Half of Spokane airline flights flown on turbo props

Hydro Quebec Q400

Image by caribb via Flickr

Update: Since this was written, Alaska/Horizon announced it will add 2 additional turbo prop flights to the Spokane-Seattle route.  Alaska did not publicly announce their price hike, but in their reservation system, the price went up.

The airport situation, as you will see in the next post coming after this one, is an important barometer for Spokane. Or may be altimeter would be a better metaphor.

In January 2012, there will be a estimated 51 daily departures from Spokane. (Update: 53 now).

  • 23 25 of those flights will be flown on turbo props (propeller) aircraft (1315 on Alaska to Seattle, 5 on Alaska and 5 on Delta to Portland) like the one shown here.
  • 3 will be flown on smaller CRJ700 or 900 jets to Salt Lake City on Delta.

About half of the flights departing Spokane will be flown on propeller planes.

Doesn’t bother me but the flying public prefers to fly on jets. Turbo props are known for their cramped seating and less leg room.

This is from the NY Times – “Twilight of Turboprops? Passengers Go Out of Their Way to Catch Jets”:

An informal survey by Delta recently found that its passengers hate turboprops so much that most are willing to drive two to five hours to avoid flying in them.

5 hours drive to Seattle anyone?

What that means: The airport is in a spin, as in like a plane that has stalled and spun, headed towards the ground, and not as in PR spin.

REMINDER: The airport is a proxy for the local economy. The fall off in flights, non-stop destinations and passengers is primarily a reflection of the local and national economy . The data suggest that Spokane’s economy is doing worse than elsewhere. The data presented do not mean that airport management is (presently) doing a bad job, although their PR spin is amusing.

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