OneJet has finally broken their silence and has announced that Pittsburgh (PIT) will be their new focus city. With the new focus city they have also announced a new nonstop route from Pittsburgh (PIT) to Hartford, Connecticut (BDL). To support the focus city status OneJet is expected to hire an additional 40 workers in Pittsburgh.
Late last summer OneJet had an announcement that they would be starting a new focus city in September, 2015. I speculated that it would be a current city already served with Milwaukee, Memphis, and Pittsburgh all in the running. Well the announcement never came in 2015 but I am glad that they are back in expansion mode with the Pittsburgh announcement. With OneJet’s operation of small jets it is important for them to have contracts with local businesses in order to make the route viable. From there they can fill the empty seats that the business fails to fill with normal passengers just looking for fares on Expeida as an example.
Pittsburgh (PIT) to Hartford (BDL)
So why did OneJet choose a route from Pittsburgh to Hartford? Well for starters this route was served by American Airlines just last year on a much larger plane. So the demand is clearly there if one of the major airlines had served it. OneJet only flies small passenger jets that seat 5 passengers (they are looking at a slightly larger plane as well). Historically during peak season there have been 29 passengers flying each way (PDEW) between Pittsburgh and Hartford. That is a good amount of passengers and could even lead to multiple roundtrip flights per day for OneJet.
Also helping is that OneJet’s other focus city, Indianapolis is unserved to Hartford. There is even more untapped demand for a nonstop flight than Pittsburgh with 55 passengers flying each way per day (PDEW) between Indianapolis and Hartford. It would also be cost efficient from a ground personal standpoint to also add this route. Perhaps they will also add this market as well? About the only negative is the longer stage length but it is still within OneJet’s Hawker 400 range.
What Other Markets From Pittsburgh Make Sense?
In the announcement, OneJet mentioned the possibilities of adding 4 more cities in early 2016. Whether they mean cities served from Pittsburgh or total cities served that could be up for debate. But what cities could they add? I took a holistic stab at what cities make sense from all current OneJet cities last year. With Pittsburgh now an official focus city and using the assumption that OneJet would like to serve a city from both Pittsburgh and Indianapolis we can narrow down the number of potential routes significantly. So here is the top 10 list of unserved routes from both Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. It is sorted by the sum of PDEW from both Pittsburgh plus Indianapolis. I did take the liberty to remove some leisure destinations in Florida that wouldn’t make sense for the OneJet business model.
|#||City||Airport||Sum of PDEW|
|9||Des Moines, IA||DSM||38|
|10||Little Rock, AR||LIT||38|
So what does everyone think of OneJet and there new focus city?