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CVG trying to right itself in 2014 and beyond

In its heyday the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport saw Delta offer 670 daily flights with direct service to Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Rome and Paris.  But that was 2005 and this is now.

Today passenger flights total 178 a day with one international flight to Paris.

  • American 17
  • Air Canada 2
  • Delta 115
  • Frontier 3
  • Sunwing 3
  • Ultimate 1
  • United 22
  • US Air 15

Airport consultant Dean Hill of the Campbell Hill Aviation Group doesn't have a contract with CVG. He advises other airports how to improve their air service and is familiar with Cincinnati. He did help design the Delta hub at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport. "Everytime I see the numbers in Cincinnati I sort of shed a tear. It's sad, but the times have changed a lot and they haven't been kind to Cincinnati."

He says the airport is on the right track and advises it to keep going after low-cost carriers and increase the number of travelers, so CVG gets busier and airlines will add more flights.

Matt Davis agrees. He's the Interim Executive Director of the Cincinnati USA Partnership, charged with attracting new business, jobs and investment to a 15 county region. "It's important for our business community and our local travelers to continue to support them (CVG) so that they can get back close to where they were before."

He says air service is very important to the region's economic development efforts. Businesses want the right frequency of flights at the right price. Davis says he communicates those needs to CVG and Lunken Airport.

Davis says, "We certainly have fewer international flights than we once had. I think if there was a big prospect on the hook that might consider moving here, that had specific ir service needs, I think both CVG and the business community would try to figure out how best to satisfy that need." Davis is positive about CVG's effort to remake itself.

The positives:

  • In six months three new airlines announced or launched new service at CVG.
  • Frontier Airlines launched from CVG in May and will expand service to Trenton, NJ in February.
  • Ultimate Air Shuttle started flying from CVG in September and may launch service to Chicago in Jan.
  • Allegiant announced new service to Orlando and Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda will begin in February.
  • Local origin traffic has increased for 8 months in a row since March.
  • Cincinnati is one of four DHL global hubs. in June DHL finished a $105 million expansion and employs 2,3000 at the CVG facility.

Cincinnati isn't alone, as reported in this NPR story.

U.S. Airways de-hubbed Pittsburgh in 2004. Businesses there brought in three low-cost carriers to supplement the legacy airlines and got Delta to add a direct flight to Paris. The corporate community guaranteed Delta would not lose money and said if a certain amount was not met, the business community would make up  a $5 million payment for the first year.

St. Louis is remaking itself as a cargo hub after American Airlines eliminated its hub in 2009 at Lambert International. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in November," airport commissioners  endorsed an agreement with a Texas company looking to develop a "dual customs" facility at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport for cargo going to and from Mexico."

Here's where CVG flies. The airport says, " It is continually meeting with airline carriers to expand service."