Another Airline Trying To Make A Go In Atlantic City

Atlantic City airport (ACY) has had a checkered past with commercial air service.  After United Airlines canceled their service from Chicago and Houston late last year, the only carrier left was Spirit, who flies to 9 destinations from Atlantic City.  However, a decent number of those cities (4 destinations in Florida, for example) probably aren’t generating a lot of traffic to Atlantic City, just a cheaper way for folks in South Jersey to make it to Florida.

As a native New Yorker who spent his summers on the Jersey Shore, I’ve quietly cheered for the success of places like Seaside Heights and Atlantic City.  But, given the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and the downturn of the casino industry in general, Atlantic City needs to pivot to something other than casino revenue for the city to be relevant.  The city doesn’t believe that yet, and the Casino Redevelopment Authority is throwing around cash to attract airlines to the quiet airport in Egg Harbor.

This week, Air Canada launches service from Toronto Pearson to Atlantic City.  The service will operate 4 days a week until the first week in September.  It will be flown by a Q-400 with 74 seats.  My sister mentioned this to me yesterday and I recalled hearing something a few months ago, so I did some quick research.

It turns out the route is being subsidized to the tune of $705,000.  For essentially 3 months of service.  Sure, the press release says it’s for a full year.  But, there’s nothing to indicate there will be more than roughly 60 round-trip flights.  Quick math says that’s almost $12,000 in subsidy a flight, or about $80 a seat.  Now, this is nowhere near the biggest subsidy for a route (heck, I think the state of Alaska has at least half a dozen flights with higher subsidies than this).  But, given the size of the plane and the straightforward nature of the route, I wouldn’t think that Air Canada would need to do a whole lot to break even on this flight.  And, they’re pricing shows:

Atlantic City

$234 seems to be the standard round-trip fare for a lot of dates.  I’m guessing that fare will actually attract folks in Toronto to come visit, since beaches aren’t too plenty in that region.  And, Air Canada does have a pretty good network to connect with out of Toronto.  But, this little gem in the press release really is just a throwaway:

Air Canada’s President of Passenger Airlines Benjamin Smith said in a statement. “It will also provide Atlantic City a direct connection to Air Canada’s Toronto global hub.”

Sure.  Just don’t expect to see a huge spike in travel to Canada from parts of South Jersey.

The post Another Airline Trying To Make A Go In Atlantic City was published first on Pizza In Motion.

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