One Bar Airports

Just putting this one out there for curiosity.

How many people out there are servicing one bar airports (or zero bar airports)? If so, what route is it, what aircraft are you using and what are the LF’s with both direct and connecting pax?

The reason I ask is that there are a lot of one bar airports with no services :blink: (probably for good reason). So what kind of size airline would you need to make one these airports worth your time? Any input or thoughts on the matter are welcome.

Starting an airline at a "demand 1" airport - probably not the greatest idea. Serving "demand 1" fields with smaller aircraft, however, is definitely something to look into.

If there is demand at an airport then it makes sense to serve it, especially airports with no services - like you mentioned - because you will have the benefit of a monopoly.

Several years back I asked myself the same question though, thus for the sake of science I established an airline out of HER (Crete, Greece) and built up an impressive route network serving the greek isles (rhodos, kerkyra etc etc…) many of which were 1 or 2 demand airports. I utilized both the Dash8-2/3 and the venture turned out to be a huge success within a matter of DAYS, pity i sold it.

One thing that was somewhat difficult, though, was adjusting the prices to satisfy connecting passengers. I kept mine on the low side for the sake of filling planes and it payed of (the dash is a must for this strategy). Keep the on-board service simple and cheap - stick with an all economy layout (not many business passengers need to fly to Jimma, Ethiopia).

It’ll work.

Good Luck

Thanks for the reply Fodj. Its interesting that you were able to get one up and running. Some of the airports you mentioned now have a demand greater than one, but time reflects change in the real world. When you did set it up were your flights direct or connecting through a smaller airport? How many interlining contracts did you have? Was your feeder network quite large?

I ask this as I have had some success in filling the aircraft to a lower demand airport by connecting it onto a larger one. That said, of course the majority of pax were connecting, but there was enough room to allow pax to travel to that lower demand airport. I also agree with you one the pricing side of things as well as the dash being the main workhorse for these although the LET does a decent job too considering its lower capacity.

The fights were all direct and the aircraft were all stationed at the destination overnight - allowing for an early morning departure to my hub (HER) and enabling further connections. I believe I served the standard array of airports: Gatwick, Amsterdam, Paris CDG, some airports in Germany and central Europe as well as the mid east. Most of my feeder pax for these short island hops came from my european routes.

I attribute my success with Cretair (as the airline was called) to Heraklion airport as it has good demand and spectacular positioning in the Med. sea.

Well as they say, location, location, location! Find that niche and fill it. I gues thats what you had accomplished with the Cretair.

Absolutely, that is the strategy!

im flying through alot of 1-bar airport. im playing in tempel in mozambique, and i cover 60% of madagascar´s and almost all of the mozmabique airports. in madagascar there are only 3-5 +2-bar airports and same with mosam.

should i continue these flights or just cancel them and start even more flights between bigger demand airports(although some of my 1-bar airports have a load of +40%[ 2days of flying atm])

edit: well i just checked and 1/3 of my serviced airports are 1-bar and another 1/3 is a 2-bar airports

I service several one and two bar airports. I’m running three Dash 8 Q400’s to/from a two bar airport with 100% LF. I then serve other 1 and 2 bar airports with a mix of Q300 and Q400 and they are mostly 100% LF. They provide profitable feeding pax to my flights all day round. Well worth having also for pax interconnecting at my hub which I am the major airline at. Worth it if it’s inter-island and airports with no flights as previously said.

I suppose the other key thing in servicing the smaller ports is that you must have connections to major destinations. Has anyone every created a successful feederliner with only having ILs? Are the IL contracts to expensive?

I had a pretty successful regional airline when I first joined tempelhof a while ago. I started trying to go it alone in SFO, but wasn’t having a lot of luck since my network was so small I couldn’t really compete with the big guys. Someone offered an IL, and my regional flights (serving smaller airports he didn’t) took off. I re focused my airline to support his mainline hubs and had a very profitable airline flying mostly Q400s.

Becuase I was operating in such a dense area I didn’t serve any airports with less than 3 bars of demand. It seems that these airports do better in areas where there are less nearby potential destinations to devide those limited passengers.

Looking at your airline, I would try to refocus operations to a single hub, and set up flights without any "via" routes

I would try flying with high frequency (as many times per day possible) to high demand airports and low frequency (2-4 times weekly) to your low demand airports. Since AS passengers don’t care too much what day they fly they will be more likely to find a connection that works and you won’t have as much

Are you making any real money with the LETs or Islanders? Since it shows you’ve had some errrrr… slight finnancial problems I might try starting from scratch. Use Q400s to the big markets (JNB, and maybe nothing else?) and smaller Dashes or SAABs to the mid-market cities. If you’re able to do OK with the LETs then I’d send them to the smaller, non daily markets.

I’d configure with economy seats in coach (not standard) so that you have fewer seats to fill and can extract more revenue per passenger. I’d put biz class on your Q400s that you have fewer eco seats to fill (and can increase frequency).

Finally, if you can get an IL agreement with one of the South African carriers that would help enormously.

I’ve never operated an airline so focused on tiny markets, so my advise might be bunk. I did operate successfully in the Caribbean with daily flights to big North American markets while flying non daily to the tiny island markets, but I was only able to build up that network by starting with the NA flights and getting IL partners on the end of each flight. That gave me the feed in my hub I needed to support the regional network I eventually built up.