The New Bedford Thread

Lrfox

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How well do these smaller operations do operating on primarily tourist routes from smaller airports? It's a business model I've never understood as so many of them go belly up in a short amount of time. I'm glad to see that Elite is doing well in Portland, but I think the market is different with PVD and Logan offering competitive fares nearby.

Portsmouth, NH has done well with Allegiant Air serving FLL, St. Pete, Punta Gorda, and as of last week, St. Petersburg. But PSM is well positioned to capture the the northern Boston suburbs, Southern Maine, and the Seacoast of NH. NB isn't positioned nearly as well. I'm hopeful, but not confident it could sustain primarily leisure travelers to Florida, even on a CRJ.

To KMP's point, New Bedford has been actively pursuing a New York connection for as long as I can remember. I think New Bedford's best bet is a regional shuttle to New York, Philadelphia or even DC. American Eagle to DCA or PHL, United Express to EWR, or Delta Connection to LGA. There should be enough demand for seats to fill a small regional jet.

I think New Bedford's problem will continue to be a price vs. convenience issue. It's not that there isn't demand there, but flights on regionals are often far more expensive than direct hops from airports like Boston or Providence. If the fare from NB to New York (or beyond) isn't competitive with the fare from Boston/Providence, it won't work. And my guess is that it will be hard for the fares to be competitive when Providence and Boston can utilize larger aircraft (which are frequently close to full) on the same routes. Furthermore, for passengers continuing on beyond LGA, PHL, or DCA, Boston (and to some degree, Providence) will offer more direct flights. Most people will drive an hour or an hour and a half if it means less on airfare and a direct flight.
 

gregrc75

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Update on Elite Airways and EWB. Slightly changed plans and looks like they will start with EWB-EWR service since they will begin in the middle or tail end of the winter season to Florida. But that may mean service to both EWR and Florida next winter if EWB-EWR does well.
 

Lrfox

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Update on Elite Airways and EWB. Slightly changed plans and looks like they will start with EWB-EWR service since they will begin in the middle or tail end of the winter season to Florida. But that may mean service to both EWR and Florida next winter if EWB-EWR does well.
Do you have a link or source? Any idea when they're looking to start service (This winter or next)?

It would be great if they could partner with United and offer connecting flights on the same itinerary, but I doubt that would happen.
 

gregrc75

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Do you have a link or source? Any idea when they're looking to start service (This winter or next)?

It would be great if they could partner with United and offer connecting flights on the same itinerary, but I doubt that would happen.
Press release should be soon!
 

Lrfox

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Ground was broken on the hotel at 216-224 Union Street last week. I'm excited for this- a boutique hotel in the center of downtown. That makes 2, both open within the past decade. It's a small property (68 rooms), but it's definitely a good thing. It'll also bring a new restaurant to downtown.

Streetview of the building: https://www.google.com/maps/place/216+Union+St,+New+Bedford,+MA+02740/@41.6341257,-70.9267349,3a,75y,241.4h,103.61t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s*211m2*211y9936317314095389783*212y12596799907502918846*212m2*211x416341297*212x3585699726*213m2*211y9936316874911460845*212y8135106652513560494*215m2*211x416341297*212x3585699726!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x89e4e3f3ca381c57:0xaed0d2c671628cbe!8m2!3d41.6341297!4d-70.926757!6m1!1e1

Mayor Jon Mitchell speaks Friday at the groundbreaking of a boutique
NEW BEDFORD — A couple of people — one walking on the sidewalk, the other driving in a car — questioned the reason behind the mayor’s podium standing in front of a vacant building at the corner of Union and Pleasant streets on Friday.

Neither knew about the new hotel coming to the city in summer 2018, but Mayor Jon Mitchell hoped to change that with the groundbreaking outside 218-226 Union St.
full story: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20170428/officials-break-ground-on-new-bedford-hotel
 

Portlander

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Great re-use of classic downtown building. Reminds me of the Press Hotel project in the former Gannett newspaper headquarters in Portland. Good news for New Bedford!
 

Portlander

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Positive start for New Bedford! Only concern is the close proximity to T.F. Green (41 miles) which is the same issues New London/Groton (45 miles) has been dealing with for decades. New Bedford's advantage for long term success is a much larger population base to draw from. Maybe Elite Airways would be a good fit with it's 50 and 70 seat RJ's?
 

Lrfox

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A little more on this. We now have a name ("New Bedford Harbor Hotel") and a brand ("Ascend"- Choice Hotels):

https://unique.finance/waterford-hotel-group-expands-northeast-portfolio/

Also under development is the New Bedford Harbor Hotel located on Union Street in New Bedford, MA. Waterford has been selected to manage this 68-room, upscale, boutique hotel that will be franchised as an Ascend Collection. The Boston-based Columbus Group is converting the 46,600-square-foot building into a hotel, restaurant, and banquet space. The hotel is slated for a spring 2018 opening.
This is the single most exciting development in this city in a long time.
 

Arlington

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Elite Airways announces service between New Bedford and Vero Beach, FL

https://res.eliteairways.net/Media
Is this the fruit of the Part 139 certification, or could this service have existed without it? [I'll answer that: Yes, it is, since Elite Air operates CRJs, with well over the 9-seat limit that applied previously]

Is Elite air as good as it gets, or is the goal something more like Allegiant or Spirit?
 

gregrc75

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Is this the fruit of the Part 139 certification, or could this service have existed without it? [I'll answer that: Yes, it is, since Elite Air operates CRJs, with well over the 9-seat limit that applied previously]

Is Elite air as good as it gets, or is the goal something more like Allegiant or Spirit?
With a 5400’ runway, it would be challenging for those airlines aircraft. The goal is to add more regular service but this is a start. A new terminal is needed also, or an expansion but I do not believe that is anytime soon.
 

Portlander

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Happy to see my vision for New Bedford's airport back in July actually worked out!
 

Lrfox

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Is this the fruit of the Part 139 certification, or could this service have existed without it? [I'll answer that: Yes, it is, since Elite Air operates CRJs, with well over the 9-seat limit that applied previously]

Is Elite air as good as it gets, or is the goal something more like Allegiant or Spirit?
It seems that the small, satellite city airport to sunny destination is working for some (see: Porstmouth, NH), but the problem here (as has been pointed out) is that the runway is small, so landing an MD-80, A-318/19/20, or 737 isn't going to work. Also, these Elite flights are on the steeper side. $478 round trip is the early bird "deal." You can fly from PVD to PBI for $250 on United, or from PVD to MCO for $81 on Frontier for during the same period. For a family of 4 or 5, that's a significant difference (though that Frontier flight will shoot up once you start adding bags and seats).

I'm happy to see someone trying it out. However, I think Elite is extremely niche for the market and I wonder how they see this trial run faring? I mean if you book a round trip, you have to go for a week. How many people are going to be able to take a week off on such short notice (less than a month out) to go to Vero Beach? I just can't imagine they're filling up planes for this.

Without a runway expansion, I see New Bedford's future as running feeder flights to a hub like Newark, Charlotte, Atlanta, or Philadelphia, etc.
 

gregrc75

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Thanks, I think I took about 50 photos. Lol.
There were about 5 or 6 pax but I hear the next few flights are booked to about 30 so far.
 

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