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Fewer passengers, means less flights for many airlines

READ MORE: Less passengers, means less flights for many airlines
The economic crunch has grounded air travelers throughout the country. Now major airlines are grounding their planes. “I think what the airlines are doing now is matching capacity with demand,” said ILM Director of Operations, Gary Broughton. Airlines measure capacity in "seat miles". That is the number of miles flown times the number of seats on a plane. Through the end of the year, the Air Travel Association predicts airlines will only offer 12.5 billion seat miles; the fewest since the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001. Airlines say they are cutting flights to deal with the declining demand. In Wilmington, passengers say some flights have more empty seats than others. Cutting back flights is something directors at ILM are used to dealing with. Most of the airlines add flights for the busy summer travel and scale back in the fall. “It's fairly well seasonal, we see it every year. Once the vacation season's over, schools are back in and there's just less travel over all,” added Broughton. “Fewer travelers may mean fewer flights, but it also means less of a wait in line, and passengers we spoke with say they are more concerned with the price of a ticket than they are with the number of people on the plane. “The less flights, the more likely the price is going to go up, the higher the price, the less flyers,” said traveler Rita Scull. With fewer flights in the air, maybe more of them will stay on time. Some airlines have been hit harder than others by the decline in air travel. Discount airlines like Airtran and Southwest have faired better, and Jet Blue plans to increase the number of seat miles they offer by the end of the year.

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ILM isn't as an important

ILM isn't as an important hub as your local leaders want you to believe, or locals may believe. A direct effect/reason on why airlines won't place their business at ILM is volume of passengers, not passenger desire. There is a whole lot more competition out there for majors to deal with then smaller hubs. As with Convenience stores and their higher prices, if you don't want to drive to RDU or CLT for more direct flights, you'll have to pay for the flights from ILM to connect you to those hubs. Those hubs are more money/passenger savoy (if you will). It's all in what you want to spend your money for to travel by air. Jet Blue/Air Tran (i.e.) have a history of arrival/departure delinquencies in the interim, and is why their fares are attract a more versatile/flexible class of passenger. You won't see American/United bring offering flights to ILM in the near future. The hub just isn't investment worthy to a major airline. What profession this really has an effect on is business people. Their profession isn't seasonal, and these folks are effected year round, unlike the seasonal passengers flying to Florida/California/Las Vegas. Sorry. You'll just have to connect for now or drive a couple hundred miles to fly for less. ILM isn't the only hub effected by non-direct flights. You'll see/and do see presently the deals you find as a "better deal rate" have a red eye flight (+ one day) thrown into the mix. If you don't mind sleeping while flying (some do prefer to sleep) or in a terminal waiting to connect, here is where you will save your hard earned dollars on flights.

ILM is NOT a hub......

Wilmington International Airport is not a "hub" for any airline. It is merely a distribution point for US Airways. Charlotte is their hub. Chicago and DFW are AA Hubs, RDU used to be an AA hub, but is no longer. ILM doesn't even have any direct international flights anymore but is still referered to as "International". All businesses have curtailed travel to save expenses and their business. Individuals are flying less because because they can't afford the expense. Most want to avoid it due to the ever-increasing pain in the rear it is to fly nowadays. The service is horrible, they are never on time anymore and don't care. The equipment is filty and they still allow 350 pounders to buy only one seat, while the added expenses actually get you much less today. I can see them as the next bailout task for Obama. This is one industry that has gone completely to the dogs, where 10 years ago ailines were run close to that of a military organization (the better ones anyway). It's more like New York City taxi cabs that fly now.

Being an International

Being an International airport has nothing to do with International passenger flights. Being International means you have a U.S. customs ramp, which we have.


Maybe if they would come down on their prices here people would fly from ILM. I had a death in the family and checked prices to fly to Philly and RDU was $200 CHEAPER... After paying for fuel up to RDU and back to Wilmington, I still had money left over from what it would cost me to fly from ILM. I really wanted to fly from ILM but $200 is a BIG savings..

Thats because US Scare controls our airport

The worst run airline in the country, US Air has a monopoly here. We desperately need more airlines operating here. Air Tran, Southwest and others come to mind.

You'll never get major

You'll never get major carriers here. Wilmington just isn't a big enough market and although the demand may be here, airlines don't see Wilmington as a profitable market.