Study: Over half of Duluthians Prefer Not to Fly Duluth

By KBJR News 1

April 2, 2013 Updated Apr 3, 2013 at 12:50 PM CDT


Duluth may have put millions into a new airport terminal, but an upcoming study shows there needs to be some major changes to get Duluthians to use it.

A study which is still in process has concluded that 58 percent of people living within 30 miles of Duluth do not use the Duluth airport, preferring to instead drive to The Twin Cities to catch their flights... It's called, "market leakage."

"I would much rather fly out of the Duluth airport but we use the Minneapolis airport most of the time," says frequent flyer Kent Peterson.

So what makes a person with a preference for their home town facility drive over two hours to use someone else's?

"a lot of times the flights out of Duluth are two hundred more expensive than flying out of Minneapolis," Peterson says.

Don Monaco owner of Monaco Air Duluth, the fixed base operatior of Duluth International says ticket price is just one of the many factors to be considered.

"When you take into account the travel time and the parking, that's a substantial amount."

Also, those traveling on business may want to consider a local flyout.

"The fact that you could fly out of Duluth to Chicago and be back the same day for a meeting makes it much more challenging than having to spend 6 hours in a car going to and from Minneapolis," says Monaco.

According to Monaco the airport has little say in airline ticket prices and Duluth International is not working towards lowering fares.
However...you may get lucky.

"Many times there are situations where it's cheaper to fly from Duluth to say NYC then it may be to fly from Minneapolis to New York City," Monaco adds.

The last market leakage study was done in 1999. At the time, 64 percent of Duluth residents preferred to use Duluth International.

Despite the sobering statistics Duluth International has still enjoyed its second best passenger turnout just last year hosting over 300– thousand flyers.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware