b'30 LNK AIR SERVICE DEVELOPMENTbut could also fly a 300-seat airplane, the economics are justAirfield (OMA) is a strong competitor with service from Alaska, going to be better on the bigger airplane, he explains. Fuel isAllegiant, American, Delta, Southwest and United. also a huge part of the cost. Small jets burn more fuel per seat. That doesnt mean all hope is lost for small-town nonstop As a result, airlines are placing a greater emphasis on largerflights. Consumers will gravitate toward local options when aircraft. Theyre also increasingly focused on larger hub airportstheyre available and present a better bargain than driving to rather than serving multiple small airports within a region. the closest hub airport. Business travelers often prefer close Places that used to have pretty robust service dontaccess over faraway nonstops, and in a university town such as anymore, DiFiore advises. The bigger planes are instead goingLincoln, direct flights can play a key role in athletic and academic to places that are a short drive away. Indeed, Lincoln is just anrecruiting, and for fans on game days.hour away from Omaha via Interstate 80. And Omahas EppleyMany smaller communities will seek nonstops from ultra-low-cost or point-to-point carriers such as Allegiant, Avelo, Breeze Airways or Sun Country, believing those options might help reconnect missing routes once flown by the likes of American, Delta or United. For some, strong local demand could also support a path forward for a scheduled charter model like the one LNK developed with Red Way.Everybody is looking for answers, DiFiore observes. In Lincoln, they came up with an answer on their own.Nebraskas Way to FlyAt the same time LNK was working with partners to bring on Red Way, it was also in the midst of a major terminal improvement program. The $56 million expansion and renovation includes two new gates, six boarding bridges, an improved security checkpoint and new flooring, lighting and concessions. The first phase opened June 1, just one week before Red Ways inaugural flights. Were seeing people who have never flown before out of Lincoln, or havent flown for years, and theyre seeing the renovations Autonomous Mobility is Here. going on, says RachelRACHEL BARTHBarth, director of Communications and Customer Engagement Provide all guests with theLower cost per push for the airport. People are really excited for us freedom to navigate theAvoids obstacles usingto have a new terminaland a new airline. airport using a self-drivingsensors & automatic brakes One pleasant surprise has been Red device that transports themWays ability to draw travelers from outlying to their gate. 97% rate service ascommunities, including Omaha. Also, more excellent or very good than 10% of bookings have come from the upstart airlines outbound cities. Inbound passengers include people traveling to Scan Or Call To Learn MoreNebraska to visit friends and relatives, or fans Autonomousattending University of Nebraska Cornhusker Mobility Solutions 1-888-991-1884football games. whill.inc/us/business-solutions Maintaining a statewide identity for the new venture is critical, Barth notes. We September 2023AirportImprovement.com'