Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

2013 Portland/Sacremento test a bit early

This would be our look at air service development from the CLT to Portland, OR and Sacramento, CA, which have had summer-seasonal service since 2007 and 2008 respectively. The idea is that these routes need to do well before we’ll see additional service to second-tier destinations on the West Coast.

First the very good news: Flights to Portland start on March 2 and are daily from then to sometime probably in September. This is easily the earliest start date for Portland flights — in 2012, flights began four days a week (all but Monday, Tuesdays, and Saturdays) on April 18 before going daily on May 2.

Some other markets in the West are also seeing significant year-on-year service increases. Seattle, like Portland, is strongly seasonal (few people want to go to either in winter). Seattle has recently been three-a-day during the summer and fall but only a single daily flight from January to the beginning of May. (Last year a second flight kicked in on April 17 before going to three-a-day on May 3). In 2013, the second flight to Seattle begins on February 15, two months earlier than in 2012.

US Airways’ Salt Lake City flight will be back up to daily as of February 9. It’s operated five or six day a week most of the time since beginning back in March. Delta Air Lines also has a daily nonstop Charlotte – Salt Lake City flight, which was launched in response to US Airways offering. I’m surprised both have lasted this long.

There’s no word as of yet on Sacramento service next year. That’s not a surprise though, as US Airways just released a updated schedule for March and still has a default schedule for from April on. Sacramento is a smaller market than Portland and the flight when it operated in 2012 was less than daily. Four day a week service started on May 3 (all but Monday, Tuesdays, and Saturdays) with Monday flights being added as of May 24. Its seasonal run ended on August 19.

Bonus observation: The other places that US Airways offers nonstops to from Charlotte in the mountain and Pacific time zones are Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

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