WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (March 11, 2009) – “There is a lot to be optimistic about on the front lines of Bradley Airport,” said State Senator L. Scott Frantz, former chairman of the Bradley Board of Directors, at MetroHartford Alliance’s Rising Star breakfast yesterday at the Windsor Marriott.
Sen. Frantz explained that the airport has a strong balance sheet despite the airline industry being vulnerable to many variables, such as rising fuel, labor, and building costs, as well as changes in prevailing economic markets around the world. Sen. Frantz said that the goal of the Bradley Board of Directors remains the same, “to make Bradley the best, most well run airport in the United States,” and to continue to work with all
stakeholders to the benefit of the customers that Bradley serves.
Sen. Frantz also said that Bradley is positioned strongly for additional service as the economy recovers given the airport’s low cost structure, strong airfares and a continued focus on marketing and air service development.
The Amsterdam flight which resumes June 3 is a key example of the airport’s development and forward progress. Sen. Frantz noted that in the first five months of the Bradley to Amsterdam service, new revenues of $14.7 million, total earnings estimated at $3.5 million, and an estimated 279 new jobs were generated. These figures will continue to grow as the service is re-launched, he predicts.
In addition to Sen. Frantz, also speaking at the event was Oz Griebel, president and CEO of the MetroHartford Alliance, and Dean Hill of TranSystems, a transportation consultancy group. Both Griebel and Hill covered the airport’s plans for the resumption of regularly scheduled flights to Amsterdam on Delta/Northwest Airlines, calling it a major element of the state and region’s economic growth and recovery.
“The Board continues to focus on the importance of Bradley as an economic driver for the region. The reinstatement of this transatlantic service is just one such example,” said Caren Kittredge, chairman, Bradley Airport Board of Directors.
Griebel noted in his opening remarks the need for the business community to take full advantage of the Amsterdam service, their support being vital to the success of the route.
Dean Hill, principal and senior vice president of TranSystems, said that capacity cuts and the weak economy have depressed passenger numbers, and overall consumers will be the ones losing if airlines are not profitable. Hill also mentioned that Bradley has a strong mix of airlines and routes whose success depends on the state, regional, and national economy.
Bradley International Airport is the one of two nonhub gateway airports to win new regularly scheduled transoceanic flights in 2009, the other being Pittsburgh to Paris. Bradley has enormous potential to grow the transatlantic service given that the catchment area that Bradley serves has an estimated 472 passengers per day each way who fly across the Atlantic, but currently do not fly from Bradley. The success of the transatlantic flight hinges on passengers changing their travel habits and embracing the Bradley to Amsterdam service as their entry point into the transatlantic markets and beyond.
The breakfast was sponsored by the MetroHartford Alliance and the Western Mass Economic Development Council, under the direction of Allan Blair, president and CEO, as part of their significant commitment to support and promote air service out of Bradley. This includes the first-ever Armada of small and medium size companies from Connecticut traveling to Europe on June 4, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce Middletown office and Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2).
About Bradley International Airport
Bradley International Airport is the second largest in New England and serves an extensive geographic area – its customer base covers the entire Northeast including Western Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. Nonstop flights will resume between Bradley and Amsterdam, via Northwest Airlines, effective June 3, 2009. The service will operate five times weekly. According to the most recent economic impact analysis, Bradley contributes $4 billion in economic activity to the state of Connecticut and the surrounding region, representing $1.2 billion in wages and 18,000 full-time jobs. (www.bradleyairport.com).