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Trans-Atlantic Flights Coming To Mid-Size Airports, According To New Forecast

June 27, 2019 Airport No Comments Email Email

New Airliners. New International Access. The annual Airports:USA® forecast, to be published as part of the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in August, predicts that new-generation airliners, such as the Airbus A-321XLR, will transform internal U.S. cities into valuable new markets, particularly for foreign carriers and their alliance partners.“These efficient new airliners will allow Lufthansa, British Airways, the SkyTeam alliance, and others to access new connect flows through their European hubs,” the forecast states.

Advantage: Interstate Highways. This new model capitalizes on the interstate highway system, creating “road hubs” for new international flights.

Albany, fed from three major interstate highways, is a prime example. The business base up to two hours away along the I-90, I-87, and I-88 corridors will generate robust traffic for these new high-efficiency aircraft to European hubs, based on a three-per week flight schedule. Given the time-efficiency of a “local” nonstop flight to Europe, the drive time becomes less of an issue.

New Traffic, Plus International Investment Attractiveness. The new international service will raise the regional profile of these airports, enhancing their ability of draw more domestic traffic as well. At Albany alone, international flights are estimated to generate least 50,000 more passengers through the airport annually. “Plus, this will open these regions to increased international investment,” according to Airports:USA®.

This new dynamic is in addition to increased international flights expected at larger airports such as Memphis, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Kansas City. “These new airliners are merely drilling the international access down a few rungs.”

U.S. Traffic Growth: Matching Airline Capacity, Not The Other Way Around. In other emerging trends, Airports:USA® predicts air passenger growth will slow to under 3.0% annually after 2020, although several mid-size airports will experience huge swings in traffic. Also, “ultra-low fare” airlines will continue to build as a “parallel transportation system,” expanding from seven percent of today’s airline capacity to over 15%. Amid this, the “regionalization” of small community air service into fewer airports will accelerate. “Efforts to force air service back into rural airports is like unscrambling an egg… it won’t happen.”

Accomplished since 1992, Airports:USA® covers forecasts and trends for airports generating over 95% of all passenger traffic. It will be part of the 24th Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit (IAFS™), in Las Vegas August 25-27, 2019.

The only true aviation forecast conference, the IAFS™ annually hosts over 400 industry leaders from across the globe, featuring forecasts, presentations and discussions with the CEOs and executives who will be shaping the future.

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