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Group Says Ontario Airport Losing Airlines at 'Alarming Rate'

Travelers pass through L.A./ Ontario International Airport. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Travelers pass through L.A./ Ontario International Airport. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

The group that is suing Los Angeles for control of Ontario International Airport says airlines are pulling out of the Inland Empire at an alarming rate, it was reported today.

The number of seats offered from the inland air terminal will drop nearly a quarter in the next three months, the Riverside-Press-Enterprise reported.

Flights are no longer longer offered from ONT to major destinations like Atlanta or JFK in New York, and fares are becoming noncompetitive to transfer hubs like Denver, Dallas, Houston or Salt Lake City, according to a study by the Ontario International Airport Authority, as reported today in the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

The agency has been formed by Inland Empire cities to wrest control of the airport from the City of Los Angeles. Negotiations between the city's Los Angeles World Airports and the new inland agency are continuing this month over the fate of the airport.

Airlines have announced they will slash the number of available seats from Ontario by a total of about 24.5 percent over the next three months, according to a study from the Ontario International Airport Authority.

The Riverside newspaper quoted one passenger who diverted to Palm Springs for a $658 flight to Corpus Christi, Texas, rather than pay $1,548 to fly out of Ontario.

Los Angeles has owned and operated Ontario for decades, as part of a plan to divert travelers from Los Angeles international Airport. LAWA has built a new terminal at Ontario, but its marketing efforts have been faulted by inland cities desperate not to lose their air service.

Aggravating the problem has been an industry trend to concentrate service at main gateway airports instead of suburban airports, and the increased frequency of air service at the Palm Springs airport as more resort- goers and locals patronize it.

--City News Service


ChrisG January 05, 2014 at 12:32 AM
The airport raised fees several years ago for the airlines and that is when the flights were cut. Some airlines left, others cut the number of flights. I fly out of San Diego a lot more often now instead of Ontario because of schedules and price. Too bad as Ontario is more convenient in many ways. I hope they get people to run that airport like a business and change it around.
anotherview January 05, 2014 at 09:17 AM
The City of Ontario contributes to the undesirability of this airport by prohibiting helpful signage and big-enough signage on nearby surface streets to direct travelers to the airport. I go to Lindbergh Field in the City of San Diego for a more accommodating airport.
Jeff January 05, 2014 at 10:21 AM
So what is going on? We used to fly out of Ontario all the time. It was a great & convenient alternative to LAX & San Diego. Then several years ago the airlines jacked up the fares significantly (compared to LAX) and cut the number of flights. So now we make the arduous trek to LAX as does everybody I know. What is driving the dramatic increase in fares?
SA January 06, 2014 at 01:30 PM
Democrats = higher fees … Any Questions?
John Smith January 06, 2014 at 01:50 PM
Democrat leaders and Democrat voters= leeches on the productive
Jeffrey C. Nickerson January 06, 2014 at 02:02 PM
Democrats = higher fees? - Yes I do have questions: How does that comment relate to the story of reduced airlines & passengers? Are you claiming that Ontario airport is run by Democrats and they are charging higher fess as compared to LAX which is run by Republicans and they are charging lower fees? Do you have facts to support that assertion? If you have facts to support that assertion, then I think you are on to something. If that is not what you are saying, what are you trying to say?
Steve Newman January 06, 2014 at 03:27 PM
The fees charged by airports are for landing and gate fees. The greater amount of flights the lower the fees. The fewer flights the higher the fees- the fees are used to cover operation of the airport- X dollars to operate divided by y arrivals equals Z fees. Parking and other charges are separate vendors.
ChrisG January 06, 2014 at 07:31 PM
You're right Steve about hoe the fees work but some airlines left and the rest cut flights after the airport raised the fees. Ontario is my preferred airport but I fly out of San Diego a lot more because they have more choices. I flew out of Ontario today at 10. It was a ghost town. No one at the ticket counter and 4 ahead of me at security. If Ontario wants the traffic back they will need to lower their fees.
SA January 07, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Yes Mr. Nickerson … Anything that allegedly causes, noise and air pollution (as an ex) Democrats will find a way to tax it or impose fees; in return those taxes / fees are pushed onto the providers then onto the consumer ultimately imploding… I bet you Democrats have already discussed how to socialize air travel. Making it harder for airlines to operate is a step closer…
Zygo January 07, 2014 at 01:02 PM
Democrats vs republicans - what a bunch of BS from brainless sheeple. The same people that run LAX run Ontario. When Ontario first gave their airport away to LA, fees from ONT were used to subsidize LAX. LAWA's primary responsibility has always been LAX. It is not a sinister democratic or republican conspiracy. Simply favoritism and priorities at the expense of the IE.

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