is Allegiant’s fifth destination from Akron-Canton, which the low fare airline began serving last May. None of Allegiants flights from CAK operate daily and most of them are seasonal.

Kristie Van Auken, the airport’s senior vice president, said officials are going to push to get another airline to offer service to Orlando, a route that CAK has had for 20 years.

“Our Florida flights are always very full,” she said. “It would be hard to argue that Florida is not a successful market from any Ohio airport.”

Southwest flies two flights a day to Orlando, a service that it inherited when it acquired AirTran in 2014.

“We’re not leaving Akron-Canton,” said Southwest spokesman Dan Landson. “This is really about connecting our customers to our gateways, so we can get them to more places.”

Southwest is also reducing flights from Dayton and two Michigan airports, Grand Rapids and Flint.

Aviation consultant Robert Mann said that smaller airports such as Dayton and Akron are close to larger airports that may have better service.

“What Southwest has been attempting to do is utilize its aircraft in the highest and best way possible,” said Mann, owner of R.W. Mann & Co. “It wouldn’t surprise me if Southwest is reassessing how its assets are performing – and reallocating those assets.”

Even larger airports, though, are not immune to route rationalization.

Frontier Airliners, which once flew between Akron-Canton and Denver before pulling up stakes and moving those flights to Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, is ending service from Cleveland to Denver and Atlanta in early January.

The airlines said it would reinstate service to Denver at an unspecified date but for the time being it is more focused on flights to warm weather destinations.

A Frontier spokesman said no decision has been made on whether Frontier would resume serving Atlanta from Cleveland.

The flight cuts will reduce to five the destinations that Frontier serves from Cleveland.

Frontier won’t be flying this winter from Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale or Phoenix, which it served last year, but has launched new service between Cleveland and Cancun, Mexico.

The carrier also added an extra daily flight between Cleveland and Orlando this fall, using new 230-passenger Airbus 321 jets. Frontier also flies from Cleveland to Fort Myers, Tampa and Las Vegas.

United and Southwest fly nonstop between Cleveland and Denver, and Delta Airlines and Spirit Airlines fly non-stop from Cleveland to Atlanta.

Trains, Planes and an Automobile

July 26, 2014

NS 412 is about to rumble past the Olmsted Falls depot with its consist of high top hopper cars.

NS 412 is about to rumble past the Olmsted Falls depot with its consist of high top hopper cars.

Olmsted Falls is one of those railfanning spots that is well known by many locals, but which tends to be overshadowed by the better known and “patronized”  Berea a few minutes away.

The advantage of going to Berea is that you get CSX traffic as well as the Norfolk Southern’s Chicago Line. But I like Olmsted Falls because there tends to be fewer people there and you can easily get on both sides of the tracks to take advantage of whatever lighting conditions may exist.

On a recent Sunday, I went to the Falls to catch a very late running Amtrak No. 49. While I got “bonus coverage” when NS 8100 (the Nickel Plate Road heritage locomotive) led the 20W past. I covered both of those trains in earlier coverage.

This post is devoted to a few other trains that I captured while waiting for Amtrak No. 49.

I begin with three images of an eastbound coal train. Although not as flashy or “glamorous” as a passenger train or a train led by an H unit, I thought this train reflects the heritage of the Norfolk & Western of hauling coal from the West Virginia mountains.

I converted these photos to black and white because the flat lighting conditions resulted in muted colors. But I also did it because, well, certain trains just seem to call for being in a black and white world. A coal train is one of them.

As I watched car after car roll past with the term “high top” on them, I kept thinking about high top sneakers, which were popular in my younger days. If I recall, those were black and white. If memory serves me correctly, this train carried symbol 412.

There always seems to be an outlier in every group and so it was with this train.There was one “low top” hopper car in the consist.

A while after the passage of the 412 came another coal train, this one carrying symbol 417. The Toledo East dispatcher told this train to pace itself going west because it would soon come to a halt behind a 15N that was stopped ahead.

NS was single tracking for 18 miles west of CP 218 and the 417 would spend several hours waiting for a route and be passed by at least one train, which was carrying a load of empty crude oil tankers.

Another feature of Olmsted Falls is that it lies beneath the final approach path of runways 6R and 6L at nearby Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

When air traffic is landing on those runways, as it was on Sunday, you get nice close-up views of the planes. Air traffic in and out of Cleveland isn’t what it used to be following the closing this year of the United Airlines hub that had been built by Continental Airlines. United still, though, operates the most daily flights from CLE.

I was standing by my car between trains and planes when I looked over and saw two small convertibles following each other northbound on Brookside Drive.

I wasn’t in a good position to photograph both of them with the zoom lens I had on my camera at the time. The best I could do was this going away shot of the second of the two. I don’t know what make or model this is, but I’m sure this guy enjoyed toolin’ around town in his toy.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

There is always an outlier in every group. Here is the only "low top" hopper in the bunch.

There is always an outlier in every group. Here is the only “low top” hopper in the bunch.

One "low top" in the consist did not spoil the uniform appearance of this coal hoppers train.

One “low top” in the consist did not spoil the uniform appearance of this coal hoppers train.

NS 417 is taking it easy going west. Note the BNSF "Grinstein" as the trailing unit.

NS 417 is taking it easy going west. Note the BNSF “Grinstein” as the trailing unit.

The motive power lash up, er, I mean motive power CON-sist, of this eastbound stack train featured an array of colors and ownerships.

The motive power lash up, er, I mean motive power CON-sist, of this eastbound stack train featured an array of colors and ownerships.

I've always enjoyed photographing the uniform profile of unit trains. The 65R rolls westward although not for long. This train would later be routed around the 417.

I’ve always enjoyed photographing the uniform profile of unit trains. The 65R rolls westward although not for long. This train would later be routed around the 417.

Delta 1474 from Atlanta has MD88 equipment.

Delta 1474 from Atlanta has MD88 equipment.

United 1092 from Fort Myers, Fla., arrives with a 737-900.

United 1092 from Fort Myers, Fla., arrives with a 737-900.

I think you can figure out which airline this is. It is flight 520 from Denver and features an Airbus 319. Frontier has been picking up some of the markets abandoned by United earlier this year.

I think you can figure out which airline this is. It is flight 520 from Denver and features an Airbus 319. Frontier has been picking up some of the markets abandoned by United earlier this year.

Enjoying a Sunday drive.

Enjoying a Sunday drive.