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Charlotte Aviation baseline 2015: US Airways and American Airlines

And this would be a summary of US Airways and American Airlines fights from Charlotte Douglas International Airport for Thursday, August 13, 2015:

US Airways flights by aircraft type:
Widebody: 9 (5 A330-300, 4 A330-200)
Narrowbody mainline: 272 (3 757, 124 A321, 43 A320, 102 A319)
Large regional jets: 167 (22 E175, 4 E170, 90 CRJ900, 51 CRJ700)
50-seat regional jet: 137 CRJ
Turboprop: 64 (49 DHC-300, 15 DHC-100)
Total flights: 649
Total seats available: 67,773

American Airlines flights:
11 737-800. Total seats: 1,760

American Airlines + US Airways total: 660 flights with 69,533 seats

Total nonstop destination served by US Airways or American Airlines at some point during the year: 145

Seasonal destinations for which the season isn’t now:
1 (Key West)

European destinations: 8 flights to 7 cities: London Heathrow (2 x A333), Barcelona (A332), Dublin (A332), Frankfurt (A332), Madrid (A332), Paris (A333), Rome (A333)

Year-round flights to Europe: Just Frankfurt and London — the reason are summer seasonals

South American destinations: None

Destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central American, and Bermuda with daily flights: 13 (Aruba, Cancun, Freeport, Grand Cayman, Mexico City, Montego Bay, Nassau, Providenciales, Punta Cana, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Jose, San Juan)

With Saturday only flights: 10 (Antigua, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cabo, Cozumel, Liberia, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Lucia)

Destinations served in Canada: 2 (Toronto, Montreal)

Destinations served year-round in the continental US: 110

Seasonal destinations in the continental US: 3 (Albuquerque, Sacramento, Key West)
Number of states served: 40 (soon 41)
Destinations served in the mountain and pacific time zones: 11 with 43 daily flights (Phoenix 9, Denver 6, Los Angeles 6, San Francisco 6, Las Vegas 5, Seattle 4, San Diego 3, Portland, OR 1, Sacramento 1, Salt Lake City 1, Albuquerque 1)

New destinations added in the past year: 4 (Albuquerque (seasonal), Evansville, Ft. Wayne, Grand Rapids)
Pending new routes: 4 Burlington, VT (once a day on E175, starts Aug. 18), Springfield, MO (twice a day on 50-seat RJ, starts Nov. 5), Curaçao (Saturday only A319, Starts Dec. 19), Puerto Plata (Saturday only A319, Starts Dec. 19))
Destinations dropped in the past year: 6 (Brussels, Lisbon, Manchester, England, Ottawa, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo)

Year-to-comparison: US+ AA flights are actually down 1.5 percent (10 flights) versus last year. Flights to new domestic destination more than offset the international cancellations though — the net flight reduction came from cuts to regional destinations. As an example, US Airways has long had five flights a day to Greenville, NC on 50-seaters. Earlier this year, that got cut back to four flights a day. A number of other markets from West Virgina to Florida and west to Mississippi have seen similar reduction though none has been completely cut.

If you look at available seats, the cut has been even larger, with a 2.1 percent reduction from just over 71,027 last year to 69,533 this year. Average aircraft size is down slightly, from 106.0 seats last year to 105.4 seats these this year.

On the mainline side, things are pretty flat. The reduced European flying and the retirements of the last of the 767-200ERs is partially offset by summer-seasonal service to Albuquerque and a third San Diego flight, which is also seasonal. Bermuda service is now-weekend only while the season on the Saturday-only flight to St. Croix now extends to August.

Most of the changes versus last year come on the regional side. You might have read about how we’re now seeing 50-seat and smaller regional jet retirements en masse at American, Delta, and United. Those reductions are very real, they just haven’t happened at CLT yet. The number of 50-seat regional jet flights here is actually up from 130 in August 2014 to 137 this August. The US Airways branded turboprop flights, meanwhile, are unchanged from last year. Where the big reduction is in large regional jet flights, which are down 14, from 181 last August to 167 this August. This is American/US Airways essentially shift planes to other markets to speed the retirement of American-branded 44-seat regional jets.

Was actually going to the analysis in July, but it turns out that that wasn’t the peak of US Airways’ summer flying this year — the airline offered more flights out of CLT in both June and August than in July. Thursday, July 10, for example, was actually at only 650 flights a day, as the airline had some very odd month-only flight reductions in regional markets.

Last year’s US Airways/American Airline baseline is available here.

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CLT aviation baseline 2015: everybody else

Time for the yearly look at air service from Charlotte (and Concord). Here the flights offered by all the airlines besides US Airways/American Airlines as of Thursday, August 13. The data for last year is available here.


Air Canada: 2 daily (OK, 13 times a week) to Toronto on 50-seat regional jets

Insel Air: Once a week to Curaçao on a MD-80

Lufthansa: Daily to Munich on an Airbus A330-300 (typically five days a week over the winter).


Delta: 33 flights a day:
Atlanta 12 times a day on a mix of 140 to 160-seat mainline aircraft
Cincinnati 3 times a day on 50-seaters
Detroit 5 times a day on mainline jets
Minneapolis-St. Paul 4 times a day (three mainline, one large regional jet)
New York LaGuardia 8 times a day on large regional jets
Salt Lake City once a day on a mainline jet

So in total 21 flight a day on Delta Air Lines proper (mainline), nine flights a day on large regional jets featuring a first-class section, and only three flights a day on 50-seaters.

Difference from last year: Delta ended twice a daily service to New York Kennedy in January but has added an extra flight each to Atlanta and LaGuardia.

Frontier: Trenton, NJ and Philadelphia each once a day on an Airbus A319.

Difference from last year: The Philly flight is new while Trenton is up to daily from four-times a week last summer. Washington Dulles service, which ran from late August 2014 to early January 2015, didn’t work out.

JetBlue: 2 flights a day to JFK and 2 flights a day to Boston, all on 100-seat Embraer

Southwest Airlines: Six flights a day on 137-seat or 143-seat Boeing 737s, two each to Baltimore and Chicago Midway plus a single flight a day each to Houston Hobby and Dallas Love Field.

Difference from last year: Dallas just started but Orlando service ended.

Ultimate Air Shuttle: Five days a week public charter to Cincinnati Lunken Field on 30-seat Fairchild Dornier Do.328 regional jets

United: 21 flights a day:
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) 6.5 flights a day
Houston Intercontinental 4 flights a day
Newark 7 times a day
Washington Dulles (IAD) 3.5 flights a day

One plane goes ORD-CLT-IAD, which explains the fraction. In total, one United mainline flight, five large regional jets with a first class section, and 15 50-seaters.

Difference from last year: Same number of total flights, but the destination mix is different. Houston lost two flights while Newark and O’Hare are up a flight each.

Pending service: Two-day flights a day to Denver starting on September 13 on 76-seat Embrear E175 regional jets.

Via Air: Two flights a day (OK, 12 rimes a week) of federally-subsidized Essential Air Service flights to the vast metropolis of Beckley, WV. On Thursdays and Sundays the airline also has an unsubsidized flight to St. Augustine, FL.

Difference from last year:
Via Air service started over the winter. The EAS portion is on a two-year contract; the St. Augustine portion will continue at least through the end of the year.

Concord flights:
Allegiant flies from Concord to Orlando Sanford (secondary airport in the Orlando area), St. Petersburg (second airport in the Tampa area), and Ft. Lauderdale. The schedule is a rather variable depending upon the time of year, but typically four times a week to Sanford, and twice a week each to St. Pete and Ft. Lauderdale.

Difference from last year: Ft. Lauderdale and St. Petersburg flights have started within the past year.

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Anthony Foxx gets sued

From McClatchy:

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was paid nearly a half-million dollars by a bus company while mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, even though he performed no work for the company, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The lawsuit was filed in North Carolina by Elaine Rudisill, a trustee for the bankrupt bus company, DesignLine USA. The suit seeks the return of $421,000 that Foxx was paid over four years as the company’s deputy general counsel.

The company’s records do not reflect any work performed by Foxx, according to the lawsuit.

The suit alleges that there was no general counsel for the company, and no evidence that Foxx was in contact with outside lawyers employed by the company. It charges that Foxx spent little or no time at the company’s offices.

Foxx’s function, according to DesignLine head Buster Glossom:

“He was one of the few people in that company that was underpaid,” Glosson said. “They have these big mayors’ conferences once or twice a year, and he would expose the other mayors to this company he had in Charlotte that makes electric buses. We know that he was effective because we got invitations to go give presentations in places where there was no other way we had to get a foot in the door.”

Does any of this come as a surprise? Not really. Why a company like DesignLine with a couple of hundred employees needed a deputy general counsel was always a mystery, unless the purpose of the job was to curry political favor.

Bonus observation: Then there’s the other lawsuit:

The bankruptcy trustee overseeing the liquidation of the Charlotte-based bus maker that once employed U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has filed a wide-ranging lawsuit against former company officials, alleging fraud, violations of racketeering statutes and breaches of fiduciary duty.

The suit filed by trustee Elaine Rudisill accuses retired Gen. Buster Glosson, DesignLine’s former chairman, and his son, Brad Glosson, the company’s former CEO, of working to “pilfer assets” and “siphon monies” from the company, its creditors and its investors.

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Population by state from 1910 to 2010 has put U.S. population by state from each decade’s census from 1910 to 2010 in a single chart. Fascinating.

A highlight: In 1910 North Carolina was 16th in population, behind Iowa. In 2010, North Carolina was the tenth most populous state while Iowa had dropped to 30th.

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Charlotte still tops in cost of local government cost

The latest issue of The John Locke Foundation’s By The Numbers report on the cost of local government is out. The report is available here. The key fact:

Charlotte finds itself in the familiar position of leading North Carolina’s largest cities in the John Locke Foundation’s annual ranking of local tax-and-fee burdens.

Residents of the Queen City and the rest of North Carolina are learning about the rankings later than normal this year, thanks to a record number of late reports from local governments across the state.

With a city and county government bill topping $2,388 per person in the 2012-13 budget year, Charlotte ranked No. 1 among 33 ranked cities with populations of at least 25,000 people. Charlotte edged out No. 2 Mooresville ($2,386 per person), with Wilmington ($2,242), Durham ($2,199), and Monroe ($2,167) rounding out the top five.

Raleigh ($1,937) ranked No. 10. Greensboro ($1,885) ranked No. 15.

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Southwest Airlines extends its flight schedule

Through Monday, April 11, 2016 The airline is still offering the exact same six flights a day from CLT that it is now: 2 x Baltimore, 2 x Chicago Midway, 1 x Dallas Love Field, 1 x Houston Hobby. (The Dallas flight started this past Sunday, replacing a summer-seasonal second Houston flight.)

Southwest also offered this past March a Saturday-only service to Orlando. Apparently that didn’t do well as it’s not being offered next year.

We should find out whether the second Houston flight returns for next summer in a couple months.

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Charlotte mayor’s race fundraising

From the UPoR:

▪ Democrat Jennifer Roberts relied on a wide network from earlier campaigns for county commissioner and Congress. With a long head-start on her rivals, she raised more than $300,000 from a variety of supporters, with an especially strong showing among women.

▪ After a late start, Democratic Mayor Dan Clodfelter raised $183,000, in part by tapping networks of fellow lawyers.

▪ Democratic City Council member David Howard raised $159,000 with contributions from across the city, including from two former mayors.

▪ Democrat Michael Barnes, the mayor pro tem, raised less than $20,000 and later downplayed the role of money.

▪ Republican Edwin Peacock raised $137,000, while his GOP opponent Scott Stone took in $104,000. Both relied heavily on support from business professionals and raised most of their money in southeast Charlotte.

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San Diego and the NFL

The headline from Deadspin says it all: “San Diego Offers $350 Million In Public Money For A New Chargers Stadium, NFL Wants More.” And a quote:

San Diego’s proposal is dead in the water—shot down within minutes in a public statement by the Chargers. Negotiations are all but dead right now. The NFL, with three teams angling toward Los Angeles and three cities bidding against each other to offer the best deal and get its team to stay, isn’t about to accept anything that requires the league and the Chargers to pay $750 million when it doesn’t need to. (The Union-Tribune, cheerleading for a new stadium, writes that San Diego offered to cover “a mere 33 percent” of the stadium’s cost. “Mere?”)

If the threat of Los Angeles is the stick (there is no carrot in the stadium finance scam), that doesn’t mean the NFL won’t swing it. San Diego’s offer pales in comparison to St. Louis, which can’t stop rolling over for Stan Kroenke—Oakland’s working up an offer of its own to woo back the Raiders. But with three teams jostling for two potential relocation spots, and the Rams having obtained the juiciest offer, it doesn’t look good for the Chargers’ chances of staying.

H/t: JAT

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Will Malcolm Graham run against Alma Adams?

Just came across a recent McClatchy story on she who is in Congress and has a most extensive collection of fashionable hats and whether any Charlotte Democrats might challenge her for reelection. And it seems that former state Sen. Malcolm Graham is indeed considering it. Can he win in a head-to-head contest again Alma Adams? Well, let’s just say that he’ll have to run a much better campaign than he did last year, when he got trounced by the Hat Lady. From my election recap:

Alma Adams won outright the Democratic nomination for the 12th Congressional District with 44 percent of the vote. The Hat Lady was the obvious frontrunner but her getting over the 40 percent threshold wasn’t expected. This district was suppose to favor a candidate from Charlotte, not Greensboro. What happened is that Adams dominated in Guilford (where she got 72 percent of votes cast) and Forsyth (68 percent of votes cast) counties and did well enough in Mecklenburg County (17 percent of votes cast). Marcus Brandon, the other Triad-area candidate, was largely a non-factor.
The various candidates from Charlotte were also non-factors and absolutely, positively did a sad job of getting out the vote here. Statewide, turnout was 15.7 percent. In Guilford and Forsyth counties it was about 15 percent. In Mecklenburg County, turnout was a massive 9.6 percent. And that’s why Adams and Brandon combined to get a majority of the vote though a majority of voters in the district live in Mecklenburg County.

Bonus 12th Congressional District sadness: Malcolm Graham, who finished second overall to Adams, got 3.3 percent of votes cast in Guilford County.

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Charlotte hospitality taxes 9th highest

JLF Chairman John Hood on Charlotte taxes aimed at extracting money from visitors:

Still another useful tool is transparency. I don’t just mean requiring government meetings to be open, providing public records on request, and putting information such as government budgets and spending ledgers online. I also mean making public policies easy to follow and understand.

When it comes to tax policy, this principle requires governments to employ revenue sources that average citizens can see, track, and understand. That’s an argument for taxes that generate annual bills, such as taxes on real property. There’s a reason the property tax is difficult to raise. People can clearly see how much it costs them.

Unfortunately, many localities have increasingly come to rely on taxes that are hidden in service contracts or bills, especially when visitors comprise a significant share of those who will pay them. A Texas-based think tank, the National Center for Policy Analysis, recently published a nationwide study of hotel occupancy taxes, car rental taxes, and airline taxes. Would it surprise you to learn that North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte, had the 9th-highest tax burden on travelers among major cities in the United States? That’s what the NCPA study found.

Although policymakers often assume they can get away with taxing visitors heavily without major consequences, there’s good evidence to the contrary. The more you tax your visitors, the less money they have to purchase goods and services while they’re in your community. Moreover, it’s a fallacy to argue that these taxes only hit visitors. Lots of local households and businesses rent cars, for example, or pay hotel bills for relatives, friends, or business associates.

Generally applied property and sales tax are sufficient to capture revenue from those who visit, shop, do business, or stay overnight in a community. Extra levies are abusive. Sure, politicians feel they can get away with them because so many of the taxpayers aren’t local and can’t vote against them. But that doesn’t make them good policy.

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