Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Commentary and Opinion by Samuel Strait – January 7, 2023 – Picture credit to Advanced Air

Contour Airlines out, Advanced Air in, so say the Border Coast Airport
Authority.  The question becomes is the new situation any better? 
According to those in the know, only marginally, due to the fact that
Advanced Air will offer flights from Crescent City to Oakland, nothing
really new, AND flights to Los Angles.  Before anyone gets too excited,
the flights by Advanced Air to Los Angeles will not terminate at LAX,
but at Hawthorne Jet Center a shuttle trip away.  Shuttle to be provided
by Advanced Air.  It will still require luggage transfer, check in, and
security clearance for connecting flights.  It is unclear at this point
whether or not the same will occur at Oakland, but connecting flights at
SFO do not mention a shuttle.

As far as Contour Air, Crescent City appears to be the only orphan
remaining from its entrance into the California Market several years ago
and its new direction in Utah has made Contour decide to shed its
Crescent City-Oakland route in favor of that market by March 16th.  In
September, the end of the existing contract to provide service from
Crescent City will once again be up for grabs.  Ticket holders for
Contour Air will be given refunds for any flight scheduled after March
16th.  Hopefully Advanced Air will fill in the gap of service from March
17th to the end of the contract in September.   The equipment used will
continue to be thirty passenger jets, the Dornier 328.

Service to Oakland will continue along the same lines as had occurred
with Contour, one daily flight with some additional flights on
weekends.  Advanced Air will be offering two flights weekly to Hawthorne
initially, then perhaps more should they retain the contract after
September.  The conversation is to expand service to five flights weekly
by 2025.

While the Border Coast Authority is viewing this as a win for the air
passenger out of Crescent City, and a chance to expand the number of
tourists to the North Coast, keep in mind that passenger enplanements
were less than 10,000 for Contour Air while only serving Crescent
City-Oakland.  Loss of service to SFO reduced enplanements by about
40%.  Most passenger who used to fly out of Crescent City  have been
using Medford for some time and the new service to Hawthorne may not
attract much business for some time to come.  What is particularly
noticeable is that there doesn’t appear to be much of an appetite by the
BCAA to check into service to San Francisco and Sacramento and air
service out of Crescent City may not improve much if at all.

While service to Los Angeles may seem like a win for air travelers from
the North Coast, the combination of having to transfer to LAX should
there be a continuing flight, and only two flights per week may not be
the panacea for fixing the poor numbers of passengers utilizing the
Crescent City Airport.  At least on a couple of days a week the current
“white elephant” terminal may get at least more usage…two days a week?

6 thoughts on “There’s Going To Be A New Airline In Town”
  1. Ok what am I missing here…thirty seats …two flights a day for 365 days equal 10,000 enplanement annually ???

  2. Since this News article was published. Contour Airlines grounded their ONE plane in Oakland. Without informing any future passengers (like myself) of the flights being cancelled. I have many questionable pictures of fraud and misleading statements by the Contour Airlines staff. As well as documentation of my ordeal on the 8th and 9th of January. Many passengers were and still are stranded in Oakland/Crescent City. I needed a direct flight into Crescent City (because I’m disabled).

    They clearly aren’t happy with being replaced as the CEC commuter. However I believe the Supervising Counsel that took the vote did not think ahead of the ripple effect it would have. By not having an alternate in place beforehand. I was supposed to be in Crescent City for legal reasons evening of the 8th. Flight LF-3202 on the 8th was cancelled. They booked all passengers from our flight on the 8th to a flight at 7am the next morning. Then delayed to 10:30, then to 12:30. Then disappeared completely. All the while knowing that flight LF-6202 January 9th was never going to be happening. When myself and the passengers finally got an employee to come to the gate. The man candidly told us that the plane has actually been out of commission or grounded for several days now. And said that even though they are delaying our flight it will be an unforeseen amount of days until it resumes. When I asked them if they could place me on another flight they said no and that my best option was to drive.

    I came in from North Carolina. I could not afford to get a hotel book another high priced flight to Medford. Stay in a hotel again and then obtain transport to Crescent City the next day.
    It seems clear by the misdirection that they gave all of us passages. We ALL believed that because they didn’t omit that the ONE plane was grounded days prior. That they were being dishonest. There was already a large number of passengers laid over from flights before.

    The community is now feeling the burden of the decisions and common sense of the counsel. Coincidence that all of a sudden they are misleading their passengers? The same time still booking flights (fraud), all the while the plane has no intention of making that flight. I challenge you to go to CEC and investigate it yourself. I can be contacted as well as others.
    Considering you give your community the slogan “Reporting the News as Accurately, Honestly and Fairly as possible.”

    1. Robert, I used to fly in and out of Crescent City regularly until Sky West ceased operations to San Francisco and Sacramento. Haven’t been since. The Border Coast Authority has been next to useless getting any kind of meaningful service to replace Sky West for over a decade. We do have a near useless newish terminal, but very little has been done to correct the length of the runways problem which could allow for a larger airline to come in with connections to a more useful hub than Oakland or Portland. Can’t seem to get that to happen, in the meantime the enplanement numbers have been anemic, less than 10,000 per year. Many people have elected to go to Medford or Arcata for years to avoid the built-in problems of flying out of Crescent City and will very likely continue to do so. I see nothing in the new carrier’s service that would entice me back to flying out of CC. Sorry that you had to encounter this situation.

    1. I’m not certain that Arcata has a non stop to LAX. Medford does. From Arcata you may have to go through SFO which if you haven’t been lately isn’t particularly pleasant, not that LAX is that much better. Also, weather issues are sometimes a problem out of Arcata to the Bay Area which are rare out of Medford.
      The new airline out of Crescent City is promising flights twice a week to Hawthorne which is in the LA basin. For those going to LA, this is an option, providing you are not connecting in LA, or are willing to transfer to LAX. I am wondering what the fare will be to LA. If it is cheaper or even the same it could open up some possibilities. It just comes down to how willing you are to collect your bag, transfer on the ground, check in at LAX, and go through security again.
      One other thing, the discussion about security remaining in Crescent City was a bit fuzzy due to the nature of the new air carrier and their destinations. More later on this topic as the new carrier begins operations.

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