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How do you expect your business/community to be affected by recent airline bankruptcies?

District Voices

January 1, 2006

How do you expect your business/community to be affected by recent airline bankruptcies?

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We anticipate that we'll lose some revenues that were due us as a result of the bankruptcies. We're hopeful that won't be the case, but anticipate it probably will. I think probably the airport authority is more concerned with the shape of the airline[s] and the mission of the airline[s] ... when they come out of bankruptcy, in other words, that they are still hub-and-spoke providers, and that they still provide the level of service to smaller communities like Grand Forks that they provided going into bankruptcy.
Steve Johnson, Executive Director
Regional Airport Authority—Grand Forks, N.D.

We're concerned just like any other community in the country about airline bankruptcies. But I think, generally speaking, they're worth far more when they're operating than they are being shut down, and we have to focus on the hope that through their restructuring and reorganization they will certainly come out better in the end, and through that betterment that maybe our community will be served better. We have not seen any decrease in boardings in Sioux Falls.
Terri Ellis Schmidt, Executive Director
Convention and Visitors Bureau—Sioux Falls, S.D.

I don't think that the airline bankruptcies, well, certainly won't have a direct effect. I mean, our closest airports are an hour away, like Ironwood or Houghton, or even farther away with Marquette and Rhinelander. If there's going to be an effect, it's going to be the flow-on effect where, if someone working as a mechanic loses a job, they may not come up on a holiday, that sort of thing. But I don't really see a direct effect. ... [Our customers] come primarily from Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. ... [They mostly drive] because they're usually pulling a pickup with maybe a two- or four-place sled trailer behind it.
Charles Peterson, Owner
Peterson's Cottages—Ontonagon, Mich.

There's been some reduction in seats going into Kalispell. In the long term, though, we're kind of looking at some alternative ways to get people into Kalispell. We're investigating concepts such as charter flights, things like that ... some kind of way that we can get a little bit more control over the seats that we get in. That's one of the things we're looking at doing ... (on) a broader basis communitywide; it wouldn't just be us out there at the mountain.
John Frandsen, Director of Sales and Marketing
Big Mountain Ski Resort—Whitefish, Mont.

Financially, it hurts us because they can't pay their bill. And our payments, you know, my payments get behind because they don't make theirs. ...What we do, when their flights are overbooked or canceled because of weather, we do [ground] transportation for their people. So we provide the service for their people, but then they file bankruptcy on us. So I'm not very impressed.
Patti Manix, Owner/Manager
All-Ways Charter Service—La Crosse, Wis.

Well, out here in western Minnesota, we're fortunate. We utilize the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport a lot, but we also utilize the Hector International Airport in Fargo. And one thing about the Hector International Airport, it's where the [U.S. Air Force is] housed. ... And because they're there, with the fighter planes, it seems to keep Hector International Airport open more. ... We have not had daily flights out of Fergus Falls for a number of years already. We did, and then with all of the financial troubles in the airline industry, that went away, and it has been gone for a number of years already.
Harold Stanislawski, Executive Director
Economic Development Commission—Fergus Falls, Minn.