Three days. 800 delegates. Over 2,000 face-to-face meetings.
The countdown is on for Routes Americas 2019, taking place in Québec City, Canada, February 12-14.
Anyone who works in air service development knows Routes Americas is a key opportunity to showcase your route development cases. The event delivers meetings with important airline decision makers to discuss new and existing air services. The pressure is on to build high-value relationships in an effort to maximize air service for your community, yet regardless of what side of the table you are on, we are all united by the common goal of connecting people with what’s important in their lives through air service.
This year will mark my 7th time attending Routes, and I’ve played both sides of the table as a network planner at American Airlines and a manager of air service development at Memphis Airport. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s the importance of clearly and accurately telling your story with data.
So as you prepare for your meetings, here are my tips for to making the most compelling data-driven case possible at Routes Americas.
Make sure you’re thinking outside of the box
One of the most effective ways to take a pitch to the next level is identifying opportunities no one else has noticed.
People in the aviation world are always speculating what routes are going to be added in the future. The right data makes it easy to get into the minds of the airlines to see what are their next best additions to consider.
For example, I took a dive into Diio Mi to call out the top U.S. markets without service to Canada (ranked by passengers per day each way to all of Canada) using Diio's FM data.
- Tucson International Airport (TUS)- 68.2 passengers
- Richmond International Airport (RIC)- 62.2 passengers
- Dane County Regional Airport (MSN)- 58.5 passengers
- Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)- 58.4 passengers
- Will Rogers World Airport (OKC)- 54.0 passengers
- Charleston International Airport (CHS)- 53.9 passengers
- Louisville International Airport (SDF)- 52.2 passengers
- Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP)- 51.5 passengers
- Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)- 47.6 passengers
- Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM)- 46.9 passengers
Fill in the gaps
In the past few weeks, the aviation industry has taken a hard hit from the partial U.S. government shutdown. One of the ripple effects has been a delay in data delivery from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Diio Mi’s standard feature set includes U.S. passenger traffic data made available to the domestic market by the DOT. But DOT lag time can make airport marketing and air service development particularly challenging. Even with the announcement of a temporary end to the shutdown, data provided by the DOT is still only updated on a quarterly basis.
Building defendable and compelling cases are tough enough without relying on out-of-date information. No one wants to be cramming last minute for their presentations with old data. Luckily, there is another way. If you’re tired of waiting around for DOT, the Diio Mi FMd feature can help fill the gaps.
Diio Mi FMd domestic fare and market size data, based on ticket settlement data from ARC and IATA allows users to get estimates of traffic for U.S. domestic routes much more quickly than is possible with DOT data.
FM delivers the actual fares passengers paid—rather than fare estimates based on less reliable booking data. FM combines actual ticket data from travel agencies worldwide to estimate the number of passengers who travel point to point around the globe.
By aggregating ticket sale data from 30 global distribution systems, including those in the U.S., FM builds confidence as you calculate market sizes with unmatched precision. For example, I was able to compile a list of top unserved U.S. short-haul/regional (stage length < 1250 miles) markets using Diio's FM data and ranked by passengers per day each way.
- OKC to SAN- 118.8 passengers
- GEG to SNA- 106.2 passengers
- ISP to ORD- 101.8 passengers
- CMH to SAT- 93.4 passengers
- BDL to BNA- 92.6 passengers
- CLE to SAT- 92.5 passengers
- BOS to MEM- 89.6 passengers
- BOI to SNA- 87.8 passengers
- MYR to PVD- 85.8 passengers
- BOS to MSN- 85.1
Although FM is essentially a different source of getting to the answer you need to make a compelling case for your airport, it has several benefits beyond what the DOT data set can offer:
- Month versus quarterly. FM data is available monthly. With more frequent data delivery, you can showcase market peak demand and seasonality behavior more smoothly and accurately, drilling down a bit more than you normally could with DOT’s quarterly data.
- Speed. You don’t need to hold up your market analysis because you’re waiting for DOT. FM updates 45 days after the close of the month.
- Class of service breakout. Sometimes the opportunity is in the details. The more information you can access, the better, especially if it provides insight into lucrative premium cabin traffic.
In light of the fact that Routes Americas is only a few weeks away, we are giving our Diio Mi customers complimentary access to FMd for the next two weeks.
Three FM options are available to Diio Mi airport subscribers:
FMd Domestic: Developed for U.S. airports to look at domestic traffic
FMg Global: Developed for airports in Canada and airports and DMOs in the Caribbean
FMi International: Developed for U.S. airports and DMOs focused on U.S. to international markets
To learn more about FM and how to use it, visit our helpdesk.