BOSTON, MA – In an unmarked conference room in the Hyatt Boston Harbor, MetroAir executives, marketing, and operations staff met over the weekend, presumably to discuss both short and long-term growth. Industry experts and enthusiasts alike conjectured about the unadvertised meeting after news of the convention was leaked. The weekend ended with 40 MetroAir executives and staff flying non-stop to London on one of MetroAir’s A319s. Further speculation ensued after a MetroAir pilot aboard the flight posted photos of the trip on a company forum.
When asked about possible Boston expansion, a MetroAir employee who wished to remain anonymous said a deal has been reached with Massport for the use of two additional gates in Logan Airport’s Terminal B. MetroAir’s current gate lease includes full use of two gates, from which the airline operates 18 domestic flights per day. The addition of another two gates could potentially mean doubling MetroAir’s presence in Boston, but a spokesperson was quick to downplay the move.
“We’re just looking for a little more breathing room,” explained CMO Anders Young, “That’s all I can say about that for now.”
When opening new routes, airlines frequently plan sale and marketing events to preview the city, similar to this past weekend in Boston. Historically speaking, a gathering of MetroAir executives in a certain location that isn’t their Kansas City headquarters is often a precursor for expansion.
MetroAir’s strong financial performance in the past year has been catalyzed by low fuel prices and has resulted in expansion across the country. In Boston, MetroAir faces strongholds among all three legacy carriers and an O&D fortress in JetBlue Airways. Boston is by far the largest metropolitan area in the United States that has yet to be monopolized by a major US airline. Limited by its geography in the Northeast, airlines have avoided sending any connecting traffic through the area. MetroAir, however, has found a way to exploit Boston’s location, using it as a stopover point for transatlantic 757 operations to farther European destinations.
With strong brand recognition nationwide and a vast domestic network, MetroAir is in a good position to battle for extra market share in New England.