Report found lack of demand for Horizon and suggests way to keep SkyWest
LEWISTON, ID —
Now that Horizon Air is pulling out of the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport, airport officials said they and experts are putting together a plan to combat this gap in service.
Horizon Air will stop service out of the Lewiston Nez-Perce County Regional Airport August 25th of this year.
Hubpoint Strategic Advisors took an analysis of different aspects at the Lewiston airport including onboard passengers. The study found that an average flight for Horizon is 78% full, but flights to and from Lewiston were in the low 60s.
Hubpoint said low load factors can signal a lack of demand, or other problems with the air service offered.
Of Horizon’s 47 operated markets, Lewiston ranked bottom three in average load.
Delta’s SkyWest on the other hand performs at a high level, and fills around 80% of its seats.
Airport Manager Stephanie Morgan said SkyWest is what the airport needs to turn its eye to as Horizon departs.
“If we could also have a little bit more community support. We could get this number from 80% to 95, which where we would actually want to have a real strong partnership with SkyWest and show them support,” she explained during Wednesday’s airport board meeting.
She said Hubpoint laid out a plan it recommends the airport follow to keep SkyWest and attract other airlines: Lewiston needs to promote events like the NAIA World Series, along with other tourism opportunities.
Also, the airport needs to reach out to the community for support because airlines view an actively involved community as a key to air service success.
Hubpoint also recommends LWS consider developing an air service incentive program to get carriers interested in serving this market.
The Airport Authority Board agreed they also need to set up a task force to promote air services in Lewiston.