Thursday, June 5, 2008

CONTINENTAL TO CUT 3000 JOBS AND 11% OF ITS CAPACITY - HOW LONG WILL THIS CITY COMMISSION WAIT TO ACT ON A NEW AIRPORT? UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080605/continental_airlines.html

Here is my post from last month on the issues.

BROWNSVILLE’S AIRPORT MAY BE ON ITS FINAL LEG, AND THE CITY COMMISSION CONTINUES TO IGNORE THE PROBLEM

The following is from USAToday, Wednesday May 22, 2008."Aircraft manufacturing analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group says that in smaller cities where a larger airport is within two to three hours by car, operating fewer flights a day — either on 50- or 70-seat RJs — could become economically unsupportable as business travelers and leisure fliers opt to make relatively short drives to save time or money."

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2008-05-21-regional-jets-cutbacks_N.htm

Continental flies the Embraer RJ 145, out of Brownsville, which is a 50 seater.

http://www.embraercommercialjets.com/english/content/erj/erj_145.asp?tela=layouts

As I have informed my readers, I no longer fly Continental out of Brownsville because I refuse to pay twice the price for the benefit of walking out my door and walking 8 minutes to the terminal. While I hate the 45 minute drive to Harlingen’s airport, for a 50% savings, I will make the drive.

My long term readers remember when I use to post Continental’s specials to demonstrate Brownsville was a better deal than Southwest out of Harlingen.I could not understand why Continental stopped competing with Southwest, until now. The price of fuel has made the operation of the Regional Jets almost impossible. Continental is losing money every day it flies out of Brownsville. The price of fuel has made competition with Southwest which flies 737's almost impossible.My prediction is Continental sooner than later will consolidate all of its operations out of Harlingen. They will begin to fly 4-5 737 or 757 round-trips to Houston a day.

This will be possible because it will abandon its regional jet service to both Harlingen and Brownsville.The questions is, why Harlingen and not Brownsville? Harlingen’s airport can handle a large number of 737's, while Brownsville continues to struggle to be able to handle larger jet service. While Harlingen is a new and modern airport, Brownsville’s airport is like out of an old horror movie wherein a dysfunctional group of passengers are changing planes in some backwater airport before boarding a doomed flight over the Amazon and into a lost world.

If USAToday’s article is correct, the cost of flying the RJets is going to make it impossible for Continental to compete with Southwest. Imagine yourself Continental - you have to make a decision to go to 737's or 757's and half the flights to the region, are you going to choose Brownsville or Harlingen to consolidate your services? The money is on Harlingen.

Again, I am begging the business community to take the lead on this one. The City Commission is simply too ignorant to understand the issue. Depending on the source, the Greater Brownsville/Matamoros metropolitan area population now exceeds a million people. We are the largest metropolitan area in South Texas, but yet have the smallest airport. This can only be explained through a total and complete lack of leadership on the issue.Time is certainly running out.

If we do not give Continental a good reason to stay in Brownsville, they will consolidate all of their services into Harlingen. Money is cheap at this time. The local business community needs to come together and create a Greater Brownsville/Matamoros International Airport Board, and begin the planning of a new airport on SH 77 and East Blvd.There is more than enough money in both cities to make this happen. I can assure you, this city commission will still be looking to invest in the old airport as the first flights are landing at the new airport. If we lose our airport, Brownsville will be left behind at a time economic boom appears to be around the corner.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. BWC,

What are you, a soothsayer?

V

BobbyWC said...

To my readers: I understood the meaning by its application. But I still checked it out to make sure.

Definitions of soothsayer on the Web:

forecaster: someone who makes predictions of the future (usually on the basis of special knowledge)
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

To answer the question - no - I am analytic to the point of being anal.

Getting old for me sucks because unless I intentially file daily events in my brain as the day progresses I will forget them.

I can pull a book off my shelf I read 30 years ago and remember more or less where something is in the book. My understanding of complex constitutional law is solid (the company I used to prepare for the bar exam actually refunded my money after I corrected a ton of mistakes in their CON LAW review section.)

It saddens me every day as I notice I am having to look up the definition of more and more words -somewho this part of the brain seems to already be going.

My analytical side is strill strong.

I am grateful for that naked picture I have of myself in college on the Perdinales River - in the morning it allows me to adjust everything back was it was when I was 21 - otherwise I would look like a circus freak when in the locker room at the gym (LOL) It is okay to laugh at ourselves.

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Two words; Regional Airport

Anonymous said...

Mr./Ms./Mrs. Anon,

One word question: location?

V

Mr. BWC,

About soothsayer, I attepted only to say you are very good at telling the future. :o)

V