Map Of Opportunities: Boston’s Unserved Domestic Markets

Boston is on a roll this year, with multiple domestic routes starting. These build on routes that have…

Map Of Opportunities: Boston’s Unserved Domestic Markets

Boston is on a roll this year, with multiple domestic routes starting. These build on routes that have already launched this year, including JetBlue to Key West and Miami and Allegiant from Grand Rapids. Where could be next?

Boston routes
Allegiant will have seven routes from Boston this year once Indianapolis and Norfolk come online. Will unserved Louisville, Omaha, or Des Moines appeal to them too? Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Boston to have multiple new routes this year

While all of the domestic routes in the table below have been announced, it’s good to summarize Boston’s coming network development.

Route* Airline** Start date*** Weekly frequency: in the week it begins Direct competition: WF in the week it begins
Asheville American 5 June 1 Allegiant (two)
Austin American 6 May 14 JetBlue (21) and Delta (13)
Columbus American 17 August 14 Delta (20)
Denver Frontier 14 May 4 United (28), JetBlue (20), Southwest (14)
Fort Lauderdale American 2 April 14 JetBlue (33), Delta (19), Spirit (14), Southwest (one)
Hilton Head American 3 April 1 None
Indianapolis American 6 May 14 Delta (27)
Indianapolis Allegiant 28 May 2 Delta (27) and American (14)
Jackson Hole American 5 June 1 None
Memphis Delta 5 May 7 None
Norfolk Allegiant 28 May 2 None
Raleigh Durham American 6 May 35 JetBlue (41) and Delta (39)
Sacramento JetBlue 6 May 7 None
Traverse City American 4 June 5 None
Wilmington American 3 June 1 None
* All announced previously. ** Only the parent is mentioned here. *** Further changes may happen. Source: Airline websites.

Seven routes won’t have direct competition

Seven routes will see no direct competition when they begin, but they are all ripe for stimulating, booking data from OAG Traffic Analyser indicates. For example, based on point-to-point indirect traffic in 2019:

• Boston to Memphis had approximately 66,000 round-trip passengers
• Wilmington: 28,000
• Traverse City: 10,000
• Hilton Head: 6,300 (excluding leakage to/from Savannah)

Delta operated Boston-Norfolk for years. Despite this, the market had a whopping 55,000 passengers traveling indirectly in 2019. This would nearly double if Providence and Manchester – both unserved from Norfolk – were included.

Boston's routes
While JetBlue is by far Boston’s top domestic carrier with a one-third share of seats this year, it is highly unlikely to begin any of the airport’s top-20 unserved routes. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

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Boston’s top-20 unserved domestic routes

Looking at unserved markets within a 2,000-mile radius of Boston, the top-20 had over 680,000 P2P passengers in 2019, booking data indicates – before being stimulated.  While traffic is just one part of the decision-making process, it’s insightful in its own right.   The 20 are:

• San Antonio: 96,300
• Louisville: 54,000
• Madison: 49,000
• Omaha: 44,500
• Oklahoma City: 38,600
• Greensboro: 36,900
• Greenville Spartanburg: 36,700
• Des Moines: 35,300
• Dayton: 32,900
• Little Rock: 27,800
• Huntsville: 26,600
• Pensacola: 26,700
• Akron Canton: 25,500
• Newport News: 24,800
• Columbia: 23,300
• Panama City: 24,900
• Northwest Arkansas: 21,900
• Tulsa: 21,400
• Chattanooga: 19,900
• Lexington: 19,400

With over 96,000 passengers, San Antonio was by far Boston’s top unserved market and would – given the significant traffic – normally be served. However, it has had no non-stop service in the past decade, while Austin flourishes – partly explaining San Antonio’s lack of a non-stop. Austin has 480,000 seats this year, a record for the airport, and up to 48 weekly departures.

Will Allegiant be tempted with low-frequency service from Louisville, Omaha, or Des Moines? Will Florida’s sunny Panhandle destinations of Pensacola or Panama City attract attention? Unfortunately, these are now less likely given Allegiant’s Destin service that began last year.

Boston's routes
Some of Allegiant’s routes will reduce the likelihood of others beginning.  For example, it will capture some of Newport News’ demand with its coming Norfolk service, Asheville will capture some to/from Greenville-Spartanburg, while Destin will be somewhat useful for Pensacola/Panama City. Source: GCMap.
Source : Simple Flying More