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FlyORH: Orlando Numbers Missing the Mark at Worcester Airport?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

 

How can we get more people on Orlando flights out of Worcester? Better marketing, according to Bill Randell.

Last April when JetBlue announced daily service to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale starting November 7th, I thought Orlando would be full every day and worried about Fort Lauderdale. I went on the JetBlueBestFareFinder site to see the availability of seats for the next three days to both locations and found the following:

                                Orlando             Fort Lauderdale

March 20                      39                            12

March 21                      23                            17

March 22                      33                            21

Unreserved seats      124                           57

Load factor                 69%                         85%

 

This is not an exact way to figure out the loads, but it does clearly show that Fort Lauderdale has better passenger loads then Orlando, the complete opposite of what I expected. This has been pretty much the case from the start of service out of Worcester. Since the inception of service at Worcester, Fort Lauderdale tickets are selling better then Orlando.

Room to improve

Although we have done quite well to date, I am started to get concerned with this Orlando fight. Considering how difficult it is to travel with a family coupled with the ease of Worcester, we should be having better loads on these Orlando flights. Remember: no tolls, no traffic, and no tunnels.

We need to be constantly selling the convenience of Worcester. Last Thursday Destination Worcester, through the Chamber of Commerce, sponsored a Travel Show targeting travel agents at the airport. It was a nice event and a great way to show off the airport and the convenience to fly out of ORH. We need keep doing more of these.

The Massport full page ads in the Telegram have been great, but let’s replace these with ads from theme parks and other tourist destinations with deals out of Worcester. Does it not surprise anyone else not see a Disney billboard on Route 290 touting the fact you are ten minutes away from your family vacation to Disney?

Have you seen any advertising in the any of the local media outlets for family package to Disney out of Worcester? Someone needs to call the VisitOrlando and tell them to start spending some money advertising in Central Mass.

Worcester Airport has come a long way in the past two years and we are on the right track with JetBlue. We need to work on marketing these flights better, however, to get higher loads that will help us attract even more air service.

 

Bill Randell is the President of Advantage Benefits, an insurance brokerage house specializing in employee benefits with an emphasis on health insurance, based in Worcester since 1992. He can be contacted at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter (@FlyORH).

 

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