Here’s an email that we got from a reader who always has sound insights into our airport:
Another week goes by and yet another CA article about service cuts at Memphis International…. With theAmsterdam flight generating over two billion in economic impact since its inception, do you think Smart City could do a round robin with local stakeholders taking about the service cuts and ideas for saving our International flight which has more of an impact than some of the companies that are located here…. (on another note it would be fun to read round robins of local leaders and progressives on other Memphis issues).
A few thoughts on saving our international service that other cities have employed.
1) Asking our business and civic leaders to make it a company / city policy to use the flight for employees traveling to Europe and beyond. The Cincinnati business community did just that the save their Paris service. Make the commitment public so the flying public understands they need to use the service or loose it.
2) The chamber should bring together Delta and FedEx to see if FedEx can make use of the flight for cargo. I am sure they do this to some extent but can it be increased? Keep in mind that FedEx has for years lobbied Air France for non-stop Paris service. They should be willing to put their money where their mouth is to save Amsterdam service by placing additional cargo on the Amsterdam flight.
3) During the first year of the fligh,t we did C&VB advertising. Promoting the city and the flight through web banner ads is inexpensive. C&VB should have a partnership with Delta to do joint web banner ads across Europe and beyond. Think Elvis sites, Music sites, anytime someone in Europe does a goggle search a Memphis via Amsterdam flight banner ad should come up, etc., etc.
4) Mayor Wharton should appoint a community of ambassadors between Memphis and Amsterdam. In the many years of air service can we point to a single cultural exchange? How about a trade and cultural mission. Amsterdam is a capital of finance, high tech, culture – we should be forging cultural and business relationships. Those relationships will not only help us keep the flight they will enrich both cities. The mayor really could help drive business and cultural relationships and I bet people would be thrilled to serve. Are we even sister cities with Amsterdam?
“Once a city loses international routes — as Portland did in 2001, when Delta ended Portland-Japan flights — they are difficult to restore.”
“Since its launch on June 27, 1995, more than 2 million customers have flown Tennessee’s sole nonstop flight to Europe, generating more than $2 billion in statewide economic impact.”
Wayne Risher – The Commercial Appeal:
I was wondering if you could talk about the Memphis-Amsterdam flight and how it’s performing, now that it’s down to four days a week? And also, could you speak to any plans for further reductions in the frequency of that flight in the near future?
We are looking at the financial performance real time on this. And it seems to be doing better with a reduced frequency level. And so we’ll continue with that and analyze that as the data comes in. Of course, we’re not really in the peak yet. We’ve got December and January to come in and I think it’d be a better question to ask next spring.