YLW Connection - Fall 2008 - (Page 27)

The Changing Dynamic of Air Travel | B Y RO BERT FINE , Manager of Economic Development Central Okanagan Regional District W ith jet fuel pricing averaging $138 a barrel this year and airlines continuing to reduce service, the market for airline travel is changing dramatically. The focus now is on airports and the services they provide. To put this in perspective, take a look at the November routing schedule in the United States’ Official Airline Guide. It shows a 10.9 per cent decrease in flights compared to November, 2007. Fewer flights should mean longer connection times; a recent USA Today analysis suggests that commuters will spend 4 per cent longer waiting for connecting flights. In Canada, the impact is not as great due to Westjet and Air Canada operating newer, more fuel-efficient fleets and a relatively healthy domestic demand (down only 1.9 per cent this year), although Air Canada is still reducing their schedule by 7 per cent. So what becomes of the flying experience? Fewer flights will likely result in fewer empty seats. Seasoned travelers know that a crowded plane provides a less pleasant travelling experience. Add in longer connection times and travelers will be looking more and more for airports that deliver both service and a quality experience. In Kelowna, the center piece of the Kelowna International Airport‘s 2010 Development Program is a new international arrivals concourse capable of handling 250 passengers per hour. Improved ground access and expanded vehicle parking, a new car rental facility and two new aircraft loading bridges are also included in the program. A number of other comforts and conveniences, including the addition of local art from the Kelowna Art Gallery, a White Spot restaurant, and expanded screening and departure areas are all aimed at enhancing the customer experience. ©istockphoto.com / buzbuzzer Airports abroad are transforming themselves as well. The environment at Munich’s airport aims to relax passengers with miniature golf, a 60-seat cinema, and cosmetic and physiotherapy services. The airport also promotes aviation technology and history with educational experiences like behindthe-scenes tours and “kinderterminals,” a touch screen that allows children to learn more about how an airport works. At San Francisco International (SFO), internationally recognized art exhibitions from dolls, to folk art, photography and paintings can be seen in rotating displays. Don’t have your cell phone? Iowa’s Sioux Gateway Airport (SUX – I kid you not!) allows travelers to make free local and toll-free calls. If you need an electrical outlet for your computer to work while you wait at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), just plug into one of the 900 electric outlets along the twenty-four gate concourse. In the years ahead, as the airline industry restructures itself, watch for more innovate ways to pass the time in and around airports. You can have your shoes polished at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with free shoe care available at a number of gates. If you need to be entertained while you wait and people watching does not fill the void, San Diego International Airport (SAN) features jazz artists in the airport’s Terminal 2 Baggage Claim area as part of an award-winning program called Terminal Jazz. In the years ahead, as the airline industry restructures itself, watch for more innovate ways to pass the time in and around airports. n FALL 2008 27 http://www.istockphoto.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of YLW Connection - Fall 2008

Accelerate Communications - YLW Connection - Fall 2008
Airport Services
Building for the Future
Eyes on the Sky
Winter Destinations Announced!
A Brand New Way of Life
YLW's Environmental Initiatives
Runway Extension: Multiple Benefits
Ready to Hit the Slopes?
Airport Growth Across the Country
Technology:Changing the Look of Recruitment
Ten Golden Rules of Lugging your Luggage
Let's Get Technical:iFIDS
The Changing Dynamic of Air Travel
Trivia & Games

YLW Connection - Fall 2008