ONT records a nearly 15 percent drop in passenger traffic

August passenger traffic at L.A./Ontario International Airport declined nearly 15 percent from the same month last year, making it the largest drop in monthly passenger traffic since May. Prior to that the largest drop in passenger traffic was last seen in October 2011.

Figures released by Los Angeles World Airports on Thursday show ONT recorded a 14.8 percent decline in passenger traffic with 338,387 travelers in August. The number was 396,632 in August 2012.

Overall, there was a 9.45 percent decline in the amount of travelers coming in and out of the medium-hub facility for the first eight months of the year compared with the same period in 2012.

In May, there was a 9.3 percent from the same month last year.

In 2011, the airport experienced a 10.2 percent decline in passenger traffic compared with the same month in 2010.

So far 2.6 million passengers have utilized the airport in 2013.

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ONT to get new service to SF

United Airlines has announced it will add a fifth flight to San Francisco out of LA/Ontario International Airport starting in December.

The announcement was made this morning. Tickets for the new flight, which begins Dec. 19, are already available on United.com. (Too bad this flight wasn’t announced yesterday when a glitch in the airline’s system allowed customers to purchase tickets as low as $0.)

Could this be the start of a turnaround at ONT?

Last week, my colleague Brian Sumers reported on Aeromexico’s decision to offer daily service to Guadalajara and low-cost carrier Volaris applying to serve ONT.

Later this month ONT, LA Tourism, and AeroMexico will co-hosting an event to promote AeroMexico’s service at the airport. The event is expected to bring together travel agents from the southern California region. AeroMexico and other Latin American carriers still use travel agents as a major source for booking flights.

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ONT GM campaigning for better air carrier presence

There is a misconception that LA/Ontario International Airport’s costs are significantly more than all other airports in the region, says the general manager of the medium-hub facility.

Jess Romo, general manager of the airport, said he also wants to make it clear that the agency that runs ONT is not manipulating costs specifically to benefit Los Angeles International Airport.

Ontario officials, which have been fighting to regain control of the airport, have claimed Los Angeles World Airports has ignored ONT at the benefit of LAX, one of the busiest airports in the nation.

Inland officials also say the airport is too expensive for airlines to do business and has not appropriately been marketed the facility in recent years.

Romo, who has been the general manager at ONT since 2006, explained how the costs and fees assessed to the airlines is based on several circumstances, and not a decision set by the agency.

“What an airport charges an airline to operate at a facility represents 5 percent or 15 percent of their total operating expenses,” Romo said. Continue reading

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Hearing on ONT lawsuit set for later this month

The first hearing in the lawsuit filed by Ontario which aims to dissolve an almost 50-year-old agreement with Los Angeles to operate L.A./Ontario International Airport is scheduled for Sept. 25 at Riverside County Superior Court.

Ontario filed the lawsuit June 4 seeking to regain control of ONT.

“The court may either take the matter under advisement or issue its decision on Los Angeles’ preliminary motions at that time,” said Roy Goldberg, the attorney representing Ontario in its lawsuit.

Los Angeles has made a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that the claims are not legally relevant, he said.

Michael Lawson, former president of Los Angeles World Airports Board of Airport Commissioners, has also denied Ontario’s claim.

“There is no sound, legal or factual basis for this claim,” Lawson said at a meeting earlier this summer.

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Upcoming Disney movie features ONT cameo

In the opening scenes for the trailer “Saving Mr. Banks,” audiences may notice a familiar sight: the old terminal at LA/Ontario International Airport, dressed up as an LA area airport.

The movie, which stars Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, detailing the making of the 1964 production of “Mary Poppins.” Thomspon stars as P.L Travers – author of the children’s classic, who is being convinced by Walt Disney (Hanks) to turn the novel into a movie.

In the trailer, Thompson is seen wlecomed “to the City of Angeles,” by her driver (not sure if it is meant to be LAX or Burbank). Filming for the movie was said to have occurred in October.

From what I’ve read, the movie is generating a lot of buzz and was just selected to close the  2013 London Film Festival. The movie won’t be released until December, but here is the trailier

 

Those attending D23 in Anaheim today were shown new footage of movie.

This is not the first time ONT has served as a backdrop on the big screen – “Moneyball”, “Hangover 2″, and Oscar-winner “Argo” are just some of the recent movies that have filmed scenes at ONT. Not to mention the countless of commercials and television shows that have also chosen the Inland airport.

Here’s a story from earlier this year which examines ONT’s popularity for filming.

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ONT passenger traffic continues downward trend

Traffic at LA/Ontario International Airport continues to fall. Figures for June show an 8.48 percent drop from the same month the previous year. A total of 341,967 passengers traveled in and out of the airport.

For the first half of the year, activity at the airport is down 8 percent compared to the first six months in 2012. A total of 1.9 million passengers have passed through ONT.

As the downward trend continues comes news out of The Desert Sun that there are improvements being made at Palm Springs International Airport in anticipation of future growth.

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ONT ads hits the web

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to connect with Jess Romo, general

ONT ad on the SigAlert.com site

ONT ad on the SigAlert.com site

manager at LA/Ontario International Airport, to get a better understanding about the new marketing plan at the medium-hub airport.

Here’s one story that I wrote briefly discussing the plan and here is another one my colleague Brian Sumers wrote when the funds were approved.

One of the plans was to help airlines – who offer new service – with up to $150,000 in marketing funds. I haven’t seen any ONT-related ads from airlines (that I know of) but I have seen more ads from LAWA in recent weeks.

The campaign launched July 1 but I noticed ads promoting ONT days before that. Today, as I was perusing SigAlert.com I noticed the image above. When I clicked on the link it took me to LA/ONT – The Facts.

LA/ONT-- The Facts website

LA/ONT– The Facts website

This is the first online ad I’ve seen for ONT that didn’t involve the SetONTFree folks.

The Facts link is something that LAWA created more than a year ago.

I’m not the only one who noticed ads, our editorial department weighed in on the issue.

Have you noticed the ad on the web before? Let me know.

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Long lines at ONT?

Ever encounter issues or long wait times while going through the checkpoint at LA/Ontario International Airport?

(I’ve been meaning to get to this item since last week but it’s been a little busy.)

Jim Bowman, at last week’s Ontario International Airport Authority, brought up an issue he recently noticed while traveling through the airport – a long line that had formed to go through the first checkpoint.

“I noticed a rather extraordinary long line of what should have been manned by someone, instead there was an abandoned TSA station,” he said.

Bowman said there was nobody there to process travelers.

This might be something that the new Federal Security director at ONT, Martin Elam, may handle or want to address in the future.

But that’s not all. Bowman, a longtime Ontario Councilman, said he was disappointed in the airport’s appearance.

“Service is everything, appearance is everything and the outside of the airport looks atrocious,” he said.

According to Bowman the grass near Terminal 4 has grown a nearly a foot tall.

“These are situations that a good partner doesn’t make with an asset of such value,” he said. “This exudes the reasons that L.A. is so far away and just doesn’t care about Ontario.”

ONT is managed by Los Angeles World Airports.

Have you ever encountered similar issues? Let me know.

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New ONT Federal Security Director named

Martin Elam has been named the Federal Security director at LA/Ontario International and Palms Springs International airports, the Transportation Security Administration announced.

According to TSA spokesman, Nico Melendez, Elam was named late last week. He previously served as the FSD at Midway International Airport in Chicago  since 2010 where he managed 480 Federal airport security staff.

Here is the bio for Martin Elam.

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Restaurant closes at ONT

The declining passenger traffic figures may be taking a toll on the tenants inside the twin terminals at LA/Ontario International Airport.

The Applebee’s Grill & Bar restaurant in Terminal 2 has been temporarily shut down, airport officials confirmed.
Maria Tesoro-Fermin, spokeswoman for the airport said it “is an item that will be discussed by LAWA and Delaware North Companies (the restaurant’s operator at ONT) in the very near future.”
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