Thursday, March 29, 2007

No Aeromexico in SCK

I try to avoid linking to Tracy Press routinely, because if did, this blog would be nothing but. Just go there and read the thing. However, given my unnatural attachement to airplanes, this is hard to pass by:

District 5 Supervisor Leroy Ornellas of Tracy was the chief critic of the proposed customs station, the estimated costs of which rose to $5.9 million from about $2 million.

Good for Mr. Ornellas. And why is it that estimated costs always rise? Do you mean the project boosters lied to us?

Ornellas has long thought it risky to invest so much money on a company that’s “financially fragile,” he said.

You don't say. Aeromexico sure is not a flag carrier.

But the clincher for him was a trip he took to visit Fresno’s airport, which has seven domestic carriers, three cargo companies that use its airport and Mexicana Airlines, which schedules five flights a week.

Seven carriers?! I thought that nobody save United would fly into that hole, but obviously I was gravely mistaken. United used to have a Saab-340 feeding SFO there. But the comparison is very important because it shows just why Stockton has such a difficutly. It's the competition. You can easily drive to Sacramento or Oakland from Tracy. So, without a direct route to a first-degree hub, Stockton is not cost competitive.

When America West served Stockton in early 2000ths, I took that flight when I could, but that pretty much meant America West's east coast destinations only. Anything else would incur a $300 to $500 penalty due to the extra hop or airline change. I can drive to Oakland, park long-term there for that amount of money, and come on top.

Competition from nearby airports ruins SCK's plans. But in Fresno, it's not a problem. Either take a flight, or take a Greyhound.

That’s busy compared to Stockton’s airport, which has one company that flies to Las Vegas four times a week.

This is awesome news actually, which I failed to pick. Little Internet research discovers that the carrier is Allegiant Air. It's a small upstart airline which attempts to outmaneuver bigger carriers by flying into underserved cities... such as Stockton. They have a uniform fleet of MD-80s, which are far bigger than RJ which America West operated. It's a bit pathetic that I didn't know about this deal and had to read about it at Tracy Press. Advantage: Tracy Press.

Now it may be a good time to read something about out own Tracy Airport. Are we going to house jets or not?! Heck a couple of good King Airs would be awesome and bring the money in.


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