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Las Vegas and Mexico is on GSP's radar

Edwards forecasts interesting year in airline industry

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, March 11, 2013

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Dave Edwards, GSP President and CEO, said the airline industry faces

Dave Edwards, GSP President and CEO, said the airline industry faces "an interesting year." GSP may figure in new routes and an international destination.

The combination of the American Airlines and US Airways merger, sequestration, and Allegiant interested in more routes, may bode well for Greenville-International Airport in Greer.

Dave Edwards, President and CEO of GSP, told commissioners today that Allegiant is showing an interest in reviving roundtrip service to Las Vegas. “We are the sixth lowest cost airport in Allegiant’s system and they are pleased with GSP,” Edwards said. This fall or 2014 may bring service to Las Vegas.

Edwards said Allegiant crew limits on hours and high fuel costs prohibited the Las Vegas route to continue. “They wanted their crew in and back in eight hours. Turned out it would take nine hours,” Edwards said. New crew limits may make GSP attractive with that route. Airlines are also trying to find ways to add more seats on aircraft.

Edwards also told commissioners, GSP is positioned to make its entry into international travel – specifically Mexico. “We are atop their list in international services, if not 2013 then we could push 2014.”

Edwards was briefing commissioners on the airlines industry and his forecast for the coming year.

The American Airlines and US Airways merger could create nonstop flights from GSP to Miami and other cities. “There are no overlapping routes between American Airlines and US Airways out of GSP. We do think there’s going to be an evaluation by the merged carrier about what they do with their hubs,” Edwards said.

Edwards said Charlotte, a US Airways hub, is the best cost-effective hub in their system and expects that to continue.

The addition of “nine TSA officers since last summer was seen to be a good plan and (sequestration) shouldn’t have any impact,” on GSP, Edwards said.

However, Edwards said the larger airports could see delays. ”The overriding benefit is it could drive some of the passengers to GSP that are serviced in Charlotte and Atlanta,” Edwards said.

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