Taxonomy of Political Economy
I didn't quite think about what that subsidy meant per trip. So my math starts with this:
52 weeks in a year
8 segments each week (4 outbound, 4 inbound)
186 passenger capacity for 757 per Seatguru
68% reported capacity utilization
Which gives me 52,615 passenger-segments that wound up being covered by the guarantee. Have I missed anything?
Divide $5 million into that and you get $95 per segment, or $190 per RT purchase on average. For a ticket the same news reports as averaging $800 or so RT that is a quite a level of market intervention in an American market whether the subsidy was needed in the end or not.
Some have heard my personal taxonomy of political economy. Basically it comes down to your view on whether market failures exist. If you think market failures exist but are quite rare, you are probably a conservative. If you think market failures exist, but are more common than that then you are someting of a liberal. If you think market failure is a tautology then you are akin to being a communist and if you think market failure is virtually an oxymoron then you are libertarian.
So given that level of subsidy, where in that range of possibilities would you characterize this particular project subsidizing flights to Pittsburgh?