Flight Blog


Allegiant will soon offer passengers video-on-demand. That's according to a press release from Row 44.

Allegiant serves our airport with non-stop flights to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando, and Tampa/St. Pete. According to the press release the video service will primarily be offered on Allegiant's Hawaiian flights. Read the release here.


Oct 01 2012 Follow Up on the Demise of Regional Jets BY sgf-adminTAGS Airlines


Image of regional jet

Last week's posting about the soon-to-be phasing out of regional jets prompted these comments and questions from SGFpilot:

"Yeah for bigger jets at SGF!! That's always exciting. DO you think it will be the bigger 70-90seat RJ's like the CRJ-900 and Embraer 170/190 replacing the  50 seat CRJ-200's and EMB-145? OR will it be out with the RJ's alltogether and some Airbus A-318's, 737's, MD-80/DC-9's coming in? Any insight?"

It's hard to say exactly what will replace the 50-seats-or-less regional jets (RJs) in Springfield, but here are some candidates:


I suspect many of you are happy with the thought of bigger jets. But there is a down side: fewer flights...

Example: right now American has seven daily flights to Dallas. Let's assume that all these flights are on 50 seat aircraft. That's a total of 350 seats a day. Suppose American switched to 90 seat jets. It would only need four flights a day to carry the same number of people. The reduction in flights means that travelers have less flexibility flying to/from Dallas.


Sep 24 2012 Catch As Catch Can BY sgf-adminTAGS Airlines, Airports

I've got a bunch of tid-bits to share, none of which really deserve their own posting. Here they are, in no particular order...

I spent part of last week in Dallas at the International Aviation Forecast Summit. It's an annual event that includes airlines, airports, and aircraft manufacturers. Here are a few of the summit's insights:


Regional jets (RJs) are on the way out and the trend is accerlerating. The expectation that most RJs will be retired is not new news. What is new, however, is the rate at which they'll disappear. Gary Chase, a senior vice president at Delta Airlines, told the summit audience that his airline will retire 200 RJs by 2015.

RJs are those small jets (generally 50-seats or less) that many of you love to hate — they provide most of the service at our airport. The airlines started using them several years ago because they are (or were) cheaper to operate than bigger jets (such as MD-80s or 737s). The rising cost of jet fuel has changed all that — there just aren't enough seats to sell on an RJ to pay for the fuel. Bottom line: before long we'll see bigger jets serving Springfield.


Airlines are no longer growing their route systems for growth's sake. Historically, airline system expansion was basically directly tied to the growth of the national economy. As the economy grew, the airlines grew. Several factors have conspired to change that — mainly rising fuel costs, and the world-wide recession.

So what's replaced "growth for growth's sake?" For the first time in history airline systems are shrinking. Airlines have stopped flying to places where the economic margins are low. They're only flying to places where they know they can make money. Bottom line: airline growth will be very slow in the foreseeable future — less than two percent growth a year. Some small cities will lose air service all together.


No one at the summit thinks air fares will go down — only up. That's depressing news but its economic reality. There's really only one thing that could drive fares down: lower fuel prices. And no one expects that to happen...

Moving on to other tid-bits...

There's good news for the many Springfield fliers who make connections at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW). That airport now has free Wi-Fi. Judging by the way it worked last week, I'd say the system is still being tweaked. No matter — a scratchy Wi-Fi signal was preferable to paying ten bucks! No doubt the system will get better.

Saving the best news for last...

Our total passenger numbers at SGF are still up for the year. We finished August up 4.5% year-to-date. The number of scheduled airline flights, January - August was down -0.9%.

To put these numbers in perspective, consider our performance last year: the number of airline flights was down 16% and total passengers were down 8.1%. So we're doing much better. Keeping our fingers crossed...


Allegiant logoWe've had several questions lately about the status of Allegiant's service between Springfield and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Several of you have noticed that LAX trips can't be booked from Springfield after mid-January 2013. Here's what's going on...

For the past few months Allegiant has had problems getting gate space at LAX. As we understand there's a general shortage of gate space at LAX that has been exacerbated by airport construction. As a result Allegiant has dropped several of its LAX routes.

Allegiant management has told us that they’ve made no decision concerning our LAX service. It’s our impression that Allegiant is working to resolve its issues at LAX and is considering many options. Who knows...it might even decide to start flying from another airport is the LA area.

The bottom line is that the LAX issue is a problem that's affecting the entire Allegiant route system. And, as Allegiant management told me today, the Springfield/LAX service, "is a route we hope to continue."


Sep 19 2012 Safe Haven BY sgf-adminTAGS How the Airport Works


Image of a light houseChances are you’ve never thought of an airport as a place to seek aid and comfort. But sometimes that’s exactly what it is.

Think of it this way: airplane passengers are travelers in an ocean of air. If something goes wrong they need to find the nearest island. That’s what an airport is — an island in the unforgiving ocean — a safe haven.
We never know when a plane might pop out of the clouds over Springfield needing assistance. It happened this morning.  At about 10:40 the alarm sounded: a Southwest Airlines’ plane was ten miles out and headed our way — a passenger was having a heart attack. The 737 had been flying from Chicago to San Antonio. Now, it was diverting to SGF.

Of all the airports along the path, why choose SGF? Because the airlines know what most people who live here don’t — SGF is the best-equipped airport in the region. We have 17 full time aircraft rescue firefighters (ARFF) and state-of-the-art firefighting equipment. On average we respond to 50 aircraft and medical emergencies a year. Our well-equipped ARFF, combined with the airport’s long runways, and central location, make SGF a primary “diversion airport” for American Airlines. If an American flight has mechanical problems over the central United States, there’s a good chance it will divert to SGF for an emergency landing. These are the things the airlines know about SGF.
About ten minutes after the alarm sounded the 737 bore down on Runway 14/32. After landing it made a quick dash to Gate 2 where Airport medical personnel were waiting; an ambulance from Cox Hospitals was just minutes away.Southwest flight 2014 finds safe haven at SGF Gate 2

As far as we know this story has a good ending.  The patient was alert and conscious.  His wife followed the gurney to the ambulance, and, as far as I could tell, was in good humor (considering the circumstances).  It’s hard to imagine what it must be like… One minute you’re winging your way to San Antonio, the next thing you know you’re grounded in unknown territory. And sick to boot.

Meanwhile, schedulers at Southwest were busy adjusting flight times and crew schedules. The flight crew readied to sail as more fuel was put onboard. Passengers peered out the windows and were undoubtedly checking their watches — impatient to leave our safe haven. San Antonio would have to wait a bit longer.