Kansas City, KS – November 1, 2011. Early today MetroAir executives made major announcements from their Kansas City headquarters.
Chief Executive Office Matt Calsada started the announcement by saying “In recent months, MetroAir’s commitment to the Baltimore region has increased with flights to Chicago Midway, Kansas City, and Fort Lauderdale. These initial flights have been used to test the market share from Baltimore as well as give our Operations team a chance to become familiar with the Baltimore terminal.”
MetroAir officially announced that Baltimore-Washington International will become the newest hub, while Washington Dulles will transition to a focus city. Washington-Dulles will continue to serve Chicago Midway, Newark, Dallas, Houston, Fort Lauderdale and Kansas City.
“While there is risk with opening a new airport and an even bigger one with the commitment to a hub, this move also offers many opportunities for MetroAir. The new Baltimore hub fits into our business strategy and comes at a perfect time for the airline.” Said Matt Calsada, MetroAir Chief Executive Officer.
Executives recited a number of reasons for the move with gate space ranking the highest. “Dulles has only 6 mainline gates which made daily operations severely limited.” said William Hogarth, the airline’s scheduled operations director. Baltimore often outperforms Dulles in terms of delays. MetroAir executives also cited relatively little international competition from Baltimore as a reason for the move. When reporters asked if MetroAir was looking to expand international service, Calsada answered “We have been looking for ways to increase our international service but have been stunted due to available gates at Dulles.” With an increase to 4 common use gates at BWI from the 2 dedicated wide-body gates at Dulles, speculations by industry insiders have already been made on potential new destinations that MetroAir will serve.
Hogarth said that switching hubs was like “getting the best of both with little cost. The geographic proximity of Baltimore and Washington are so close that there was minimal impact to our scheduled operations.” He continued to say that only 1 route was cut due to feasibility and that all of the flights transitioning from Washington to Baltimore will have very similar travel times. The switch also allowed the airline to review its operations and the opportunity to make the schedules more efficient. “The operations team spent the better part of the last month planning the switch, ensuring adequate turnaround times and planning to make the most efficient use of the airport.” said Hogarth.
Hub Managers at the airline will also be going through a bit of change as the airline shifts it’s hubs. Chief Personnel Officer Lindle Romero stated that all 3 hub managers will be relocating. Tim Moskal will be moving to Ontario; Derrick Medlin will make a return to Kansas City; and Sean Mullineaux will be steering operations at the new Baltimore hub. Romero stated “With a new hub coming online, we wanted to make the most effective use of our staff and re-align them to where they can make the most impact.” All pilots, regardless of rank or domicile, will be permitted to move hubs. Any pilot requesting a move may place a request with Human Resources to transfer hubs. Steve Iles, the airline’s Human Resources Manager stated that “All pilots at Washington Dulles should place a request stating their desired hub transfer no later than November 10th. Any pilot who fails to state their desired hub by that date will be transferred to a hub of management’s choice.”
The meeting concluded with Calsada saying “We are optimistic that these changes will help to propel MetroAir forward. Everyone here at headquarters is excited about the changes and we hope that all of our staff, customers and investors are as equally excited to see what the future brings.”