Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Air Drops.... pour tout les

While we are waiting for the big parachute to land on Điện Biên Phủ the county courthouse.  This current headline is a bit more than irksome: US Airways balks at airport expansion.  Yes it is a current headline and yes, I left out a word for effect. You will see what I mean.

While we are on the topic.  Current news is about a report that says Pittsburgh will lose 300 jobs as a result of Southwest's dropping a PIT-PHL flight.  I suspect that job loss is on the high side.  How many flights and/or individual routes are there out of Pittsburgh?  Total jobs in air transportation (NAICS 481) in Allegheny County currently is at all of 2,491 as of December.  We still have quite a sizable number of flights and routes so each 'airline-route' (to make up a metric) can't be worth anywhere near 300 jobs on average even if you take a healthy multiplier and divide.  I guess I have to go read the report to see if they are trying to quanitfy the economic impact of the higher air fare costs which are likely to result. If that is true it sure would be ironic since rarely did anyone locally try to measure the job loss resulting from high air fares across the board (not just on any one flight) a decade ago. 

By the way..the 4th quarter's job count in Allegheny County for jobs in the air transportation industry (NAICS 481) of 2,491 was up 11 jobs from December 2009 which made it the very first December year over year jobs increase in the local air transportation industry in a long time.  I bet 10 to 15 years or more, but I am not sure how far back I can go consistenly on that.   +11 jobs is all, but hey better than yet another decline. 

Looking back those 10 years, since everyone is looking for Rick Santorum quotes.  This is not in any way good or bad for the campaign, just historical commentary in congress on how great our airport is in general and specifically looking at the loss of our flight to London-Gatwick (people forget that one) .  Strange reading it now.   Yes, yes, Ken, we know as scheduled the Paris flight restarts in March.  Allons-y!


Anonymous BrianTH said...

The study is indeed about quantifying the economic impacts of low-cost fare competition, or the lack thereof. And it does indeed call into question at least some of the CW with respect to the net economic benefits of being a hub airport.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 1:12:00 PM  
Blogger Vannevar said...

The 300 jobs number seems high, must include a lot of part-timers and then their secondary impacts. Note that this is not just one PIT-PHL plane, but SWA is abandoning the route completely.

Anecdotally, I think this has more to do with the driving time between PIT and PHL, the demographic of SWA customers, and the arrival and increase of MegaBus service that goes directly to the downtown areas (more convenient, less hassle, less time, less money).

Most of the people on board most of those SWA flights were "legacy" USAir employees trying to get to work in PHL.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 7:46:00 PM  

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