Savannah up 57% since 2015; eight new routes in winter 2020

Savannah up 57% since 2015; eight new routes in winter 2020

Savannah has grown very strongly in recent years and W20 will have eight routes that weren’t operated in W19. Yet the airport is still woefully underserved by non-stops.

Savannah ended 2019 with over 3.8 million seats.  This was up by nearly 1.4 million over 2015 – an increase of 57% and a CAGR of 9.3%.

We previously showed that, of the US’ top-100 airports, Savannah was the ninth fast-growing on a percentage basis.

Savannah’s strong growth since 2015 was primarily from American Airlines’ expansion.  Its seats passed 1.1 million last year, OAG data shows, up by over 452,000 since 2016 – the year after the integration with US Airways.

American added Chicago O’Hare, Miami, and New York La Guardia in 2018.  Meanwhile, Dallas Fort Worth almost doubled in size after years of being almost static.

Savannah also benefited from the entry and growth of JetBlue (2014), Allegiant (2015), Sun Country (2015), Air Canada (2017), and Frontier (2018).

Allegiant has been crucial.  It rose from fewer than 40,000 seats in 2015 to over 408,000 in 2019 as its network grew from three (Akron-Canton, Cincinnati, and Columbus Rickenbacker) to 15.  

Allegiant ended 2019 by being Savannah’s fourth-largest carrier after Delta, American, and United.

Savannah up 57% since 2015; eight new routes in winter 2020

Savannah added nearly 1.4 million seats between 2015 and 2019 – an increase of 57% and a CAGR of 9.3%. Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Savannah: eight new routes this winter versus W19

This winter, Savannah will have eight routes that were not operated in W19. 

Some have already started: Allegiant to Houston Hobby (began June 2020) and Chicago Midway (May 2020), together with United to Denver (start of S20).

Significantly, Savannah will welcome Southwest on 11 March 2021 with five routes: Baltimore, Chicago Midway, Dallas Love, Houston Hobby, and Nashville. 

Because these routes involve a number of Southwest’s core connecting airports, they will, of course, facilitate connections system-wide.

Southwest will have 42 weekly flights each way: 14-weekly to Baltimore and seven each to the remaining four destinations.

It again shows the importance of leisure routes in the current environment.  As Southwest recently said, its new routes currently need to just exceed cash costs and that the marginal cost of adding a new route is presently minimal.

Savannah up 57% since 2015; eight new routes in winter 2020

Southwest linking Savannah with core connecting airports of Baltimore, Chicago Midway, Dallas Love, Houston Hobby, and Nashville means system-wide connectivity. This shows all routes from these airports in the week starting 11 March 2020 rather than bookable O&Ds. Source: OAG Mapper.

Savannah is woefully underserved by non-stops

In 2019, over half of Savannah’s domestic demand was catered for indirectly, a pre-stimulated market of over 1.4 million. This is based on booking data obtained through OAG Traffic Analyser.

Key unserved markets – before stimulation – within ~1,000 miles include:

  • Hartford: 24,000 round-trip, rounded
  • St Louis: 22,000
  • Kansas City: 21,000
  • New Orleans: 21,000
  • Austin: 20,000
  • San Antonio: 19,000
  • Columbus (the main airport): 18,000

With stimulation, the above could potentially be served between two- and three-weekly.  Perhaps Savannah, and the possibility of multiple markets, will appeal to Breeze.  Or perhaps it’ll be attracted to Hilton Head with its extended runway and terminal.

Read more: Breeze sees 500+ unserved routes; we explore 66 possibilities from four underserved midsized US cities.

Do you think Breeze will serve Savannah in the next three years?  Vote at the bottom of the article!

Savannah up 57% since 2015; eight new routes in winter 2020 (2)

Savannah’s top unserved markets based on pre-stimulated demand in 2019. Source: booking data via OAG Traffic Analyser and OAG Mapper.

14 routes and 186 weekly flights in early January

Come the week starting 4 January, Savannah will have 14 routes, down from 20 YOY.  While Denver has been added, seven others won’t operate.

This is mainly from Allegiant’s network shrinking from seven to three YOY: Cleveland, Columbus Rickenbacker, Grand Rapids, and Pittsburgh will all return later in 2021.

Meanwhile, Detroit, New York La Guardia, and Washington National all won’t be served YOY.  The last two had 30 flights in the same week in 2020.  All three will return in March.

Savannah will have 186 weekly flights in early January 2021, down by 41% YOY.

Of course, hubs rule, with the 345-kilometre link with Atlanta top with 52 weekly, all by Delta.   This is down by 19% YOY.  26 flights will be operated by B717s, 20 by CRJ-900s, and the remaining six by B737-800s.

Despite the prevalence of Atlanta, American will be Savannah’s top airline this week, with 77 flights – 20 more than Delta and 40 more than United.

This is because American will have five routes (Charlotte, Dallas, Philadelphia, Miami, and Chicago O’Hare) against two for Delta (Atlanta and JFK).

Savannah up 57% since 2015; eight new routes in winter 2020

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser and airline websites.


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